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Author Topic: Question from a journalist  (Read 9189 times)

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Offline adrianne

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Question from a journalist
« on: September 02, 2016, 05:54:22 PM »
I'm a journalist for, a news and lifestyle website launching in the fall.

I am working on a story and web video about wear and tear on guns—basically, how long do guns last and what makes them last so long—and looking for good data and sources to talk to. I'm specifically looking to find out the guns with the shortest and longest lifespans.

Any help is appreciated! You can respond to my post here or email me through my handle.

Thank you,

Offline adrianne

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Re: Question from a journalist
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2016, 11:36:58 AM »
Someone in a private message astutely pointed out that this is a very vague question. Let me elaborate a little:

I realize it's a question with many dimensions. However, it is generally true that guns outlast cars, electronics, vacuum cleaners, bicycles—few products have the average lifespan of a firearm, which tend to outlast their owners if they are properly maintained.

To narrow it down a bit: I'm interested in answering this question for all the subsets of firearm, but I'm more interested in the most popular ones, like the Glock and the AR15. What's the life cycle of the average American firearm look like? It leaves the factory, is sold, how many owners does it have, what kind of wear and tear does it get given the level of maintenance practiced by the average owner, and after how many years does it become unusable.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2016, 09:50:58 AM by adrianne »

Offline Jennifer Floyd

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Re: Question from a journalist
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2016, 02:13:03 PM »
Have you contacted any firearms manufacturers?  They may have studies related to your question.
Jennifer Floyd
Arkansas State Crime Laboratory

Offline Bob Shem

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Re: Question from a journalist
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2016, 04:53:26 PM »
Unlike a plant, animal, or any object that is left out in the elements (like the paint on a house) guns can be put into long-term storage and remain in like-new condition for centuries. On the other hand I owned a Remington 12 gauge shotgun that began falling apart after only 500 shotshells or so.

Some guns fail during a factory warranty period.  Some last and last and continue to perform for tens of thousands of rounds.

As for the life of a gun in normal use, "normal use" would need to be defined.  I own a revolver that I purchased more than two decades ago that I carry when in bear country.  The gun is stainless steel and hasn't been fired since an initial test of the gun over twenty years ago.  Unless I were to begin a weekly trip to the range and put cases of ammunition through that revolver I expect it to remain in like-new condition until I sell it or leave it in my estate for my children.  I figure after another twenty years I will likely pass the gun down to one of my children or sell it, at which point it will still be like-new.

Whether or not I could wear out my revolver is yet to be seen. 

As for some practical lifespan of a gun I suspect that some of the manufacturers claim incredible repetitive performance and maybe even warranty their products for years or for life.  Unless an objective study is conducted by a disinterested party any claims by a manufacturer are likely to be biased by the desire to out-market their competitors.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2016, 04:56:58 PM by Bob Shem »
Robert J. Shem, 4900 Buckingham Way., Anchorage, AK  99503, ph 907 952-2254,


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