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How many rounds equate to a proper new pistol break-in?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by TopJeff, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    It's important to test your preferred carry load too to make sure your gun will fire it regularly and accurately. I usually put at least 50 rounds of premium hollow points that I intend to carry through a new gun also. I actually think this is far more important than any arbitrary "break in" number to ensure function.

    Range fodder ammo and premium HP ammo are not the same thing, and may function at various levels of reliability or accuracy.
     
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  2. LUCKYDAWG13

    LUCKYDAWG13 Member

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    What 460 shooter said range ammo and carry ammo is not the Same i like to run a few hundred rounds of Winchester white box than my carry ammo to test a new carry gun but my carry guns get shot often
     
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  3. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    After an initial cleaning and a little bit of oil on the bearing surfaces, I have pretty much gone with 200 rounds for first time break-in/sight-in at the range. After that it's probably 100 to 150 rounds per range visit.
     
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  4. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    That/s why manufactures give specific instruction on how and when to lube.

    I always break my new cars and motorized equipment the same way, Drain all the oil out and see how long it will run.

    Then there is ye olde saying they "gotta run dirty":uhoh:
     
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  5. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

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    500-1000, with at least 200 of those my preferred carry ammo. Preferably doing most/all of that in a training environment where I'm also getting a feel for the gun shooting in circumstances other than a simple square range.
     
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  6. LUCKYDAWG13

    LUCKYDAWG13 Member

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    Yes that's just silly moving parts need lubrication to work properly why spend hundreds of dollars to do a needless torture test on a firearm that you may just need to save your life one day i mean if the gun fails because it is dry is it the weapon's fault
     
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  7. pbearperry

    pbearperry Member

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    This is just my personal opinion. Any new firearm that needs breaking in is a piece of junk.
     
  8. TopJeff

    TopJeff Member

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    I really appreciate you taking time to respond pbearperry!

    I honestly have to respectfully disagree vehemently! When any machine (and firearm is a machine) there are surfaces that rub against one another and create wear. That wear is occurring at a much higher rate when new as the components find their usual surfaces to ride on. ANY moving surface will have wear.

    The lubricant serves a number of purposes;

    1. It carries the worn off particles created by friction away to prevent excessive wear.
    2. It provides cooling to remove the heat generated from friction.
    3. It prevents moisture retention and thereby inhibits corrosion.

    If I could believe the machined surfaces were matched as well as a Rolls Royce cam bearing I would more easily agree with you. But they're certainly not.

    I'm not saying you're wrong, just that I disagree!Thanks

    Just $0.02 from an old fat guy!
     
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  9. Sulaco

    Sulaco Member

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    If it's a 1911 variant like you have I'd put several boxes of my carry ammo through it and it it hiccups at all, I'd switch over to cheap range ammo and shoot several hundred rounds of that, then go back to the carry stuff. Otherwise most of the time revolvers and polymer striker fired guns do just fine out of the box so they don't take as much to "break in" or test. My two cents.
     
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  10. cheygriz

    cheygriz member

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    If the fit and finish is so poorly executed that the weapon will not run properly when dry, the manufacturing was faulty.

    All weapons should be lubricated according to manufacturers' instructions. no one questions that.

    But before I trust my life to a weapon, I want to know that everything fits properly, and everything works
    .

    A small number of rounds, 150-200, fired through a dry weapon is the best test that i know of to guarantee that.
     
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  11. Paul Toms

    Paul Toms Member

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    From the Kimber owners manual for full sized pistols...

    My Kimber was broken in according to the manual as above.
     
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  12. pbearperry

    pbearperry Member

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    No problem, from another old, fat guy.
     
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  13. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    After owning, servicing, and rebuilding a lot of handguns, I have absolutely no belief in “breaking in” a pistol. If it doesn’t run right after my initial tear down, tune, and lubrication, I would never trust it to run, because something is wrong in the manufacture. Almost every pistol on the shelf is going to run properly if treated how I “unbox” mine. They’re designed to run, and frankly, pistols aren’t terribly complex machines, so it’s really only that rare pistol which completely misses on machining tolerances which won’t feed, and it’ll be obvious on day one.

    Such, I don’t believe in break it. So what we do then is really only acclimation, or “proof testing,” and this “testing” is only for the shooter’s peace of mind. In this case, every shooter has their own idea of comfort and confidence, so every shooter has their own subjective standard for defining their trust in their carry piece.

    For me, I’m content to unbox, strip, tune, and lube, shoot a few dozen rounds to acclimate my grip and trigger control, and stick it on my belt. I’ll practice again with it in a week, and many more weeks thereafter - no one and done games for me.
     
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  14. LaneP

    LaneP Member

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    Back when it was popular to fit 1911's very tightly (and probably is still the case) to improve their accuracy, it was commonly recommended to shoot several hundred rounds to smooth them out and break them in. That's okay for a range gun but for SD handguns, I need them to be 100% right out of the box and stay that way, minus stoppages that can be traced to faulty ammo or user error.
     
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  15. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    All of my custom 1911’s have been lap-fit, such my smiths have NOT recommended they would need several hundred rounds to smooth out.

    Maybe some smiths did leave rougher machined slides and frames, relying on random chance for parts to productively abrade themselves upon one another, but that hasn’t been my experience with Bullseye pistols.
     
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  16. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    If a break in period is necessary, it will usually be recommended by the manufacture. Read the manual, then contact Springfield. In my experience, they have pretty good Customer Service.

    Break in period needs to be distinguished from establishing reliability. The latter is rather arbitrary. For most of us, it might depend on cartridge as well as intended use and a host of other factors. I don't think any of us would demand the same number of rounds through a 4 inch Redhawk .44 Mag intended for woods carry against bears as we would a 4 inch 9mm auto pistol intended for street carry, esp if we were a professional with a higher than average chance of actually needing to use the thing. The simple answer is to shoot the thing for as long as it takes you to be comfortable with it. That is a purely personal choice that only you can make.

    Personally, I don't know what kind of a reputation the Springfield EMP has for reliability. I know Glocks, for example, have a pretty well established reputation for being reliable, so I don't put too much thought into beating a dead horse. I most focus on making sure I can hit something with on purpose and then buy a holster for it.
     
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  17. sirgilligan

    sirgilligan Member

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    What exactly are you breaking in?

    You need to learn what it will shoot. I have one gun that the mags don’t like 147 gr flat nose lawman. Another Gun of a different brand and mag style shoot it fine.

    If it won’t shoot anything reliable then get rid of it. I have had that gun too.

    Every gun is just one shot away from a failure. When will it be?
     
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  18. Jack Ryan

    Jack Ryan Member

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    I wondered why I don't own any Kimbers. Thanks, now I know.
     
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  19. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

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    200-300 ball, and then at least 100 of my chosen carry ammo.
     
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  20. JoeHenry

    JoeHenry Member

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    So the mfg wants you to do their job? I would say that if your pistol gets thru 50 rounds of your choice of carry ammo it should be good to go. Never been a believer in the so called break in period. A pistol should be good to go from the box.
     
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  21. BlankRow

    BlankRow Member

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    I never thought of shooting them dry, but it sounds interesting. What do you do if it falls the "dry" test? Do you send it back to the manufacturer, do they consider this a flaw? Or do you just sell/trade it?
     
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  22. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    Usually 200-500 including a few mags of carry ammo but mostly my handloads that closely mimic my carry ammo. Assuming I runs fine.

    No specific reason except that I tend to get excited with a new gun and the above is a pretty standard "first trip" with a new gun.

    If it has some jamming issues on the first day then I'll spend more time/ammo before trusting it, but that's rare IME, ally guns were we're good to go after the first trip but two, and those were a simple case of adjusting extractor tension on two 1911s, easy enough to fix
     
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  23. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    Most CZ owners feel that 300-400 rounds of ammo is good enough to improve the trigger. But you don't have to shoot AMMO. Get some snap caps and just dry-fire the darned thing. Break-in generally means racking the slide and working the trigger mechanism. Part of the break-in process is just getting the places were metal rubs on metal smoother by letting them rub. Break-in is also convincing yourself that the gun is functional -- and you should be able to do that is a lot less than 300-400 rounds.

    With a CZ, doing a lot of double-action dry-firing (with Snap Caps) will improve the DA trigger. Understand, however, that DA mode bypasses the hammer/sear interface, so you won't see any change in the SA trigger; manually cocking the hammer and pulling the trigger won't do much to improve the SA trigger,either -- someone will have to tweak the hammer/sear interface for that to happen.

    If you want a better SA trigger, you need to have a gunsmith work on it, or do a little polishing, yourself. (You might go for a lighter hammer spring, as well.) An aftermarket hammer from Cajun Gun Works or CZ Custom will greatly improve the SA trigger experience. (Some websites show you how to do your own trigger job, and that's an option, too.)​

    When I've gotten a new CZ -- which I haven't done in a long time (but I have had a bunch of CZs over the years) as I mostly buy used guns, now -- I just have a local gunsmith do a trigger job. That's because I hate shooting a gun with a heavy or grungy trigger. I'd rather spend the money on gunsmith services than ammo. I get a better trigger faster that way and while it can cost a bit more than shooting 400 (or 1000) rounds, I think its a better thing to do.
     
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  24. cheygriz

    cheygriz member

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    If I like the weapon, I will lightly lube it and shoot several hundred more rounds of range ammo through it to "smooth it out" and re-test. If it fails re-test, I get rid of it.
     
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  25. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    Whenever I get a gun, either used or new, I field strip it, clean and lube before going to the range. Over a couple of trips, or more, I shoot usually 100 rounds of ball ammo and then usually at least 100 rounds of decent defensive JHP ammo. This usually gives me an idea if the gun has any kinks at least with the ammo I'm using and if it's reliable and accurate enough for self defense. I check the guns for accurate fire at distance and for rapid defensive fire up close. I want to make sure the mags work well in the gun. I shoot weak handed, strong handed and with both hands. This, if done correctly takes time. I don't rush as I enjoy it.

    I do the same thing all the time so if that's a break in period it makes no difference to me.

    I usually evaluate guns on a regular basis though out the time I have them. For example I'll try a new type of ammo out before I figure it fit for use in a gun for "social" purposes. I find Glock 19s generally reliable but last year I found that mine choked regularly on Sig Brand 124 gr. JHP ammo. It had to do with the shape of the ammo and the rounds catching on the bottom of the ramp. The gun does this with no other ammo.

    I keep an eye out for the same things over the years. I always evaluate.

    Point being that I have an approach to my guns, new or used. If the manufacturer calls something a "break in period" that makes no difference as it does not alter my approach.

    tipoc
     
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