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  1. #1
    denner's Avatar
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    The most reliable semi-automatic pistol in the world

    The previous world record for documented reliability from a manufacturer in a semi-automatic handgun was held by John Browning's/Colt's 1911 at an average of 6,000 rounds fired w/o a single malfunction. Currently the world record for a manufacturer's documented reliability goes to the Beretta 92FS/M9 at an average of 21,500 rounds fired w/o a single malfunction.

    http://www.americanrifleman.org/vide...a-m9-25-years/

  2. #2
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    I guess that depends on who's doing the documenting:
    The HK45 fired its first 31,522 rounds without a bobble of any kind, another pistol-training.com endurance test record. But the mere fact that it out-performed those other pistols tells only part of the story. I do not believe another .45 pistol could fire that many rounds, in that short a time, with that little maintenance, and survive. Anonymous internet chest-thumpers notwithstanding, fifty thousand rounds of full power 230gr ammo through a .45 pistol in eight months is staggering.

  3. #3
    denner's Avatar
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    Yes that's amazing if they can get that from the manufacturer's testing on average and then brag about it. The documenting for the Colt 1911 and Beretta M9 were by the manufacturer on average under U.S. Army supervision and testing. The H&K45 I assume has that documented from the manufacturer on average as well. I must say that the H&K45 is a supreme firearm and more durable than a tank and any aluminum framed pistol, but I believe the PX4 45 would give the H&K45 a run for it's money in that department. If it can pass the upcoming trials with numbers like that on average I would suspect it to be a very top contender. No doubt 45 hardball beats 9mm hardball any day of the week. I guess the Beretta 92/M9 can be considered the 2nd most reliable semi-auto in the world. On another note however, "The HK45 was only cleaned seven times during the entire test, going 10,181 rounds between cleanings at one point." I do believe but uncertain that the U.S Army testing/Beretta's testing of the M9 ran the pistols w/o cleaning?

  4. #4
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    I thought that it was generally accepted that until the military Beretta came along, that the Colt 1911 was the reigning king of reliability.

    But keep in mind that the military versions are all full-sized and all steel. They are generally produced to a looser tolerance than the civilian versions and that can add to reliablity too (but not to accuracy).

    A little research shows that the HK test was not entirely problem-free: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2653383/posts

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    "But keep in mind that the military versions are all full-sized and all steel."



    Is that true? I thought the M9 was an aluminum frame.

  6. #6
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeoM View Post
    "But keep in mind that the military versions are all full-sized and all steel."



    Is that true? I thought the M9 was an aluminum frame.
    You are correct. The Beretta has a forged aluminum frame; the 1911 has a steel frame. My error.

    Packard

  7. #7
    prof_fate is offline Member
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    I guess it depends on how you define 'reliability'....cleaning? replacing springs? Other maintenance? Different kinds of ammo or one kind? Are we shooting inside under perfect conditions or can we toss in rain, cold, etc? How accurate is the gun new vs after 10k or 20k rounds?

    Overall I think these tests show how good guns are these days, but as for bragging rights I think there are too many variables involved.

  8. #8
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prof_fate View Post
    I guess it depends on how you define 'reliability'....cleaning? replacing springs? Other maintenance? Different kinds of ammo or one kind? Are we shooting inside under perfect conditions or can we toss in rain, cold, etc? How accurate is the gun new vs after 10k or 20k rounds?

    Overall I think these tests show how good guns are these days, but as for bragging rights I think there are too many variables involved.
    You can take a gander at this, most of the stats on the above mentioned HK45 test:

    Some points of interest:

    252 total days of testing

    96 trips to the range
    average 520.8 rounds per trip
    392 hours of range time
    average 127.5 rounds per hour
    The HK45 was fired in nine States… and one foreign country, eh?
    Twelve different types of ammunition from nine different manufacturers were used:

    • CCI Blazer 230gr FMJ: 26,185
    • Federal American Eagle 230gr FMJ: 21,354
    • Remington UMC 230gr MC: 850
    • Winchester 230gr Ranger SXT: 542
    • PMC 230gr FMJ: 600
    • ASYM 230gr FMJ Match: 124
    • ASYM 185gr National Match Target: 120
    • Black Hills 230gr FMJ: 50
    • Mag Tech 230gr MC: 50
    • Pro Load 230gr Match FMJ: 50
    • Winchester (white box) 230gr FMJ: 50
    • Remington 230gr Golden Saber BJHP: 25

    The pistol was only cleaned seven times during the entire test, going 10,181 rounds between cleanings at one point.


    And what about the magazines? Almost all 50,000 rounds were fired through the same six practice magazines during the entire test. The mags were dropped on concrete, stepped on in the sand, drowned in muddy water… and never once cleaned or even disassembled. Not a single spring or follower was replaced. They still work 100%.
    So how accurate is the HK45? My sample turned in unwavering results from beginning to end. When new, with the stock sights (which are borderline useless), I got an average of 2.22″ groups with Winchester 230gr Ranger SXT. After changing sights, that dropped to 1.80″. After fifty thousand rounds, not to mention thousands of rounds since its last cleaning, did the HK45′s accuracy falter? Not at all. Pictured at left is the 1.39″ group I got shooting that ASYM 185gr ammo (five 5-shot groups averaged 1.85″).

    Reliability: There’s almost no way the HK45 could have proven more reliable. Only twice in 50,000 rounds did the gun fail to go through its entire cycle of operation, ready to fire again with nothing more than a trigger pull. Once was a light primer hit, the other was a broken trigger return spring. That’s a Mean Rounds Between Stoppage of 25,000 rounds… ten times the industry standard.
    What is perhaps even more amazing is that it achieved that reliability getting cleaned on average less than once every 7,000 rounds. The industry standard for cleaning during endurance reliability testing is once every 250 rounds. So the HK45 went twenty eight times as long without cleaning and still achieved ten times the industry standard for reliability. The only other incident the gun suffered, as described in great detail here, was a dislodged sear spring. With the spring no longer in place, the gun continued to fire but was stuck in true “double action only” mode with a substantially heavier trigger pull.
    Durability: As mentioned above, the pistol had a trigger return spring break during Week Twenty Five, just shy of thirty five hundred rounds into the spring’s service life. It was just a random thing, and proof that no matter who you are and what you’re doing, sometimes springs break.
    Keep in mind that except for some springs that were changed at 12,500 round intervals give or take, there were absolutely no parts replacements done during this entire test. Hammer, sear, trigger bar are all original. Extractor is original. Hammer strut is original. Even the pins are original. Nothing broke. Nothing even looks worn out.
    Damn impressive if you ask me, would love to see this done over a larger scale of samples, I'm pretty confident we'd see similar results.

  9. #9
    berettatoter's Avatar
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    I think that highly of my Berettas. I guess with some of you the beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but thats ok.

  10. #10
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    The reliablity of one gun in one test is not really a good way to judge a weapon. The Beretta and the 1911 have been proven extremely reliable over hundreds of thousands of guns over many, many years.

    If I were to pick a weapon and I wanted reliablity then I would pick one based on the historical reliability. Glocks might be right up there if they had been chosen as a military weapon for the US.

    For reliablity I would rank them as follows:

    Beretta
    1911 Colt/Remington
    Glock

    One gun does not tell an entire story.

  11. #11
    denner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    You can take a gander at this, most of the stats on the above mentioned HK45 test:

    Some points of interest:














    Damn impressive if you ask me, would love to see this done over a larger scale of samples, I'm pretty confident we'd see similar results.

    VA, I'm sold. From what I've read from you're experience and this write up I'm extremely impressed. I've been pondering on getting a reliable .45 and this one is special. Dead nuts accurate as well with some kind of buffer system that makes it shoot like a 9.

  12. #12
    denner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prof_fate View Post
    I guess it depends on how you define 'reliability'....cleaning? replacing springs? Other maintenance? Different kinds of ammo or one kind? Are we shooting inside under perfect conditions or can we toss in rain, cold, etc? How accurate is the gun new vs after 10k or 20k rounds?

    Overall I think these tests show how good guns are these days, but as for bragging rights I think there are too many variables involved.
    I don't know for the Colt 45, but, I believe at least for the M9 the numbers given were done via a bench rest machine(as in the clip I posted) indoors and run till they stopped: no cleaning, no replacing springs, no rain, etc.......but I'm sure the M9's been tested in less than perfect conditions as well.

  13. #13
    prof_fate is offline Member
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    That sounds like a fair test.
    One of the tests reference above had them cleaning the gun every few thousand rounds and they replaced the slide spring at least once - I didn't quite get if it was from failure or as part of the suggested maintenance. Interesting that none of them every mention a mis feed, misfire, stove pipe, etc. Perhaps they had no issues - I can't say of course. But I can say from reading forums that all guns seem to have these issues now and then...wonder what the difference is? Human error most likely in some form as the testers are the experts and few of us are (relatively speaking - we're not making our livings shooting, testing, designing guns).

    Were these guns randomly pulled from the assembly line then shot or were 'checked over' before the shooting started? I know from auto and motorcycle testing that a 'checked over' by the manufacturer unit before a test isn't the same as one randomly pulled from a dealers lot.

    If you talk with LE you'll find differing opinions on best, but we're all human and make judgements based on all sorts of input. A friend of mine loves GM cars and hates fords, yet he's never bought an engine or transmission for a ford and has put at least one (and sometimes more than one) in every GM car he's owned. I'm a professional photographer and use canon gear - partly because I had 2 nikons (back in film days) and parts fell off those cameras so when it came time to 'go digital' I had the opportunity to try canon -and I've had only one issue and canon fixed it free even after the warranty expired, yet there are millions of happy nikon users out there. Based on my testing I've used canon 1000 times more and harder than nikon so the 'failure rate' or 'incident rate' is a lot lot higher with nikon in my experience.

    Its like asking what's the most accurate gun (I've been looking...) and you poll folks you get answers like 'the most accurate gun I've owned is" - all well and good I suppose, and an honest answer, but does it mean anything? My most accurate gun is my 22 rifle..but I've shot it about 10 times more than any other gun I own and it's been 'worked on' a bit. Today, right now, my 30-30 is my most innacurate gun - but I've had it 2 weeks, fired 3 rounds through it and it's not sighted in - so my answer, without the details, would slam the 30-30. And we're not taking into account my abilities or test methods. I've never shot off a bench rest...I probably should but for hunting or competition that's not how I shoot so IMO such a test isn't any more valid than shooting off hand standing. Like when I sold motorcycles buyers would say 'but this other one is .1 seconds faster to 60!' - yes, under ideal conditions on a track with a professional driver. As an average person on the streets you'll never tell the difference. At that point it's ego and bragging rights that the buyer wants.

    So what's the most reliable gun? Or are we measuring durability? If it can shoot 10k or 20k or 30k rounds great - but is that how you'll use it? If you shoot that much you're likely to change guns before you wear it out as 'new' guns come out. If you shoot 500 rounds or less a year any gun would be more than good enough. And a poorly maintained gun of any kind won't be reliable. Also, if the gun sits for 10 or 20 years, does that have any affect or not? It does on cars and most things. At what point does metal fatigue (breech/barrel) become an issue?

  14. #14
    denner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prof_fate View Post
    That sounds like a fair test. One of the tests reference above had them cleaning the gun every few thousand rounds and they replaced the slide spring at least once - I didn't quite get if it was from failure or as part of the suggested maintenance. Interesting that none of them every mention a mis feed, misfire, stove pipe, etc. Perhaps they had no issues - I can't say of course. But I can say from reading forums that all guns seem to have these issues now and then...wonder what the difference is? Human error most likely in some form as the testers are the experts and few of us are (relatively speaking - we're not making our livings shooting, testing, designing guns).

    Were these guns randomly pulled from the assembly line then shot or were 'checked over' before the shooting started? I know from auto and motorcycle testing that a 'checked over' by the manufacturer unit before a test isn't the same as one randomly pulled from a dealers lot.
    Good point.

  15. #15
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by denner View Post
    Good point.
    My point. One gun in one test does not give you a large enough sample to make a judgement.

    It could be the most reliable gun in the world, or it could be an anomaly, and the next one will break after one box of ammo. I think it is probably a very good weapon, but the testing of one gun does not change my mind. The long standing durability of the Beretta and the Colt/Remington 1911, and the 25 years of Glock durability win me over.

  16. #16
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Packard View Post
    The reliablity of one gun in one test is not really a good way to judge a weapon. The Beretta and the 1911 have been proven extremely reliable over hundreds of thousands of guns over many, many years.
    Is this better?


    Confluence of Design
    As time progressed, several things came together to produce some of the best .45 ACP service pistols ever made. HK was prepping for the SOCOM Combat Pistol program, and two very well-known individuals began working with HK as consultants. Ken Hackathorn is one of the foremost special operations trainers in the world and a true small arms expert. Larry Vickers is not only a well-known shooter and trainer, and a highly in-demand gunsmith, but he also served for 20 years in U.S. Army special operations, including Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta. Both gentlemen are known for using the Colt 1911 to its maximum potential.


    Ken and Larry used their combined expertise to utilize existing HK platforms to suggest changes for a new pistol that could become the 1911 for the 21st century. This included the frame and ambidextrous controls of the P2000, a more rounded and lower slide with front cocking serrations, the USP’s modular trigger system, redesigned control levers to better mimic the 1911, a Mil-Std-1913 Picatinny rail, and an O-ringed, polygonal-rifled barrel in both standard and extended lengths. In conjunction with the engineers at HK, the HK45 and HK45C (Compact) were born.


    These guns passed extensive test par*a****meters that included firing very high (24,000) round counts both suppressed and un-suppressed, in harsh conditions that ranged from desert environments to water submersion. They have also passed testing that includes bore-obstruction and other destructive tests. HK made several changes to the grip and other areas of the full-size gun, but the Compact stayed true to Ken and Larry’s original ideas. I have purchased numerous HK45Cs, and they are my primary working .45 ACP pistols. They can be used with flat magazine floorplates as a compact concealed carry pistol, with standard rubberized floorplates for a better grip; an extended 10-round magazine with a threaded, extended barrel can even turn the same gun into a full-size tactical pistol.

    Steel For SEALs
    The saga of the HK45 Compact has taken a very interesting turn recently. In early 2011, the HK45 Compact was selected by the Navy as a replacement for the MK 23 pistol for use by Navy SEALs and other Naval Special Warfare personnel. Its new designation is the MK 24 Mod 0 Combat Assault Pistol.

    Addl. source:
    http://www.vickers.nettconsulting.com/pdf/GWHK45s.pdf (Pg5)

  17. #17
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by denner View Post
    The previous world record for documented reliability from a manufacturer in a semi-automatic handgun was held by John Browning's/Colt's 1911 at an average of 6,000 rounds fired w/o a single malfunction. Currently the world record for a manufacturer's documented reliability goes to the Beretta 92FS/M9 at an average of 21,500 rounds fired w/o a single malfunction.

    ARTV 2010 Ep. 1: Beretta M9 - 25 Years
    OK, so I've finally watched the video, and what he says ISN'T that single guns go 21,500 rds without malfunction it's that they shoot 200,000 rounds a month as required by the Military contract and go 21,500 without seeing a jam so lets take a look at this:

    This is all speculation and assumption based on the numbers of this contract etc. but it seems reasonable.
    During the 2009 SHOT Show, Beretta announced it had received a US$220 million
    contract for the delivery of 450,000 M9s and M9A1s to the U.S. military, within a five-year span
    .

    5 years = 60 months

    450,000 / 60 = 7500 guns a month

    Per video: 200,000rds a month.
    21,500 rounds between stoppages.

    200,000 / 7500 = 26.6

    Assuming every Military Contract gun is tested:
    News about the Beretta M9 for US Army & M9A1 for the US Marines: - Gun & Game - The Friendliest Gun Forum on the Internet

    It's with less than 30 rounds of ammunition.

    200,000 / 20,500 = 9.3 malfunctions per 200,000 rounds. If you read the press release linked above, they state it's 20,500 not 21,500 this change skews the average of stoppages to 9.75 per month

    So in one month, 7500 guns are made and tested with 27(rounded up from 26.6) rounds and in each
    month there are 9.3 / 9.75 failures with less than 30 rounds being fired in a gun, that's just to check manufactures defects, not long term reliability and with less 30 rounds being fired, that's hardly enough to warm up the gun.

  18. #18
    FNISHR is offline Member
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    Oh, just give me a P226 and I'll skip the arguments.

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    Quality Control

    Well, Dudes, a lot of good info has been provided and sources cited already.
    But, quality control and reliability is a "rather deep" subject.
    And I'm pretty sure none of us want to dig into what was actually done for the various sources already cited.

    I did some of this kind of stuff during my career. Some of my "projects" took years.
    My eternally reoccurring mantra was "the world is full of data, much of it yearning to be analyzed".

    None of us has the time, the money, the expertise, or the properly obtained data to determine
    WHAT IS THE MOST RELIABLE HANDGUN
    Don't feel badly. Neither does any manufacturer. Nor does the Federal Government. They only "try".

    I just stood up and pulled a college text off a shelf for a course I took 47 long years ago. And blew off the dust.

    "Quality Control and Industrial Statistics", Acheson J. Duncan, Ph.D., Professor of Statistics,
    Department of Operations Research and Industral Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University.
    1965, Third Edition
    38 Chapters, 846 pages.
    5 Appendixes, 111 pages.
    Plus Glossary of Symbols, Glossary of Special Technical Terms, Cumulative List of References, and Index.
    992 pages total.

    You really DON"T want to delve into "this field". Not even as a full-time paid job. But, if you'd like a little taste, try Wikipedia.
    Reliability (statistics) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Below is "a classical formula", obtained from Wikepedia.
    The problem is the blank space contains a NASTY MATH "formula" which cannot be reproduced here,
    because it is "all symbols" not available in common typesets.

    In classical test theory,
    reliability is defined mathematically as the ratio of the variation of the true score and the variation of the observed score.
    Or, equivalently, one minus the ratio of the variation of the error score and the variation of the observed score:


    where ρxx' is the symbol for the reliability of the observed score, X; , , and are the variances on the measured,
    true and error scores respectively. Unfortunately, there is no way to directly observe or calculate the true score,
    so a variety of methods are used to estimate the reliability of a test.


    "Unfortunately, there is no way to directly observe or calculate the true score,
    so a variety of methods are used to estimate the reliability of a test."


    Got that ?
    You cannot determine the reliablity of ANYTHING manufactured, you can only estimate it. Class dismissed. Have a great day !

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    Credit

    Oops, in all my textbook BS,
    I forgot to credit Packard, VAMarine, and Prof_Fate.

    Citing some good real life stuff in this thread. And providing some real good comments.

    I espcially liked the story of the HK development. "Engineering in" reliability
    You can find Larry Vickers on his half-hour TV show. Hackathorn is on TV sometimes.
    And Larry always does "interesting" things on TV. Usually involving explosives.

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