I guess I will fight the instinct to clean it before firing it. I will oil it, put 500 rounds thru it then clean it.
I'm going to get that 600 grit, Thats great advice!
I still don't see how cleaning and oiling it before round #1 hurts it.
Cleaning it before firing it is a SAFETY issue. There may be broken parts, stray bits of metal, something in the bore... Or it may not be assembled properly. These aren't all necessarily factory issues - The distributor may have exchanged a gun that somebody damaged and not sent it back to the factory.
Keep your guns cleaned and lubed as necessary at all times for your safety and the safety of those around you. It's got nothing to do with "break-in".
During the first 500 rounds, the recoil spring softens up quite a bit, and the feel of the gun improves. As I said, you also might detect small areas of battering that occur on a brand new gun. Occasionally there is interference fit at the bushing that smooths out and improves lockup, but this happens whether you lube or not.
The slide/frame fit of a Springfield is perfect from the factory. If you read Kuhnhausen, you will realize that the slide/frame fit on a Springfield is "National Match". Certainly, the fit smooths from shooting, that's normal wear - Better to have grease responsible for the smooth feeling than premature wear.
Springfield wants you to shoot 500 rounds before you send them the gun so that IF you send them the gun, they can clean up the initial battering, if any, and return the gun to you ready to run for 50k rounds without the likelihood that it is going to "break-in" any more and prompt you to send it back to them - Their biggest fear.
Funny the rep said "target ammo". That would be 200 grain SWC's at about 800fps. Of course, if you shoot that load, you will not develop a flinch that takes a year to overcome, so it's probably good advice. A lot of people get out there with hardball on day one, and spend the next year complaining that their gun shoots low and left, or high and right. Must be something wrong with the sights ;^)