Reliability is essential in any tool. If you are using a tool for a given task you need that tool to work. When a tool does not work your progress on your task stops and you must spend time fixing or replacing the tool.
Now in a task that is not critical or time sensitive this is an aggravation.
In a situation where the task is critical, time sensitive, and necessary to save life… In that case reliability is non negotiable.
If you are approaching the purchase of a life saving tool like a firearm from the standpoint of likely never having to use it. YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG.
Someone walks into a gun store and utters the phrase “I just need something cheap for self protection.” Are you out of your mind?
Go bungee jump or climb with the cheap imitation carabiners, cord, and harnesses. I’ll let your broken body tell me how that went. This is your life and that of your family we are talking about. Your emergency equipment needs to work. Your gun must work when you need it or your very likely to never need it again.
Imagine kitting an ambulance out with the sketchiest version of every life saving item it needs from the tires on up and then being one hundred percent certain it will be able to save your life. That is an identical attitude to “something cheap for self defense”.
In an emergency certainty is already long gone. You’re now playing beat the odds with whatever quality equipment you invested in and have on hand.
Will that investment help or hurt your odds?
I’m not here to tell you what to buy. I am telling you to take buying it seriously.