Handguns and Ammunition Forum banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,442 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A friend and I went to the range the other day to shoot up some .357 and .38 reloads, but I also took along my 1994 vintage CZ75 and a half dozen filled magazines. All the mags were factory marked CZ, three 15-round mags dating to the same era as the gun, and three 16-round mags I bought through CDNN just a few weeks ago.

I loaded the mags with the worst factory ammunition I had on hand, the Olympic brand 124 FMJ purchased from Cheaper Than Dirt a few months back. This ammo doesn't work in my carrying Hi Power, giving at least one or two stovepipes or failures to chamber fully in every magazine. I had ten rounds of 127-grain Winchester +P+ left in a box, so I loaded one of the 15-round mags with that, above five of the Olympic.

Mostly I shot "reactive" targets, meaning tin cans and other jetsam down at the gravel pit--things that would go flying and that I'd then have to reacquire before firing at them again. And has happened every time I've tried to get the CZ to fail, nothing happened. The cans bounced, the empties ejected, the loaded rounds fed into the chamber, and I very quickly ran out of ammo.

I know that questions about auto pistol reliability have been asked before, but I'd like to modify the form of the question a bit. Rather than ask how many rounds you have to fire before you'll trust an autoloader, is there any particular process that you go through with a potential service or CCW auto in order to test functioning? I have been known to shoot as many as 500 rounds of varied ammunition in a day, then end with a full magazine or two of whatever round I'm planning to carry. I've been really lucky in that I've had very few guns that didn't pass my tests. Two of them, a Sig P220 and a late 1990s manufacture Walther PPK/s, are no longer with me. A Beretta 92FS I used to own would work great with anything, but after 200 or so rounds of Wolf steel cased ammo, I had to field strip the weapon and clean slide and frame rails. I did not consider this a problem, as I never carried the Wolf ammo, nor, for that matter, did I ever purchase any after that batch was shot. (A Mark III Hi Power could handle twice as much of the same ammo with no problems.)

I have four Hi Powers, and I trust all four, but have only carried three of them. A fourth, an FEG clone, has the tiny and hard to reach standard thumb safety, so it's just a "plinker."

I worked all night, didn't sleep much, and am now avoiding going outdoors into a heat index of 107 degrees, so pardon if I'm not totally coherent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
321 Posts
Hi Leland,

Interesting and very positive endorsement for the CZ.

For me, the most reliable semi auto handgun I have ever owned (of probably a dozen or so over the past 20 years) has been the 9mm BHP Mark III. My ammo downselect model: Pick a highly rated load by a respected consensus (Federal 9BP or 124 grain Speer Gold Dot +P, for example), buy a bunch of it (500 rounds) and shoot it all without cleaning in between: two hands, one handed, slow fire, rapid fire, double taps, with any and all magazines likely to be used in the gun. If no malfunctions occur, then I stay with that load for serious purposes after cleaning and lubricating the gun thoroughly. However, for better or worse, I have tended to stay wth american ammo and have not tried Olympic or Wolf or S&B.

The worst offender for me, by the way, was a Springfield Armoury 1911, early 90's vintage. I couldn't find a load, even FMJ, that it would reliably get through a magazine with. I had the extractor changed once and bought some Wilson magazines, but then finally gave up on it. With hindsight, its problems probably could have been worked out, but I didn't have the patience or the experience at the time and traded it off in frustration.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,442 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I figure if you buy a gun, it should work reasonably well right out of the box with standard loads. I got the P220 to work most of the time, but not consistently enough that I'd trust my life with it.

I think my first Mark III would have to win my prize for most reliable as well. I never did anything to it to enhance functioning other than pitching out a couple of very cheaply made magazines that appeared to give me problems once upon a time. After that, the reliability of the gun is nice and boring. I don't want extra excitement like having to clear a jam in the middle of a firefight. One problem I have noticed in both Mark III's, however, is an occasional tendency of the trigger not to reset during speed drills. This is a function both of my trigger control and of a relatively weak trigger spring. In the nickelled gun I put together for carrying, the problem was solved by the addition of a heavy duty spring. The next time I make an order from C&S I'll get springs for the other guns as well.

It looks to me that your testing procedure is much like mine, namely pushing the gun to fail. And if it doesn't fail, then it's a keeper.

As for the Wolf ammo, my advice is, don't. The lacquered steel cases are an area of concern for me, but moreso in .223 than in pistol calibers, since the lacquer seems to make my AR15 stop working within a couple of magazines. There are too many other reasonably priced options on the market, including the S&B, which is usually my plinking ammo. Lately I can get Winchester value packs for roughly the same price as the S&B, and I can get it locally, without having to hassle with mail order.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,442 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I spell it R E V O L V E R.

do I win a prize??

og
Sure, if your revolver can fire sixteen rounds without reloading. :)

Seriously, I carry a revolver nearly 100% of the time when I'm not working, but at work I carry the bottom feeder.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,951 Posts
I run it dirty, until I can hear the ka-chunk of the rounds being chambered. This is of course after break-in and any work I do (polishing the chamber and feedramp were necessary on my Taurus as it's designed to operate at [email protected]). After that, I see how much sand and such it can take. In other words, the Taurus has been torture tested.

I do not apply the sand treatment to revolvers.

Josh <><
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,442 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
CZ! my CZs love the olympic hardball!
So, apparently, does my CZ. For the record, the Olympic ammo is advertised as being the equivalent of NATO ball ammo, i.e. a 124-grain RNFMJ @ 1,250 fps. My only real complaint about the stuff is that I had several punctured primers when shooting it in my beefed up BHP. (Added 18.5 lb. recoil spring and Shock Tech buffer.) It's entirely possible that the primers are soft, but a flattened and/or punctured primer makes me a tad nervous.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
720 Posts
was there some kind of gatlin gun with a cylinder like a revolver that held 16 rounds? in the movies, maybe?
now, Leland, where is my prize?

og
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
"How do I spell RELIABLE".....RESPONSIBILITY !!! If there is a problem, fix it..find what works, and use it...if it's dirty clean it...if you wish for 100%....give it 100%
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
Makarov

I set out with a new out of the box uncleaned grease covered Bulgarian Makarov to see if I could get it to malfunction. I did everything I could think of, short of damaging the gun, and there was not one gun related failure in a thousand rounds.

There were a couple feeding problems that I found was a bad magazine and one failure to fire the first time when mud blocked the hammer from hitting the firing pin. It fired on the second trigger pull. :)


I've got dozens of good reliable pistols and a dozen plus Makarovs. I know that when i pick up a Mak the chances of a gun related malfunction is almost zero. (nothing is perfect)

Of course if you don't put the magazine in it, like I did yesterday, even the Mak won't shoot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,053 Posts
while I should come up with some sort of standard reliability test, I don't.

I pretty much do like the rest and just shoot the weaopon. I do try to avoid cleaning it for at least 500 rounds so I can make see if dirt causes a problem.

What is reliable (I can't spell worth a hoot :-/)? 0-5 malfunctions in 10,000 rounds.


Onward,
Im
 
G

·
It appears that "not cleaning" can be legitimately justified by anything from "testing for reliability" to "to busy right now" to "lazy". I know that it makes sense to not clean a dirty gun while testing it, but I just can't let myself go that far. Heck, I even clean my 22 rifle and pistols bores after every trip to the range knowing they would probably be more accurate if I didn't.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
321 Posts
Hi Leland,

You sparked a thought with your comment about the trigger return springs...perhaps another angle on "reliability" could involve the availability of some critical spare parts...mag springs, recoil springs, maybe a firing pin and extractor, etc., both for routine replacement of worn parts as well as for the occasional breakage of a critical part which would put the weapon out of service. Fortunately the BHP is "reliable" in this sense as well, and for the most part lends itself to "user friendly" repairs with readily available aftermarket parts when the rare problem occurs.

I will avoid the Wolf ammo, thanks.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,867 Posts
Hello, SavannahSteve. I understand how you feel. I have tried to let one go a thousand shots just to see if it would, but I never get past six or seven-hundred before I cannot stand it anymore.
My routine is normally to clean the same day that the gun was shot.

Best.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,442 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I don't like having a dirty gun any more than anyone else, so when I'm testing a new load or a new gun, I manage my time well. I don't try to test unless I know that I will have time to do it right.

It's my belief that 500 rounds fired in a single day, without cleaning, is a pretty good test of functioning, then it's back to the house to get everything good and clean.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
It appears that "not cleaning" can be legitimately justified by anything from "testing for reliability" to "to busy right now" to "lazy". I know that it makes sense to not clean a dirty gun while testing it, but I just can't let myself go that far. Heck, I even clean my 22 rifle and pistols bores after every trip to the range knowing they would probably be more accurate if I didn't.
What do you think Steve, does this one need a cleaning yet?


 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top