Still trust a handgun for home defense if you've had malfunctions with it?


July 2, 2004, 04:22 PM
Just had a FTF with the 1911, but I couldn't determine what it is was. old timers would probably attribute to anyting mysterious to limpwristing but I didn't think its' the case. Anyhow, I cannot figure out the reason for it but the failure has cast a shadow of doubt nonetheless. Now I am not sure if I'm 100% confident with it in a home defense situation.

Would you still use it? The poll is YES and NO only there's no opportunity to diagnose the gun further before you have to use it for HD. Say, you got an FTF this morning, and tonight you hear a noise. Do you still grab it, or an old .38 revolver (normally not the 1st choice).

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July 2, 2004, 04:44 PM
As the situation is layed out in your second paragraph, with no chance to work out the problem, I'd grab the revolver.
That does not mean that I'd NEVER trust the 1911 again, though.

July 2, 2004, 05:03 PM
Load the .38 up with some +p's then figure out why you had the FTF.

I would never trust a gun i used for defense if it malfunctioned in any way untill i corrected the problem.

It's freaky enough when things go bump in the night without having to worry about a gun you're not 100% sure of.

Andrew Wyatt
July 2, 2004, 05:50 PM
depends on the malfunction.

was i using ball or HP ammo?

if i was using HP ammp, i'd stoke it with ball untill i could diagnose the problem.

Doug S
July 2, 2004, 06:08 PM
I've not kept any firearms that have been "unreliable". That said, I've two different firearms enthusiast friends who swear that all semi-autos will at some point experience some kind of malfunction.

July 2, 2004, 06:33 PM
The only time I have reliability issues is with my lead handloads. :o

But, given your criteria, I'd still be comfortable with it. 1 malfunction is probably a fluke. Getting regular malfunctions, however, would have me going like this: :uhoh:

Remember: malfunctions aren't necessarily the end of the world. Regardless of which "legendary" platform you own or use, it is still important to practice clearance drills.


July 2, 2004, 07:04 PM
Hell, no.

I agree with the gentleman who says that semiautos will choke sooner or later.

July 2, 2004, 07:10 PM
If it failed on the very last round and I didn't have any more ammo to test it I would be a little weary, but it could easily be a strange piece of ammo. Remember that nothing mechanical is ever 100% and no ammo is ever 100% either.

July 2, 2004, 07:17 PM
I voted "no". I know where you're coming from. For 9-10 years I carried a .380 that never malfunctioned in my hands. Finally it had a failure to feed. I am 99% sure the problem was a weak magazine spring. I lost confidence in it. I bought a new magazine and sold it. I now carry a revolver. My house gun is a .45 ACP that has never hiccupped, and I hope it never does. Today's handguns are awful reliable, but I know both semi-auto and revolver can malfunction at any time. (As a suggestion--if you have a second gun then use it to back up your 1911. I back mine up with a .357 magnum revolver.)

July 2, 2004, 07:30 PM
yes normally its a mmo problem i had my 9mm jam 5 time in one range session but at 650 rounds since it had been cleaned i expected it cleaned it next range session went though 250 with no probs

Ex-MA Hole
July 2, 2004, 07:38 PM
My gut reaction was "Hell no!" I look down at my guess I never thought that through...I have attributed the limp wristing...hmm....

July 2, 2004, 08:39 PM
If i have a FTF and i change the mag and it dosen't happen again i keep it and find out why it malfunctioned, but no i don't have a problem with using it in HD. If i sold or lost confidence in any gun because of a problem i would have no guns! If a gun continues to malfunctions yes i would change it out untill i could figure it out.

July 2, 2004, 09:48 PM
Depends on the malfunction and what it took to fix it. No problem using reloads counts unless I can duplicate it with factory ammo.

I prefer my guns to not be ammo sensitive. Ones that work with some ammo brands but not others are at the bottom of my list and would be the last I'd load up for SD duty.


July 2, 2004, 09:49 PM
I sure would. It's just mechanical and usage will cause a machine to break. I trust my life in my vehicles and they breakdown also, but I just don't get rid of them for that. I repair them and go about my merry way.

Standing Wolf
July 2, 2004, 10:00 PM
What was the problem? What have you done to fix it? Have you put a few hundred rounds through it since then?

July 2, 2004, 10:19 PM
Not enough info-I mean that if I dropped the slide stop and the entire slide went flying down range, I'd be a bit concerned. However, if I was trying to cycle ammo that was severely torn up out of an obviously out of spec magazine, I would know what to do

(Many thanks to dozens of people right here on THR-Old Fuff, Tuner and the list goes on and on:D, and my first teacher-Drill Sgt May)

July 3, 2004, 02:03 AM
Not enough information to gauge this on. How many rounds has the weapon reliably run through? What kind of ammunition was being used? So on and so forth. If I had 2000 rounds through the weapon and got a single jam, I'd have no problem picking up the 1911. And the revolver... ;)

July 3, 2004, 02:47 AM
short answer: NO

Longer answer: drop the 1911 and get yourself a CZ.
ducks and runs

July 3, 2004, 09:34 AM
A .38 repeater that works 100% every time definately beats out a .45 that may or may not be a single shot.

July 3, 2004, 10:02 AM
I have had 6 jams in my Witness, all handloads, all several years ago, and I have about 12,000 rounds through it now. No problem. My wife had two FT eject with Blazers the first few rounds through her RAMI, but I call those break in jams, which I have seen in every auto, even the high and mighty Groks.
I trust them both, implicitly.

July 3, 2004, 11:21 AM
I voted "YES" because I will trust an autoloader that has failed if the failure has been diagnosed and corrected, or was in my estimation a fluke.

That said, my nightstand gun is a 4" Ruger GP-100 loaded with 180 gr Winchester Partition Golds or 158gr Gold Dots depending on which I had more of to regulate the sights with during my last range trip.

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