Here’s quick tip for anyone buying a new firearm, especially one of semi-auto action. To ensure a more enjoyable first trip to the firing range, and less likelihood of buyer’s remorse, be sure and break in your new gun before ever firing the first shot. How, you say?
If your new gun is a semi-automatic pistol, for example, you should:
- Be sure it is not loaded and the chamber is clear. Never assume, visually inspect the weapon!
- Put in your favorite movie of guys blowing stuff up and shooting at each other, and get comfy in your favorite chair to watch it. Be sure you also have your favorite beverage handy. Avoid stout libations.
- Press “play”
- Begin working the action of your new firearm. Rack the slide back and forth. Snap the trigger every 20 or so repetitions (Unless it is a rimfire. Then do NOT dry fire it.). If your gun has a manual safety, also work the safety through its motions every 20 or so repetitions of slide action.
- Continue this mindless action for the length of the movie or until your arm is about to fall off. By the time you are done, several rough edges of manufacturing will be beginning to wear down, and the weapon will cycle smoother.
- Even if your new gun is a revolver or pump action shotgun, you should still follow this process. Simply work whatever action your new gun has, in the same steps as above.
Advantages of doing this? It can greatly help in smoothing a “crunchy” trigger (Springfield XD, anyone?), and reduce or avoid double-feeds, stove-pipes (spent cartridge ejection jam), and general pain-in-the-assedness. It will also generally help the firearm feel better in hand quicker, which will not only make you feel good about your purchase, but drive you to get back to the range sooner than later so you can shoot your new gun again. The more you shoot, the better shot you become, the more proficient and efficient you become in operating the weapon, and the more these actions become autopilot, which is critical in a panic, life or death situation.
So, to sum up: Watch a movie and break in your new gun. It could save your life!