Is the Honor Guard Handgun Drop Safe?

When we reviewed the Honor Guard handgun from Honor Defense we judged it to be a good new option for the concealed carry crowd. It passed all of our reliability tests with flying colors. One test we didn’t administer — and may have to in the future —  is a drop test. As you may remember, after Omaha Outdoor’s report of a problem, we dropped an off-the-shelf SIG SAUER P320 ourselves…and it failed. Now a similar video shows the Honor Guard handgun failing under the same conditions.

In the video from Patrick Roberts of The Firearm Rack, the Honor Guard is shown to discharge when dropped in the same manner as we found when we dropped the SIG SAUER P320. On the SIG, the issue turned out to be a combination of a heavy trigger blade and some faulty internal mechanics.

A mitigating factor here may be that Patrick reportedly built the pistol that failed the test himself in Honor Defense’s factory, though he says it met all of Honor’s specs and passed muster with them.

Honor Defense has not yet released a statement about Patrick’s findings.

comments

  1. avatar tdiinva says:

    It would seem leaving off the trigger safety is not a good idea.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      The ‘cure’ is to reduce the mass in the trigger safety ‘blade’ – slash – system, or stiffen the spring.

      It would appear to my un-educated eyes that all pistols that use such a mechanism *may* be prone to similar malfunctions.

      How Honor Defense chooses to deal with this issue may indicate if the company survives…

      1. avatar Gman says:

        Here we go again…

        The ‘cure’ is to reduce the mass in the trigger safety ‘blade’ – slash – system, or stiffen the spring.
        No the cure is to stop dropping loaded weapons.

        It would appear to my un-educated eyes that all pistols that use such a mechanism *may* be prone to similar malfunctions.
        A malfunction occurs when you pull the trigger and the intended resultant bang fails to occur. Dropping a fully loaded weapon is abuse, not a malfunction

        1. Because accidents never happen?

          Every time someone responds with “just don’t drop a loaded weapon” I am 100% confident that they haven’t shot enough to understand that dropping guns happens to even the most capable of gun handlers.

        2. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “A malfunction occurs when you pull the trigger and the intended resultant bang fails to occur.”

          And a malfunction occurs when it goes *bang* when your finger *wasn’t* on the trigger, IE, when the discharge wasn’t intended.

          Worse, that failure mode happens when the muzzle is pointed up, at *you*.

          Thank you for making my point…

        3. avatar Gman says:

          Every time someone responds with “just don’t drop a loaded weapon” I am 100% confident that they haven’t shot enough to understand that dropping guns happens to even the most capable of gun handlers.

          I’m sorry sir, but that’s how I define incapable gun handlers. I put 50,000 rounds downrange annually. I handle my EDC daily. I simply cannot and will not accept that gun dropping is just a thing, it’s not. It is what happens to those who are not paying attention to the task at hand.

        4. avatar Gman says:

          And a malfunction occurs when it goes *bang* when your finger *wasn’t* on the trigger, IE, when the discharge wasn’t intended.
          No sir, the malfunction occurred when you dropped the weapon and you were the cause. I have experienced one of those AKs that go bang when the safety lever is lifted too high, that’s a malfunction caused by a design flaw. I assume that ANY loaded gun I drop IS going to go bang and you know what? I DON’T DROP THEM! Perhaps others should follow that thought pattern. Do I think that guns should be drop safe? Yep. But even if the NRA, NSSF, PotUS, John Glen, the Pope, and NASA certified it was, guess what? I STILL WILL NOT DROP IT TO FIND OUT.

        5. avatar Joe says:

          So you’ve never set your gun down on a table and accidentally knocked it off?

        6. avatar bobby b says:

          ” Dropping a fully loaded weapon is abuse, not a malfunction.”

          Crashing a car is also abuse, but my seat belt still needs to work.

        7. avatar Geoff PR says:

          ” I simply cannot and will not accept that gun dropping is just a thing, it’s not.”

          TTAG has reported examples of exactly that happening.

          ” It is what happens to those who are not paying attention to the task at hand.”

          And you must be Mr. Perfect. News Flash – Reality is different. Shit happens. People fuck up. Guns get dropped.

          Congrats, GMAN. You picked a name that fits you well. Everyone knows the Government *never* makes a mistake…

    2. avatar K.I.S.S. says:

      The problem seems to be in the trigger assembly, so we just eliminate the trigger entirely.

  2. avatar former water walker says:

    Or you could just get a Shield?!?

    1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

      But if you got a Shield, you’d have one of the most popular and awesome carry guns made. Hipsters can’t do that.

      1. avatar Gman says:

        Well they can always get it gold plated or whatev

  3. avatar James Matthewson says:

    Man that thing is such a shield knockoff.

    1. No, it is more of a P320 knockoff in a Shield wrapper.

  4. avatar Hank says:

    Decocked DA/SA hammer and striker fired guns are 100% drop safe. Just sayin’

    1. avatar tdiimva says:

      Obviously a false statement since both the P320 and the Honor Guard are striker fired guns.

      It’s the blade on the trigger that makes striker fired guns drop safe. I have seen it liked to a better equivalent of a grip safety. A striker fired gun without the blade or thumb safety is an unsafe design. I note the Army’s P320 has the traditional thumb safety.

      1. avatar Alan Esworthy says:

        I could be mistaken, but I think you missed the first word of Hank’s comment.

  5. avatar AFGus says:

    I came very close to buying an Honor Guard earlier this year. Glad now that I didn’t. It will be interesting to see how Honor Defense handles this situation now that this information is out there in the gun community. The Honor Guard has received consistent high marks and reviews since it came on the market, and I personally know several people who have purchased them. I imagine that Honor Defense has sold quite a few of them in light of the great reviews they’ve gotten over the past couple of years.

  6. Nick – Check with Jeremy S. He was able to recreate the failure on his pistol that was built by Honor Defense.

    1. avatar Scott says:

      Patrick,

      I saw this video yesterday and thank you for bringing it to light, I have a honor guard so I will try this out on my own tonight when I get home and I’ll let you all know how it goes. For now as much as I love this gun, it will be sitting in the safe.

      1. avatar Gman says:

        Gee, what kind of friend are you? First sign of weakness and you cut and run? Have I ever failed you? Don’t I always go bang? All those hours on the range, hundreds of rounds, all the fun we have had together mean nothing to you? I want a divorce.

        1. avatar Scott says:

          Oh god, it’s not giving up on it if I did I would sell it. I still love this gun, it still shoots better than any micro 9mm I’ve shot but we should demand that our guns work in all conditions. Be it mud, sand or dropping, we talk about that they must work in random small chance things but even the best of us can drop something. Even us needing to use our pistol in a defense gun use is a small chance but here we are making sure we are prepared for it, so the “just don’t” argument is people not looking at themselves and living in reality.

      2. Scott,

        Please do not try hammer testing or drop testing your own firearm at home. I would be sick if someone got hurt trying to replicate the test at home. Jeremy S. has replicated my findings and will be posting about it I think, please let that be your second source and just put the Honor Guard in the safe.

        I just don’t want to see anyone get hurt.

        – Patrick

        1. avatar Scott says:

          Oh yeah no I would not use a live round, I have a brand new box of snap caps that show primer strikes very well if one happens.

  7. avatar Gman says:

    I simply do not understand all this fret over drop safety. Who are all these gun owners who drop their loaded guns so often as to find out if this happens in the first place? I understand how striker fired pistols work and through that knowledge I understand that virtually all of them are at some risk of inadvertently firing if dropped. You know what? I DON’T DROP THEM.

    1. Accidents happen. That is why drop safety is so darn important.

      1. avatar Gman says:

        Dropping a loaded weapon is not a common event, nor should it be. Ever heard the term “brain surgery”? It’s one of those things you do that you know you shouldn’t make any mistakes. Like unholstering and securing, it’s brain surgery. Don’t be yelling at the kids or wife while doing it. Pay attention. The most important safety factor is betwixt the ears. I assume any gun will blow up the entire planet if I drop it loaded so I don’t do that. And if that wasn’t bad enough, I assume dropping any blued revolver will end all life in the entire universe, so I REALLY don’t do that. Especially my wife’s Diamondback.

    2. avatar george in RI says:

      apparently you have never fired in an indoor range and had hot brass bounce off the wall next to your head and somehow squeeze under your eye protection and get lodged between your closed eyelid and the plastic glasses lens, burning your eyelid. believe me, you will drop that fcker faster than you thought possible and not remember doing it. shit happens.

    3. avatar TJ says:

      This gun is geared towards the concealed carry market. If you’ve worked as a police officer, been in combat or have been in a self defense situation you’d understand that these situations are messy. You can be as careful as you want, but if you drop your gun while struggling with an attacker the consequence should not be it going off with a round going who knows where. These situations are not the same as standing at a range punching holes in paper, where you’re in complete control over how carefully you handle the gun.

    4. avatar Chris Knox says:

      The standard way of carrying an early model Single Action Army revolver is with the hammer over an empty chamber. “Everyone” knew about it to the point that I knew old-timers who carried absolutely drop-proof double-action revolvers with the well-blocked hammer over an empty chamber. Moral of the story is that if a gun is known not to be drop-safe, common sense has long dictated that the safety issue be dealt with in foolproof fashion as opposed to “don’t drop it.”

  8. avatar Gman says:

    I think it is a wonderful thing to know that if I can’t pull the trigger for some reason I can just smack it against the pavement and still hit my target. Seems like a feature to me, not a bug.

  9. avatar rt66paul says:

    Maybe someone should go into business making lanyards for these guns, that way they won’t hit the ground when dropped. (sarc)

    1. avatar skankhunt42 says:

      Screw the lanyard someone needs to make bumpers just like they use so babies don’t bump their heads! Think of all the customization possibilities… punisher skulls, 3%er ect….

  10. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    Good grief.

    Maybe, just maybe, the problem could be cured the same way Luger cured this sort of problem in the first striker-fired semi-auto pistol:

    Make the pistol so expensive that the owner makes sure it never gets dropped – or left behind in the men’s room, or left in a car, or left unattended for any reason.

    The problem here is that these guns are so cheap, people don’t think for a minute about how many hundreds of dollars they’ll knock off the value of the gun by dropping it (because these guns cost only a few hundred dollars instead of a few thousand) – so they let it drop.

    (for those of you who are heavily invested in the meta-narrative of striker pistols made out of injection-molded and burnt cheez-whiz, that was sarcasm)

    1. avatar Gman says:

      Let me twist this a bit for a second because I think you are hitting on the same thought I have. The failure here isn’t the gun, it’s the operator. As I have posted above, if people would stop dropping loaded guns this wouldn’t be a problem. But some here say “accidents happen”. I don’t agree. Stupidity happens. And it happens when people stop thinking about the ramifications of their actions. I assume that all guns will go bang if I drop them. So I don’t do that. I really don’t drop expensive wheel guns, so that past just brain surgery and now we’re talking brain surgery, in the ISS, on the Pope. I take really extra special care above and beyond the normal special care. What you are eluding to is that people are not paying attention and that is the problem.

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        Ultimate almost all failures are operator fsilures. You design a lethal weapon with that in mind.

  11. avatar Specialist38 says:

    Hard to beat physics….that is what the blade safeties in striker-fired-handgun triggers are for.

    Ask Ruger.

  12. avatar Ton E says:

    Crazy I was going through the motions a few weeks ago to buy an Honor Defense on Buds Gun Shop but last minute I stopped and bought a Ruger LC9s Pro instead.

  13. avatar Glenn says:

    Deciding whether to take certain precautions against risk (such as making a gun drop-safe) depends not just on how frequently it happens, but also on how much damage could occur when it does.

    Some risk happens all the time? Take precautions.

    Some risk is rare but when it happens, really bad things follow? Take precautions.

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