Handgun Reliability

Interesting thoughts on the subject found HERE.


About gunwriter

Born and raised in the West Virginia hills, Richard literally grew up in the woods. He has chased coon hounds until daylight, waited out whitetails perched high in an oak, canoed the New River and hunted from the Montana Mountains to the Green Hills of Africa. During service in the Army and later as a municipal police officer and Special Agent with the railroad police, Richard obtained numerous certifications in small arms instruction. He has trained military personnel, law enforcement officers and civilians in the application of firearms for defensive, competitive and recreational use. Richard won the West Virginia Governor’s Twenty Award for law enforcement, the West Virginia National Guard State Pistol Competition and earned his Distinguished Medal with pistol. Badge turned in, Richard is now a contributing editor for several magazines. He was the compiling author of the book, Rifle Bullets for the Hunter and conceptualized and contributed to Selecting and Ordering a Custom Hunting Rifle. Richard also contributed a chapter to the John Velke book, The True Story of the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency. Richard has patents on a riflescope reticle and a revolutionary bullet testing media. A hillbilly at heart, Richard lives on Shadowland - his shooting range in West Virginia - with the most understanding wife in the world, their three kids and a very protective ridgeback hound.
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2 Responses to Handgun Reliability

  1. Idaho Al says:

    I am not a facebook user, never will be. Therefore, I refuse to log into facebook (for security reasons) which makes links to facebook virtually worthless to me.
    If I can’t read an article on this site, it won’t be read

  2. gunwriter says:

    Idaho Al,
    Understood. Copied the comments just for you. Some stuff is missing but most of it can bee seen below:

    Gunsite Academy Okay, here’s another one: How reliable does your carry pistol need to be?

    Matthew Speckman If your gun fails, shot placement is irrelevant. Practice, practice, practice. Know how to clear malfunctions.
    Joe Bailey β€Ž100% of how much you value yourself and those you protect!
    Phill Zimmerman I would like to say 100% but nothing is perfect. Including a Glock. Lol. Buy the way I got the lcr with the big dot sight, love it! Thanks Ed!
    Talon Tactical I want zero malfunctions for several hundred rounds before I carry a pistol
    Caleb Giddings Anyone that’s been to a gun school will know that there are no magic swords, and that with enough use, every gun from Glocks to top end 1911s will break. That being said, I personally wouldn’t carry a gun that couldn’t fire 1000 consecutive rounds without a parts breakage or malfunction of some sort. That’s not 1000 rounds at once, but broken up over, say no more than 4 sessions.
    Neil K. LeBeau u need the reliability of a revolver in your carry pistol. if can’t be “that” reliable then just break out with the ol j-frame 38spl+p
    Kim Roberts β€Ž100%–it has to work at the critical moment. Although nothing is guarunteed, so you better train on what to do in the event of a fail.
    Dustin Ellermann β€Ž100% in 1,000 rounds sounds great. But not sure any of mine actually do that 😦 Kahr P40 needs a butt slap everyonce and a while and LCR does as well. I like the idea to drill for malfunctions.
    Jeff Morley β€Ž3 different Beretta 92 pistols: >10,000 rounds total with no failures. That’s enough for me. I wouldn’t hesitate to carry any 92.
    Robert Chambers And you should regularly exercise your carry pistol, and keep it clean even if you haven’t shot it. A carry pistol can collect fibers and dust from being around clothing.
    Katherine La Follett If your life depends on it…you better be carrying 2!!!!! See…I listen!! =-)
    Jim Riggs Since perfection is found only in the eyes of God, I will carry something as close to perfectly reliable as possible, and practice tap-rack-bang religiously
    Bill George Your life might depend in it. Unless you are Chuck Norris.
    Daniel Wilkins Completely. How often do you trade out the defensive ammo in your magazines?
    Tom Miller over 2000 rds. in my 1911,,the army made sure i knew how to use it,,now i own 3,,.45,,nothing else will measure up……..
    Chris Brown If you’re carrying for self defense, it has to be absolutely, no-matter-what reliable. Unless you like to gamble with your life or those of your loved ones.
    Mike Steele Is that even a question? YOu and the gun have to be reliable or you should leave it in a draw with your underwear.
    Andy Moynihan The one you swear BY rather than AT.
    Jason Metcalfe
    β€ŽAsk matt burkett how many beretta 92s broke at recent class. πŸ˜‰
    Carry gun = It has to be something you aren’t afraid to train with, no safe queens for carry. High level of proficiency with that model or exact gun. 4 weekends of …6-1k rounds of training should have it prove reliable. Test and rotate carry ammo too. See More
    John Benson
    The only time your gun is reliable, is when one has the education and the know how to get that gun back into a fight in case of malfunction. Then and only then can ones weapon be reliable. Remember we use a mechanical device for personal de…fense. Do we not still change the oil in our cars or do we as consumers purchase the most “reliable” car on the market and not change the oil or do maintenance?
    Practice, knowledge, and Gunsite classes…You can’t go wrong!


    Jeff Morley β€Ž@Jason: Ok, you’ve convinced me to sell my Berettas….not.
    Tom Miller ask some friends of mine that are in Iraq what they prefer,,,.45 is what they will say,,1911,,9’s are for plinking and shootin fish in the river,,,,
    Chuck Goins
    Nothing mechanical is 100% reliable.
    10,000 rounds without a stoppage means nothing if round #10,001 fails. You can’t predict it. You CAN practice, maintain, and be as prepared as possible with what you know to be a solid platform that you …are comfortable and accurate with.
    2 is 1 and 1 is none.
    Steve Griffiths Personally I prefer my carry gun to be of a known quality manufacturer (Colt or S&W in my case) and to have a minimum of 500 rounds through it.

    Oh and if I can, I’ll carry a backup gun too.
    Dusty Chapman What a dumb question. I have used a 92 for IDPA & other comps for 3 years with 0 malfunctions. Clean your gun momo’s.
    Brian J. Todd Custom-built 1911 .45.
    Craig Hoyt TFR
    Matt Eskes My Custom Tanfoglio Force Steel is the only thing I’ll depend on. Never let me down.
    Jon Matousek Simple, it needs to work when you need it.
    Billy Waddell If I have even a single failure that I can attribute to the pistol itself rather than to out-of-spec ammunition, bad magazine, springs that need replacing, or insufficient cleaning or lubrication (that latter isn’t a problem for me, as I’m OCD about cleaning and lubing), I would be concerned about carrying the pistol for protection. I’ve had no such failures in either of my two primary carry guns, after many thousands of rounds.
    J Thomas Carlson When Ya Point It For Business It Needs To Go “BOOM” Until Business Is Finished.
    Rick Chute β€Ž100%
    Barbara Knoebel Reliability is #1 and large enough caliber to stop the action #2… .having spare ammo … I’m forgetting the person behind the gun for now…
    B. Kelly Saine How reliable? As reliable as a mechanical device can be – and I still have contigency plans, i.e. gun #2 …. or #3. :^) If I can’t attribute a malfunction to the shooter or the ammo in a clean gun – it isn’t reliable in my book.
    Chambers Custom Pistols
    It should be 100% reliable. But you should also train and know it intimately. If you don’t train with it, the reliability may not matter…this is a big problem in the U.S. People have forgotten the old adage, “Beware the man with one gun, …he may know how to use it.” They get “carried” away with all the options and most folks never get to know one carry gun truly intimately…

    From a builders perspective I say buy the most reliable, accurate weapon you can afford and then train like your life depends on it, because it very well may some day.See More
    John M Sheffield Reliable enough to depend your life on it.
    Barbara Knoebel Maybe that is why I carry a backup gun along with my carry gun….. anything can break at anytime
    Gunsite Academy
    Here’s my answer: My carry pistol, a Colt LW Commander full house Novak custom, has to fire 17 rounds on demand. I only carry 17 rounds so that’s as far as it needs to go. Of course, it will do much better than that, and I will probably …never need 17 rounds to get through a fight. Your carry pistol needs to be as reliable as possible and you need to be well trained to use it if necessary.
    Judson Miers Would have to say in excess of 1 failure in 10,000 would be too many. πŸ™‚
    Gary Bruce Taylor As reliable as possible, but everything breaks sooner or later so we all should carry a 2nd pistol to be sure of approaching 100% reliability.
    Gary Jones R=0.999 to 0.9999
    B M Llaneta Jr Reliable enough to go “bang” when you need it.
    Gary Thalmann Reliable enough to go bang each time I press the trigger.
    David Richardson My carry pistol, a Colt LW Commander full house Aldrich custom, consistently fires 21 rounds on demand. I hope it never gets tested other than at the range and occasional IDPA matches
    Richard Mann
    The problem is reliability verification. Run 1000 rounds through a gun and then you proclaim it is reliable…but…it just might break the next time you pull the trigger. Financially, all of us are somewhere between a single box of ammo an…d a personal body guard. Won’t carry a gun until it has proven reliable? What you gonna carry until you have the proof you want?
    If it will run 50 rounds of carry ammo reliably, trust it until it pukes.
    Gunsite Academy Exactly, who is going to have the time or money to do a 10,000 round test? And, let’s say Shooting Illustrated ponies up so Richard can run such a test. All that tells you is something about one sample. Doesn’t mean your pistol is going to perform the same. Run 50, maybe 100 rounds of carry ammo, and if it works, carry it.
    Richard Cremeans extremely reiliable! living better than dead!
    Dennis Desperado Pegg As reliable as possible, then you need to be on top of your training “game” and a nice back up doesn’t hurt either…
    Philip Kevin Williams Just as reliable as I want my parachute to be.
    3 hours ago

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