Thursday, February 17, 2011

Asking the wrong question

All the discussion of the 1911 platform over the last couple weeks got me thinking, and 4 pages of statistical analysis, discussion of abusing the central limit theorem, and questioning the link between the reliability of a pistol design to the reliability of the one in your holster* right now I came to this:

Magazines are the weak link for self-loading firearms.

If this assumption is, true does the Glock/XD/M&P vs 1911* reliability debate really come down to an inherent reliability advantage in double stack magazines over single stack magazines? This could come from two things: 1) a mechanical advantage to the double stack, because of the feed lips, the tapered upper mag body or the wider spring or 2) most of the mags for these guns are made by the company which designed the gun and the mag as a matched pair.

*I'll spare you my sleep deprived analysis.


1 comment:

Tam said...

From a purely mechanical standpoint, a single-column, single-feed magazine will be the most reliable, all other things being equal (which they never are, of course.)

In double-stack magazines, a double-column, double-feed magazine is the way to go for reliability; this is why self-loading rifles all use this configuration.

A double-column, single-feed magazine is the least reliable of the three, due to the friction and jostling of needing to squeeze two columns of rounds through one hole, but space considerations generally necessitate its use in handguns.