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Old November 22, 2019, 02:36 AM   #2
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Join Date: July 8, 2015
Posts: 788
DA Revolver vs. 1911A1 Reliability

It’s not about more or less moving parts, it’s about the actions those moving parts must perform and what can go wrong when doing so.
Revolvers can fail in a few ways. The worst is getting debris or powder buildup under the ejector star. This will lock up the gun completely. I had this happen once during the last stage of a 330 round count competition using an older dirtier powder. You can also get lead shavings or lead buildup in the cylinder gap. This usually causes a big increase in the trigger pull weight, but does not cause a total failure. I’ve had this happen a few times with a 22 revolver with very tight tolerances and more than 1000 rounds shot without cleaning. Also, the gun can go out of time due to lots of wear. This is very rare with any modern revolver. In fact, all of these problems are very rare. Revolvers can also have light strikes but the causes for these are similar to a semiauto, so i don’t see this issue being different between the two styles of guns.
Semiautos, including 1911a1s fail more frequently, particularly certain brands or designs. Failure to feed, failure to eject are so common they have their own acronym or nickname (FTF and FTE or stovepipe respectively). Those failures don’t have to do with the number of moving parts, but rather with the actions those moving parts have to do (ie, move slightly differently sized and configured rounds of ammo into the firing position). The issue doesn’t have much to do with the number of moving parts at all.

Edit for one additional thought:
Over the years i have owned and do own more than 25 different revolvers. I shoot thousands of rounds per year from revolvers. I’ve only had one stoppage (described above, it was a model 627) and two other guns have developed some heavy trigger pulls due to lead build up and had to be cleaned (both GP100s). I’ve never had a gun go out of time.
I have owned and do own more than 15 semi-autos of various brands and designs, including the most reputable and reliable brands. Every single one of them has had failures. Every single one. My best performing semiauto has had three failures total (FTFs) and some have had more than fifty. If the particular gun is clean, slide rails lightly lubricated and I’m shooting high quality round nose ammo, failures tend to be really rare. But still, i don’t have to list those kinds of caveats when talking revolvers. Revolvers run more reliably regardless of cleanliness or how crappy the ammo is. Facts are facts.

Last edited by Radny97; November 22, 2019 at 09:47 AM.
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