I just picked up a new Smith & Wesson M&P. I figured I own enough Glocks so it was time to diversify to another gun I’d be willing to bet my life on. But of course, you don’t buy a new gun and then immediately start carrying it, so let me show you how I’m currently breaking in this new gun and what you may want to consider doing too.
First, head to the shooting range. I know a lot of folks like to clean their brand new guns before they shoot them, but I don’t think it is necessary. If you love cleaning guns then go for it, but I don’t, so again, the first thing I do is go to the range.
At the range, I shoot the heck out of my new gun.
What I did is go through a series of drills. I shot the FBI’s new qualification course and I also did plenty of reloads. You want to test out every aspect of this gun to make sure everything is functioning properly. In other words, now is the time to find out if you need to adjust your sights or if you got a bad magazine.
After I put about 500 rounds through the gun, then I cleaned it.
Obviously, you can clean it when you’ve shot more or less, but 500 rounds is the number I like to stick to. But just because you’ve put 500 rounds through your gun and it functions flawlessly that doesn’t mean you’re ready to carry it.
Next, you need to go to the range and run your self-defense ammunition through it. You need to make sure your hollow points feed properly and the gun doesn’t jam with this different type of ammunition. I haven’t done this part yet since my gun is so new, but when I go to the range next I’ll put 150 to 200 rounds of self-defense ammo through it.
I realize self-defense ammo is a lot more expensive but this is very important to do. I know some guys who shoot two or three rounds of hollow point ammo and then start carrying their gun. Personally, I’m not comfortable carrying a gun I’ve only shot a handful of defensive rounds through, which is why I recommend at least 150-200 rounds.
Once I’ve put the hollow points through my gun and I’m sure it functions flawlessly, then I’ll give it another cleaning and start carrying it. But until then, my new gun won’t be on my hip, on my nightstand, or anywhere else throughout my house because I haven’t gone through the break in procedure that I’m comfortable with.