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Old May 2, 2005, 12:23 PM   #1
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Real life reliability issues

Just came from the USPSA shooting competition this weekend. And from observation (our squad of 11 actually):

5 1911's .45 automatics (2 FTF's) - 2 different weapons
4 glocks 9mm (4 FTF's) - from 2 of the weapons
1 CZ 75B (1 FTF)
1 Beretta 92 FS (No malfunctions)

The shoot was done in the open, and the ground was muddy. Several quality weapons malfunctioned which surprised me. Because several of the guns were modified and expensive looking. Plus the ammo being used was the good stuff.

In fact, the only weapon group that did not malfunction was stock - Beretta was feeding wolf ammo.

The Q to you folks is: Whether in competition or in the field - what was your observed reliability of your weapon(s)?

By the way, I am writing to Beretta about how cool their time tested machine is....
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Old May 2, 2005, 12:54 PM   #2
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That sample is way too small to be statistically useful. Had they all just been cleaned?
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Old May 2, 2005, 01:10 PM   #3
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Beretta 92FS. Bought in 1994. Fired 7,000 rounds. Not one burp. No FTF's no FTE's. has gone bang everytime I asked it to.

Taurus 650 CIA 2" snubby .357. Only about 500 rounds but I hear that familar bang on every trigger pull.
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Old May 2, 2005, 01:12 PM   #4
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Six For Sure

I wonder how many revolvers malfunctioned?
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Last edited by RWK; May 2, 2005 at 01:13 PM. Reason: Six For Sure
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Old May 2, 2005, 02:35 PM   #5
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One revolver competitor. He had about 24(!) speed loaders on his belt. S&W .357 magnum from first glance but not completely sure. He was not on my squad.
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Old May 2, 2005, 04:08 PM   #6
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Modified firearms....

Is it just me, or did the mods malfunction and the stock gun work?


I think not!

If it ain't broke, it probably doesn't need to be "fixed." If the firearm you buy isn't the one you want, why not buy the one you want in the first place?

Just me, I know....Lots of people like to tinker...
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Old May 2, 2005, 04:35 PM   #7
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In fact, the only weapon group that did not malfunction was stock
There you go, that's your answer. As I recall in my HK USP manual, the pistol has been designed by capable and experienced engineers. do not modify to make it "better".
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Old May 2, 2005, 05:47 PM   #8
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A stock firearm from any major manufacturer should be reliable with the proper ammunition. You can't fault the manufacturer for problems caused by aftermarket modications. If you are using a pistol for self-defense, you are almost always better off with a stock firearm and factory loaded ammunition.

That said, if you are playing a game like IPSC, SASS, by all means push your gun and ammunition to the limits. Use soft handloads, modify trigger, put giant mag "funnels" on the magwell, compensate it, optical sight it, whatever you want, have fun.

I know this lack of reliability seems strange at a competition, but think of NASCAR. They have a hard time getting a car around the track for a 500 mile race without something breaking, when any car on the highway gets 150,000 nowadays.

I have two glock 20's:

I have a glock 20 with several hi-caps that I use for the matches. It has a lighter, smoother trigger, and a 40 S&W conversion match barrel. Lately, I've had problems with the mags, because of the extended base plates- even with the extra power springs. Springs seem to bind in the magazine. So I'm back to factory base plates for now, shooting Ltd.10. I can't shoot lead in the match barrel (one of the reasons I got it). That thing will feed empty brass with the factory barrel, and won't feed .40 semi-wadcutters with the tight aftermarket barrel. Reliability is 100% with good mags and jacketed bullets. With the big mags or wadcutters- might as well have a revolver.

I have a glock 20 with two untouched full capacity mags for defensive purposes. That one remains completely stock except for the night sights. It's never had a malfunction. I am perfectly confident carrying it, and it makes a good backup for the match gun.
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Old May 3, 2005, 08:18 AM   #9
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I am going to another match this weekend - a 3 gun, and will certainly ask around the more experienced shooters their opinions about stock vs. mods. Perhaps its time to start a new thread?

Although the mod guns look absolutely cool.

I dont know of anyone who uses them outside of competition - for HD or CC.
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Old May 3, 2005, 02:39 PM   #10
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I recall Cooper or another person involved with shooting schools stating that stock guns were more reliable in the classes.

My own "real world" experience is that when my auto malfunctioned once (fte) with factory loads after 2 years of running OK, I quit trusting it as a carry gun and went back to Smith revolvers. Unless through long term neglect to clean under the extractor star, a Smith that's clean to begin with can be carried for months or longer (think I've gone over a year between cleanings before on a Smith) and I have not had any malfunctions with them in almost 25 years of frequent to daily field carry, and another 10 of shooting them before that. Maybe I'm lucky, or unlucky depending on how you look at it.
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Old May 3, 2005, 02:48 PM   #11
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I agree with tyme. Statistically the sample size is too small to pass judgment. What would be really helpful would be to collect all the issues/weapons/conditions from multiple shoots to break it down.
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Old May 4, 2005, 09:44 AM   #12
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Civilian and duty-carry 92F - almost 20 years with thousands & thousands of rounds of all kinds of 9mm - 100% reliable. Every Beretta I've owned has been the same, but none were shot nearly as much as this 1st.
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Old May 4, 2005, 10:15 AM   #13
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Agree with tyme.
Just a few things that need to be taken into consideration include:
Magazines (and their maintenance schedule).
If by FTF you mean failure to feed and not failure to fire, the shooters grip on the weapon may be a factor (limp wrist).
If you mean failure to fire, the weapons in question need to be taken out of service ASAP.
Were the pistols clean?
Were the pistols lubricated properly?
Especially in the case of the 1911’s do the shooters follow a maintenance schedule to replace the springs?
Did the shooters tighten up the guns to achieve the mythical 1” groups for combat (vice target) shooting?

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Old May 14, 2005, 02:51 PM   #14
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...stop limpwristing!
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Old May 14, 2005, 03:42 PM   #15
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Yah I see that when I shoot IPSC and IDPA. In IPSC with the stock gun or limited 10 you hardly see break downs and the good shooters in open don't break down (must have good gun smiths) hardly at all. Most all those guys reload wich may cause problems with sub-par reloading.

In IDPA not very many people have malfunctions with there guns and IDPA is pretty much a stock gun shoot. I have seen more problems in IDPA with reloads! People using a progressive press and letting a squib get by there inspection. Thats one reason I still use a single stage press to reload. In the years I shot IDPA and IPSC I have never had a reloaded ammo problem in competition or at practice!
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Old May 15, 2005, 12:49 PM   #16
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I have shot N frame Smith & WEssons for many years and have never had a malfunction. This includes carrying one for 13 months in combat.
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Old May 15, 2005, 08:34 PM   #17
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When I carry I have a really small sample. I am glad my 92 FS is with me.
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Old May 15, 2005, 08:56 PM   #18
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Old May 16, 2005, 07:54 AM   #19
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Last month I worked with a Military group shooting their issue Beretta. Out of 16 peope we had 6 locking blocks break. The guns ranged from almost new to well worn. All 6 fractured the locking block in the same area. Not at all confidence inspiring for the troops.
All guns can break. Period. Some are just more likely than others.
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Old May 16, 2005, 12:45 PM   #20
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I am not surprised the Beretta was so reliable, mine has never had any issues. However I agree with most others here, once you start adding mods to the gun your asking for trouble.
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