As a gunwriter, my ear is often bent with complaints about firearms not working straight out of the box, especially handguns, specifically high-quality 1911 handguns.
As a carrier of a Kimber Ultra Carry 1911 in .45 ACP, I’m obviously an advocate of 1911s, and while I understand the desire to have a gun work as advertised, I’ve always wondered why shooters never think about break in on handguns.
Most products with tight tolerances require a break-in period. I know my Kimber did. When I first purchased my Ultra Carry, it worked fine with FMJ ammunition, but had some issues with hollow points not feeding properly. Most hollow-point rounds worked fine, but occasionally, I would have a feed malfunction. A friend of mine had the same issues when he first purchased his Springfield Micro Compact in .45.
It took a few hundred rounds for the gun to properly function with hollow points, and as I put more rounds through it, the gun continued to become more reliable. Today, my Kimber will eat any type of .45 ammunition without a hiccup, whether it’s spotless after a cleaning or filthy from a day of training.
Being able to function without a break-in period is part of the fascination of polymer guns. And while polymer guns are excellent firearms, they don’t have the tolerances required of steel guns, which is why these guns work straight out of the box. However, before I carry any gun that I’m going to rely on to protect my life in a violent attack, I’m going to run a few hundred rounds, of different types of ammunition, through it. Call it breaking it in or just getting familiar with it, but I want to know my gun will work, no matter what.