Revolver Reliability Vs Semi-auto


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USBP1969
August 12, 2011, 11:08 AM
Howdy.

I am submitting this post to both the Revolver and Semi-auto forums since I would really like to hear from both those who favor semi-autos as well as those who favor revolvers. (I hope the moderators will allow this.)

Question: As stated in the title, I am asking for input in regards to the comparative reliability of semi-autos to that of wheel guns. I ask this question in good faith because 15 years of being a full-time firearms instructor as well as having conducted 5 years of qualification in the field has caused me to come away with a jaundiced view of semi-auto reliability.

The mitigating factor is that this experience (seeing both types shot side by side) was accumulated between 1990 and 2004.

So, now in the year 2011, after 7 more years of development, Id like to ask how they compare for reliability in a civilian and law enforcement environment?

Respectfully,
-kent

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valnar
August 12, 2011, 11:19 AM
I fail to see how any semi-auto can be more reliable than a revolver. It can be as reliable, but I'd love to see the arguments about more from my fellow THR members.

subscribed for curiosity.

F-111 John
August 12, 2011, 11:21 AM
Well, I've never had to 'tap, rack, bang' my S&W Model 19.

But I did have a 'failure to eject' with it once. Early in it's life the ejector rod backed out enough during shooting that it jammed the cylinder closed. Had a heck of a time getting it open again. But it's never happened since.

Broker
August 12, 2011, 11:42 AM
It's been said that everyone has an opinion. Well, I have one.

Been shooting a long time, I've actually had more issues with revolvers than autos. Sure I've had a few ( surprisingly few ) tie-ups with autos, mostly failure to feed, & stovepipes. But, these problems were easy to clear, as in tap, rack, bang. I've had many more revolvers tie up so badly that I needed a soft face hammer to open the cylinder. It seemed to be worse back in the "pinned & recessed" times, in Magnum calibers, & interestingly enough 22 LR. I believe it had much to do with tight tolerances, & the cylinder heating & expanding, doing away with tolerance. JMO.

I've owned some very reliable wheelguns, & some that you could count on to shoot ony a few times. I've also had a few autos that were totally unreliable, kind of a "crapshoot", just have to shoot whatever you have to determine it's reliability.

Everone can make their own choice, I shoot revolvers for fun, & when I don't want to bother to pick-up fired cases, but I carry autos almost exclusively. That's just my opinion, based upon my own experience.

Snowbandit
August 12, 2011, 12:45 PM
Both a revolver and auto-pistol is nothing more than a collection of levers, springs, pins and tubes. It's a machine and machines wear out, get out of adjustment and break over time or with use. Taken by itself, as a machine, I believe either type to be equally reliable today. The difference is that a revolver is a complete machine in and of itself. The trigger is pulled, the cylinder turns, the hammer falls and the cycle is ready to begin again. To the revolver machine we add ammunition but nothing within the machine itself changes. An automatic can not fully function without ammo therefore the ammo is a necessary part of the machine. An ammunition failure within a revolver is just that, an ammunition failure. It doesn't stop or change the machine and we just pull the trigger again. Ammo failure in an auto, where it is part of the machine, stops the machine.

Again, there is little or no difference in reliability between revolvers and automatics of equal quality. Either can break something at any time and become non-functioning and this type of event is equally rare with either type. Any differences are more related to their owners care and feeding than to their inherent reliability.

Bearhands
August 12, 2011, 12:59 PM
Both a revolver and auto-pistol is nothing more than a collection of levers, springs, pins and tubes. It's a machine and machines wear out, get out of adjustment and break over time or with use. Taken by itself, as a machine, I believe either type to be equally reliable today. The difference is that a revolver is a complete machine in and of itself. The trigger is pulled, the cylinder turns, the hammer falls and the cycle is ready to begin again. To the revolver machine we add ammunition but nothing within the machine itself changes. An automatic can not fully function without ammo therefore the ammo is a necessary part of the machine. An ammunition failure within a revolver is just that, an ammunition failure. It doesn't stop or change the machine and we just pull the trigger again. Ammo failure in an auto, where it is part of the machine, stops the machine.

Again, there is little or no difference in reliability between revolvers and automatics of equal quality. Either can break something at any time and become non-functioning and this type of event is equally rare with either type. Any differences are more related to their owners care and feeding than to their inherent reliability.

+1 ....... and VERY well said!

valnar
August 12, 2011, 12:59 PM
@Broker,
Wow. I've never had an issues with my revolvers. I suppose I should consider myself lucky.

Cosmoline
August 12, 2011, 01:47 PM
Revolvers can certainly jam up, and sometimes completely fail. Some examples from my own shooting include:

A Security Six ejector rod unscrewing itself (though that did not prevent firing the first six).

A Colt DS mainspring breaking

An Italian SAA knockoff mainspring breaking

An abused Ruger Security Six that would pierce primers

Handloads that would not chamber in tight revolver chambers

Some of these instantly ended the shooting, but they're rare considering how many thousands of rounds I've shot from revolvers over the years.

Semis, OTOH, have more minor issues. FTF, stovepipes, and so on. They are more sensitive to how they're held while firing. And you can get away with less variation in rounds.

But so long as you know these issues going in, hold the pistol correctly and have a quality piece, it is unlikely to have any serious reliability problems.

Guillermo
August 12, 2011, 01:57 PM
I have had issues with both...but not in a while.

The thing to understand is that autos have gotten very reliable.

The few bottom-feeding brass-chuckers that I own are almost all as dependable as gravity (.22s being the exception)

Not that many years ago, autos were trouble waiting to happen.

This is a verbose way to say "the gap has closed appreciably or completely)

moxie
August 12, 2011, 02:08 PM
Ejector rods unscrewing themselves are I think the most common failure mode for revolvers. This can be prevented in most cases by taking the time occasionally to check and make sure it's tight. If it is a problem, the tiniest dab of blue Loctite will cure it. I encountered this the very fist time I qualified on the Combat Masterpiece in the Air Force. The instructor advised me of the above. Good advice.

Some of the newer generation of autos seem to be more reliable overall than their predecessors. These include the Glocks, the S&W M&Ps, etc. Note I said "seem" and "overall" so please don't anyone go high dudgeon on me. (I like 1911s too!)

PRM
August 12, 2011, 02:14 PM
there is little or no difference in reliability between revolvers and automatics of equal quality

Now that's funny!!!:what:

sgt127
August 12, 2011, 02:19 PM
My thoughts, posted before:

Very rarely does a gun not fire the round that is chambered. Be it a dud round, broken firing pin etc, those occur at random to either revolvers or autos, and, I might add, very rarely.

Auto's jam during two phases of operation. While feeding a live round or ejecting a spent round. So, lets say you have a 15 shot 9mm, there are 30 chances for something to go wrong during one string of fire. Once during each feeding operation and once during each extraction/ejection operation.

Most of them do that very well and, will rarely have a problem.

On a revolver, the feeding and ejecting operation are performed prior to and after the festivities. During the string of fire, be it 5-6-7 or even 8 rounds, it cannot have a feeding or ejection problem. Period. If the case is oversized, you will notice it while you are loading it and reject that round, in an auto, it will fit in the mag, but, not in the chamber.

Parts can break on either gun, again, rarely. You can shoot a revolver long enough to start gumming up the action, full of carbon, grit, whatever. An auto is MUCH more forgiving of that kind of abuse.

However, if you lay down 100 clean, well maintained S&W Model 10 revolvers and, pick them up and fire those 600 rounds, I will bet you you will get 600 "bangs".

If you line up 100 1911's, with six rounds each, I would bet the odds are that there will be one, or more failures to feed, eject and fire a round.

I can set up a scenario to "prove" that the revolver is superior (I'll just take an auto and limp wrist it for every shot, or, push it into the target and get it out of battery a little) I can then set up a scenario to "prove" that the auto is superior. (I'll just slosh a revolver around in fine sand for awhile)

The problem with an auto is that you may never know WHY that one round failed to get into, or out of the gun. It sometimes just does.

FIVETWOSEVEN
August 12, 2011, 02:27 PM
Revolvers can jam but its ammunition is what causes it such as a primer not seated properly, if you get a misfire just pull the trigger again and bang on a different round. Semi Autos can jam by faulty ammo, bad magazines, or the gun not manufactured quite up to spec, Revolvers have more tolerance for defects.

This being said, I carry a Semi auto and trust my life to it.

marb4
August 12, 2011, 03:24 PM
Revolvers are generally more complex "machines" than semi auto pistols so one might assume they are more likely to malfunction due to their complexity. Revolvers, like any complex machine, can break and malfunction...

HOWEVER - A revolver is not dependent on ammunition to function and thats its big advantage. Light loads, hot loads, round nose, hollow point, ect doesn't matter. Potential ammo feeding and cycling problems aren't there like they are with autoloaders and despite their complexity, breakage and malfunction are exceedingly rare. I've owned a number of semi auto pistols, most of which are very reliable, but I've had at least some stoppages with every one of them. Never any with my revolvers. On the rare occasion I get a dud round in a revolver, just squeeze the trigger again and your back in the game. No "tap/rack" drills...

HOWEVER - if a revolver does malfunction and lock up there is no quick fix. You're pretty much done until it can be disassembled and fixed. Not good if you're defending your life.

So to answer the question, if I had to defend my life or family and had a semi auto pistol and revolver sitting in front of me I would likely grab the revolver (not factoring in caliber). I've never had a revolver fail me but all of my autoloaders on rare occasions have (thankfully only when shooting paper bad guys). Most modern semi auto pistols are very reliable but no matter how good the gun, it can still be taken out of action with one bad round.

moxie
August 12, 2011, 03:28 PM
sgt127,
Agree with everything you said up to the last bullet. You very often DO know why an auto fails to feed or eject. Bad mag, extractor messes up, etc., are all discrete, identifiable, reasons for malfunction. SOMETIMES (not never) the reason for a failure cannot be identified.

marb4
August 12, 2011, 03:35 PM
Both a revolver and auto-pistol is nothing more than a collection of levers, springs, pins and tubes. It's a machine and machines wear out, get out of adjustment and break over time or with use. Taken by itself, as a machine, I believe either type to be equally reliable today. The difference is that a revolver is a complete machine in and of itself. The trigger is pulled, the cylinder turns, the hammer falls and the cycle is ready to begin again. To the revolver machine we add ammunition but nothing within the machine itself changes. An automatic can not fully function without ammo therefore the ammo is a necessary part of the machine. An ammunition failure within a revolver is just that, an ammunition failure. It doesn't stop or change the machine and we just pull the trigger again. Ammo failure in an auto, where it is part of the machine, stops the machine.

Again, there is little or no difference in reliability between revolvers and automatics of equal quality. Either can break something at any time and become non-functioning and this type of event is equally rare with either type. Any differences are more related to their owners care and feeding than to their inherent reliability.
I just saw your post. Excellent explanation. +1

David E
August 12, 2011, 03:44 PM
I've never seen the issue of a hangfire brought up before.

Granted, I've only had one in 100's of 1000's of rounds, so maybe it's moot. It had about a 1/2 to 3/4 second delay.

In a semi auto, even if you pull the trigger again, nothing happens. You'll have time to go; "What the - BANG!"

But, if you're rapid firing a revolver and get a hangfire on any but the last round, that chamber won't be aligned with the barrel when it goes off 1/2 second later. :eek:

sgt127
August 12, 2011, 04:21 PM
Agree with everything you said up to the last bullet. You very often DO know why an auto fails to feed or eject. Bad mag, extractor messes up, etc., are all discrete, identifiable, reasons for malfunction. SOMETIMES (not never) the reason for a failure cannot be identified.


I agree with you. I added "may never know."

Hows that?

:)

moxie
August 12, 2011, 05:37 PM
sgt127,
Real fine. Thx.

moxie

Dogguy
August 12, 2011, 05:48 PM
I'm dredging a faulty memory here but this is what I've come up with.

I've had a Dan Wesson shake itself apart and go out of time after two cylinders of S&W .357 Magnum ammo. Had to go to the gunsmith after that. I've had a Ruger SP101 totally jam up after 5 rounds when unburned powder or burned powder debris got caught under the ejector. Easily remedied by cleaning but would have been a little disconcerting in certain situations. I've had a S&W 642's cylinder decide to simply stop rotating. Another trip to the gunsmith.

For autos I've owned in the last 20 years other than older 1911s, pocket pistols and .22s, I've had issues with a new SIG and a new Glock. Both issues were resolved immediately under warranty. Both guns continued to function but they were not hitting 100%. If you consider older 1911s, yeah...I've had numerous jams and failures with those. But I've never had a Glock, SIG or Ruger auto jam or fail to function. Those are the only brands of autos I currently own in "serious" calibers.

That's been my experience based on what I can remember. I've owned revolvers for more years than autos so there may have been more revolver problems in the past--I just don't remember them right now. Basically, most revolvers and most autoloaders I've owned have been reliable. Your experiences may be different and cause you to develop another opinion. I'm fine with that.

VA27
August 12, 2011, 06:53 PM
A quality firearm with the proper ammo is as close to 100% reliable as any machine ever made. The difference in reliability between the revolver and the semiauto (all things being equal) is so close as to be statistically insignificant.

Pick what you like, keep it clean, feed it good ammo and get some training and there's not enough difference to talk about.

Warp
August 12, 2011, 07:06 PM
All else equal, or close to equal, a revolver is more reliable. This is especially true when you consider anything other than round nose FMJ. Once you start talking flat point, jacketed hollow point, SWC, etc, the revolver is hands down more reliable.

I am the owner of two Glocks. I was trained on a Glock. I had a third Glock but I sent it back to the factory for failing to feed JHP reliably. Got it back and it FTRTB on JHP. Sent it back again requesting a different gun/model. I had a P3AT but it wasn't totally reliable so I sold it. I have spent a great deal of time from 2005-present on gun boards. The revolver is more reliable. It's that simple.


Agree with everything you said up to the last bullet. You very often DO know why an auto fails to feed or eject. Bad mag, extractor messes up, etc., are all discrete, identifiable, reasons for malfunction. SOMETIMES (not never) the reason for a failure cannot be identified.

Failure to feed? That's a semi auto problem, regularly...not a revolver problem.

Extractor messes up? Yeah, that sounds like a semi auto problem as well.

Bad mag? Yup...another possible semi auto problem.

All of the most common failures are associated with semi autos. There is a reason for this.

Dave T
August 12, 2011, 07:36 PM
The revolver is more reliable. It's that simple.

Warp, the problem with blank statements like yours is that it's not true. At least not always. I was the chief firearms instructor for my department, made up of 400+ armed personnel. About 40% carried revolvers (357 S&W) and 60% carried Colt GM 45 ACPs. In 6 years I saw more problems with the revolvers than with the autos. I am not claiming that is always the case, for every revolver or auto but that was my experience. Someone earlier said ammo can't jam up a revolver. Boy is that wrong. A squib load that lodges a bullet half way into the forcing cone or a primer that flows into the firing pin bushing will lock up a revolver until you get it to the gun smith or have the tools to fix it on the range. Tight barrel cylinder gaps (still with in minimum factory tolerance) can bind after a cylinder or two of lead bullet ammo. The backing out ejector has already been covered and there's more but the point is made.

All the time the above was happening the vast majority of our Government Models just plain worked. Biggest problems I saw were lack of proper lubrication and poorly maintained magazines. Those I considered operator problems more than gun problems.

Like I said earlier, I'm not saying my experience will be everyone's but in my last 6 years with the department that's what I saw. When I retired I ran my own firearms training business for 10 years. I won't get into what I saw there...it would take pages to cover. Suffice to say, everything can malfunction if you work at it hard enough! (LOL)

Dave

oldfool
August 12, 2011, 07:46 PM
I think the gap has closed up a bunch, with one caveat
the majority of short/lite compact autoloaders are challenged by the laws of physics; reliability varies more model-to-model in those, IMO, than in full size autos
(even if you choose to blame it on operator error, there is less margin for error)
1911 full size service pistols they ain't
(and too many full size are not "service" pistols these days, either)

but as for the rest, sure they all can malfunction, and sometimes do
but the autoloader has nowhere near the ammo tolerance that the revolver does
even if certain you have chosen the optimal load for your gun, just one off spec round can mess you up.. significantly less likely with the wheelgun
(happens, yes, happened to me ONCE with a wheelie, extra cheapo whitebox of especially poor quality, but still significantly less likely)

wlewisiii
August 12, 2011, 08:20 PM
For informational purposes, let me provide a link to Grant Cunningham's article on a malfunction drill for revolver shooters.

Revolver Malfunction Drill (http://www.personaldefensenetwork.com/articles/handguns/the-revolver-malfunction-drill/?utm_source=cc&utm_medium=email&utm_term=read-more&utm_content=revolver-malfunction-drill&utm_campaign=newsletter081810)

351 WINCHESTER
August 12, 2011, 08:27 PM
I had a revolver failure several months ago. It was my second. I was shooting a .38 K frame and I got enough buildup of crud on the crane and frame that it would not lock up (tight tolerances). It would almost lock up, but not enough to fire. I had a broken firing pin in a model 60 decades ago. Other than that a properly maintained revolver gets my nudge.

Kendal Black
August 12, 2011, 09:10 PM
I prefer the revolver, generally speaking. It is not so much a matter of reliability but simpler human factors.

The vaunted reliability of the revolver is only realized if the user knows how to inspect the thing for impending problems. The unscrewing ejector rod has been mentioned already; that's a good example. It is not a problem if you know to watch for it. Likewise worn hand and lagging carry-up, developing end shake, and so on.

But you can keep your eyes open for possible problems on the autoloader too, I suppose. Perhaps it is my lesser familiarity (I do not say unfamiliarity) with the autoloader, but sometimes the first sign of something amiss is the fired cartridge sticking out of the port like a one-finger salute.

Anyhow, human factors. To load the revolver, place a cartridge in each hole. To unload and show clear, make sure there's nothing in the holes. You don't have to take the DA revolver apart for normal cleaning and you can keep all your brass in one place using a coffee can, or your hat. There is no tap-rack-bang drill and certainly no double-shuffle-double-feed procedure. (Slide back, mag out, rack-rack-rack, replace magazine, preferably with a different magazine. Now, recharge and try again.)

In all, I find the revolver a friendlier piece of machinery.

Pyro
August 12, 2011, 09:44 PM
I carry a derringer.
What's reliability?

Nonothing
August 12, 2011, 10:08 PM
My main experience with shooting any volume from autoloaders comes from the military. At my last command, we qualified 3 times a year with an M9. That's about 160 people, shooting the same 30 or so handguns 2-3 strings of fire to qualify, then eating up the remaining ammo (average about 2000 rounds) in my three years at this command, I saw two M9's malfunction. One stovepipe was cleared with a palm sweep then tap-rack-bang. The other was a double feed caused by the shooter using a worn out M11 sig magazine by mistake, again this was easily cleared. I should add that these guns are WORN OUT, as in almost no checkering left on the plastic grips, finish worn down, some barrels were almost in white metal. Just throwing that in the proverbial ring. I have little experience with revolvers and especially malfunctions of such. My revolvers, a taurus 605 and a model 10 have never hiccuped.

L-Frame
August 12, 2011, 10:24 PM
I can only speak of my experiences and that is that while semi's are much better than they used to be, I feel more comfortable putting my life in the hands of my wheelguns.

Taking another tack here, I've taken many combat classes requiring many different positions, angles, using barricades, etc. and under those circumstances I tend to see many more semi-auto malfunctions. People lean the gun against a barricade causing a stovepipe, or hold it too close to their bodies in close quarter drills and short stroke the slide. Revolvers have none of these issues. Now while many will say that is a training issue, and it clearly is, it's impossible to duplicate a real attack situation. And, I want a gun that has the fewest ways of choking up, and I don't care how it happens, whether it's the guns fault or mine. I will never underestimate my ability to do something stupid when it really counts. That is why I choose a revolver. Just my 2 cents

Kendal Black
August 12, 2011, 10:38 PM
My main experience with shooting any volume from autoloaders comes from the military. At my last command, we qualified 3 times a year with an M9. That's about 160 people, shooting the same 30 or so handguns 2-3 strings of fire to qualify, then eating up the remaining ammo (average about 2000 rounds) in my three years at this command, I saw two M9's malfunction. One stovepipe was cleared with a palm sweep then tap-rack-bang. The other was a double feed caused by the shooter using a worn out M11 sig magazine by mistake, again this was easily cleared. I should add that these guns are WORN OUT, as in almost no checkering left on the plastic grips, finish worn down, some barrels were almost in white metal. Just throwing that in the proverbial ring. I have little experience with revolvers and especially malfunctions of such. My revolvers, a taurus 605 and a model 10 have never hiccuped.

A peculiar thought occurs to me, about your Berettas--autoloaders loosened up by use may be all the more reliable: Were they worn out or worn in? Guns carried everywhere can look pretty shabby externally and still work fine.

I'm not saying that's the way it was; I wasn't there and you were, and I certainly did not look inside the guns in question. It's simply what popped into my head when I read about your experiences.

Rexster
August 12, 2011, 11:07 PM
I have several autos that have never malfunctioned, ever. A small number of autos I have formerly owned were quite malfunction-prone.

None of my firearms are large enough to require wheels; no artillery pieces. ;)

As for revolving pistols, some of mine are/were so tight that "crumbs" falling from inside the chambers, landing on the extractor, have prevented the full return of the extractor, which in turn would bind the cylinder. The exact source of these "crumbs" has generated some heated debate in the past, but it should suffice to say that this happened when these sixguns were very, very clean, when using cheap ammo that makes a mess. This is not a brand-specific malfunction, as I have experienced it with both S&W and Ruger revolvers. I used to carry an old toothbrush in a pocket at qual time, and while attending training, during my duty sixgun days.

One way to mitigate this is to hit the ejector rod when the revolver is held at a downward angle greater 45 degrees, but less than vertical, so the crumbs are less likely to land on the extractor. I also keep the extractor DRY; no oil or grease.

My favored go-to sixguns have been the ones without a history of this condition, though to be clear, it does not seem to happen with clean-burning premium defensive ammo.

Ruger used to care enough to machine grooves, that could be termed "grunge grooves," under the extractors of their early GP100 revolvers.

Rexster
August 12, 2011, 11:18 PM
I am comfortable with the reliability of my autos AND revolvers that have proven themselves. I just like revolvers better, as a whole, for aesthetics and hand-fit reasons, plus more revolvers have a personally-pleasing balance and heft. I also like that dry lubes and protectants can be used on revolvers, so I can, if necessary, pull a revolver out of long-term storage, load it, and know it is good to go.

Another thing I like about revolvers is how easy it is to comfortably carry two or three of them, that can share ammo. The ultimate insurance is another weapon. I can easily conceal a SIG P229 and a spare magazine, but a second P229 requires a really full-cut and/or bulky cover garment. I can carry three SP101 revolvers, and as many speed strips as I want, without having to wear a voluminous cover garment.

During the brief period I used a Glock for police duty and some carry, I was very concerned about limp-wrist malfunctions in the event of my being injured during a fight. This was of less concern during my duty 1911 days, and in my present duty SIG days, as these pistols are reputed to be less susceptible to limp-wrist-induced malfunctions. I have fairly regularly toted back-up revolvers with the "primary" autos for many years.

Rexster
August 12, 2011, 11:24 PM
I carry a derringer.
What's reliability?
A street robbery occurred in my neighborhood, with five bad guys involved. One bad guy had a shotgun. I reckon that derringer reliability falls back onto one's ability to dance and reload at the same time.

Nonothing
August 13, 2011, 01:53 AM
A peculiar thought occurs to me, about your Berettas--autoloaders loosened up by use may be all the more reliable: Were they worn out or worn in? Guns carried everywhere can look pretty shabby externally and still work fine.

I'm not saying that's the way it was; I wasn't there and you were, and I certainly did not look inside the guns in question. It's simply what popped into my head when I read about your experiences.






Honestly, that thought had not occurred to me. I am most definitely a firearms enthusiast rather than an expert. I was basing my opinion on the aesthetic appearance of the weapons. Those weapons went with us twice to the middle east and have seen a lot of time in duty holsters there and here in the states. As with most military weapons, they were vigorously and frequently cleaned and maintained. It's quite possible as you said that they are "worn in" rather than "worn out" as I originally stated. In any case, it's an interesting point to ponder in regards to reliable functionality. As much as our weapons were used and abused, and how often the M9 is slighted in popular opinion; I'll say I never felt uncomfortable having one in a thigh rig anywhere I carried it (including the Iraqi oil platforms, and Colon city Panama...)

Kendal Black
August 13, 2011, 02:17 AM
Nonothing,

Anyone who disses the M9 has never shot one.

All I know about the worn out versus ugly looking thing: I bought a horrible looking Smith revolver, a police trade-in that had been carried rain or shine for many years, and it turned out to be a good shooter indeed.

A buddy has an ex-military 1911A1, forties era, that is so loose it rattles, and looks like it rode all over Europe in a box of rocks--and it never skips a beat.

On the other hand, you often see a gun that looks like a piece of crap...and it is. :)

Welcome aboard the board.

shooting4life
August 13, 2011, 02:20 AM
I teach at a few classes with out instructors (one on one time with students). Every instructor brings their own guns. I always bring revolvers and a lot of others bring auto loaders. Throughout the class I watch them all jam at one point or another. About 20% is gun issues and the other 80% is limp wristing. At my station with revolvers they always work without question no matter the type of ammo or the shooter.

Scipio Africanus
August 13, 2011, 02:31 AM
My experience, and it is only mine and my observation of those around me, so it is a small sampling overall, has been that revlolvers are FAR more reliable than auto loaders. I do carry a 1911 at times and I would carry a Glock, XD, or FN, but most often it is a revolver on my hip. I have good peace of mind with such a tool.

Tony_the_tiger
August 13, 2011, 03:11 AM
One of the first things to go in a self defense scenario is fine motor skills. This varies by individual and fine motor skills during stress can be improved with training. Although there are exceptions, most semi-automatics may require one or more steps after drawing in order to be able to fire a round. One may have to rack the slide or disable a number of safety functions which at times compensate for a light trigger pull.

With a double action revolver, one must only aim and fire. A heavy trigger pull is not as dependent on fine motor skills as racking a slide or toggling safeties. That heavy trigger pull could also be considered a safety function, yet one that is automatically disabled when the firearm is deployed for use by the defender.

If you hand me 5 different semi automatics, then I may have to study each individual firearm system to be able to deploy it reliable, and each firearm system may differ by brand and model. Whereas if you hand me 5 different revolvers, I will have a much easier time deploying them since very few revolver manufacturers change the mechanism of operation of a double action revolver. Therefore, by understanding one I also understand the others, as revolver designs tends to be more standardized than their semi-automatic counterparts.

For these reasons and others stated by THR members in the thread, the revolver makes sense for many of those defending a home or practicing ccw with a license.

I am personally biased towards revolvers, but I certainly would not underestimate someone carrying a semi automatic. The revolver has a unique place in firearms history and is a relatively simple machine that is good at doing what it was designed to do.

Warp
August 13, 2011, 03:27 AM
One of the first things to go in a self defense scenario is fine motor skills. This varies by individual and fine motor skills during stress can be improved with training. Although there are exceptions, most semi-automatics may require one or more steps after drawing in order to be able to fire a round. One may have to rack the slide or disable a number of safety functions which at times compensate for a light trigger pull.

There are a ton of excellent semi auto choices that, when loaded, require nothing more than pulling the trigger. In fact, I have never purchased a single handgun with a manual safety...and I only have one revolver. Thus they are the same as a revolver in this sense. Pick it up/draw, aim or point, pull the trigger.

Tony_the_tiger
August 13, 2011, 04:13 AM
Although there are exceptions...

When the steps to fire a semi-automatic are reduced, the lighter trigger pull becomes a point of concern. The heavy trigger pull of most double action revolvers prevent many negligent discharges.

In the event that you carry a semi automatic with a heavy trigger pull and can fire it as fast as a revolver, I salute you.

oldfool
August 13, 2011, 09:38 AM
"In the event that you carry a semi automatic with a heavy trigger pull and can fire it as fast as a revolver, I salute you."

I would suppose that just depends a whole lot more on the shooters practice level. The Glocksters not being heavily represented in the revolver section here, I guess I should throw one in here on their behalf.

Urban myth or not I dunno, but there is the story about the fellow, who whilst visiting the white throne, decide to hang his striker fired Glock sidearm on the stall door hook. It discharged, and promptly proceeded to fully empty the entire mag in rapid fire fashion, no pause, all by itself. Quick trigger that. Highly reliable, no FTF, no FTE, no tap/rack, just bang, bang, bang until the mag ran dry, pert near full auto
Pretty much gives all new meaning to "hit the fan". :what:

Wonder how many DA or DAO revolvers could match that 'performance'... ??
simple, quick, reliable, no trigger finger required, no practice required, goes bang every time
(no idea what his "group" looked like, though)

Then again, I am not personally volunteering to run that experiment myself with a k-frame.... with an uncocked SA revolver... maybe.

bikemutt
August 13, 2011, 10:32 AM
Seems to me that revolver malfunctions usually have a straightforward cause that once corrected resolves the problem.

Semi-auto malfunctions on the other hand, don't always lend themselves to commonsense troubleshooting.

Of all the semi-autos we've owned, rented, borrowed and shot, the only ones to date that has never failed to fire at least once have been the Glocks. From that limited amount of experience, it's the only only semi-auto I would trust my life with, and I still don't own one.

It's wheel guns for me.

tpelle
August 13, 2011, 10:48 AM
I must respectfully disagree with Bikemutt. A malfunction with a revolver usually takes the revolver out of the fight entirely - normally a broken spring, or perhaps an ejector rod that has come un-screwed.

On the other hand, the most likely malfunction with a semi-auto is a failure-to-feed, perhaps combined with a failure-to-eject the spent round. These are normally cleared with a simple tap-rack-bang, or by ripping out the magazine and clearing, then starting over again with a fresh magazine.

Actually I'll venture to say that most semi-auto malfunctions start out as being the fault of the magazine in the first place. So if you carry a semi-auto you'd better be carrying a spare magazine, and carrying it in a good magazine carrier that protects the feed lips.

However, it's clear, both from my experience and from the experience of others who posted above, that the semi-auto is much much more likely to experience a malfunction than is a revolver.

So, as an aside question, what is better for carry? I'll tell you that 99% of the time I carry a semi-auto, simply because it's more space efficient and easier to conceal, and I admit it's most often a .380 as it's so light and comfortable. I find that a revolver's cylinder is too wide for comfortable concealment. The exception is, I think, my S&W 640, which happily rides in a pocket.

oldfool
August 13, 2011, 11:00 AM
"I'll tell you that 99% of the time I carry a semi-auto, simply because it's more space efficient and easier to conceal, and I admit it's most often a .380 as it's so light and comfortable. I find that a revolver's cylinder is too wide for comfortable concealment."

me too
I love revolvers best of all, but mostly IWB carry a steel Colt 380 acp, same reasons
(real reliable slim/compact very shootable autoloader, but I do test the ammo I carry in it)

Dogguy
August 13, 2011, 11:10 AM
Both designs have weak points. With revolvers, it's the cylinder. With autoloaders, it's the magazines.

Both designs have strong points. Revolvers tend to work fine if neglected and not used for decades whereas an auto can cease to function properly after the lubrication dries out and the springs lose their elasticity. Modern combat autoloaders tend to work when covered with grunge inside and out where the revolver would choke due to debris.

Despite my preference for autoloaders and the fact that I can shoot autos better, I mostly carry a S&W J-frame Airweight. The reason is because it carries well in a pocket holster, has sufficient power and doesn't get in the way of my normal daily activities.

bikemutt
August 13, 2011, 05:56 PM
I must respectfully disagree with Bikemutt. A malfunction with a revolver usually takes the revolver out of the fight entirely - normally a broken spring, or perhaps an ejector rod that has come un-screwed.

On the other hand, the most likely malfunction with a semi-auto is a failure-to-feed, perhaps combined with a failure-to-eject the spent round. These are normally cleared with a simple tap-rack-bang, or by ripping out the magazine and clearing, then starting over again with a fresh magazine.

Actually I'll venture to say that most semi-auto malfunctions start out as being the fault of the magazine in the first place. So if you carry a semi-auto you'd better be carrying a spare magazine, and carrying it in a good magazine carrier that protects the feed lips.

However, it's clear, both from my experience and from the experience of others who posted above, that the semi-auto is much much more likely to experience a malfunction than is a revolver.

So, as an aside question, what is better for carry? I'll tell you that 99% of the time I carry a semi-auto, simply because it's more space efficient and easier to conceal, and I admit it's most often a .380 as it's so light and comfortable. I find that a revolver's cylinder is too wide for comfortable concealment. The exception is, I think, my S&W 640, which happily rides in a pocket.
I agree with you tpelle, when a revolver quits working it's pretty much down for the count. I guess I was thinking more along the line of it being easier to diagnose and fix owing to less moving parts and inter-dependencies than found in an auto. I suppose as long as the bad guy will agree to a re-match at a later time it's all good :)

I had this CZ auto that was a real mess, it would fail to feed and fail to fire. Everyone had their own theory as to what was wrong with the gun. Anyway, it turned out to be a tiny part responsible for securely holding the clip in the correct position that was worn and needed replacement. But everything else got the blame first; the clips, the ammo, me for not oiling it enough, me for not oiling it in the right place, the slide, you name it, it got blamed.

I suppose a revolver could develop an intractable problem too and I just haven't been around the block enough times to see it yet.

ExMachina
August 13, 2011, 06:30 PM
Nothing new to add but I'll say it anyway :D

It all depends on how you define reliability.

Definition of reliability #1: A very high probability that the next time you pull the trigger the gun will go BANG

Advantage revolver: revolvers still have a slight advantage here--they are less finicky about ammo type and the fact that you take care of the chambering and ejecting of each and every round gets around the chief failure points of autoloaders.

Definition of reliability #2: A very high probability that when your gun does not go BANG, you can make it go BANG again, soon.

Advantage semi-autos: revolvers have more moving parts that must work together in unison. Those parts can and do fail without warning (I've personally experienced and witnessed this). Semi auto have less parts to fail, and those parts tend to have isolated functions such that the system as a whole can sometimes even tolerate a certain amount of failure. All the FTFs I've seen in autoloaders have been fixable, including a full auto H&K MP5 that still ran kind-of-ok despite having a broken ejector :eek:

LTR shooter
August 14, 2011, 03:17 PM
I've been a greater fan of the revolver for all my shooting life but still do not have any problem using a quality semi-auto as a defensive handgun. The only centerfire semi-I have is a Sig P239 and the only malfunction to have occured was with reloaded ammo , even though the ammo was loaded to the book data.

Probably was already mentioned, but the one area where the revolver has the advantage is firing loads of all power ranges with total reliability. I can shoot 600 fps loads or 1300 fps loads and all will fire and the cylinder will cycle. No changing of springs needed.

engineer88
August 15, 2011, 09:24 AM
For the simple fact that an automatic has a slide that is dependent on the cartridge and how well the weapon is held to cycle to the next round says to me that they can never truly be quite as reliable.
All the things I have heard about revolvers drives me nuts sometimes. Especially the often said "when revolvers do have issues they are usually major issues and hard to get back into the fight". That is called a catastrophic failure and when it happens to an automatic the same can be said about getting it back into the fight. That is rather like comparing a phone to a computer. Yeah my computer crashes every so often but I only have to reboot it to get it back up but when my phone is out of service it takes a day or more sometimes. So because the computer crashes more frequently it is somehow better than your phone?

Revolver issues can mostly be avoided, check your carry ammo, make sure the primers are well seated.

Most auto issues can easily be avoided, fire your carry ammo, make sure the bullet profile feeds readily.

I have tons of autos and revolvers. I love all my children. I have automatics that have that have been flawless with shooters of varying skill levels. Heck I even have a chrome PF9 that has close to 1,000 rounds with nary a bobble and seven different people have put 2-3+ magazines through it.

All that said I carry a jframe or other revolver every day. Sometimes as backup gun, sometimes as primary. Heck some days I carry two revolvers. How old fashioned! I know. But they work. As someone stated earlier in the thread an auto can be as reliable as a revolver if maintained well, but it will never be more reliable than a revolver.

easyg
August 15, 2011, 12:31 PM
First, the ground rules:

Let's say that neither the autoloader nor the revolver is defective or faulty in design or manufacture.
There are no broken or defective parts to skew the comparison.

And let's say that none of the bullets are defective or faulty either.
There are no high primers or dented casings or such to skew the comparison.

And let's say that both weapons are well maintained and clean and have been tested and are functioning properly.

And let's say that both weapons were carefully and properly loaded.

And let's say that we are engaging targets beyond arms reach....so the revolver's cylinder will not be grabbed by the target and the autoloader's slide will not be pushed out of battery.

And let's say that we are using a striker-fired autoloader and a concealed-hammer revolver, so nothing can interfer with an external hammer and cause a failure.

And remember, we are talking about reliability....not how quickly a failure can be resolved or how much dirt and crud a weapon can tolerate.



For the first shot....

I don't see any difference in reliability.
So long as nothing interfers with the revolver's cylinder, it will fire.
And so long as nothing interfers with the autoloader's slide, it will fire.
Both the revolver and the autoloader are practically guaranteed to fire that first crucial shot.



Now for the following shots....

This is where the revolver is more reliable than the autoloader.

You can have an otherwise perfectly reliable and functioning autoloader, using perfectly fine and dependable ammo, and it might still have a failure-to-feed or a failure-to-eject event for no clear reason.
Sometimes an autoloaders will choke and no one will ever know why.
This is why we all learn and practice stoppage drills with autoloaders.
There are no stoppage drill for a revolver.

USBP1969
August 15, 2011, 02:31 PM
I sincerely appreciate all the replies to my post. I asked because of what I had witnessed during quarterly qualification. SATT training, Academy training as well as the test my agency conducted at Aberdeen Proving Ground in 1993, 1994 and 1995.

I had hoped that semi-auto design technology and manufacturing technology had improved since those experiences and it sounds like they have.

Just some test trivia from that era:

Aberdeen conducted a multitude of tests on the various .40 S&W submissions. There were a total of seven different .40 S&W submissions for the contract that ultimately ended with a 30,000+ handgun purchase.

There were so many tests that I would have to review the video tape we made just to refresh my memory, but the one that stands out the most was the 10,000 round reliability / durability tests. Here are the results from memory:

1) The winner averaged 4 malfunctions* per pistol during the test.

2) The second place pistol averaged 28 malfunctions* during the test.

3) The third place pistol averaged 115 malfunctions* during the test.

4) The fourth place pistol averaged 1500 malfunctions* during the test.

5) The other three suffered catastrophic failures with all test weapons before the 10,000 round test was completed and were disqualified.

* = Attributable to weapon malfunction

Note: Each test weapon was detail stripped for inspection daily after firing 500 rounds. They were then ultra-sonically cleaned and reassembled. (They might have been cleaned and then inspected - I do not remember.) IMO that was a mistake since detail stripping and ultra-sonic cleaning would not occur during the life time of pistol in the field.

It goes without saying which pistol was purchased since 17 or more malfunctions provided the vender with a zero score.

At this time I plan to stick with revolvers for self and family defense. That semi-autos have become more reliable over the years is without doubt. I just trust the revolver more. I remember a quote from Ed Lovette's book, "The Snubby Revolver," that stated that in 6,000 officer involved shootings with the NYPD no revolver malfunction was reported.

Guess it's just a "gut" thing that has been with me a long time.

Thanks again for all the input and insights.

-kent

mbt2001
August 15, 2011, 02:41 PM
Revolvers are more reliable. There might be reliable autos out there, but the plain and simple truth is that for most homeowners, revolvers are the perfect answer. They can be loaded for long periods of time and never jam when put to use. An auto needs to have clip rotations, half loaded clips, etc... to reach that level of reliability.

My point is that most home owners get a gun and put it in a night stand. It might be there for a long time before it is used. An auto can encounter problems over time from that kind of treatment, a revolver never will. If one carries a gun everyday, then an auto might be a good choice, it most likely is; however for most homeowners, the gun is not checked on daily, or inspected monthly, in some cases.

GLOOB
August 15, 2011, 06:08 PM
An auto can encounter problems over time from [sitting on a nightstand in a climate controlled environment], a revolver never will.
Disagree. I have 2 .357 revolvers, and I trust my Glock 27 for home defense duty. Standard mag, 9+1 rounds, loaded all the time. I'll take it out and shoot it every few months, but I've never downloaded or rotated a mag. And all the parts that make a Glock go bang (striker) are not lubed, so it can never dry out. The lube on a revolver hammer can dry out and gum up over time.

Another example of where I'd especially trust a Glock over a revolver in a "sitting around for years, doing nothing contest" is in a humid or otherwise corrosive environment. There's very little metal to metal contact in a Glock, and what little there is aside from the slide rails is nickle plated (Slide rails are nickel plated, actually. But I assume that wears off on most Glocks, eventually). Every part of a revolver is relatively high carbon steel sliding against relatively high carbon steel, with near zero free play. (Even the stainless steels used by S&W are relatively easy to rust).

mbt2001
August 15, 2011, 06:23 PM
I qualified "most" for a reason. I bought a Glock 19 from a friend of mine who was getting rid of his guns because he was having a baby. Anyway, all of the mags had to be rebuilt, they had been loaded to the max for 5+ years and just sitting. I know people like that, I wouldn't think a lot of them are on this board, but that being said, the best and safest option for many are revolvers.

Not that you are wrong, your not. It is the person, not necessarily the equipment I am talking about.

snakyjake
August 15, 2011, 10:58 PM
A semi-auto needs the slide....to slide in order for the next round to be chambered. If the slide isn't lubricated well, dirt, or if something blocks the slide from moving (like putting their hand on it), you won't get a round into the chamber. It's also possible during a fight that someone can push the slide back causing the round to not fire. A semi-auto can fail to load if limp wristed.

Semi-autos can be more picky about ammo too. The pistol needs enough force to push on the spring to cycle the slide. If you are using low/cheap pressure rounds, this can be an issue. A lot of the time that's why you need to test the ammo out with the pistol.

It can basically be summed out that a revolver can mechanically fail, but a semi-auto can fail for a lot more reasons other than mechanical.

Strykervet
August 15, 2011, 11:12 PM
My main experience with shooting any volume from autoloaders comes from the military. At my last command, we qualified 3 times a year with an M9. That's about 160 people, shooting the same 30 or so handguns 2-3 strings of fire to qualify, then eating up the remaining ammo (average about 2000 rounds) in my three years at this command, I saw two M9's malfunction. One stovepipe was cleared with a palm sweep then tap-rack-bang. The other was a double feed caused by the shooter using a worn out M11 sig magazine by mistake, again this was easily cleared. I should add that these guns are WORN OUT, as in almost no checkering left on the plastic grips, finish worn down, some barrels were almost in white metal. Just throwing that in the proverbial ring. I have little experience with revolvers and especially malfunctions of such. My revolvers, a taurus 605 and a model 10 have never hiccuped.
Yeah, well, if you were at Ft. Lewis, I was the one that TRIED to get your command to hit the targets. Now they couldn't shoot straight to save their souls, but the M9's, worn out as you say, no finish, no checkering, shot just fine.

I have seen revolvers fail. And it is more disheartening than you would imagine, because of lore, because of reliance, because it isn't supposed to happen. But it does. Firing pins break, mainsprings weaken (combine with hard primers, well then!) and grit impedes proper cycling. Not to mention a myriad of other problems.

That said, a well maintained revolver CAN be more reliable than a Glock. But so far, I have a Glock that is in the top running, considering my collection, and it is the oldest pistol I own (an original 2gen.) but it is more reliable than just about anything else.

Both have moving parts. Both can be jammed. It all depends on how you use them, really. Keep 'em clean, don't install junk parts, and practice often. You may find reliable for you is different than reliable for him.

NM Mountainman
August 15, 2011, 11:57 PM
So far, most posts have discussed reliability in terms of how likely it is to fire or jam. Under conditions where both handguns are kept clean, well maintained, and dry, modern revolvers and semi-autos are extraordinarily reliable.

I am mostly interested in reliability for wilderness carry under adverse conditions. Which is more likely to be rendered inoperable due to being dropped into the mud, into a puddle or stream, into sand, or into snow? Which is more likely to get damaged or to accidentally fire when dropped on rocks? Which is most likely to be adversely affected by carrying in your hand doing a rainstorm, snowstorm, sandstorm, or dust storm? Which is most likely to be affected by temperature extremes? Which is more likely to corrode or rust when exposed to moisture and extreme temperatures?

The answers to these questions is likely to depend on what kind of holster you carry your handgun in. Assuming you are using a good, protective field holster, for most of the questions above, my Glock 20 is less likely to be damaged or rendered inoperable during adverse conditions when compared to my S&W stainless magnum revolvers.

snakyjake
August 16, 2011, 02:26 AM
"most posts have discussed reliability in terms of how likely it is to fire or jam. Under conditions where both handguns are kept clean, well maintained, and dry, modern revolvers and semi-autos are extraordinarily reliable."

Can't limp wrist a revolver.
If an attacker can push the slide back, the pistol isn't going to fire.
For self-defense, close quarter combat is very probably, as apposed to 7 yards.

For wilderness and being dropped: If the slide is damaged, you're going to have a single shot pistol. If the slide has grit, it won't cycle. If the slide freezes, it won't cycle. If the slide corrodes, it won't cycle. The more reliable pistols have lose tolerances for better reliability, at the expense of accuracy.

Kendal Black
August 16, 2011, 05:52 AM
I have no problem relying on an auto pistol. The better makes are actually quite good. The presumption is there is only one gun on hand. No worries at all; that bulge in my pocket is a .38 snub and no, I'm not happy to see you.

If I'm carrying more than one gun, there will be a revolver somewhere.

oldfool
August 16, 2011, 08:03 AM
objectivity is hard to come by, for all of us I suppose

I do find reference to the Aberdeen interesting, even though >15 years old, and if we all knew more about the details of testing, would no doubt leave room for subjective interpretation

but 3 of 7 having catastrophic failures, and even the 2nd place gun with 28 per 10,000 failures (not deemed attributable to the ammo)... that's more than one failure in just 400 rounds on average, which strikes me as awfully high, not reliable

which is, in itself. a subjective supposition, since they may not have happened at "average' frequency until late in the test

more such 'data' would be 'interesting', but you don't seem to hear much of it, especially not auto vs. revolver. I guess you could say it just gets really expensive to do such tests, because it takes so much time and ammo to get good data.

In guess mode, I would be inclined to say I have had only maybe two revolver failures (none catastrophic) per 10,000 rounds in my revolvers, unrelated to ammo, and only one related to ammo. Cannot prove that to even myself, though, I don't keep round count logs.

Though I do think most of my own autoloaders are highly reliable, I have had stubborn to clear jams at some time or other in probably every one of them at some time or other.. but I cannot really say it was not due to the ammo.
Have personally only seen one catastrophic failure on one auto, though, a buddy's gun, broken internal part.
It takes most of us way too long to burn up 10,000 rounds of ammo to really justify our own chosen beliefs, much less 10,000 per half dozen each in both autos and revolvers.

Ultimately, you put your money down, and place your bets.
Good luck to all.

easyg
August 16, 2011, 12:08 PM
I am mostly interested in reliability for wilderness carry under adverse conditions. Which is more likely to be rendered inoperable due to being dropped into the mud, into a puddle or stream, into sand, or into snow?
The autoloader will definitely be more reliable when dropped in the mud, etc...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Om3KuZFuW_0



Which is more likely to get damaged or to accidentally fire when dropped on rocks?
Neither the revolver nor the autoloader will fire if dropped.
But the revolver is MUCH MUCH more likely to be damaged by a fall than an autoloader.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_vu2xEN7kA



Which is most likely to be adversely affected by carrying in your hand doing a rainstorm, snowstorm, sandstorm, or dust storm?
Neither the revolver nor the autoloader will be especially affected by rain, snow, or dust.
Both have been used for decades in the harshest climates around the world.
A slight edge goes to the autoloader because the revolver's cylinder is more exposed to fouling and less self contained than the autoloader (unless you're walking around with the slide locked back).



Which is most likely to be affected by temperature extremes? Which is more likely to corrode or rust when exposed to moisture and extreme temperatures?
Both the revolver and the autoloader will eventually corrode if exposed to the extremes for long periods without any maintenance whatsoever.
But it would take a very long time for such neglect to render either one non-functional.

USBP1969
August 16, 2011, 09:33 PM
Old - the test weapons were fired from inside a trailer out of the windows down range with one TP (Test Person) loading magazines and the others shooting. Behind them at a podium was an engineer who ran the test program. When there was a stoppage, malfunction, or jam (depending on one's like or dislike for semi-autos) the TP would raise his hand and the engineer would respond to make the determination as to whether the problem was weapon or ammunition associated and log it as a FTE, FTC, etc. Not much room, if any, for subjectivity. The TP's were government employees whose function was to shoot weapons for tests. Sounds like fun, but there was nothing down range to shoot at, just a big field. Bummer.

The 10,000 round durability / reliability tests were based on a projected ten year "in the field" life time for the weapon. It was based on how many rounds an Agent would shoot per year during quarterly qualification and quarterly issue of practice ammunition.

Each manufacturer had to provide ten test weapons if they wanted to be included in the tests. Frankly, IMO it was a small price to pay to have their weapons tested by professionals to that degree, even if they didn't win the contract as any weaknesses in their weapon would surface and could be corrected. That's why it took three years since all weapons failed the first two years for one reason or another. The third year was what they call, "Best and Final Offer." Each manufacturer (they call them "venders") had a chance to correct and tweak the weapons for that third year final test.

I tried to get the GP-100 (Our issue .357) into the tests and almost did, but someone got cold feet and said, "Ahh...what it if wins?" And...that was that.

-kent

oldfool
August 17, 2011, 06:45 AM
I tried to get the GP-100 (Our issue .357) into the tests and almost did, but someone got cold feet and said, "Ahh...what it if wins?" And...that was that.

well that does say something, all on it's own, no matter how subjective
too bad, might have been enlightening
( I would have put a friendly bet on the GP100)

USBP1969
August 17, 2011, 10:36 AM
Hello again Old.

The only test that might have given the GP-100 trouble was the "sand and dust" test. It would have sailed through the rest I believe.

I dropped my USBP Model M&P 4" heavy barrel in a sandy creek bed one night while running to cut off group. (I was new and had foolishly unsnapped my Jordan holster.) I had to crawl around in the sand sifting it for the M&P. When I found it I could not open the cylinder. I sneaked up to the wash rack at sector headquarters where there was a high pressure air hose. The hose made made it possible to get the cylinder open and though it was gritty, it would dry fire OK.

I had never taken a revolver apart. These were 4 screw with a low profile Patridge front sight. (great sight) My academy room mate was assigned to the same station and he said that he could take one apart. We took out the screws and pried off the side plate. (I know - but we didn't know the "trick" to getting them off back then.) The problem was that some funny looking thing dropped out when the side plate came off. We were terrified as we tried to figure where it belonged as we had been told at the academy that anyone removing a side plate would be fired and we were on our year probation. Thank God we did figure it out and kept our jobs.

-kent

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