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What Does it Mean to Break In an Airgun?

When you are dealing with mechanical things it is nearly a universal truth that the item will need to be broken in for optimal performance. Brand new parts that are interacting with other brand new parts need to get to know one another, so to speak, before working their best together. 


This concept used to be commonly known.  One would never buy a new device and immediately go out and use the device to its maximum potential or without performing needed maintenance on it at a prescribed interval. When it comes to airguns and particularly break barrel type airguns, break in is something that does need to happen in order for you to get consistent results. 


What To Do


To properly break in an air rifle you need to shoot it. During the break in period you can practice using the artillery hold, the best technique for shooting an air rifle.


A typical break in period will take between 150 and 200 shots. It is best to do as many shots as you can using as few sessions as possible to properly break the rifle in. 


 The velocity will change shot-to-shot during the break in.  Just get a tin or two of pellets and exercise your arm while burning through as many as you can. Once you have shot through the break in the rifle should be settled in and good to go for a long, long time. 


A very important step in the break in process is to tighten the stock screws every 50-75 shots. The vibration and shock of shooting a springer will loosen these screws. If the stock screws become loose to the point that one or more fall out, the stock will break during the cocking stroke. 


What Not To Do


Don’t focus on accuracy during the break in period, but do make sure you are shooting in a safe place on the target.  Don’t worry about finding the right pellet during the break in period. Since the velocity will change, just shoot and continue to break the rifle in. 


After you get through the break in period you can evaluate pellets for accuracy. When you do this, do not shoot the rifle from a clamp or vise style rest.  Rests like these and break barrel rifles just do not get along. You will never get any pellet to shoot in an accurate manner when using this kind of rest. 


Use the artillery hold or a very soft bag rest when you begin evaluating pellets for accuracy. Don’t be surprised if you need to try several different types of pellets to find the right one. On the plus side, the more you shoot the rifle the better it will shoot as the trigger and action further break in.



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