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About Shotgun Break-In

About Shotgun Breakin Blog Feature 2.0

Table of Contents

Hey all, we here at True Shot Academy are going to be talking about shotgun break-in today. This is an important process which aids in ensuring smooth and reliable function of a firearm. Our goal here with this blog post is to provide a brief overview of the break-in process and discuss the importance of the phenomenon. Without further ado, let’s get into it.


What is Break-In?

The term “break-in” refers to the wearing in of an item through use. This term is not just used for new firearms, as shoes and other products also experience break-in. Before a new firearm is fully broken-in, one may experience some malfunctions. This is due to the newness of the firearms and tight tolerances in most cases. As the firearm is used, the mechanism will begin to break-in and smooth out over time as small, unnoticeable imperfections will be worked out.


Importance of Lubrication

Proper lubrication is important when breaking in a firearm of any type. Lubrication will promote smooth movement of the metal parts in a firearm. This will eliminate any potential seizing and binding when operating the action of the firearm. The reduction in friction between moving parts will ensure reliable and unimpeded function in the long run as well. The proper application of oil and grease is also just a good thing to be aware of regardless of the firearm.

Fiocchi 12 Gauge #8 Shot
Fiocchi 12 Gauge #8 Shot

Do Shotguns Need to Be Broken In?

Like most firearms, shotguns experience a break-in period. While some shotguns are simplistic in nature when compared to some rifles and handguns, even the simpler designs require maintenance and experience break-in. In addition to smoothing out the function of the firearm, one will also build familiarity with their shotgun during the process. One will definitely want to ensure their shotgun is broken in and functions reliably before using it for a hunt or competition. You really wouldn’t want to deal with frustrating malfunctions and hang-ups when it matters most.

It should be noted that, like other firearms, some new shotguns will not experience any malfunctions or give you trouble during the typical break-in period. Some shotguns, such as pump action and break action models, typically will not experience malfunctions due to their simple mechanical nature. Even some semi-automatic shotguns may function flawlessly in their early outings. At the end of the day, with the wide variety of shotguns and ammunition available, it is very possible that one will experience little to no malfunctions or hang-ups. This is not to say that break-in is not occurring as the mechanism of the shotgun is still smoothing itself out when being used.


What Kind of Shotguns Need to be Broken In?

Shotguns of all types will benefit and smooth up as they are broken-in. Shotguns that feature a break-open action, such as single shot, side-by-side, and over-under models will become easier to open and close over time. Pump action shotguns will experience a smoothing out of the action bars and bolt, making the pump action operation smoother. Semi-automatic shotguns are generally going to be the most temperamental shotguns of all, typically due to the way they operate. Gas and inertia driven shotguns often have issues cycling lighter loads as it is, so it is important to break these shotguns in and ensure they function as reliably as possible.


Shotgun Break-In Process

The general practice of breaking in a shotgun involves usually shooting about a case of ammunition or more through it. Cases of shotgun ammunition will typically come with 250 rounds, a good round count to hit the ground running with. Some shotguns may take longer to fully break-in than others as there are a variety of shotguns and variables to consider. One will have to keep an eye on their specific shotgun as they shoot it and gauge the effects of the break-in process. If more shooting is needed, simply load up more ammunition and hit the range.

12 Gauge Ammunition
12 Gauge Ammunition

Shotgun Break-In Ammo

When breaking in a shotgun, one will be served well by using heavy and fast loadings. These loadings will have the best chance of functioning reliably in a wide variety of shotguns. The increased energy and inertia of these loads will also be more forceful on the mechanism of a shotgun, helping wear in the action more than lighter loadings. This is particularly important in some semi-automatic shotguns. These loadings can be in the form of slugs, buckshot, or even some of the larger loads intended for waterfowl use.


Bottom Line: Just Shoot It

All in all, the break-in process isn’t really something one has to go out of their way to do. This entire process is accomplished throughout the time one owns and uses their shotgun. Nothing will break a gun in faster than shooting it and using it. By regularly using your shotgun and keeping up with a general maintenance schedule, one will engage in efficient cleaning and lubrication. We here at True Shot carry a wide variety of shotgun ammunition with many options being great for breaking-in and for general and special purposes. As always, happy shooting.


Need bulk ammo? At True Shot Ammo, we have a wide variety of handgun ammo and rifle ammo available to purchase. Please visit our website trueshotammo.com, call us at (888) 736-6587, or you can email us at [email protected] for more ammo options.


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