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Old 10-10-2012, 13:01   #1
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Bad luck or sub-par firearms?

I sometimes wonder if they’re not making quality firearms like they used to. It does seem to me that a larger percentage of guns made today have problems and have to get sent back to the manufacturer than in days gone by. For a very long time it’s been known that Glocks cannot be beat for their reliability and dependability although many will say that there are a few guns that are as good as Glocks and I think that too. But for awhile now I read and hear that there are some problems with Glocks here and there. I may be wrong but several years ago I don’t remember hearing about “common” problems with them or at least few problems compared to now-a-days.
I own 7 Rugers and tomorrow I have to send my Mini-14 to Ruger because Sunday the firing pin broke while shooting factory ammo. Less than a year ago I had to send my SR9C to Ruger because of light primer hits. They fixed the problem and I’m grateful for that. About two years ago I had to send a new 10/22 back to Ruger because the paint was peeling off the receiver housing and again Ruger fixed that too. I won’t mention a Kahr PM-9 that I had and got sent back to Kahr six times before I gave up and got a G-26. I know many people and if I ask around allot and I hear more and more stories about people buying a new firearm and having to send it back to the manufacturer for repair. And it’s with many of the “classic” gun makers too that 5 or more years ago you hardly ever heard of “problem guns” with these companies.
I can only surmise one reason why this is happening and it boils down to the tremendous amount of guns the manufacturers want to produce as fast as they can while the market is good and putting quality control on the back burner so they can accomplish their quotas and financial goals. I don’t want to start an argument here but I think this has been Taurus’ biggest problem. By far most of the complaints I hear are from new Taurus buyers. To their credit, Taurus has been coming up with allot of clever new ideas and concepts in firearms which has made them popular and people are buying them like hot cakes. And Taurus has been concentrating and focusing on mass production rather than quality and will let customer service take care of the problem guns because they are guaranteed for life.
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Old 10-10-2012, 16:57   #2
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My guess is that at least part of it is a couple decades ago if I had a problem with a gun I had to find the card or brochure from the gun I bought a couple years ago or maybe go to the library and call or maybe write the manufacturer. I had little contact with other than a few guys in my small town who had guns. Nowadays I can be in almost instant contact with the Sherpa who is allergic to shrimp and likes lime green Nikes and carries one of three pre Model 20 Heavy Duties that are in that part of the world. Problem with a Glock or a Ruger? Seems constant here in the huge, tiny world of the internet, although I am not certain it is really that prevalent.
I never talked to anyone who had to fire their gun who said "I wished I had the smaller gun and fewer rounds with me" Just because you find a hundred people who agree with you on the internet does not mean you're right.
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Old 10-10-2012, 18:22   #3
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In general I agree that guns aren't built to the same standards as they used to be. But Ruger revolvers seem to be better than they were 5 or ten years ago IME. Maybe the small parts and internal areas aren't finished as well, but the important things like chamber alignment, barrel alignment, smoothness of chambers and barrels seem better. My new GP100 and Bisley Blackhawk are excellent and more accurate than the older Rugers I've owned.
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Old 10-10-2012, 18:30   #4
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I know for myself I am a much higher volume shooter now then I was in the past-due to reloading and casting.
I make a regular trip to the gun range weekly and average about 1000 rounds a month with a variety of firearms.
In my younger days I wouldn't average 1000 rounds in a year.
I had to send my Henry big boy rifle back due to a broken firing pin. And its broken again.
I have owned this for a year and approaching 3000 rounds through it.
Things wear out when you use them.
Safe queens last forever.
What's the frequency Kenneth?
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Old 10-10-2012, 18:37   #5
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Only buy Rugers chambered in .22.
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Old 10-10-2012, 20:24   #6
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I think the "they don't make them like they used to" is just BS.

CNC machining has made for much greater dimensional control and repeatability.

The internet is a great forum where any discontented gun owner can vent his irritation to an audience of many thousands, something that was never the case in the past. Even if the same percentage of "lemons" are being produced now as in the past, the greater production numbers mean more "duds" out there than before.

Unless you value deep hand polished blueing to the exclusion of most everything else, today's selection of guns is the best in history. If you can't find something you like, you're a hopeless grump. Don
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:11   #7
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A few manufacturers have quit test firing guns, before shipping, in the last three or four years.

You run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking, racing around to come up behind you again, the sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older, shorter of breath and one day closer to death…
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:44   #8
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I just got my Ruger SP101 and Gp100 Wiley Clapp back from Ruger. Both had to have the cylinders replaced.
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:44   #9
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I've suspected we're seeing a couple of things happening which are sending contradictory signals.

First, many "average handgun owners" seem to be shooting more than in earlier years. I remember when it wasn't uncommon for someone to still have their original "new" box of ammunition, with rounds still remaining in it, after having owned a semiauto pistol for some years.

Nowadays casual shooters can participate in IDPA, and not have to become dedicated competitive shooters.

I remember when aluminum alloy framed pistols weren't expected to be subjected to thousands of rounds being fired through them.

I remember when a magazine article at the end of the 70's was written to put to rest potential owner concerns that an alloy Commander could last 5,000 rounds.

How about the expected frame service life of a major brand of military alloy pistol being specified at 5,000 rounds even at the end of the 80's, or the maker of another major brand of 9mm pistol at the same time saying their guns should last for 10,000 rounds? (I have a FBI report from the end of the 80's which contains both these bits of info ... as well as how a couple of major brands of alloy pistols had been observed to start exhibiting cracked frames as soon as 10,000 rounds.)

I think we've seen continual materials, design and manufacturing improvements, and longer useful service lives, from offerings from the major makers since those times.

Then we've seen the introduction of widespread use of plastic compounds for pistol frames.

Unfortunately, I also think we've been seeing some firearms products being rushed to market before all the normal teething pains have been observed, identified and addressed, too. Market demand and sales in recent years have set records.

Then, there's the not uncommon 2-edged sword of making a change to address one problem, or make an improvement, only to encounter an unexpected new problems or issue. Unintended consequences, in other words.

The ammunition companies have seemingly been pushed to their production limits, too. When you get one or another of the major makers who start running 24 hour shifts and can produce up to 1 millions rounds every 24 hours, and who are trying to meet LE/Gov orders for contracts involving 200-400+ million rounds, or millions of dollars of ammo (depending on how the bid/procurement is stated) ... well, QC might understandably take a hit at some point, right?

I've had to have my fair share of older revolvers and pistols repaired or corrected before they'd work as designed and intended. I've seen it less so in more recent years (notwithstanding the "teething pains" issue with brand new models, or significant revisions of existing designs ).

I think we're seeing better guns from the major makers. Or, at least those who are trying to make major sales to LE/Gov buyers.

Don't forget that the age of the internet, and anyone being able to post anything online, has created an amazing wealth of "information" that can be disseminated at the speed of light, too. Combine this with an increase in firearms owners, and owners who are actually doing more shooting, and it's not surprising we're being exposed to all manner of "more information".

Good luck trying to vet all that info, though.

As a LE firearms armorer who has attended more than 20 armorer classes (including recerts), I'm no longer surprised and amazed at the sheer volume of dubious, dangerous, incorrect, etc info to be found online.

Sub Club #9; .40 S&W Club #1953; S&W Club #3913
Retired LE - firearms instructor/armorer

Last edited by fastbolt; 10-11-2012 at 12:48..
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