I mean 100%.
This is a discussion on How Reliable is Reliable Enough? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I usually carry a revolver. If it's new and you shoot a couple of boxes and don't have timing or cylinder lock ups you are ...
I usually carry a revolver. If it's new and you shoot a couple of boxes and don't have timing or cylinder lock ups you are good to go.
Semi's are another story. I have a CZ 75D PCR that fed FMJ's fine but would hiccup on HP's - one every two or three mags. After examining the jams I noticed the HP's were catching on the top of the end of the barrel (opposite the feed ramp). I slightly ground and then polished the top and it's shot over 1200 rounds without a hiccup since. To me that's reliable.
But don't overthink it, and know how to clear the jam, even if you never experience one in regular use. Practice practice practice, and assume it will be unreliable.
I mean 100%.
500 rounds is my rule of thumb, but if I put 200 or 300 through say a Glock, Sig, or M&P I'd feel comfortable with that. Also, welcome to the forum.
I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it.
Why don't you ask 20 IRS agents one question about the IRS code, and wait for your 20 different answers.
You answered your own question, with it being subjective.
Welcome to DC BTW!
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I used the Sig P239 in the field and also the model 229 for 15 years. Both endured 500 rounds a DAY for 3 months without any incident! I love my new M & P Shield as well, but no other gun that I have seems to endure the life span that the Sig has, which is why most federal law enforcement agencies use the Sig. I really appreciate the less than heavy feel with the M & P's, but you are right, S & W has got to address some problems occurring with their products!
PEF, thanks for the advice about the CZ 75D. I love this gun, but haven't experienced this yet with HP's. Will do this weekend!
At times my reliability rating is directly related to how much money I have to spend on ammo. Generally I will run 200-250 rounds through the gun on the first range trip and if it performs well then I am content. As always though the gun will continue to get tested and shot.
"60% of the time...it works every time..." -Brian Fantana
Tweeky, that 10K rounds.... Or even that 1K rounds, for that matter.
My question to you is "how?"
How is that test conducted?
Are you just putting ammo in the magazines and shooting? Are you going to give the gun any kind of break at all - be it lubrication as-needed or are you going to be hammering through those 1K/10K rounds just one after the other, all in a single setting (much less a single day).
Are you going to count light-strikes as ammo malfunction? Or is that going to be on the gun, too?
Is the gun coming from a "sterile" environment directly into the test? Or are you going to be subjecting the gun to being dropped in the sand, dug into the dirt, and sloshed in the mud? Is a gun being able to fire even just one round in the harshest conditions somehow less reliable than a gun that can fire 1K rounds at your local range, where the harshest thing it sees is probably the carbon from its own use?
The truth of the matter is that if you run *any* gun hard enough, it will suffer stoppages. This is why stoppage reduction is such a vital skill to master. The mark of a good shooter isn't necessarily how well he/she can shoot when the stars are properly aligned - it's whether if he or she can work through their problems. Jason Falla's Redback One school motto is: "Subconscious weapons manipulation, cold and on demand." And while I've yet to be able to take one of his courses (yet!), over the last year, as I've attained more depth in terms of my training, I've come to realize the importance of those fundamentals.
Over the course of a single 3-day training class this summer, I personally witnessed every kind of gun suffer stoppages and virtually every kind of gun "catastrophically" fail (more on "catastrophic failures" in just a minute), too. 1911s, XDs, H&Ks, M&Ps, Sigs, and yes, even Glocks. Those who haven't seen their stuff break? they simply haven't run their stuff hard enough. The gun is but a man-made machine. Everything man-made, at some point, fails. Look at even purebred race-cars. Even with the best mechanical attention, do they still suffer problems on race-day?
How we as normal everyday legal concealed-carry citizens may view reliability and durability may well be different from how deployed combat soldiers or law-enforcement officers may view those same criteria. For us, having a gun that can shoot hundreds or even thousands of rounds after being exposed to dirt, sand, and mud may not be as important as simply having a gun that's concealable enough that we will be able to carry where we need to carry. For a professional military operator or law-enforcement officer who cleans his weapon every day, it may not be as important that the lubricant/protectant he uses wards off corrosion or resists to attract clothing lint - and rather, he may want chemicals that can withstand high heat or may have yet other concerns for the chemicals' properties.
Look to your needs, Tweeky - how you intend to employ your weapon - to determine what factors are most important for you. Today, for right around $500 or so, there exists plenty of "proven" choices that will easily be more than durable and reliable enough to use as a true defensive tool. Pair that with good ammo that you've made sure works well in your gun (that means *your* XX gun - not "his" XX gun or "her" XX gun or "that dude from that online Forum's" XX gun, but *your* specific and unique gun), and the last factor that will come into play is you: how you shoot and run the gun.
And as for "catastrophic failures?"
This is yet again something that you need to define, for yourself.
Do you view catastrophic failure as the slide cracking, a barrel lug shearing off, or the frame splitting? Or is your definition based more on the immediacy of the problem - that it's more the event of the gun not going "bang" when you want it to that's a catastrophe - i.e. that a small-parts breakage caused a failure of the gun to discharge, but that the mechanical breakage is readily capable of being addressed? Or does such a catastrophe extend to even when it's really operator-error that caused the issue (i.e. clothing getting snagged and not being willing to "shoot through" simply because it's in training/practice; or even a failure to properly maintain the weapon by replacing consumables)?
Towards this end, let's look at that gun that's fired 10K rounds without a single failure to discharge.
What's to guaranty that something in it won't go wrong at the 10,001st trigger press?
To me, reliability/durability comes from knowing that there are many others who've run the same gun and have not seen undue problems. To me, reliability is knowing that my specific gun and the magazines I use with it will feed and discharge at least the ammo that's in that magazine without stoppages that were not incurred by me - the shooter. To me, that first magazine really says it all, and each subsequent repetition only serves to either strengthen that view or to counter it. To me, reliability is looking down the line at my classmates and noting that I'm not suffering any more stoppages than they are. To me, durability is knowing of the abuse that the range/training-specific copies that my carry/defensive guns are put through.
"Are you going to give the gun any kind of break at all - be it lubrication as-needed or are you going to be hammering through those 1K/10K rounds just one after the other, all in a single setting (much less a single day)."
"Is the gun coming from a "sterile" environment directly into the test? Or are you going to be subjecting the gun to being dropped in the sand, dug into the dirt, and sloshed in the mud? Is a gun being able to fire even just one round in the harshest conditions somehow less reliable than a gun that can fire 1K rounds at your local range, where the harshest thing it sees is probably the carbon from its own use?"
"Those who haven't seen their stuff break? they simply haven't run their stuff hard enough."
Most smart folks don't drive their vehicle to a side-of-road failure without caring for it. They change oil, filters, replace tires. They don't brutalize a vehicle on which they depend for reliable daily driving by abusing it in high-speed off-roading. No one wants to fly in an aircraft having maintenance logbooks left neglected, much preferring the logbooks for engines, props, airframe etc. to be current, showing maintenance to be up to date. An aircraft engine in flight and indicating high oil temperature and low oil pressure is ignored at one's peril.
Why is there a perceived need to abuse our firearms in order to prove something?
It's no trick to use firearms as intended and get many thousands of trouble-free rounds out of them. By all means use it but take care of the firearm that you intend to use to take care of YOU.
"How we as normal everyday legal concealed-carry citizens may view reliability and durability may well be different..."
Reliability and durability had better be viewed the same way by anyone relying on firearms for protection. Cleaning and maintenance is a part of achieving reliability and durability. The military knows this.
"Towards this end, let's look at that gun that's fired 10K rounds without a single failure to discharge.
What's to guaranty that something in it won't go wrong at the 10,001st trigger press?"
What's to guaranty that a meteorite won't come through the roof and whack me in my bed before dawn?
One can come to dither too much about possibilities.
"Look to your needs, how you intend to employ your weapon - to determine what factors are most important for you. Today, for right around $500 or so, there exists plenty of "proven" choices that will easily be more than durable and reliable enough to use as a true defensive tool."
This is great advice, succinctly stated, especially when coupled with attention to proper maintenance.
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“No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”
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I give mine a 2,000 round challenge: clean it, lube it, then shoot 2,000 rounds through it before it gets cleaned or lubed again. No malfunctions? I'll carry it.
My EDC (P30 V2) and occasional carry (Baer Custom Carry (1.5")) both passed, so they get in the rotation. My HK45C has been surprisingly problematic, so I'll likely just get rid of it.
If you're looking for 10,000-round reliability, by the way, there are guns that can do it. Todd Green runs some fairly well-known endurance tests on pistols, and the HK45 he tested was cleaned only seven times in 50,000 rounds, and during that entire period suffered only one malfunction and one part breakage.
Last edited by Tophatter; November 4th, 2012 at 03:33 AM. Reason: Typo.
For me, 150-200 rounds of target ammo, then 50-100 rounds of carry ammo. If I have a failure during that time, and it is not caused by either faulty ammo or operator error, I reset the round count and start again.
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I have never bought a gun specifically as a carry gun. That is going to change soon as I'm actively looking for a Bersa Thunder. But in the past Ive always bought guns I liked and then when I was satisfied with them they would go into the 'Id carry that " group. "So Far" Ive not gotten any new semi auto that wasn't 100% reliable. I have had a couple that lacked the accuracy to go into the carry guns tho. Maybe Ive just been lucky. DR