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Old April 29, 2013, 08:40 AM   #1
kraigwy
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Pistol observations.

Yesterday I shot a USPSA match. Good weather good turn out.

I'm thinking of getting a new pistol simply because I haven't got one in a while. Maybe jumping on the Glock ban wagon.

So I concentrated on the guns not the shooter/shooting. I was really surprised at the amount of malfunctions. Good shooters, fair shooters, new shooters, there seemed to be a lot of malfunctions.

Maybe I just never paid attention before.

Glocks surprised me, I thought they were suppose to be super reliable. Seem most of the malfunctions were from Glocks. Granted there were a lot of Glocks but still.

S&W M&Ps seem to do a lot better. But still had some malfunctions. Expensive or highly modified guns = malfunctions.

Couple un-modified, Colt 1911 Series 70, I didn't see them fail. The only Beretta shooters I know didn't show up, but in the past they seemed to be highly reliable.

A few revolver shooters, zero problems, including me, my $200 used Model 64 didn't fail, but then it never does.

I shoot cast bullets in everything. My Beretta is the only 9mm I've found (may be others but I haven't had one) that doesn't have problems with cast bullets.

In conclusion I don't need a new pistol. I have a couple 1911s, a Series 70 Gold Cup and a USGI 1911a1, they don't care what bullets I use, they work.

Of course my revolvers work. Beretta 92FS works, I have a Smith Sigma that never fails but I can't shoot that one very well.

The targets in USPSA are large and close, you don't need pin point accuracy, but time is critical, you need reliability.

I think I'll hold off on getting a new pistol for a while, watch some more matches and see what works and what doesn't.

In the mean time I'll stick to my revolvers.

Sorry to step on Glock owners toes, but they don't seem to be as reliable as they are suppose to be. I know, lots of people will chime in saying their brand X or brand Y never jams, maybe so........just going by what I saw.
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Old April 29, 2013, 08:55 AM   #2
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Pistol observations.

Were the glocks being shot modified in any way? Some people think they are gunsmiths and get inside a Glock and start polishing, rounding off corners etc. and that can cause problems.

I recently purchased a G27 that had been worked on, (trigger job, polished, aftermarket recoil spring, etc) It had several FTF with federal 180gr FMJ and WWB 165gr FMJ. I went back through and replaced all the parts with factory glock parts, problem seems to be solved as I've had no problems so far, I still want to put some more rounds through it before I trust it.

Learned a lesson, I will never buy another modified glock. Stock glocks in most cases are reliable.
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Old April 29, 2013, 08:59 AM   #3
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Interesting observations. My Glock 26 has been 100% reliable, with maybe 2K rounds through it, but my toes are fine. It does make me wonder, though, whether the pistols you are seeing fail are either newer models (mine is a mid-run Gen 3) or are have been tweaked in ways that affected reliability. Or maybe I just got lucky.

Your observations about 1911s are also interesting, knowing that there are folks who complain about them being finicky.
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Old April 29, 2013, 09:00 AM   #4
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Don't worry, you'll deeply offend a few glock owners. If their gun never quit, then none should ever quit, it must be the shooters fault somehow. It's the reputation, don't you know!

I get much the same reaction if I mention I've had several Ruger parts break from dry firing. They're supposed to be several lifetimes of abuse totally reliable and unbreakable. If they don't always live up to that reputation in real life, people get annoyed.
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Old April 29, 2013, 09:10 AM   #5
kraigwy
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Quote:
Your observations about 1911s are also interesting, knowing that there are folks who complain about them being finicky.
That's cause people screw with them. My idea of a 1911 is a Colt or USGI unmodified, I don't consider the others real 1911s so when I mention 1911s I mean 1911s.

There was a problem I did see with 1911s or other guns with external safety's. You'd be surprised how many people start to shoot and have to pause to take the safety off. Granted that's pilot error but still something to think about. I have the same problem switching between my Beretta and Colts.

As to whether the Glocks or any other guns were modified, I don't know, there were a lot of Glocks, probably 1/3 to 1/2 guns present.

I just wanted to watch and sew over all what worked and what didn't. The season is just starting, I'm going to keep watching guns and see if the trends continue.

These matches as I said are mostly about speed. The targets are huge compared to what I use to shoot (Bullseye and ISU).

I'm old and slow, I don't sprint from one shooting box to the other, I need every advantage I can get. I can take a lot of steps in the time it takes to clear a gun or change magazines.
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Old April 29, 2013, 09:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
I can take a lot of steps in the time it takes to clear a gun or change magazines.
You must run really fast! The good USPSA guys around here change mags so quick that you can hardly see it.
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Old April 29, 2013, 10:09 AM   #7
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That's cause people screw with them.
Yep, I'm with you there.

I'll keep tabs on your continued observations.
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Old April 29, 2013, 10:13 AM   #8
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It rings true for any kind of competition

Whether it's NASCAR, or USPSA those who tune and tweak for high performance will see reliability go down. I'm certain that any service handgun will serve with high reliability as sent from the factory.
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Old April 29, 2013, 10:45 AM   #9
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Gotta agree with those asking about mods. Factory Glocks, for instance, have a well-earned reputation for reliability, but all bets are off once they're modified, especially with aftermarket parts.

Also, as you know, most load their own ammo, so the quality of the reloads is all over the place. And on top of that, some insist on using loads that flirt with (or maybe even disregard altogether ) the lower Power Factor cutoff.

I'd look at more than just the name on the pistol, then. Ask about their load and what mods they did as well.
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Old April 29, 2013, 11:14 AM   #10
Glenn E. Meyer
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I tend to see 1911s and modified Glocks having malfunctions. Not scientific.

I also see handload screwups quite a bit.
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Old April 29, 2013, 11:36 AM   #11
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Glock Malfunctions

I think what you saw at the match is typical. Glocks are as reliable as most all of the quality, service pistols. That is not to say they don't malfunction. Years ago I was running a firearms instructor course and all of the pistols were as issued Glock 21s using 230 FMJ Federal ammo. There were about 30 in the class and nearly every relay there was some type of malfunction/stoppage. I don't think that is a knock on Glocks as all pistols do stop. I base my pistol selection on the features I am looking for and not because I seen one malfunction because the only people who never had a malfunction are ones that do not have that much experience.
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Old April 29, 2013, 12:20 PM   #12
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In the few matches I have shot the malfunctions tend to come from handloaders and not the pistol. I hate Blocks, but I have never seen them as inherently troubled in performance.
At the OP- I have a Kimber 1911 (9mm) that I shoot cast 125gr RN through all day long with no problem. Several guys at the range shoot 1911 45s with cast reloads. What SA's have trouble with cast?
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Old April 29, 2013, 01:05 PM   #13
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Kraig -

Could the malfunctions be a result of 'limp - wristing?'

BTW - I am not a Glock lover or hater, just trying to keep reality in focus. If they only run right when you hold them right, I see that as valuable knowledge. Whether one decides on a purchase, using for self - defense, or using a Glock in competition.
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Old April 29, 2013, 01:10 PM   #14
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I think alot has to do with shooters modifying there Glocks, some use horrifically light recoil springs in their Glocks for competition.
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Old April 29, 2013, 01:31 PM   #15
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Just a general observation after reading many, many, many postings on forums:

Discussions too often do revolve around modifications because, as the posters all know, the manufacturers really don't know how to turn out the gun they want.
And the after market producers thrive beyond their wildest dreams.
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Old April 29, 2013, 04:17 PM   #16
RickB
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I've shot USPSA and IDPA for over fifteen years, and the OPs observations match mine.
There is no magic gun that is dramatically more reliable or durable than others. I'd rate Glocks, of all models, no better than average, when compared to other plastic guns, or even the highly tuned 1911-style pistols that we've all been warned are finicky and likely to fail when you most need them.
In practical competition, virtually every gun has been fiddled with to some extent.
FWIW, my revolver was never more than 90% reliable, until I switched to using Federal primers exclusively.
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Old April 29, 2013, 04:51 PM   #17
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Quote:
Couple un-modified, Colt 1911 Series 70, I didn't see them fail.
Back in 1968, I bought a new Colt Government model that I could never get to run reliably. Finally sold it with full disclosure a couple of years ago. On the other hand, I have a Series 70 Gold Cup that I bought new in the early seventies that has been a real trooper when it came to reliability and accuracy. Thousands of rounds (mostly reloads) have been shot down this pistol with nary a bobble in many Bullseye matches. Lest somebody think otherwise, I am a big proponent of the 1911 pistol and I also have a SIG 1911 that has performed impeccably.

But my vote for the most reliable semi-autos that I own (which includes the aforementioned 1911s, an HK USP 40, a CZ 85B, a Beretta 92, a SIG 220, and a SIG 226) has to go to the Smith "Third Generation" line of pistols in all of their many iterations (including the "hybrid" Model 945). Mine are as reliable as the sun coming up in the east no matter what I shoot through them.

A caveat worth mentioning, I suppose: I've never owned a Glock pistol but have shot a couple without incident.
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Old April 29, 2013, 05:10 PM   #18
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Could be several issues with the autos. As mentioned user error is the number one. Another is that a lot of guys use the Korean mags for matches because they are cheaper. When I run my Glocks with good factory ammo they are great, I try to use the cheapest ammo I can find for IDPA as I don't reload for bottom feeders so I run the 9mm conversion and the tula ammo.

I have seen all manners of malfunctions with auto's and revolvers, some repairable and some not.

Probably the most reliable autos I have seen are Sig's.
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Old April 29, 2013, 05:16 PM   #19
kraigwy
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Could the malfunctions be a result of 'limp - wristing?'
Could be, I didn't find out the cause of each and every malfunction. I was just watching people shoot to get an idea which guns seemed to have more malfunctions.

I don't own either but I was surprised to see M&Ps had less problems then other brands (excluding revolvers). I will say the normal Beretta shooters weren't there. I'll have to wait for the next couple matches.
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Old April 29, 2013, 09:06 PM   #20
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I've had one stock 1911 that didn't run well. It was a Springfield that ran seemingly perfect for about 500 rds, then became a jam-a-matic that I (and my local and online gunsmiths/users) never could get to run right afterwards. Others have been Colts, from teens dated to 1960's guns. They were very good, but not perfect. I've also had a stock glock that ran very well, but not perfect. It turned out ti be a magazine problem, but,...they are all fine until the moment they arent. That moment could be embarrasing, or not. One simply doesnt know until it happens. The glock only had factory ammo through it, the 1911's pretty much mostly had handloads, though the Springfield had factory.

On further reflection, the older 1911's I had had 18lb springs in them, but were otherwise stock, the Springfield was stock so far as I know.

My experience with revolvers has been that they have been head and shoulders more functionally reliable in my use in all sorts of conditions. They have been predominately Smiths, with a few Ruger SA's, and several Colt SAA's. I'm not a match shooter much, but used to carry fairly constantly in years past, in all sorts of conditions year round, with quite a bit of regular shooting.
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Old April 30, 2013, 07:00 AM   #21
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Pistol

It's not the pistols, it's the reloads in my opinion. I know several that shoot in Glock competitions and they run the absolute borderline powder charges for recoil.
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Old April 30, 2013, 08:24 AM   #22
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My original Glock 17 I owned in the late 80s would stovepipe every now and then. I haven't had any problems with my current Gen 4 Glocks, but I don't shoot in competitions so maybe I'm just not running them hard enough for the problems to show up.

I guess like any guns, some have problems and some don't.
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Old April 30, 2013, 03:28 PM   #23
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Pistol observations.

I've got two gen 2 Glocks and both have been 100% reliable. My Glock model 22 has had a little over 6,000 rds with not one bobble of any kind. My Glock 27 has had a little over 1,000 rds with no malfunctions. I have had two Berettas over the years that were very reliable. Out of all the types of autos I've owned I've had more malfunctions from the 1911's than any other platform. Buts that just my personal experience. Yours my differ.
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Old April 30, 2013, 03:44 PM   #24
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The boneheads you see with failures, are the same boneheads who know better than the Company engineers, and feel the need to modify their guns. They buy into every gimmick and gadget out there. With the exception of maybe a trigger or action job, NO modified gun is as reliable as a factory gun!
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Old April 30, 2013, 09:15 PM   #25
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I deeply appreciate your observations. I am thinking of getting into USPSA this year (and bullseye too, after a 20 year absence).

I'll never be a champion but it's good to learn.
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