5 Apr 12
Reputable pistol manufactures all recommend, at the user-level, regular field-stripping, cleaning/lubricating, and inspection of parts for excessive wear and breakage.
However, the only part all manufacturers suggest be regularly replaced, regardless of outward appearance, is the recoil spring (or spring-assembly). Most say recoil-springs need replacing at 3,500 rounds. On Gen4 pistols, Glock now sets the replacement number at 5,000 rounds.
The five biggest issues I’ve seen with student pistols are:
1) Complete neglect
2) Insufficient lubrication
3) Over-lubrication (particularly of the firing-pin/striker channel)
4) Amateur gunsmithing
5) Replacement of factory parts with after-market parts
In addition, serious pistols, that see any use at all, will require armorer-level maintenance at least once per year. An armorer will detail-dissemble the pistol, clean/lubricate, and inspect/replace parts as necessary. When your pistol comes back from the armorer, it will be certified as “serviceable and within factory specifications,” a valuable endorsement when the pistol is subsequently involved in a shooting incident.
With moderate, even substantial, use, and only reasonable care (let alone meticulous, or even “good” care), your Glock, XD, M&P, SIG, Kahr, CX4, et al will run reliably, well in excess of the average human lifetime!
For serious protection, one needs a serious pistol that is well-maintained and always ready to run.
Non-serious guns are strictly for non-serious purposes.
“Toy swords breed toy soldiers.”