I have an opinion like everyone else, mainly because I have my favorites. What I hope to be the most reliable pistol in the world is the one I have in my pocket if I ever need it.
I lost all interest in Berettas when the Ohio State Highway Patrol dumped them after critical incidents involving slides locking back while troopers were engaged in combat firing. I was on scene for one of the incidents where a trooper was shot and the gun failed. The assailant was stopped with an issued S&W .38 backup revolver. They went with Sigs after that.
All of these "best of" threads are so arbitrary and opinion based to the point of being worthless. If the gun you believe in functions flawlessly for YOU, whether it be a custom 1911, a Beretta or a cheap Lorcin or Hi Point, carry it! Why does everyone try to prove a point and convert the "non-believers" to their favorite brand?
I call it the "my gun has a bigger dick than your gun" mentality.
^^ got any resources on that ohio state incident? I've never heard of any such problem... don't get me wrong, I'm not dazzled by the m9/ 92fs by any means but I've never EVER seen one lock back without an empty mag or shooter error (improper support hand grip pushing up on slide release...) and no offense but considering the hundreds of thousands of rounds I've seen go through m9's I'm going to have to believe that the later case was the probable cause in ohio... not the firearm.
I found references doing a Google search. Plus, like I said, I was on an incident where it happened. Really, my whole point was, saying something is the best ever PERIOD is arrogant. Why not say it's the best for YOU? Even large organizations have members that don't like the choices management made. I can't imagine EVERY soldier loves the Beretta. I know cops carrying Sigs that hate Sigs.
Comedian Bill Mahr has a routine where he talks about this. Paraphrasing, he says, "My wife is the BEST wife in the world. If you could have my wife, you would KILL your wife".
Personally, I dislike Beretta and I detest Kahr, but I couldn't care less if you have one and love it. I won't try and convert you. If they "scratch that itch" for you, carry them proudly. But you won't win me over. I like what I like.
I'm not trying to challenge or offend anyone. My point is, do what works for you, whatever that happens to be. The endless debating over Ford vs. Chevy, Glock vs. Smith & Wesson, McDonalds vs. Burger King, etc. is arbitrary. There are never going to be any winners. You know what they say about opinions...............
My vote goes to a L or M frame S & W revolver. With 7 or 8 rounds of .357 ammo it has good firepower with a creme de la creme manstopper caliber. Reliablity is as good as the ammunition.
I think a better question to ask is
What gun has been documented to have been tested for the most rounds to failure?
colt 1911 - 7,000 rounds by ??? in 19??
beretta m9 - 17,000 rounds by ??? in 19??
Glock 17 - 19,000 rounds by ???
Can I claim my Ruger SuperRedhawk Alaskan in .454 Casull as being at least in the "top ten big and reliable iron" category.
the most reliable pistol in the world is the one that sends the lead downrange when you pull the trigger..... anything else is just a statistic and has very little bearing on your own gun.
Pretty hard to pick one brand or model and say that it is the imperical superior to all of the rest. Personally I like several different brands and models believing them adequate to more than adequate for light duty work and what most average folks intend to put them through. Most cases if you take good care of your weapon your weapon will take good care of you.
However, if one was putting together a short list of top contenders HK should certainly be on that list. They are purpose built to work reliably and last a very long time. To coin a phrase, over built or over engineered (if there is such a thing) seems to be a pretty accurate description. Seriously, what other manufacturer authorizes under full warranty protection the use of not only +P 45 ACP ammo but also 45 Super as HK does in the USP? Granted, I need to use a steady diet of 45 Super like I need 500 HP under the hood to drive 3 blocks to the grocery store but that's not the point. The platform can handle it and that speaks volumes to me about the thought and engineering that went into the system.
Second aspect is consistancy of fabrication and from one sample to another over the course of time. A USP fabricated yesterday is of the same high quality and standards as one fabricated 5-years ago and that applies to the rest of the newer models as well. As a manufacturer myself (not of firearms) I know how hard that is to do. They don't compromise or deviate on components, craftmenship or quality standards. A lot of well regarded brands including some I like a lot cannot make that claim. I won't call it the best but in my opinion HK deserves a spot on the list. Specific model and caliber doesn't really matter.