Most durable and dependable all steel 9mm?


August 5, 2008, 06:01 PM
What is your opinion on the most durable and dependable all steel 9mm pistol? Looking to possibly add another 9mm to the collection. Concealability is a factor but isn't priority number 1.

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August 5, 2008, 06:02 PM
Ruger P-series... butt-ugly and bulletproof.

August 5, 2008, 06:06 PM
Beretta 92FS.

August 5, 2008, 06:07 PM
I agree with the Ruger reommendation. Makarov is another that comes to mind but I'm guessing you're wanting a 9X19. You could also look into a 9mm 1911 style pistol.

Good luck

August 5, 2008, 06:17 PM
Browning Hi-Power. Graceful lines, comfortale. and accurate.

August 5, 2008, 06:30 PM
German produced Sig P22X series.

August 5, 2008, 06:31 PM
What is your opinion on the most durable and dependable all steel 9mm pistol? Looking to possibly add another 9mm to the collection. Concealability is a factor but isn't priority number 1.

Browning Hi-Power
Sig 226
Beretta 92 (Frame is aluminum)

I highlight the Hi-Power because it is a bit slimmer than the others, making it easier to conceal.

August 5, 2008, 06:33 PM
Probably the cz 75, aren't ruger frames a composite??
Otherwise the Ruger P series is ultra reliable but yikes they sure are ugly!:barf:

August 5, 2008, 06:35 PM
Beretta 92FS

FWIW, the frame on the 92FS is an aluminum alloy, not steel. I know there are some 92 variants that have a steel frame, and you can feel the weight difference.

I will nominate the CZ75.

August 5, 2008, 06:41 PM
Maybe try a CZ-75B, the Compact model, if you want better concealability.

Bartholomew Roberts
August 5, 2008, 06:57 PM
Hmmm, the most durable and depenable 9mm isn't all steel; however given that limitation I would look at:

Browning Hi-Power
SIG P226

The only one I have extensive experience with is the Hi-Power. My high round count Hi-Power has 27,992 rounds logged on it so far. I've replaced the slide stop, recoil spring guide, ejector, grip screw, and firing pin retaining plate due to breakage on that pistol (first breakage around 15k rounds).

August 5, 2008, 07:08 PM
Browning Hi-Power. Graceful lines, comfortale. and accurate.
Well the Hipower is an elegant and superb pistol, it is not one of the most durable. Durable enough, but not the most by a long shot.

Based on rental range reports two of the best are

August 5, 2008, 07:30 PM
Well the Hipower is an elegant and superb pistol, it is not one of the most durable. Durable enough, but not the most by a long shot I have to agree. Lots of people are really swept up by the Hi-power, and while it's a great pistol, my experience with them has been so-so. They are nice shooters, but I'd never consider them that durable and dependable. A relative of mine owns a Belgian Hi-Power (and has for many years) and it's been average in durability and dependability, no where near as reliable as my Sigs, and it won't feed even hollows reliably. Maybe it's a lemon, but that's my take on them.

August 5, 2008, 07:57 PM
Probably the cz 75, aren't ruger frames a composite??

They have some polymer frame models, but the metal P-series frames are aluminum alloy.

Concealability is a factor but isn't priority number 1.

I'd look at a BHP and a CZ-75.


August 5, 2008, 08:05 PM
those 3rd generation Smith & Wesson all steel 9mm are pretty nice and reliable too.

August 5, 2008, 08:07 PM
Glock 17:)

August 5, 2008, 08:43 PM
To bartholomew...which polymer pistol are you referring to?

Marlin 45 carbine
August 5, 2008, 08:46 PM
for hi-cap S&W 5900 series that have steel frames - the '06 is S/S. as stout if not more than Ruger.

August 5, 2008, 08:54 PM
I'd suggest checking out the SIG P239. Durable...dependable...concealable.

August 5, 2008, 09:05 PM
Taking concealability into mind, the MKIII Hi Power and the CZ-75.

August 5, 2008, 09:10 PM
S&w 5906.

August 5, 2008, 09:23 PM
The CZ 75 PCR.

August 5, 2008, 09:50 PM
The Browning HP, without question.

Daryl Licht
August 5, 2008, 09:50 PM
The OP specified, IIRC, all steel. I've only seen maybe 3 suggestions here that meet that criteria, the CZ75's, BHP's, and the Smiths. The metal framed Rugers are aluminum, as are the Sigs.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy or use any of the guns suggested, but the guy said ALL STEEL.

Kilted Cossack
August 5, 2008, 09:50 PM
I could be wrong here, but aren't the frames of the PCR, the SIG P239, the SIG P226 and the Ruger 9mms (except the polymer versions) all made of alumin-i-um alloy?

Steel frames and steel slides? That's a field I'm fairly unfamiliar with, but I'd expect the CZ75 and 3d Gen S&Ws to be up there in durability and dependability.

The Lone Haranguer
August 5, 2008, 11:03 PM
I will say CZ75 and the all steel (carbon or stainless) Smith & Wessons.

August 5, 2008, 11:17 PM
The CZ-75, Browning Hi-power, and the S&W 5906 series are the only all steel 9mm's that come to mind other than a few built on 1911 frames. The Beretta, Ruger P-89, and SIG pistols are aluminum frames.

The S&W guns are highly under rated and may be thge best of the bunch.

3 gun
August 5, 2008, 11:39 PM
Any CZ.

August 6, 2008, 01:25 AM
I'll suggest a 9mm Tokarev TT-33 (or Tokarev-clone, i.e. Norinco 213).

All steel, massively durable, very little recoil/muzzle flip, easily taken down & simple construction, 4-1/2" barrel, sufficiently accurate within CQB ranges, and AK-like dependability.
At close range (15yds & less) it's a snap to sight down the slide (or use the finger-point method) and hammer targets in the A-zone.

While a full-size pistol, the TT-33 is a very slim piece, and doesn't print as readily as other full-size handguns.... especially wide high-capacity, or medium-frame/compact pistols with magazine/grip extensions.

Tokarevs are single-action only, and generally have an awkward (or no) manual safety.
They were designed originally with only a half-cock "safety", but as of yet nobody (including the Soviets) could get the hammer to release without pulling the trigger (or running it over with a tank). Seriously. The Soviet Army did drop-tests of TT-33s from 3 story buildings onto concrete and they wouldn't accidentally fire, and TT-33 collectors have reported that repeated pounding on the cocked hammer with a mallet or 2x4 would also fail to accidentally fire the pistol. The half-cock also serves as a catch, requiring that constant pressure be maintained upon the trigger for the hammer to fully drop. Jarring/snagging the trigger will release the hammer, but it will catch at the half-cock.
Most imported TT-33s have an added manual safety, with there being two types; one locks the trigger and is just above it, and the other is a trigger/sear disconnect located at the rear of the frame. Either are effective, although the trigger/sear disconnect used on Norincos is easier to rapidly manipulate.
Some people refuse to carry their TTs locked-n'-cocked, but plenty others who have a TT-33 as their main carry-piece (including myself) have no compunctions against doing so.... which overcomes the slow SAO and allows an 8+1 round capacity.
Although taking a lot of cues from the 1911 & Browning 1903, Tokarev did do a few things differently. Two of the most notable is the modular hammer/sear assembly which has integral round guides and drops out as a whole, and internal feed lips which aid & ensure proper cartridge feeding in case of a damaged magazine. The TT-33 was designed to endure the high-pressure 7.62x25mm subgun cartridges, so it can also endure +P 9mm rounds as readily.
As I said before, the TT-33 is a snap to field-strip

Aside from a low magazine capacity (for a 9mm, unless you can find a 12rd Norinco Model 213); a near-90 degree grip angle which some people find uncomfortable; an obviously military trigger-pull (gritty, but not bad); and the aforementioned added-safety, the Tokarev TT-33 makes for a very affordable and capable defensive handgun.

August 6, 2008, 02:53 AM
The venerable WWII P38 from the Walther, Mauser, and Spreewerk plants: still locking and loading and going strong after 65+ years. And you can put that in your modern-day firearms and smoke it! :)

August 6, 2008, 03:25 AM
What about a Kahr T9? Not as popular as the K9, but I really want one of these. Amazing it has a 4" barrel yet only 6.5" long, all steel and under 30oz, and less than an inch wide. N.S. and nice wood grips.

August 6, 2008, 04:22 AM
If I were going to choose an all-steel 9mm pistol destined for a lot of use I'd pick up a 5906/5906TSW. I'd think it not unfair to categorize them as under-rated 'workhorse' pistols. The 3906 would be a close runner-up, too, even though it's a single column model.

I'd think the Browning HP could also be considered a viable choice. Their reliability with feeding JHP ammunition might be variable, though, depending on the particular pistol. You can also hear of different experiences regarding the magazines.

I have a copy of a FBI Academy Firearms Training Unit report titled Semiautomatic Pistols 1987-88 (which I received when I attended a LE firearms instructor course in which the FBI was involved). It discusses the results of in-house testing of several 9mm service-type pistols popular back in the 80's. While the Browning wasn't included in the testing, it did note in the commentary section, for comparison purposes, that the Brownings used by their HRT (at that time) had over 80,000 rounds through them and were still considered good (notwithstanding replacement of barrels and small parts).

Although I've handled and used Brownings with good results ... (I have a friend who used to enjoy working on them, and kept a nicely tuned example which reliably fed JHP ammunition and exhibited excellent accuracy) ... I don't care for them, myself. However, that's not to imply there's anything 'wrong' with them, only that they don't particularly suit my tastes. Different strokes.

Although I can't remember spending any range-time with one, I'd think the P226ST might deserve some consideration, too.

FWIW, I've always wished that S&W had offered a stainless steel-framed version of their excellent 3913 model. A '3916', as it were. Such a model would have a good chance of becoming my choice in the 'one & only' 9mm defensive pistol category. ;)

August 6, 2008, 04:49 AM
don't forget the new CZ inspired designs being imported by Armalite as well as the Witness guns and Baby Eagles.

There are also the old Star pistols that had quite a reputation for being tough as nails. Sadly, I think those no longer qualify as they are all getting on in age and parts aren't exactly plentiful anymore.

August 6, 2008, 09:03 AM

HK P7..


August 6, 2008, 10:49 AM
HK P7 or Beretta 92 Steel I (all steel version...and very pretty).

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
August 6, 2008, 10:51 AM
A lot of knowledgeable people think the CZ 75 series wins the most-durable race, due to the slide design. Supposed to stand up to many thousands of +P rounds.

August 6, 2008, 11:24 AM
Baby Eagle - not one malfunction in ten years.
All steel, big, heavy, what's not to like?


August 6, 2008, 11:33 AM
Slide mounted decocker to start with.

August 6, 2008, 11:37 AM
The rugers have polymer and/or aluminum frames.

The beretta has an aluminum frame, as do Sigs.

Most reliable, durable, accurate, all-steel 9mm? I'd go with a CZ-75B or Hi-Power.

August 6, 2008, 12:06 PM
CZ 75 Variants
CZ 75B - thumb safety
CZ 75B Compact w/Thumb Safety
CZ 75BD - De-Cocker

S&W 5906
Browning Hi-Power P-35
THe Brits had a standing order of no more than
12 in the mag. and with the normal troops of today
coming in, a DA/SA with Decocker seems preferred.

Guess I made my decision since I own a CZ 75B - left
the factory in Jan. '08 - It has 715 rds of various FMJ &
JHPS with 100% reliability.

I had a browning Hi-Power in the early '80s. One of the first
models with adjustable sights. THe sights were better than the
Combat Commander I had at the time in .45 ACP. It did have the
occaisional FTF and FTE=Stovepipe with one brand of ammo
Federal I think. Nice but it and the CZ 75B could use a bit
bigger tab on the thumb safety.

I think the Colt COmbat Commander in 9MMx19 suffers like the
T33 in single stack mag. capacity.


August 6, 2008, 12:47 PM
Browning Hi Power
HK P7 series

August 6, 2008, 01:20 PM
Hmm. Seems no one has mentioned the Sig 226ST in 9mm. They are getting tougher to find as everyday passes. I have a 226ST .40 and I love it. Seems a little bigger than my other 226's made from alloy, however with the same Sig quality. Another is HK P7M8 (wish I had the duckets).

August 6, 2008, 01:22 PM
A friend of mine is going to buy his first gun this weekend. He asked me to recommend him a well-made, reliable, steel pistol. I'm going to tell him to get a CZ-75 assuming it fits his hand.

Bartholomew Roberts
August 6, 2008, 01:33 PM
To bartholomew...which polymer pistol are you referring to?

From what I have seen first hand, the Glock is more dependable than any of the all steel frame pistols listed.

From personal experiences of people I trust, I think the S&W M&P and Springfield XD have the potential to beat most older all-steel frame pistols as well in terms of durability and dependability.

August 6, 2008, 02:01 PM
Browning, Ruger, CZ in that order.

August 6, 2008, 02:05 PM
I have owned Hi Powers for over 40 years. My current favorite is a venerable model "T" made in 1969. It is the most beautiful handgun I own. It is fit and finished with care and shows it. It is also reliable and functional. What more can be said of a handgun ?...regards, Hersh

August 6, 2008, 03:45 PM
Some Hi Powers have been running for over 70 years now. Mr. Browning didn't make any junk.:)

August 6, 2008, 03:51 PM
Thanks for all the replies! Some very interesting suggestions. I'm def leaning towarda a cz75b sp01 or a colt commander 9mm. Nobody suggested it yet but I'm also considering a g17 with a ccf stainless frame that I could always swap in and out for plastic depending on mood or temp...starting to grow on me.

August 7, 2008, 05:36 PM
for carry a Kel-Tec PF-9 only 12.7 oz 7rds +1 in the chamber $229.99

August 7, 2008, 05:44 PM
for carry a Kel-Tec PF-9 only 12.7 oz 7rds +1 in the chamber $229.99

August 7, 2008, 05:56 PM
I own some of the guns mentioned (HiPower, 5906 & CZ85B)

If I had to pick the one that would last the longest, it would be the S&W. Built like a tank and stainless steel.

The other guns are very nice too, but given enough ammo, your kids might be able to shoot out the HiPower and your grandkids might finish off the CZ. The 5906 will be around forever.

August 7, 2008, 06:32 PM
The only one I have experience with is the Star Firestar M43. In like new condition and a serial number above 2,000,000 it's a solid buy. The hi-power seems awfully sweet. But my money is gone.

August 7, 2008, 09:36 PM
1. Ruger P-series 9mm. Massively overbuilt pistols. I know believe the major parts of these pistols can be broke by normal use. I've never seen or heard of it.

2. CZ-75B. Another real solid overbuilt pistol. Tough gun! Not hard to find shooters with over a 100,000 rounds on their gun.

3. Browning Hi Power. My personal favorite. A solid rugged design with good engineering. The MkIII increase the durability even more.
Note: I know this is the internet and most posts are people repeating what they have read, but even still I would LOVE if half the people who talked down the BHP actually owned one. I've have seen and heard of very very few issues with this gun, and practically NO issues with the MkIIIs that have been out for nearly twenty years now. I am getting a little tired of hearing of "issues" from people whose father's friends cousin had. It is becoming one of those "everybody knows" things like KB'ing Glocks.

What are you going top use this gun for? High volume shooting for comps? Self Defense? Home Defense? Going to carry it? These are all important questions when picking a handgun. The average shooter won't wear out a gun with a 30,000 round lifespan so long-term durability is not an issue.

August 7, 2008, 09:57 PM
i agree the sig p226

August 7, 2008, 10:54 PM
My Browning Hi-Power Mk. III, purchased new in 1985, has got to be my most reliable, durable, and accurate 9mm. MyGlock Model 17 comes in at a very close second.

August 8, 2008, 09:13 AM
Ruger P-series.

August 8, 2008, 12:55 PM
Forgot to add - if you are looking at compact guns, the steel Kahrs may be a wise choice.

I also have a 1st Gen E9 (economy version of the K9) that is all steel and has proven quite durable. It's hard to believe anyone would ever wear out this little single stack 9mm. A stainless K series would be even better.

August 8, 2008, 01:25 PM
I would have to go with a Sig, or a Sig.

If neither of those work out for you, I'd try a Sig.

(yes, I drank the kool aid)

August 8, 2008, 01:36 PM
I drink the Hi Power Kool Aid, then again, many who own one enjoy the kool aid ;)

August 8, 2008, 03:25 PM
Unless I am mistaken nobody mentioned the Colt Government model and Commander in 9mm. Not common but they were made and quite durable.

Sig 210, I have one of the Danish surplus ones that the late Joe Bonar at Novak's modified and it is impressive.

Other votes, CZ 75 family, especially the CZ 75 SP01 and the more recent Browning High Powers...the early ones had softer internal parts.

August 8, 2008, 04:34 PM
If I may be permitted to ask a related question...

Is it really known that polymer frames will hold up over the course of (say) 100 years? Especially with exposure to sunlight?

Sure, Glock, M&P, HK etc. make reliable guns, but I'm still not convinced of their durability over a really long time, especially if they are carried and exposed to sunlight. UV exposure, over time, usually does bad things to polymers...

August 8, 2008, 08:21 PM
The intended use of this pistol will be some conceiled carry and target shooting. I don't necessarily like the feel and long term durability of polymer pistols. In 45 I have a tool steel cqb elite and am looking for a steel 9mm to compliment. I like the fact that steel will last a long time and take a lot of abuse.

August 8, 2008, 09:41 PM
Another vote for the CZ75.

August 8, 2008, 09:58 PM
For CCW, the P7M8 is hard to beat.

August 8, 2008, 10:04 PM
Sig P226 is not steel. It is aluminum. Two people said it before me but people keep nominating it.

I would say a HiPower MkIII with cast frame. It was designed for .40 so shooting 9mm it should last for a long time.

August 9, 2008, 02:22 PM
You can get the Sig 226 with an aluminum or steel frame.

August 10, 2008, 12:25 AM
CZ and Sig.

August 10, 2008, 09:45 AM
Single Stack: S&W 3906

Double Stack: S&W 5906


August 10, 2008, 11:36 AM
Anyone mention a Star Mod 30? In a previous life, it was a '51 Buick. A Norinco 213 (TT33 clone in 9MM) is no delicate flower, either. The Norinco is a slender single stack so it'll conceal pretty well. On the other hand, the Star is definitely a brick. You can get 'em both for $500 total if you look around.

Here it is, the tank itself, the Star Mod 30MI:

August 10, 2008, 01:33 PM
RSILVERS asserted "Sig P226 is not steel. It is aluminum. Two people said it before me but people keep nominating it."

Uh. Sig has been making steel framed 226's, 229's, 220's for a few years now. I suggested the 226ST. What do you think the "ST" stands for?

The Bushmaster
August 10, 2008, 02:18 PM
Firestar M43?? I've been carrying it sense 1992. I've only replaced the extractor a year ago because it had a chip in it, but it was still running...

August 10, 2008, 02:38 PM
Browning HP for single action.
SW 5906 HiCap love
SW 3906 or 2nd Gen 639 single stack very concealable
SIG P210 The BMW of 9MM's
HK P7PSP for something different

Bartholomew Roberts
August 11, 2008, 11:54 AM
I would say a HiPower MkIII with cast frame. It was designed for .40 so shooting 9mm it should last for a long time.

This is what my high round count Hi-Power is... the frame itself is holding up nicely; but the smaller parts (recoil spring guide, ejector, firing pin retaining plate, slide stop, grip screws, etc.) have all cracked or broken completely.

Since I don't have any other Hi-Powers up to the 14k mark where things started breaking on this one, I can't say if that is typical. Part of me wonders if having a Roguard/NP3 finish applied affected anything since all of the parts that broke were NP3-coated (of course, only the small internal parts likely to break had the NP3 coating applied, so could go either way).

August 11, 2008, 12:10 PM

This is a poor question on its face. The overwhelming majority of pistols made today are built to take more than the average shooter is going to out down range in a lifetime.

It does not matter if a pistol will loosen up after 20,000+ round because most people are not going to put that many rounds down range. At todays prices that is $3400+ worth of ammo. Less than 10% of the member here, who are the top 5% of gun owners in terms of round counts, are ever putting that many rounds through one gun.

To me the most important part of choosing a gun is does it fit your hand. It does me no good to own a durable CZ 75B if it does not fit my hand.

In the end fit in the hand is the most important thing. There are soo many good pistols out there durability is not my one of my major considerations.

August 11, 2008, 12:35 PM
I'll put in yet another vote for the S&W 659/5906's. I've got a 659 with almost 30k rounds through it - not a single part has been replaced (no springs, nothing at all) and i've had only 2 FTF with it; both in the same box of dirty remington ammo, and 12k+ rounds through it since then without an issue..i think it's safe to say it was the ammo's fault. Considering that CDNN has 5906's and 6906's insanely cheap (under 400 new!?!?) i don't think you can go wrong.

The slide is a bit looser in it's rails than it was when i got it... but it functions flawlessly and is still perfectly accurate. I've shot 800 rounds in a row in one sitting through that gun without cleaning and without issue... i think people underestimate S&W all steel pistols...and to think, the 659 is over 20 years old. Newer isn't always better.

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