The Firearm Rack – Honor Guard Pistol Not Drop Safe?

U.S.A.-( If you own or carry an Honor Guard pistol from Honor Defense, it might be time to rotate it back into your gun safe.  Patrick R. over at the Firearm Rack has done the shooting community a huge service by bringing to light the drop fire issues that the Honor Guard is susceptible too.

Honor Defense's Honor Guard pistol is a single stack 9mm handgun, that is based on Sig Sauer's P320.

The most striking similarity between Sig's P320 and the Honor Guard is that they will both fire if dropped on a negative 30-degree angle. Impact to the back of the gun will cause the striker to hit the primer and ignite the cartridge. Unfortunately, that is where the similarities seem to end.

Where Sig has taken the route of getting out in front of the issue by offering voluntary upgrades to P320s, Honor Defense has yet to comment on the safety issues in their pistols.

Quick history: after reviewing the Honor Guard for another website, Patrick R. discovered the drop fire issue and contacted Honor Defense. The long and short is Honor Defense told Patrick he was, “looking for ways to make the gun fail.”  Taking that information Patrick decided to conduct a scientific test that is accepted throughout the firearms industry and is practiced by law enforcement agencies, such as the Indiana State Police Forensic Firearms Identification Unit.  This is the test he settled on:

As part of this method, an examiner should perform an “Impact” test on the firearm utilizing a primed cartridge case. An “Impact” test should consist of the of the following steps:

  • Ensure that the firearm is unloaded.
  • Load a primed cartridge case into the chamber of the firearm.
  • Holding the muzzle away, strike the firearm forcibly with a rubber mallet on the top, bottom, right side, left side, back of the firearm.
  • The examiner should strike these areas a minimum of ten (10) times per side.
  • The examiner should repeat these strikes while the firearm is in various operating stages i.e.; single-action, double action, safety on, safety off, and any other possible combinations as such.

Disclaimer: Do not try this at home.

In order to test the drop fire issue beyond simply dropping the gun from 4ft – 6ft in the air, Patrick submitted the Honor Guard to the “Impact Test”.  The Honor Guard failed both tests, repeatedly.

Honor Guard was made aware of the testing results but to the best of our knowledge have yet to address the issue.

About Duncan Johnson:Duncan Johnson

Duncan is a firm believer in the Second Amendment and that “shall not be infringed”, means exactly that.  A life-long firearms enthusiast and a graduate of George Mason University, now competing regularly in 3 gun competitions, Duncan is always looking to improve his shooting skills. Duncan is a regular contributor to AmmoLand and assists in the everyday gun-news publishing as an assistant editor.

  • 16 thoughts on “The Firearm Rack – Honor Guard Pistol Not Drop Safe?

    1. By golly I think I better go get all my guns , load them,and throw each one off the roof of the house onto the cement driveway 20 times each to make damn sure none of them fire.


    2. I must be a total klutz because I HAVE dropped my pistols. Once when I missed the opening of a thigh holster (way back when they were “cool”). It was a S&W 1086 10mm. Other occasions when I had too many things in my hands and I let most of them slip from my hands trying to unlock my front door. This time with a GLOCK 23. At no time did the pistols go off. I’ve also dropped open or fix blade knives. What did I do? Same as the pistols, let them hit the deck. So for someone to say they NEVER dropped a pistol, I say ” just wait….you will”

    3. Here’s the full specifications of the test, y’all need to read it closely. The part that most of these “negligent” gun testers are leaving out is that the drop test is at a maximum of 48 inches onto a specified rubber mat and it’s done with very specific orientations and angles.

      Also note the title of the document – which includes the word “Abusive”. And the entire point of the test requires accepting another issue, that something has to go wrong. In order to get the gun to discharge, you have to be handling it negligently in the first place. Regardless of the result, nobody calls these “accidents,” that is for those trying to cover things up. What they are requires negligence first and foremost on the part of the gun handler and there should be no other result expected when bungling it.

      If someone has issues with the official SAMMI test and thinks it needs an update, fine, contact them. But publishing fake tests and alarming the public about it thru abuse? I have to wonder what the real agenda is. If a legitimate complaint exists, fine – make it without covering up the fact the testing it not part of the protocol. Telling us it’s unsafe but doing it in a way that never previously existed as a reproducible and vetted method is being deceptive at best and dishonest at worst.

      1. So, if you drop your gun down the stairs while going down stairs, and it goes off, killing you, that’s cool,right? It met your 48″ rules on rubber after all. I worked with a guy who had that exact situation happen and was killed.
        Sorry, I tend to stick to better quality guns by companies like Sig who rectify the problem, not BS it away.

    4. @whywhywhy: Just one question; Have you ever, in your entire life, fumbled anything? If the answer is yes your comment is pointless.

    5. Mixed emotions on these tests. In 45+ years of using pistols, carrying them in combat, cc at home, and lots of range time, I’ve never dropped my weapon. Nor have I felt the need to strike it, or repeatedly strike it with a rubber hammer.

      I sincerely appreciate the safety tests, but must wonder aloud if we’re falling prey to trying to bubble wrap everything and make a gun perfectly safe? What is next? When you are carrying your hunting knife, drop testing it and then writing it up as unsafe because the point stuck in your foot? Any gun that is loaded has a certain potential to go “bang.”

      My point is not that we should allow unsafe guns out there, as we should not. But, have we evolved product testing to the point where it is really just doing stuff to appease trial lawyers?

      For the “yeah, but” crowd who think they should be able to pick up a pistol and heave it as hard as they can across the room, my views will not suffice, I’m sure. I’m just pointing out that you could have a “perfect” weapon that would survive that test, and head to the range, only to be shot by some numb skull range employee, as was recently documented in these pages, where the guy pulled a trigger and was surprised when the supposedly unloaded rifle went “bang” and killed a customer. Negligent discharges have probably killed more people than guns that didn’t survive some drop test.

      People have been doing silly stuff with firearms for a long time that result in bad things. Lock up those rubber hammers, observe the golden rules of firearms safety, and if you’re going to drop your pistols once, or repeatedly, buy an idiot strap. Or, as the author suggests, lock your guns up in your safe, then stay at home, in bed, to make your world perfectly safe. Oh, wait, that could be dangerous too.

      I hope that HG figures out what the issue is, but I won’t hesitate to carry one over leaving a holster empty while waiting for something bubble wrapped.

      1. Because we’re human we fumble things, everything from cups of coffee to……guns. You should never attempt to recover a fumbled firearm and a fumbled firearm should NEVER fire upon striking the ground. We (pluperfect form) supposedly solved this problem (dropped gun firing) decades ago. Any modern firearm that fails this test is simply a defective product.

        1. To a certain extent I agree. But you also make my point a bit with your logic. We’ve bubble wrapped our expectations so much that an inherently dangerous item like a gun is never expected to fire, even when we maltreat it.

          You already said it was an imperfect world (humans drop things) but put perfect expectations on the gun. Humans mistreat cars all the time and kill other humans. Don’t buy a Buick because a texting driver runs over a curb? Don’t allow a driver to drive a pre-airbag auto because we’ve “perfected” car safety? I guess we should scrap all those old American and European classics or not allow folks to drive them…someone might get hurt. Likewise, my Jeep’s auto-braking and cruise control anti-collision sensor often kicks off when a bug hits it. Is it a defective product? After all, it is designed to keep me from hitting another vehicle, and if I don’t immediately pull over and clean the sensor, I’m obviating the safety it brings.

          If you watched the original video, the gent stood on a couple of 2×4’s and held the gun over his head to drop it. He also didn’t use a rubber hammer, but a plastic one and whacked it several times to get the discharge. So, he didn’t perform the tests to the standards. All he really did was abuse the gun until it fired. He also didn’t use any safety gear like eye or ear protection. Yeah, I know…imperfect world, gun needs to be perfect just in case you throw it on the ground.

          I totally agree that technology has reduced the dropped gun/discharge issue. By that logic, any gun manufactured without those safeties in place should be not allowed at any gun range at any time…all those old single actions…gone. Those non-transfer bar .22’s-gone. Then where do we carry that logic? No magazine disconnect? Gone. No safety at all? Gone. Modern black powder, flintlock or percussion cap? Gone. (Because they aren’t as safe.) You see how the bubble wrap mentality works?

          Every year I read about some dumb hunter putting his loaded gun on the ground and his dog stepping on it and shooting him. Now, if the safety is on, shouldn’t this be impossible? Should we ban dogs when shotguns are present?

          To be sure, in a perfect world, no gun would every discharge at any time except when we pull the trigger. But as pointed out, the world isn’t perfect, we’re human and stuff happens. I used to duel with Surface to Air missile sites with my own high speed radiation missiles, so admittedly my view of danger may be a bit warped. I hope HG fixes the problem with their guns, but I don’t see the hysteria that Patrick brought to this. (Don’t buy Honor Guard, and stick it in your safe and cower in fear if you do own one).

          I honor your opinion, and thanks for the exchange.

          1. To, at least your last point, if not more, we understand that with older SA revolvers w/o transfer bars we, as did the shooters of the day, keep the chamber under the hammer empty. With older cars we don’t eleiminate them we understand their limitations and accept them if we choose to own them. Would you purchase a new car today if you knew the ball joints used inferior metal that could, under extreme evasive maneuvering, disintegrate? Same with firearms. You don’t expect that a modern day firearm, with the technology available, will fire when dropped or struck with ANYTHING. If it does something’s wrong. It’s not a question of the “nanny state” or “he didn’t follow accepted procedures”, it’s this shouldn’t have happened no matter what. If he dropped it from 1,000 feet it shouldn’t have happened.

      2. Come to the range with me. I’ll bring my paperwe… Honor Guard. It’s not drop safe, so drop it, you might get shot in the butt or right through the heart. But don’t worry. I NEVER drop it. Also, I’ve never tapped the back of the gun to make sure everything chambered right. I’ve managed to not accidentally shoot anyone (including myself) with my defective gun….YET(it’s mothballed now). So let’s go to the range. I’ll bring the Honor Guard.

    6. When even major, established brands sell things that have design or manufacturing defects, this story shows that one should ESPECIALLY beware of buying off-brand guns. (I’d extend that caution to ammo and accessories as well.)

      1. HankB. Why comment on off brand guns when the majority of MAJOR gun brands are the ones that have been failing in recent history. Where are your your facts to make this absurd comment.

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