Hello everyone I would like some advice. I try to get to the range once a week and shoot; it’s my favorite pastime, I am CCW holder, collector, enthusiast and active 2nd amendment supporter. I am not LEO, military, firearms expert or mall ninja. I am in the market for a new handgun but in-light of the new administration and “possible” cloudy future for gun owners I would like some advice.
I am looking to get a new hi-cap (holds over 10rds) service pistol that I can shoot regularly for 10+, 20+ years. I have been searching the internet, asking friends and supposed firearm experts and get varying answers. I am considering all brands, and all calibers (9mm, .40 S&W and .45 acp ect ). I hear everything from “Glock 40’s will only last 20k rounds”; “Glock 17 will perform to 100k rounds” ; “Sig’s .40’s will last 65K” ect. I don’t want this to turn into a brand/caliber war, but just some honest advice about longevity and durability of service pistols. Yes I am aware that .40 S&W wears more than 9mm, and am aware there are allot of variables at play including ammo and brands.
In other words if I shoot +/- 400rds per month, +/- 4,800rds per year of target ammo with regular maintenance (replacing springs, and normal wear on parts) can I expect to hit 100k in rounds? How long before I start seeing catastrophic failures? Which of the major gun manufacture products can take abuse, have replacement parts and still perform consistently. Yes I know the majority of law enforcement use Glocks, the US military uses Berettas…ect…. This seems to be the heart of the dilemma I am having. I have many guns, but none in the 5k 10k, 50k round range. Fellow shooters what are your thoughts, opinions and experience?
Thanks for reading,
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February 3, 2009, 09:09 PM
Pretty sure that any reputable service auto should last 100K rounds, it just takes some periodic maintenance and being fairly good to it. I'm young though, I haven't had time or money to shoot any gun that much.
February 3, 2009, 09:11 PM
most any of the quality gun makers guns will not only last a long time, but the compnay will take care of you in the case rgar something does go wrong, ie glock and sa will i know for sure.
i say you can't go wrong with a sa xd or a glock, there are other makers out there that will last however i know the glock and xd run and last.
February 4, 2009, 12:07 AM
IMO most posters who ask about long-term, high-round count longevity of certain brands/types of firearms will never follow through in real life - sooner or later, job/family/finances/life gets in the way, and 100rds/wk eventually deteriorates into something like 300rds/yr(maybe). So, the question about service life tends to be pretty much academic, as most gun owners will never come anywhere near to the limits of a modern service pistol.
If you are truly serious about 100rds/wk for 10+years, then more power to ya!
Some things I think you should consider first:
- If you're going to commit to 100K+rds and 10+yrs with a given firearm, make absolutely sure that YOU LIKE THE GUN. What you should do if possible is rent several types at a local range, or get friendly with other shooters at your local range/gun club and ask to shoot their guns(especially if you offer to buy a box of ammo for it). There is absolutely no substitute for first-hand experience here.
- While at the range renting guns, ask the guys running the place which of their rental guns have the least problems with reliability or parts breakage - odds are, the answer will probably be either a SIG, a Glock, or a Ruger. Keep that info in mind as you plan your purchase.
- Figuring the current cost of Wolf brand(currently the least expensive brand) factory ammo from www.ammoman.com, if you choose 9mm, that 100K rds will cost you about $19K; 100K of .40S&W should run you about $24K; and 100K of .45ACP sets you back nearly $30K. If you plan to reload, the (copper-jacketed)bullets, powder and primers for 100K of 9mm will cost $11-12K, 100K of .40S&W runs $14-15K, and 100K of .45ACP goes about $15-16K(bullet prices from www.berrysmfg.com). Of course, you're gonna be spreading the cost out over 10+years, but all that ammo is still gonna cost you something...
- Anything made by the hands of man - including Glocks, SIGS, 1911's, XD's, H&K's, etc. - has its limitations, and can and will break/wear out parts the more you use it, and the harder you use it. That being the case, Glock parts are probably less expensive, more readily available, and easier to install than parts for any of the other major brands. If you choose the Glock design, I would suggest that you order "one extra" of every internal pin/spring/part(not counting major parts like slide, barrel or frame) for your gun from www.lonewolfdist.com so that you will have the spares on hand for immediate replacement should it become necessary - the "one extra" kit should only cost maybe $100-150. There are many, many books and videos, as well as on-line tutorials, available to teach you how to service a Glock - it is really very easy, if you are the slightest bit mechanically-inclined. Of course, similar resources are available for the other brands, they just cost more and have less sources...
- Given the rising costs of ammo, I think you should strongly consider buying a brand/model that has either a closely-analogous .22LR version, or an aftermarket .22LR conversion kit, available. .22LR will only cost $0.03-0.04/rd, as opposed to $0.19-0.30/rd for Wolf centerfire ammo, or $0.11-16/rd for bullets/powder/primers. You thus get either lots more practice for the same money, or the same practice for less money - plus having an excellent "training-wheels" pistol for teaching novice shooters(including any children you may have within the next 10+years). Right now, this criterion limits us to Glocks, SIGs, 1911's, Beretta 92/96, Taurus 99/100, CZ75's, and Browning Hi-Power.
- Finally, don't be afraid to buy used, especially from a reputable gun store that has a gunsmith who will inspect used guns prior to resale. Like I said at the beginning, the vast majority of gun owners seldom wind up shooting more than maybe 500-1000rds out of their guns - which leaves plenty of usable service life for you...
Hope this helps!
February 4, 2009, 12:27 AM
Like Kor pointed out and I am sure you know, the ammo cost is gonna surpass the cost of the gun quite quickly. If it is a range gun I would go with the cheaper caliber 9mm. I gather from your post that it is the "'possible' cloudy future for gun owners" that is making you want a long lasting pistol. I do believe that we will be able to buy semi auto pistols for a long time, but of this is a concern once you have made your choice you should buy an extra one or more. Then you will have all of the "standard" capacity magazines already should any silly law regarding magazine capacity gets passed as well as a spare gun. That "spare" gun will come with mags so that saves a little $. I have no experience with high round count pistols so I cannot weigh in there but I do like the .22lr conversion idea. Good luck and happy shooting. I am glad that you plan on shooting your gun 100,000 rounds. That is commitment. I hope you get a gun you like because you sound like you will use it for a long time.
February 4, 2009, 04:48 AM
If you are at the range enough to shoot that many rounds, you will stumble across plenty of deals on guns to replace any gun you wear out.
If you are worried about a gun wearing out because it may eventually become difficult to replace...
1. Save up a few bucks and buy two or three.
2. Join th NRA.
As far as a gun that will survive that many rounds - I do not have experience wearing out a gun, but a few opinions:
-It seems an all-metal gun can have pretty much everything worked on if parts are not available
-Glocks seem to make it through a lot of torture tests, years of use and there are a lot of them out on the market for parts.
February 4, 2009, 05:07 AM
- Given the rising costs of ammo, I think you should strongly consider buying a brand/model that has either a closely-analogous .22LR version, or an aftermarket .22LR conversion kit, available. .22LR will only cost $0.03-0.04/rd, as opposed to $0.19-0.30/rd for Wolf centerfire ammo, or $0.11-16/rd for bullets/powder/primers. You thus get either lots more practice for the same money, or the same practice for less money - plus having an excellent "training-wheels" pistol for teaching novice shooters(including any children you may have within the next 10+years). Right now, this criterion limits us to Glocks, SIGs, 1911's, Beretta 92/96, Taurus 99/100, and Browning Hi-Power.
Don't forget the CZ 75 series. They have IMO the best .22 kit on the market, or it can be had as a standalone pistol. I would rather (and did choose to) buy the kit over the whole pistol. Might as well let the cheaer .22 help smooth out the trigger on your centerfire pistol.
February 4, 2009, 03:34 PM
I'd recommend any Third Generation Smith auto in good condition. They are reliable, durable, accurate and affordable.
February 4, 2009, 04:30 PM
Kor is right on. If you plan to shoot that much you need to look into a .22lr. I would buy a 9mm or .40sw with a conversion kit for .22lr.
As far as wearing one out,.....it will never happen. I have a 1911a1 with about 15k rounds through it and it is just getting broke in. I have a Ruger KP90 with 7000 through it and it shoots BETTER than when it was new. I would expect 60,000+ from any quality service pistol.
February 4, 2009, 05:56 PM
Yeah, most of what he said.
Prime examples: I think I shoot a LOT, but I can tell you just by counting cases of primers, it's on the magnitude of 12-15 thousand reloads a year, in addition to the factory ammo and .22 stuff, I haven't been able to wear out very much.
At that rate, I have seen a couple of things get worn out. I've shot sights loose, broken extractors, broke a slide release lever, and had springs get pretty tired. I've had magazine retention springs fail and lost my mag God Only Knows where, even fired (entirely by accident :eek:) one or two cartridges that I loaded with a double charge (this is exciting,:what: but not recommended). Nearly all of the failures were on "civilian model" goods, not ones that have been proven with decades of military or LE use.
It IS possible to wear a service weapon out, but it's very hard to do. You won't find very much wear that's problematic in today's popular service pistols: Glock, SIG, Ruger, Beretta, and so on. Even the earlier generations hold up pretty well: I'm still shooting a WWII issue M1911A1, and P38 as well as a bag full of M1911 military clones made in South America and Spain. Even my Colt 1917 and Smith 1917 are still going strong and THEY WERE treated roughly.
For my money - I'd go with Glock if you like plastic :scrutiny: or SIG if steel is your thing. You most likely will pass it on to your heirs long before the pistol bites the dust.
February 4, 2009, 09:54 PM
Thanks for all the replies, I don't think I will ever get to 100k with any gun but I'd like to have some piece of mine that's some firearms can with proper maintenance. I do enjoy practicing and hope when I have more time to shoot in IDPA matches, I'm left handed but right eye dominate (that's another matter). On all my pistils I have logged/recorded every fired round on paper (since added to a word doc) the round counts of springs changes and occasional failures and ammo notes. Some may say I am anal but I can tell you it provides me with an accurate maintenance record for every gun I own.
I agree and I appreciate your time to respond to my what some may consider a dumb question. I'm going to keep shooting and stop worrying when my Glock, Sig,S&W....ect will break.
February 5, 2009, 10:10 AM
Any thing with an aluminum frame is going to bust in time. I have been told the lifetime of the Berretta M92 frame will be around 35,000 rounds.
A military arm is expected to be rebuilt at some point of its life. It used to be that 5000 rounds was an accepted rebuild point. At least for rifles. Pistols, I am not certain.
When an arm goes into rebuild, everything is eligible for replacement. Worn out parts go into a scrap bin.
I do know a guy who rebuilds arms at Depots. Sometimes at the unit level. He sees real worn out Berretta's. Troops in Iraq are using +p+ Hydroshocks in the things. Ammunition that is well above the design pressures for the pistol, but since a 9mm is so lacking in stopping power, they are using the hottest stuff they can find.
Civilians ain’t so lucky, our guns, we fix them on our dollar.
I do have more than 5000 rounds through a Kimber, and several S&W revolvers.
One Champion IPSC shooter I knew, his chromed WWI era Colt M1911 had been fired some ungodly amount of rounds. He shot it in practice and in matches. The frame had developed cracks. It was still ticking, but someone in the gun club wanted that pistol so bad, they bought it off the shooter.
February 5, 2009, 03:06 PM
There are many guns that would make your criteria but based on my experience I'd pick a Glock 19. Size wise it's not too big and not too small for any use. I oversaw about 300 Glocks when I was a LE firearms instructor for 7-8 years and and can only remember one break down while shooting and that was due to poor maintenance. The G17 I used had at least 15-20K rounds through it when I passed it down to someone else when I retired.
February 5, 2009, 04:55 PM
Any thing with an aluminum frame is going to bust in time.
Well, anything with a steel frame will also bust in time. It might take a little longer but, given enough time, about any thing will break. Also, as often as not, the design factor has as much or more influece on the durability of a particular firearm as does the material being used.
February 5, 2009, 06:21 PM
For a good long lasting range pistol I would take a look at the Glock 34 if I were you.
February 5, 2009, 08:02 PM
February 5, 2009, 09:50 PM
I hear everything from “Glock 40’s will only last 20k rounds”; “Glock 17 will perform to 100k rounds”
I'm not sure about the statement about glock 40s, but I'm pretty sure that last statment is not true unless you replace some stuff, maybe not even then. Keep in mind though that caliber will affect whether it will last.
February 7, 2009, 09:21 AM
HK USP 40/9
February 7, 2009, 11:57 AM
Go find a Smith K-L or better yet N frame .357/.38. Shoot only non +P .38 specials in it. You will not be able to kill it. I have seen old PPC guns that had over 100,000 rounds through them, and, they ran perfect.
A 1911, shooting only standard pressure .45 ball, will outlive you.
A Browning HP, again, only standard pressure rounds, same thing.
As soon as you get into the hotter rounds, and guns made of alloy, does the wear really become a concern, and then, realistically, we are talking about 10's of thousands of rounds. I would be tickled to death to wear out every gun I own. It ain't gonna happen.
The plastic guns are, for me, still a bit of an unknown. Colt SAA #1 just came up for auction. A gun built in 1873. You could have loaded it and carried it. What will happen to a plastic frame after 100 years of being subjected to UV light, solvents and flexing? No one can guarantee that it won't start to break down. That being said, I carry an issue Glock 35 and carry an HK USPc off duty quite often. If the plastic starts to break down (no likely in my lifetime) I think I'll catch it. Is it an heirloom I will leave for my kids? No. There a a few blued and stainless Smiths in the vault for that purpose.
February 7, 2009, 04:53 PM
Let's see. 100 rds a week is 5200 a year over 10 years is 52,000 rounds.
I think most good quality guns will go that with the standard ammo.
What kills service guns is familiarization firing, a hundred or so men/women a day, two magazines each, day in and day out. Even the fabulous M1911A1's didn't last very long.
February 7, 2009, 09:42 PM
Any gun from any manufacturer can break prematurely, but I think that your best bet for long term durability is a polymer gun.
These are the ones that I like the best (in no particular order).