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Thread: Durabitlity and reliability, which handgun is the best?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master tazman's Avatar
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    Durabitlity and reliability, which handgun is the best?

    Talking durability and reliability here. This question is in some ways for a SHTF situation.
    Which handgun(make and model) would you buy and expect to have no malfunctions with and little to no break in period along with a lasting durability?
    Only caveat is it also needs to be accurate enough for people and small game out to 20 yards.
    Perhaps I should split this up into two categories, revolver and semi-auto.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master OlDeuce's Avatar
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    Ruger Super Blackhawk .44mag

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    Do the Best with What you have !

  3. #3
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    Revolver=Ruger BlackHawk .357 mag/9mm Convertible
    Semi-auto= Glock 19 Gen 4 9mm
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    Boolit Master Harter66's Avatar
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    I have a couple of S&W N frames that will be 100 next spring .

    Forged steel in an auto I have several 1000 rounds through a HP clone .
    In the time of darkest defeat,our victory may be nearest. Wm. McKinley.

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  5. #5
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    I agree
    Single action Colt ot the clones
    You could load it today and come back 50 years from now and no problems
    Last edited by jmort; 08-13-2017 at 08:18 AM.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master PaulG67's Avatar
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    Ruger GP-100, 357 Mag
    Paul Gauthier AKA Dragonrider


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  7. #7
    Boolit Master Reddirt62's Avatar
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    Super Redhawk Alaskan
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master Hannibal's Avatar
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    Revolver, with a preference toward Ruger. Tough as nails.

    No safety to fiddle with.

    No slide to bite you.

    No magazine to spit out on the ground unintentionally.

    Thumb the hammer back. Pull the trigger. If you STILL have trouble, repeat as necessary.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    If the end of the world as we know it [TEOTWAWKI] comes, I'll just be the first Gazelle to die. I'm not much into prepping for disasters of that scale.

    If we're talking about basic long term reliability, that's a different issue.

    Simple is good and if you just want some platform that has little to go wrong, a break action single shot may be the way to go.

    If you want some type of handgun that can fire more than one shot before reloading, then it's going to be a revolver or pistol.
    I'm not a single action revolver guy but they are clearly simple devices. I don't dislike single actions, I'm just more of a DA revolver guy. I don't think you give up much reliability with a DA revolver over a SA, so I would still go with a DA. In that camp the Ruger GP-100, one of the S&W L-frames or an N-frame would make my list. Stainless steel would be preferable. If stainless steel wasn't possible, then the gun and all parts should be finished in Robar NP3 or equivalent.

    A revolver may tolerate a lot of neglect but is some ways a pistol may actually take more abuse.
    Dropping a revolver and bending a crane will take it out of service. Bending an ejector rod enough to bind it may take the gun out of service and other severe damage will stop a revolver. That type of damage is rare but is within the realm of possibility.
    A pistol is a little more difficult to damage to a point that it will not work but may be a little more susceptible to a temporary stoppage.
    So, it's sort of a draw in overall reliability.
    Almost any modern military type pistol will tolerate a lot of abuse and continue to at least be functional with some cleaning. Unless you break a critical part, you can likely get it running again.


    So I would have to separate reliability from durability. If the thing just has to go bang when I want it to go bang - both pistols and revolvers will fill that need. If replacement parts and tools are available, the situation gets even better.

    In the pistol category I would start with a full sized Glock like a model 17. After that choice there are still a lot of good options: Beretta 92, CZ75, 1911, SIG; the list is extensive.

  10. #10
    I'd go with my 5 in model 29 and a Glock 30 with a 21 mag.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    In the SHTF a rifle would be your first choice. Next a good side arm my choice a good 1911 or a 9mm auto. Firepower is my first choice if you live in a city or large town.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    For me I look at warranty. Take a maker like Hipoint (Love em or hate em as you please) their warranty is lifetime, on the gun. Not the buyer.

    So to my way of thinking, there is dang little to go wrong with that design. Or they would not still be in business, selling that gun. Or, they are making so much on those guns that they just don't care. Now when your talking a 150-170$ C9 9mm, there simply can not be 2 thousand dollars worth of profit in that gun. So to me that does discount the making money theory.

    On the other side of the coin, yeah it is hard to go wrong with something like a Ruger.
    Costs more, but you know what your buying. Now I don't have a stable of blackhawks, redhawks or Gp's as I simply don't have that much money to want to throw around.

    And I don't shoot that much pistol.

    But I do have a pair of Ruger Mk III 22/45's that have proven to be rock solid dependable. Minor cleaning oiling once a year and they are good to go.

    But for the money I spent on the Ruger's I could buy a whole box of Hipoint C9's.

    And mine has been nothing if not trouble free. I bought it from a pawn shop, it had a couple of minor issues. I called the company, read them the serial #, explained my issues. They sent the parts no charge, added a spare magazine no charge and left me a devoted happy customer.

    That design is just plain dead simple. Very little to go wrong.

    Now if I need to hit olives at 20 yards I am going to go with the Ruger.
    But it is the Hipoint that lives next to my recliner in a nice black case to make sure I can always get to my shotgun.

    Not as accurate, both mag's hold 10. But I would rather trust 10 + 1 of 9mm than 10+ 1 of .22lr.

    And I would not be a bit concerned if somewhere down the line I happened to find a similar sized 9mm semi by Ruger to swap them out.

    Comes down to experience and confidence. Choose the one you have the most confidence in. In the long run that confidence may be more difference than any actual difference between the weapons.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Hannibal's Avatar
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    There's a plethora of 'cool guy' stuff out there. I got my Concealed Carry license for my home state in 2010. At the time, my state was requiring all CCP holders to show 'proficiency' with both a revolver and a semi-auto. There were 12-15 persons in the class.

    On the range, one fellow had trouble with a .45LC that was having indexing problems. Shaving lead when fired. Even cut the cheek of the local PD Chief's cheek when he was trying to help the fellow figure it out.

    And then came out the semi-autos. Holy ****.

    Failure to fire, failure to feed, failure to eject, safety left on, magazine ejected while attempting to release the safety, forgetting to chamber a round when changing magazines, etc, etc, etc, .....

    After that demonstration, I decided that if faced with a life-threatening situation, I want to keep things as simple as I possibly can. And that means a revolver. If I fire 5 rounds and I still have a problem, then the worst day of my life involves several assailants, and I'm screwed, or I just shot everything up but the assailant, and I'm still screwed.

    I hope I never have to find out, but I carry a revolver.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    S&W Mod 10, Colt 1911
    So when is this "Old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?

  15. #15
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    DerekP Houston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by condorjohn View Post
    S&W Mod 10, Colt 1911
    I'll second the S&W model 10, or a ruger gp 100. I wouldn't pick a semi auto for that case I'd want something with a longer barrel and less parts. Combat tupperware might fit the bill (glock).
    My feedback page if you feel inclined to add:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-Shooter

    Thanks Yall!

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I'd look only at stainless for me, or a well proven coating that would have to cover all parts of the gun.
    In a revolver, I'd look at one of the 8rd .357's, plenty of power and with a 4-5" barrel it's still concealable and accurate.
    For an auto I'd look to Sig, stainless in 9mm something in the P226 size.
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  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy oldhenry's Avatar
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    Revolver: Ruger SA (any center fire caliber)
    Automatic: 1911

    IMHO a Ruger .22 automatic (any of the MKs) would be more reliable & durable than the 1911, but RF ammo occasionally fails negating the reliability factor.
    Last edited by oldhenry; 08-12-2017 at 10:37 PM.

  18. #18
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    I vote with a 4 inch 38 special revolver, S&w by choice, but a Ruger would do fine. If I lived where I might have to deal with a big bear, lion, or tiger, I'd go with a ,44 magnum.
    For a pistol, I think my Sig Sauer P220 would be my choice. It is extremely accurate.
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  19. #19
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    For me it's a 4 inch Model 10 or 15 S&W or a loose as a goose 1911. Many years ago I bought a Norinco 1911 that rattled when you shook it and it fed everything.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master xfoxofshogo's Avatar
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    ruger vaquero with 45 lc and 45acp clynders or the 357 with a 9mm cylinder that let you shoot 9mm 38 and 357 mag

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check