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Old January 11, 2018, 10:01 PM   #1
Koda94
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striker fired malfunctions

I'm curious to know how often malfunctions happen in striker fired pistols? Have you had one, or more in the same gun? Has anyone had a "lemon"?

My understanding is that striker fired guns are some of the most reliable guns made today, "they just work" when you want them to. So I'm curious how often it happens.
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Old January 11, 2018, 10:53 PM   #2
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They are as reliable as any other modern semi auto. Some better then others. Most decent tier ones about on par with each other.

I would put a SIG P226, 92FS, USP etc. as incredibly reliable pistols as well and all are hammer fired.

It has more to do with their care and familiarity then anything else.
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Old January 11, 2018, 11:59 PM   #3
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I have an XD Mod 2 .45 subcompact that wouldn’t consistently cock the striker. A defect. Springfield fixed it quickly, for free. That and a Kahr P380’s light hits are the only striker-related problems I have had among the 30 or so striker pistols I have owned, so it’s not a problematic design. I can recommend Glock, XD series, Smith M& Ps, SIG P 320, HK VP9 as reliable.
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Old January 12, 2018, 06:53 AM   #4
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I'm not sure this qualifies as a "malfunction," but I had a slide lock spring break in a Glock 19 at about 400 rounds. Yeah, I know. "Perfection." I've had no issues since fixing the spring, which has been about 1600 rounds.

My Shield has been flawless so far, but I've only got a couple of hundred rounds through it.
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Old January 12, 2018, 07:12 AM   #5
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There was a model of Taurus striker fire pistol (forget the exact model number) that was used by Brazilian police. It regularly fired unintentionally. It had a design deficiency that the sear engagement was too little to cover the slop between the slide and the frame.

I worked on a Jennings. It is a Saturday night special type with striker. How bad could it be? Check out people complaining against them on YouTube. So bad that the company was sued out of business.

Striker fire pistol is not new at all. I have one that is almost 100 years old. Still works fine. So if designed right, they will function as good as hammer fire, till they break.

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Old January 12, 2018, 08:33 AM   #6
Fishbed77
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Quote:
I'm not sure this qualifies as a "malfunction," but I had a slide lock spring break in a Glock 19 at about 400 rounds.
I've had a similar failure with a Glock 19. The spring didn't break, but lost tension. It's a weak point in the Glock design.
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Old January 12, 2018, 09:16 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Fishbed77 View Post
I've had a similar failure with a Glock 19. The spring didn't break, but lost tension. It's a weak point in the Glock design.


The Gen 5 has a different design for that part that I imagine might help.


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Old January 12, 2018, 10:09 AM   #8
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If you're reloading for these guns and don't get the primer seated correctly you'll start getting misfires. Same as any other gun. In that case don't blame the gun. The question needs to be asked using factory ammo to get a clear, uncluttered answer.
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Old January 12, 2018, 11:33 AM   #9
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I have owned a striker-fired Glock 17 pistol since 1989. No jams ever, after over 10000 rounds.
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Old January 12, 2018, 05:11 PM   #10
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I'd bet more recalls involve striker fired pistols rather than hammer fired.
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Old January 12, 2018, 05:22 PM   #11
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I've had scores of lightstrikes with striker fired rounds. Primarily in a Kahr CW9. Can't recall one in a Hammer fired gun. I prefer a Hammer for that reason as well as being able to decock easily. Having said that; most striker guns are as reliable as a hammer. Mostly.

Also had a Kahr K9 malfunction due to a broken trigger bar. Although not common, it is a part of the trigger/striker assembly that rendered the gun useless.

Last edited by PSP; January 14, 2018 at 08:50 AM.
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Old January 12, 2018, 06:37 PM   #12
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Whether striker or hammer fired, I've never had a handgun or a long gun centerfire malfunction. Rimfire is another matter.
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Old January 12, 2018, 06:58 PM   #13
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I've had misfires with striker fired guns, something that never seems to happen with hammer fired. I also see lots of light strikes on the range. Lots of ammo chucked ovwrrbe line, you pick it up and yea, primers barely hit.ots of brass I look at too and the hits are so light in surprised they went off. I'm not comfortable with light hits like that myself.
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Old January 12, 2018, 07:39 PM   #14
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My Luger has been very reliable.

The last time I shot it, the firing pin retainer broke, but that's the only issue I've had in 20+ years.
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Old January 12, 2018, 08:13 PM   #15
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I have Glocks, HKs and Kahr - no issues or malfunctions over the last 2 decades or so.
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Old January 12, 2018, 09:09 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishbed77
I've had a similar failure with a Glock 19. The spring didn't break, but lost tension. It's a weak point in the Glock design.
I'm not a big Glock fanboy, but I've owned a several over the yers and still have two.

I'd consider that sort of loss of tension to be the failure of a spring (probably made by an outside supplier) and not a design weak point unless I've seen, experienced, or heard of a lot of the same spring failures on forums like this.

Most (but not all) coil springs tend to weaken long before they break; when they weaken, the gun no longer runs right: recoil springs that don't store enough energy to strip off and chamber the next round from the magazine, or mag springs that have become so soft they let the top rounds nosedive when the slide starts to strip the round from the magazine.

Last edited by Walt Sherrill; January 13, 2018 at 08:31 AM.
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Old January 13, 2018, 06:48 AM   #17
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Walt, I don't know how much difference it makes, but the slide lock spring isn't a coil.
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Old January 13, 2018, 08:52 AM   #18
Walt Sherrill
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You're right. DUH.

That spring is a flat spring. I must have been thinking about the trigger return spring that failed in my Glock 17 when I responded. That was a coil spring, and it works like most coil springs -- by being stretched (or compressed) and then returning to a relaxed state.

The following image may not be the exact same spring, but it's the same TYPE of spring as was mentioned earlier.



That said, spring metal is spring metal, and springs tend to fail in the same way -- but WHERE the spring is used and HOW it is "worked" affects where (and whether) he wear is concentrated in one area or over the body of the spring, and that in turn determines whether the spring is more likely to soften (lose tension) or break before it can stop functioning.
Flat or coil springs in a trailer or car's suspension may continue to be used despite their sags, until the spring breaks. The car isn't really RIGHT, but it can still be driven. Failing coil or flat springs in a gun will generally keep the gun from working properly BEFORE the spring BREAKS.
Either way, it's micro-fractures in the spring material that lead to a malfunction. In the examples that prompted this part of the discussion, the failure sounded more like a failed spring than a failed gun design -- particularly since it doesn't seem to be a COMMON or wide-spread type of failure.

Last edited by Walt Sherrill; January 13, 2018 at 09:34 AM.
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Old January 13, 2018, 12:54 PM   #19
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The spring for the magazine safety on California Compliant guns is known to break. If it does, you may not be able to remove a mag that is inserted or insert one if the mag well is empty.

Many report having the problem on a M&P Shield. I experienced it on non striker Sig P229. Many Californians just remove the mag safety.
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Old January 13, 2018, 03:19 PM   #20
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"...but lost tension..." Springs don't just lose tension. The only way for a spring to lose its temper is with extreme heat. Coil springs do not lose temper by being compressed either. A flat spring doesn't either but might work harden over a very long time at the bends.
Malfunctions (of which there are many and varied types)don't happen according to the type of firearm. However, it's not likely that any such record exist.
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Old January 13, 2018, 05:37 PM   #21
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Well to be fair you should only count click no bang failures caused by the striker mechanism.

I had a Ruger SR45 that was bad for light strikes using any ammo. Clean the striker channel and reassemble, it may go 200 rounds or 2 rounds before the next light strike.

It went down the road, replaced by a bullet proof P220.
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Old January 13, 2018, 05:52 PM   #22
Koda94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ritepath View Post
Well to be fair you should only count click no bang failures caused by the striker mechanism.

I had a Ruger SR45 that was bad for light strikes using any ammo. Clean the striker channel and reassemble, it may go 200 rounds or 2 rounds before the next light strike.

It went down the road, replaced by a bullet proof P220.
thats an interesting point but my thoughts were about all of the new very reliable usually polymer wonderguns these days. Any issues really light strikes aren't the only thing, also FTF and FTE are valid too.
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Old January 13, 2018, 06:50 PM   #23
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"Springs don't just lose tension. The only way for a spring to lose its temper is with extreme heat."
Not true. While the steel in a spring might not lose tension unless its exposed to extreme heat, other things can cause a SPRING (made of that same steel) to lose its ability to do work. And most of us call that inability to do work "losing tension."

That "loss of tension" is often caused by micro-fractures in the steel; when that happens the fractured area in the steel can't return to its pre-flex position -- it can't do the same work it did before the fracture. When that happens the spring is BREAKING very slowly, and losing it's ability to do work. Depending on the spring's design and how it's used, micro-fractures can come from excessive cycling or from being compressed/stretched for long period, if at the extreme limit, the spring material is at or near that spring's design limit, (That design limit is also called it's "elastic limit.") When the fractures begin, they often slowly begin to cascade, because the remaining steel must do the same work as before the fractures, but using less resilient steel. The damaged SPRING will continue to degrade and eventually soften and no longer work as it should. Most of us will say the damaged spring has lost its tension even though the steel itself is still tempered.

Most springs are not pushed to or beyond their design limits, so unless the springs are poorly made, or INTENTIONALLY pushed that far by the gun designers -- as might be the case with some hi-cap mags and small recoil springs, the springs are likely to have a long service life.

Last edited by Walt Sherrill; January 13, 2018 at 09:27 PM.
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Old January 13, 2018, 06:54 PM   #24
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Springs fail because of "work", plain and simple - compression and decompression
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Old January 13, 2018, 09:30 PM   #25
Walt Sherrill
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Originally Posted by FITASC
Springs fail because of "work", plain and simple - compression and decompression
Is that why valve springs in car and truck engines may cycle many, many millions of times over an engine's life and almost NEVER fail?
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