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All Guns Malfunction

Yesterday, I shared a rare but interesting malfunction reported firsthand by Fortress Defense instructor Frank Sharpe, and to say that some feathers were ruffled would be putting it mildly. Predictably, experts from all over were quick to point out that it was operator error (read you’re doing it wrong), there were claims that it was staged (yeah, because who has ever heard of a 1911 malfunctioning?), and of course, there were claims by many that their [insert manufacturer/model here] never malfunctions.

Some of you don’t seem to get it, so let me fill you in on something…

All guns malfunction.

Granted, some guns malfunction more than others, but they all do from time to time. Before you scroll down to the comments to let me know that your [insert manufacturer/model here] has eleventy-billion flawless rounds through it, let me qualify my use of the word “all”.

“All” in this context means every type of gun, not every instance of the type. For example, whether you like Glocks or not, it’s generally accepted that the Gen3 Glock 19 is one of the most reliable pistols ever made. But even with this well-deserved reputation, Gen3 Glock 19’s still malfunction from time to time, malfunctions that are 100% a problem with the gun. I’ve seen it firsthand (for those of you who don’t follow Monderno, I carry a Glock 19 every day).

Gen3 Glock 19 Malfunction

Gen3 Glock 19 Malfunction

I took the photo above (click for a larger version) of Colion Noir’s Gen3 Glock 19 RTF during a range session a few months back. I was the shooter, and no, I was not limp wristing, there wasn’t anything wrong with the ammo, and this wasn’t the only malfunction from this gun that day. I don’t remember what Collins ended up doing to resolve the issue (hey, it’s not my gun), but the point is, malfunctions happen even with super reliable guns. Yes, even revolvers.

So if you’re laboring under the impression that your gun will never malfunction, you’re only fooling yourself. Get some training, learn to clear malfunctions, and consider carrying a backup gun. Because crazy stuff happens.

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39 Responses to All Guns Malfunction

  1. TK August 27, 2013 at 11:19 am #

    Yes, thank you. So sick of hearing people claim that their gun never malfunctions…yeah, well I’m glad it hasn’t YET, but that doesn’t mean it’s not POSSIBLE. The revolver guys are the worst, followed by the Glock guys.

    • Jake August 27, 2013 at 11:27 am #

      Glock fanbois are the WORST.

      • Michael Wilson August 27, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

        you should never attack or label individuals or a group of individuals for loving a particular product. it is called culture. they are no different than having a fav. team, tv show, game console or article of clothing.

        just accept it!

      • Jeff August 27, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

        I call them “Glock-tards” and I see them all the time at my local shop telling everybody on both sides of the gun counter about how their G## is the most reliable thing they ever owned, in some cases more so than their trucks. Every make/model fails. Just because yours hasn’t yet doesn’t mean it won’t.

        • Dave December 14, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

          Yup, if your gun hasn’t malf’d, you haven’t trained and used it hard enough.

  2. dgdimick August 27, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    I think saying your gun never malf’s is really saying: it hasn’t happened yet, but it’s waiting for the very worst time to.

    I’ve seen a lot of Glocks stovepipe in the past, they aren’t magic, it happens to every gun. If you haven’t seen it, you’re not shooting enough.

    • Jake August 27, 2013 at 11:28 am #

      Lies! It was the ammo! You limp wristed! It was operator error! LOL

    • 2xtap August 27, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

      Disagree with you dgdimick – saying “your gun never malf’s” is really saying ” you don’t shoot it enough”. or “you don’t push your gun hard.”

  3. Xavi R Santoni August 27, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    My old P226 is more reliable than my 19 and way more accurate, love them both but that’s just my experience.

  4. Nick August 27, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    Is this the one Colion was purposefully not cleaning and the extractor or something broke on it?

    • Brandon August 27, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

      I don’t remember if the issue was that it was too dirty or if it was a bad extractor. I’ll ask Collins.

  5. Al Cohol August 27, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

    Class is now in session. Take notes fanboys..

    • Al Cohol August 27, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

      For the record, I also carry a Glock 19 daily..

  6. SteveG August 27, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    I think it was my second or third pistol match, I was shooting a S&W 686. During a reload some unburnt powder got stuck on the extractor making it impossible to close the cylinder. I’ve been fortunate to experience very few malfunctions with my firearms, but I’ll never say it can’t happen.

  7. Hillbilly Bob August 27, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    I clean and oil my guns religiously to avoid that type of malfunction but there is another gazillion ways to have a stoppage
    I just hope to hell that something bad doesn’t go wrong when I really need my gun, if it does I hope I keep my wits to clear the stoppage or grab my BUG

    • Brandon August 27, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

      What do you carry for primary and backup?

      • Hillbilly Bob August 27, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

        An XD45 or an XDM40 as primaries, 90% of the time it is my XD45 and I have an LCP in an oversized pocket holster where my wallet would/should be
        I just bought an SR1911 a few months ago and may start carrying it around my small town

  8. Michael Wilson August 27, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    i get what your saying…. i really do but i have to tell ya. even this idea that all guns malfunction, is malfunctioning right in front of you. yes even idea and theories malfunction, including this one.

    it only makes sense when you think about it at this angle.

    look, you can love 1911’s, sigs, glock, berettas whatever. you know what gun never malfunctions? the one you have! my weapon has never malfuctioned and if it does, it is not the gun, its you! you have to prevent malfunction.

    inspect your weapon everyday, its a very simple tool. its not a car engine or a computer and even if it was. its not the engine’s fault, it always the operator.

    parts wear out, ammo is imperfect, user error, even mechanical error. whatever it is, it can be fixed and if you cannot fix it, it is your fault.

    if my glock 19 gen 4 ever malfunctions, its not the guns fault, its my fault. whatever was the cause of it, its my fault.

    i inspect my weapon, i shoot it, clean it, oil it, inspect the ammo. i think i will go so far as weighing each round in the future.

    no weapon will malfunction that belongs to me, if it ever does, its not the weapons fault, its mine.
    its always me.

    if the barrel cracks, its me, failure to extract; me, failure to fire; me. a kaboom, happens, its me!

    something is always wrong when it malfunctions and its up to me to prevent it and to fix it if it happens.

    not the weapon, its never the weapon.

    • Jake August 27, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

      Congratulations, this is the most ridiculous thing I’ve read all week. Granted, it’s only Tuesday, but wow.

      • Michael Wilson August 27, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

        well if you weapon malfunctions, what do you do? is the weapon suddenly a piece o shit and should it be discarded into the closest trash recepticle? is it the manufacturer? is it the ammo?, what is it?

        pick a malfunction and tell me what caused it, and how i should fix it and i see that i am involved in the function of the weapon.

        now i am a conscious being and i am capable of making more mistakes, and the weapon
        makes no mistakes, how can i blame the weapon?

        human error, its always human error!

        • Jeff August 28, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

          So, what you’re saying is that, when the guide rod in your pistol fails (read:snaps in two or more pieces) because even though the manufacturer rates the particular gun for +P+ loads, they decided to switch from a steel rod to a plastic one for “cost effectiveness,” that the gun didn’t fail, YOU did? That has to be the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard! I understand that from one perspective, you should, in this example, consider that its a plastic guide rod before running super hot loads through it; however, the manufacturer in this case stated that you could. In this case, the gun failed. It failed to do what it was supposed to be able to do. The only human error here is that not only are we beating a dead horse(probably with a pistol with a broken guide rod) but that you would put ALL of the blame on “operator error.” Sometimes the tool breaks.

      • Michael Wilson August 27, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

        even if you pick (let’s say an early sig 556 r. it has been tested by other human beings and does not have a proven track record of reliability. if you buy this weapon and it malfunctions. it is not the weapon’s fault. it was designed with inherit flaws and was designed to malfunction.

        if you rely on this weapon, that is human error, it is your fault.

        can it be fixed? yess! i wouldnt rely on it unless i could trust it to fire reliably as an ak.

        its always human error

        • Georgie Rodriguez August 27, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

          Let me just say this.

          There is no such thing as a perfect machine.

      • Raistlin August 27, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

        Jake, I couldn’t agree more.

        seriously loony.

    • Montana Mike August 27, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

      Soooo what if it’s the ammo? Is that still you? LOL

      • Michael Wilson August 27, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

        yes, i should have know the ammo didnt feel right, i should inspect the ammo very closely. trust no one! how does it look, any bulges, set back, how much does it weigh. is their twice as much powder in there than it should be?

        is there any powder at all?

        if a faulty round happens, you put the round in the chamber and you can blame quality control of some facility but that is human too.

        i admit, i inspect each round with a magnifying glass and i look for anything that looks kinda crazy. i dont weigh each bullet with a scale, i rely on visual only.


        • Montana Mike August 27, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

          LOL yeah ok man. You might want to look into a micrometer.

        • brandon August 27, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

          If your that paranoid need to reload every round I can understand a quick visual inspt. I personally trust the qc at the manufacturing level but also only trust proven by me ammo and expect a malfunction with every trigger squeeze

  9. Montana Mike August 27, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    Great post Brandon, more people need to understand that anything made by people can and will break.

  10. gipb August 27, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    I have a hk usp45 tactical glock23 & 27gen 4 and so far 1 ftf with the usp and 23 – i obviously shoot them both a lot more – but they’re all excellent pistols

    • Hillbilly Bob August 27, 2013 at 11:02 pm #

      My buddy owns a drive-thru here in Ohio, he was never a gun guy he bought a Dan Wesson revolver years ago and had an AK and an SKS he picked up cheap years ago and just stuck in the closet
      I go to his new store one day & he has the .357 behind the counter and carried it into the office when he went in there because there were no customers
      He was telling me he will not hesitate to shoot anyone if they try to rob him, i said uh huh and told him to hand me his revolver as I used to own a Dan Wesson in 44 Mag
      I tried to open the cylinder and no go, tried again and no go, tried to move the hammer back with shit results
      I look at the gun sideways and seen the problem, he bought some random reloads off of a guy that stopped in his store, the damn primers in 2 rounds were to far out
      I asked how in the hell he closed it and he told me it was a bitch getting it closed
      I then showed him how fucked he was if he was robbed when i tried to pull the hammer back and he about shit
      I ran home and grabbed him a box PMC Gold Starfire, i have been teaching him how to tear his LCP down and he has a 22 LR 1911 I helped him with and his ak and sks
      But yeh, revolvers WILL screw up, especially with operator error and I know people on here wouldn’t have that problem but if anyone knows a gun newbie with a revolver, help them out

      • gipb August 27, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

        Revolvers are fun to shoot! I definitely want to add a couple to my quiver bad! I have a friend who has a 357magnum and a 45 long colt- I love shooting them! I hear ya on reloads, we have had the same failure with the 45long colt (my friend reloads his) but for tge most part his loads are really good – id love to get into reloading

  11. Jared H. August 27, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

    All guns malfunction…period. My competition 1911 never did in practice and I cleaned it all the time but low and behold, first comp out with it, it jammed. Even revolvers malfunction! It happens, that’s why you prepare for it. To deny that your gun ever will is just asking for it to when you need it most.

  12. Lee Morelan August 27, 2013 at 11:48 pm #

    I’ve shot the Heck out out my Taurus PT-92, using Rem 115gr & Winchester 124gr,

  13. Bart Foutch August 28, 2013 at 12:11 am #

    I recently took an advanced carbine class. When we introduced ourselves and the rifles we were running I took a lot of shit about the piston gun I had, most from one specific person. Apparently he had run thousands of rounds through his GI gun and it had never malfunctioned. The class was a week long and we fired around 2500 rounds in 3 days. On the second day, when his gun malfunctioned, his clearance drill was so crappy he induced a brass over bolt malfunction. After being told to transition to his pistol, that promptly malfunctioned. I thought that was poetic justice. As a police officer for over 8 years, a firearms instructor for 5 of them, and an aircraft mechanic for 14, I know for a fact that ANY mechanical device can fail, and Murphy’s Law states that it will happen at the worst possible time. Train for it and you won’t end up FUBAR at the end of the day.

  14. Clint September 7, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    If your phillipine made spring breaks on your .45 its your fault for buying foreign cheap crap. If your chinese ammo lodges in the barrel its your fault , If your gun shoots someone its the gun manufacturers fault. (According to past lawsuits and most democrats) whew.. This blame game crap gets complicated. Just clear the jam, buy American, and vote . ( besides if your gun does malfunction no one will ever know your to blame if you dont tell them.) lol

  15. Pitt September 9, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

    Any device made by man can (and will) malfunction at some point. My deadnuts reliable Ruger SR9 shit the bed at the 2nd or 3rd IDPA i took it to. My old gen. 2 Glock 17 hated Blazer aluminum practice ammo, but my other guns ate it like candy. My Armscor .45 Tactical ran like crap for me, but ran like butter for the guy I sold it to. If you shoot enough or own enough guns, you gun too will malf like an SOB. Time to get a BUG.

  16. Brandon February 8, 2014 at 8:15 pm #

    Most likely your firearm was not clean or you can not shoot. Glock never fails but operator do.

    • Brandon February 9, 2014 at 3:12 pm #