This is a discussion on How many shots to break in a new X, Y, or Z within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by OldVet I don't understand an expensive item having to be "broken in." If the quality of the maunfacturer is all they boast, ...
An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. - Robert A. Heinlein
I have the Kahr CW9 also, and recently put 200+ rounds through it for the break in period. Flawless performance! However if you are looking for a pistol with reliable functioning right out of the box, then look no further than the Glock 26. Yes it is a little more than your price range, and a little on the chunky side, but consider the price of 200 - 300 rounds added on to test a different brand of pistol. Glock, Sig, H&K are all brands I trust without extensive testing to ensure reliability. Out of those three brands, Glocks are the least expensive to purchase.
If you are still set on getting a single stack pistol, the Kahr CW9 is hard to beat for the price and quality, but I would still follow the manufacturer's recommendation of 200 rounds to assure reliable function. This pistol has less felt recoil than the LCP or P3AT, two small .380s that I have owned, and shot over 500+ rounds in each handgun. It is unfortunate that in some situations you can't have your cake and eat it too! Spend the extra money and get your daughter a dependable pistol for self defense.
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I run 200 rounds of practice ammo through anything I'm considering carrying, and about 50 rounds of the "real" carry ammo. When I get 100% reliability, I'll strap it on.
The more you shoot ANY gun, the smoother it will be. This is especially true of the lower-price guns that may not be machined as well as others. That being said, I carried a Keltec PF-9 for about two years and loved it. It was 100% reliable, easy to conceal, and plenty accurate enough for "social work". I traded it for something a little larger, with a higher round count, less kick, and a lighter trigger. A XD9SC. However, I'll heartily recommend the little PF - it's a great concealed carry gun.
I have a CW9. Three outings so far. 100+ rounds on the first, 150 on the second, and yesterday another 100+. 50 WWB then 30 rounds of several JHP. After shooting those factory rounds all reloaded ammo. I actually started carrying the pistol after the second outing. Although very different from my other pistols I am impressed with and confident that the CW9 will protect me if I am forced to use a pistol. I might add that such an event would only happen if I were trapped with no alternative. I try to be alert and plan to wiggle out of such a horrible possibility. Anyway thats plan A, to wiggle out. Plan B is to have a my CW9.
"A gentleman will seldom, if ever, need a pistol. However, if he does, he needs it very badly!" -- Sir Winston Churchill
Regardless of make, model, caliber, etc., I always run three hundred rounds without cleaning just to make sure the weapon functions properly. I do it so that 1) I can become familiar with the items function, 2) verify that it operates correctly and 3) to gain trust in the item. Any and every manufacturer will make a lemon every now and again. I just want to make sure I didn't get one.
As far as "break-in" on certain pistols, the NRA Rifelman publication in the Feb. issue list 7 pistols (they are 380, not 9mm) but give an idea or trend:
Kahr P380 = "at least 200 rounds before going active"
Kel-TEC P3AT = "needs a great deal of break-in before going into service"
Magnum Research (Desert Eagle) = "encountered malfunctions in both feeding and chambering"
North American Arms Guardian = "...malfunctions suggest the Guardian is another pistol that needs extensive breaking-in"
Rohrbaugh R380 = "...did not malfunction"
Ruger LCP = "...ammunition-sensitive and have to pick your loads carefully to keep it running."
SIG Sauer P238 = " ...exibited malfunctions, however, with most being failure to chamber."
Taurus 738 = "...the TCP stuttered only twice in the course of a hundred rounds or so..."
Walther PK380 = "...although there were still a few malfunctions..."
Just going by their sampling I would think that regardless of caliber/mm/size, in all practicality, a break-in period is suggested.
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I think a good quality wheel gun would be a good choice for a younger shooter. When my wife told me she wanted a "gun of her own" I thought something like a Glock, but after shooting some of my autos, I realized a snubby was the gun for her. She said " I don't want to have to do a lot of stuff to make it work"
These guns work right out of the box. No break in period needed. And a nice .38 special can be had for under $450.00.
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A lot of people seem to be worried about break in rounds through a pistol before it runs reliably. Sort of on the flip side of the issue, there is a certain high end 1911 manufacturer who makes pistols that take at least 500 rounds to loosen them up enough to dis-assemble them without a wrench. I have had several friends who have owned these pistols and they all tell the same story. It is not a function or reliability issue, just that they are made so tight they need to be broken in. Most new cars will run when you buy them but the factory has a "break in" period suggested too. To me it just makes sense to put a few rounds through a pistil just to be sure things work properly. If you don't, Murphy is going to grab you when you need it most.
Just my $.02 worth
My Taurus Slim performed flawlessly from round #1. Taurus does not recommend any break-in...that is just my comfort level with any semi-auto. None of my revolvers had any recommended break-in and also performed perfectly out of the box, but I prefer to put a box of 50 through it before I carry it. You just never know.
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IMHO, there is a difference between the maker telling you that you must "break the gun in" before it can be considered reliable, and "test firing" the gun to prove itself to your own satisfaction.
Glocks will work right out of the box. My experience with two Ruger LCPs is the same. I do clean and lube new guns before firing them.
As others here have noted, Kahr does indeed specify a 200-round break in period. IMHO, a gun maker should not send a gun out the door that they cannot guarantee will work properly right out of the box.
All three of my Kahrs (MK9, PM9, P380) were perfect out of the box. Not a single misfeed or jam. My LCP had a FTF on the 3rd round. The 300+ rounds after that was perfect. I don't hold it against Ruger as I doubt they can guarantee the LCP will work flawlessly out of the box.
My Kimbers, Berettas, and KelTecs had several hundred rounds through them prior to CCW, but I felt better about my Glocks right out of the box...still put a couple hundred rounds through them though...
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Alas, my own personal experience with three different Kahr polymer pistols was the exact opposite of your experience - all of mine had numerous issues.
Based on my own experience, I will never again purchase any handgun that has a manufacturer-mandated "break in." Period.
To me, a "break in" tells me a gun is too tight, and is more likely to be finicky in operation. JMHO, YMMV.
Just bought a brand new PM9. I cleaned it, lubed it, and racked the slide till my fingers hurt. From then I proceeded to put ~75 rounds of FMJ through it and 28 rounds of hollowpoints. It says a 200 rounds break in is needed, but I have complete faith in it at the 100 mark.
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