Can you predict when your gun will stop running?

This is a discussion on Can you predict when your gun will stop running? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Over the years, I’ve observed plenty of stoppages on the range. Most have been due to operator error and can be quickly cleared. Those happening ...

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Thread: Can you predict when your gun will stop running?

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    Can you predict when your gun will stop running?

    Over the years, I’ve observed plenty of stoppages on the range. Most have been due to operator error and can be quickly cleared. Those happening to the more experienced can be serious but preventable with careful maintenance. A piece carried daily will accumulate dirt, dust, and lint in the smallest crevices.

    The firing pin or striker channel must be kept clean and dry. Surfaces that lock up need only a thin film for protection. Cylinders, ejectors, and slide rails need to operate smoothly. The trigger must reset with utter reliability.

    Generally, reset depends on the movement of the disconnector. Models with a disconnect button outside the frame require special attention, because the slide rails can deposit lube and carbon onto the lint accumulated there. Takedown and cleaning is required to clear.

    Revolvers are more difficult to take down. Small internal parts like pawls, springs, pins, and rods can be stressed with violent trigger manipulation, and the cylinder alignment can be compromised with unkindly ejection, forceful latching or unlatching, and chamber cleaning without cylinder support.

    Cylinder rotation can also be impeded when a bullet is pulled out of the case during recoil or a primer is set back before the case releases its grip on the chamber when pressure drops after firing.

    No one can make a mechanical device 100% reliable. Good maintenance and technique can prevent most of the problems. Hopefully, the others will manifest only on the range.
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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    My gun stops running when my heart quits beating. I can't predict that moment in time, but I do know that I can either delay that time, or precipitate it's advance.
    Mechanical problems can't be foreseen even with good maintenance and replacement of parts at risk. The answer to the question is no....impossible to determine.
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    VIP Member Array rammerjammer's Avatar
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    No, I can't predict when they will fail. But I do my best to keep them cleaned and maintained and have to put faith in them.
    "Was there no end to the conspiracy of irrational prejudice against Red Ryder and his peacemaker?"

    Revolvers, “more elegant weapons for a more civilized age.”

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    No one can make a mechanical device 100% reliable. Good maintenance and technique can prevent most of the problems. Hopefully, the others will manifest only on the range.

    Wise words.

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    VIP Member Array Crowman's Avatar
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    I also keep the tank full so it will never stop running....
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    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    a little pm goes a long way with any gun. had a co-worker that never clean his glock 17. it stoped shooting at around the 12th year mark. the firing pin channel got so bad the firing pin stopped moving. it was gumbed up with junk. took some work to clean the gun.
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    Ex Member Array oldrwizr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frankmako View Post
    had a co-worker that never clean his glock 17. it stoped shooting at around the 12th year mark.
    12 years! That's longer than my own life expectancy. I've been wasting time with all that cleaning!

    But seriously, I have no idea how to get into the slide to the firing pin channel. After taking the recoil spring and barrel out I just spray a light coat of No. 9 on the underside of the slide and wipe it down. How often are you supposed to strip a Glock down to its 41 pieces? Didn't see anything in the manual about it.

    ADDENDUM: I just did a little research and some people say to strip the slide down and clean the firing pin channel with a pipe cleaner and don't oil it. Some say the owner's manual says to not go beyond removing the slide so they don't. Others say they take it to a gunsmith for internal cleaning of the slide. You need a special tool to pop out a pin to disassemble the slide, and you have to be careful what order parts are removed and again when they're replaced. This is just an FYI for gun owners such as myself who've never disassembled a slide.

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    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Rollo can predict that any gun he purchases will stop running sometime shortly after he buys it and takes it to the range.
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    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BugDude View Post
    Rollo can predict that any gun he purchases will stop running sometime shortly after he buys it and takes it to the range.
    Rollo is now under contract with Sig Sauer. Their motto used to be "To hell and back reliability".

    Now, it's "To Rollo and Back".
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    Uh, well, sort of.

    With a Browning BDM back in the 1990's, I shot it frequently enough to feel when it was beginning to get that "gritty" feel to it, typically around 300-400 rounds through it without a cleaning. Generally, it would run that long without faults of any kind. Certainly, after the first 10K rds or so, it began to run flawlessly no matter what I did to it, no matter how dirty the ammo or how many hundreds I shoved through the barrel in a session.

    But often it would reach a point when it began to hint at not being quite as smooth as earlier in the session. Very often, soon after it would hang up on one round and I'd know it was time for a cleaning and oiling. Typically, it would be a failure to feed. Sure enough, cleaning the crud out of the mouth/chamber area would be all that was needed, then it would run like a top again. Out of a couple dozen pistols over the years, this is the only one I've experienced that has felt this way just ahead of a burp.
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    Thanks to Rollo, I have a great deal more respect for the SP101.
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    Senior Member Array IAm_Not_Lost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldrwizr View Post
    12 years! That's longer than my own life expectancy. I've been wasting time with all that cleaning!

    But seriously, I have no idea how to get into the slide to the firing pin channel. After taking the recoil spring and barrel out I just spray a light coat of No. 9 on the underside of the slide and wipe it down. How often are you supposed to strip a Glock down to its 41 pieces? Didn't see anything in the manual about it.

    ADDENDUM: I just did a little research and some people say to strip the slide down and clean the firing pin channel with a pipe cleaner and don't oil it. Some say the owner's manual says to not go beyond removing the slide so they don't. Others say they take it to a gunsmith for internal cleaning of the slide. You need a special tool to pop out a pin to disassemble the slide, and you have to be careful what order parts are removed and again when they're replaced. This is just an FYI for gun owners such as myself who've never disassembled a slide.
    You are very smart to be cautious about taking apart your slide without the knowledge to do so, but in truth it is something that takes so little time and effort that you'll be chuckling to yourself when your done. No special tool is needed. You can watch a Youtube vid, but basically all you do is depress your firing pin spacer sleeve, while at the same time pulling out the rear slide cover. From there it's cake, but again, watching a Youtube vid explains it better.
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    VIP Member Array Rollo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BugDude View Post
    Rollo can predict that any gun he purchases will stop running sometime shortly after he buys it and takes it to the range.
    Except for the Ruger Sp101 and 3rd gen Glocks :) That should be a ringing endorsement for those platforms. I will say this though when it comes to wheel guns... I was never under the impression that "revolvers never fail" like some people tend to think about them however I was surprised when I managed to kill my latest acquisition; a S&W 637 within 1 week with less then 200 rounds through it. Honestly folks, let that being a lesson and a constant reminder to you. IF IT IS MAN MADE THEN IT CAN FAIL. I don't care what it is, who made it or how great you think it is. I don't care how highly recommended it is. I don't care what companies name is on it. It's a mechanical device and it could fail at 10 rounds or at 10000 rounds. The important thing is that you can react accordingly. Also, THOROUGHLY vet your gun before you consider using them in a defensive role. Personally, I will no longer consider a gun for defensive carry until it has 500 rounds through it. I know it sucks. You just got that shiny new whatever and your want nothing more then to stick that bad boy (or girl) on your belt and carry it. 500 rounds is a lot of ammo and a lot of money but at the end of the day your life and the lives of your loved ones are worth it.
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    Here's another vote for proper cleaning and maintenance. It's the cheapest way to insure dependable function in any firearm and to avoid the gunsmith.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

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    I carry a Glock; it only stops when the ammo runs out--and that's my fault!
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