This should stir up a hornet's nest.
The following was posted on Survival Blog a while back by a reader who is a firearms instructor. The two are rather long, though I edited for brevity, but are worth reading I think becuase your life may depend upon many of the things mentioned herein. Original here:SurvivalBlog.com
Observations on Real World Pistol Malfunctions and Failures, by PPPP
I just returned from instructing a handgun course with 42 people on my range, and another 40 on my brother's range. (He is also an instructor). I wanted to pass along some information on handgun maintenance and note several observations from this weekend that are typical in the courses we teach (approximately 800 rounds fired [per student] over several days).
First., the [Model] 1911 model handguns took top honors in failures (defined as taking you out of the fight, not just a malfunction). Six of the approximately 25 [Model] 1911s had these problems. (includes both ranges). This is typical! While 1911s have their merits, they are consistently prone to failures. Some are stone cold reliable, but you really won't know until hundreds to thousands of rounds later. Often the most expensive finely-tuned 1911s have the most problems. Have spare parts on hand and know how to service your weapon.
A side note for all handgun users, but particularly the 1911 group: Be sure to check your handgun for sharp edges on the slide, controls and any other piece of the handgun and have these sharp edges removed professionally if possible... you'd be surprised at how many bloody hands we had over the weekend.
Second. The Springfield [Armory] XD grip safety needs to be fully depressed. Not fully gripping the firearm can prevent malfunction clearances and obviously prevent firing the weapon. It was unusual, but one grip safety actually broke, rendering the firearm inoperative.
Third. Recoil springs can get weak after high round-counts causing a failure to feed, so replace them occasionally (applies to all makes and models of handguns).
Fourth. There were a few malfunctions with Glocks, but no failures. Over the long haul the factory plastic sights should be replaced with the more durable iron sights.
Fifth. Use high quality magazines and have lots of them!
Sixth. SIG [brand pistol]s had no failures, but the heavy double action initial trigger pull, followed by the light single action second pull caused students to perform poorly. As a result of the two differing trigger pulls, many students [armed with SIGs] tried to "game it" by leaving the hammer cocked and re-holstering which is a big safety concern. One student narrowly missed shooting his leg when re-holstering because of this. A note on SIGs: While there is nothing wrong with SIG's quality or reliability, remember that due to the two differing trigger pulls this handgun will require three to four times the amount of practice to master compared with any other common handgun.
This is a follow up post by another instructor Also edited for brevity. Original Here: SurvivalBlog.com
I've mentioned to you before that I'm a affiliate instructor with another major firearms training school. The comments made [by correspondent PPPP] about pistol malfunctions are 100% in line with what we see on our firing lines, as well.
We advise our students to run away screaming from any weapon that has 'target', 'match', 'custom', or 'accurized' stamped on the side of them. . . . when you have something with moving parts, the parts need room to move! Most custom shop and high dollar pistols are temperamental beasts that react very poorly to heat and dirt. We see the $1,200+ [Model] 1911 choke and seize up all the time once the guns get hot. Most people buy guns and they never shoot them, in fact, last time I heard a statistic regarding firearms usage in the United States, the national average of rounds fired per gun was seven - and that is over the entire lifetime of the owner! Manufacturers sell guns that they bet will never see hard use, and usually they win that bet. And the tight, 'accurate' 1911s lead that pack. This is why it is imperative that every reader of your blog get out to the range and run their guns for real!
Standing in a booth at the local indoor range, picking your gun up off of a table, and firing when you choose to at a static piece of paper, is at best an exercise in marksmanship. You haven't been training for real until things start breaking. We announce at the beginning of every class, that it is our sincerest hope, that everything our students brought with them - every gun, every holster, every magazine - breaks! If it sucks, we want to find that out now, not when innocent life is on the line. We run the gear and the students hard because that is the only way to truly test things, and it's the best way to build the confidence of the operator.
Things that I would add to the list of bad ideas:
1.) 8-round magazines for the 1911. I've seen few that finish two days of training without blowing apart. Usually the floor plate dislodges from the base of the magazine, leaving the student standing there with a pistol gummed up with loose rounds, a follower and a spring clogging the ejection port, and a magazine body that they can't get out of the well.
2.) Recoil buffers - get these out of your life! Get them out of your pistols and get them out of your rifles! They never fail to disintegrate under heavy use, rendering the weapon useless until disassembled and cleaned out.
3.) Extended this, and enlarged that. Don't modify guns with oversized slide stops or extended mag release buttons, mercury guide rods or rubber grip sleeves, etc... There's one bit of wisdom that I learned the hard way years ago: There is nothing you can buy, bolt, glue or screw to a gun that will align your sights and press your trigger for you. You cannot spend money on things to make you shoot better, regardless of what our modern American mindset tells us. Marksmanship comes from proper technique and proper practice, and good old fashioned work. . . . Save your money and spend it on training!