Published on August 9th, 2012 | by Brandon Webb80
When Polymer Guns Fail: HK P2000
From May 2012
“FYI/SA – A Lordsburg BPA (Border Patrol Agent) fell off his ATV while in training today. The fall was precipitous and required a short visit to the hospital. There was some collateral damage, the BPA’s P2000 handgun. It is believed that his CSB, given the location behind the gun, may have created the torque necessary for this result.” -Anonymous Field Training Officer
What does this teach us? There’s value in all metal guns that take a licking and keep on ticking. There’s a reason the AK-47 is so prevalent in every crappy corner of the planet, it just keeps on working under the harshest of environments.
Makes me think twice about my zombie apocalypse loadout…
Well, Hell, so now I can't drop a 4 Wheeler on my P-9S .45 either I guess.....
Failure under fire, or normal conditions is , failure under flying 4 Wheelers is another matter entirely.
The mechanisms for failure here are not as a result of mechanical flaws in holster(oh brother...) or the pistol frame....in fact ,I would venture to bet you could crash 1,000 4 wheelers wearing said holster/pistol combination and not get an identical failure.Might kill a few riders though.....
It's such a huge surprise that subjecting a product to a stress far beyond it's design or intention results in damage! That's like saying BMWs are junk because you blew the engine in one thinking the oil only needed changing every 100k miles...
The question is not if metal is stronger than fiber... we know the answer. The question is if the trade offs are worth it.
All gear has it limits, and there is some truth to the all metal position..BUTT.....I had a Barretta 96 fail to extract, tearing off the case rim, what happened immediately after /during what could be considered catastrophic failure is open to debate(Barretta could've cared less when contacted-send it to local repair center and we'll send you the bill!) but the end result was the slide stop was blown out about .25 from the frame, and the pistol was immediately out of action.
No elaboration necessary if this occurred under fire. This I consider a permanently disqualifying factor-and it is an all metal weapon.Though this occurred during training...to me this is just as bad as failure under fire, lucky is better than good for sure in this case.
As to the structural failure of the 2000, this was not a firing function failure-though the weapon was rendered inoperable. Given a baseball bat, I can render a TYPICAL m-4 useless as well- same goes for the AK.That said with the caveat that the AK would require a lot more ASS BEHIND THE BAT.This definitely bears further investigation , and I would be interested in the HK response. Was there possibly a manufacturing defect?Have there been other similar incidents of grip-trigger area separation(across the board, not meaning destruction specifically by agent ass and 4 wheelers!hehe)? The answer to these would greatly affect any real judgement call for ME(If thats enough for you...then it is). I will be keeping my beloved P9S .45 and G22L, and I damn sure won't argue against the AK ;)! IF the AK fails, you can beat someone to death with it!...and that "IF"is usually a big one.But that apples and rutabegas.
Have a good one-
Another of reason to follow the rule of two's and have a BUG. I do think this is the first time I've seen a gun broken in half that didn't have a KB.
Reguardless of the lifetime warranty, if it breaks in the when you are up to your ass in bad guys, warranty will not do much good. Guess that is when you call 'time out' to change weapons.
That said, I have never heard of something like this happening to any brand of weapon. But Mr. Webb has a valid point...uhmmm
Well, I carry an HK at work and off duty. I would like to think I have worthy experience with them and they are far from my favorite firearm. I just think that saying all polymer pistols are bad because one broke is too much.
Plastic snaps, metal bends, neither of which is good for firearms. That being said, i run exclusively HK secondaries and couldnt be happier with them. People who talk bad about HK's have no worthy experience with them
Something else to keep in mind is that polymer pistols are used by hundreds of thousands of military members and police officers worldwide. How many times have you heard of them braking in half? The Border Patrol has been using the P2000 for around 5 years I believe. In that time how many ATV/Motorcycle Agents have fallen off their chariot? These guys take spills all the time as they're riding on rough terrain chasing down badguys and this is the first time I've heard of a P2000 braking in half. Not saying it hasn't happened, but I've never heard of it and when this went around in the internal email I don't recall anyone from work saying they'd ever heard of it before either. So this really is negligable. I've heard of guys rifles breaking during jumps or losing their zero, but I don't recall ever hearing anyone saying that we should stop using any particular rifle because of this. I broke a Garmin Rhino in Afghanistan. It's just something that happens from time to time due to the nature of our jobs. It doesn't hurt to be informed or to think critically about stuff like this. But I think to use this case as any evidence that polymer pistols are inherently flawed is a bit far fetched.
Still going to rock my xdsc40 for my edc but I wouldn't mind having a Springfield Operator. That gun by the way was used by Chris Kyle and he said even that one took a beating in theater (which I know is an understatement). Point being nothing is damage proof.
Nothing is bomb proof guys. This was literally a freak accident. You have to look at risk versus reward. Is it really worth changing your choice of sidearm because you might fall off an ATV and brake it someday? How many Agents or military members have fallen off ATV's with polymer pistols that didn't break? I've known quite a few guys who fell off ATV's or motorcycles with enough force to brake bones and their polymer pistols didn't brake. I fell off a mountain and didn't brake my pistol. It only tore my decal grip a little. So be reasonable. I think the guys on this site are above knee jerk reactions. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to dislike the P2000. I don't think this is one of them. And blaming the SERPA? Please tell me how this could possibly be the holster's fault.
So lots of people are "hating" on polymer guns and/or Serpas? Ok, lets check the photos...
1. The Serpa didn't fail. In fact, the Serpa seems quite intact AND looks like it maintained retention of the slide and upper part of the receiver that didn't break. I'm assuming that weapon retention is a good thing... right?
2. As already stated, polymer or metal guns, both pro'lly would have taken damage and/or failed from a fall/hit with such force.
3. I put belt load-out/gear placement 2nd highest on the "at fault list" right after my #4... I've never been one to like the baton behind the sidearm, as a matter of fact, I never really liked anything that close to the sidearm on a duty-belt except for belt keepers and sidearm lanyard retention system!!!
4. If anything, I call a FUBAR'd Murphy freak accident of a moment... a one in a billion chance of ever happening again!
So how about we stop placing all the blame on specific items/products, and we also take into account systems/styles/processes as well. What abut the officers fall/recovery technique? Could that possibly be "at fault"? How about a contributing factor? What about other factors... lets not just stop at the "easy" and "must be" answers.
How about a training incident that was "rough enough" that it sent the officer to the hospital? Hope the officer is doing well and got back on the "horse again" as it were.
Glad it happened in training!!! Although I am curious, while we are Thrusday-morning quarterbacking this... what is the officers take on this? What is their take on placing the "blame" for the "failure" on?
This does not make me want to change from my XDm to a gun with a fraction of the rounds i feel more than comfortable taking my chances.
If the zombie is still coming and that happens.....no bueno......and welcome to the ranks of the undead, I might add. :)
Maybe I'm misreading the article or I get a fail in reading comprehension... but he fell off his ATV and his pistol exploded or his pistol exploded and made his ATV crash? me no understand.
It's hard to tell what this incident would have done to any handgun, metal or polymer. It could have rendered even a metal gun inoperable from internal damage (grips and internals sometimes right under grip panels). I carry HK P2000, P2000SK, and Sig P229 in 357. This incident doesn't put doubt in my mind about any of them. Obviously a very, very rare occurrence.
You guys and hating on the P2000. I've put a good 2000 rounds through mine and I haven't had it explody on me yet. If you want pictures of misfeeds and malfunctions on every handgun ever made I can provide them. It's not my favorite, all other things being equal my #1 choice is my sig P229 in .40.
But my HK is a great pistol. Shit happens.
@Wildman11B WM, it takes an 11Boo to help these Navy guys along, lol. As you stated, no weapon is indestructible, however, that being said, we all know there will be that rare exception when something breaks. I carry a G19 by choice, but wouldn't hesitate to cc the P2000. R6
@Wildman11B Roger the holster comment, I trolled that one to get a response above as well. To , me its a testament to the weapon retention and durability of the sherpa.Sherpa +1.
@Tango9 if you look at the last picture, you can see where his belt mounted baton is. It looks like he fell of the ATV and landed on the butt of the pistol. The pistol grip was levered over the baton and broke at the weakest point, up by trigger guard. The other option is that the but of the pistol was on the baton and he landed on something sharp, like a rock, which broke the pistol directly at the trigger guard. That's still a lot of force. I'd say he lucky to be walking away after a short visit to the hospital. I don't really know if pistol of a different material would have done much better, but you never know.
@Tango9 This was nothing more than a very rare fluke accident. I will never part with my HK USP 45 Tactical, HK P2000 9mm, Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm Compact or my Taurus 24/7 G2 3.5 45acp!!! I have thousands of rounds through all of these and all have functioned flawlessly!!!
@Tango9 HK does make some great products. But I can't afford the near $1,000 for a handgun and an AR is $3,600 for the MR556.
@Recon6 Navy is always there to give you 11B a ride. I carry a G19 as well Gen 3 after I replaced the Ejector, Extractor and Depressor Spring Assy. Now it's actually reliable.
@JShepardYup. it's just a case of shit happens. Blaming the pistol frame for failing is, as I thought, silly. this is a lottery ticket winner on the odds of it happening.
@gipbmac one of my first pistols was a tuarus, but when they took over the Brazil plant the steel they were pushing out for the barrels only lasted about 2000 rounds and then you'd get a catastrophic failire.
In my experience the tuarus brand is ok for someone who puts 100 rounds down range/year, but (and this is all anecdotal, YMMV) if you're putting 2k down range it's a trip to the ER waiting to happen.
@GoNavy and you don't want to know what I've spent on optics. All together I think I've dropped around $15,000 on bells and whistles.
@GoNavy My sig P229 was a trade in from a cop. I replaced the barrel and the slide from the factory, and got it for a steal at $600
@GoNavy I think my P2000 was around $900. My gas piston bushmaster was $1800. My M-1A (match barrel) was also $1800.
@FLNavyVet Interesting point you made about cleaning time. 12+ years ago when I was trying to find a gun for my wife, we went to a range in Melbourne, Fl. The owner said to try the G-19 as he was running a "test" with Glock in that they would Not clean the "'range guns" for a period of one year! They were to "chart" the malfunctions over that period. Well, we got there at almost the end of the 'test' and yes, in that time they had "zero" problems with the unclean G-19's.
After our test firing we bought two and never looked back, still rockin G19's 6
Go Army, Beat Navy ! :))
@Recon6 Yeah, same here. For as much as I want to like something else more, I do like my Glocks. Shot competitively for several years. Decided to see what it take. Didn't clean my G22 for 10 months, had over 2000 rounds through it and having been dropped in the dirt a few times. It just worked. Every time.
Go Navy, Beat Army! ;-)
@GoNavy Sorry, on the Glocks I have not had an issue in 12 years! Thousands of rounds and one FTF with Speer Lawman ammo! That's pretty damned good in my book. 6
@GoNavy Lol, sorry brother, Never went across the pond with the Navy. First trip was Pan Am (remember them?) subsequent trips were all on commercial airlines. That being said, y'all Navy guys with those big assed guns lying off shore saved our butts a time or two! Go Army, Beat Navy, lol. R6
@Tango9 Unlucky Bastard would've probably broke his hip or something had his pistol not been there. Guess that makes him a Lucky Bastard....
I'll take a broke secondary weapon over a broke PONI any day.
@Allwet @GoNavy @Tango9 Ouch! That's a tough lesson. I usually take .308 cases from my Sako after they have been through 5 times they then go to the PTR. After one ride through that I sweep them up and take them in for scrap. Usually I don't have much call for 7.62mm but I like to keep about 250 rounds on hand just in case. My brother inlaw turned me on to a site called AMMOMAN and I like their prices. Have to remember the 150gr and lower tip, thanks for the heads up.
@Old PH2 @GoNavy @Tango9 Stick to 147 g NATO fodder for the PTR , if you reload 7.62 or .308 cases(as in new brass or brass from another rifle due to the fluted chamber issue) stick to 150's. I use the HK 91to hunt with ;),and you can spall the bolt in front of the rollers if you feed it 165's or above....and yes I found out the the 195.00 dollar way..ie:new bolt.
@GoNavyI just buy bulk range ammo from them. 1000 rounds at a time and I've only had 2 FFs.
Mags are always a tough thing, Back when my EDC was a Springfield 1911a1 with slight custom work I carried Wilson mags after experiencing ProMag FTF. The lips angled different and the spring was light. But the source of good after market Mags is a good subject as well.
@Tango9 They should do an article on cheaperthandirt.com. What to get and what not to get. Unless you are getting the OEM mag, don't get the aftermarket from them. Also, they sell a lot of Tapco stuff too which I don't like. Tapco magazines sucks! (AK & Mini 14). Ended up getting the old East German AK mags and Ruger OEM mini 14 mags.
I bought a .44 special 4" revolver last year (yes, Dirty Harry time... who doesn't want a .44 special wheel gun!?) and got busted.
@GoNavy rail systems (and that M1A with the match barrel required a trip to a gunsmith... I couldn't find a rail system for it and had to have one custom fit), leupold scopes x2 and trijicon and eotech swap outs. That stuff gets pricey really quick.
slings, mags, I've banned myself from Cheperthandirt.com. I'm this far from being homeless and extremely well armed.
@Tango9 You can't go cheap on optics....I would love to own an ACOG. But I am happy with my EOTECH 512. This is where you get what you paid for again.
@Tango9 @GoNavy T9, oh shit bro...didn't I read the other day where your wife was reading SOFREP ? How did you Ever get her to agree to spending that kind of money? I am trying to talk my wife into a new 1911 and she is balking, I Must show her your amount spent! I tell her it is a "man thing" to have several firearms, but she has had the same G-19 for 12 years, says I don't need Another gun, lol. Tell me your Secret! R6
@Tango9 That's an awesome seal for P229. Did you have to pay anything for the barrel & slide to be replaced? Or was it Sig Reconditioned pistol? I look at that here but the price savings between reconditioned and new was only $100 here
@GoNavy I picked the gas piston because it has about 20% less recoil = faster time back on target. Easier to clean, also. And I'm lazy so that's a huge plus.
@Tango9 Why did you choose the piston system vs the direct impingment system? I have an M&P15 (D.I.) Looking at M1A basic....the price around here is about $1,400. The price of your P2000 is right. HK maintains their resale value pretty good. Used HK around here is still $750.