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Old 07-12-2019, 07:07 PM   #1
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RandomRest .22
How much reliability testing needed?

Hello, I'm pretty new to Walthers and I'm looking for some advice.

After years shooting revolvers, I've recently shifted to shooting semi-automatics thanks to the gift of a P1 and a PPK/S from a friend. Those gateway Walthers led me to purchase a P99 and a PPS, and I would like to shift to them for home protection and carry. Before doing that, I want to be sure of reliability. I've chosen a type of defensive ammo for each pistol (Federal HST 147 and 150 Micro, respectively), and have run about 40 rounds through each without a glitch. How many test rounds of a specific ammo type would you consider necessary to be confident in reliable cycling?

Thanks for any advice.
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:07 PM   #2
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SkippySanchez .22
I'd suggest 100 rounds JHPs between two dedicated HD mags, but run another few hundred rounds of FMJ just to get the hang of running the pistol.

You might consider loading the mags from two or three rounds each to full capacity. Sometimes partially-loaded mags can be finicky, plus you can practice efficient magazine changes at the same time.


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Old 07-12-2019, 11:23 PM   #3
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1942bull .22
Testing reliability is is not just how many rounds to shoot. You shoot most guns and get get 20 JHP through it without a failure to feed and you have proven your ammo feeds properly. If you shoot 100 rounds in testing but do it slowly all you proved is that you shot 100 rounds. Reliability is is proven by shooting that simulates real life conditions: a flurry of rapid sequence shots, like double and triple taps. Make the gun work hard. If it holds up with a hundred rounds through it is rapid succession, I think you can see it as reliable as long as you keep it clean and oiled.

It tested my PPS M2 with Winchester Train and Defend. Both train and defend are 147 grain with the same design except trained is FMF and Defend is JHP. I selected that ammo after reviewing dozens of tests of 9mm out of a 3 inch barrel by Ammoquest on eBay. Check out this video and see why I carry Defend and practice with Train. HST 147 was my previous favorite. I do not see any reliable testing of the Micro so I passed it by. Maybe in time there will be more to learn about it other than ads.

This video is worth watching.

https://youtu.be/xc5n_JsY3aw
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Old 07-13-2019, 06:20 AM   #4
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I wouldn't EDC a weapon until I've taken it through a full day level I proficiency course. Failing that I'd follow a lot of 42's advice...

Minimum of 500 rounds fmj as similar to your defensive ammo as possible. Minimum of 100 rounds defensive ammo. Run the weapon hard, two to five round strings rapid fire drawn from your carry holster.

Shoot it clean, shoot it dirty, shoot it enough so you really know how the weapon handles...

Personally because you want this as your EDC, even if you've been carrying for years (or even for work) I'd look at getting Level I or Level II training. You'll really know your weapon by the end of the course. You'll certainly know your ammo and its shooting characteristics in most situations.

After all your weapon is life support...how much is your life (or that of your family or your friends) worth?
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:05 AM   #5
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chandler5566 .22
It's not the number of rounds you fire, it's what level of imperfection are you willing to accept? In just 3 responses it's obvious that the number and type of rounds looks like a scattergram. Olsoul gave the best recommendation I know of.....training, consistent and varied practice.
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Old 07-13-2019, 10:17 AM   #6
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Depends somewhat on the weapon. Guns with a rep as reliable don't need quite as much skepticism; I've taken Glock 42s straight from the dealer to a club match.
Since the P365 has had its issues, I've run maybe 300 rounds of mixed (defense and handload practice of roughly equivalent power) ammo. The gun's current rep is excellent, and the 8 I now know of perssconally have run 100%.
Another issue; whatever ammo you end up choosing, make sure you can get enough of it. Gold Dot .380s were scarce for a long time.
Finally, an aside, and a twice told tale. My first centerfire auto was a Ranger PPK/s .380, 35 years ago. Because of the cost of factory hollowpoints, I decided to feed it careful reloads. I'd load 10 of something, if that ran, then 25, then 50. I never did find a load that would run 100 straight, and finally traded it.
Moon
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Old 07-13-2019, 11:24 PM   #7
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RandomRest .22
Thanks all for your advice, it's very helpful. The issue of how much to buy was part of the motivation for my questions, as I want to have enough to test and enough left to be of use, and want to plan against shortages of specific loads. I will definitely test with rapid fire, partially loaded mags, one hand, weak hand, etc. Again, thanks.
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Old 07-14-2019, 05:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halfmoonclip View Post
Depends somewhat on the weapon. Guns with a rep as reliable don't need quite as much skepticism
Moon
It isn't so much the "rep for reliability" moon. I'd think it is a matter of how the weapon is going to function in your hands with a given load under various conditions. Each weapon has its own idiosyncrasies.

In a match you might lose points, in the real world it could be a bit more... .

I agree to a certain extent with your assertion about reputation, as that is the yard stick we all need to start with but where the rubber meets the road you always want as close to perfection as possible and know it for a fact not a supposition.
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:47 AM   #9
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halfmoonclip .22
Not really arguing that point, but I pick defensive guns using several criteria, rep for reliability being one. An analogy; Toyotas are expected to work, Alfa Romeos, maybe not. I was skeptical of both the 42 and the 365 early on, but assured myself through extensive personal usage, and that of friends.
Nah, I wouldn't have loaded the 42 with Gold Dots and stuck it in my pocket, but I wasn't surprised it ran just fine in a match. It was actually my 'spare' 42, and the previous ones have always run just fine.
I've a 100+ year old Smith lemon squeezer top break; doubt it's ever been fired. Somebody bought it, loaded 5 .38 S&Ws, and stuck it in the drawer. That sorta works with revos; not so much with autoloaders.
Moon
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:04 AM   #10
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Most answers are going to come down to your level of comfort. Some folks are okay with 'good enough' and others will accept nothing less than absolute certainty.

My opinion is on a self defense pistol with a reputation for reliability (like either the PPS or P99) that experiences zero problems out the box I'd be willing to settle with a significantly lower round count.

For example, my Ruger SR1911 was flawless right out of the box. I put 100 rounds FMJ through it with no hiccups and then put a box of high quality HP self defense loads. Cleaned it and then put it cocked and locked on my nightstand, ready to roll.


I would consider that 120 rounds to be at the very, very low end of acceptable, but I was personally comfortable with it based on Ruger's reputation for making functional 1911's and my personal experience with that specific serial# gun meeting that reputation (at least initially, time will tell).

By contrast, My Taurus TCP is from a company with a reputation for putting out some weapons with very questionable/mixed reliability and function - and when I purchased it the thing, my particular SN# gun had problems right out of the box and required a not unsubstantial amount of amateur gunsmithing.

That pistol I still never fully trust. I make it prove itself every time it goes to the range. It took around 400 rounds and some judicious polishing/filing for the thing to even resemble reliable. I probably have close to 3k+ rounds through the thing now and it will run about 150-250 rounds without a cleaning before rounds start choking on the feed ramp.

Some would say why carry such a pistol if you don't have 100% confidence... My reply is that the choice to carry any micro .380 is going to be the result of a compromise. The majority of micro .380's have similar concerns with reliability, regardless of manufacturer. I'd rather have a 99% reliable pistol that I can commit to carry 100% of the time over a 100% reliable pistol that I don't always have with me.

Plus, in 100% of cases I've experienced that <1% unreliability factor in the TCP is remedied by a tap/rack/bang.

My final thoughts are that auto-loaders are inherently unreliable. Revolvers are clearly a superior choice to anyone putting a premium on reliability... Of course you lose capacity and (for me) I find revolvers more difficult to shoot accurately.

Long story short. Life is a series of compromises. Choose the ones you make wisely - and never compromise your morals for money. You can always get more money, but once you compromise on your personal integrity you can't get that back.
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Last edited by An Angry Hippo; 07-24-2019 at 09:24 AM.
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