With any firearm, reliability is the most important concern. Whether you use a gun to defend your home, hunt, or shoot them for fun at the range, you need to be certain that your gun will shoot every time you pull the trigger. The most reliable guns are paramount.
Especially in a self-defense situation, a reliable gun could be the difference between life and death. Over the history of firearm development all over the world, reliability has always been a focus for military and private citizens alike.
That said, most modern firearms are quite reliable these days. Still, some guns set themselves apart from the rest because of their ruggedness, effectiveness, and reliability.
Before we move on to the most reliable guns ever made, let’s talk a little about what makes a gun reliable. Reliability in a firearm is a very simple concept to explain. When you pull the trigger, the firearm should complete its action, and shoot accurately, without jamming or misfiring.
However, making a gun reliable and dependable is not that simple. Several decisions go into it, from the materials, and the design of the action, to your shooting style and maintenance regime.
Quality Gun Manufacturing
The design and manufacturing quality of a gun and its components is the most crucial variable in the reliability equation. The manufacturing quality is determined by three things, the component design, their fit and finish, and the materials used for their construction.
Every component of a rifle needs to be designed perfectly for it to be reliable. For instance, the more reliable action is going to be worthless if the magazine can’t feed the ammunition.
For a firearm to be reliable, it needs to be durable as well. A firearm should be able to take a fair bit of wear and tear and perform reliably even in unfavorable situations. A reliable rifle should keep shooting even when it is used ruggedly on the battlefield. This is why reliable weapons are tested in various environments, with thousands and thousands of rounds.
Most people confuse gun reliability to mean that a weapon can perform without maintenance, whereas in reality, a reliable rifle should be easy to maintain so that even if a malfunction occurs in the field, it can be fixed and repaired quickly.
Maintenance is a very important part of any firearm’s reliability and service life. Though most modern military rifles are designed to perform reliably when they are dirty and improperly maintained, to give them a long service life, it is essential to maintain them.
Picks for the Most Reliable Guns in Each Category.
Glock is an Austrian firearm brand, which is known to make some of the most reliable pistols in the whole world. Glock pistols are used by militaries, law enforcement agencies, and civilians all over the world, which is a testament to the reliability of the platform.
Though all Glocks are reliable and very functional, the Glock 19 is one of the best. Like all other Glocks, it is a semi-automatic, striker-fired pistol, with a lightweight polymer frame and a metal slide. It has a compact frame, with an overall length of 7.28 inches, and a height of 5.47 inches. The frame allows the Glock 19 to be relatively concealable while having enough grip to be shot comfortably.
It feeds from a double-stack magazine, which holds 15 rounds of 9mm, which gives you a decent amount of firepower. As far as controls are concerned, it has a convertible magazine release, a trigger safety, and a slide release on the left. The stock white dot plastic sights are not the best, but they are effective and get the job done.
Overall, the Glock 19 is an ergonomic and lightweight handgun, with the same pedigree of reliability that all Glocks have. It is rugged, accurate, and very easy to maintain and upgrade because of the exceptional aftermarket support.
When it comes to rifles, people seem to be divided on one side or the other. Some believe that the AK-47 is the most reliable rifle in the world, whereas some believe that the AR-15 is better. Well, where both rifles are exceptional, the AR-15 does take the lead because of multiple reasons, one being that it is much easier to maintain, and it is more accurate, and effective. The AR-15 is also used by the US military, as the M4 and M16, and it has been in service since 1964.
The AR-15 was designed by Eugene Stoner, and it is a gas-operated semi-automatic and automatic rifle. The civilian AR-15s are semi-auto only, whereas M4s, which is the military designation for the AR-15, are fully automatic. It uses a rotating bolt design for lockup, and a direct gas impingement system to cycle the action.
These days, loads of companies make AR-15 rifles, with different accessories, barrel lengths, grips, triggers, handguards, and calibers. However, the original AR-15, developed by Armalite, and later sold by Colt was chambered in .223 Remington, or the 5.56 Nato, both of which are almost identical, with 5.56 being slightly over pressured.
It had polymer furniture and was loaded from a 30 round magazine. PSA (Palmetto State Armory) makes some incredible high-end Ar-15s, and their MOE EPT AR-15 rifle is an excellent modernized rifle.
The AR-15 had a very adaptable design when it was developed, which is why it has evolved into a very modern and dependable rifle, which is used to this day. Moreover, its incredibly long service with the US military and many other militaries and law enforcement agencies all over the world shows how reliable the platform is.
When it comes to pump-action shotguns, the Remington 870 is an American icon. It was developed in 1950 as a more affordable alternative to the Winchester model 12, and since then has been the best-selling shotgun in the US, with more than 11 million units sold.
Early rifles were called the Remington 870 wingmaster. It has a smooth polished chamber, a 5 shot magazine tube, and a very smooth and reliable action. Remington later also made police models, which were super reliable, and are used by police departments in the US to this day.
However, in the 90s, Remington released the Express model, which was meant to be even cheaper, and fired 3-inch shells. It wasn’t the most reliable shotgun and was known for failures and malfunctions, however, over time, the platform improved back to its reliable roots.
These days, the Remington 870 is a very affordable pump-action shotgun. Which is also known to be one of the most reliable shotguns in the world. It has also been used by the US military along with the Mosberg 500, which could give the Remington 870 a run for its money in terms of reliability.
Revolvers are generally more reliable than semi-automatic pistols. Mainly because of the simpler mechanism, which does not involve a complicated blowback mechanism, round extraction, or feeding from a magazine.
Revolvers have been around for a very long time. One of the most reliable ones produced in the US was the Colt python. Initially developed in 1955, the Python was Colt’s top-of-the-line model. It was originally intended to be a large-frame .38 Special target revolver.
However, the Colt python we know today is chambered in the much more capable .357 magnum caliber. It used a 6 shot cylinder, and a plunger to extract the spent shells after they were fired.
The colt python is a double-action revolver, which adds to its reliability. It had a very smooth mechanism and reliable trigger. However, after years of production, Python was discontinued in 1999. Until a couple of years ago, when production was started again. The new Colt Python is built out of stronger stainless steel. Like the originals, it is available in three barrel lengths, 3″, 4.25″, or 6″.
Overall, the colt python is a very reliable, and aesthetic revolver. Which is why it is a favorite of so many people in the US and all over the world.
Most Reliable Guns – Final Thoughts
So, in any firearm, reliability is essential. In self-defense, or a life or death situation, a malfunction can be devastating. Therefore, if you are looking for reliable guns, we have highlighted the best option in each category.