Caleb over at gunnuts.net reports that his website’s testing and evaluation Ruger SR9c is balking at Remington UMC 115 grain ammo. Ain’t that the damnedest thing? ‘Cause that’s the exact same gun I’m testing now, with the exact same ammo, encountering the exact same type of problem (Failure to Feed or FTF). Although I haven’t put 1895 rounds through the tube, Caleb’s 21 malfunctions per ninety rounds is only slightly less than my current FTF percentage (one every eighty rounds per 200 rounds). Without giving too much away ahead of our review, we both really like the Ruger. And we’re both are left wondering the same thing: “Should your carry gun be 100% reliable with whatever ammo you pick up off the shelf?” Caleb’s answer after the jump.

One the one hand [sic], I think that a proper gun from a major manufacturer should run ammo from any reputable manufacturer.  On the other hand, if your gun doesn’t run Brand X but it runs Brand Y like a house on fire, then problem solved – shoot Brand Y.  Also, if Brand X chokes other reliable guns (like a Glock 17 for example) then maybe you should avoid Brand X.

I’m going with Caleb’s other hand. As long as I have bullets that make my gun happy 100 percent of the time, I couldn’t care less that it’s not happy with bullets I don’t feed it. The trick: find out what a gun likes and buy that.

Yes, that maks the Ruger SR9c a slightly ironic weapon; there’s a gap between expectation (mass market pistol) and reality (slightly finicky mass market model). But as long as I only have to adjust my ammo expectations once, I’m good. You?

One Response to Question of the Day: Should All Guns Fire All Ammo?

  1. YES*

    And no, not the British prog-rock band. Yes, as in all guns SHOULD fire all standard commercial ammo in the proper caliber, at least all FMJ bullets of standard weight and appropriate velocity.

    With all due respect to Mssrs. Anderson, Howe, Squire, Bruford and Wakeman, this is no longer the 1960s. We're not stuck with S&W Model 39 Jam-O-Matics, and we don't have to tolerate finicky, unreliable auto pistols.

    I have to give pistols a little more slack when it comes to hollowpoints and semi-wadcutters and other bullets with odd or even bizarre shapes. Compare a .45 ACP semi-wadcutter target load to a Speer .45 ACP 200-grain Flying Ashcan and ask yourself how any gun could be expected to feed both of them perfectly? I'm amazed how many pistols can; I certainly don't expect them to.

    But when it comes to commercially loaded FMJ ammunition at SAAMI-standard pressures, there's no excuse for Ruger screwing up the SR9C. This surprises me, coming from Ruger, because my P95 is blissfully omnivorous and as utterly reliable.

    Or maybe it shouldn't surprise me, coming from Ruger: their first .357 Magnum SP-101 was designed to fire the 125-grain JHP *exclusively.* The cylinder was too short for any heavier .357 bullets. This flaw, er, design feature, was quickly corrected after the gun went to production, and let's hope Ruger gets the memo about the SR9C as quickly.

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