Lifespan of Handguns

Over on Facebook I made a post about the lifespan of handguns and how there’s a bad myth that’s getting spread across the community to newcomers. With the original intent of this entire blog to be there to help and support new gun owners, I figured it was important to bring that post over here to the TacCat website, but without as much detail so I don’t have to link pages and Facebook posts to it.

Personally I’ve encountered 10 people this year just in Facebook groups who are under the belief that handguns can never reach triple digit round counts. I’ve encountered some in person (including extended family members) who believed this same thing. These same people will lead you to believe that a handgun doesn’t have the ability to survive high round count courses.

Between my first two range sessions with the Walther PPS M2, I put a total of 500rds through it. For me, this is a break-in period, this is me getting adjusted to the gun, this is me learning how the gun shoots, and if I have to run 124gr 9mm through it all the time, or if it shoots the same with 115gr 9mm.

That said, using the logic from above, my PPS M2 is already half way through it’s life cycle.

Any quality defensive handgun should be capable of doing high round count range sessions. By high round count, I mean a minimum of 1,000rds. Any quality duty grade handgun should be capable of going well beyond 10,000 rounds without any major part breakages. If the handgun you’ve picked out cannot meet one of the two criteria above, it is not a quality handgun.

Now, you may have seen someone making the comment that you might shoot your barrel out on your handgun/rifle by shooting ‘x’ amount of rounds. For AR-15’s I believe the average lifespan is 20,000 rounds or so; possibly twice that depending on who makes the barrel, the profile of the barrel, etc. etc. As far as handguns go? There’s no real…definite answer. Glocks have been known to go hundreds of thousands of rounds without getting shot out, so have Heckler & Kochs, and a few other brands. Personally, I have a friend with a CZ 75 barrel that has well over 100,000 rounds through it and he hasn’t encountered any issues.

The myth that firearms can’t sustain long round count classes or that they can only have ‘x’ amount of rounds shot through them before they completely break is one that needs to be taken out of the community. The best way to get it gotten rid of? Combating it with factual information. Anything from reports from high usage rental ranges, to pointing out in owner’s manuals when it says to perform certain preventative maintenance measures.

Remember everyone, the best way to defeat misinformation isn’t always to use sarcasm…even though it is fun to do that…and I’m totally guilty of doing the same thing.


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