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Thread: Best Most Reliable Semi-Auto Pistol

  1. #41
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    Being in the biz of teaching them and maintaining them, I'd call the Glock the winning combo of cost to buy, easiest to teach, and simplest to keep running.

    They have their odd manufacturing hiccup just like anyone else, but overall, they are EXCEEDINGLY good at making every part just like the last part, so they pretty much always go together without any fuss, and you never have to fit anything (like 1911's) and you don't have to deal with STUPID one-time use roll pins if you need to do a detail breakdown (Sig, HK, XD, M&P, etc...)

    If your goal is to buy something to be a tool instead of a status symbol or other emotional hang-up, they are a very good tool that does the job they were intended for.

    I would suggest you stick with them in 9mm, as that's what they were originally cooked up for, and have made their reputation in.
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  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigslug View Post
    Being in the biz of teaching them and maintaining them, I'd call the Glock the winning combo of cost to buy, easiest to teach, and simplest to keep running.

    They have their odd manufacturing hiccup just like anyone else, but overall, they are EXCEEDINGLY good at making every part just like the last part, so they pretty much always go together without any fuss, and you never have to fit anything (like 1911's) and you don't have to deal with STUPID one-time use roll pins if you need to do a detail breakdown (Sig, HK, XD, M&P, etc...)

    If your goal is to buy something to be a tool instead of a status symbol or other emotional hang-up, they are a very good tool that does the job they were intended for.

    I would suggest you stick with them in 9mm, as that's what they were originally cooked up for, and have made their reputation in.
    yup I guess its hard to argue with a glock. They've earned there stripes. There the ones all others are compared to.
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  3. #43
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    Like I mentioned in post #21 there are a lot of guns out there that are reliable so what it boils down to really is the options and how they feel in your hand. Have a bunch of 1911's here, S&W shields in 9mm and 45, Springfield's and several other Smiths. Had several Glocks and I still hate the trigger in them after having 1911's with trigger jobs. Hada Glock 20, 23, and a Glock 35. The only halfway decent trigger was the 35 with aftermarket parts. Nothing compares to the 1911 in terms of trigger pull and feel. The Glock 35 you had to work at screwing up a group to accomplish that task. Then again if your going to carry you don't want a match grade trigger but then some of us that are used to a very fine trigger cannot get the accuracy out of a run of the mill trigger. So in my mind its a catch 22.

    Re-thinking it in terms of malfunctions the only malfunctions I've ever had were in the Glock 35 but that might have partially been the aftermarket barrels I had used.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Budzilla 19 View Post
    Ruger P-90 in .45, has never failed to fire, will gobble up any ammo it seems like! Mixed up in the mag, hardball, cast , hollow point it will feed and fire, and eject!! Just my opinion
    If anyone ever see's a Ruger P Series at a gunshow or pawn shop, much like a Kahr, it will most likely be priced well under any other semi auto except Hi Points and should be snapped up like the Kahr.
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  5. #45
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    CZ75BD for me, have cycled every thing I’ve produced. Kinda heavy for concealed carry but more accurate than i am.

  6. #46
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    As a former shop owner I can say two makes were the only ones without problems.

    Glock #1 always worked with any ammo we sold or tried.

    Hi-Point #2 the elite lovers will be on this but way it was.

    Biggest problems were the elite Kimber or Wilson. I have never bought the you need break in for 250-500 rounds. At the prices charged they should WORK out of the box.

    Oh Glocks don't point like my 1911 well it is not a 1911 learn to shoot whatever, that is they way real world works.

  7. #47
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    Of the WW2 era bring-backs, the Beretta M1934 was probably the best of the lot. Fewer parts than an M1911 and built like little tanks. The best evaluation of the M1934 Beretta pistol I have found read in English was penned by none other than Roy F. Dunlap. He explains that its thumb safety mounted well forward on the left side of the frame, requires a full 180-degree rotation, and so is less ergonomic than a slide-mounted, hammer-dropping safety, used on the Walther PP. The Beretta safety only blocks the sear, not the hammer, so when engaged on a loaded chamber, the pistol is not “drop safe.”

    The Beretta safety functions best as a slide lock and takedown lever only. “Condition 3” in which the pistol is carried with chamber empty and safety off, or optionally “Israeli Carry” with the hammer cocked over the empty chamber to ease cycling the slide to chamber a round, is the safest carry.

    Attachment 255760Attachment 255761Attachment 255762

    Upon firing the last round, the magazine follower holds the slide open. Before removing the empty magazine to reload, retract the slide back a fraction of an inch to engage the safety, which then holds the slide open. After doing so, then actuate the butt release to withdraw the magazine. When done this manner, the safety holds the slide, so that you can insert a loaded magazine and then release the slide by disengaging the safety to chamber a round.

    Dunlap’s thorough description of the Beretta 1934, appears in Ordnance Went Up Front, (Stackpole, 1948), (1998 Reprint available from The Firearm Classic Library):

    "The average military man cannot hit … anything with a pistol. As a rule the bigger the gun, the less he hits…smaller calibers are easier … to handle. A hit with a .380 beats a miss with a .45!.

    “I like the Beretta, and regard it as, by far, the best standard sized auto loading pocket pistol in the world…(its) rugged simplicity keeps it …running when (sand) brings…(close tolerance) double-action Walthers and Mausers grinding to a halt.”

    “…The Italian Army Model 1934 9mm Corto, outnumbered all other (war trophy) pistols (in the ETO) combined… one of the sturdiest and most reliable auto pistols ever made... The only broken part I ever saw… was a hammer, in which the gun was dropped cocked and locked onto concrete. The service stocks have steel backing plates so if the composition panels are cracked or broken…parts are held securely, so that function of the gun is not affected in any way. The magazine holds seven cartridges. The gun is very well designed and made. I have never been able to cause a malfunction in one without actually bending the steel magazine lips with pliers!…

    “…Berettas…are simple to work on…having only 36 parts, none…frail or subject to easy breakage…although many GI’s needed a fixin’ job…because Standard Operating Procedure in the Italian Army, if capture was imminent, was to remove the thumb safety and drop it into the desert sand. GIs were always bringing me Berettas having ‘a hole in the middle’ and asking for me to make the part...So, I got pretty good at it.

    “The manual thumb safety holds the pistol together by locking the barrel into the frame; it also acts as a stop for and receives its tension from the recoil spring guide, acting as a slide lock to hold the pistol open for inspection or takedown…

    The hammer may be manually cocked at any time and it is theoretically possible …to discharge accidentally with the safety on, in spite of the fact that it uses the short, inertia type firing pin requiring a full blow. Such an accident would be possible only by breaking away the sear notch in the hammer.

    The depth of sear notch and angle of engagement make this unlikely… the disconnector is effective in preventing doubling as the trigger cannot move the sear until the slide is fully closed.

    “The Italians believe in safe trigger pulls, safe meaning heavy. But it is simple for a skilled gunsmith to remove the hammer and in a manner similar to the M1911 work up a creep-free 4-pound trigger retaining a completely safe depth of sear engagement…”



    While not my choice as a primary carry, the Beretta is a great "spare" gun to stash away in a .30 cal. ammo can with holster, cleaning gear, extra mags and a basic load of ammo. Mine feeds anything from hardball to cast 125-grain flatnoses and Remington 102-grain Golden Saber JHPs.
    The heavy 125-grain lead FN bullets at about 825 fps mimick .38 Special snub energy and are astounding penetrators on our larger farm varmints!

    Attachment 255763Attachment 255764Attachment 255765

    The 1934 was continued in postwar commercial manufacture until 1968 and was sold widely in the US by Stoeger and other importers. The commercial guns are well made and very affordable, selling for about $100 less than a capture-papered WW2 bringback. A basic sturdy gun.
    Last edited by Outpost75; 01-30-2020 at 11:56 PM.
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  8. #48
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    I'll join the highpoint bandwagon for reliability , mine will feed and shoot anything you pick up and put in the magazine without fail .
    I can't say that about any of the other semi automatic pistols I've owned .
    I'll freely admit to being more of a revolver guy so I haven't the broad range of personal experience as others .

    But if it ever came down to there could only be one ... And it had to be a semi automatic. I'd pick the high point every time based solely off my personal experience.

  9. #49
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    Ok you asked and I’ll tell you. My most reliable semi auto is my makarov! Wet, dropped in the mud, it eats anything I put in it. I have and do stake my life on it. The kgb knew what they were doing
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  10. #50
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    This is an interesting thread. The MOST reliable? That a bit tough to say. There are lots of very reliable pistols but I'm not sure how one would qualify "The Most" reliable.

    Glocks are extraordinarily reliable, almost unbelievably at times. For a modern pistol, it may be one of the best in terms of reliability.

    Outpost75 mentioned the Beretta 1934 and I agree those are solid pistols that work very well.
    On the Beretta theme, The Italian made model 92 pistols will function with just about any ammunition that even looks like a 9mm Luger cartridge.

    The SIG P-6 [AKA P225] is an incredibly reliable pistol and so is its bigger brother the Swiss SIG P75.

    There were a lot of pre-World War II pistols that functioned extremely well and quite a few post war pistols were also solid guns.

    Some of the Soviet bloc pistols such as the TT-33 look a bit rough but work amazingly well.

    Perhaps instead of asking which pistol is the MOST reliable we should be making a list of reliable pistols.

  11. #51
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geezer in NH View Post
    Oh Glocks don't point like my 1911 well it is not a 1911 learn to shoot whatever, that is they way real world works.
    Im about as old school as they get, 20+ handguns in my safe and only 3 are CF autoloaders. The rest are revos and a couple SS.

    One is an heirloom 1911A1 that doesnít get shot.

    Ones an S&W 3913 I leave for my wife when Iím gone, because she freaks at anything without a manual safety.

    The one that gets used is a LEO turn in G35.

    Iíve had multiple 1911s pass through my hands, including a customized Colt Series 70. None have inspired me to give up the revolver.

    As the man said, I donít always shoot autos, but when I do, I prefer Glock.

    I occasionally rent a fancy 1911 at the local indoor (last tried a Sig), just to see. Nope, Iíd still take the G35

    I bought an LW conversion 9mm barrel and mag. Thatís all we needed for my son to blaze away with 9mm training ammo (I donít reload 9mm).

    Iíve never been one to run with the herd, and the Glock is ugly as a mud fence, but, damn, I like the way it shoots.

  12. #52
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    I have owned several Glocks, and will give them their due - they are rugged, reliable, and accurate. I let all of them go, though - because they scare me. That trigger mounted "safety" doesn't seem like a safety to me. Mine were range guns so it really didn't matter - but if I was going to carry one it would get the Israeli treatment - an empty barrel, requiring the slide to be racked to go into action. Now, no flames please. I know that most shooters are perfectly happy with a Glock, but I want a manual safety on my semi autos.

  13. #53
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Glocks are a training issue. If you were "weaned on them" they will work for you, but give old revolver guys like me "the willys!"

    I don't want a single-action autopistol with manual safety either. German police specified that a duty pistol should be capable of safe carry with the chamber loaded, and should be capable of immediate firing by trigger stroke only, without manipulation of an external safety. In the event of a fail to fire, it should be capable of a repeat strike on the primer by repeating the trigger stroke. Back in the 1980s they approved the Walther P5, SIG P6, and HKP7.

    So, I am OK with the DA first shot (familiar like a revolver) and SA repeat subsequent shots. But I was trained "old school." My usual carry is a DA revolver, but sometimes I may carry a DA-SA auto such as SIG P230 or Beretta 81.
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  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    Glocks are a training issue. If you were "weaned on them" they will work for you, but they old revolver guys like me the willys!

    I don't want a single-action autopistol with manual safety either. German police specified that a duty pistol should be capable of safe carry with the chamber loaded, and should be capable of immediate firing by trigger stroke only, without manipulation of an external safety. In the event of a fail to fire, it should be capable of a repeat strike on the primer by repeating the trigger stroke.

    I am OK with the DA first shot (like a revolver) and SA repeat shots. But I was trained "old school." My usual carry is a DA revolver, but sometimes I will carry a DA-SA auto such as SIG P230 or Beretta 81.
    I feel the same way my most carried are a HKp30sk 9mm and springfield XDE 45 both da/sa guns.

  15. #55
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    I didnt notice FN mentioned, so here is their plug, but my FNS-9C has eaten everything. A lil oil out of the box, loaded a mag, and she was running. Accurate, came with 2x12round and 1x17round mags,and it just works 0 failures in 600? Rounds and counting. 115gr on up to 147 ammo, it dont care. Very happy very impressed for $499. (ON SALE)

    Oh bore is .3555 and will chamber a .358 no problem. Shoots 358-125-rf into 2" at 30' off hand with a near max load of hp-38(standard cast data) powdercoated. A nice pile of brass 3' right 2' back...so dont step there...

    Never owned a glock, fired a few 9s and 40. Wasnt for me. If the 10mm bug gets me I might be tempted. But ive got other itches at the moment.

  16. #56
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    Used to carry old 1966 hi-power , still have it went to packing 1911 sometimes a glock depends on mood it can be a 34 35 41 or a 37 , they all are reliable or I would not have them , yes they are all loaded with cast , I like the hi-power and its close to my age and it is no beauty or safe queen but I do like a little bigger slug and or a longer barrel , just me and my preferences , go find a selection to see how and what feels right shoot it to see how it shoots for you and with what you want to load in it . misery-whip my dad called them that and also a swedish fiddle of course he used them off of spring boards and the old one lung drag saws but later in life he welded skookum yarder tubes .

  17. #57
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    Not my cup of tea, but if there is a more reliable pistol than the Beretta 92 I have never seen it. 1911’s are junk by comparison.

    (But I own a 1911, not a Beretta 92, go figure.)
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  18. #58
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    This is one of those nonsensical threads that are by nature going to generate hundreds of different replies. Everybody is naturally going to mention their semi automatic as the best. We have a number of different brands and models listed so far. The ONLY thing that really matters is if when you have to use it you pull the trigger and it goes bang.

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppy42 View Post
    Ok you asked and I’ll tell you. My most reliable semi auto is my makarov! Wet, dropped in the mud, it eats anything I put in it. I have and do stake my life on it. The kgb knew what they were doing
    Hard to disagree with this, IF it has been taken apart and properly cleaned and lubed. Of 2 of them, with the cosmoline(?) cleaned out, have been flawless. The only time one wasn't, was when I intentionally downloaded rounds that would barely, or not cycle the action, while working on loads. Many different factory loads and all variety of handloads (other than underpowered), have always been 100% reliable in both Makarovs.
    Also, I'd always badmouthed Glocks, just because I didn't like "plastic" pistols. Then I had the chance to run a few full mags through one. I don't run them down anymore, felt really good and I hit everything I aimed at. I still love 1911's, but won't ever knock a Glock again.

  20. #60
    Boolit Master curioushooter's Avatar
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    I have never known Glocks to have any reliability issues once they got their magazine issues sorted out about 25 years ago. Certainly I wouldn't worry about one made in the last 20 years. That said they are ugly. I don't care what anybody says. They are ugly. I also don't appreciate how the stock Glocks are cheezy with plastic sights and crap that just shouldn't exist on any firearm. There is a reason why there is a huge aftermarket for Glocks. They are both ubiquitous and benefit from upgrades.

    I have been a fan of the CZ75 design for a long time. I had reliability issues with the Tanfoglios. But the real Czech made firearms are an outstanding value and I've never experienced a single reliability issue with any of them, even using cheap MecGar mags. I suspect they are vastly more durable than a Glock in terms of round count lifespan. They are also TRULY a SA/DA and have traditional land and groove rifling, which I think makes them a better cast boolit platform than a Glock. The traditional pattern can be used Cocked and Locked and well as DA. I've just never been able to shoot as accurately with the Glock type striker fired pistol. I had a H&K P7 (which shouldn't be used with Cast Boolits) that was striker fired and I shot very accurately, but they way they work is different from the Glock.

    I think the CZ75PO1 (compact aluminum frame with DA/SA trigger) is probably the neatest 9mm pistol out there right now and an outstanding value. The only criticism I have of my CZ75B is that it's a bit too large and heavy for 9mm. With a loaded mag of 147s it weighs more than my 4" S&W Model 19 and is considerably less potent.
    Last edited by curioushooter; 02-11-2020 at 01:46 PM.

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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