You are definitely "getting it". :rock:
Thanks for your thoughts about this ca. So my take away from your input as well as those from G50 and FBF is that the procedure and round count needed to break in a gun with a traditional finish is about the same as one with an Armor-Tuff finish.
Now is there anyone that can talk about a stainless steel gun? Since this is a material and not a finish I wonder if the procedure and/or round count would be any different than a blued or AT'ed gun.
I'm not a metallurgist, and perhaps WCR or blr or someone who is will correct me if I'm wrong here, but this is my basic knowledge about steel alloys with regards to the ones typically used in firearms.
1) Since the break in rounds are essentially for "lapping" the friction surfaces, the lapping essentially is a surface treatment. Depending on the coarseness of the lapping compound, the metal surface is being polished to a degree that is commensurate to the lapping compound particle size and attributes.
2) All steel, including stainless, when their surface is viewed through a microscope (at sufficient magnification) are somewhat jagged, an it is the jagged edges of the crystalline matrices that ride along on each other. The idea of lapping is to wear down those peaks, and hopefully fill in the valleys enough to significantly reduce the differences in those mating surfaces, providing less friction during movement.
3) the better the lapping of these friction surfaces, the easier it is for the lubricants to do their job, and the longer it is before they break down and stop providing lubrication.
Conclusion: I would think that stainless steel would benefit just as much from the break in lapping as the carbon steel. Remember that polishing (which is a degree of lapping) is sometimes done before a finish is applied, and sometimes after a finish is applied.
Just my observations, I may be all wet, but this is what I've learned from reading over the years, and is a very basic understanding of metal surface processes.