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Why a Break In Period?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Jotobo, Jan 7, 2011.

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  1. Jotobo

    Jotobo Member

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    All pistols for the most part seem to need a "break in" period. I have only seen one instance where a manufacturer said it didnt, Seecamp.

    What is the science/logic behind it?

    Genuinely curious as to how pushing rounds through improves performance of a gun.
     
  2. shootingthebreeze

    shootingthebreeze Member

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    The break in period is essential for a lot of reasons.
    First, safety. You want to know if your handgun is working properly. Are there any malfunctions during the break in period? Does a part break? You want to know your handgun is working well before you trust your life to it.
    Second, with semi autos, springs can be stiff and parts need to be exercised initially to loosen up the weapon.
    My last two semi autos were broken in each with 300 rounds. During that period, each had a malfunction which was fixed promptly-now after another 400 rounds, both work flawlessly.
    Third, getting comfortable with it. Each handgun feels differently in your hand. That firing time gives you an opportunity to know how it fires.
    Fourth, taking it apart and cleaning it, putting it back together builds your confidence relating to its structure.
     
  3. usp9

    usp9 Member

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    As far as I'm concerned a break-in period is to make sure the gun works with the ammo I plan to shoot in it.

    I don't think it does.
     
  4. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    There is an important difference between “breaking in,” and “function and reliability testing.”

    While it is certainly true that one should put some rounds through a new pistol to insure that it is functionally reliable, about the only ones that seem to need "breaking in" are those made on the 1911 Government Model platform that suffer from being fitted up too tightly, and sometimes have undersized "match" chambers.

    These are more big-boy-toys, rather then serious weapons, as is easily shown by the fact that none of the USGI 1911 & 1911A1 pistols, as well as they're commercial equivalents needed any such thing. Neither do the better quality service pistols being made by various domestic or foreign manufacturers today.

    Breaking in as such, is a condition caused by manufacturers that don’t finish the job they were paid too do. :cuss:
     
  5. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Excellent post Mr. Fuff. I couldn't agree more and I am completely amazed at how many people have fallen for this whole "break in" nonsense.
     
  6. 71_440Superbee

    71_440Superbee Member

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    I bought my first handgun/1911 a few months back(I wont mention brand to avoid the battles) and I only have 4-500 rnds through it.Very tight gun.Only 1 FTE in the first hundred and it feels no differently than the first shot did.The first shot was dead on as was the last,as it should be.
    A break in,to me,is simply wearing in the parts together uniformly,as the original design was for these parts to be mated long term or permanently more like. I always thought of it like wearing in the rings in an engine,then just letting it rip wide open from there on. My 2cents...
     
  7. Erik M

    Erik M Member

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    I took my new Glock 19C out and ran 100 rounds through it as fast as I could. Then I ran 50 rounds of my carry ammo through it for accuracy, all without issue. That was the 'break in'.
     
  8. Hanzo581

    Hanzo581 Member

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    Never owned a gun that didn't function correctly immediately then suddenly started working after a certain amount of rounds.
     
  9. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    Pistols with glass smooth hammer forged barrels and smaller slide rails generally don't have a break in period.

    Pistols with a rough machined finish on the barrel like Kimber and Kahr get alot more reliable after 500 rounds. Alot of 1911's are like this. If you drag your fingernail down the barrels outer edge you can feel the machined finish.

    Higher end 1911's often have a more expensive smoother finish and don't require any breakin.

    So it's simple. If it's smooth it deosn't, if it's rough then it deos. Not rocket science folks, and not quite BS either.
     
  10. ThePunisher'sArmory

    ThePunisher'sArmory Member

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    All machines require a break in period.
     
  11. gc70

    gc70 Member

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    People would not even entertain the idea of buying a television, or phone, or washing machine, or refrigerator that sorta' half-way sporadically worked until it had been operated for X period of time. Gun owners should not accept shoddy guns that are not properly finished.
     
  12. HKGuns

    HKGuns Member

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    I don't own a pistol that has needed to be broken in....all have functioned exactly as they were designed from day one. That isn't to say I've never had anything go wrong...I've had squib rounds and a few stove pipes, but all of it is traced to my reloading skills learning curve and has never happened in a new pistol.
     
  13. Jotobo

    Jotobo Member

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    I have to assume that people are aware of the idea of the "break in" period.
     
  14. 451 Detonics

    451 Detonics Member

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    I disagree, 30 years ago it was pretty much an unknown term when applied to a US made or high quality import semi auto. Quality control today just isn't what it was back then, on any of my builds if I have a malfunction it is because something is wrong and no amount of shooting is going to break it in. It malfunctions because I made a mistake and I either replace or adjust the part as needed.

    I do agree you need to proof a gun before carrying it and today perhaps a break in may be needed to wear in sloppy fitting parts...kinda sad tho.
     
  15. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

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    Gun manufacturers that promote this would make the deceased Joseph Goebbels extremely proud...:eek:
     
  16. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    The break in period is absolutely necessary to ensure that the gun is out of warranty before you can send it back.

    Jim
     
  17. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    If you buy a new Chevy Silverado and read the owners manual, it states that during break-in don't exceed 60mph or hold a steady speed for long periods of time. Most ignore this and the truck is totally reliable for 100K miles--right? Maybe. One that is broken in properly is more likely to use less oil/get better mileage/last longer than one was racing the neighbors truck or towing a 10Klb load the day it's brought home.

    Any machine that has mass manufactured metal parts with friction between the parts will wear in/seat after a period of use. Mass produced Service semi-auto handguns fit this description. After some period of use the parts 'seat' together and it will perform better/smoother until they start to wear excessively. Guns with more parts (semi-autos) will take more break-in than simpler guns (revolver).

    Custom machines (Ferrari, Les Baer 45 ACP) are ready to go out of the box---maybe.
     
  18. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    I would have figured this was obvious.

    What is sand paper? A rough abrasive. What happens when you rub abrasive surfaces together? They get smoother. Then a gun comes out of the factory, a lot of the mated parts that move back and forth touching each other may still be a bit rough, have tooling marks, mold flash, etc. With a break in period you're basically using a tiny little explosion to keep working those parts across each other. Some inherent roughness will be smoothed out during this time. Will it fix a pistol that flat out wasn't fitting right to begin with? Not likely. However, for MINOR imperfections that would affect reliability, some of them will be smoothed out after a number of rounds have been fired.
     
  19. dacavasi

    dacavasi Member

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    I'm not sure about a manufacturer-mandated 'break in period', but I would absolutely not be willing to bet my life on ANY firearm, revolver, semi-auto, or what-have-you, without running at least several hundred rounds of the same ammo that I intend to depend on for self-defense through it. I have had many 'semi-auto's run a few hundred rounds of WWB target loads with no problems, then, all of a sudden, start to exhibit FTE, FTF, and other problems, when loaded with HP and other SD-type ammo. Run at least a few hundred of your preferred loads before you even THINK of depending on that gun for SD...
     
  20. Rust_Collector

    Rust_Collector Member

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    Hmm... You see, this is why I'm always shopping for pre-broken-in articles at gun shows and such. Most folks never shoot enough to actually wear anything out and I'm going to tear it apart and start stoning and tweaking anyway...

    "pre-broken-in" I do like the sound of that better than "used" now that I say it out loud.

    I just got a pre-broken-in Glock 23. don't really like Glocks. Didn't really need it. But it was such a bargain. Got home and ordered about $80 worth of Brownells. Good-bye bargain. Fortunately my Visa card is still in that sweet spot between barely-broken-in and broke-down... for now
     
  21. JohnBiltz

    JohnBiltz Member

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    First of all I remember reading about breaking guns in in gun mags in the 70s, so it is not a new concept.
    Don't think of it as breaking in as much as wearing it in. You want to put wear on parts. This lets rough spots and small spurs smooth themselves out. Springs get exercised. It often helps the trigger as well. With cars you might start noticing better gas mileage and performance after break in Machines need this, at least machines that involve things exploding and exerting strong forces on the parts like guns and engines. Rifles require break in procedures for the barrels, I'd strongly suggest you follow the manufacturer's suggested break in with rifle barrels.
     
  22. Elmer

    Elmer Member

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    Having done the first firing out of the box for hundreds of guns, and watched hundreds more, having a hitch or bobble in the first 50 rounds isn't uncommon, and I've seen it with most of the major brands used in police work, going back to the revolver days.
     
  23. ironhead7544

    ironhead7544 Member

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    With metal parts you are going to have friction. I put at least 200 rounds through a carry gun to make sure it works. The Glocks are Teflon coated so probably dont have a break in problem. Revolver actions smooth up as they are used. A pistol built for formal target is generally very tight fitted and may require 500 or so rounds to be really broken in.
     
  24. PabloJ

    PabloJ Member

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    I suspect CYA clause comes into play and they just looking out for number one themselves. Why is it that in order to get really fuel efficient automobile bearing American brand name one must shop in EU? Probably because in USA gun companies are to ammo companies what car companies are to oil companies.
    Finally there is NO downside for them in doing so.
     
  25. Russ Jackson

    Russ Jackson member

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    You have several moving parts that have never moved before assembled together for the first time. Shipped out all over the world to different climates, temperatures, humidity etc... Its has been packed in different types of solvent and grease for who knows how long. Some of the slides and frames are completely different materials that expand and contract totally different. A 1911 after 100 rounds it totally different than new and yet again after 1000. A gun shot on a 32 degree day shoots different at 90. Breaking down a well used 1911 is a breeze while a new one can be a chore sometimes. Parts working together need match and the only way is thru abrasion with use. Thinking a gun should not need a breakin period is foolish. I dont care how custom a gun is breakin will change it....Russ
     
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