There is a big misconception with “lesser” brands versus higher end brands just being status symbols – for me, and I suspect for most P&S staff and subscribers – they are not. When some personalities start to push lesser brands, I begin to wonder about their motivations.
People regularly seek a means of determining what a quality weapon is. It isn’t so much a specific round count you can reach. It can be related to cost, but not always. It is more about the odds of running into issues due to qa/qc, quality level of components used, and if proper assembly means are provided by the factory.
Truthfully it is entirely unpredictable because lemons occur with all companies. The higher end companies which maintain higher standards at a price encounter less lemons – conversely low-end companies pumping out low level options encounter lemons much more frequently. That’s why we have more emphasis on quality weapons where you are paying more for actual qa/qc and things being done right with the right parts versus spending little and not getting the needed qa/qc which really is just playing the odds.
Just because some weapons come from a common birth place does not mean they carry over any other similarities beyond just that – the precision of the machining/milling to those blanks as well as the TDP used are what begin to separate low end plinkers from quality duty level weapons.
There are plenty of reports of brand X not having a gas port drilled, no rifling in the barrel, or pin holes misaligned – that’s what saving money can get you.