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Old 11-18-2012, 13:14   #1
Boats
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Anti-lemons?

We've all heard the expression, "Every maker puts out a lemon once in awhile," or something similar.

This seems to be true. There have been tales of individual pistols and other firearms that had "gremlins" that even the factory couldn't solve, to the point of replacing the gun.

But does the opposite end of the spectrum also exist? Is it possible that despite "all being made the same," that a pistol could come off the line with a happy convergence of parts that work so well together that the rare pistol far exceeds the norm for the model, particularly for accuracy?

I find myself asking this because a $400 pistol, a 9mm Beretta PX4F, is the most accurate handgun I have ever owned. That covers some 60 "duty caliber" handguns I have had pass through my hands, from high end 1911s, to a HK USP, to a SIG P226, and others that cost hundreds, or even a grand, more than this eerily accurate Beretta.

I have even had about a dozen friends shoot it over the last three years who agree that it is rather uncanny how easy it is to make tight groups with it.

It's only supposed to be "combat accurate," coming with no guarantee of doing great things down range, it just does. It also outshoots a PX4 Constant I have in the same caliber, which is identical in its lockup details, but has a slightly different trigger feel.

So, do you believe the "anti-lemon" exists and sometimes, a lucky buyer gets way more than he or she bargained for?
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Old 11-18-2012, 13:31   #2
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As the painting instructor on PBS used to say "Happy little accidents"

I suspect, just a hunch, that occasionally it may also be a case of bumping into the right load or ammo with rifles. In my collection I have a couple of older rifles, that were never though of as particularly accurate, that both turned in back-to back (I HAD to shoot second groups) sub 1" groups with factory ammo when I was just trying to see if they had a bullet weight preference.

I still will not discuss the groups I got, repeatedly, with my SOCOM16 @ 100 yds with HTM "Tactical" loads. I think the shorter barrel and the slight changes to the gas system helped my particular assembly of parts, as it were,

I have found a couple of accurate guns in brands that are bashed but I just think the bashing was undeserved, not that mine are anything rare.
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Old 11-18-2012, 21:10   #3
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This is my 1858 conversion revolver with some old 45LC ammo I had. Best group I had all day.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:00   #4
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I once had a Jennings J-22 that worked flawlessly. It amazed everyone who saw it. Finally, after several thousand rounds, it decided it was done, and started to fall apart.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:54   #5
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If accuracy is a product of exacting tolerances it would stand to reason that in a process that allows a wider range of tolerances statistically there should be some guns that have tolerances on several parts that are all close to whatever is the perfect set of tolerances.
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Old 11-19-2012, 13:56   #6
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What BruceM says makes a lot of sense.

I once owned an Arminius revolver that was extremely accurate. It was so long ago that I'm not even sure I am spelling it right, but that was a really inexpensive handgun that just came together right for whatever reason.

Good reports on the Beretta PX4 line are pretty common. Yours may be above the cut, but my daughter has one that is very impressive and easy to shoot well, and lots of other people say similar things.
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Old 11-19-2012, 17:38   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poodleplumber View Post
What BruceM says makes a lot of sense.

I once owned an Arminius revolver that was extremely accurate. It was so long ago that I'm not even sure I am spelling it right, but that was a really inexpensive handgun that just came together right for whatever reason.

Good reports on the Beretta PX4 line are pretty common. Yours may be above the cut, but my daughter has one that is very impressive and easy to shoot well, and lots of other people say similar things.
You spelled it correctly. I have a .44 magnum that was my dads. It is surprisingly well made with good accuracy and a good fit and finish.

They usually don't bring a lot of money when you can find them for sale.
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Old 11-19-2012, 18:47   #8
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Not sure the question pertains to mechanical accuracy or to user accuracy.

User accuracy is usually helped by a longer sight radius, lower recoil, and a light trigger

Two guns the same, better user accuracy will probably happen with the one that has a lighter trigger. In my opinion.

Last edited by ithaca_deerslayer; 11-19-2012 at 18:48..
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Old 11-19-2012, 19:09   #9
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In the high performance car world they talk of cars that just accelerate noticeably faster than is typical. They're called "factory freaks".

I believe this happens with cars, why not guns? All the tolerances, as Bruce M said, stack up in favor of accuracy.
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Old 11-19-2012, 21:40   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce M View Post
If accuracy is a product of exacting tolerances it would stand to reason that in a process that allows a wider range of tolerances statistically there should be some guns that have tolerances on several parts that are all close to whatever is the perfect set of tolerances.
You said exactly what was going through my head, only in better words than I could have.
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Old 11-19-2012, 22:30   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ithaca_deerslayer View Post
Not sure the question pertains to mechanical accuracy or to user accuracy.

User accuracy is usually helped by a longer sight radius, lower recoil, and a light trigger

Two guns the same, better user accuracy will probably happen with the one that has a lighter trigger. In my opinion.
It was my point that this otherwise unremarkable 9mm DA/SA pistol, without tremendous precision in the trigger in either mode, has outshot everything else I have ever owned regardless of the other pistols having better sights, longer sight radius and lighter, single action only triggers.

It was not just about this pistol out shooting its sibling. It was about it delivering more accuracy than I had a reasonable right to expect.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:45   #12
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Two X5s.

Maybe I just got lucky twice?
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:57   #13
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I had a series one Kimber Custom that met that definition. It didn't look or feel like anything special. It had fired many thousands of rounds. Yet it shot tiny little groups with boring regularity, fed every type of ammo from any decent magazine, and hit exactly to point of aim. Everything just came together right on that pistol. The only handgun I've ever owned that outshot it is my Les Baer Premier II, and the difference isn't great.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:12   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8-Ball View Post
You said exactly what was going through my head, only in better words than I could have.
Thanks As I wrote it I wasn't sure if it would make sense

Maybe words are like big boxes of gun parts. You reach in and grab some. Once in a while you get lucky and grab the right ones
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Last edited by Bruce M; 11-20-2012 at 06:16..
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:37   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boats View Post
It was my point that this otherwise unremarkable 9mm DA/SA pistol, without tremendous precision in the trigger in either mode, has outshot everything else I have ever owned regardless of the other pistols having better sights, longer sight radius and lighter, single action only triggers.

It was not just about this pistol out shooting its sibling. It was about it delivering more accuracy than I had a reasonable right to expect.
Sounds like a keeper. Not sure how you would Gunbroker those qualities anyway

What size groups does it give from the bench? Sounds like it must be getting under 2" at 50 yards.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:50   #16
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Where I hear this phenomenon come up most often is when folks talk about Mosin-Nagants. Of course, there were the officially acknowleged anti-lemons that were turned into the sniper varients. I also hear folks talk about occasional amazing accuracy from their standard surplus Mosins.
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