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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2 questions.

Is there any empirical data that shows FTF/FTE of various pistols?

The reason I ask, and I hope this does not start a "my gun is better than your gun" debate..is
I have noticed many people at the gun range shooting certain pistols that I would not (Carry) for personal defense.

2) What failure rate is acceptable?

I see people shooting various makes & models and truly notice FTF or FTE issues.

Granted; nearly all of us use the cheapest range ammo we can find, but I can honestly say in over 3,000 rnds thru my gun,
I've only had (One) FTF due to what was a bad primer. (Pssst) was all I heard.

Personally, I want a gun that can shoot buffalo crap if necessary! What I mean to say, I hear people all the time claiming this gun or that gun is a little finnicky with certain types of ammo or the gun must be meticulously cleaned every time.

Sorry, if a weapon is that intolerant, I don't want it. Nor do I want it if it FTF even one out of 500 rnds with Winchester White Box..
 

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I dont know about empirical data but I agree with you. I have sold several weapons that were finicky. I dont keep guns for range use. They are all defensive weapons if need be and will go bang when I slap the bang switch. A 1,000 dollar gun is worthless if it doesnt funtion with perfect reliability.
 

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my glock 23 had a couple jams due to a bad magazine after i fixed the problem never jammed again. ive put about 2,000 rounds through it since buying it new in december. i bought a used glock 21 and sigmna 9mm and have put around 500 rounds though both since buying them 3 months ago and they have never jammed or had any problems. and my glocks will eat any thing i put in em. even that metal tulammo. same for my s&w sigma it will eat up anything. i love both of those brands and will only buy those 2 brands most likely
 

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1. None that I know of

2. My question to you is "What is an acceptable failure rate for you ???" Everyone will have a different opinion. As with all things that are *Man-Made* they will ALL fail.

God Bless :smile:
 

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Good luck.

Only guns I've had that have yet to screw up are my 1911s and my 229 9mm.

That's right. Even the vetted Glock 19 choked on a round of ball once. 238 is VERY picky, M&P 9c forgot to kick one out, and had an M&P 357 SIG that would nosedive a fresh mag of HST.

Well, I do have a Glock 32 that has yet to hang up.

Odd that the 102 year old design has run so well. After all, the "pros" tell a guy how unreliable it is.

Whatever. It's my tail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
1. None that I know of

2. My question to you is "What is an acceptable failure rate for you ???" Everyone will have a different opinion. As with all things that are *Man-Made* they will ALL fail.

God Bless :smile:
Great question. As I said in my OP, 3,000 rnds and no prob except for a bad primer. Even since then, and I've stopped keeping count now, not a single FTF/FTE...and yep, that was a major factor I considered when I bought my G27 Gen 4.
Yep..It has to go bang when I squeeze the trigger. The Glocks seem to do that well time and again.
I could give a hoot in hell for a gun that (may) be more accurate but not much in reliability and consistency.

I'm surprised there are no studies, or at least none I know of.
I'm an avid golfer. There are machines that test clubs over and over with consistency looking for variation.
I would think the mfg would love to have data to support their consistency & reliability claims.
 
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Well, for normal citizen self-defense carry if a firearm will not function reliably with a certain configuration of hollow point ammunition and the person just does not carry the gun with that particular hollow point or bullet nose configuration then I don't see that as being any sort of real problem.

If a handgun happens to be functionally finicky with one ammo brand and functions perfectly with another brand then just stock up on what feeds and functions perfectly and for all practical intent and purposes the problem is solved.

I would never judge any handgun based on how it functions with Winchester White Box.

There is a good reason why WWB is inexpensive. It's because it's cheap ammo and it is sometimes inconsistent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If a handgun happens to be functionally finicky with one ammo brand and functions perfectly with another brand then just stock up on what feeds and functions perfectly and for all practical intent and purposes the problem is solved.
Agreed. But how many rounds would one have to fire to consider a weapon unreliable?
For me the tolerance should be as close to zero as possible.

One jam out of 1,000 is unacceptable; to me. So it sounds like a personal decision process?
 

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It's something I have never really worried about. Even a gun that runs well but bobbles every now and then is perfectly acceptable to me.
I have found that every firearm is a law unto itself, and must be individually learned. Even a gun that may have a simple stovepipe stoppage every once and awhile is one that I will use, although I don't have any that are like that currently.

Maybe a better question would be" how proficient is the shooter on drills to get his gun up and running again?"
That's the only predictable variable of the equation.
 

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I think you have to realize there are at least two very distinct categories of people who actually carry guns for defense:

1st group own a gun but don't really think much beyond that. To them the .25 acp is no different than a 9mm. You won't likely see these guys actually wear their gun, if they do you will not find them with a good holster or belt. No, most often the gun is left in the car/truck or stuck in a pocket when they go to "bad parts" of town. They shoot 50 rounds annually, don't train, read books, study ballistics, and learn new tactics. Two or Three FTF's per mag seems about right to these guys. I know a lot of guys like this. Should they ever have to deploy and use their firearm (assuming they actually have it on them) it will be blind luck if they win.

Group 2 is more like the members of this forum. We really care about our safety. Sure, we are seen as paranoid by a lot of folks, but we are also the ones our neighbors and friends will run to when the crap is hitting the proverbial fan. We'll drop $200 on a belt or holster and not even think twice, and ammo is bought by the case rather than the box. We'll spend hours watching Tnoutdoors9 channel on youtube before we decide to try a given hollow point, and then spend $100 shooting those rounds out of our carry guns to verify function. To us 1 FTE or FTF is way too many, although we know how to quickly "tap, rack, bang" and get back in the fight. We shoot weekly if we can hide it from our wives, bi-weekly at least. We can spend an hour looking through the glass cases at our local gun store (called "LGS" and we know what that means) and dream of a IDPA match we could win with that Wilson 1911. We'd rather spend a weekend at Thunder Ranch than TPC Sawgrass, and think $1000 is a heckuva deal. We'll even become amatuer lawyers, reading obscure legislation and carry laws till we know more than your average public defender. And lastly, we train till we can't get it wrong. Should we ever have to deploy our weapons in a fight, we will likely win and luck isn't really a factor.

That is my take.
 

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Here's a blurb from the CZ website for the P-01 (http://www.cz-usa.com/products/view/cz-p01/):

Reliability: The U.S. Army "Mean Rounds Between Failure" (MRBF) requirement is 495 rounds for 9mm pistols. During testing of the CZ P-01, the average number of stoppages was only 7 per 15,000 rounds fired. This is a .05% failure rate or an MRBF of 2142!


I've keep a spread sheet of shooting since September 2010.

For my CZ75D PCR I had some failures to feed the first couple of boxes. I examined how the bullets were catching and I dremel polished the top of the barrel opposite the feed ramp. I have since fired 1888 rounds without any failure. I carry this gun.

For my SIG 229 in 9MM I have fired 763 rounds without failure (never had a failure in it, 763 rounds total through it).

For may Hi Power I have fired 200 rounds without failure (never had a failure in it, 200 rounds total through it).

That's the data for my center-fire semi's.

For all of my .38 and .44 revolvers, over the last three years 5,922 rounds. There have been three failures - one was due to the leaf spring in a use revolver I purchased being loose (aka a "poor man's trigger job"); one was due to a very weak after market Wolff leaf spring that I replaced with the factory leaf spring; and one was in used revolver I purchased that was hadn't been oiled since the Regan administration. These were all easy fixes and I'd trust them all with my life.

If a revolver fails, I just pull the trigger again.

If a semi fails, I need to clear it. But absent some catastrophic failure you can clear a jam pretty quick if you practice. Just take some dummy rounds and an empty casings and make some stovepipes and practice clearing them.
 

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Personally, I want a gun that can shoot buffalo crap if necessary!
Me too! This is the beauty of revolvers. I have thousands of rounds through two different all-steel S&W revolvers, and never a single hiccup. They will take all kinds of abuse and it doesn't matter how bad your grip is...as long as you can pull the trigger, it will say "bang". Higher capacity is great, but there's a lot to be said for the old "5 FOR SURE". :smile:

That being said, I can't always conceal a revolver, and this is where the super small sub-compact semis come in handy. I'm a very imperfect shooter, so if I can put hundreds of rounds through this type of gun without an FTE, I'm okay with that, if the gun otherwise shoots well. I don't expect thousands of flawless rounds from this type of gun.
 

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I have only bought one gun in recent years that had an unacceptable failure rate, a DB 380. I experienced light strikes, FTE and then a broken trigger on the first range trip. Called DB and got rash of garbage about the cheap ammo i was using, even though he never asked what ammo i was firing, from there customer service rep..the gun was returned for repair. Several weeks later I got the gun back and took a trip to the range, trigger was fine but experienced one light strike and two FTE on the first magazine. Traded the gun at the very next gun show.
 

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Agreed. But how many rounds would one have to fire to consider a weapon unreliable?
For me the tolerance should be as close to zero as possible.

One jam out of 1,000 is unacceptable; to me. So it sounds like a personal decision process?
It's an interesting topic and it is one that has been debated for some time now.
There are just so many variables that the fickle finger of fate even enters into the equation.

If you own a firearm and take it out and shoot the heck out of it and then suffer two FTFs on round #300 & then you take it out and shoot it again and it runs perfectly but, then FTFs on round # 260 - Will it FTF on rounds 1 through 8 in a self defensive scenario after it has been back home & cleaned and re-lubed? It's highly doubtful.

Will a given firearm function flawlessly at the range but, the very first round needed in a defensive scenario be a squib / have a defective primer? It's always possible.

Years ago I saw a Taurus that ran flawlessly right up until the thumb safety broke off still in the on position. That was a totally unexpected catastrophic failure that would have cost a life in a defensive situation.

I think that naturally we should want our self-defense firearm to always function as perfectly as possible. I also do think that that the chances of any high quality handgun failing right at the exact moment it's needed are relatively minute.

It s also always a good thing to train and be able to instinctively run the gun well enough so that any Failure To function/Feed/Eject/Jam will then be much less of an issue because then one is able to quickly still stay in the fight.

I know that for my own personal carry firearms (which are pretty much either 1911s or a P220) I make certain that they feed upside down, sideways, and whatever way with my carry ammo. I carry with high quality ammunition etc etc etc but, I had been punching paper once when the tack welded bottom blew off of a factory magazine.
Totally unexpected and that one actually really through me for a loop because it was such a totally rare malf and for (what would have been) critical moments in a defensive scenario - I had ears on & had absolutely no idea what had just happened. ~~~>:confused:

I really do not shoot around any other people much at all these days but, back when I did - I have seen some really weird things happen with firearms.

Thankfully they pretty much always work when needed and when lives are on the line. When things REALLY GET BAD the firearms typically function much better than the human beings operating them. :biggrin2:
 

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While they've only done a small selection of guns, PT.com has run some impressive torture tests on some HK, Glock and 1911 guns. While you can't expect any sample of one to be definitive, it seems that if you want a reliable sidearm you could do worse than the HK45. In their test, the gun fired 31,522 rounds before the first failure (a PT record), and had just a single failure out of 50,000 rounds.
 

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Feed failure

I have had FTE on both my glock 36's and compact 1911. All due to my own error, firing too fast and not keeping them oiled enough.

I have run some hand loads thru the 36 that it did not like, but factory ammo of any make seems to works fine.
 

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Is there any empirical data that shows FTF/FTE of various pistols?
Any empirical data on the test examples of any given make/model of gun only show what those test examples achieved, and that by itself only has marginal utility to explain all examples of that make/model with respect to the likelihood they'll perform similarly. Depends on how perfectly identical the manufacturer is in design/fabrication/assembly of their products.

That said, IMO about the best you can do is to hunt down various third-party, independent tests, as many as you can find, even if they are done by unknown groups or individuals. That, combined with as many actual user comments as you can track down, should be sufficient to give you a better than even chance at identifying a gun that'll perform well with you. Of course, some of it will also depend on your hand/technique and the ammo used, as well as your maintenance/lubrication regimen.

2) What failure rate is acceptable?
For me, 500+ rounds of my carry ammo is where I begin to believe it'll not fail when needed. 1000+ rds is better. And I don't even begin to hammer it with carry ammo until the gun's well broken in. With that regimen, I've only had a handful of handguns out of 20+ over the years that have ended up nearly flawless, or flawless (after a couple hundred rounds of initial break-in). And I've had all sorts of handguns.

Personally, I want a gun that can shoot buffalo crap if necessary! What I mean to say, I hear people all the time claiming this gun or that gun is a little finnicky with certain types of ammo or the gun must be meticulously cleaned every time.
Over the years, I've had two pistols perform that way: CZ P-01 (75 series) 9mm, and H&K P2000SK 9mm LEM. About as close to flawless as I could hope for. A Browning BDM 9mm back in the 1990's also turned into a machine, after several thousand rounds of break-in, too. Rumor has it, across many thousands of similar reports and torture tests by many independent groups over the years, that the Glock 19/17 series of pistols are this sort as well. So do several of the H&K pistols, including the USP, HK45, P2000.
 
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