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

  1. #21
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    ShooterAZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tazman View Post
    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.
    Only 20 yards? Ruger Blackhawk 44 out to 100 yards +, S&W 686 357 same. 1911's out to 50 yards for small game and then some... I like my Old Model Ruger Single Six for small game. For close up really bad situations, a S&W Model 10 will get it done. For ABSOLUTE reliability I will personally trust a revolver over an auto. If SHTF happens, I will be going to an M1A or M1 Garand, not a handgun.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Ruger Blackhawk and Ballester Molina

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  3. #23
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    There is no contest, S&W m10, the most trouble free design , vouched for by many gunsmiths.
    Colt 1911 another one that's been around for 100+ yrs. There is a reason for that dependability
    and durability. If you throw a SA in, I would have to go with Ruger Blackhawks, more durable
    than a Colt SA by far.

  4. #24
    Ruger Redhawk, Glock 30 and a Marlin 60.

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  5. #25
    Boolit Master tazman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShooterAZ View Post
    Only 20 yards? Ruger Blackhawk 44 out to 100 yards +, S&W 686 357 same. 1911's out to 50 yards for small game and then some... I like my Old Model Ruger Single Six for small game. For close up really bad situations, a S&W Model 10 will get it done. For ABSOLUTE reliability I will personally trust a revolver over an auto. If SHTF happens, I will be going to an M1A or M1 Garand, not a handgun.
    I know my limitations with a handgun. That is why I specified the distance. Any hit I make at 100 yards with a handgun is more luck than skill regardless of the capabilities of the handgun in question.
    This is not going to be my primary weapon. The handgun is to be a backup for my rifle and for close range work. I will also be using it for current self defense and practice at home. I have other guns for concealed carry.
    I am just interested in the opinions and experience out there. Many of you have wider experience with handguns than I do and I respect that.
    I like the opinions and responses that have been presented here. Please keep them coming.

  6. #26
    Boolit Master
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    Tazman can you define your question a little bit.
    Reliability and Durability are two different things. Reliability involves the device functioning properly when you need it to work. Durability relates to the devices' ability to function over long periods of time without failure or need of repair.

    One could load a stainless steel revolver and put it in a desk drawer for 50 years and it would likely function at the end of that 50 years. That is a measure of reliability.

    One could take a similar stainless steel revolver, say a Ruger GP-100, and shoot 25 rounds of 38 Special through it daily for many years and not even come close to wearing it out. That's a measure of durability.

    Does your question deal with a gun that is to be stored for long periods of time and must work when called upon? Or does your question deal with a gun that can be extensively used under harsh conditions with little or no ability to repair it if it breaks?

    Reliability and durability are related but they aren't the same thing.

    Most militaries abandoned revolvers in the early 20th century (Great Britain was a holdout with their Enfield revolvers). However, revolvers were still issued to aircrews, support personal, guards, etc. for many years. Pistols and revolvers can be very reliable and very durable. If I had to pick one type over the other, my decision would be heavily influenced by intended application.
    Am I going to be in a dirty environment with no repair parts available? Will the gun be carried a lot and shot a little? Will the gun be stored for long periods of time with the ability to clean it? Will the gun be heavily used and fired often?

  7. #27
    Boolit Master gnostic's Avatar
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    It took me 47 years and somewhere near 100k rounds to break my model 28 S&W. I'm waiting for the pre printed mailer from S&W as we speak.

  8. #28
    Boolit Master tazman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petrol & Powder View Post
    Tazman can you define your question a little bit.
    Reliability and Durability are two different things. Reliability involves the device functioning properly when you need it to work. Durability relates to the devices' ability to function over long periods of time without failure or need of repair.

    One could load a stainless steel revolver and put it in a desk drawer for 50 years and it would likely function at the end of that 50 years. That is a measure of reliability.

    One could take a similar stainless steel revolver, say a Ruger GP-100, and shoot 25 rounds of 38 Special through it daily for many years and not even come close to wearing it out. That's a measure of durability.

    Does your question deal with a gun that is to be stored for long periods of time and must work when called upon? Or does your question deal with a gun that can be extensively used under harsh conditions with little or no ability to repair it if it breaks?

    Reliability and durability are related but they aren't the same thing.

    Most militaries abandoned revolvers in the early 20th century (Great Britain was a holdout with their Enfield revolvers). However, revolvers were still issued to aircrews, support personal, guards, etc. for many years. Pistols and revolvers can be very reliable and very durable. If I had to pick one type over the other, my decision would be heavily influenced by intended application.
    Am I going to be in a dirty environment with no repair parts available? Will the gun be carried a lot and shot a little? Will the gun be stored for long periods of time with the ability to clean it? Will the gun be heavily used and fired often?
    These weapons will NOT be stored. They will be used weekly for practice and home security.
    My thinking is to get opinions and experiences from many people and try to find some common ideas about guns that work well(reliable) and last a long time(durable). I need both since I expect to use the gun for many years and many rounds of ammunition. I may need to trust it to save my life and the lives of my family.

    Quote Originally Posted by gnostic View Post
    It took me 47 years and somewhere near 100k rounds to break my model 28 S&W. I'm waiting for the pre printed mailer from S&W as we speak.
    That says a lot about that handgun.

  9. #29
    Yes it does. Wonder what broke on that 28.

  10. #30
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    If you really do want it as a SHTF type application then I would go with a high cap 9mm. Glock if they fit your hand. I don't like their feel so would go with a Browning High Power or clone. Why 9mm? Availability of ammo. .40 cal would be a close second and .45 third (unless the military converts back to the .45 then it would go to first on my list).

  11. #31
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    If i was to start over i might just run with a Glock 19 G4 but I'm not so i will stick with my Ruger 1911 LW in 9mm
    kids that hunt and fish dont mug old ladies

  12. #32
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    Well, you opened up a can of worms with this one. Your going to end up with every make and model being mentioned simply because their owners feel their particular gun is the best.

    The best gun is one that goes boom when you pull the trigger. enough said.

  13. #33
    Boolit Master
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    In revolvers, my S&W 627 paired with my Henry Big Boy Steel .357. In semi auto's my CZ75B SA paired with my JR Carbine in 9mm. All of these are solid reliable guns that will last a long long time with relatively moderate care. And they are all very accurate for me.

  14. #34
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by tazman View Post
    These weapons will NOT be stored. They will be used weekly for practice and home security.
    My thinking is to get opinions and experiences from many people and try to find some common ideas about guns that work well(reliable) and last a long time(durable). I need both since I expect to use the gun for many years and many rounds of ammunition. I may need to trust it to save my life and the lives of my family.



    OK, that helps define the question. You're looking for a handgun that can survive a high round count. It sounds like durability is your chief goal.

    There's a sticky on this very forum concerning a member that fired 75K + rounds from a S&W model 27. That's solid proof of durability in my book.

    The Ruger GP-100 platform is very strong and in the same class as a L-frame S&W (686, 681, etc.)

    Glocks have proven to be incredibly durable and reliable; another good candidate.

    In the pistol category beyond Glock, there are plenty of good candidates but I'm not convinced any of them will match that N-frame S&W at 75,000 + rounds. Semi-auto pistols have a lot more sliding surfaces and operate at higher speeds. I'm not saying a 1911 will fail to go 75K rounds but I am saying that somewhere in that time you're probably going to need to fit a match barrel, recoil spring, link and new barrel bushing to keep it shooting acceptably.

    Starting with an overbuilt gun is probably a good idea. Using a N-frame S&W or Ruger GP-100 to shoot tens of thousands of 38 Special rounds will stress the gun less than the same number of 357 mag rounds.

    The reality is a lot of quality guns will go tens upon tens of thousands of rounds without a problem. A 1911, Browning Hi-Power or CZ-75 will likely out live its owner if given a little care. Even a pre-war Polish Radom, Star Super B, SIG P210 or Tokarev TT-33 ! would be hard to wear out!

    In the revolver world, I would go with a N-frame S&W in 38/357, a L-frame in 38/357 or a GP-100 in 38/357 with a slight preference for stainless steel construction.
    In the Pistol category I would start with a Glock Model 17 or if I needed to conceal it, a Glock Model 19.

  15. #35
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    The OP says accurate enough out 20 yds. Most compact 1911 gunners can do that. So many variables. For a SHTF situation you need a bug out bag/case/Box. The hand gun I carry is fine for a quick out. Use your handgun to get to a short barreled shotgun or rifle. My minimum is full sized handgun with 50 rds. and a rifle with 40 rds. I have several cases ready to go. Just heading out to shoot one now. This one is a Pelican case with a CZ 85, Sako TRG, Large Folding knife and a lighter inside. For some situations you'd be better suited with a smaller soft case with lots of pockets and a riot gun. Have plenty be ready. JMHO

  16. #36
    Boolit Master
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    Revolver - 4" S&W 686
    Pistol - Glock 17
    "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you." Joe Heller

  17. #37
    Boolit Master
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    Any Ruger or Smith and Wesson revolver.
    Glock model 19

  18. #38
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    tazman,

    For a roller I would pick either a Smith or a Ruger.

    An auto is easy: any Glock you like. Look at this thread:https://www.glocktalk.com/threads/i-...bility.462537/

    Please note that the thread was first posted in 2005. Just recently the same guy with the same G21 posted a new thread saying that after all that torture, 18 years and more than 200,000 rounds he thinks the piece is wore out. The Glock factory has at least two 17s with more than a million rounds apiece through them. They're both smooth bores, but they still shoot.


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    Cogito, ergo armatum sum.

    (I think, therefore I'm armed.)

  19. #39
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    If I absoposiloutely HAD to have a gun work under the WORST of all possible conditions, I'd pack plenty of grenades! But for the handgun, it'd definitely be a Ruger SA of whatever type was available. Either that or a .45 auto, 1911 style. Even in the worst circumstances, one MUST take care of one's weapons, lest one wind up trying to stroke on empty. Not good for engines or fire fights!

  20. #40
    Boolit Master
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    I always said if I was going to be down to one hand gun I would take my ruger security-six stainless steel 4" in .357. next would be my ruger Blackhawk old model in .357. I have owned and shot both of them for over 30 years each with never a bobble. the only time I have ever seen a problem with either of those two models was when some one worked on it to make it "better"

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