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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. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    Probably because they didn't care how long they lasted and thought of them as disposable items.

    I think this is some of the misunderstanding of at least the typical semi-custom 1911 break-in. It is not to get them to work properly when they are new, nearly all of them do, outside the odd bad example. The break-in for these guns is to ensure they are still functioning properly at 30,000, 50,000, 80,000, and 100,000 rounds and on later.
     
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  2. desmobob

    desmobob Member

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    No. Because they were built with large tolerances to be reliable above all. Ever handled a military issue 1911? They were pretty loose. If someone sold new 1911s that sloppy today, they'd probably get half of them back. Accurizing 1911s is mostly about tightening the tolerances. Which reduces the reliability....
     
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  3. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    Chances are good they weren't that sloppy when they were new.
     
  4. desmobob

    desmobob Member

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    The GI models had a lot of slop in the slide-to-frame and barrel-to-bushing fit, in particular, to allow for reliable battlefield operation as well as easy parts interchangeability. That's why the GI models, regardless of their round count, have about half the accuracy potential as civilian models. And that's why they didn't need any "break in"!
     
  5. JDR

    JDR Member

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    When I got my DW Valor, I never realized I was breaking it in, I just thought I was shooting it without a hiccup!
     
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  6. golden

    golden Member

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    For me, it depends on the gun. If a revolver or a BERETTA with the open slide, Then 150 to 200 rounds is enough, with other autoes, I usually want 300 rounds with at least 200 round of hollow points. I have found that ANY KIND of gun can go bad or not function. Just about all of my S&W revolvers have a problem with WINCHESTER 110 grain jhp .357 magnum ammo. Most of the rounds go off, but not all.
    Just recently, I took my S&W 36 to the range and after 3 rounds, it looked up tight and could not even open the cylinder.

    RESULT: You never know until you test if it will work when you need it.

    Jim
     
  7. sirgilligan

    sirgilligan Member

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    I had a gun that was a jam-o-matic. I contacted the manufacturer. They said it had to be broken in. Shoot 500 rounds through it. I said your owners manual says replace the recoil spring (gun was semi-auto) at 500 rounds. I am thinking, "To break it in I have to run it till they say replace parts, which then requires me to start the break in process over again..." I sold the gun, and all of the one's I owned of the same brand and have never considered them again. I also got banned from their forum for asking what this was all about.

    THR is a great place, well moderated, and has good advice and a plethora of reasonable opinions.

    I shoot through all the mags the ammo that I want to use with the firearm. Then I shoot it a bunch more because I like to shoot it, not because I think the gun needs it. :)
     
  8. Ohen Cepel
    • Contributing Member

    Ohen Cepel Contributing Member

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    What does one want to bet one's life upon. It's a stats question of sorts as well as your money to buy exotic ammo. This leads to why I have stuck with revolvers and less exotic ammo as I want to know that at least 100 rounds of that ammo will work without a hiccup. I don't buy the latest and "greatest" ammo as it seems the plenty of people died in the 1900's from bullet wounds nor do I buy drum mags as they don't work well unless cared for correctly and feed with the right ammo.

    Personal call in the end but I worry when someone buys the latest "hot" round but is too cheap to shoot at least 100rds through said weapon before they bet their family's lives upon it.
     
  9. Robbins290

    Robbins290 Member

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    I always thought "breaking in a pistol" was for the trigger break only. Specially a sig p series. They take 500-800 rounds to make that trigger break like glass.
     
  10. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Personally, I really enjoy shooting, but don't have enough time to do it as often as I'd like. When I get a new gun, I want to shoot that gun on my next range trip, and it's very likely my other guns will get ignored that outing. My typical range session is 400-500 rounds. I clean and lube my guns first because that's the condition I carry them in. I test my intended defense loads to be sure they feed.

    Done. Just shoot the gun and enjoy it. If something didn't function properly then try different ammo the next time.

    I think people get way too hung up on a magic number or if there is a malfunction in the first few magazines. Shoot the gun with a variety of ammo and when you are personally feeling good about it, carry it if you want.
     
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  11. JDR

    JDR Member

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    No truer words have ever been written. I pack my stuff & head to the range just about every week because I like doing it. I’ve raised my Son telling Him that in order to be really good at something you have to enjoy doing it in the first place. Applies to just about everything I can think of.
     
  12. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey member

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    After reading through this discussion I have to ask what constitutes breaking a gun in?

    How is breaking a gun in different from just using it?
     
  13. 5-SHOTS

    5-SHOTS Member

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    Probably that 1911 has a pretty tight fit so a break-in is a good idea. To me a 500 rounds break-in with different loads sounds very good. Then I'll do another 200 rounds test with your preferred carry ammo. Start with the gun cleaned and lubed and see how it works. It is also important to try all the magazines shipped with the gun.
    Some pistols are 100% out of the box, some others are not but you are not going to know it until you go at least a couple times at the range...
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
  14. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    My opinion on this matter, which is worth a cup of coffee at McDonald's if you add a dollar to it, is this:

    Unless there is some kind of factory recommendation that comes with the firearm with respect to break in, any recommendations are just opinions.

    When people talk about "break in", they're really not talking about any specific kind of mechanical wear-in on the firearm. What they REALLY mean is "some number of rounds fired through the weapon which will give a good indication that the weapon will actually function as designed whenever it's likely to be called upon for use".

    Billy Ray Joe Jim Bob's standard may be "Five hunnert rounds" for anything he owns. Uncle Bill's opinion may be "If you cain't run a thousand rounds without problems with no cleaning and lubrication, it ain't squat!"

    MY OPINION (remember that coffee?) is that ANY person who buys a firearm OUGHT to do something like the following because it's a smart approach:

    - Feed that baby a variety of ammunition and see what it likes and doesn't like.

    - If you're considering it for self-defense, include several different types of self-defense ammunition.

    When you find ammunition it likes and doesn't like, FEED IT THE STUFF IT LIKES!

    Then run a few hundred rounds through it to see how it performs. How many, exactly? Who cares, just run a few hundred through it! There are several reasons why...it's fun, you need to see if it's reliable, gain familiarity with the firearm, improve accuracy, etc.

    THAT SAID:

    There are a lot of people who would complain "but I can't afford to run 12 different types of ammunition through my firearm!"

    What the heck? We're talking about people who recommend running FIVE HUNDRED ROUNDS of ammunition through a pistol you already spend hundreds on for "break in"! That ain't cheap in the first place! And in the second place, you should be doing it intelligently! A box of this, a box of that to see if there are some it simply doesn't like is SMART. Trying to force it to eat something it doesn't like when there may be plenty of other ammunition which it adores is not only stupid, it's a recipe for extreme frustration.

    That, and you ALREADY spent several hundred on the pistol. And, if you're smart, you won't skimp on a quality holster and belt, which ain't cheap either. Why would you skimp on the ammunition?

    If you have a finicky pistol with respect to the type of ammunition, all you'll get by continuing down the same path is more of the same. MAYBE after a few hundred, or thousand, rounds of other ammunition, it'll be less picky. Until then? If it want's pecan pie, feed it pecan pie!
     
  15. george burns

    george burns Member

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    Honestly, it depends on the gun,.tighter spes. need more ammo until the parts gel. A new glock or a new M&P, are usually good to go out og the box after a thorough cleaning visual inspection, and 50 rounds. I have never had a new Glock or M&P pistol fail using that requirement. Your more exotic, "expensive" guns are more likely to be problematic because the tolerance's are so dam tight. I have gone through a lot of glock pistols, and if the shoot out of the box after a cleaning, "not even necessary" they will go forever of until something breaks. Like a recoil spring or extractor. I have noticed that the last few years guns have just gotten better the machinery is just that good
     
  16. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    Pretty typical break in suggestion for tighter guns. I didn't follow that for either my DWs, just lubed them up extra wet for the first few range trips and shot them a bunch. They run fine.

    One of the selling points for higher end production and semi custom (I assume full custom too but have no experience) is the tight fitting parts and resultant accuracy. This can lead to some issues as the parts rub and work together, especially the slide fit. So some patience and generous lubing whole the parts work in is a very common "break in" suggestion.

    Personally, when I get a new gun I'll burn through at least 200-500 in my first range trip, learning the trigger and just getting through the "new gun excitement", usually hit 1k rounds in the first month then slow down after.
     
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  17. Hartkopf

    Hartkopf Member

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    Normally I'm good with shooting 200 rounds of ball and then 100 rounds of carry ammo. But,

    I had a Glock 30sf malfunction after 560 rounds. Over a 150 round period it malfunctioned twice with factory ball ammo, twice with Golden Sabers and once with an HST. It was failing to return to battery. This was a problem with 2009 Glocks and I had the same problem with a gun bought new in 2019! I found threads on THR and another site that somewhat detailed the problem of the rear frame lugs being lower than normal, causing the slide to rub on the trigger bar and the ejector. I considered honing on parts to try and fix it but since I bought the gun at BassPro I had them send it to Glock. I got it back in a week and I'm pretty sure they honed the ejector and polished the trigger bar, and changed the mag catch and firing pin. I would have preferred the frame be replaced but the gun runs great now. I have another 400 rounds through it with no problems.

    This is not a normal problem with quality guns but the average break in "rule of thumb" didn't work in this case. I have a thousand rounds through two other Glocks and own 4 Glocks in all, and I carry one every day, but somehow they are still selling a problem gun that malfunctions AFTER what many would consider the normal break in period. So I guess 1000 rounds is safest? 2000?:confused:
     
  18. Robbins290

    Robbins290 Member

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    Breaking in for the trigger i assume. A P226 with a 1000 rounds thru it breaks like glass vs one just out of the box. I assume that is what people mean by breaking in.
     
  19. Indigo22

    Indigo22 Member

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    Back in the 80's I spent some time working with a gunsmith that was the armorer for the local PD and their shooting competition team. He also had guns coming in from all over the state (MI) to have an action job or competition tuning. He refused to even look at their new guns until they had run at least 300 rounds through them. After the work we would personally run another 50 rounds through it tear it down to inspect it again making sure everything looked good and repeat if needed, which was rare. His instructions to customers were to run another 200 rounds through their gun before using it in competition or for duty. With my personal guns over the years I've always tried to stick with this approach.
    As far as lube go's always always new or used clean the gun first before taking it out to the range. Remove all the factory grease and stuck on gunk from the gun. I've found used guns that had what may have been factory grease packed with hardened crud that was obviously inhibiting proper function. Strip it clean of all lube then lightly put a few drops back in. Yes, I have experienced a new gun that liked to be run wet with oil until it had finally broken in. A new gun should be cleaned frequently, then re-lubed again, and take out to the range.... repeat as needed until you are confident in its operation.
    Oh, bolt rifles are not exempt from this process either. I had a friend who's new bolt rifle failed miserably on a hunt because he hadn't even fired a single round before going to the hunting camp. The culprit was a small burr that got jammed inside the bolt itself along with a gob of packing grease that turned rock hard at or below 30 degrees thus ruining his opening day.
     
  20. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    I don't think there is a number. Shoot it until you are comfortable with your new gun, and the gun and you are both reliable. From what I can tell most modern guns don't really require much in the way of break in, but the operators do.
     
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  21. Koroner

    Koroner Member

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    I got a screaming deal on a Les Baer Thunder Ranch because the tolerances were so slight that it was difficult to rack the slide so the original owner, some rich dilitante who didn't realize it was a break in issue took a big hit.

    After 12,000 rounds it is still quite tight (and shoots like a dream. Eats everything I feed it and hits bottle caps at 15 yards).
     
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  22. Pete D.

    Pete D. Member

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    I agree with the earlier comment by pbearberry.
    If a gun is properly made, it should work 100% from the get go. Properly made, it doesn’t need a break in.
    A firearm is a machine. ALL machines will fail sooner or later. It is impossible to tell when failure will occur, only that it will. Go put 200, 300, 500 rounds through your new gun. There is no guarantee that that gun will not FTF on the very next round. In fact, shooting that 500 rounds trouble free simply means that you have moved the gun 500 rounds closer to when it will FTF.
    Just go shoot the thing. Find out what it likes. Get YOU used to the gun.
    Pete
     
  23. Koroner

    Koroner Member

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    Well Pete D. I respectfully disagree. Personal experience is that break ins can sometimes make a huge difference.
    You can say "then it wasn't properly made", but IRL many things aren't. Slides can have burrs that wear off yada yada.

    I also function test with a variety of ammo.
     
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  24. crestoncowboy

    crestoncowboy Member

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    Unless it's a match gun or a 1911 I've never personally seen a gun need a break in. Any HK. Glock. Sig. Beretta etc (sloppy fitting duty guns) I shoot 50 rounds through it to help the trigger and be sure but if it doesnt have a glaring problem then ive never had an issue. I do leave mags fully loaded a few days in some guns to make them easier to load.
     
  25. S&W620

    S&W620 Member

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    I typically shoot 500 or so before I carry it, a mix of ball and JHP, and mixing weights.

    After that at least 50 of my preferred carry load.
     
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