Break In Period?

Break In Period?

This is a discussion on Break In Period? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I was reading another thread about break in for a hand gun, so I googled "break in for Smith and Wesson M&P Shield", which is ...

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  1. #1
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    Break In Period?

    I was reading another thread about break in for a hand gun, so I googled "break in for Smith and Wesson M&P Shield", which is what I have. I didn't see anything in the manual for it, but wanted to look into it. I came across the following on a different forum:

    I've always felt that the design is flawed if you have to do more than clean and lubricate a new firearm prior to the gun working properly. I won't own one that has an owner's manual that states "X" number of rounds must be fired to break it in. You've got to figure your local PD doesn't buy guns that require break in.
    I agree with the above statement. Yes, you should vet your SD ammo, and do some practice runs with it before your life depends on it, but to have a certain number of rounds before the manufacture says you can "use" it seams kinda dumb to me. What are your thoughts?
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    Distinguished Member Array BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Seems dumb to me too. It should shoot right out of the box when you buy it.
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    Member Array OutdoorEnvy's Avatar
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    It should work right away no matter what

    I do expect it to get better/smoother the more I use it

    If a manufacturer wants to say it needs a break in period for the springs or something to loosen up they just need to incorporate that into their manufacturing process. A new gun should work, period.
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    Distinguished Member Array David Armstrong's Avatar
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    It should shoot, but it is a machine and like any machine there can be problems that pop up that are not noticed until there has been a bit of wear. You local PD does not (or at least should not) just buy a bunch of guns and give to the officers to take out on the streets. The guns will usually have a testing/familiarization/break-in period on the range before they go on the street. There might be a burr, there might be a piece of plastic with a bad spec, all sorts of things can occur. We got a batch of revolvers in once that seemed just fine. But after shooting about 50 rounds the barrel began moving slightly on several of them. An issue with a problem getting the barrels torqued properly that didn't show up until there was some extended use. A break-in period lets all the parts settle in and gives you a chance to make sure everything works as it is supposed to work. Could the factory do that? Sure, but it would raise the price of the gun quite a bit.
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    I can understand where some aren't convinced a gun is good to go until a certain number of have been fired, but factory requirements of 200-500 rounds in order to make a firearm works properly seems excessive. None of my "new" guns has ever been a problem from round one. Naturally I run some SD rounds through them before carrying, but no brand or bullet style has failed me yet.

    I think any "break-in" period is more for owner confidence than reliability. People will establish their own break-in standards.
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    Just because a break-in period is recommended, it doesn't mean that the firearm won't work during that period, only that it might work better after and/or if there are any problems you can find them while practicing rather than when it really counts.

    As DA mentioned above, a firearm is a machine - a machine that we trust our lives to. testing it seems reasonable to me. My Kahr PM9 had a 200 round break-in period. I did not have a single FTF or FTE during my break-in period, but I still put the gun through those paces just to be sure. To be honest, I would have done it even if the manufacturer didn't make the recommendation just to ease my own mind.
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    Everyone has a different comfortability level. As such, some may simply carry a gun right out of the box, while others may cycle any number of rounds to feel comfortable.

    It's an individual decision. There is no right nor wrong method.

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    VIP Member Array DingBat's Avatar
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    I am a welder /fabricator by trade, and now I buy the same parts I used to make for my company. I can you for a fact even the most stringet Quality Control, will make mistakes. I do this for a living.
    While some guns, like Kahr's, have a known reputation for breaking in, that I am not a fan of, trusting your life to an untested machine is a bad idea. GM's recalled how many cars now? and look up the -"Calculus of Negligence" or Hand test- if you don't know it.

    Magazines, brother mags. I will generally trust a Glock right of the box, I will still shoot the pee out of it as much as I can to make sure it funcitons. more importantly I want to test my mags. I have no idea the number but I will rough guess that 80% of failures in autoloading firearms are magazine related. I do want to fully function test every single one of my mags. from full +1 to does it fully hold open on empty.

    saying you won't buy a gun that needs to be broken in is...folly. engines require a break in period. most gas engines are already broken in new cars. most diesels still require some. Car guy? ever installed a rebuilt engine? you bet your hot-rod you follow the steps to break it in, why shouldn't a quality firearm get the same respect?

    who (in YOUR opinion) makes thebest guns? HK? SIG? GLOCK? S&W? HI-POINT? it doesn't matter, every single one produces MANY defective weapons EVERY MONTH!!! as stated above, some of those defects don't come to light until you get a few hundred rounds into them. Some of these defects may not present themselves until several thousand rounds(I'm thinking the mythical MIM slide breaking in half on the Kimber...still haven't seen the proof photos of that one...)

    but taking a NIB HK USP45, strapping it to your hip after "cleaning and lubing" and trusting it to protect my family seems fool hearty. HK may have a tougher QC than Hi-Point, but they still ship bad guns from time to time, statistically my chances of getting one are low, but so are my chances of needing to draw my gun is SD.
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    Member Array Rock_Castle's Avatar
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    My Shield has about a thousand rounds through it, and the last one fired exactly like the first one and the other 998 did. What does that tell us?

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    I believe in thoroughly vetting one's defensive sidearm and ammo, absolutely.

    I also believe most makers don't design in sufficient tolerance to accept minor intolerances in ammo, parts wear, presence of crud.


    I figure no design of a mechanical device is 100% flawless across all examples of that product. In the case of guns, the tools, tooling and processes used to make them change subtly over time, things wear down, heat changes some things, springs wear out, dirt intrudes, ammo can have minor tolerance issues from lot to lot. You never know what's going to send a given gun model over the edge, let alone a given gun.

    I'd say that a make/model's long-term reputation for reliability comes from intensive design efforts to make it swallow everything in all conditions, and a large number of users who experience few issues. But even one issue coming around the bend can cause an issue. Less of a risk, in a design created specifically to tolerate such changes in ammo, springs, presence of crud, "weak" handling.
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    VIP Member Array LimaCharlie's Avatar
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    Any device can have infant mortality. It is more likely to either break out of the box or many years down the road. For any semi-auto that is planned for carry, I usually put 100 to 200 FMJ rounds through it to check for infant mortality. I then put a box or two of several different manufacturer's ammo in different grain size to check for ammo sensitivity. For example, I have many boxes of Hornady TAP .45 ACP +P that I carried in a Glock G21 SF and currently carry in an FNH FNX-45 Tactical. At the range yesterday, I was shooting my Springfield Armory XDs-45. I decided to try some of the Hornady TAP +P in it. I put the magazine in and racked the slide. It did not go into battery. I tried a different round and it would not go into battery. I took out the 1911 that I was carrying which was a Kimber Super Carry Custom. It also wouldn't go into battery with the Hornady TAP +P. Both guns were about 1/16 inch from going into battery. I got home and double checked the FNH and it went into battery just fine. My Hornady TAP .45 ACP +P is only for use in my FNX-45 now. I don't carry any gun or ammo until I am very comfortable with the operation. For a semi-auto, it is 300 to 500 rounds at the range. For a revolver, it is a box of my favorite carry ammo and it is good to go.
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    Senior Member Array sammeow's Avatar
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    Most machines with moving parts have a break in period.
    Autos, motorcycles, check out a Harley manual.
    So why should pistols be any different?
    200 rds is nothing. I fire 500 rds before I begin to trust it's reliability.
    Doesn't mean they don't shoot well right out of the box.

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    Kahr is about the only gun I owned that I am awar of a break in period or for that matter needing one.. Again most if my guns are used..but glocks /sigs I just shoot and see I don't go o I fired 200 rounds it should work ...

    My plan is most cases bring a couple bulk packs and whatever hollow points I like and see what happens...
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    After reading all the comments, I am changing my view on it, perhaps, some manufactures put the "Break In" time to make their product more IDIOT RESISTANT! I mean, someone who doesn't give any thought to getting a NIB gun, with their sparkling new CCL, and shiny IWB holster, and expecting it to function just like Jason Bourne? With that in mind, a "mandatory" break in period for any firearm might keep some "hero wannabe" from hurting themselves or others. I wouldn't be suprised if there are people that have never even fired a single round (at least with their EDC), that are carrying.
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  15. #15
    VIP Member Array DingBat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by techieccw View Post
    After reading all the comments, I am changing my view on it, perhaps, some manufactures put the "Break In" time to make their product more IDIOT RESISTANT! I mean, someone who doesn't give any thought to getting a NIB gun, with their sparkling new CCL, and shiny IWB holster, and expecting it to function just like Jason Bourne? With that in mind, a "mandatory" break in period for any firearm might keep some "hero wannabe" from hurting themselves or others. I wouldn't be suprised if there are people that have never even fired a single round (at least with their EDC), that are carrying.

    maybe a tad extreme, though I think you're certainly right about folks who never test their weapons.
    Beans, Bullets, and Bandages. The only thing better than being ready is not having to use it!

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