Good post. Thats why I carry a 42" sword as a backup
This is a discussion on Trust no gun within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; What about a S&W Model 60? I trust mine. Been in production since the middle 60's, Mine was made in 1969....
What about a S&W Model 60? I trust mine. Been in production since the middle 60's, Mine was made in 1969.
Good post. Thats why I carry a 42" sword as a backup
“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . .
----- Thomas Jefferson
It's always been my opinion that with any mechanical device it's not a matter of IF it will fail, just WHEN. Once at a CAS match, I was following a shooter who each time he was at the loading table would dry fire each of his guns 5 or 6 times. After watching this a few times, I finally asked him why he was doing this. His response was to make sure that nothing was broken. I had a bit of a tough time not chuckling at this response but let it go with a simple "O.K." acknowledgment. As I see it, the flaw in his logic was the firearm had just worked 10 minutes ago on the previous shooting stage and, with no intervening act (cleaning, disassembly, etc.) he was now testing it for function. So even if it was working now, what would prevent a part from breaking on the first shot of this stage? In other words, no matter how much we test a firearm, it's no guarantee that the next trigger pull won't be the straw that breaks the camel's back.
With that said, a quick inventory of my firearms shows that I currently own:
This doesn't even begin to count the ones I've bought and then sold over the years. Out of all of these and with tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of rounds fired, I've only encountered three failures.
1. A hand spring broke on one of my USFA Single Action Army revolvers. This rendered the firearm useless until I replaced the spring.
2. A Cimarron/Uberti SAA was absolutely unreliable out of the box with a "late rising bolt". This would cause the cylinder to over-rotate when the hammer was cocked fast and hard. A trip to the gunsmith for repair and action job fixed this and it has been perfect ever since.
3. After putting a new gas block on my DPMS upper on my AR15, it would no longer cycle. It would fire single shot, but not cycle the action. Turns out the vent hole in the block was mis-drilled and DPMS quickly corrected the problem.
I can recall no instance of any other breakage or complete malfunction. Like most of us, I do have a couple of firearms that are picky about the ammunition they will digest, but with something they like, they go bang every time. My whole point is that while I do lament the passing of some things, I think that modern metallurgy, CNC machining and advancements in Polymers are giving us some fine, reliable firearms. While the old adage, "you get what you pay for" is as true today as it was 50 years ago, it doesn't mean that modern firearms are inferior to those of yesterday and it doesn't mean that the next trigger pull won't be the one where a part breaks. JMHO.
Sig 239 SAS 40 S&W / Sig 239 9mm / Kahr PM-9 / Walther PPS .40 / Sig P-245 / Ruger LCP
Beretta Tomcat / Walther PPK / BDA 380 / Taurus 85 / Kel-Tec PF-9 / Am. Derringer 357
NRA Life Member
My Web Site
I consider my guns just like any other mechanical devise. At some point it will fail to function as designed. I just practice good maintenance procedures and keep a close eye on how it functions when used, watching for any change in preformance.
Statements from Mr. Green
Trying to decide which pistol to buy? If so, you’re probably looking for one that is guaranteed to be durable and reliable. Well, I’ve got bad news for you. There is no such gun. The day when you could point to a particular brand or model and be certain it would work 100% out of the box and last forever is gone.
Durable and reliable are relative terms. Whats acceptable or not acceptable is a personal perspective and will be different for a lot of us.
My late 1940's K22 Masterpiece's and K38's were fitted by craftsman sitting at a round table with parts they picked up and custom fit the parts together until the tolerances were much tighter than a production gun today.
You don't get that craftsmans touch today, nor do I think anyone expects that level of care in the industry today. Durable, will it last through 50K-100K of firing without major breakage of parts? If it will do that, it will likely last longer than 4 generations of any particular family in America.
Reliable, am I reasonably sure the gun will bark when I need it to given it is cleaned, lubed, and otherwise maintained with a nominal level of care through testing that particular gun in my hands? If it will do that, it will be considered reliable enough to depend on.
The gun industry is no different than car makers or any other manufacturer. Cut costs with cheaper parts, keep the prices down to competitors levels, lose the time for attention to the small details, etc. Everyone is doing that today, not just the gun industry.
Buy a Mercedes, and it's less apt to leave you stranded. The key word there is "apt". There's not mechanical device that can't fail, no matter how much detailed care is given to it.
I'm with QKShooter in his thoughts as well here.
The mind is the limiting factor
Quick Kill Rifle and Pistol Instructor
I work with computers and I keep hearing "it worked yesterday"! I ask have you ever got in your car and it wouldn't crank but ran fine the day before? The same way with guns. You can fire 1,000 rounds through it without a single problem but that doesn't mean it is going to fire next time. The probability is high but not absolute. Same way if you flip a coin and it comes up heads 10 straight times. The odds on the 11th flip coming up heads is still 50/50. We get hung up on our buddy had problems with his Taurus/Glock/P3AT.... so they are all a piece of junk but his Kimber performed perfectly. There are good and bad with every brand or model.
Of course every firearm is a machine and a mechanical device and every mechanical device will eventually fail.
That is absolutely "Given"
Human Beings are Biological Devices created either by a Perfect God or millions of years of "Survival Of The Fittest" evolution.
(Take your pick depending on your particular belief system ) and we will all eventually fail also.
I LOVE and appreciate an older carefully "hand fit" & finished firearm (with that 12" deep mirror polished blue) as much as the next guy.
Overall and in general though firearms are better NOW than they ever have been.
The sciences of metallurgy and polymer plastics have advanced in leaps and bounds. CNC machining can now hold "parts" to incredibly accurate tolerances.
Computer Numeric Machining has changed everything.
Gun steel is much better.
Custom formulated metal alloys are much stronger.
Heat treatment is incredibly better.
Precision castings are stronger.
Tolerances (in general) are tighter.
Surface finishes are much more durable.
And don't forget that much of our modern ammo is HOTTER and more effective because the newer guns are stronger.
Obviously if 1,000 "identical" high quality parts come out off the production line and their tolerances have been held to thousandths of an inch and are auto heat~treated and tempered - and then MOHS hardness tested then the NEED for "hand file fitting" those parts has been negated.
That would be since (for all realistic practical purposes) they are "identical"
- Yes, and true that some firearms designs have changed to make the best use of these advances in technology.
Most firearms these days are "Drop In" parts guns that have been expressly designed to minimize the need for hand fitting of individual parts.
That can cause an occasional problem but, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.
Also I'm wondering how many old and beautiful "hand fit" firearms could "stand up" to the thousands upon thousands of rounds that the more modern firearms are expected to withstand.
Shooters and trainers like AzQkr literally stand on a MOUNTAIN of ejected brass every month and it's all often shot out of the same firearm.
Now a days we often "demand" ~ and hopefully expect ~ that our self~defensive firearms continue to function through thousands upon thousands of practice rounds without so much as burping.
Many vintage firearms were just never subject to that extreme degree of use.
The ones that WERE failed also and required occasional repair and/or complete rebuilding.
So...I'm best guessing that when you "factor in" the mind boggling numbers of "new' firearms that are produced every year and compare that to the relatively miniscule number of "defective" guns....we're much better off these days.
Many "Firearm Related Glitches" & malfunctions can be rectified with a simple "parts swap" and that was never possible before.
Also and of course...production numbers are so high and so many firearms go "out the door" so quickly these days that when there IS a problem...even a very minor one...more of those "lemons" get into the hands of the public before the QC problem is caught.
The flip side of the coin is that IF firearms were produced the "old fashioned" way...where every gun is hand fit...The vast majority of us would be waiting for 5 years or LONGER before we could even get on the "waiting list" to buy one.
Demand is that great today.
Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ
Good read and statement of the facts. I believe as long as a person is familar with his or her firearm and takes time to inspect and examine for possible problems etc. should be statistically better prepared than the criminals that we are all carrying our firearm to protect ourselves and others against. You can be sure that most of the criminals are not as likely to take the time to keep their weapons in the condition that most of us would keep ours. The probability of failure has to be much greater, i would suspect. But even with that said you still have the human/mechanical issues to deal with. Maybe, just possibly we get a slight advantange by being more in tune with our weapons and try to eliminate the possibilities of malfunction(s) by exercising them, using good maintenance and close examination of wear areas.
A firearm is nothing more then a machine. We trust our lives to machines every day be it a car, airplane, parachute ect. Any mechanical failure could have dire consequences. It is the sole responsibility of the end user to do the research on the product to determine the suitability and reliability of their firearm. That is where these forums shine. They will tell you what the manufacturers won't.
Why do I carry a Gun? Because I can't carry a Cop
If it's mechanical it can fail...you get what you pay for...
That's exactly why I'd rather drive a Corvette than a Yugo...
Same goes for guns...never perfect quality, but 'better' quality costs...
Proverbs 27:12 says: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”
Certified Glock Armorer
NRA Life Member
well speaking from a gunsmiths point of view , anything mechanical can break and wear out , thats why if you shoot your CCW alot "and you should " it needs looked over from time to time and the worn parts replaced , like compact auto pistols , the recoil spring or springs should be replaced every 5,000 rounds , lots of people just shoot them till they break and then compain that it should have lasted longer , use a proven fire arm "proven by you " know it inside and out , buy a survival kit for it , keep the springs fresh and your specs checked , and carry a large caliber revolver as back up , everything can and does "fail "
My only real complaint about modern manufacturing techniques concerns MIM (Metal Injected Molded) critical parts.
And for the following reasons.
With a machined and properly hardened and tempered steel part a close inspection will usually show some indication (or advance warning) of undue wear or stress prior to a part failing.
Not so with MIM.
Even an improperly hardened "machined from bar-stock" steel part will bend, deform, or peen before it breaks.
THAT can be noticed upon inspection. and then be taken care of.
Machined and forged steel parts may bend and peen or get battered but rarely without some forewarning that something is amiss with either the firearm or that specific part.
A forged and or machined from bar-stock part like a firing pin stop might crack but, will still maintain its integrity so that there is no catastrophic failure.
MIM however...can look perfect on the surface but can snap in half like a crisp carrot without ANY inkling or indication. It just seems to be perfect on the exterior right up until the moment that it fails.
Using a 1911 as an example - I have no problem with non-stressed parts such as a mainspring housing or a grip safety being made from MIM but, no MIM thumb safety or slide stop or sear or disconnector for me.
No MIM hammer or hammer strut either and thankfully I think all gun makers have now stopped using MIM extractors.
Heck...I've seen the photos on the Internet of MIM hammers broken in half - a broken MIM disconnect & pics of MIM thumb safeties broken clean off as well as MIM slide stops snapped in half and shattered firing pin stops. Oh...and let's remember the snapped off magazine catches.
I swap parts out on all of my carry guns to "machined from bar-stock" - I don't think I'll ever trust "MIM process parts" on a defensive carry gun.
MIM has come a long way and it looks like most of the "bugs" are now worked out of the manufacturing process but, the issue still remains that there is just no way to tell an "inherently defective" MIM part from a perfect one until it fails - usually by snapping right in half or shattering to metal powder.
Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ
Before the WWW, you could have a lemon and unless someone else in your department or firing range, knew of someone who knew someone.
We now have the best tool at our disposal (sorta) to help the gun companies realize that the consumers have more informed then ever. Will quality improve? possibly, but nothing will ever be 100%. As long as they can make a profit they will continue with the status quo.
Good thread and nice change of pace.
My professional job involves a lot of reliability analysis. As a rule of thumb, without any specific data involved, mechanical devices have a failure rate of around 0.1 to 1%. Which makes them 10 times more reliable than people in our analyses and 10 times worse than electronics. These are conservative estimates, on well maintained equipment. So most guns are amazingly reliable. But nothing is perfect. Spending more money just moves you up the probability curves of reliability. Which is a fancy way of saying inexpensive guns can be reliable, but have a lower chance of it than expensive guns.