Self Defense Pistol Reliability [Archive] - Glock Talk


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07-01-2010, 20:20
Hi Mas!

Itís when I have a question like this that I am very grateful that you are available here on Glocktalk.

I have a Browning BDM 9mm. Iíve had if for years, and love how thin it is and how it fits in my hand. I also really like the way it shoots. The only problem is that it doesnít seem to be completely reliable.

Iíve shot 115gr WWB, 115 Wal-Mart Federal, & 147gr HST with no reliability.

Often the casing would stove-pipe or I would have a failure to feed.

I thought part of the issue was the cheap target ammo I was using so I decided to try a box of 124gr RWS ammo that (according to their web site) pushes near +P velocity. I also tried a box of 127gr +P+ Rangers.

It cycled perfectly. Every round ejected & every subsequent round feed properly. The only issue that surfaced was with the Rangers. After the last round was fired, the casing ejected, but the slide did not lock back into place. (The Rangers would be my SD ammo.)

I repeated it about 4 times total, and the slide didnít lock 3 of the 4 times.

My question is: If you had a pistol that behaved in such a manner, would you trust it with your life?

I donít mind feeding it only hot ammo, I just want to be able to trust it. Or sell it and get one that I can trust (like another Glock).:cool:

Thank you for your time! (and sorry for the long post)


Mas Ayoob
07-01-2010, 20:35
Jason, when in doubt, call the manufacturer's Customer Service center. Get their advice over the phone, and be prepared to send it in.

Before you do that, though...

#1: Make sure it's cleaned and lubed.

#2: Make sure you're not limp-wristing the gun. Set up a camcorder and videotape yourself shooting it. Look for the muzzle whipping upward. If your grasp and stance are keeping the gun on target and snapping it back instantly as if it was springloaded, you're probably not limp-wristing. The gun cycling fine with hot loads but not with lighter loads could be an indication that a too-relaxed hold is diverting some of the recoil momentum that should be running the slide, through the frame and dissipating its force, setting the stage for the sort of malfunction you have described.

#3: Failure of the slide to lock open when the gun runs empty can mean a couple of things. First, check the magazines to make sure they're clean. Second (the camcorder will be useful here again), if you're right-handed, check to see if either thumb might be over-riding the slide stop. It's a VERY common user-induced malfunction with auto pistols.

Reliability is the #1 priority for a self-defense pistol, as you well know. Confidence and competence intertwine. You won't do your best work with this pistol until you KNOW it works 100%.

Let me know how it goes, please.


07-01-2010, 21:13
Hi Mas!

Thank you so much for the quick response! I will definitely look into your suggestions.

If you donít mind, I have a quick question about the light loads. Should I do all my testing with the lighter loads since they are the ones giving me the most trouble?


Mas Ayoob
07-02-2010, 19:44
Jason, the most important thing is that your gun running 100% with defense loads.

That said, though, I don't think you're going to be confident with it until it's running 100% with your practice loads, too.