Speed, Safety, Reliability: Pick Any Two?
Jon Stokes 06.24.15
I’ve recently picked up a Bond Arms Snake Slayer, and while I love this little gun, it’s as slow as Christmas. The hammer and trigger take a huge amount of force to operate. Bond claims the trigger pull is 6-7 pounds, but mine has got to be heavier than that.
But one thing I like about this gun, which I’ll use as a camp and farm gun for having on me around our property, is that it’s safe. I have small children, and even though I never intend for them to come across a loaded gun, I know that even if by some awful chance they do, they won’t even be able to get the hammer down. Between the heavy hammer, the heavy trigger pull, and the crossbar safety, the Bond Arms Snake Slayer is not likely to get fired accidentally. You have to want to shoot this thing before it’ll go bang.
As for reliability, the Snake Slayer gun is a big chunk of well-machined stainless steel that has a reputation for going bang 100% of the time, so no worries on that front. There just isn’t much there to break, either–it’s a dead simple design.
Contrast this to the H&K 45CT that I handled in the store when I went to buy the Bond. No external safety of any kind–if it’s loaded and the hammer is cocked, bumping that trigger will make it go off. It also has a reputation for reliability, and it certainly is fast to put into action.
So the Bond Arms is reliable and safe, and the HK 45CT is reliable and fast. Is there a gun that’s safe and fast, but not as reliable? Some might put the venerable 1911, with its grip safety, into that box. Others might throw any gun with a grip safety in there, in fact.
I personally favor the Springfield Armory XD line because you get the benefits of a modern, polymer-framed pistol, but with the added grip safety, which I’m a fan of. Are there other guns that seem to hit the sweet spot of speed, safety, and reliability? I’d be interested to hear other nominations.
Speaking of reliability, here’s Todd Louis Green on why you can’t count on anyone’s quality assurance departments anymore. He claims that all pistol makers are now cutting corners, everyone from Glock to Wilson Combat are cutting back on QA and releasing more lemons into the market. What he said rings true to me, and if it’s true then the only thing you can do is make sure that you’ve done your own test firing of your carry gun before betting your life on it.