Just how RELIABLE is your carry gun?

Just how RELIABLE is your carry gun?

This is a discussion on Just how RELIABLE is your carry gun? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Have you ever had your carry gun break on you? Did that failure make you nervous about that particular make/model/type's dependability? Did it make you ...

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Thread: Just how RELIABLE is your carry gun?

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array Will B. Droopy's Avatar
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    Just how RELIABLE is your carry gun?

    Have you ever had your carry gun break on you? Did that failure make you nervous about that particular make/model/type's dependability? Did it make you feel that a lead pipe was the only 100% reliable weapon in this world for self defense? ()

    I'm not talking so much about minor jamming issues here, as obviously semi-autos are grossly jam-happy in comparison to the average revolver (especially compared to the very light and small .380ACP and 9MM semi-autos that are so popular for CCW). What I'm talking about here is only if a particular make/model had a part's breakage after firing a lifetime of under a few thousand rounds, or was a complete jam-o-matic.

    In my own case, since I am a revolver guy, even I have had a few such issues. For instance, my S&W 640 Centennial hammerless had to be completely replaced lately due to a circumnavigating crack/flaw in the cylinder (discovered after only 100 factory .38spl rounds); the 640 looked to be ready to blow at any minute [Smith and Wesson replaced the entire gun with no questions asked; and the gun is 15 years old! Great company! ()].

    And my 1972 Colt Python actually jammed on me during a competition () -- I pulled the trigger in DA and the cylinder bound up solid. During a self defense incident, I would have been burnt toast (). (I'm now looking into this problem myself, since Colt does not have a lifetime guarantee, as does S&W. PS: The gun magically unfroze ten minutes later, but will it happen again...???? ()).

    Or my 1st Python that had light primer strikes, and mis-fired 5% of the time (cured by slightly bending the hammer's leaf spring, as recommended by Colt).

    I won't even go into the other semi's and revolvers over the years that I practiced with that would jam constantly (Beretta Mdl 76) or fail to load after a single cylinder full was fired (Taurus 990 [but due to cheap Chinese ammo]), or my home self defense shotgun: two brand new Charles Daly Tacticals 12Ga pumps that would jam -- and stay jammed -- after about 30 rounds (magazine latch appeared to be made of some soft steel, and bent inward closing off the mag tube (). Pure junk, IMHO. I then went to a Rem 870, and never looked back).

    Anyway, it just goes to show you that nothing is truly dependable, not even the highest quality revolvers on this planet!

    Any similar occurrences with your CCW firearm?

    -Bill


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    No (knock on wood). But anything mechanical has a possibility to fail. A good argument to carry a BUG.

    Taurus 1911: 1000+ rounds, no failures
    XDsc 9mm: 500+ rounds, no failures
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

    "A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source

  3. #3
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    Array Bark'n's Avatar
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    I have my Glock & XD held together with rubber bands. Otherwise, pieces fall off the gun when I draw it from the holster. Does that count?
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array Jackle1886's Avatar
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    Never had a single malfunction with my M&P 9c or my PM9. Even riding the slide enough to STOP it, I cannot make the 9c FTF. The PM9 I can if I ride it, but a quick tap on the mag and she goes right home. I have 100% faith in them, but they are man made, so they can fail at any given time.
    Better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees.

  5. #5
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    I'd have to rate my Glock 30 as 99.99% reliable, as nothing mechanical is 100%.
    Glocks have had trigger springs break (as well as a few other parts) and keep right on ticking.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array GWRedDragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will B. Droopy View Post
    Have you ever had your carry gun break on you?
    I have never had any gun of mine break in any way. I have never had a non-ammunition related FTF or FTE other than with .22lr (a few WWB rounds have failed to fire after a good primer strike).

    I have probably fired 50,000+ total rounds out of my guns.

    After each range trip, I break down, clean and carefully examine each fired gun. Any part which appears worn is preemptively replaced. Parts <$5 (springs, etc) are replaced based on use even if no wear or failure is apparent. If any replacement is done, the gun is taken back to the range and tested before it is placed back in a defensive role.

    Perhaps part of it is that these are all 'very modern' guns, which may be more reliable than older ones (or at least more forgiving of poor maintenance)...

    -Glock 26 (15k+ rounds), also with AA .22 conversion kit
    -H&K USP Fullsize .40 (15k+ rounds)
    -Kel-tec PF9 (recent purchase, so not really a good part of the dataset yet)
    -Walther PPK 380 (S&W, yes, I was able to replicate the recall decocker issue, but I don't consider that a 'breakage' along the lines of your question)
    -Bushmaster AR carbine
    -Remington 870 express
    -S&W 629 .44magnum (borrowed, pre-lock)
    "Trust in God with hand on sword" -Inscription on my family's coat of arms from medieval England
    ---Carry options: G26/MTAC, PF9/MiniTuck, PPK/Pocket, USP40/OWB---
    ---NOTE: I am not an expert. If I ever start acting like a know-it-all, please call me on it immediately. ---

  7. #7
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    Array RETSUPT99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will B. Droopy View Post
    Have you ever had your carry gun break on you? Did that failure make you nervous about that particular make/model/type's dependability? Did it make you feel that a lead pipe was the only 100% reliable weapon in this world for self defense? ()

    I'm not talking so much about minor jamming issues here, as obviously semi-autos are grossly jam-happy in comparison to the average revolver (especially compared to the very light and small .380ACP and 9MM semi-autos that are so popular for CCW). What I'm talking about here is only if a particular make/model had a part's breakage after firing a lifetime of under a few thousand rounds, or was a complete jam-o-matic.

    In my own case, since I am a revolver guy, even I have had a few such issues. For instance, my S&W 640 Centennial hammerless had to be completely replaced lately due to a circumnavigating crack/flaw in the cylinder (discovered after only 100 factory .38spl rounds); the 640 looked to be ready to blow at any minute [Smith and Wesson replaced the entire gun with no questions asked; and the gun is 15 years old! Great company! ()].

    And my 1972 Colt Python actually jammed on me during a competition () -- I pulled the trigger in DA and the cylinder bound up solid. During a self defense incident, I would have been burnt toast (). (I'm now looking into this problem myself, since Colt does not have a lifetime guarantee, as does S&W. PS: The gun magically unfroze ten minutes later, but will it happen again...???? ()).

    Or my 1st Python that had light primer strikes, and mis-fired 5% of the time (cured by slightly bending the hammer's leaf spring, as recommended by Colt).


    I won't even go into the other semi's and revolvers over the years that I practiced with that would jam constantly (Beretta Mdl 76) or fail to load after a single cylinder full was fired (Taurus 990 [but due to cheap Chinese ammo]), or my home self defense shotgun: two brand new Charles Daly Tacticals 12Ga pumps that would jam -- and stay jammed -- after about 30 rounds (magazine latch appeared to be made of some soft steel, and bent inward closing off the mag tube (). Pure junk, IMHO. I then went to a Rem 870, and never looked back).

    Anyway, it just goes to show you that nothing is truly dependable, not even the highest quality revolvers on this planet!

    Any similar occurrences with your CCW firearm?

    -Bill
    Good points here for those who want a revolver only, because semi's can jam. If it's mechanical...
    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacii View Post
    But anything mechanical has a possibility to fail. A good argument to carry a BUG.
    Paraphrasing Clint Smith - "one is none, two is one, three of anything is always better."
    Smitty
    NRA Endowment Member
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Array Freedom Doc's Avatar
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    No such problems here, with either revolvers or semi-autos. As for jamming, my Taurus PT-92 will sometimes jam, but my G26 has never jammed or malfunctioned ever, in 4 years. Tends to make me a real Glock believer!
    Anti-gunners seem to believe that if we just pass enough laws, we can have utopia. Unfortunately, utopia is NOT one of our choices.

  10. #10
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Just how RELIABLE is your carry gun?
    Interesting concept here....it's actually a two part question without a simple answer, for a variety of reasons. Breaking it down to understandable terms......carry gun. (Carry) (Gun). Guns don't carry themselves, and you are not carrying without a gun. Could a gun become unreliable without you? No. So.....here's my teamwork outlook on the whole ordeal. I carry Glock, the Glock surely compensates for my weaknesses, and I am experienced enough with Glock to make up for any issues that may come up...that's why I stick with 'em and they stick with me. Sure I've had and have other pistols that have never given me issues, but they come nowhere close in history nor length of ownership and rounds put downrange like my Glocks. I've had my share of magazine problems or ammo problems even with the Glock. Thing is, never problems with the pistol because I take care of them and know how. Mechanical devices need maintaining, and again....it's a two part theory....you and your pistol (gun)...synergism must exist. How reliable is my carry gun? Judge lest ye be judged. Without quantifying my experiences in terms of percentages, fractions, or decimal places, I can honestly say that me and my Glock(s) are totally reliable, and I live up to all of my responsibilities. Revolvers vs semi-autos? Non-issue.....they are both mechanical designs and either can fail. You just need to pay more attention to the magazines and ammo with a semi-auto since you're adding more mechanics to depend on in the big picture. In the world of guns, there are those offerings that you steer clear of simply because of experience or notoriety for being inherently undependable or poorly engineered in design. All things being equal, the revolver is no more dependable than a semi-auto when you add yourself, your ammo, and your responsibilities to the equation. That's just how it is.

  11. #11
    Ex Member Array maddyfish's Avatar
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    I have had 3 handguns fail on me in my lifetime.
    1. S&w Model 10 the hammer would release early when DA trigger pull, resulting in a primer strike that would not shoot.
    2. Ruger Super Blackhawk that cylinder would lock up when cocking it. A couple quick taps on the boot heel would free it.
    3. Actually still functions, but I am just not comfortable shooting it. A thompson brand 1911 with the frame cracked at the takedown lever. Still shoots fine.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array Chevy-SS's Avatar
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    'Will B' - seems like you've had an extra share of wheel-gun troubles. I don't ever recall having a malfunction or broken part in a wheel-gun.

    As far as pistols go, I have found that most require a 'fluff & buff' to be truly reliable. A lot of guys will say to break a gun in with 500 rounds (or however many), but I don't subscribe to that credo. Give that new autoloader a gentle F&B, and make sure she's smooth as butter, with polished feedramp, smoothed rails, correct ammo and proper recoil springs - and you won't have many (if any) malfunctions. JMHO, of course.

    -
    'Be careful, even in small matters' - Miyamoto Musashi

  13. #13
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    I put 500-1000 rounds through a gun before I consider trusting my life to it. Haven't had a single issue with my Glock 27, so that's my carry gun, if things get serious I'll go to the mini 14 in my car (if I can)which has also never failed me.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array Keltyke's Avatar
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    Anyway, it just goes to show you that nothing is truly dependable, not even the highest quality revolvers on this planet!
    ANY mechanical device can fail. The trick is to eliminate possible causes of this failure as much as possible. Use reliable ammo. I mean ammo that shoots to the same velocity every time. Keep the gun clean and well-maintained. Oil and/or grease where it needs it and replace parts that are beginning to be worn. That's about all you can do.

  15. #15
    Member Array Ice Man's Avatar
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    Kel-Tec P3-AT....

    I bought one brand new for times that I could not cover my Glock 26 well enough. It fits in my pocket for when summer gets hot and I wear no shirt. A.380 is better than nothing... right? I got it home and loaded it up, first shot jammed, second shot jammed, and the third was a ftf. The failure to fire was due to a broken trigger mechanism. Back to the gunshop I went! They sent it back to the factory for me. I got it back and the first magazine fired properly, but the second jammed and the trigger mechanism BROKE AGAIN. The gunshop owner was a little embarassed and offered to give me a refund or swap it out this time. I asked if I could trade it for an LCP Ruger and he was happy to do that. The Ruger has yet to jam or fail to fire.

    I will not own another Kel-Tec, and I carry my Glock allot more now...
    My GLOCK goes BANG every time!

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