Break-in new 1911

Discussion in 'Springfield Armory M1911' started by cloaker, Oct 5, 2014.

  1. cloaker

    cloaker Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Guys, the SA manual didn't talk about break-in but the guy at the range says 500 rounds before first cleaning, what are your real world experiences?

    I get the RO on friday! 5 day cooldown... Grrr.


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  2. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    No. There is nothing to break-in. The gun should be cleaned thoroughly before your first range session (ALL guns should always be field stripped (actually, they should be totally taken down, but try to convince somebody to do THAT) and cleaned before being used for the first time!), and then thoroughly afterwards. The new SA's should all be quite perfect out of the box. Be sure to keep the rails greased. A little Hoppe's on the internals should be sufficient to keep it going. You might also want to grease the inside of the bushing, lightly.

    Field strip and clean the gun every couple of hundred rounds.

    After about 500 rounds, you should strip the down completely and examine it closely for signs of battering. Smooth off any disturbed metal with 600 grit SC paper with a little Hoppe's on it. Just take the high spots off the battered places. That should be it. If you are not going to use this gun for self defense, use shok-bufs. The gun should last a lifetime.

    Read Volume 1 of Kuhnhausen if you want to get the most out of your 1911.
     

  3. chase

    chase New Member

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    This is all great information! I will be purchasing a mil-spec today after work... Looking forward to it, the "break-in" question has been on my mind for a while, glad to see it answered
     
  4. carpriver

    carpriver New Member

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    3 1911's

    I have 3 Springfield 1911's a stainless loaded, a mil-spec an a range officer in 9mm. I cleaned them before going to the range and put some gun oil on all the sliding parts. I put about 500-600 rounds through each one, them cleaned them really well and oiled them. The range officer is one fine shooter, still working on a load for it. WHen they where knew and during the break in period there where no problems. the slide and frame smoothed out really nice. and racking slide got easy as it lost the stiffness
     
  5. cloaker

    cloaker Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I sent an email to Springfield about night sights and the break-in, this was there reply:

    -----------------------
    Hi David,

    Thank you for your interest in Springfield Armory Products. The Range Officer sights can be upgraded to tritium sights through our custom shop. They have several options available. I would recommend calling them at 1-800-617-6751 for further information and pricing.

    We would recommend breaking in your 1911 with standard velocity target ammo. They way I look at breaking it in is that during the first 500 rounds it is possible that you may have a slight malfunction due to the tightly fitted parts but not likely. To help with the process you will want to keep your pistol well oiled especially for the first few hundred rounds.

    To properly lubricate your 1911 you would want to put a drop of oil on each of the slide rails. Put a drop on the barrel hood, put a drop on the outside of the muzzle then spread it around with your finger. After you have oiled it rack the slide several times then go shooting. Re apply oil in this manner before each shooting session for best results.

    Thank you,

    Springfield Armory
    -----------------

    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.




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  6. cloaker

    cloaker Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Thank you Pokute, I was curious what shock buffs are?


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  7. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    Plastic shims that fit on the guide rod snug up against the head. They soften the recoil stroke, improving the feel and prevent slide/frame battering. Some people have reported that they "go to pieces" and interfere with the function of the gun, but I have about 30k rounds downrange using them and never saw any evidence that they go to pieces.
     
  8. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    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 ;^)
     
  9. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    I have yet to see a "teething" issue with a Springfield 1911 that wasn't due to binding in the magazine. Certainly real problems are possible, and if you get a "lemon" it is frustrating and irritating, but Springfield really isn't interested in seeing their guns come back, so they don't ship many that need to... They would love to fire all those expert smiths in the custom shop who do the fixing. RIA is a little different, that's why their guns cost half as much. RIA guns are fine guns, but Springfield guns are damn fine guns.

    I have seen a sort of funny issue with Springfields. Very recent guns have appeared to have slide overbite (in battery the slide hangs over the back of the frame), but it always disappears after the initial cleaning of the gun. Weird.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2014
  10. cloaker

    cloaker Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Ok I split the difference and shot 250 rounds then cleaned the puppy.

    Lesson learned: that black finish scratches easy, good thing it's mot for show, I already got a couple on the slide from re-assembly and putting the compensator on. With no instructions and a newbie, I got real familiar with it!

    I installed the compensator before firing round one.

    The fire blowing out the top is damn cool!

    ImageUploadedBySpringfield Forum1413112567.769065.jpg

    This week, 750 rounds is the plan and, yeah, I started picking up my brass!

    Dave


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  11. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    You didn't mention whether there were any failures to feed or eject - I assume there were none?
     
  12. cloaker

    cloaker Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I had no failures at all, and SA. has a promotion for 3 free clips and a clip holder that I got the day before. One of the clips was terrible, it was hard to had the 2nd round and it got worst as I added more, I was expecting that to clip to have failures, so I waited till about 100 rounds to us it, and it was flawless.

    The black sights against a black target suck, my friend tells me in competition its white target and it shows well. I am going to add a red neon front sight, any thoughts?

    I got my m9 back with the tritium sights...
    ImageUploadedBySpringfield Forum1413288572.865303.jpg

    I don't want to replace the rear sight on the RO but those work great


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  13. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    I think we have a different definition of target shooting, and it's 99% my fault, because I never shoot nearer than 40m, which is admittedly unusual (and due to being a member of a silhouette club that has a 40m first course). A painted front sight will "follow the light", meaning that you will shoot to different point-of-aim in different light. If you are shooting mostly indoors, black-on-black IS bad. I tend to forget that not everybody shoots under the conditions that I do.
     
  14. chase

    chase New Member

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    Here's my first 200 "break in" rounds, and first 200 rounds from a handgun ever fired in my life... And first range trip... Lol, lot of firsts... 100 at 8 yards and 100 at 13 yards(atleast that's the distance the range instructor said). ImageUploadedBySpringfield Forum1413654642.431914.jpg

    So... The first time I fired the pistol I put only one round in the magazine. From then on I fully loaded all 5 mags shot them all and loaded again etc. I've gotta say, the feel and recoil on the 1911 is surprisingly smooth!
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
  15. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    I see good evidence of "groups" on both of those targets. I'd encourage you to do some slow-fire shooting at longer distances (25 yards if the range is big enough) to get a better idea of what you are actually "doing" in terms of hold. It's hard to tell at those close distances, but I believe I see evidence of "pushing" or anticipating recoil at 8 yards, with possible raising of the rear sight to try to correct it before shooting at 13 yards.

    If you could take some phone video from the side and look for muzzle dip just before ignition, that would be what I am talking about. I have seen people do this so consistently that they could shoot well centered tight groups by adjusting the sights! That's a good way to learn a bad habit. You can detect hold issues by dry firing at a small dot, but only for a few shots, because the lack of recoil let's you relax after a few shots. After that, you are dry-firing for trigger control.

    To really appreciate the 1911 recoil impulse, do some one handed shooting. I am coaching someone to do bullseye shooting and he was really surprised to see how easy the 1911 was to shoot that way. I am not a good bullseye shooter myself, primarily because of lack of patience.

    Oh yeah, always smash the 1911 into your right hand with your left hand before beginning to shoot to remind yourself to maintain as high a hold as possible. You should start out with your hand packed in tight under the tail - Firm grip, but not so hard that your hand shakes. Your left hand does practically nothing except act as a side prop, as if you were resting the left side of the gun against a tree. Look at Youtube videos showing the "thumbs forward" hold. A Tupperware gun is held differently from a 1911 - Pay no attention to videos of people shooting anything other than a 1911.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
  16. cloaker

    cloaker Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Chase that is awesome! The fun only increases from now on, at least that is my experience!

    when I practice at the range now, about 3 times a week, I shoot at least 100-150 rounds at 7-8 yards for home defense practice, then I move out to about 12-13 yards and shoot another 50, then at 25 yards I shoot another 50. By the last box at 25 yards, my hands are sore so I am taking my time, my trigger practice that I've done from the first two position is much better and I can manage to put most rounds within a good grouping, at least for my level of talent (quite low!).

    Sometimes I manage to put half into the scenery if I am not concentrating.

    Most of my groupings are slightly left and slightly up or down. I am working on my twitch and my trigger finger, by far the hardest things to improve!
     
  17. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    Shooting is 99% practice, 1% talent! Dry file practice counts just as much as range time. Practice pulling the trigger without the sights moving the least little bit. Hard, isn't it?
     
  18. chase

    chase New Member

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    Thanks Cloaker and thank you for the advice Pokute! I had noticed several times that when forgetting to count shots, or not paying attention to the slide... After there were no rounds left, I pulled the trigger thinking there was one in the chamber. I had this strange feeling and I realized after a few times of doing this that I was expecting the recoil and trying to compensate. I noticed that I was wanting to drop the barrel slightly, or like Pokute mentioned, pushing in preparation for the recoil. Sadly, even on the first day at the range it was difficult to try to correct. And on the further 13 yard target I did try to raise the sights to adjust to the low hits, but didn't seem to make a difference. Good eye Pokute! I have watched several videos on proper holding technique with the 1911. Also for some reason I felt nervous during the first 100 rounds... hands were slightly shaky. Anyway, that is something else I need to work on. The second 100 rounds felt more relaxed!
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
  19. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    I know these things because I experienced them all myself.

    Naw, really, I'm psychic :p
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014
  20. BillAAZ

    BillAAZ New Member

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    I enjoy "dot drills" at about 7 yards to work on my skills. Slow carefully aimed fire at close range. Try to put them into the same how. Aim small and hit small.

    Bill