Reliability


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Ruger745
May 19, 2011, 08:06 PM
Reliability, it's a question that is a giant factor in deciding "what pistol can I depend my life upon?" maybe not in those words, but it's still a very important factor. For sometime, I have been searching for a pistol that will have superior reliability in defensive situations and rugged/extreme environments. So far, I have narrowed my decision down to these:
Walther P99. Been on the mind for a long time, made in Germany so it definitely has high quality, sleek, sexy, ergonomic, and compact for carry if needed.
Heckler and Koch USP. Also made in Germany, ergonomic, and rugged, but customer service is lacking to say the best.
Heckler and Koch p2000. I see the same qualities in this as well as the USP.
I have also considered Glock, but they're not the most comfortable for me but I could get used to them if needed

In your opinion, which one of these pistols would you say the most reliable is and what leads you to your choice (be it testing, experience, or just personal opinion, all is welcome)?

Thanks for your imput

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REAPER4206969
May 19, 2011, 08:09 PM
Any of the common pistols are "reliable."

Stop worrying about it.

bestseller92
May 19, 2011, 08:16 PM
We are fortunate these days in that there are a wide variety of high quality, reliable autoloading pistols in many configurations. I would look at reputable brands (Glock, Ruger, Smith, HK, Beretta, Springfield, etc.) And go from there, selecting the model that felt best to me and that I was most comfortable with.

shooter3
May 19, 2011, 08:16 PM
Have you considered the springfield XDm?
Many find these more comfortable than Glocks (including me)

mgmorden
May 19, 2011, 08:20 PM
On most modern handguns reliability has gotten down to a science. You'll find more variations between individual examples of certain brands than between different brands themselves.

The guns you listed will ALL function reliably. As will a CZ-75, Ruger SR series, Glock, S&W M&P, Springfield XD, Beretta PX4 and countless others.

What you need to ask yourself at this point comes down to other factors. If the gun smoothly cycles through a whole magazine and you hit nothing but air, than all the mechanical reliability in the world did you no good. Pick you that fits you well, and that you can fire quickly and accurately.

Ruger745
May 19, 2011, 08:27 PM
Any of the common pistols are "reliable."

Stop worrying about it.
Good point, it's just something that I do worry about since with my luck the one jam that happens ever 10k rounds would happen when needed most.

Ruger745
May 19, 2011, 08:28 PM
Have you considered the springfield XDm?
Many find these more comfortable than Glocks (including me)
I have, but I haven't had the opportunity to physically look and handle one. The reviews I have read are marvelous though

bestseller92
May 19, 2011, 08:38 PM
Given your screen name, have you considered the SR9 or SR40?

REAPER4206969
May 19, 2011, 08:43 PM
In military tests conducted in 2009 the Beretta 92FS was found to experience not more than one stoppage every 17,000rds.

So, buy one of those and rest easy.

bestseller92
May 19, 2011, 09:01 PM
The Beretta is a great pistol, but the military uses ball ammo so their tests might not extrapolate to civilian usage, where JHPs will be the choice for defense use. Just sayin'....

FIVETWOSEVEN
May 19, 2011, 09:34 PM
The Beretta is a great pistol, but the military uses ball ammo so their tests might not extrapolate to civilian usage, where JHPs will be the choice for defense use. Just sayin'....

It works just as fine with JHPs as it does ball, this is the case with pretty much all handguns made today.

Ala Dan
May 19, 2011, 09:34 PM
West German* SIG-SAUER's [classic P-series] are known as some of the worlds finest dependable pistols on the planet~! ;) :D

*FootNote: not the same weapons, as those that come out of Exeter, New Hampshire~!

CZ57
May 19, 2011, 09:35 PM
+1 on trying out an XDm. Match grade barrel for accuracy and they're accurate. Interchangeable backstraps to fit the pistol to your hand. Mine is in .45 ACP and if you think your $1500 1911 will outshoot it, bring it on!;)

bestseller92
May 19, 2011, 09:53 PM
Fivetwoseven: my comment was not specifically about the Beretta pistol, but about the fact that military testing with ball might not necessarily be a good measure of reliability with JHPs. The Beretta is indeed a proven, reliable pistol with both hardball and hollowpoints.

schmeky
May 19, 2011, 11:08 PM
Ala Dan,

At one time I would have argued with you on the merits of a West German or an Exeter Sig.

Not anymore: I agree with you 100%. I just bought a WG P-220 and what a fine pistol compared to my particular Exeter P-220.

D_mn shame too.

cwp3420
May 20, 2011, 12:44 AM
The U.S. Border Patrol carries the HK P2000 in .40S&W. They love them, and the BP gets into more gunfights per year than all other LE agencies combined. Just a thought.

PabloJ
May 20, 2011, 01:41 AM
NMT 1 failure per 340x50 rounds of ammo? Does anyone really believe this stat?:scrutiny:

Zerodefect
May 20, 2011, 01:28 PM
Between the 3 that you picked, you'll be the weakest link, not the guns.

As with most of the newer pistols and higher end 1911's, if you "do your time", learn the in and outs of the weapon. What it likes and dislikes, what failures are common for that piece, and how often you should replace parts/springs....

then you'll be fine.

Ever notice that at the range or in competition that there are allways a few guys who are reliable with any gun they bring, and there are some with perfectly good weapons that allways run poorly?

JustinJ
May 20, 2011, 05:58 PM
SpecOps has been carrying HK pistols for a long time. No gun will stand up better to harsh environments or be more reliable. My primary CC gun is an HKP2000 in .357 sig. Its seen thousands of .357 sig and .40 rounds without a single stoppage. I'm not sure if it was the P99 but the last newer model walther i fired had a terrible trigger.

45_auto
May 20, 2011, 07:22 PM
In my experience ammo reliability will be a bigger factor than the reliability of any of the major gun brands. All of the half-dozen or so failures to fire (with stock guns) that I have seen in the last few years have left a primer with a heavy firing pin strike that did not go off. Most of the guns carried by my department are Glocks and Sigs, but I've seen it happen to about every brand at least once in many different training classes. If you're going to carry a gun, first thing you need to do is practice till the malfunction drill appropriate to your weapon is automatic.

I spend about 99% of my training time with a semi-auto, and I cut the heck out of my hand on the rear sight of a S&W 686 revolver once when it had a misfire and I automatically slapped the grip and tried to rip the top strap off it. Typical semi-auto malfunction drill is to slap the mag to make make sure it's seated, then rack the slide to chamber a new round, but that didn't work very well on the revolver (correct malfunction drill would have been to just pull the trigger again)!

I've seen a bunch of modified guns of every brand experience about every kind of feed failure and broken part you can imagine.

JoeMal
May 20, 2011, 07:26 PM
Nearly 4k rounds through my Glock; hundreds of those were in a fast paced setting where the gun was being used heavily in a short amount of time, and it hasn't even thought about malfunctioning

REAPER4206969
May 20, 2011, 07:48 PM
but the military uses ball ammo so their tests might not extrapolate to civilian usage, where JHPs will be the choice for defense use. Just sayin'....

OK, well then in 1998 the FBI tested the Glock models 22 and 23 and they had a failure rate of 1 in 18,000rds. using JHP.

So, buy one of those and rest easy.

REAPER4206969
May 20, 2011, 07:50 PM
The USP is also German military standard issue and was tested heavily.

But they most likely used NATO spec ball, so...

Ruger745
May 20, 2011, 09:41 PM
Given your screen name, have you considered the SR9 or SR40?
I have, it seems like a fine pistol, however with the Ruger having recalls on a lot of their newly released products (LCP, SR9, and I believe the SR-556 had one too) it's kind of a negative. However, I'll probably own one eventually.

Ruger745
May 20, 2011, 09:45 PM
The Beretta's very nice, and are nice to shoot as well. Concealed carry would be difficult for me with one. I do plan on getting a 92 for 3 gun shooting when I have enough saved up.

bestseller92
May 20, 2011, 09:48 PM
The bad news is, Ruger has had a few recalls. The good news is, they have proactively "stepped up to the plate" and taken care of the problems.

Ruger745
May 20, 2011, 09:50 PM
In my experience ammo reliability will be a bigger factor than the reliability of any of the major gun brands. All of the half-dozen or so failures to fire (with stock guns) that I have seen in the last few years have left a primer with a heavy firing pin strike that did not go off. Most of the guns carried by my department are Glocks and Sigs, but I've seen it happen to about every brand at least once in many different training classes. If you're going to carry a gun, first thing you need to do is practice till the malfunction drill appropriate to your weapon is automatic.

I spend about 99% of my training time with a semi-auto, and I cut the heck out of my hand on the rear sight of a S&W 686 revolver once when it had a misfire and I automatically slapped the grip and tried to rip the top strap off it. Typical semi-auto malfunction drill is to slap the mag to make make sure it's seated, then rack the slide to chamber a new round, but that didn't work very well on the revolver (correct malfunction drill would have been to just pull the trigger again)!

I've seen a bunch of modified guns of every brand experience about every kind of feed failure and broken part you can imagine.
Wow, that sounds painful!!! I had something happen like that with a Colt Delta Elite, so I feel your pain there. I'm kind of surprised that ammo has such a huge affect whit performance as far as reliability, seems analogous to accuracy with rifles (My dad's Sako shoots great with certain reloads, but can't stand Noslers).

Ruger745
May 20, 2011, 09:53 PM
Between the 3 that you picked, you'll be the weakest link, not the guns.

As with most of the newer pistols and higher end 1911's, if you "do your time", learn the in and outs of the weapon. What it likes and dislikes, what failures are common for that piece, and how often you should replace parts/springs....

then you'll be fine.

Ever notice that at the range or in competition that there are allways a few guys who are reliable with any gun they bring, and there are some with perfectly good weapons that allways run poorly?
Excellent point, I have. I saw a guy with a brand new Colt that didn't like anything that was being fed into it.

Ruger745
May 20, 2011, 09:55 PM
The U.S. Border Patrol carries the HK P2000 in .40S&W. They love them, and the BP gets into more gunfights per year than all other LE agencies combined. Just a thought.
Thanks for bringing that up, that's a nice fact to know and to be able to take into consideration. If I'm not mistaken, I believe that the Border guards for Canada also carry the P2000

Ruger745
May 20, 2011, 09:56 PM
The bad news is, Ruger has had a few recalls. The good news is, they have proactively "stepped up to the plate" and taken care of the problems.
It's nice to know that they're a company who will actually stand by their product instead of just throwing it to the wind.

Ruger745
May 20, 2011, 09:59 PM
SpecOps has been carrying HK pistols for a long time. No gun will stand up better to harsh environments or be more reliable. My primary CC gun is an HKP2000 in .357 sig. Its seen thousands of .357 sig and .40 rounds without a single stoppage. I'm not sure if it was the P99 but the last newer model walther i fired had a terrible trigger.
It seems like the triggers on the Walther's are either "love 'em, or hate 'em". Didn't know that about special ops and that's also excellent to know about the HK P2000

REAPER4206969
May 20, 2011, 10:52 PM
Ruger has superb customer service IME.

unspellable
May 21, 2011, 03:07 PM
Ammo malfunctions are not limited to misfires. I have a 10mm round that won't chamber in my Glock without the use of a hydraulic press. A 32 Special, same story, a bunch of buggered up 38 Specials, a 25 ACP with the primer loaded sideways, etc.

Take a tip from the old big game hunters and make sure all your rounds will chamber before you leave camp.

mgmorden
May 21, 2011, 03:40 PM
Take a tip from the old big game hunters and make sure all your rounds will chamber before you leave camp.

Precycling the bullets through an action risks setting the bullet back in the case, potentially causing a dangerous pressure spike.

This isn't an issue with revolvers, but I personally wouldn't do it with semi-autos.

maganoo82
May 23, 2011, 11:19 AM
+1 for all comments on hk products
+1 for looking at SA XDs, flippin outstanding pistolas
As for beretta 92s, had a beretta 92 compact before my stint in the army and it would NOT shoot any load put in it worth a damn. Hardball, HP, +p, +p+, couldnt hit broad side of a barn if you were standing inside it. Then going downrange I saw too many failures from m9s. Made me write off 92 type berettas for good. Broken locking blocks, even a cracked slide on a LTs after quall range. 3rd BDE 25th ID didnt have brand new weapons, but not ancient either. Just my experiance, so beretta fans, please dont bite my head off. I still like other beretta products.

Happy shooting.

vaherder
May 23, 2011, 12:15 PM
Always have a plan ready and one you practiced just in case your favorite handgun doesn't go bang! I do not own any firearms I would bet my life on.
There is always that chance it will malfunction. I have a plan just in case It can be as simple as throwing the Glock at the BG and going for your backup gun. I have Sigs and H&Ks not go bang when I needed them to. A Glock not going bang came the closest to getting me killed. And I could never determine why it wouldnt. All the other times I had no problems figuring out why the H&K or Sig wouldnt. Nothing is a 100% reliable accept death and taxes. I blew up that Glock and have the pieces in Mason jar on my desk as a reminder just when you think you know it all you dont.

Winkman822
May 23, 2011, 12:38 PM
I go with a good quality 1911. You can't go wrong with a Wilson, Nighthawk, Les Baer, or Volkmann Precision (formerly Volkmann Custom), but aside from the super high dollar 1911s, you can't go wrong with a Colt, Smith and Wesson E-Series or Springfield Armory.

If the 1911 isn't your thing, Glocks work well, but the ergonomics may not be to your liking. The Springfield XD and XDM are phenominal performers as is the Smith And Wesson M&P. HK makes a good reliable hard use gun, but they can be a little tough to carry concealed because of their bulky dimensions.

Pick one and train hard with it and you'll be fine.

TonyT
May 23, 2011, 01:10 PM
I shoot theKaht PM-9 and T-9, S&W99,Walther P99, S&W M&P9 and M&P45, S&W 659 and 5906, as well as a Glock-17 in addition to 1911's and several Sig models. They are all relaible. For purely defensive purposes I would opt for a pistol without external hammer or external safeties (slide or grip safety).

Ruger745
May 23, 2011, 08:00 PM
Ruger has superb customer service IME.
That's good to know. I don't know many people who have dealt with their CS besides maybe my dad when he got his Gold Label.

Ruger745
May 23, 2011, 08:02 PM
+1 for all comments on hk products
+1 for looking at SA XDs, flippin outstanding pistolas
As for beretta 92s, had a beretta 92 compact before my stint in the army and it would NOT shoot any load put in it worth a damn. Hardball, HP, +p, +p+, couldnt hit broad side of a barn if you were standing inside it. Then going downrange I saw too many failures from m9s. Made me write off 92 type berettas for good. Broken locking blocks, even a cracked slide on a LTs after quall range. 3rd BDE 25th ID didnt have brand new weapons, but not ancient either. Just my experiance, so beretta fans, please dont bite my head off. I still like other beretta products.

Happy shooting.
I'm kind of surprised, I've read about the occasional malfunction but never that many problems. Have to agree that they still make some nice stuff

Ruger745
May 23, 2011, 08:04 PM
Always have a plan ready and one you practiced just in case your favorite handgun doesn't go bang! I do not own any firearms I would bet my life on.
There is always that chance it will malfunction. I have a plan just in case It can be as simple as throwing the Glock at the BG and going for your backup gun. I have Sigs and H&Ks not go bang when I needed them to. A Glock not going bang came the closest to getting me killed. And I could never determine why it wouldnt. All the other times I had no problems figuring out why the H&K or Sig wouldnt. Nothing is a 100% reliable accept death and taxes. I blew up that Glock and have the pieces in Mason jar on my desk as a reminder just when you think you know it all you dont.
Wow, that's pretty frightening to have had a pistol just blow up in your hands. Have to go 100% with you on everything not being 100% reliable; most everything works at 70 degrees.

Ruger745
May 23, 2011, 08:05 PM
I go with a good quality 1911. You can't go wrong with a Wilson, Nighthawk, Les Baer, or Volkmann Precision (formerly Volkmann Custom), but aside from the super high dollar 1911s, you can't go wrong with a Colt, Smith and Wesson E-Series or Springfield Armory.

If the 1911 isn't your thing, Glocks work well, but the ergonomics may not be to your liking. The Springfield XD and XDM are phenominal performers as is the Smith And Wesson M&P. HK makes a good reliable hard use gun, but they can be a little tough to carry concealed because of their bulky dimensions.

Pick one and train hard with it and you'll be fine.
Got a chance to look at a Springfield EMP this weekend and I was quite impressed with it.

murf
May 23, 2011, 08:19 PM
no gun is perfect. get a bug.

murf

JustinJ
May 24, 2011, 01:50 PM
"I have Sigs and H&Ks not go bang when I needed them to. A Glock not going bang came the closest to getting me killed."

Vaherder, given the extremely low failure rate of HKs, Glocks, and Sigs(W German at least) what line of work are you in that you have had to fire such a diverse list of handguns enough times in a "needed" situation so as to experience failures with all three?

vaherder
May 24, 2011, 02:03 PM
I was in the USN for 20+ years.

I blew the Glock up myself when I got back to CONUS.

SIGLBER
May 24, 2011, 02:18 PM
Most modern auto's are designed to meet NATO and the F.B.I. protocol. The F.B.I. criteria is more about bullet performance. The NATO specs are about reliability and ability to take abuse and keep on working. NATO puts the pistols through some of the toughest testing their has ever been. For the guns to pass they must go through thousands of rounds while being frozen, heated, dropped, and things we don't even think about doing to our guns. So modern auto's of good quality almost always work.
These tests would kill some of the older auto's that were made. But the guns design is one aspect of reliable functoning. Proper cleaning and lubing, changing out recoil springs (most recommend 3000-5000 rounds. Smaller guns much more frequently) and although no specific number of rounds magazine spring changes. Lots of guys that shoot allot change them yearly. And mags should be broken down every so often for cleaning. Gunk building up in them can cause problems. And the last component good ammo.
Fund ammo of good quality that you can shoot several boxes of to assure feed reliability. Even with all the CNC machinery and tight tolerances guns are made to know two guns made right next to each other often will like different ammo. Even doing all this sometimes you can get bad ammo from the box. So we do need to practice failure drills just in case Mr. Murphy is around. And a good solid grip (high up in the tang and good hand pressure) on the gun is a must. Some are worse than others. Sounds like allot but for modern quality guns usually not a problem.

md7
May 24, 2011, 02:45 PM
Ruger 745,

Out of the list you provided, I honestly feel you'd be well served with any of them. There isn't a bad one in the bunch imho. I know you said you didn't care much for the Glock, but have you considered the SW MP, Springfield XD, Sig, or one of the CZ pistols?

Not saying these are any better, just throwing them out there.

RugerMcMarlin
May 24, 2011, 04:30 PM
I know any time you bring up personal choices in a discussion on best anything your going to hurt somebodys feelings I'm thinking about putting that on as my tag line/postline /quote.
I'm a 1911 guy, I love them, I truly do. Nothing says warm and snuggly and safe like a 1911 full of hardball. I have found that for me accuracy/reliability on a 1911 is pretty much a teetertotter kind of deal. with the sweet exceptions of 1 Commander, 1 Gold Cup. I have not really been very lucky. it seems to fall into reliable/not as tight and accurate/
Guttentight.

I was able to cope when that was" just the way it was". The really aggravating thing, for me, and I mean seek couseling kind of aggravated, my G21 doesn't seem to be on a teetertotter. I thought of selling it, and going into full blown denial.

What should I do?' Also I prefer wood handles on all my tools.

Ruger745
June 27, 2011, 04:00 PM
I was in the USN for 20+ years.

I blew the Glock up myself when I got back to CONUS.
Sir,
I thank you for your service, and putting yourself out there to protect the cherished freedoms that we all love thanks to the brave men and women who risk their lives on a daily basis to do so. Thank you

Ruger745
June 27, 2011, 04:02 PM
Most modern auto's are designed to meet NATO and the F.B.I. protocol. The F.B.I. criteria is more about bullet performance. The NATO specs are about reliability and ability to take abuse and keep on working. NATO puts the pistols through some of the toughest testing their has ever been. For the guns to pass they must go through thousands of rounds while being frozen, heated, dropped, and things we don't even think about doing to our guns. So modern auto's of good quality almost always work.
These tests would kill some of the older auto's that were made. But the guns design is one aspect of reliable functoning. Proper cleaning and lubing, changing out recoil springs (most recommend 3000-5000 rounds. Smaller guns much more frequently) and although no specific number of rounds magazine spring changes. Lots of guys that shoot allot change them yearly. And mags should be broken down every so often for cleaning. Gunk building up in them can cause problems. And the last component good ammo.
Fund ammo of good quality that you can shoot several boxes of to assure feed reliability. Even with all the CNC machinery and tight tolerances guns are made to know two guns made right next to each other often will like different ammo. Even doing all this sometimes you can get bad ammo from the box. So we do need to practice failure drills just in case Mr. Murphy is around. And a good solid grip (high up in the tang and good hand pressure) on the gun is a must. Some are worse than others. Sounds like allot but for modern quality guns usually not a problem.
I never knew this, good to know now and it does clarify some things that I have read before

Ruger745
June 27, 2011, 04:03 PM
Ruger 745,

Out of the list you provided, I honestly feel you'd be well served with any of them. There isn't a bad one in the bunch imho. I know you said you didn't care much for the Glock, but have you considered the SW MP, Springfield XD, Sig, or one of the CZ pistols?

Not saying these are any better, just throwing them out there.
I have looked at the MP before, a very nice pistol and very comfortable in the hand. I love the crimson trace laser grips that are available for it

JustinJ
June 27, 2011, 06:04 PM
HK is the best, no doubt. That's not to say other guns aren't extremely reliable.

Robert101
June 27, 2011, 09:09 PM
I have two 1911's (SA & DW) both experience an occasional FTF with my reloads. That is what I shoot. Glock 27 - perfect with my reloads. Take from that what you will.

chandne
June 29, 2011, 08:43 PM
I only carry HKs first, Glocks second, and I'd carry a revolver anytime as well. All else fall to the bottom rung.

Dogguy
June 29, 2011, 10:29 PM
For reliability brand new straight out of the box, there's nothing more reliable than a 3rd Generation or older 9mm Glock. But most modern designs are reliable.

csa77
June 30, 2011, 11:45 AM
if your looking for reliability to rest your life on, buy a revolver. any semi auto can jam. even if the design is flawless faulty ammo can cause jams.

iv never had a FTF,or FTE from any of my revolvers.

REAPER4206969
June 30, 2011, 01:06 PM
Modern auto loaders are more reliable than revolvers in austere conditions. Out of spec ammo (loose bullet/blown primer/Etc.) will take a revolver out of the fight permanently, were as in an auto a simple tap-rack will get you back in.

Total revolver reliability is a myth.

RedAlert
June 30, 2011, 01:12 PM
To the OP, I would suggest that the weapon isn't the issue that needs the most focus.

Training is the primary issue. Both Formal at a training school and the continued training at your local range through practice. Each of these would include techniques and practice drills aimed at combating the occasional malfunction of even the most reliable weapon/ammo combo.

So select the weapon you like, load it with the most reliable and effective ammo you can find. Then practice, train, practice and even more training.

I'm willing to bet the training will provide a greater contribution to your survival than the choice of weapon.

FAS1
June 30, 2011, 01:27 PM
Nearly 4k rounds through my Glock; hundreds of those were in a fast paced setting where the gun was being used heavily in a short amount of time, and it hasn't even thought about malfunctioning
^^^This.
My Gen2 G17 is still my choice for HD handgun since it has proven itself to me. I have no experience with the others mentioned but most are very reliable. I would think ammo is a bigger factor than the gun. My Glock cycles everything I have fed it including very light reloads for little recoil on follow up shots when shooting steel plates.

Rexster
June 30, 2011, 07:32 PM
Any of the above will probably be 100% reliable from the first round, assuming the ammo is not so far out of spec that anything would choke on it.

All else being equal, the slightly tapered 9mm cartridge will be more reliable than a cartridge with straight, parallel walls, but with the pistols in question, this should not be a factor.

Buy the one that best fits your hands, and don't worry about reliability.

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