Trust no gun
I thought this was an interesting article worthy of a read..
Trust No One: an insiderís perspective
by Todd Louis Green, pistol-training.com
Trying to decide which pistol to buy? If so, youíre probably looking for one that is guaranteed to be durable and reliable. Well, Iíve 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.
After ten years in the firearms industry, including jobs at two major prestigious gun manufacturers, I have come to a very simple conclusion: no one makes a gun that you can be certain will work. Bias and personal preferences aside, most of the major manufacturers are more or less equal nowadays in quality. It wasnít always that way, but as price became an increasingly important factor in buying decisions of both individuals and government entities, everything changed.
As major gun companies began losing marketshare to Glock, surveys of customers made it very clear that price was one of the driving factors. So what could gun companies do? They had to start competing on price.
The result is, throughout the industry, reduced attention to quality. Both companies I worked for, when I started, had a strict policy of test-firing every single pistol that left the factory floor. Each gun was subjected to two or three full magazines of shooting before it was given the stamp of approval. By the time I left each job, both companies had stopped test-firing pistols destined for the commercial (non-law enforcement, non-military) markets Ö and in some cases, they stopped testing the LE guns, as well. Why? test-firing costs a lot of money. You need a range, specially trained and equipped employees, and of course, ammo Ö lots of ammo. test-firing a pistol easily adds $25 or more to the price you pay at the gun shop.
But you can guess what happens when companies skip the step in production validating that a product actually works. The number of inferior guns goes way up. Duh! But gun companies are ok with that, because so few handguns ever see 10,000 or even 1,000 rounds of use. Most problems never materialize, or they donít appear until years down the road when itís either too late or too bothersome for the owner to deal with. So while gun companies are going to have a higher percentage of guns showing problems, that expense is offset by the savings they get from cutting production costs. In other words, low quality saves them enough money to deal with the occasional squeaky wheel gun owner.
Some people think that brands and models which have been around a long time are not as subject to these problems. One friend of mine has adopted what he calls The Five Year Rule Ö he wonít carry or depend on a new design until itís been on the market for five years so that all the bugs can be worked out. That sounds smart in theory, but in reality it just doesnít matter. How come? Glad you asked.
Gun companies are constantly changing their dimensional specifications, materials, parts vendors, and quality control procedures. Beretta, Glock, H&K, SIG, S&W Ö everyone is making changes all the time and often to major components. The gun you think comes with a precise cold hammer forged barrel made in Europe now may actually come with a much less expensive and totally unproven barrel that was made on an EDM machine in Canada due to a production change made last year. Your pistol of choice might come with that brand new stainless trigger bar (which replaced the tried & tested carbon steel version used for decades) thatís too soft because the manufacturer hasnít exactly figured out the proper heat treating process yet.
Doubt itís true? Go to any brand-specific forum and look around. Complaints abound. Sure, there are still some who drink the kool-aid, and even some who want to force the kool-aid down other peopleís throats. But youíll hear about broken rails and springs at Glock Talk, improperly assembled guns or poor finishes at SIGForum, or mag drops and feeding problems at MP-pistol.com. Not every day, but read about the problems people have experienced over the past few months and youíll see that no brand is immune to mistakes.
As for law enforcement agencies, itís easy to identify departments having one serious problem or another with just about every model of every brand of gun in service if you know where to look and who to talk to. Finish flaking off firing pin blocks, out-of-spec chambers, broken hammer struts Ö even high-profile customers are subject to problems ranging from the annoying to the catastrophic.
So perhaps it really is worth the money to spend a fortune on a custom 1911. But wait! Within the past year Iíve seen problem guns come from the biggest and most respected names in the 1911 world like Les Baer, Wilson, and Nighthawk, too. Having a $500 service pistol experience trouble is one thing. If I just plopped down $3,000 for a custom 1911 that couldnít reliably feed and fire, I would lose my mind.
You may think I sound like Chicken Little crying ďthe sky is falling,Ē but thatís not really true. After all, I carry one of these things (actually, two of them) every single day, too. But I donít expect any gun to be perfect. Everything gets tested before it leaves the house in my holster. And even then, Iíve managed to suffer breakages and failures in just about every brand of handgun: Beretta, Glock, Heckler & Koch, SIG, Smith & Wesson, and Taurus.
We want to believe that the gun we carry is Excalibur, perfect in every way and indestructible. Truth is, most of the (insert your favorite brand here) guns being produced will never give you a bit of trouble. But they are all mechanical devices designed and built by humans, subject to the same Mr. Murphy as everything else in life. There are no exceptions. We should stop pretending otherwise.
Train hard & stay safe! ToddG
Pistol-Training.Com Ľ Trust No One: an insider’s perspective
Thanks for that post, it is a very good read IMO. :hand10:
BUG carriers unite! :hand5:
Some of it is quite true.
Some of it has a little bit of horse poop mixed in with the molasses.
Just my personal opinion.
Great read... and probably true.
I have a kel-tec p3at that I just have never completely trusted, and part of it comes from all that. I'm surprised at the failures that some of us, myself included, are willing to tolerate. Now, on the other hand, I have a Colt 1911 NM from the 50's that previously belonged to my mother... I grew up shooting that gun, and in 25 years of experience with that gun, I've never seen it malfunction one single time. Not once. The only work I've had to do on it was replace a spring, but it lasted over 50 years before the spring got weak enough that I thought I should replace it -- it never actually failed.
I can't say that about anything else I've fired. The closest second is a 10/22 that's going on 12 years without a failure to feed or fire or breakage.
I've been pretty lucky I guess. Although I've had a few new pistols that didn't function well out of the box, most have worked as they should and a few were good surprises considering their cost. From what I've experienced, the odds of getting a pistol that functions well from the start is much more likely now than in the past and I haven't suffered any serious problems with any proven pistols that I have owned. Although I don't believe anyone should trust their life to a pistol until it's proven itself, there are a few brands that work straight from the box way more often than not and those same brands tend to hold up well in the long run too.
BlackPR, you had a GM recoil spring that lasted 50 years? I couldn't get one to last more than a few years with just moderate shooting.
Good reason to carry 2 guns......or 3?
Guns are mechanical in nature, which means they'll always have the potential to fail. Personally, I've never heard of a specific gun brand in which someone hasn't had a problem. Ironically, the only semi-auto I have ever owned in which I haven't experienced any problems (FTF, FTE, etc.) is my M&P 40 Compact, any many others seem to report problems. Good read.
I have a few thousand rounds through my Glock with zero issues. Will it wear and break? Sure at some point. That's why you keep up with maintenance and keep a few spare parts around. But isn't that true for everything and not just guns.
My Wilson, so far, is bulletproof also. Absolutely no problems but hasn't had near the rounds through it that the Glock has. I also have a Kimber and I am having a few issues with it that I'm working through. Would I trust the Kimber as a carry weapon? Not at this point but most likely will when all the bugs get worked out.
I will (and do) carry my Glock. I trust it. I plan on carrying the Wilson after a few more rounds when my confidence level with it is on par with that of the Glock.
I'm not disputing what you are saying (my Kimber is proof) but there are still quality, reliable guns out there. Some get test fired a significant amount (Wilson) before they leave the shop. Sometimes you do get what you pay for.
Originally Posted by kpw
Yeah... scary, aint it? To be fair, when my mother owned the gun, it didn't get shot a lot. Couple hundred rounds in a year, maybe. It was her under-the-pillow gun (don't mess with my mom), and we had to pry it out of her hands to go give it a healthy workout a few times per year. I would call that "less than moderate" shooting.
Over the past 15 years, it went through significantly more use, and the spring was clearly in need of replacing. I just replaced it last month.
My mom wasn't too hip on handguns until my dad let her shoot that gun... She was scary accurate with it, and once she shot it, my dad never got it back. She would never consider another gun until arthritis made it too difficult to handle the 1911. It's an unusual gun (for a number of reasons) worthy of a thread of its own just because of a pretty neat story behind it. It's what gave me my love of old 1911's.
Just two. If both fail, you can MacGuyver them into a killer set of explosive numchucks.
Originally Posted by forestranger
Now that's funny:rofl::rofl::rofl:
New Mexico statute only allows 1 firearm if you have your CCL, any more and you are in violation. Like everything else mechanical that I have, I take care of my guns too. Yea I could put some more rounds on a spring set or wait another range trip to clean them but I don't. If I'm having problems with something, I don't carry it until it's proven reliable again. In this world there is only so much worrying you can do before you shut yourself inside a locked room. Most of us prefer to ready ourselves and get out and live life. That's my dos centavos. :22a:
Originally Posted by forestranger
This is another reason why I test any gun I depend on for street and home duty with 1K rounds, minimum.
I hear of folks running a box of ammo (100rds.) or less through their carry guns and declaring it to be 'dependable'. Balderdash.
One thousand rounds minimum with no cleaning, no re-lubing, no nothing but mag changes and new ammo fed into the chamber.
If it can stand that and not hiccup more than three times then in my book it's solid.
Anything less is less.
Solid as long as you realize it could fail on round 1001 or 1002, any mechanical device can fail at any given time, NEVER trust them 100% and always have a back-up plan. :wink:
..... and mine as well.
Originally Posted by QKShooter