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In the video below, some of the Marines training to breach doors with a shotgun are not having an easy day. And that’s in Hawaii. With no one shooting at them. I’ve experienced plenty o’ firearm malfunctions. Some my fault (improperly seated SCAR mag), some due to mechanical failure (Smith & Wesson 686 that locked up). Luckily, one of my first gun gurus trained me to SOLVE YOUR PROBLEM! In other words, keep going. As far as trusting my gun . . .

I don’t. I don’t want be surprised when my firearm fails me (or I it). I don’t want to be staring at my gun like some of these Marines thinking, hmmmm, what next Sarge? What’s next is something, anything.

How much do you trust your self-defense firearm? Do you practice malfunctions and/or have a Plan B?

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  1. Trust is earned, not given. All of my defensive firearms have earned my trust. Those that did not are either relegated to wall hanging or have been sold.

    • I share some of that ideology.

      I have defensive guns and range guns. Range guns are ‘fun but not going to trust my life to them’. They often get traded away for other guns. Defensive guns must go bang every time, period.

  2. I trusted my Glock 23 implicitly. The *only* time it ever failed on me was my fault, when I bought one of those +2 mag extenders and tried to run it on the 13 round spring. With not enough ‘push’, the last rounds sometimes failed to feed. I tossed the +2 extenders and just used the 15 round mags in my G-22. Problem solved.

    Dead-nuts reliable was that G-23. Only mod I made to it was the extended slide release…

  3. A firearm is a mechanical device. And just like any other they can fail.
    However, a glock, xdm, m&p, s&w revolver, etc. will work way more often than not. However there is still that chance. This is where practice, and more practice, and after that more practice comes into play.
    Not just shooting. Clearing an ftf, and an fte.
    If it is fubar, practice switching to a backup.
    Murphys law can be enforced when it is least desireable.

  4. My confidence in my Ruger American Compact seems to be fading a bit, it seems that with light 115 grain loads it stovepipes every 100 or so rounds. 124s and up seem to not have the problem but can be hard to find for cost efficiencent range ammo. I suspect the dual recoil spring is part of the problem but it should be broken in by now with over 1000 rounds.

    • That surprises me a little, the SR9C uses an almost identical dual recoil spring and I haven’t had it choke on 85gn ARX rounds with the factory 16# spring. Granted I haven’t fired more than about 100 of those yet. I think I had 2 stovepipes out of that thing in the first 100 rounds out of the box, I’m chalking it up to that packing grease they ship them in.

      • LC9S, SR9C, 9E; zero malfunctions straight from box. Any weight bullet and brand, even all mixed up in same mag to really test reliability.

  5. Even though the MTBF of my carry guns is quite large, I hand load all of my ammo and assume that I among a few other elements can fail. The hammer on my revolver is adjustable via a hex screw in the base of the grip and I have found out where to light definitely is and haven’t had a failure in that gun since (about 340 rounds). Still that light strike and “click” is always in my mind when thinking about that gun. My auto has had one failure to eject in the last almost 800 rounds of carry ammo. That too is always on my mind. I have tweaked my practice loads to have a failure to eject about every 75 rounds. That helps keep me on my toes. Still I am nervous.

    • You handload for the FN? What projectiles? Just curious. Unless I have you confused with someone else on here that talked to me about a 5.7.

      • We have spoken about them before. I used one of Grantness’s loads from the Five Seven forum. I’ll talk about loads via mail : Gordon at Soulbrother dot Org

  6. I only have two guns that I don’t “trust”. The first is new enough that I’m still finding out if it’s trust worthy.

    The other I’ve had for years. It’s a Star BM. It’s choosy about feeding JHPs. It’s had hundreds of rounds of Golden Saber JHP through it without a hiccup but experience with other JHPs leaves me wary. It’s been retired as a carry/HD gun and is now solely a range toy.

    Other than that, rifle, shotgun, pistol… If I still own it I would bet my life that it functions as advertised when needed.

    • Love Stars, I would love to get one in 9×19, as mine fires 9×23 which is an expensive pain to find. Mine was made in 1947 and has never had a hiccup, of course I’m only firing FMJ’s thru it; I don’t know that they make JHP’s in Largo. While it fires an uncommon caliber, I was able to pick it and 250 rounds of ammo up for $100 a while back.

      • 9×23 Starline brass is available for $.18-$.20 a piece, so you could get your price and availability fixed fairly easily.

        • More and more it is looking like that is the route I will take. I’ve always had in interest in rolling my own and love shooting the Star. But the last box of Largo I saw was $35!

  7. G19…I trust it a lot further than I can throw it. I probably don’t practice malfs as much as I should, but I do have some dummy rounds I practice with occasionally.

  8. I trust some guns with my life, other guns not so much. Those guns become “range-only” toys where I don’t care if I get a double-feed or a light primer strike.

  9. I trust my life with my self-defense firearms.

    I run them through their paces and maintain them to have as much confidence as possible that they will work when I need them most.

    I do not practice malfunctions all that much because they can be so varied. In my opinion the amount of time and mental focus required to diagnose and correct a malfunction would often cause your demise if it happened during intense combat. Thus, my “practice” for malfunctions is to immediately switch to full-on retreat or full-on melee combat with my hands, feet, newfound club (malfunctioning firearm), and anything else available.

    As for my official “Plan B”, my intention is to carry a second firearm. A second firearm enables New York reloads and provides the reassurance of knowing that you can immediately drop your malfunctioning firearm and immediately deploy your backup gun. Unfortunately, I have not yet acquired my second holster.

  10. One thing to note is that is happening at a training facility. Training facilities typically get stuff that’s ancient and doesn’t work too well BEFORE it gets used heavily by everyone and dropped by new users (after all, in training a malf is just a learning experience). I know people who got really early Air Force contract M16s older than them (in fact, roughly the same age group as their parents) in basic.

  11. So it looks like you can limp wrist a semi-auto shotgun. Makes sense that it would fail to cycle if it’s not braced against the body when fired.

    • i can shoot my saigas and veprs unsupported on my shoulder, and they cycle, wonder whats wrong with the $1800 wonder toy?!!?!?!

  12. There’s nothing wrong with those poor shotguns! Benelli reps would be apoplectic if they saw this vid! Their shotguns are recoil operated. That usually requires something like, I dunno, a shoulder to be braced against to allow it to work. The only way that technique will work is with a pump. Looks like a training issue to me.

  13. I trust my guns, to a point, but I do not fully trust myself to be able to manipulate them properly in a crisis. Case in point, my first time at the gun range with my new rifle. I caused a double feed by not remembering to remove the chamber flag from the chamber.

  14. The only gun I own and trust 101%. Is my Model 66 K frame. That out of 12 guns I own for CCW. 9 others are semi-autos in 380 to 10mm. I know those will go bang on the first shot 100% of the time. The others are 22s. Those can be hit or miss at any time.

  15. If I can’t trust it I don’t own it. Every firearm I own may be used in a life or death situation. Not saying I live in fear of an attack but I plan for one just the same.

  16. Interesting reading the posts. I will add that if you do not wear out a part in your firearm at least once, like a recoil spring, perhaps you need to shoot more. Get to the range and shoot more. 🙂 Go on. You know you want to.

  17. Just a note to the author, USMC does not wear unit patches on their BDU’s either this is 2 different units training or a joint USMC/USA training exercise.

    • Another note to the author: No Marine would ever think (much less say) “what next Sarge?” Marines always use the full rank title Sergeant.

  18. Some schmuck paid $700 for a Mossberg 930 JM Pro Tactical Class. It failed to cycle at least once every ten rounds. He sold it on consignment to my local gun shop.
    A noob walks in and sees a bad ass autoloading shotgun listed at $449 in mint condition and plops the cash on the counter. Then the noob has the same issue with failures. Sends it back to Mossberg who fixes the well known barrel cant issue and now the gun runs perfectly even with target grade 7/8 ounce bird shot.
    Yeah. I trust my gun.

  19. I have a Bulgarian Makarov PM that I trust 120%. It’s my EDC. Originally picked it because it’s a proven design that only has about 9 moving parts. It’s lived up to the reputation. That being said, I do practice working through malfunctions under stress with all of my firearms.

  20. I have 3 carry pistols. Sig P220 with about 2K through it, no malfunctions. Sig P229 with about 5K through it, no malfunctions and it’s been back to Sig for a tune up since it’s older.
    Newest pistol is a Kahr K9 Elite that I’ve had for 2 years. Probably around a thousand rounds and no malfunctions.
    So I trust them but anything can happen.

  21. Both my G19 and SR762 (MBR) go bang every single time with various low/mid range ammos.

    Weapons are routinely cleaned, oiled, and kept inspection ready, even though I do very little shooting. I trust my rifle but if all else fails, even the people behind me with their rifles… I got lefty and righty, and they hurt.

  22. HK45, which followed a HK USP .45. Both trusted for duty carry / off duty every day, no questions. Slightly more than 16k rounds between the two, nary a malfunction that wasn’t my fault.

  23. My Rem 870 only has had issues with Aguila baby rounds. I don’t have any of those silly shells. My Marlin 30-30 has never had a hang up. My Ruger single action .44 Mag never has issues…..aint worried

  24. Ten years ago I bought a hk usp 45c. I’ve never had to clear a ff or fe. I did have to clear my Sr 9c when I was working with my daughter. Daughters will do it every time. We will work through this.

  25. This is why you train in the way you fight. This allows you to see what issues arise from the way you are doing things, the type of ammo you are using and the tactics you use. There are obvious issues that they can correct now rather than while being shot at in the mix.
    Now these Marines know that this doesn’t work and what needs to happen so they can trust the weapons, their training and themselves when the time arises.
    I’d say that this failure in training will lead to success on the battlefield

  26. All my gear is G2G or it aint going anywhere except Gunbroker via my LGS. My guns, mags, flashlights, knives, etc. are researched, purchased then tested for absolute reliability. Just sold 2 Eotechs because every other time I tried to fire them up, they were DOA. Replaced with ACOG’s. That’s how I roll.


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