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Old March 23, 2010, 04:55 PM   #1
aarondhgraham
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Life expectancy for a semi-auto pistol?

I was reading a thread in this forum about new vs used,,,
A member said something about a pistol being worn out after 10,000 rounds.

Really?

Only 10,000 rounds?

I'm not ragging his statement, I'm asking,,,
Is that a reasonable life expectancy for a semi-auto pistol?

I would hope to get a heckuva lot more than that.

There is a guy at my club who will shoot that much in 2-3 months.

I know for a fact that he's been using the same Springfield 1911 for the three years I've known him,,,
It's conceivable he might have changed a barrel or something but wear the gun out?

Another friend has a Beretta 92-something,,,
I've known him for three years now.

Every weekend he will go out and shoot 2 boxes of 50 from his pistol,,,
I don't think he has ever missed a Saturday because it's his major weekly social outing.

So 52 weeks times three years times 100 rounds a day equals 15,600 rounds of ammo,,,
As far as I know the half blind old-fart is still cutting a 6" circle at 25 yards,,,
That doesn't sound like a worn out semi-auto to me,,,
Does it to you guys?

Short question is,,,
What is the life expectancy (in rounds),,,
Of a good brand name semi-automatic pistol?


I have 2 revolvers that I know I have personally shot 100,000 rounds through,,,
Both of them are .22s but thats still a lot of bullets and they are still strong.

I have a Ruger 22/45 that I am sure is getting near to 7,000 rounds,,,
I would hate to think that it is nearing it's life expectancy.

Again, I'm asking,,,
I'm a dyed in the wool revolver guy,,,
I seriously do not have any idea how many rounds a pistol should last.
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Old March 23, 2010, 05:20 PM   #2
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Pistols are like cars. They need maintenance and love. Eventually parts will wear out and need to be replaced (i.e. firing pins, slide catch, barrels etc.). Each pistols tolerance depends on each model and what it was designed for. I would also say that shooting ammo that it was designed for is also a good idea. Don't shoot +p in a firearm that's not rated for it. As long as the pistol is routinely cleaned and maintained it should last a very, very long time.
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Old March 23, 2010, 05:23 PM   #3
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A good 1911 or Beretta 92 (M9) should last 50,000 rds with proper maint. I believe that was part of the military specs with the Beretta M9. I have a WWII Remington Rand 1911 that I know has in excess of 30,000 & is still in decent shape.

Last edited by rptrower; March 23, 2010 at 05:33 PM.
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Old March 23, 2010, 05:29 PM   #4
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I believe a 1911's barrel will last around 5,200 rounds before it begins to lose accuracy. And the overall pistol life somwhere around 150,000. But remember, most pistols were not made to be shot thay much. Honestly, most people will never come anywhere close to shooting that much. If they do they normally (not always) get customized or modified pistols.
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Old March 23, 2010, 05:55 PM   #5
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Any quality pistol barrel should easily last tens of thousands of rounds without any noticeable affects. Military sidearms have been known to last tens of thousands of rounds and I've known competition shooters who will put 100k rounds through a pistol in just a few years.

When I was in the army (Canada) we used Brownings that were first issued in WWII and easily had at least 50k to 100k rounds through them. They rattled and were pretty loose, but they shot fine, accurately and reliably.

Springs, roll pins and such wear out and need replacing, but frames, slides and barrels should easily outlive most shooters
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Old March 23, 2010, 06:17 PM   #6
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I have personally fired over 20,000 rounds through 2 handguns (I kept track until it became to much trouble). One is a 1958 vintage Colt Government Model that was lightly customized with better sights, trigger & safeties plus a custom barrel which I now don't think was necessary. The other was a Glock 21 with a Bar-Sto barrel because most of the 20,000+ rounds were cast bullet reloads.

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Old March 23, 2010, 06:27 PM   #7
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Good question. Who can say it? Care, maintenance, normal ammo and above all, semiauto and revolver heavy type. Much steel, tight tolerances, few polymer parts [IMO], are all things to consider. There are some 1911 WWI that have fired 100,000 rounds replacing just recoil spring and modern pistols to be thrown away after 10,000 rounds.
Personally, I prefer to carry a weapon very heavy but always reliable with whom I've got "feeling". I cannot risk a breakage or jamming while I am in a critical situation. Eventually the heavy handguns are those that last longer.
But this is just my opinion, may be I'm wrong.
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Old March 23, 2010, 06:47 PM   #8
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Glib answer: a couple of lifetimes.

Most parts that wear out can be replaced, including barrel. Though I can't see a handgun barrel wearing out in a lifetime...

The frame should last some big chunk of forever, if its lubed and kept rust-free.
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Old March 23, 2010, 07:17 PM   #9
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If you manage to wear one out...brag about it. You've done something not a lot of people will ever do.
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Old March 23, 2010, 07:40 PM   #10
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It would be interesting to see the research and testing results from the gun manufacturers regarding the durability of their guns.

Unlike professional camera makers, like Canon and Nikon, who say that their cameras can shoot 150,000 to 300,000 actuations (clicks, varies by model), we don't really hear gun makers boasting about this too often.
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Old March 23, 2010, 07:47 PM   #11
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Modern handguns will last a long time with proper maintance.

"M&P9 endurance test gun-- brand new still in its box back in April — finally cracked its slide at 62,333 rounds."
http://pistol-training.com/archives/998

"it’s been a crazy week with the P30....
At about 86,000 rounds, I noticed the trigger pull on the pistol felt different. It was stacking a lot and became very stagey."
http://pistol-training.com/archives/2626


"More than 20,000 rounds later, with no failures to feed or fire and hardly any wear to the gun's finish, I have no trouble whatsoever betting my safety on its performance. "
http://springfield-armory.primediaou.../SPstory11.php

"..the fall of 1995, after having fired a total of 100,000 rounds of virtually all kinds of ammunition...
Nothing has changed"
100,000-Round 9mm Torture Test
By Chuck Taylor
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Old March 23, 2010, 07:53 PM   #12
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Mine would all be wore out if they would only last ten k rds.
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Old March 23, 2010, 08:21 PM   #13
Hoss Fly
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Quote:
Texas Rifleman-
I believe a 1911's barrel will last around 5,200 rounds before it begins to lose accuracy
Did you read this somewhere? Where did you arrive at that round count
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Old March 23, 2010, 09:31 PM   #14
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Doug Koenig has a couple of "favorites" he's been shooting for over ten years. Care to guess how many rounds he's put through them? They still work fine. If he isn't wearing one out, you aren't going to.
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Old March 23, 2010, 09:46 PM   #15
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Springs weaken and need to be replaced. Some shooters swear they can feel the difference around 4-5000 rounds. Probably 10-20k and most of us would want to change the spring just because.

Metal that gets a pounding will harden (work hardening) and then crack. 50,000 to 500,000 cycles. Depends on the whole package working as designed and the design being worth a hoot. Also, as others have stated, running a steady diet of +P+ WITHOUT upping the rest of the system to account for the more energetic recoil, will make it fail sooner to much sooner.

But the guy that said 10,000 and it's worn out -- Brrrrrappppp! (sound of a raspberry or "Bronx cheer". Now if he shoots in mud puddles, stores it in rock salt and never cleans it ---> then he may be right!
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Old March 23, 2010, 09:53 PM   #16
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Quote:
Texas Rifleman-
I believe a 1911's barrel will last around 52,000,000 rounds before it begins to lose accuracy
There, fixed it for you.
Although I've seen a few heavily leaded barrels that lost accuracy. After a good cleaning, they were just about as good as new.

I would submit that the barrel wear per se (wear between the contact surface of the barrel and the bullet itself) is not a significant factor. Wear between the barrel and the bushing, barrel and frame, etc...now maybe we're getting somewhere. But not today, or any time soon.

Lots of WWI and WWII 1911s out there shooting just fine, with untold hundreds of thousands of rounds through them.
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Old March 23, 2010, 10:00 PM   #17
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Years ago when I shot bullseye in the BI (Before Intergoogle) days a lot of the old "experts" said a Gold Cup was good for 50-60K rounds before it should be replaced. Oddly enough they never said anything about the S&W 52 and 41 I also shot. Of course those were shot with mild target loads. I still have my Colt MkIV Series 70 I bought new in 1974 and still shoot it. After almost 40K mostly full power loads it is still shooting. It is an all steel gun. The life of Aluminum alloy or plastic framed guns is something I am not sure about, but I would guess at least Glock would have done testing in that area.
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Old March 23, 2010, 10:57 PM   #18
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[QUOTE]I have 2 revolvers that I know I have personally shot 100,000 rounds through,,,[/QUOTE
What kind of guns are these?

Also I read somewhere on the net there is a guy trying to wear out a G17. Last I read he was over 120000 rounds in. He said he has had to replace recoil springs and mag springs.
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Old March 24, 2010, 07:37 AM   #19
Texas Rifleman
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Quote:
Texas Rifleman-
I believe a 1911's barrel will last around 5,200 rounds before it begins to lose accuracy
haha. Holy crap! I made a typo and I'm paying for it. A SA armorer told me that their 1911 barrel begins to have changes in accuracy after 52,000 rounds...not 5200. Not to say the barrel is bad, though.
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Old March 24, 2010, 07:50 AM   #20
teeroux
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Life expectancy how ever long you plan on being around.
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Old March 24, 2010, 08:28 AM   #21
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If it's a good stainless steel gun, well cared for and only fired occasionally - I'd say that it should last 500+ years, so long as minor parts can be replaced. At some point, I can't help but think that the poly-frame guns may break down over time. Maybe not - nobody really knows.

Quote:
Pistols are like cars. They need maintenance and love
I'd have to dissagree with that. Cars have many, many more components (plastic, electronic, etc) that can break, rappidly deteriorate and are far more intricate than guns. Seals go bad, rubber deteriorates, rust builds up in cylinder walls, corrosion in the radiator, pump, and even water chanlels in the block. The sheet metal or plastic covering the car is usually cheap and not designed to last once the coatings wear out. Most cars are now unibody frames that suffer from metal fatigue after several hundred thousand miles. Cars are designed to last for about 150,000 miles with no major probles, or about 12 years, whichever comes first.

I used to have a restored 1964 1/2 Mustang Convertible. Very little electronics or plastic on that car, but it was still a maintenance nightmare.

FWIW, I recently saw a crossbow from about 1600 that was in good working condition.

Last edited by Skans; March 24, 2010 at 08:44 AM.
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Old March 24, 2010, 08:33 AM   #22
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they didnt. im saying that when they do, i will have no problem buying them back brand new. i hope to get at least 10k rounds through each one
I wasn't implying that my guns are gonna break at the 10k mark. i just hope that i can get at least 10k rounds through them, which to me, is a lot. if i can get more, thats great, however, I know my guns, esp those 2, wont last forever, and that they will wear out and break eventually. maybe not in my lifetime, but nothing is indestructable

however, and now this is throwing big rocks at bees nests, but

most of the above posts are people talking about lots and lots of rounds through 1911's, which if you think about it, steel lasts a long time, and of those 1911's they were all colts springers, or custom shop jobs. they had a lot of attention to detail and care of craftsmanship

i havent heard anyone say they put 50k rounds through a RIA

but to further elaborate on the quality of manufacturing issue,

could you expect the same of polymer framed pistols? glock? my beretta px4? a taurus 709? M&P 9mm? etc?

or how about all steel pistols made today with "today's" manufacturing processes?

yes, we established that guns made a long time ago with old fashioned style manufacturing still last today, and will probabbly last a long time. but there are a lot of guns made a long time ago that have broken a while back, and thats why they aren't here with us today

so can we expect the same lifespan of the guns made from old of todays guns made with todays manufacturing processes?
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Old March 24, 2010, 10:22 AM   #23
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I'd have to dissagree with that. Cars have many, many more components (plastic, electronic, etc) that can break, rappidly deteriorate and are far more intricate than guns. Seals go bad, rubber deteriorates, rust builds up in cylinder walls, corrosion in the radiator, pump, and even water chanlels in the block. The sheet metal or plastic covering the car is usually cheap and not designed to last once the coatings wear out. Most cars are now unibody frames that suffer from metal fatigue after several hundred thousand miles. Cars are designed to last for about 150,000 miles with no major probles, or about 12 years, whichever comes first.
I think you may have compared my analogy a little too seriously . All I'm saying is that as long as you keep your guns clean and don't neglect them they will last a long time.
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Old March 24, 2010, 10:29 AM   #24
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I think you may have compared my analogy a little too seriously . All I'm saying is that as long as you keep your guns clean and don't neglect them they will last a long time.
Sorry, I do have a way of doing that
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Old March 24, 2010, 10:37 AM   #25
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Ah, com-on folks every word in every post on this thread has to be the truth cause we read it here on the Internet.

I should live so long and be able to afford and have the time to shoot the amount of ammo it would take to wear out a modern day semi-auto of average quality.
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