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View Poll Results: Have You Had A Failure In A Semi-Auto/Revolver That Rendered It Inoperable?
Yes, In A Semi-Auto 88 32.59%
Yes, In A Revolver 44 16.30%
No, I Have Experienced No Failures In Either 60 22.22%
I Have Experienced Failures In Both 78 28.89%
Voters: 270. You may not vote on this poll

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Old September 8, 2012, 09:55 PM   #26
Join Date: September 1, 2007
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A brand new 4" 686 plus.
Locked up at the range firing 158gr .357 mag. Hammer, cylinder, trigger were all frozen. The IL thingy could be seen protruding upwards in the hole. Unlocking the IL resulted in it firing fine for several cylinders, then locking up again.
Sent to Smith and Wesson. They replaced what they called the cam spring.
Revolver was sold as soon as I had it back.

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Old September 8, 2012, 10:10 PM   #27
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Bought a beautiful old Mauser Luger off GunBroker, this pistol was manufactured around 1972, great bore and internals, beautiful deep bluing and wood sharply checkered grips, looked like it had been fired very little.

Within a magazine or two broke the firing pin, still can't believe it! My gunsmith ordered a new one and no problems since.
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Old September 8, 2012, 10:13 PM   #28
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I've had build up on the barrel/cylinder gap of a revolver progress to the point that it wouldn't turn any longer.

I've also seen two semi-autos rendered essentially inoperable by too little lubrication.
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Old September 8, 2012, 10:33 PM   #29
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Single Six,

Just curious, did that experience compel you to seriously consider a BUG (if not doing so already)? Murphy's Law is what it is so I'm just sayin' .
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Old September 8, 2012, 10:39 PM   #30
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PT-92: Oh, yes indeed, my friend: Ruger SP-101. The aggravating thing is, the Sig is my issued sidearm. The same parts failure that I described has also happened to another officer at my agency. Hopefully we'll soon be replacing the Sigs, though.
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Old September 8, 2012, 10:48 PM   #31
Tango Down
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Yes. Besides my 1911-compact I let my girlfriend fondle the glock19 3rd gen and it became instantly inoperable to me. Tho worked fine fine for her somehow. Lol DONT show UR ladies UR goodeez. Its like an instant catastrphic failure.

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Old September 9, 2012, 01:08 AM   #32
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Mine was a revolver. Astra 680: it was recently discussed in a thread. The cause was dead simple: grit and powder residue build up on the flat crane-to-frame mating surface.

However, until it was identified the revolver was useless: impossible to pull back the trigger.

One wipe and I was back in business!
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Old September 9, 2012, 07:07 AM   #33
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Model 10 locked up with squibs. Gun range reloads.
Colt police positive 32-20 with a squib. mine.
Model 29 locked up. Not sure why. Range rental.
Model 15 locked up from loose ejector rod.
Rossi with a bad spring.


Come to think of it, I've never had a semi-auto rendered inoperable at the range. I've had some malfunctions, but never anything where I had to pack up the gun and take it home.
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Old September 9, 2012, 08:16 AM   #34
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I experienced issues with both revolvers and semi autos. 99% of the time it was ammo or maintenance issues.
The only true firearm related malfunctions I have had were:

Browning Buckmark that the sight rail screws backed out a bit and it wouldn't fire. two drops of blue locktite and an allen wrench and i was back in business.

A smith 28 that the cylinder was a bit too tight, as it warmed up and the powder residue built up between the cylinder and forcing cone it would bind the cylinder up. A minor adjustment and better cleaning fixed it.

A Smith model 15 ejector rod backed out, it was a one minute fix.

A sig trailside broke a spring, and wouldn't fire. a $2 spring and five minutes and it was back running fine.

A HS hamden victor that constantly needed the magazine feed lips to be adjusted. I finally resigned to only shooting one kind of ammo out of it.

No firearm is 100%.
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Old September 9, 2012, 08:27 AM   #35
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I have had failures in both.

The semi autos were easier fixes. Two squibs from bad factory ammo at the range. One was worn out spring that was replaced when I got home.

The revolver required a gunsmith. The spur on the hammer of my Model 67-1 S&W broke. Luckily the gunsmith had the part for it there. Half an hour later I had the gun back. Once while shooting the Anaconda I had a factory round that jumped crimp, and tied up the cylinder. It took a bit to get the cylinder open without bending the crane, or dinging the cylinder. I chalk that one up to bad ammo.
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
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Old September 9, 2012, 08:31 AM   #36
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my S&W revolvers have always been reliable
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Old September 9, 2012, 08:43 AM   #37
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I have had my ruger new vaquero lock up with the hammer cocked back, im not really sure why this happened a couple times but the trigger will not release it and it takes a little trigger and hammer working to release it. It makes me a little nervous because i've had live rounds in and cant work the cylinder without putting the hammer down.

On a side note, if anyone knows how to smooth this out, please let me know. Im assuming it may be internal and havent really cleaned the trigger or hammer internals. Please help.
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Old September 9, 2012, 09:13 AM   #38
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Sure have, but none related to the firearms themselves, and nothing that required repair.

Sig 522 - 1000 round torture test with dirty bulk ammo...somewhere around the 800 round mark it started having FTE's.

Ruger Single Six - again, dirty bulk ammo and a long day at the range resulted in the cylinder locking up from all the crud.

S&W 40fs and 40c - Light loads and split cases using Tula resulted in many FTE's and occasionally jammed the slides.

Cleaned the Sig and Ruger at the range, and they functioned like I expect them to when properly cleaned/lubed.

Still using Tula in the M&P's. On purpose. Still have FTE's, etc. Gives me lots of practice clearing malfs...
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Old September 9, 2012, 11:48 AM   #39
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Yes, 2, both revolvers (not surprising I shoot revolvers much more). First was a .32H&R Single Six. Cowboy loads I bought when I first got the gun were not loaded properly (too long IIRC) and when I closed the gun and tried to work the action it locked up tight. Had to pull the cylinder to get it back in action. 2nd was an old H&R 949 .22lr. Broke the plastic end for the mainspring. Replaced it with a metal replacement.
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Old September 9, 2012, 01:45 PM   #40
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I had a Taurus M85 look up solid at the range. Cylinder wouldn't rotate nor would the crane open. At that point, my self defense gun was essentially a rock.

While I had a problem with a revolver, I didn't change to a semi-auto because of it. I did however get rid of the Taurus and replace it witha reliable, well made Smith & Wesson.
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Old September 9, 2012, 01:58 PM   #41
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I define a failure as the inability to immediately clear the malfunction and continue the engagement/course of fire. I have experienced one malfunction which resulted in not completing the engagement.

It was a DW 15. The metal spacer on the combat grips was missing. the wood of the grips compressed and allowed the grip retaining screw to move up into the trigger mechanism and lock the gun up.

When I shot the 5th army combat matches in the late 70s, the part of the Barrel bushing which retains the recoil buffer spring snapped off. The spring went down range and the weapon would lock to the rear. I simply slapped the slide with the heel of my weak hand and completed that stage of the course.
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Old September 9, 2012, 02:00 PM   #42
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Revolver Chambers

I thought it was a virtual anomaly to see the revolver cylinder extraction issues I have seen at the range, but after reading this thread it seems as common as semi FTE's and the like. What's the deal with that? Is it just bad ammo or are the vendors shipping stuff with incorrect tolerances?

I experienced the EXACT same problem with a brand new 1187 and I had to polish the chamber in order to make it work which is unacceptable IMO for a new gun (and no it was high quality 12g ammo hulls sticking).

Seems to me the country's QC across the board has substantially declined--Maybe the companies are having trouble keeping up with demand and QC is the variable in the manufacturing equation that suffers...?
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Old September 9, 2012, 05:03 PM   #43
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In 1981 my 4" S&W M-19 locked up on me, a small part had broken inside, and locked it up tight. A few years ago my Colt Mark IV locked back on me, after trying the usual solutions I disassembled it practically to the bare frame, found that enough residue had built up in the trigger area to cause the problem. Again, they are mechanical devices, they are human creations, they can fail.
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Old September 9, 2012, 05:38 PM   #44
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S&W 60-10, the pin that holds the hammer in place and is attached to the left side of the frame snapped and locked up the gun. S&W fixed it for free as well as replacing all the internals and even going as far as fitting it with a brand new cylinder and refinishing the revolver.
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Old September 9, 2012, 06:04 PM   #45
chris in va
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Trigger return spring on a Sig 220. Inop.

Other handguns had various feeding issues but it was the only gun that became a paperweight.
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Old September 9, 2012, 06:47 PM   #46
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This is so odd that I am not sure it should count, but:

I took an inexperienced friend to a range, and my Beretta 92 locked up on him to the extent that it took a fair amount of force (a couple of solid whacks to the grip with the palm of the hand) to move the slide. It turns out that some ammo, which he had loaded without looking at it, had badly mashed case rims. One of these failed to extract and a second fed on top of it.

The ammo caused it, but it was in a pistol, and it is fair to say that a revolver would have rotated the cylinder and fired the next round.
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Old September 9, 2012, 07:01 PM   #47
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Before I started handloading, I bought a bunch (probably 3-4k) of 9mm handloads from a friend who had inherited them when his dad passed away.

I knew absoulutely nothing, except that the ammo was a give away price (or so I thought). The wife put a few boxes downrange without any trouble, and then one round locked up her XD solid. I believe it was a marginally high primer, but it took some serious beating by the range's smith to get it free.

Seven or eight years later, we are down to our last couple hundred rounds of that ammo, and she no longer owns the XD. Not sure when I will burn it off, but I will give each round a visual once-over.
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Old September 9, 2012, 07:13 PM   #48
Glenn E. Meyer
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1. Taurus 94 locked up.
2. SW 651 got jammed up with residue with 50 rounds of 22 mag.
3. SW 1911Sc unstaked its plunger thingee - twice and trashed two matches. Borrowed a Taurus 1911 to finish - oh, well.
4. Glock 19 broke trigger spring.
5. 9mm empty rotated like an Olympic gymnast so the empty mouth was facing reward in a G19. Slide slammed shut on it and it crumpled in the spaces around the slide and bolt. Had to whack it on the safe table.


1. Safety fly off Beretta 92
2. Same on a 1911 a few times.
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Old September 9, 2012, 07:36 PM   #49
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"Jams" stopping the gun momentarily, 20-1 autos vs revolvers. Utter mechanical failures, that stopped the gun for a length of time, exceptionally rare in either gun. You can usually muscle another shot out of jammed revolver, unless something mechanical broke, or, a weak load is stuck between the barrle and forcing cone.

One that stands out, the colleted bushing on a series 70 Colt Govt Model broke off one of its fingers. I would have sworn that gun had been welded together with the slide halfway back. It took serious pounding with a wooden mallet to knock it free. Gouged the crap out of the barrel and inside the slide. Replaced it with a solid bushing.
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Old September 9, 2012, 07:41 PM   #50
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Ones that have happened to me:

Taurus 94: one chamber was improperly reamed, and the bullet didn't seat quite deeply enough. The case head blew and locked the cylinder up. I'm guessing that's why I kept having flyers while sighting it in.

Smith & Wesson 1911PD: the spring for the magazine release dislodged, making it impossible to remove the mag.

Springfield 1911: plunger tube wasn't staked properly and came off during a string. Safety kept flopping around like an angry dolphin.

Sig P220: locking block cracked, locking up the gun. And this was on one of the oh-so-precious West German ones that are supposed to be so vastly superior.

Colt Python: insufficient clearance between the forcing cone and cylinder face would lock the gun up within fifty rounds. Also plagued with constant timing issues.

Smith & Wesson 19: I was young and restless, and I thought that driving a 110gr .357 at ~1600ft/s was a cool thing. Until the forcing cone gave out, and I literally could not hit a 12" plate at 25 feet.

Marlin 1894 in .357: don't use .38 wadcutters. Trust me on that.

Ones I've seen:

Smith & Wesson 360PD: the barrel sheared off on the third round ever fired. I've seen that twice.

Smith & Wesson pre-Model 15: owner's brother made handloads using shotgun powder. Cylinder and topstrap blew out.

Smith & Wesson 29: squib load split the barrel from the muzzle to an area 1" forward of the cylinder. Owner had switched from shooting .44 Magnum to .44 Special and therefore wasn't alarmed by the reduced recoil and report.

Colt Defender: frame crack at 40 rounds. Cause? Repeatedly chambering and firing .40 S&W ammunition.

Browning BLR: drastic overpressure event from handloads. One of the most epic blowups I've ever seen. Wish I'd gotten pictures.

Numerous 1911's: user firing steel-cased ammunition. Rim locks up the extractor, requiring a vise and hammer to clear the malfunction.

I could go on, but that's all I can recall at the moment.
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