Handgun, Break In ?

Gramproger 45

New member
[I am running into an emphasis on breakinng in a new gun. This, I believe is something of an excuse for guns being rough out of the box. I have dry fired new D/A revolvers until they seemed to smoothe out, probably because I learned to keep the sights from moving as I squeezed the trigger.

Iv'e only had one single action pistol that did not have a first round flyer. It had been carefully custom made. No amount of use corrected the first round problem on the others.:pleasantry: Maybe I was easier to please, but I never had a Colt or S&W
pistol that became much better after leaving the box without gun smith intervention. The more I fired them, the better shooters they seemed to become. I believe I learned to shoot them better.

My heavy evperience is about 30 yrs old. Has production changed enough overall to require a new pistol break in?

Roger H.
San marcos Texas

Some pistols don't physically require a break-in period, but a manufacturer will recommend doing it anyway as a method to make sure the gun is reliable enough for carry.
Just because you bought a racecar does not mean youv'e won

If it has not proven itself as a performer why would you even think of carrying it? I will not carry any gun into the field unless it has had at least 400 rounds through it. I simply cannot afford the liability of it going click when it shoulda gone bang.

Food for thought. Same goes for magazines. Don't carry what is not proven.
Gramproger 45

Thanks to the two of you who cared to send me some heads up opinions. I could not disagee with you. I have never been in law enforcement or critical life or death situations. If I had a gun or magazine failure or had a revolver get out of time, I would loose a match, not my life. But you are right. Even in matches, I always used the tried and proven ie:
broken in guns without trying out new firearms there. Many of our club members were law enforcement, but on wekends when I saw them we talked about match standings and litle time on duty subjects.

I always carried a Walther PPK which I had used enough to never doubt that I would hear a bang when I pulled the trigger. So, I wiil I will have to eat my words, I never used untested and unbroken in guns at times when reliability was important.

I believe I was saying that rather than buy weapons which had to proven and smoothed through use, get the race car if its affordable then personally prove the claims made for the product before its performancee becomes critical.

Thanks for what you've learned through experience,


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If it has not proven itself as a performer why would you even think of carrying it? I will not carry any gun into the field unless it has had at least 400 rounds through it. I simply cannot afford the liability of it going click when it shoulda gone bang.

Food for thought. Same goes for magazines. Don't carry what is not proven.

+1 on the mags also. Any new mag I purchase getting fully loaded and left that way for a few days. Then it becomes a range mag until I know I'm not going to have any issues with it.
I read the subject and thought, "I'd recommend a rifle or shotgun if there's a break in, but to each his own."
Every gun and every brand is different. I recently saw a couple bring in 2 brand new Sigs they had just bought to try out. Same model, same ammo, and one had several jams while the other one worked perfectly every time, even when they switched guns with each other. I'd never carry a gun I hadn't put enough rounds through it to show me it was going to be reliable and was going to go bang when I needed it to.
Although I fully agree that I still want to run any new gun through its paces to assure to MY satisfaction that is dependable, I can readily see your point.

It certainly seems that if manufacturers took the time and care to make their product as exacting as they can, then it would not be necessary to recommend an extend break in period which is really just a means of saying "you need to do some metal to metal motion to smooth out any rough surfaces or knock of that extra .0001 to get the action right since we didn't take the time to do it".

But that is the way things are, so we just realize that NOW that break in period is just that much more important!
Break in

I hope you can tell from my posts that I must be assurd to my satisfactionby use, that a new weaon will offer the protection or other purpose I bought it for. I'm sorry Icaused some confusion among some members thet a new gun should be acceped as perfect out of box. Maybe the gun should be better than is acceptable. I had a new IPSIC 45 that would not drop magazines at reload time. Lucky my life was not on the line.

Thanks for your input.

Gramproger 45
I do not know much about revolver break in but this is what I do with my autos. With mag removed run the slide over dry rails to allow the 2 sides to mesh. Do maybe a 1000 cycles. Press down and feel the parts smooth out over time as you stroke the cycles.Yes takes time but better that burning $200 in ammo, also take a metal pollish and Q Tip and work on the feed ramp. Just get to mirror shine, the Q tip will not move any metal but will help the feed greatly. The same polishing can now be done to the slide rails where you see the shinny contact areas. Smooth is fast. Now go out and have fun shooting. Any defence load you select MUST be tested. In autos the largest hollow point may look good but some will give feed problems. So far my XD 40 and P220 have never hick-upped on anything. So I select Georga Arms +P Gold Dot Loads. They are the best price for any defence ammo out there. Be Safe
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Every gun needs to get 'shot in' a little if for no other reason than to find out what it likes and dislikes. A couple hundred rounds in a range session is a good 'get to know you' with a NIB or new to you gun. If there's failure, I want to know WHY so I can remedy the situation. For a concealed carry or self defense gun, I want it proven that it will function reliably and shoot accurately with what I feed it. Plinking and playing is one thing, when lives are on the line is a horse of a whole different color.

A buddy of mine picked up an unmodified 3 screw Blackhawk with in .357 Mag several years ago. He wanted to use it as a back up while hunting. He's a die hard reloader, so he grabbed a couple boxes of his 'pet' .357 load (using a 125gr bullet) and tried them in it and the results weren't pretty accuracy wise. After about a month of experimentation, he finally discovered that the gun shot the best with heavy bullets (158gr or higher) over the maximum listed charge of 2400 and the heavier the bullet got, the better it shot. He wouldn't have found that out if he hadn't done his homework on the range.

Semi autos are even more finicky about what they like and dislike AND you have to worry about what the magazines will feed reliably. I ended up having to change my 'pet' .45ACP load a little so it would feed reliably through all my .45's several years ago because I found that my then new Para-Ordnance pistol didn't like the 230gr load that I'd been shooting for years in all the other .45's. A slight tweeking of the overall length and it was back in business but I never would have discovered it if I hadn't carried the gun out to try it out.

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