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Old March 12, 2013, 01:57 PM   #1
MercyfulFate
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Question: How common ar FTE's/Stovepipes/Jams in general?

I ask because I see people saying their Glock or 1911 has shot 1,000 rounds with NO jams whatsoever, and just about everyone I know has had at least one or two.

It's throwing off my perception of how common they are I guess. Between seeing jams on every semi-auto I've seen in action, versus hearing about thousands of rounds with no jams...it makes you wonder.
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Old March 12, 2013, 02:08 PM   #2
Technosavant
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Keep in mind that people with problems speak up more than those without.

Threads like "My X is stovepiping, how can I fix it?" are posted out of necessity. Nobody posts threads like "My Y is running perfectly, how can I fix it?"

That said, most guns run great or have only very few hiccups (either when new or easily traced to a type of magazine or ammo). Not much point in making threads like that either; if your gun hates a given make of magazine, then you just get a different one and go your merry way.

I also think volume matters. Most guns will run a few hundred rounds without a problem. It is when you get up into the thousand rounds or so in a single range session that things might choke. The gunk in the action might slow the slide to the point where it won't chamber fully. The cases might stick in the chamber. Things like that... things that don't happen when it only gets shot 200 rounds and gets cleaned.

My own opinion (feel free to disagree, I know people will) is that if a handgun will run a few hundred rounds without a hiccup then it's fine for defense. If it will run 500 rounds perfectly every time and then choke on number 501 if not cleaned, well, I can't envisage any situation where that many rounds will be fired from that gun. For carry weapons I like them to run reliably for a few hundred rounds, but I don't expect them to give me 2000 rounds perfectly without a cleaning. I don't even HAVE 2000 rounds for my pistols, let alone the ability to have them all loaded into magazines and fired one after the other. I don't even carry 100 rounds... even though mine will all do that and more without a hitch, I simply will not be in a gunfight like that with these because it's just not possible. I don't have that much ammo on me, and if I have access to it I'll have access to a rifle (from which I demand more).

So keep in mind how much someone is shooting in a given session. I expect more failures from someone spending all day at the range than from someone shooting a box of 50 over lunch hour (with a cleaning once the person gets home).
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Old March 12, 2013, 02:15 PM   #3
MercyfulFate
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I wonder because I had a stovepipe and 2 FTE's my second trip out with my Beretta 92fs. I'm still attributing it to the ammo and I haven't been able to shoot it again, but it was the ammo or a dirty extractor.

I just see people claiming no jams ever and feel like that's the outlier.
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Old March 12, 2013, 02:18 PM   #4
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I had a stove pipe, but I chalked it up to user error. If you limp wrist while shooting it will happen. Once aware of that I never had another. FTF now that seems like a real problem.

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Old March 12, 2013, 02:23 PM   #5
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Really depends on what you are shooting. I have one XD .45, 4 Sigs (none newer than about '95).. never had a FTF, FTE, stovepipe, etc. I've shot defense rounds, re-loads, steel, and brass with any of them.. eats them all.

In the past, I've had some mid level 1911's that had a few issues. My Ed Brown 1911 hasn't had any; but I don't have a ton of rounds through it. As I said, most has to do what weapons you are shooting; honestly, some is probably luck.

Typically if you shoot a quality weapon, you don't have issues.
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Old March 12, 2013, 02:26 PM   #6
MercyfulFate
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Quote:
Typically if you shoot a quality weapon, you don't have issues.
I'm not sure that's totally true, I think it can happen with anything like it did with my Beretta.
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Old March 12, 2013, 02:27 PM   #7
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I expect a couple while breaking in a brand new gun and/or magazine.

As a reloader, I'll also expect it to happen with "starting loads" used to work up a new recipe since some of those are bound to be too weak to cycle the action.

Other than that, I don't expect any. I'd never run 500 rounds through one pistol in a day either though...
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Old March 12, 2013, 02:30 PM   #8
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the first handgun I purchased was a brand new sw9ve back in the day.

I took it out to shoot, straight from the box, no cleaning or additional lubrication. The 2nd shot went FTF, then I had two subsequent stovepipes. Then it fired alright.

Took it home, cleaned it well (with the guidance of my brother, former infantry), and shot it again, with no hiccups. In fact, after cleaning the weapon, and maintaining it properly, I never had another FTF, FTE, or other malfunction. But, the damage had been done in my mind (new shooter, and reading other's bad reports), so I no longer own that gun.

I take care of my guns now, clean them well as soon as I purchase them, and clean and lube them regularly / after shooting. I can honestly say that I have had no malfunctions since.

I take that back, I had a box of winchester 9mm NATO rounds, had a few rounds that required two strikes, but after tracing the lot number on the ammo, it was a common problem and just very poor production on their part, cant be blamed on the weapon. That ammo left the guns DIRTY too.
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Old March 12, 2013, 02:48 PM   #9
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I never had any stovepipes, FTF or FTE on any of my guns until I shot a brand new, out-of-the-box Glock 19. That day I had so many, I thought the gun was junk. After taking it home, cleaning & lubing it, I fired six boxes of all different ammo, and the only ammo that stovepiped/FTE'd/FTF was el cheapo Russian Brown Bear (corrosive, I know - I cleaned up real good after). No problem since using WWB, Rem UMC, Speer,...even factory reloads.
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Old March 12, 2013, 03:34 PM   #10
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The comment, "My gun has never malfunctioned" doesn't really mean much, unless you know how many rounds they've fired, what type of ammo, and perhaps, the level of maintenance the gun receives.
Someone who shoots 50 rounds of factory ammo every year, cleaning and lubing between trips to the range, is probably going to have a lifetime of reliable shooting, certainly moreso than someone who shoots 1000 cast-lead handloads every week.
A guy on another forum claimed to have shot over 300,000 rounds, through a half-dozen different guns, over a period of years, and he'd never experienced a single malfunction of any kind. I don't know quite how to react to that?
In my experience - ten-plus years of weekly USPSA, IDPA and 3-gun matches - any gun that can go 1000 rounds between failures, regardless of the type or cause, is a VERY reliable gun. There may be guns, somewhere, that go thousands, or tens of thousands of rounds without issue, but I have never seen one.
Moreover, I have never seen any one brand or type of gun display extraordinary reliability.
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Old March 12, 2013, 04:34 PM   #11
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There are plenty of excuses for why a semi-auto pistol malfunctions, to include, but not limited to, the following: insufficient "break-in", failure to clean a new pistol before its first use, bad and/or dirty magazine(s), "limp-wristing" and the "wrong" ammunition in terms of brand and/or type. All of these potential reasons should be investigated before condemning the pistol, I suppose, but sometimes the problem really is the gun. And that's when good customer service from the factory becomes relevant and important.
No gun is perfect. Shoot even a clean one enough times and it will malfunction, sooner or later. Admittedly, based on the design, workmanship, materials, etc., some will malfunction sooner than others.
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Old March 12, 2013, 04:42 PM   #12
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Almost never with decent ammo and a gun that is not filthy. This used to be more of problem. I've owned guns in the past, especially 1911's and CZ's that would do this. But my current handguns, Glock, Sig, Ruger as well as Colt Kimber, and S&W 1911's have never had any type of malfunction. I cannot remember the last time I had a malfunction with any of these guns.
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Old March 12, 2013, 05:41 PM   #13
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It has been quite a while since I've had any sort of failure that wasn't due to a very specific and fixable problem with the gun or ammo.

And those that couldn't be attributed to the gun or ammo were when I was just getting back into shooting and I was probably limp-wristing.
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Old March 12, 2013, 08:00 PM   #14
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The ones I've kept exact or near totals on:

Walther PPQ 9mm: > 5,500 rounds, 0 fails
Ruger LC9: > 1,000 rounds (including first 800 consecutively without cleaning), 0 fails
Ruger SR9c: > 2,200 rounds, 0 fails
Glock 23 (Gen 3), acquired "used" w/ probably less than 100 through: 290 rounds, 0 fails
Glock 19 (Gen 4), acquired "used" with 200 through it: 270 rounds, 0 fails

Kel Tec PF-9: 520 rounds, 204 failures to extract


Those are just the ones that I own or have owned, and kept logs of. These don't count the rounds I've run through other firearms. I've shot quite a few, and have never had a semi other than the PF-9 stop on me. Of course, most of what I've shot have been well maintained samples from reputable manufacturers. I'm not out here burning rounds on Lorcins.
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Old March 12, 2013, 09:11 PM   #15
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If you use the wrong or crappy ammo that causes a gun to jamb then you likely have narrowed down the type of gun your using to many!
Design is everything and proper ammo that much so.
Some guns shoot anything, but crappy ammo or ammo not designed for the gun your shooting is not a good idea.
Many people who change ammo and eliminate jams, Start counting from that point forward. After all sometimes it is the ammo!
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Old March 12, 2013, 09:37 PM   #16
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Each gun is an individual and will have a variety of tolerances when it comes to being dirty, dry, sandy, weak ammo, limp wristing and various bullets. Brand is less important in real life than it is on the internet. I'm not saying brand is nothing, but it is blown out of proportion online because it is an easy thing to debate.

I'll use my 1911 for example. After some out of the box problems I got it working really well but I've also had plenty of jams with it since then also. The thing is I can't think of the last time it had a jam at a competition that wasn't somehow my fault. I know how dirty I can get my gun/magazines before it starts having problems and when I am doing something important with it, it is essentially jam free. Of course I'll shoot it until it is way too dirty and I'll get occasional jams but in my mind that is more on me because I am not cleaning it between sessions.

On the flip side of that is a person who always shoots under ideal conditions and hence their gun is "jam free" but not really pushed either. It is not more reliable than my 1911 which I get plenty of jams from but only if you are comparing apples to apples.
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Old March 14, 2013, 11:40 AM   #17
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Only own 3 semiauto.

Sig Trailside (.22LR Hammerli Exesse now) can shoot 500-1000 rounds before I will have an FTE, FTFeed issue. Running a dry bore snake through will help for a while longer. Ignoring FTFire of .22LR. (Remington Brand)

Sig P238 Plenty of FTE when first shot with both cheap range type (WWB etc) and Defensive ammo. I would get on average 1 Falire a clip of 6. FTE with a FTFeed. Fail to lock slide and FTE last round. Around the 700 mark, the gun started to work. I chalk that up to break in as bad as I hate to say that. After the 700 mark I shoot it like it was designed to do, 3 or so clips (18 rounds) I have zero malfunctions. so far about 1300 down the pipe. I fully trust this gun as a CC.

G22 Gen 3 I abuse this gun (in my eyes). As in I try to make it fail when I can. Limpwristing (everyone has heard the stories) I can't do it. I had the first FTE at around 3000 rounds, it had been some 2500 since I had cleaned it. That satisfied me. I trust this gun as a CC. The only other FTE was when I bought ammo at the range. PP brand. I think I had 20 FTE on the box of 50. Went back to my normal bulk ammo, no problems. After the cleaning FTE, I clean the gun after every range session.
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Old March 14, 2013, 11:43 AM   #18
Gaerek
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I'm at somewhere around 3500 rounds through my G19.

0 malfunctions of any kind.

The one exception was when I was intentionally limp wristing to see if I could induce a stovepipe. Took me about 10 shots, but did get a stovepipe. I had BTF (brass to face) for the first 500 rounds, had a few the next 500, and haven't had a single one since then.

Malfunctions do occur. But with quality guns, they're pretty rare for the most part.
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Old March 14, 2013, 11:55 AM   #19
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I've never had a stovepipe in my Walther P99, Colt Government XSE, or Kahr CM9.

I've had maybe 1 or 2 that I can recall in my Ruger Mark III, but it's a rimfire target pistol.
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Old March 14, 2013, 12:38 PM   #20
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Some guns can't go through a hundred rounds before the ejector(extractor) wears and causes fte.

Some guns wear the ejector after a 1000 or so rounds

Some people don't clean their guns properly causing ftf, fte, and ftl! or use corrosive oils!

Sometimes the ammo, but i believe ammo is the blame for other problems in the design or the wrong ammo for the design.

Some guns have cheap or weak/weakened slide springs or extractor springs or clip springs......on and on.

Just so many variables .....different guns, different people, different ammo, different cleaning...

Get a good gun, learn how to clean it, learn proper loads and maintenance and have fun.
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Old March 14, 2013, 12:53 PM   #21
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I have not had one in the last 15 years

if I had I have forgotten

so....

If I had a gun that had one at every session...

I would call a Smith

Snake
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Old March 15, 2013, 08:02 AM   #22
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I had a couple issues with a brand new Sig 226 (a gun known for it's reliability). A couple ftfs and ftes. After the first couple mags, it has been running perfectly.

Someone once told me, if you haven't had any jams or issues you aren't shooting enough.
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Old March 15, 2013, 08:33 AM   #23
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While we are on this subject i had an issue last night with my Bersa Thunder .380 .
I had a partial box and purchased a new box of ammo. The partial was CCI and the other was a German brand.
So i start off with the German brand and jam city. 2 or three rounds a clip and more. I was like crap there's something wrong with my gun.
After four clips i changed to the CCI and no jamb! Are you kidding me? So i go back to the German brand for one clip and jamb city.
Turns out the ridge on the ammo was rounded and the ejector wasn't grabbing the ammo enough to extract the empty shell.
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Old March 15, 2013, 02:00 PM   #24
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Quote:
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I'm at somewhere around 3500 rounds through my G19.

0 malfunctions of any kind.

The one exception was when I was intentionally limp wristing to see if I could induce a stovepipe. Took me about 10 shots, but did get a stovepipe. I had BTF (brass to face) for the first 500 rounds, had a few the next 500, and haven't had a single one since then.

Malfunctions do occur. But with quality guns, they're pretty rare for the most part.
I think they happen less with quality guns, but they can still happen. The G19 with the Nib-X coating is said to constantly jam up by some people, I know the MAC Channel on Youtube was able to intentionally cause jams when they couldn't with much else, and they happened when they didn't try too.

My 92fs stovepiped and then tried double feeding twice, but I still blame the ammo. If the ammo can cause it, it amazes me that some people never have that issue. My Maverick 88 shotgun (cheap Mossberg 500) had numerous jams with Federal slugs, and ONLY them. I had to slam the butt of the gun against the table and rack it to pop them out and it happened multiple times.
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Old March 15, 2013, 02:37 PM   #25
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More than half the rounds I put through that gun were cheap reloads I bought from a commercial reloader at a gunshow. The price was about a nickle a round less expensive than anything else I've ever seen, and I doubt you can get much cheaper than that. I thought I'd have tons of problems with that ammo, but after almost 2000 rounds of it, I haven't had any issues. No squibs, malfunctions, hangfires, or anything. I understand that there are so many variables that can cause malfunctions. Maybe I'm a statistical anomaly? Except for my defensive loads, my primary concern on ammo is that it's cheap. Unless it's steel or aluminum case, I'll buy the cheapest I can find...and still no problems.
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