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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. desmobob

    desmobob Member

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    I don't remember manufacturers requiring "break in" until recent years. The first pistol I bought that had a recommended break-in procedure in the manual was my Kahr CM9. (It was faultless from round #1.)

    This year, I've purchased two semi-automatic shotguns that had break-in procudures outlined in the manual. I'm starting to think it is to make up for a lack of fine finishing in the manufacturing process, or something like that.

    But anyway, for a carry pistol, I think the old advice to run 200 rounds of the ammo you intend to carry in it before carrying it is sound.
     
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  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I got up to 197 of one load.
    I am building up round count with Something Else.
     
  3. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    Let me ask something; What are you (meaning y'all) doing differently during the "break in period" that's different from what you would normally do?

    If you do do something different what is it and why?
     
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  4. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    For instance, an early Gen 4 Glock in 9mm or an early HK P30 or VP9 all known as extremely reliable pistols, but are also known to have overly strong recoil springs, may not function properly with cheap, low powered, range ammo and may require more powerful ammo when new. After a 1,000 rounds or so, they probably work just fine with the cheapest 115gr ammo you can find.
     
  5. desmobob

    desmobob Member

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    In the case of pistols, it is a recommended number of rounds fired before it should be considered "reliable" and ready to carry. In the case of the shotguns I mentioned, it involved shooting a number of rounds of hunting/field loads before attempting to shoot lighter target loads.
     
  6. Styx

    Styx Member

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    Absolutely nothing different.
     
  7. Buzznrose

    Buzznrose Member

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    I run all the mags through the gun a couple times. If all goes well, I’m good. The majority of the time, if there is a problem, it will be a magazine issue.

    but full disclosure, I only buy cheap, plastic Tupperware guns for carry purposes, mainly Glocks, and the dozen or so that I’ve bought have been basically flawless...
     
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  8. Buzznrose

    Buzznrose Member

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  9. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey member

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    Based on the discussion so far in this thread I'm not sure break in period is the right term.

    Maybe it would be more accurate to say how many rounds is adequate for a reliability check
     
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  10. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    I also consider it to be a “shooter” break-in period. For some reason shooting more than a couple of magazines through new carry gun is looked down on THR.

    During testing of a new to me gun I am focusing on how to handle it and getting use to the location and operation of various controls such as the safety, magazine release, takedown lever.

    For semi-autos I prefer 500 rounds over the course of three range trips. With semi-autos I am equally concerned about how well the magazine(s) are made and how well they function. I like to test magazines at least three times before using them for self-defense. Since I consider magazines to be a disposable item I like to have a bunch of them. For example I have around 50 magazines for the Beretta 92. So if I test each magazine three times well it adds up to bunch of ammunition.

    For revolvers 200 rounds is sufficient for me. As revolvers are mechanically more simple it is easier to identify any problems. I like to use my ammo that I have reloaded with CCI primers. CCI primers have a reputation of being hard to ignite so I consider it to be a good test of the strength of the hammer and mainspring.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
  11. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey member

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    I don't care
     
  12. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    It’s really up to the individual shooter. Some folks are happy to jump off of a bridge, anchored by bungee riggings secured by pot-smoking morons who didn’t finish high school. Others might be more meticulous in reviewing certifications and safety protocols to understand their risks before scuba diving. Still others might be afraid to enter an elevator, regardless of inspection status.

    Personally, I slow feed a few rounds manually to watch and feel the feed cycle of my desired load, shoot enough to get a consistent recoil and cycle feel, and then practice regularly with the pistol, always feeding some of my desired load.

    Shooting 100, 500, or even 1,000 rounds through a pistol in a concentrated “test,” then shoving it in your belt line to collect lint for the next 10 years isn’t responsible. In fairness, however, most folks jump right into a car and start driving, with far more things which could go wrong, and much higher likelihood. But it’s all about personal perception.
     
  13. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart member

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    Lol, I have a Kahr CW380 that did require a break in of a few hundred rounds. No Big Deal, but it paid off huge dividends And if someone says that gun is just a piece of junk then Please excuse me and only reply, Yea, right.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
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  14. rskent

    rskent Member

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    I wouldn’t call it “breaking in the gun” as much as I would call it “getting to know the gun”. By the time I get to know a gun, its pretty well broken in, and proven that its reliable.

    Sometimes a gun doesn’t make it through the process without going back to the manufacture or getting worked on. But that’s just part of it. So, I shoot it. I practice with it.

    The wifie would say I play with it. At some point it’s good to go.
     
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  15. JDR

    JDR Member

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    Huh? Does Kimber want you to shoot 400-500 FMJ’s or personal defense (JHP) ammo at considerable expense, to get their gun to function properly?

    Figuring the cost of a new Kimber plus the cost of all this break-in ammo, you can get a like new Dan Wesson & a couple new Wilson mags for about the same money. A DW with good mags runs right out of the box.
     
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  16. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    Gosh. I was agreeing with you. I just have a set number of rounds I like to use. I will admit to enjoying shooting and I am near a shooting range so I have no real excuse for not shooting more often.
     
  17. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    The most extreme case of a gun needing to be broke in was a new Colt Government Model Series 70 45 Auto that a friend brought. Out of the box it would fail to feed constantly. However since it was not a self defense gun and we shot together often he would shoot it every range trip. Over the course of many 100’s of rounds it was becoming more and more reliable. Somewhere around 900 rounds all of the problems disappeared.

    As a result of him being patient and willing to shoot it a lot the gun has one of the smoothest slide and frame fit and actions I have handled. It easily rivals a Wilson Combat and any other big name gunsmiths 1911’s. Also with all of that shooting he is pretty accurate with it.

    I remember reading a interview that a gun ‘riter had with a top
    Executive at Smith & Wesson years ago. The ‘riter asked the Executive what was as the best way to break in their handguns. The Executive replied “Shoot it. Shoot it a lot.”
     
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  18. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    Sure is a good thing Dan Wesson doesn't recommend such nonsense. ;)

    From the Dan Wesson Owner's Manual (page 13) https://cdn.cz-usa.com/hammer/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CZ_1911_Hdbk_lores.pdf

    At least Kimber doesn't tell you to field strip (or in Wesson-speak "felid strip") and re-oil every 50 rounds.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
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  19. John Joseph

    John Joseph Member

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    I've never had a need to break in a handgun---they've all worked fine right out of the box, but I've never owned a tightly fitted custom handgun either.
    I do function checks before trusting any firearm though.---usually a box or three---depending on how many magazines I have to run through the gun.
     
  20. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey member

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    I remember reading that at the CZ Factory in Czechoslovakia part of the manufacturing process is putting the guns in an oil bath and they have some kind of machine that racks the slide a thousand times. I guess to smooth out the slide rails
     
  21. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey member

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    My bad. I think that was a voice to text error
     
  22. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

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    What about guns that are known to develop issues after the first 1500 to 2000 rounds? I seem to recall that owners of the Sig P365 were experiencing issues after around 2000 rounds. And other guns have recommended intervals for changing out various springs after relatively low round counts.

    Myself, I run run a couple of mags of factory stuff to insure proper functioning, then start developing loads for that particular pistol, so I guess by the time I carry it, it's had at least a couple of hundred rounds through it.

    IIRC, the only two pistols I've had to send back for work in 30 years of carrying were both S&Ws. The first was an M&P40 in 2007 that was having FTF and FTE issues that showed up after the first magazine full. They did some feed ramp work and sent it back within two weeks and it has been 100% ever since. The second was a S&W PC Shield that had a bulge on the barrel that I didn't notice in the store. It became evident the first range session when it just didn't feel right firing it and it couldn't do better than 12" groups at 25yds. Sent it back and it took nearly two months to get it back. It arrived with a nicked crown and barely got 8" groups. I sold it at a loss and moved on.

    But the point is that both guns showed issues within 20 rounds of initial firing, so I would be comfortable running around 50 rounds of various bullet profiles and power levels and be good with it.
     
  23. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    I just skipped to the last page. I'm going to need popcorn to read thru the whole thing. This question could equate to asking "what's the best truck TV, shoe, etc". Everyone has an opinion and isn't afraid to give it. :p:D
     
  24. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    I wonder if when the US was passing out 1911s in WW1 and WW2 if they expected each soldier who was issued one of these to go out and pop off 500+ rounds before they went in to battle with them? I bet not.

    I never purposely "Broke In" any gun I own. I just took them out and shot them and cleaned and lubed when I got home. My S&W SW9VE has been shot a few hundred times, I have no idea of round count since I normally throw my bulk reloads in a tub and just load and fire and it has never once had a single bobble. Same with the 39-2 a man gave me along with the last 18 bullets from the only box that had been fired through it. The only stoppage that gun ever had was when I let a guy about 6'6" shoot it and he held it like a little girl and limp wristed it. After I told him to hold on to the damn thing he had no more problems.

    I have never owned a high dollar 1911 bought brand new and maybe those do need to be shot a bunch before you can count on them. But I would hate to have to shoot half a case of ammo through a gun just to make sure it worked.
     
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  25. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    For a good period of time, every firearm I bought was well used (and consequently broken-in).
    When I started buying new guns (and reading firearms boards) I became acquainted with the concept of "break-in". At that time "most" seemed to think 500 rounds was about right for a semi-auto pistol, and 200 for a revolver. I will admit participating in this practice for a good while, and supporting the ammo companies.

    To be honest, the only ones that seemed to need it were:
    -- every Kel-Tec I ever owned (one P32, two P3ATs and a P11), and none of them ever really worked reliably.
    --a Springfield EMP (two or three trips back to the factory, including a replacement pistol)
    --a used Kahr PM-9 (which, in fairness, was identified as a potential problem...it was, Kahr fixed it first time and I've been carrying it for well over ten years now)
    --a used Kimber Solo (again, identified as a problem child, and it was. Shot 100 rounds of hotter ammo, then left the slide racked and mags full for about a month, smoothed right out)
    --a used Kahr CW380 (same treatment)

    These days, 150-200 rounds of my handloads and 50-ish rounds of carry JHPs, and I'm happy. Compared to some, I am still over-doing it.

    But as long as I can manufacture my own ammo at a reasonable price, it is peace of mind and Fam training.
     
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