When is your 1911 “broken in”

Discussion in 'General 1911 talk' started by DerrtyMac, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. DerrtyMac

    DerrtyMac New Member

    Mar 16, 2019
    So been putting rounds through my DW VBOB and been reading around. Just wanted to start a conversation on what people look for, or have learned, when they feel they have broken in their 1911. The feel, functioning, or just that magical moment. Please describe as best you can. Thanks
  2. Old Sea Dragon

    Old Sea Dragon Well-Known Member

    Feb 10, 2018
    I think a well made pistol should run from day one, with no break in required. I know there are some fine pistols that do not meet that standard and need some wear to reach top function. I would say that after 300-500 rounds without a malfunction I personally will consider a gun "proven" in regards to reliability with the load in question.


    SRTCOP Well-Known Member

    Feb 8, 2018
    If you are going to carry the piece and bet your life on it, once you have 500 rounds down the tube without a hiccup, you're GTG.
  4. DRD

    DRD Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Mar 8, 2018
    I concur! I believe any well-fitted 1911 needs some break-in! Tight fitting parts need "lapping" for smoothest operation, which enhances reliability. For target shooting, I'd say day one. I've yet to have a target shoot back!;)
  5. pistolpete

    pistolpete Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2016
    I own 8 1911 guns, none required "break in". Some of them required repairs before they would work correctly. Those that worked worked, those that didn't were repaired.
    simonp, Mike A and Old Sea Dragon like this.
  6. samuse

    samuse Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2013
    If needs breaking in it wasn't built right and will probably never function correctly.

    If you have to figure out what combination of load and magazine your gun 'likes' after it's 'broken in', it's a piece of ****.
  7. BigJimP

    BigJimP Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2018
    Some mfg's like Les Baer....make their guns too tight, in my view---- so it can take 2,000 rds or more to break them in ...at least that was the case in my Baer Monolith..and it aggravated the daylights out of me. I know quite a few guys that have bought new Baers ...and have the same issue.

    Mfg's like Wilson recommend a break in period ...so the gun will lap in, like suggested above... their website says 300 - 500 rds.../ and while I have followed their recommendation when I have bought a new Wilson... I have never had one of their 5" guns fail during break-in ( Failure to Feed, etc...)....but I have only bought a few...not hundreds.../ but buddies that have bought new Wilsons had the same experience I did...they ran right out of the box...but they broke them in per Wilsons recommendation.

    Friends with GunCrafter, Nighthawk, Cabot ...etc ... have all used 300 - 500 rds for a breakin ....some guns needed more.../ a few ran right out of the box reliably.

    So the answer is it depends..../ but I think 300 to 500 rds is about right. But if it still has some issues...keep working at it / or get it back to the mfg to be checked.
    DRD, boatdoc and Old Sea Dragon like this.
  8. InstiGator

    InstiGator Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2019
    I don't "break it in," I just shoot my new gun. I like shooting my new gun. "Break it in" makes it sound like a chore to me.

    If a malfunction happens I try to figure out what went wrong and get it fixed, whether that's on round 4 or 4,000. Usually it's a bad round, bad magazine, not enough lube, or even shooter error, and not the gun's fault at all.
    studenygreg and WC145 like this.
  9. Old Sea Dragon

    Old Sea Dragon Well-Known Member

    Feb 10, 2018
    I agree that it is not, or should not, be a chore but when you get a lemon and struggle through the "break in" period and beyond, before declaring it officially "broken" it is very much a chore. When a manufacturer test fires a gun and sends it out the door malfunctioning they are setting up some of their customers for a very frustrating experience. They will likely step up and make it right but it leaves a bad taste.
  10. InstiGator

    InstiGator Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2019
    Yep, getting a lemon sucks. I've been pretty lucky so far and only had that happen once. It was an impulse buy. I didn't do my homework and I got burned.

    Every manufacturer sends out guns that shouldn't pass QC. Before I buy a gun I look long and hard at reviews for both that model and the company's customer service in general. If I don't get a warm and fuzzy feeling I don't buy.
    Old Sea Dragon likes this.
  11. boatdoc

    boatdoc Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2015
    In my experience, the tighter made guns need to marry (or lap) to obtain the feel and for all the parts to MESH. That said, a malfunction will probably not go away. does not make it a lemon. some guns need to be tweaked and sometime the final check guys F up or are under pressure to just get the gun out the door.

    Today MANY manufacturers actually do just that. Their attitude is to fix the mess later rather than hold up production. I miss when this country(in particular) and all its workers had real pride
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
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  12. Mike A

    Mike A Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Mar 19, 2017
    I agree.
    My carry Commander out of the box had FTF issues . I changed the Factory Mag out for my Mags & have had no problems since. Not a break in issue, but just goes to show the inherent Reliability of the 1911 Platform.

    Build it right & just replace the worn out parts over the decades that your 1911 will be serving you. No easy answers for this one I guess.
  13. DRD

    DRD Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Mar 8, 2018
    IMHO, I don't consider "breaking-in" a chore. Consider it simply a "get acquainted" period to develop confidence in the pistol. It's simply putting in practice time before using it for defensive purposes. I have 1911's from GI, Wilson, Ed Brown and Volkmann in .45ACP and 9mm. All are quality 1911's. Some were tighter than others but performed flawlessly from the start. All benefited from "breaking in".
    brzusa likes this.
  14. july19

    july19 Womb? Weary? He rests. He has travelled. Supporting Addict

    Sep 16, 2013
    The first time one goes down the pipe.
    dla, unclebuck5 and brzusa like this.
  15. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Jul 6, 2014
    When the manufacturer's recommended round count has been reached, AND there are no cycling problems.
    Fred_G likes this.
  16. limbkiller

    limbkiller Pulling my hair. Supporting Addict

    Aug 18, 2011
    Easy!!!! When ya can shoot it and no problems.
    WWB, Novak77, SCS1911 and 3 others like this.
  17. brzusa

    brzusa Hakuna Matata

    Jun 17, 2012
    Same here, if it doesn't work right away I don't trust the gun. I don't buy into that shoot x # of rounds first to break it in. The manufacturer should do that before sending the gun out - at least that is what the semi/custom manufacturers say they do.

    If I buy a gun and the manufacturer say they tested a few magazines down the range for reliability before shipping, why is it failing now? I call it BS.
    Old Sea Dragon and limbkiller like this.
  18. unclebuck5

    unclebuck5 Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2018
    Breaking in, is manufacturer speak for, we didn't fit it properly, so you finish our job. Last 1911 i got had a 500 round break in, so i could polish the trigger group so the reset didn't feel like there was sand in it. Great pistol but i am disappointed in the quality out of the box. If I wasn't handy and i didn't get a good deal, it should have been returned.
    azpoolguy likes this.
  19. Old Sea Dragon

    Old Sea Dragon Well-Known Member

    Feb 10, 2018
    Incidentally, Saturday a friend brought out a NIB Colt rail gun, straight from the gun store. He had a box of factory hardball and I contributed 2 boxes of lead 230 grain reloads. We added lube to the rails and barrel and put 150 rounds through it without a single malf. That is the way it should be.
    joerockhead likes this.
  20. WC145

    WC145 Every day is Saturday and every night's a party!

    Jan 1, 2013
    I just run them, no special number of rounds. I lube them more than I clean them and, over time, they all run a bit smoother and feel a bit better. I do like to shoot them in at least one match before I carry them, I've found that problems will often show up when the shooter is stressed. If I can get through a couple of matches without any trouble I call it good. This method seems to work, in my lifetime I've had very few guns of any kind that didn't function properly out of the box. Even my crazy tight Baers have run just fine right out of the box.
    cwoods, dimedog and tarosean like this.

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