Breaking-In Routine


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Old 10-17-12, 10:37 AM
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Breaking-In Routine

I have a new autoloader that needs breaking in (I think) and was wondering exactly how I should do so. An article I read said that I should lube the pistol before using it and also during the break-in period. Do I lube just the slide? It also says to make sure the gun gets hot so things expand and rub together, but not so hot that I damage the gun. It recommends no more than 100 rounds at a time. Does "at a time" mean in rapid succession? If so, how rapid? If someone could provide some details I would greatly appreciate it. I also have a brand new .357 Taurus Tracker that I haven't shot. Does a revolver typically need breaking in?
 
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Old 10-17-12, 11:06 AM
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What is the model of the new auto?

For most of my new guns I just field strip, clean, and lube according to the manual before my first range time. I use practice ammo as close to my real load as possible. For instance...I shoot 230gr Hydashok in my .45s, so I use a 230gr FMJ for practice/break in. They shoot close to the same point of aim as long as the velocity is close. If I don't get any failures in the first hundred, I'll wipe it down, a few drops of lube on the slide, then shoot a box of what I would use as a carry load to check for operation. Repeat that at the next visit and I call it good.

As to the rapid fire thing....you may feel like doing that, but resist the urge. You need to get a feel for the gun (sights, trigger, grip, etc). I'd recommend slow fire, concentrating on all the basics. Shoot a magazine...relax...clean up your empties...reload the mag...go again.

A revolver needs a function check as well as polishing of all bearing surfaces in the moving parts, esp the trigger group. Many revolvers trigger pull will smooth out quite a bit after 100-200 rounds put through it, though new guns are pretty darn good as they arrive. As a general rule, revolvers need much less lube than an auto since most of their critical moving parts are isolated from dirt. Maybe once a year for a thorough cleaning and re-lube...and that's if you know what you are doing when it comes to dis-assembly. Otherwise just do the basics of cleaning the bore, cylinder, cylinder face and forcing cone and wipe down the exterior. If you shoot it a lot...learn the correct dis-assembly and lube procedure or take it to a gunsmith.
 
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Old 10-17-12, 11:10 AM
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You did not say what gun you are breaking in so it's hard to give any specifics.

With any new gun I first clean it then lube it as recommended by the manufacturer. Some guns like H&K specify a rather dry application while others like Kel-Tec recommend more oil or even grease. It just depends on what gun you have.

With a automatic I just shoot at a normal pace making sure to work on my trigger pull and aim. No reason to not get in some good practice while breaking a gun in. I do a shot every few seconds (or whatever is comfortable) until the clip is empty. Then as I'm loading the clip I lock the slide open and prop it up so the barrel is somewhat vertical to allow the heat to create a natural chimney affect to help cool the barrel. Then when the clip is loaded I go back to shooting.

Much of the break-in can even be done without shooting. For an auto I repeatedly rack the slide back and dry fire (make sure dry firing is OK for your gun). Using a practice snap cap is a good idea. All the cycling helps smooth out the slide and the components in the trigger group.

I also like to break in revolvers. Just repeatedly doing single and double action. You don't have to let the hammer fall full force. I generally grab it with my other hand and let it down easy. Again you are just working the rough spots off the trigger and cylinder rotate parts.
 
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Old 10-17-12, 11:18 AM
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Sorry, it's a Kahr CW9. And you say clean then lube--I have some gun wipes that say they clean and lube. Are these ok to use or do I want something in a bottle that can be dispensed in the proper locations then spread evenly with a cloth? And do new guns typically need to be sighted or should they be pretty accurate from the factory?

From the manufacturer (not as detailed as I hoped, but maybe more detail isn't necessary):

Good afternoon. Thank you for the question. We do not have any
recommendation on how the break in process is done. Simply fire 200 rounds.
This can be done, rapid, slow, or in multiple sessions. We would recommend
the firearm be cleaned and lubricated prior to taking the firearm to the
range. We do not endorse any particular manufacturer of lubricant nor do we
have any specific instructions. Simply lube as you would any other semi
automatic handgun.
 

Last edited by mossman; 10-17-12 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 10-17-12, 11:48 AM
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Most I've bought have been pretty good from the factory but I did have a Browning .22 a couple decades ago which was so far off I took it back and got a Ruger instead.

Personally, I think the chemicals involved in cleaning and lubricating are likely different enough from each other that I would not use a product which claims to be good at both at all, but that's just me. I use Kroil a lot for cleaning but it's a penetrating oil so you don't want it getting near shells so I wipe it off after cleaning the weapon and use Mil-Comm oil and grease for lubrication.
 
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Old 10-17-12, 11:48 AM
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I would disassemble and clean the gun. The instructions will tell you how. Mainly you'll take it down to four major pieces; the main frame, slide, barrel and recoil spring assy (guide rod & spring). There's generally no need to go further.



Clean the barrel (solvent soaked patches, then dry patches). Remove the shipping & storage grease from the slide tracks and internal mechanism then oil or lube as recommended by Kahr. If you don't have cleaning supplies yet, there are many different kits that have everything you need. You'll probably want a rod with tips to fit your caliber, cleaning solution, barrel brush for your caliber that screws onto the end of the cleaning rod, patches and oil.





Kahrs, especially the smaller ones, really seem to need a break-in to function properly. The little ones always seem extremely tight from the factory but after a few hundred rounds break-in to be good functioning guns. I just use cheap FMJ ammo for break-in. Then before you use it for defense make sure you run at least a box or two (yes, I know it's expensive) of your chosen defense ammo to make sure it functions reliably. Some guns eat everything reliably but the smaller the gun the more they seem to get finicky especially with hollow points.
 
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Old 10-17-12, 11:59 AM
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Any lube would be fine...but I don't think I'd use the wipes...those are more for just cleaning the exterior of the slide, barrel, etc. There are as many quality lubes out there as there are gun manufacturers. I've used RemOil, Breakfree CLP, several others over the years. In the case of that pistol...I'd think less is more. Prob 5-6 drops total, couple on each side of the slide rails, one or two on the barrel, just a touch to any exposed springs or pins that have contact points with moving parts. I don't really spread it around...after a few shooting sessions you'll see the shiny areas that need it. I think you want to find a pin oiler in a brand and use that.
 
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Old 10-17-12, 12:07 PM
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I actually have the Hoppe's cleaning kit pictured above so i think I'm good to go. Thank you!
 
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Old 10-17-12, 12:40 PM
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And, you can put a dab of the #9 behind each ear before going out on a date. Women love it.
 
 

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