Author Topic: When is your gun reliable enough for Defense?  (Read 2265 times)

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Offline Vinny

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When is your gun reliable enough for Defense?
« on: February 05, 2019, 10:16:28 AM »
I've often wondered if there is a standard to know if your firearm is ready to be trusted for personal defense?

Personally, I go through a break-in period of about 500-1000 rounds, then I expect at least another 1,000+ failure-free rounds (with field-strip clean & lube every 350-500 in between) before I trust the gun for defensive duty.

However, I know some folks will buy a new firearm, shoot a box or two of ammo and begin carrying.

So, I came across this article about the US Military's initial testing of the SIG P320. Seems 2,000 Mean Rounds Between Stoppage is the standard? When NATO tested the P-01, it apparently averaged over 6,000 MRBS.

 "The Army had a requirement for the new pistols to be able to shoot 2,000 rounds straight without a stoppage at least 95 percent of the time on average. The service defined a stoppage as any instance in which the guns stopped functioning normally, but where the user could get the weapon running again without the need for tools or replacement parts.

With the XM1153 hollow point, the M17 hit the 95 percent reliability mark, while the M18 managed just slightly better at 96 percent. But when troops loaded up magazines with the XM1152, the results were dismal. The full-size gun had only a 75 percent probability of functioning properly, while the compact version was barely over 60 percent."

I'm interested to hear other's take on this, and any standards for personal carry.   -Vinny
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Offline Grendel

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Re: When is your gun reliable enough for Defense?
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2019, 10:24:42 AM »
Me:

Quote
However, I know some folks will buy a new firearm, shoot a box or two of ammo and begin carrying.

'Past performance is no guarantee of future performance.'
Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges - Tacitus

Inter arma enim silent leges - Cicero

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Offline Tenbones

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Re: When is your gun reliable enough for Defense?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2019, 10:58:18 AM »
Me:

Quote
However, I know some folks will buy a new firearm, shoot a box or two of ammo and begin carrying.

'Past performance is no guarantee of future performance.'

This!


Offline Vinny

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Re: When is your gun reliable enough for Defense?
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2019, 11:15:08 AM »
The only guarantees in life are Death and Taxes.
But.....Military and Police armorers follow procedures to increase the probability a gun will function properly when needed. Following an initial break-in procedure and maintaining a log of maintenance, parts or spring changes, identifying causes of failures IE: a specific magazine, all with the goal of staying ahead of known issues before they happen.

Meanwhile.... Instructors teach tap-rack techniques to train for clearing a minor malfunction.

I'm interested in increasing my odds.

Just curious what others do.
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Offline daved20319

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Re: When is your gun reliable enough for Defense?
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2019, 11:45:28 AM »
I figure 500 consecutive rounds with no failures is good enough for carry, odds are, if it's going to break, it'll do it sooner rather than later.  As mag issues are the most common failure point, I carry a spare.  And I tend to look at the first 100 or so as break in and familiarization, a few FTF's or FTE's in a tight new gun I consider somewhat expected.  That said, the last new gun I bought was a Taurus PT 92, had lots of extraction issues out of the box, turned out to be a burr in the extractor groove, once I figured out the problem, it was an easy fix, and the gun has been flawless ever since.  Oh, and as I generally buy lower level or used guns, I expect a few minor issues, but with one exception with an air rifle I had, I've always been able to diagnose and fix the problem.  Maybe I'm just a mechanical genius  8)!   Later.

Dave

Offline Phlyers13

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Re: When is your gun reliable enough for Defense?
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2019, 01:11:43 PM »
I train and practice to make sure I am reliable with a firearm before I carry it.  By the time I am comfortable I have drawn it hundreds of times and run hundreds of rounds through a multitude of drills.  To me this is more important than an arbitrary round count. 

Offline Montesf1030

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Re: When is your gun reliable enough for Defense?
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2019, 01:38:11 PM »
I usually do 200 rounds right after purchasing a firearm... Give it a good cleaning and them do another few range trips till I do another 500 rounds ( one third defensive ammo )... That should give you a great benchmark of the reliability...


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Offline Joe Allen

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Re: When is your gun reliable enough for Defense?
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2019, 02:08:48 PM »
200 to 500 rounds, including 100 rounds of defensive ammo.

Once I'm happy, it goes into carry duty and then gets fired very little. I'll have a second of the same (or usually a fullsize version of a compact) for practice, training and competition. When it acts up, I'll have a better idea what to look ahead for in the carry version.

Ironically, the carry gun that rarely if ever gets fired will get more maintenance than the "beater" gun. It'll be cleaned and inspected every month or so, while the other... well I just cleaned my IDPA/class gun, full size 75, after ~5K rounds. Dropped the barrel in the ultrasonic and, when I turned it on, what looked like the smoke monster from Lost came out of it! The slide and frame were disgusting too. I really should detail strip it, but I'll wait till it hiccups. If it ever does. The only thing I've found that will choke it is bad (or just overly long) ammo.

Offline adrian

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Re: When is your gun reliable enough for Defense?
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2019, 03:37:20 PM »
     Hiya Vinny and thanks for the interesting thread, and the replies so far. Wish our guns had a fired rounds odometer to help quantify everyones experience. I'd think 200 rounds malfunction free would be a comfortable place. Add to that the practice one does for fun the first month or three you get a new to you gun. I've also included an additional 200 rounds of the actual "defense" ammo i.e.. hollow points, +p ammo, magnum, and corresponding for shotgun ammo. Ruled in was a po-2 omega ,and po-1 omega, the cz .380 forgot the model, as a backup, and Benelli entry M4. Ruled out were the Rami and cz 712 shotgun which never could get to 200 without a malfunction, usually feed/cycle/ejection issues. Also wonder if some parts require replacement before breakage that are rounds fired and add to that factory ammo verses ammo powered up for defense or competition. At the range,or mid competition you get really thrown off your game when a slide stop decides to shear in two. ha. Same goes for trigger springs breaking. I also hate to think one would have to invest in two cases of self defense ammo to make that determination. That alone could range 500 to 2000 extra bucks. Ouch. Thanks for the chance to chime in. And with cops having average hit rates of 20-30 percent, hope ya consider a new thread along ,When is the operator reliable enough for defense? Cheers.

Offline Vinny

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Re: When is your gun reliable enough for Defense?
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2019, 04:05:39 PM »
Some really good suggestions here, so far.

I like Joe's beater gun idea. It kinda tells you what to expect from your EDC, so you can service it before it happens.

Round-O-meter....good idea too Adrian! (get a patent...haha).
I shoot over 25,000 rounds/year so I need to stay on this.
I keep a small spiral-bound 3x5 index card book in my range bag. Takes a few seconds to write down date, gun, rounds of each ammo fired and any issues or comments.  Later, when it's gun cleaning time, I simply transfer this data into a book for each gun.

Specific guns seem to develop a pattern over time.

Like my SIG 229 now with 6900 rnds. needs careful attention to cleaning every 300-500 rnds especially throat, and recoil spring every 3,000rnds or it will start having failure to go into battery. Otherwise flawless. So I know what it takes now for it to run 100%

My P-07's on the other hand seem to be much more tolerant to not cleaning nearly as much. They just feed anything and keep on ticking.

Thanks, Keep the ideas coming.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2019, 06:02:54 PM by Vinny »
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Offline MadDuner

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Re: When is your gun reliable enough for Defense?
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2019, 07:05:17 PM »
I?ve been carrying and shooting my old P-85 Ruger for over 30 years, pretty much shooting it every weekend to remain proficient with it.  It failed to eject a few times at roughly 40,000 rounds, and a new ejector spring cured it.  Now at beyond 50,000 rounds - I?m thinking about retiring the poor old thing. It's been basically flawless all this time, but it?s bound to be getting closer and closer to the failure point.  I?d sure hate for it to happen just when I needed it most!

I am not sure exactly what I will replace it with....
Whatever the replacement is, it must be SA/DA with a hammer.
I love my SP-01 Tactical.  I just hate the idea of beating it up through daily abuse like the Ruger received. 

And to the original question?
I want to get a good ?feeling? about any new carry gun, which involves shooting a couple hundred defensive rounds of the +P 124gr hollow point variety - in addition to hundreds of target FMJs.  It seems like a waste of ?good? ammo, but you HAVE TO KNOW it works in the new weapon if you are going to trust your life to it.

Offline Vinny

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Re: When is your gun reliable enough for Defense?
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2019, 08:16:30 PM »
I?ve been carrying and shooting my old P-85 Ruger for over 30 years, pretty much shooting it every weekend to remain proficient with it.  It failed to eject a few times at roughly 40,000 rounds, and a new ejector spring cured it.  Now at beyond 50,000 rounds - I?m thinking about retiring the poor old thing. It's been basically flawless all this time, but it?s bound to be getting closer and closer to the failure point.  I?d sure hate for it to happen just when I needed it most!

I am not sure exactly what I will replace it with....
Whatever the replacement is, it must be SA/DA with a hammer.
I love my SP-01 Tactical.  I just hate the idea of beating it up through daily abuse like the Ruger received. 

And to the original question?
I want to get a good ?feeling? about any new carry gun, which involves shooting a couple hundred defensive rounds of the +P 124gr hollow point variety - in addition to hundreds of target FMJs.  It seems like a waste of ?good? ammo, but you HAVE TO KNOW it works in the new weapon if you are going to trust your life to it.
Replace your Ruger P85 with 50,000+ rounds you've trusted as EDC for 30+ years? That's a tough act to follow. How about finding a low mileage one (I see several listed on GunBroker) and apply Joe Allen's 'beater gun' strategy to your old one keeping the 'newer' gun as your EDC? 
Or....a P-07 which might be close to the P85 Ruger 9mm DA/SA decocker??
"Without Fear, there can be no Courage"
"Carpe Diem"

Offline MadDuner

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Re: When is your gun reliable enough for Defense?
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2019, 06:20:49 AM »
I?ll have to take a close look at the P07.

Offline alva8193

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Re: When is your gun reliable enough for Defense?
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2019, 08:40:03 AM »
200-500 rounds of break in typically, but I have carried a gun from the box to holster without even test firing it before

Offline daved20319

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Re: When is your gun reliable enough for Defense?
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2019, 11:07:40 AM »
I?ve been carrying and shooting my old P-85 Ruger for over 30 years, pretty much shooting it every weekend to remain proficient with it.  It failed to eject a few times at roughly 40,000 rounds, and a new ejector spring cured it.  Now at beyond 50,000 rounds - I?m thinking about retiring the poor old thing. It's been basically flawless all this time, but it?s bound to be getting closer and closer to the failure point.  I?d sure hate for it to happen just when I needed it most!

I am not sure exactly what I will replace it with....
Whatever the replacement is, it must be SA/DA with a hammer.
I love my SP-01 Tactical.  I just hate the idea of beating it up through daily abuse like the Ruger received. 

And to the original question?
I want to get a good ?feeling? about any new carry gun, which involves shooting a couple hundred defensive rounds of the +P 124gr hollow point variety - in addition to hundreds of target FMJs.  It seems like a waste of ?good? ammo, but you HAVE TO KNOW it works in the new weapon if you are going to trust your life to it.

If you like the SP-01 Tactical, maybe look at a Phantom?  Polymer frame, so lighter, maybe a better choice for a gun you expect to "beat up"?  Later.

Dave