The small gun reliability myth.

The small gun reliability myth.

This is a discussion on The small gun reliability myth. within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I keep hearing about the reliability issues with small frame, semi-auto handguns like the Shield, Kel-tec, etc. etc. Well, among my many trade fields I ...

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 50
Like Tree47Likes

Thread: The small gun reliability myth.

  1. #1
    Member Array Guns247's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    A state of awareness
    Posts
    80

    The small gun reliability myth.

    I keep hearing about the reliability issues with small frame, semi-auto handguns like the Shield, Kel-tec, etc. etc. Well, among my many trade fields I am a gunsmith although I don't play one on TV. After all the guns that I have had brought to me and the owner stating "It's not extracting! It jams all the time! It's broke!" I have found that in 95% of the cases it's not a gun issue, it's a GRIP issue.
    Small guns have smaller, lighter parts than full size or even regular compact guns. The slide is quite a bit lighter therefore it does not have as much weight to assist in the kinetic force while moving to the rear or returning into battery. So, to shoot them you must put on your "Man Hands". A good tight, proper grip allows recoil resistance to help keep the frame from moving rearward as easy and keeping more of the kinetic force in the top end of the gun. In other words if you "limp wrist" the gun the energy placement for function is out of whack which causes "fail to extracts" or "fail to feeds". When deciding on a small, micro-sub-compact 9mm, 380, .40 or whatever make sure you can grip it tight enough to shoot it or you may want to stick with a gun that has a little more slide weight. I have several m.s.c. guns and I never have issues with them and when my customers bring them in to me, 90% of the time they run great when I shoot the and I always put at least 40 rounds through them. I just tell my customer to get a stronger grip or get a bigger gun.

    I Tapatalk in your general direction.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    3,932
    Good point, but a design issue that many people have is still a problem. I've had the same experience of being able to shoot other people's guns when they can't. Personally, I've seen and heard of enough parts failures to not trust micro nines (LC9, PF9, P11). Maybe it's cause the manufacturers are putting guns out before they should, using too cheap materials, or the current available material just can't handle the pressures, but I'll not bet my $$$/life on them.
    bmcgilvray likes this.

  3. #3
    Member Array synx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    147
    So wait, you're arguing that a gun that functions when fired under perfect conditions, and chokes otherwise is by definition reliable?

    That's fine and dandy for a range toy, but not something I'm going to be carrying.

  4. #4
    Member Array Sledge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Californ I A
    Posts
    210
    My snubby will fire every time with a soft OR tight grip. I've had a PF9 and a CM9 that failed to extract (PF9) or Failure to feed (CM9, ammo nose diving) which i'm 99% sure wasn't due to grip.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array NickBurkhardt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,049
    In other words

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array blitzburgh's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Coastal SC
    Posts
    3,738
    On top of the limpwristing, I've noticed the pocket rockets tend to be a bit more picky about ammo. I don't have many of them, but my Keltech P32 and PF9 have been flawless. It was my LCP that I just couldn't get to run reliably even after a trip back to the factory.
    Oldpsufan likes this.
    "Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God." - Benjamin Franklin
    "Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn." - C.S. Lewis

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    28,433
    Quote Originally Posted by Guns247 View Post
    After all the guns that I have had brought to me and the owner stating "It's not extracting! It jams all the time! It's broke!" I have found that in 95% of the cases it's not a gun issue, it's a GRIP issue.

    So, to shoot them you must put on your "Man Hands". A good tight, proper grip allows recoil resistance to help keep the frame from moving rearward as easy and keeping more of the kinetic force in the top end of the gun. In other words if you "limp wrist" the gun the energy placement for function is out of whack which causes "fail to extracts" or "fail to feeds".
    Might or might not be the case, across the entire population of shooters. Seems to me that a good percentage of those that report issues with such guns are long-time shooters who've done the dance for a long time, knowing full well the risks of limping it. Myself included. I've had zero issues on several mouse guns, but extreme issues on one brand of mouse guns (Kahr, in this case).

    Anyway. Hard to know what's true. It's good to see a gunsmith recognizing one of the key factors that need to be considered, though.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array Phaedrus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,724
    I can say that some of the guns that people can't seem to make run will run fine in my hands. The really light polymer ones have physics working against them though. If you don't hold 'em pretty hard they don't cycle right.
    "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

    “You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” - Naguib Mahfouz

  9. #9
    Distinguished Member Array Once's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    florida
    Posts
    1,631
    I "man handed" my pt709 and the Nano had issues with both of them.
    I'm "man handing" my 290 rs now and other than a couple of light strikes which went off on the second trigger pull, it's good so far.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array Phaedrus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,724
    My Nano has been flawless for me, between 1500 and 2000 rounds now. It's never malfunctioned for anyone else, either. My Bersa BP9CC was also flawless for me but it gave a couple of other people trouble. I guess I'm just a "hard holder."
    "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

    “You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” - Naguib Mahfouz

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Under a Volkswagen somewhere in Florida
    Posts
    9,452
    I've had ZERO issues with my PT709 (2500+ rounds) and my PT738. I have large thick hands but am able to get enough of a grip to shoot them well. They have a lot of perceived recoil due to the size and weight, so a good firm grip is super important. I'm sure it doesn't account for every issue people experience, but I bet it contributes to a lot of them. The tiny 380 I can only get 1 and a half fingers on the grip...that's tough to hang on to.
    darbo likes this.
    Know Guns, Know Safety, Know Peace.
    No Guns, No Safety, No Peace.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array StormRhydr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Music City, USA
    Posts
    3,342
    Let me quess; A Kahr PM 40. Right?

    Worst pistol I ever bought.

    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Might or might not be the case, across the entire population of shooters. Seems to me that a good percentage of those that report issues with such guns are long-time shooters who've done the dance for a long time, knowing full well the risks of limping it. Myself included. I've had zero issues on several mouse guns, but extreme issues on one brand of mouse guns (Kahr, in this case).

    Anyway. Hard to know what's true. It's good to see a gunsmith recognizing one of the key factors that need to be considered, though.

  13. #13
    Distinguished Member
    Array oldskeetshooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Georgia..South of the mountains, north of the sand flies.
    Posts
    1,708
    I will agree with the improper grip assessment. The manufacturers are pushing the laws of physics on these things. It does take a considerable amount of energy to operate the slide, due to the ultra compressed recoil spring. A loose grip equals less energy applied to an already over compressed recoil spring. However, a limp wrist does not account for sloppy machining, parts failures and poor assembly that many folks, myself included, have experienced with these tiny guns.
    A wise man once said: "Bugout bag?..What's that? Is that all the junk you sidewalk commandos plan on humping when the SHTF...I'll grab a Nylon 66, a box of 22s and a poncho liner and in less than a week I will have all of your stuff and everything else that I need for the duration."

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array peckman28's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,109
    The only small semi-autos here are some old Polish P-64 pistols in 9X18 Makarov, which are much like the Walther PPK. With the exception of one that arrived with a weak recoil spring, they've all been reliable. One of them did bite me though before I figured out just how low the hold has to be....

    As far as carrying goes I'd carry them if I could, though my Ruger LCR is must more likely to find its home in the 'ole pocket holster here.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    North Georgia
    Posts
    7,077
    Love my small autos. While I agree the grip on the pistol is a very important factor with most all of the micro examples, there will be the one or two examples that require a little tuning to bring them around. That's where the OP and folks like him come into play, and I thank them for their efforts. Without their expertise, some of us would be stuck dealing with manufactures that rank the occasional customer as a nuisance as apposed to representatives of their products and craftsmanship.

    I've had my share of malfunctions with some of my pistols, but just about every one of um I can honestly attribute to operator error. In fact, thinking back over the years I can't think of any firearm that I had to send back for servicing. I enjoy tinkering with my guns and making modifications here and there to fit my particular needs and wants, so the occasional adjustment is no big deal to me. Having the proper tools around sure makes things a lot easier, that's for sure.
    Oldpsufan likes this.
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." – Luke 22:36

    "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." – Thomas Jefferson

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Sponsored Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Search tags for this page

bersa bp9cc

,

bersa bp9cc reliability

,

glock reliability myth

,

mouse gun reliability

,

sig sauer 290rs

,

sig sauer 290rs too wide

Click on a term to search for related topics.