Small handguns

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Re: Small handguns

Postby Archer » 24 Feb 2020 18

GasGuzzler wrote:So it's mostly a way things are issue with some internet stories of mechanical failure. Since I work in retail repair, I know for a fact all designs have flaws and can and do fail. I'd never buy a stainless lever gun or mount a scope on one but that doesn't make it wrong to do so.


So, in addition to the potential for wear causing a striker fired gun to be more prone to going off when jarred there are some other considerations.

A hammer fired weapon with the correct setup SLAMS the hammer into the firing pin and the inertia from the contact forces the firing pin forward in a very positive manner. The mainspring works the hammer and the energy TENDS to be high. This tends to overcome hard primers and possibly dirty firearm conditions.
This may not be the case with some designs where the hammer is minimalist. (I question the Ruger LC guns with dinky small hammers for example.) In designs like the 1911 this energy and the long thin firing pin nose also means the firing pin protrusion during the firing cycle is more than enough. With a limited firing pin protrusion light strikes are more common with either design setup but often striker fired guns have protrusion limited by a shoulder on the striker/firing pin.

A striker fired mechanism uses a spring to drive the striker forward. Typically you have the striker held back by the sear and the trigger pulls the sear out of engagement and allows the spring force to thrust the striker forward. The system tends to be more sensitive to striker spring strength than a hammer fired system. In OLDER versions of this design you could NOT release the compression on the striker spring without dry firing the weapon. This lead to several issues including work hardening the striker/firing pin and broke firing pins and or damage to the slide behind the breach face. With some guns today this problem is minimized by a rather complex decocker mechanism. (Beretta 92 for example.) Earlier decocker designs tended to wear in over time and become a second trigger mechanism. With an exposed hammer design you can manually let the hammer down on an empty chamber to release tension on the mainspring.

Striker fired CAN tend to be less tolerant of dirt in at least two ways.

1) the sear engagement tended to be more of a sliding action against the striker. Any dirt on those engagement surfaces tends to keep them together. This is one of the major flaws with the Luger IMO. Pulling the trigger rotates a L section about a pin in the corner attaching it to the side plate. the other leg presses on one end of the trigger bar that cams the other end out from the Firing Pin/Striker to release it. Any dirt on any of those engagement surfaces tends to mean that the gun doesn't go off.

2) Pocket lint in the striker channel. I am NOT saying it doesn't happen but MOST hammer fired guns don't seem to have a pocket lint in the firing pin channel problem. I have seen or heard about several striker fired guns getting light strikes that went away after the striker channel was cleared of pocket lint. Combine this issue with a striker spring that is weak and you compound the issue.

Note these are mostly my observations with a few designs and as I hope I've indicated may not apply to all designs but may give you an idea of some of the basics for some of the older shooter's distrust of 'striker fired' and 'decocker' weapons. The decocker on a CZ-52 for example is NOT something to trust IMO.
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Re: Small handguns

Postby Ranch Dog » 25 Feb 2020 06

I've got both striker and hammer-fired semi-autos. I don't give a rip about how they go bang, but rather how instinctive they fit my hand and how well regulated they are for the sights that are installed on them or manufactured into them. The last three years have seen my shooting slow down, its a matter of finding new shooting partners, but for twenty years, I fired 10K rounds a year through my pistols and never experienced a failure related to the firing mechanisms.

I've owned three Glocks, not a thing against them. My favorite was the G36 (slim 45 Auto), but the trigger guard & stock did not fit my hand well for a 1,000 round weekend. I would absolutely, hate to face an opponent that shoots a Glock off the trigger reset. All your stuff better be very tight and fast or you be very good at leaving a trail of dust.

The last time I was out at Front Sight, I remember an armorer telling me that their rental guns, Glock 17s, had over a million rounds through them and had needed nothing. I've seen two Glocks KABOOM, right next to me, but if shooting factory new ammo it is not an issue (a Glock warranty condition). Reloaders like myself have to adopt a term limit on brass and use a Lee Bulge Buster as part of case conditioning. The unsupported chamber is what makes it a positive feed beast. If one round comes at you, you can be assured that the whole magazine is coming right behind them. Without interruption.

Back to the subject of the topic, here is a super small pistol on GunBroker: Taurus 732. My wife and I both, own a 732. They are hammered fired (internal). If pink is not your thing, replacement stocks can be found for about $40. They use the same stock as the 738. New stocks are available at Taurus but are twice that much.

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Re: Small handguns

Postby Archer » 25 Feb 2020 10

This is going to be a bit of an off topic rant, but hopefully that's ok.

I still say that bulge busters are being used incorrectly to iron out pregnant brass and that is asking for those casings to fail.

I am NOT saying RD is doing that, but I have seen demo videos on YouTube where the people showing how to use the buster system seem to be using it to iron out the pregnant bulge instead of using it to resize the bit of brass close to the case head that doesn't typically get resized by a standard die due to the combination of the shell holder and the resizing die entrance radius.

While RD mentions that KBs are NOT an issue with factory ammo allow me to mention USA ammo (aka American Ammunition, A-merc and maybe Americo? NOT Winchester White Box!) out of Florida that is no longer in operation mostly due to putting out both first run ammo and remanufactured ammo that resulted in numerous KaBoom incidents with both handguns and rifles (primarily Glocks and ARs).
They had contracts to supply ammo to LEO agencies until the KB problems started being widely known.

Also allow me to mention the issue regarding limiting the number of times you chamber a single round. This can result in an impacted bullet that can cause pressure rise IN ANY GUN but the unsupported chamber in the Glock can compound this and Glock was the first manufacturer to my knowledge to specifically state that a round should be fired on the second chambering or be discarded. I will also mention that I have seen impacted bullets with other first run ammo out of the major manufacturers on the first loading or chambering. In one case the bullet impacted under the spring compression in the magazine of a tube feed lever action. In another case it caused a feed jam in a semi auto handgun. Most of us are aware that pressure rise can be dangerous and that bullet impacting into the case can cause that but most new shooters have little or no idea that chambering and shooting that shortened round can be dangerous.

One of the reasons I am not a huge fan of commercial reloaded ammo and a potential problem I have myself is what RD mentions as the 'term limit on brass'. I don't think that most commercial reloaders have the time or the resources to check their ammunition to the point that I think needs to be done. When you buy 'OFB' or 'range brass' you have no idea of how many times it has been fired. When you pick up your brass from your factory fresh ammo you may have no idea if you are getting YOUR brass or the stuff from the guy on the next lane that is using his own overloaded reloads. I suspect that commecial reloaders are trying to cull their brass from anything remotely pregnant. They should be. I have heard indications that they are processing brass with a bulge buster system however and I have concerns that volume production with such a tool may allow over stressed brass to slip through and that's the major reason why I prefer not to buy reloads. I try to be very critical when sorting my brass and discard anything that is suspect but I've found that with most calibers it is very hard to keep track of the number of firings a particular casing has had. Volume shooting, semi automatics that require you to pick up the brass that may get mixed with what is on the ground from other shooters and other guns compound the problem.
Last edited by Archer on 25 Feb 2020 10, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Small handguns

Postby Archer » 25 Feb 2020 10

RD,
I was going to ask the caliber since you didn't mention it but figured from the model number it would be .32 ACP.
Looking up the model I find I am correct but unless I missed it the seller of the auction you linked to also neglected to mention the caliber of the gun.

Does that strike anyone else as something you ought to state in a listing where you are trying to sell a gun?

I have two .32 ACPs from the early 1900s. They are as large as some of my 9mms I've gotten recently.
Factory .32 ammo around here is not inexpensive and is often more difficult to find than 9mm.
Same thing, to a lesser degree with .380 ACP and one of the reasons I purchased a thousand or two rounds when I acquired my first .380 and something I recommend to anyone buying a new handgun especially in a not so common caliber is to lay in a stock of good ammo from the start. You never know when it's going to be in short supply on the open market.
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Re: Small handguns

Postby Ohio3Wheels » 25 Feb 2020 16

The indoor range that I belong to carries Midwest brand remans. I will use it in 223, 45ACP and occasionally 9mm and 380ACP when I feel like poking holes in targets and getting in some practice with the guns without the need to chase brass. I know that it's been shot at least once and likely more as a lot of the newer shooters are using it and letting lay and I see a lot of glops in the stalls. I will say that the stuff is consistent at least what I've run by the chronographs.

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Re: Small handguns

Postby Archer » 26 Feb 2020 16

I decided to start a commercial reload/remanufactured thread and include small commercial loaders in the reloading section:

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=6657&p=62199#p62199

I didn't get into most of the problems I see with commercial reloading like the aforementioned pregnant brass yet.
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Re: Small handguns

Postby Mad Trapper » 27 Feb 2020 09

How about this small handgun. +guns

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/858377675
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Re: Small handguns

Postby Archer » 27 Feb 2020 16

Mad Trapper wrote:How about this small handgun. +guns

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/858377675


Well, obviously someone wants it for the frame and cylinder.

I was tempted to say simply NO. I would like to get a .44 Mag SA but I'd prefer the Bisley grip.
I think it has exceeded about the limit of what I'd want to pay for it as a parts gun. Sending it back to Magnaport to have a 5" barrel and to have the ejector system put back on it would probably cost more than I'd want to pay. Certainly more if I was going to have a Bisley conversion done at the same time.
The Magnaport engraving on the top strap isn't endearing.
It looks like you need to carry a dowel or a stick in order to ensure you get the empty cases out.
Magnaport as a custom shop may be great but who thinks of them that way?
There would be absolutely no reason to shoot anything out of it heavier than .44 SP loads since half to three quarters of the powder in a magnum would just be thrown out the barrel in a massive fireball.
I have sort of a love-hate relationship with unfluted cylinders. There's more rotational mass in the cylinder and that isn't always good for the cylinder lock mechanism. It looks cool but it can change the balance and handling characteristics of the gun.

On the other hand if you are a big boy and you want a wheel gun to carry for 6 rounds of .44 maybe it's worth it to you. Obviously, at some point it wasn't worth keeping for someone, maybe the person who had it customized died and his heirs didn't want it.
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Re: Small handguns

Postby Arroyoshark » 27 Feb 2020 23

Mad Trapper wrote:How about this small handgun. +guns

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/858377675


Boy, this may be a case of "just because you can doesn't mean you should"

Muzzle fireball must be impressive.
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Re: Small handguns

Postby Mad Trapper » 28 Feb 2020 12

When i saw that SBH with the 1 1/2 barrel, my hands started hurting.
Noticed there was no ejector housing, i know why, after shooting off a cylinder full, who would want to reload it.
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