What a hard list to make, but one that is requested constantly. In this video we discuss five firearms that we believe to stand out among their peers as being exceptionally reliable, choosing a pistol, shotgun, SMG, bolt-action, and a self-loader to top it all off.
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– [Voiceover] Hey guys, it’s Alex C. With TFBTV, and today I’m going with a topic that I get asked all the time in YouTube comments, and that is, “What are the most reliable guns?” This is a tricky one, because if we’re talking about absolute Hell and back reliability, then less and less moving parts are better, basically, the list would be dominated by single shot rifles like the Rolling Block or Ruger #1s, so I’m going to try and pick one firearm from each category, that is to say, one handgun, one bolt action, one shotgun, one submachine gun, and one self-loading rifle.
So on with the list.
For the handgun I’m going with the Glock.
No surprise here, really, while I’m not a Glock guy, this isn’t because I dislike them, rather I just find them boring, shooting a Glock is like driving a Toyota Camry.
Both serve their purpose extremely well and won’t let you down, but I wouldn’t get behind the wheel of a Camry for recreational purposes.
It’s an appliance or tool to me, like a Glock pistol.
Glocks are simple and easy to use, they’re affordable, no frills pistols that require very little instruction to operate, and while shooting any handgun is easy to learn, yet impossible to master, I do recommend that many people who ask what to get for a first firearm send their money to Glock Inc.
Reliability’s very good, and while early 40s and 10mm guns did have a tendency to, well, there’s no sugar coating it, explode, they have fixed that issue.
The 9mm pistols have a great record, and don’t just take my word for it, check out any of the numerous Glock torture tests all around the web.
While Glocks aren’t superguns, and I have seen them malfunction, most of the malfs I’ve seen were the result of the owner modding them, or bad ammunition that would not function in any pistol.
So these things aren’t necessarily the most accurate pistols, the most comfortable, or the best for your specific need, but they sure do run.
Next we have the subgun, the Uzi.
The Uzi is incredibly simple, and has one moving part, the bolt.
Uziel Gal’s creation is one of history’s most enduring subguns, and at least some version has been in production since 1950.
While the Uzi is not my favorite SMG, the most accurate, or the bestselling today, all titles belonging to the MP5, it is the most reliable one I’ve encountered in all my years of handling, shooting, and owning countless SMGs and pistol caliber carbines.
Uzi receivers with millions of rounds through them are not uncommon, and the only part that has ever given me trouble has been the top cover.
The covers themselves can bend up over time, and that may cause the gun to have runaways.
I have countless thousands of rounds through Uzis, and I’ve seen two main types of malfunctions.
Light ammunition that short strokes them, as they really like hot ammo like the Israelis use, and an interesting one where a reload that may well have destroyed a lesser gun bowed up the top cover and out the extractor.
The fix, and I’m dead serious, was bending the top cover back with a hammer, and bending the extractor back to shape on a table.
The gun ran perfectly for the rest of the day.
While the MP5’s a beast, and I would say definitely a better gun, it is complex, and there are a lot of moving parts.
You have the bolt head, carrier, rollers, hammer, locking piece, firing pin, et cetera, all reciprocating, while the Uzi jovially laughs at the complexity of its Teutonic competitor as its singular moving component goes back and forth.
The other main issue with the Uzi is that it’s an open bolt firearm; while this isn’t a big deal for a civilian shooter taking one to an MG shoot, in the harsh environment of Sinai, sand, dirt, and debris getting in the action is a problem.
However, most Uzi operators carry the weapon on safe with the bolt closed.
Or sometimes in a purpose-built Samsonite briefcase.
For the bolt action, the obvious answer is the Mauser 98, the most produced and copied gun in all of history.
While many mistakenly believe this accolade belongs to the Kalashnikov family, of which about 100 million guns have been made, 100 million 98s alone have been made.
If we include the Mauser family, it dwarfs the AK, and if we include variants and copies, Mauser production numbers tower over a Kalashnikov production.
The Mauser 98 was so influential and credible that it not only influenced warfare, but the company that made the rifle was so influential that it was used internationally to implement German ideology around the world.
The entirety of South America, China, and much of Europe was influenced by the Germans, because whoever arms a nation’s military back in those days had an incredible amount of political influence.
Imagine that for a second.
A rifle was so brilliant that it allowed the nation where the factory was located to have political power.
For a rifle to accomplish this, it has to not just be good, it has to be the best.
The Mauser 98 is the result of its inventor’s life experiences.
Paul Mauser spent most of his life trying to design a better and better rifle, and the smokeless era led to the 89, 91, 93, 94, and eventually the 98, which was his masterpiece.
The 98 features every little improvement Mauser could think of, a flush-fit five round strip clip fed magazine, front lock in with a large receiver ring, cock unopened, brilliant leverage provided by an easy to operate bolt handle, an optimally angled receiver bridge to provide perfect camming action for optimal primary extraction, controlled feed with a large claw extractor, and much more.
But the 98 action is about as flawless as you can get when it comes to small arms design.
As a testament to its quality, look at the nations that adopted it, or the countries like the USA, Japan, or England who copied its elements in their own designs, or you can simply go to your local sporting goods store and see guns like the Remington 700, Ruger M77, or Kimber 8400s that are often cheapened copies of an action developed in the late 19th century.
Or you could simply buy a new Mauser from Mauser themselves, as they are still in production.
Reliability is and was the key to the gun’s success.
Next up we have the shotgun.
This is a simple Remington 870, configured with a short barrel and a longer magazine to it than usual.
Really, this is a cop out, because I could put a Mossberg offering here, as they are just as reliable, but the 870 is what is more familiar to me personally.
I prefer the safety on the 870, and the release lever, but it’s simply a matter of choice.
The 870’s been in continuous production since 1951, and is an extremely popular gun for military and law enforcement.
But it’s hugely popular for hunters and sportsmen the world over.
I’ve taken 870s hunting and clay busting numerous times, and one has yet to let me down or fail in any way.
They work brilliantly, and 10 million made is a testament to that.
What more can you really say about this gun? I’m sure most of our viewers either own one or have at least shot one, and your firsthand experience is better than what some esoteric Internet gun douche has to say.
Last category we have is the self loader.
Yeah, this is going to be a divisive one, because every self important gun guy has himself planted firmly in one of the many camps out there, because, you know, it would be too hard to just get along and enjoy other rifles, but no, we have to align ourselves with one rifle or another, because…
I don’t know, really.
It’s like the people who argue which video game console is the best, but with a slightly older bunch of people and many more options.
That said, the correct answer is the Galil, and if you disagree, you’re wrong and you should feel bad.
But really, the Galil is an improvement of the AK platform, and we all know how capable the AK is.
They run in heat, they run in cold, they run in sand, they run in snow.
The damn things just work when you want them to, and that’s that.
So why the Galil? Well, the receivers are heavy duty milled steel as opposed to the stamped receiver AKMs.
The bolt and carrier are of exceptional quality, and the IEF soldiers I talked to about it, while they may prefer other weapons for various reasons, have all said that the Galil is more reliable than Old Faithful.
Criticisms I hear usually relate to the weight, which is valid, but that, of course, has no effect on the rifle’s reliability.
The guns run just fine, and in all my years of shooting, I’ve never seen a Galil malf.
I have seen other AKs run into various problems, but a proper Israeli Galil, not a kit gun or Century contraption, will run like scalded ape.
There’s a famous test that the Alaskan State Troopers performed to see which kind of rifle would suit their needs, and while guns like the G3, AR-15, FAL, and Mini 14 failed, the Galil in both 762 and 556 experienced no malfunctions.
During Swedish military tests in the 1980s, the F&C and a modified version of the Galil called the FFB 890C were the only rifles that remained reliable, and again, the Galil beat out the Sig 540, AR-18, HK33, Steyr Aug, Beretta AR70 and the M16.
While the F&C was ultimately chosen by the Swedes for reasons unbeknownst to me, it is a great gun.
The Galil has proven reliable time and time again, and even today, an improved version is in production that I can’t wait to test as soon as I buy one.
Hopefully it lives up to the legacy of its predecessor.
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