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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gents,

After reading a number of posts I can't help but wonder if our responses to the "reliability" question are based on our personal weapons, those issued, or a bit of both.

I can truthfully say that I have never seen an issued 1911 fail to fire. Seen bad mags, sights fly off, weak recoil springs, etc. , but NO failures to fire. Again, as with any pistol...maintenance issues.

My own tuned 1911's and variants work as well. They should, they are better maintained. Pistols that have "issues" don't stay in the safe...

My experience with the M-9 is limited. Springs of all types seem to be an issue. Lost interest in the M-9 when the Marine Corps refused to take delivery of the remainder of the contract. Interestingly, I have never heard of these problems with the Berreta 92 commercial series, hmmm?

Don't get me wrong. I like the 1911, but am not wedded to it. Any good pistol the meets the criteria of being a good fit, being reliable, and being in a suitable defensive caliber will do...

Wes
 

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With me it's a combination of:
1) Experience with ones I've owned.
2) Observations at the ranges, where I RO as well as plink and compete.
3) Second hand info from folks I've known and trusted for a good while.
 

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Hello. Yes, I agree with your premise because most of us simply cannot afford to own a statistically valid number of each handgun to really be able to say that one is better than the other.

That said, we do have years of history with some and both weaknesses and strengths will show up with time and usage.

I was fortunate to have been a firearms instructor for 11 years and got to see quite a few types of handguns being used and use some of that in my observations on handgun reliability, accuracy, etc.

Best.
 

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Hi Wes,

I've seen the good, bad and ugly with a lot of pistols when it comes to reliablity.

It seems a lot is based on our personal preferences, shooting skills and desire to own our favorite weapon platform.

I've owned quite a few 1911's, Glocks and various revolvers. I've seen a few come apart from heavy use and have had an occasional jam from some of the "most reliable" out the box pistols produced.

Chris
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Of course it's based on yr own experiences AND what you heard AND what yr friends' experiences are.
Not always too reliable I guess.
But the 'troublepoints' a good gunsmith mentiones, I think are genuine.(for instance, Taurus: rear sight pin breaking, locking block breaking, Browning HiP: rounding of the barrellugs..)
 

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About 4 years ago I was training Reservists preparing to deploy OUTCONUS at Camp AP Hill in Virginia. We fired quite an assorment of firearms those two days. In one day we fired 10,000 rounds of 9mm through 8 Beretta M-9s without a hic-cup of any of the pistols, period. No cleaning, oiling, or TLC. I was impressed since of all the horror stories I've heard prior to this.

Once deployed I spoke to a U.S. Marine Armor who didn't have one good thing to say about the M9. But he guessed it right, the pistols were fairly new and were not fired frequently prior to this range session. I was still impressed though even though I wouldn't take one over any one of my prized HP's that have stood the test of time.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Gents,

Thanks for the replies. Seems we have a lot of the same criteria for what is a "good" pistol.

Personally, I hold the "has stood the test of time" as a criteria and recommend that to other's as well. Pistols with "history" have proven themselves. Perhaps that's why we love JB's designs so much.

Wes

I've had or seen stoppages with ALL of the major brands. Probably 90% were related to bad magazines, weak springs etc. The rest being broken extrators, link pins, bushings, cracked slides...list goes on.
 

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I am blessed to be in a business that allows me to see a good many rounds go downrange (formerly many of those rounds were launched by me but these days I see more than "send").

That does not make me "the" authority on this matter...variables can and do exist and depend on climate and location as well as the care given the arms under scrutiny.

When I first started doing military classes I was appalled at the malfunciton rate (the first class saw 1 malfunction for about every 30 rounds from some modified M-16s and one every 3 or 4 magazines from the M9). The M-16 problem turned out to be that the original 20" guns had been modified to 12.5" "custom" guns by an armorer who did not also change the extractor springs and the fact that they were some 12-14 years old. The M-9 problems were simply a change in lubricant by the military. After sorting these out we still see too many malfunctions but they are far less often that those numbers! Then of course there are magazine problems when there are so many magazines around.

On a personal front, I shot my Glock 22 yesterday. The one that I keep in the house (not my main armament by any means but still, it has night sights and I might reach for it)... I had two malfunctions in one magazine loaded with Speer Gold Dots!!!! The gun is clean, it has not had more than 1,000 rounds fired through it! This is bad! My G-23 worked fine with the same ammo but I have had 4 malfuncitons with it in around 2500 rounds fired over the years (mostly in the first 500) - that is not good either! I must be bad luck :-/ I do know that this is an exception - Glocks seem to work pretty good for our students (we do see issues with those that "limp wrist" them - as we do with Sigs, Berettas and S&Ws).

Still, if you have a quality firearm and keep it well maintained you should do OK (exceptions for companies - who shall remain nameless - who try to fool around with proven designs and market them before thoroughly testing them!).

Press on,
Jim
 

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Hi there Jim,

I have had similiar issues with my Glock 23.

While I used it for qualification when it was new and then as a carry firearm for some time, it had about 500 rounds through it. It is a second generation G-23.

However, sometimes the Glock Gremlin gets a hold on it and I have an occasion stovepipe with factory ammo. I have yet to figure it out.

Chris
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Gents,

After reading a number of posts I can't help but wonder if our responses to the "reliability" question are based on our personal weapons, those issued, or a bit of both.
In my case, both, I have the luxury of being a range officer for one of the largest agencies in the uS that allows officers to choose their own weapons, in this capacity, I have seen millions of rounds fired from a variety of weapons, and although I have done no statistical analysis of our stoppages, I have found that a few designs account for the vast majority of the stoppages and broken guns that I have seen.

I have seen others that are boringly reliable across a sample of hundreds of individual weapons.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
CAR, enlighten us from you're perspective. What designs have you seen that tend to have problems and what ones are reliable.

Thanks
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Some observations (the experoience of other folks may be different, but here are mine):

By far the least reliable weapons I have seen are the S&W sigma and any 1911 style weapon shorter than a commander (colt officers, kimber ultra carries). We had a local (now defunct) police supply offering sigmas at $200 with 3 magazines on a letterhead about 7 years ago, all are now gone, primarily due to reliabilitry issues.

The best I have seen reliability wise are beretta 92's and Sig "classic series" (we only have one P210, and a couple of sigpros, none have been unreliable, but the sample is small)

Of the several hundred berettas, none are prone to malfunction as long as the area under the extractor is cleaned every 1000 rounds or so. We have seen less than 10 locking block cracks, and I think all were 96's. the 96's do tend to get loose with alot of shooting, but they continue to work, the model 92F is an excellent police weapon (keep in mind that we expose these to less dirt than the military and use good magazines).

The Sigs are universally good, I cannot remeber the last time we had a failure with one, and we have a bunch. They are reliable, accurate, and almost never break (I broke a frame locking insert on a P220 after about 75,000 rounds) . their only real problem is that if you screw up the frame hole for the trigger return spring there is almost no way to fix it.

Glocks account for 15-20% of the weapons we see come through our range. They are generally reliable and very resistant to abuse and bad maintenance. We occasionally get a broken extractor (one of which was during an officer involved shooting) and the standard trigger spring sometimes fails (I have never seen a NY-1 trigger unit fail, we have no NY-2's). My only complaint with the glock is the 17lb recoil spring used on all of their full size weapons, a heavier unit seems more appropriate in the 40's, 10mm's and 45's.

Most full sized govt models are OK as long as the extractor is not badly set, or the user does not try to save money on magazines. The place where people go wrong with 1911's is in the modification of the weapons. There are so many incompetent gunsmiths working out there that it is scary. We have about a 20% rejection rate on modified 1911's on the safety checks alone (mostly improperly fitted thumb safeties and hammer follow after a "trigger job"). We also have about 20% of guns which previously recorded qualification without an issueexperience malfunctions after some gunsmith performs a "reliability package". There are some really good gunsmiths out there (we use them to fix other people's work), but some are scary. Overall, as far as modifications go, less is better

(alot of the guys carrying Glocks got there after become frustrated with keeping a Gov't model running after starting to modify it)

S&W metal frame autos are good, but there is a small leaf type spring up near the trigger that occasionally gets loose and interferes with trigger reset. the small spring is riveted in place and I do not know how to fix it without sending the weapon to Springfield, MA. THe 4006 and 4506 are probably the lightest recoiling DA 40 and 45 autos on the market. The double stack S&W's also seem to go through magazine springs faster than any other gun.

There is more, but my fingers are getting tired.
 
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