View Poll Results: How many failures has your 1911 had since break-in?

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  • 0 - None, Nada, No Problems

    185 65.84%
  • 1 - 5

    56 19.93%
  • 6 - 10

    12 4.27%
  • 11 - 20

    8 2.85%
  • 20+ - I quit counting

    10 3.56%
  • Its a PITA/I had to sell it

    10 3.56%
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  1. #26
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    So based on the poll results thus far, 41% of owners have 1911s that aren't terribly reliable. That seems about right to me, even if my recent Gunsite experience showed 100% unreliability.
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  3. #27
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    So based on the poll results thus far, 41% of owners have 1911s that aren't terribly reliable. That seems about right to me, even if my recent Gunsite experience showed 100% unreliability.
    Mike, just like all of the problems of the modern world, 1911 unreliability is a matter of personal responsibility.
    I call it "failure to clean."

  4. #28
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    I have two Springfields, A Colt, two Para Ord, a Taurus, and a Rock Island. Out of all of them only the RIA had one failure to feed right on the 1st mag. after that I've not had a problem out of any of them. The 1911 and clones and Sig Sauer are the the only guns I can say that about . I've had a lot of other designs over the years. I went ape over the poly-guns in the early 90's but come back to the 1911 because it was the only ones I'd not had problems with. I've heard horror stories for years from people that have had 1911's that didn't do the job but I've just not had that problem. In fact I let my Springer 45 get really dirty and started using downloaded ammo to see if it would stop cycling correctly and after 800 rounds it was still going....Not as accurate but it cycled.

    I'm one of those people that ain't gonna fix something that ain't broke. For me a 1911 fits the bill great. I trust my life to one

  5. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    So based on the poll results thus far, 41% of owners have 1911s that aren't terribly reliable. That seems about right to me, even if my recent Gunsite experience showed 100% unreliability.
    I actually read the poll as showing that 82% of all 1911 owners report that there guns have been very reliable and over 60% report them as being perfect.

    No gun is perfect. I have taken part in a few gun trials and I have never seen one where any gun made it through without a failure or two. A gun having a failure 1-5 times during the course of it's use (including FTE's, FTF's, mechanical failure, and so on) is one dang reliable gun.

    Anyone that tells you any brand of gun never fails or another brand always fails has a vested interest in selling a load of goods either to you or to themselves.

    I have a friend that says his H&K's never fail, except the couple times I have witnessed them fail, but those were always his fault and not the guns according to him...so they do not count.

  6. #30
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Playboy Penguin View Post
    I actually read the poll as showing that 82% of all 1911 owners report that there guns have been very reliable and over 60% report them as being perfect.
    I suppose it depends on the quantities of ammo being fired. I don't think, for example, that five malfunctions in 800 rounds is remotely acceptable in a defense gun.

    No gun is perfect. I have taken part in a few gun trials and I have never seen one where any gun made it through without a failure or two. A gun having a failure 1-5 times during the course of it's use (including FTE's, FTF's, mechanical failure, and so on) is one dang reliable gun.
    Again, it depends on "course of use." Most people don't shoot their guns hard, and I note that many of the folks in this thread who report perfect 1911s are also anal about maintenance. I sure as heck don't want a defense gun that is so borderline in its functioning that it can't go over 100 rounds without a cleaning.

    Not sure what the round counts were in the gun trials you mention, but at the Gunsite course I just attended, we each shot 1200-1400 rounds. I note that none of the four 1911s made it, yet thirteen of the fifteen modern guns on the line worked with absolutely perfect reliability. I have seen the very same thing at another course at Front Sight, where five of six 1911s malfunctioned, and also at many pistol matches.

    I have a friend that says his H&K's never fail, except the couple times I have witnessed them fail, but those were always his fault and not the guns according to him...so they do not count.
    Sort of like the posts in this thread that blame malfunctioning 1911s on bad ammo and bad magazines?

    People make excuses for guns they like.
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  7. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering Man View Post
    Well, as far as Glocks are concerned, 3Reds has managed to have 6 FTEs on her Glock 19, purchased new a little over a year ago.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    Limpwristing?
    Quote Originally Posted by Playboy Penguin View Post
    I have a friend that says his H&K's never fail, except the couple times I have witnessed them fail, but those were always his fault and not the guns according to him...so they do not count.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    People make excuses for guns they like.
    Never argue with drunks or crazy people.

  8. #32
    jeb21 is offline Member
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    I can honestly say that in more than 20 + years of shooting, I have never had any failures to feed or eject or to fire with any of the 20+ revolvers that I have owned

    Actually, I am the one who put the too many failures with a 1911 to count. I purchased a used stainless Springfield 1911 Mil-Spec. It failed to reliably feed the last round of the magazine and as a result would jam on the last round about once every 25 rounds or so. So I bough new magazines, no significant change. I bought a new recoil spring, no significant change. I was told that it was the extractor/ejector and that I should send it back for repairs.

    To hell with that I traded up to a brand new Springfield stainless mil-spec. Similar problems. Told I was limp wristing it - funny at the same range session I would fire my Glock or my Browning Hi-powers and my Colt 1911 made in 1918 and never have a malfunction of any kind. So I trade that Springfield away. Then I bought a brand new loaded Champion model (about the same size as the commander). After 200 rounds of flawless performance - it began to fail once ever 50 or so rounds. Failures load the first round of a new magazine when the weapon was reloaded from slide lock.

    I am done with Springfields for the time being. I still have my old beat up Colt, and one day I may purchase another 1911 but for now - I will stay with only one 1911.

    By the way, at my local club IDPA shoots. 90+% of our gun malfunctions are from 1911.

  9. #33
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    The extractor being bad would not cause it to fail on the last round in the mag each time. That is a magazine spring issue.

  10. #34
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    "G.I.-loose" 1911s are completely reliable, even when not particularly clean.
    It's the "accurized," tight ones that fail if they're not kept clean obsessively.

    My competition 1911s are loose.
    I never had a failure in competition.
    I had very few failures during lots and lots of practice (see my much-earlier post). Many, many more failures were due to worn-out magazines (three) than to broken pistol parts (one).

    "G.I.-loose" 1911s will never make minute-of-angle groups, but I can't hold my groups to even "minute-of-mountain," so it doesn't matter. I limit my shooting to 20 yards and under.
    I know for a fact that my pistols will make consistent and predictable five-point (A-zone) center hits at 50 yardsóbut not in my hands, of course.
    That's quite good enough. I don't need an "accurized" pistol.

    People who like tight, accurized 1911s don't understand what a "practical" pistol is.

  11. #35
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    Mike, the mags were WWII vintage that finally needed new springs and the bullets weren't seated deep enough to fit chamber of 1911 it was being used in.

  12. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    So based on the poll results thus far, 41% of owners have 1911s that aren't terribly reliable. That seems about right to me, even if my recent Gunsite experience showed 100% unreliability.
    So what is unreliable? 1 failure in how many rounds? 100, 1000, 10,000?

    I shoot every week in the fall and winter and see all types/brands have trouble once in a while. Almost always related to poor cleaning habits.
    Yes even Glocks will quit if some dummy never cleans them.

    My Les Baer is at the 200 rnd mark and I had two issues related to my hand loads being a tad weak. I suppose I should blame my gun for not putting enough powder in?

  13. #37
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    I wont use more than a bore snake in mine until I get over 550 round through it. And that's just because it start to but be as accurate. I still think most people having troubles rather a High end Kimber or something equal design. Using some custom shop pistol like it's a combat weapon it just not right. They are way too tight and require more maintenance being there are less places for powder and other nasty stuff to go. Look at a Mil Spec 1911 next to something that had had a lot of work done. You will see there are a lot tighter tolerances on the high end pistol. better fit isn't always better

    Edited because I'm a moron and can't count apparently..heh
    Last edited by DevilsJohnson; 09-08-2008 at 02:00 AM.

  14. #38
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    This all depends on the 1911 I was shooting, I currently have 4, have sold 2, and I am looking at 1. Out of the ones that I own and have sold 3 are rock solid, never even a burp, 1 is still in the break in period but I have had limited issues with it, and the 2 I sold were POS's and I would never buy one of either again.

    The 4 I currently own are 1960's era Colt Gov't Model with Clark Mods and Colt Gold cup, a Kimber Stainless II, and a SA 1911a1 Mil-Spec. I like all of these weapons.

    The 2 that we're sold we're a Auto Ordnance/Kahr Arms 1911, and a Charles Dailey 1911. These 2 we're poorly made and in my opinion trash.

  15. #39
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering Man View Post
    Never made an excuse for Glocks choking. Limpwristing is a well-known cause of malfunctions in Glocks, probably more so than in most poly guns. The list of reasons 1911s choke seems rather longer, however.

    Not to say there are not reliable 1911s. Based on this thread, at least, there are some. But every single time I go to a class or match where guns get shot hard, the 1911s almost aways puke and the modern guns generally run.

    It's great that you clean your 1911 every 100 rounds and it's reliable. But my Glock 17 is currently at about 1700 rounds without a malfunction or a cleaning. I like the margin for error with the latter gun.
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  16. #40
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oak1971 View Post
    So what is unreliable? 1 failure in how many rounds? 100, 1000, 10,000?
    The classic test was 200 rounds without a failure of any kind. This standard is very easily met and surpassed by modern guns, and so my own standard has changed. If my pistol malfunctioned once in 1000 rounds, I'd consider it close enough to 100% reliable to carry.

    I shoot every week in the fall and winter and see all types/brands have trouble once in a while. Almost always related to poor cleaning habits. Yes even Glocks will quit if some dummy never cleans them.
    I suppose. I clean my Glocks twice a year, whether they need it or not. Neither has ever malfunctioned. I took my Glock 17 to Gunsite and fired 1400 rounds with no malfunctions. The weekend after that I went to the desert and shot another 300 or so rounds. Still no malfunctions. I guess it will stop at some point, but I'm still waiting.

    The XDs, M&P, and HKs at the Gunsite course all performed perfectly also, in contrast to the puking 1911s.

    My Les Baer is at the 200 rnd mark and I had two issues related to my hand loads being a tad weak. I suppose I should blame my gun for not putting enough powder in?
    It's always something.
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  17. #41
    Baldy's Avatar
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    There must be something wrong where I live at and the league I am in. So far I have seen 3-Glocks, 1-XD, and two 1911's fail at the line and we just shoot 60rds slow fire per night. What I am seeing is anything can and will fail when it comes to these Bottom Feeders. There's more than a few revolvers and so far I have not seen any failures. Most any mechanical devise can and will fail for any number of reasons and it's up to the operator to maintain it.

    To me 1,700rds without cleaning a gun is just asking for trouble.

  18. #42
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    If you don't want to clean your guns, maybe the "plastics" are best. It was drilled in me over 50 years ago, if you shoot it, you clean it. Still do that to this day and haven't had many issues with any of the guns I've owned over the years. Can't remember any of my 1911s choking on factory ammo after breakin.....but my memory ain't what it used to be.

  19. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    Sort of like the posts in this thread that blame malfunctioning 1911s on bad ammo and bad magazines?

    People make excuses for guns they like.
    One of the Berettas choked once, but it was with a Check-Mate magazine, so I can't hold that against the pistol. It ran fine once the student put the Check-Mate magazine where it belonged: in the trash barrel.
    Mike,
    I thought I recalled you mentioning that one of the pistols, (Beretta) choked due to a crappy magazine from Check-Mate. Now, we can't have it both ways here so, is it possible that magazines can cause issues? You bet your wagon it is. Is there a bit of a contradiction in your statements? I think so, but I think it might be that you are biased against the 1911 platform. I could be wrong, as you've mentioned that you used to own a few as I recall, but to say that people make excuses for guns they like after having said that a Beretta choked due to a bad magazine seems odd.

    I mentioned that, like what you said in quote one, people will overlook certain faults because they "want" it to be reliable, but I think this is because often times, after dropping $1100 on a pistol, they just can't believe that it's the pistols fault for failing. I know I used to do that, until I actually started diagnosing problems and fixing the problem, not my perception. I started with the obvious, tried different type of bullets, changed and marked the supposed 'bad mags' and shot some more. Some issues went away, some didn't. Put the pistol on a rest, a lot of issues went away, I didn't. Key point there is that I was the issue most of the times, and I had to learn to shoot that pistol differently than other pistols. It gives some creedence to the notion of shooting one pistol all the time and shooting it well.

    My point is, there are circumstances that cause pistols to fail more than they should, and diagnosing those issues is much cheaper than plunking down another $700 for a different pistol most times. I just ordered some new magazines for testing. Was my 1911 choking like an allergetic bumble bee? No, but it does have it's issues, and magazines need to be replaced from time to time, as do springs and other parts.

    I think it comes down to what you shoot best, and for a lot of people, the 1911 platform is just too damn 'pointable' to ignore. If a high maintenance schedule and pure, unadulterated admiration of the 1911 is your bag, great, it's mine, but if polyguns and low maintenance are your thing, more power to you. I have both, I shoot both, I love both. I don't rag on other pistol platforms aside from HiPoints but that's because they are uglier than my Glock, and I wasn't sure that was possible until I saw one in person.
    As always, debating is fun, take no offense.

    Zhur

  20. #44
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    No offense taken!

    I don't particularly like the M9, and I'm not excusing it. If you read above, I did not mention the M9 as one of the guns that performed flawlessly at Gunsite, only XDs, M&P, and HK. I have also repeatedly mentioned that one of the six Glocks choked twice. The M9 Check-Mate mags are well-known as deathtraps in theater, so I do not know why the vet brought one, but he discarded it immediately. His gun ran perfectly for the rest of the course.

    All that said, even a single M9 malfunction is small potatoes compared to the 1911 malfunctions I saw at the course. I literally lost count of the Para malfunctions on the first day, and watched a Kimber choke three times in a single string of fire.

    Despite the impression I apparently give, I like the 1911. I really do. I carried one for years, and have always said that it's the easiest service pistol shoot fast and well. But pretending it's just as reliable as more modern pistols is to disregard reality. Then again, I don't baby my guns. I treat them as tools. And I don't think one or two hundred rounds between cleanings is much of a test.
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  21. #45
    Baldy's Avatar
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    Talking

    I have the G-19, M&P-9, and a SV-40 in the modern line of pistols. After a trip to the range they are every bit as dirty as my 1911's are. I have tried many different powders and there's no such thing as a clean burning powder. They all will dirty your gun up. I do more than just clean my guns as I inspect them also when putting them back together. I also clean my mags about 3 times a year. I also keep fresh mag and return springs on hand. Just my way.

  22. #46
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    I will admit that my preference for Glocks is partly colored by my sloth-like cleaning regimen.

    I did clean my 1911 a lot when I carried it, for fear of malfunctions. Now I can accept my true lazy ways.
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  23. #47
    Wandering Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zhurdan View Post
    choking like an allergetic bumble bee?
    Zhur



    WM
    Never argue with drunks or crazy people.

  24. #48
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    I guess I just clean my guns because it's something that puts me and my wife in the same room while I do it. She's purdy and stuff.

    Actually, we watch TV together and I clean my guns. Kind of a ritual now. So, I don't much mind the cleaning part, especially being that the reason I continue to love guns is because of their mechanical simplicities/complexities. Seeing how it all works facinates me. I'll even clean 'em when they don't need cleaning.

    Zhur

  25. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by zhurdan View Post
    I guess I just clean my guns because it's something that puts me and my wife in the same room while I do it. She's purdy and stuff.

    Actually, we watch TV together and I clean my guns. Kind of a ritual now. So, I don't much mind the cleaning part, especially being that the reason I continue to love guns is because of their mechanical simplicities/complexities. Seeing how it all works facinates me. I'll even clean 'em when they don't need cleaning.

    Zhur
    3Reds & I clean our guns together:
    The family that huffs solvent together gets dementia together
    ... or something like that.













    I wonder if they'll let us bring our guns when the kids send us to the nursing home?

    WM
    Never argue with drunks or crazy people.

  26. #50
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    +1 on the problems with poly guns and limp wrist.

    I have owned three Glocks a 19 a 26 and a 23. I have never had a malfunction with any one of these pistols. However, my daughter can limp wrist the 19 to malfunction about once per mag.

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