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Thread: 1911 problems

  1. #1
    hideit's Avatar
    hideit is offline Senior Member
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    1911 problems

    recently there have been a lot of talk about reliability problems with 1911's,
    clean frequently, magazine problems etc etc etc.
    isn't the basic issue that the 1911 NOW is not what J Browning designed?
    Today's 1911 is so tight that the top ends are 1" accurate at 25 yds, the middle priced 1911's are 2" at 25 yds.
    I don't think that was in J Brownings mind for self defense for the soldiers.
    with statistics stating that most civilian gun battles being at 25 feet or less then I would be happy with 2" accuracy 1911 at 25 feet - the BG is going down!

    AM I RIGHT OR WRONG????????


    Come to think of it - what gun is there that eats 45acp and is 2" accurate at 25 feet and is very very very reliable?

  2. #2
    TOF's Avatar
    TOF
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    I expect you are correct regarding tightness causing problems.

    I don't have personal ownership experience with 1911 pistols so must go by what I see happening to others at the range.

    Invariably when a pistol fails at our IPSC shoots it is a 1911 type. I have friends that own several 1911's and they have all had problems while the Glocks, XD's and M&P's just keep on ticking.

    I can not convince myself to spring for the high cost of a 1911 when extremely reliable pistols can be purchased for $500 or less.

    Fit of barrel to slide is what yields accuracy other elements can be loose and still yield an accurate pistol.

    I have seen Glock, XD and M&P's in 45ACP produce sub 1 inch groups consistantly at 15 yards which would be tighter at 25 feet. My current primary pistol is an M&P40 which has consistantly yielded 5/8 inch to 1 inch 5 shot groups at our typical accuracy check distance of 15 yards.
    I will admit they do not produce these groups with just any ammo but the Pistols are capable. In terms of reliability my M&P has well in excess of 10,000 rounds through it and the only problems to date were related to aftermarket magazine extensions I purchased for the IPSC game. I no longer use them.

    That is my view.

  3. #3
    Ram Rod's Avatar
    Ram Rod is offline Senior Member
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    Come to think of it - what gun is there that eats 45acp and is 2" accurate at 25 feet and is very very very reliable?
    SIG P220.............you asked.

  4. #4
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    2" at 25 feet is easy. Just about any production .45 should be able to do that.

    The 1911 is just an old design. I have seen many 1911s that rattled when you shook them, and they also malfunctioned way more than a modern pistol. The 1911 remains supremely easy to shoot well, but it's not like gun engineers have learned nothing about pistol reliability in a century.
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    All opinions, particularly those involving politics and Glocks, are mine and not Galco's.

  5. #5
    Baldy's Avatar
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    You could come and see the league I shoot in and you would see a lot of 2" groups at more than 25'. It's also being done with many types of pistols. This is standing free fire and not off a bench.

  6. #6
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is offline Senior Member
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    In my experience, the 1911s I've seen malfunction were the "accurized" ones. Make a Government Model tight, and it'll eventually seize-up at exactly the wrong time.
    My two match guns are "G.I. loose," and if I keep them clean, they always go "Bang."
    The tradeoff is that they won't hold minute-of-angle groups at 50 yards. That's OKI can't hold minute-of-mountain groups at 50 yards.

  7. #7
    Flyboy_451 is offline Junior Member
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    reliable 1911s

    I have built and shot many 1911s over the years, both in competition and real life combat, and for what it is worth, here is my two cents...

    The 1911 is a fabulous old design that remains to this day to be probably the most customized and one of the most utilized auto pistols both for competition and defensive uses. When speaking of custom 1911s, there is a big difference between what I would consider combat vs. competition. As originally designed, the 1911 was not meant to be a super accurate target pistol, just a reliable, functional tool. It was designed specifically to feed ball type ammo, and the fit of the parts was generous to preserve functioning under adverse conditions.

    While serving three tour in the Persian Gulf, a 1911 was my constant companion. This particular gun had minor modifications that I performed to increase reliability and make it easier to shoot well. While I did adjust the frame to slide fit, I was not aiming to tighten it, simply to align the rails in such a way that they were truly parallel. Truly straight and parallel rails are one of the things that can greatly increase the reliability of a 1911, by eliminating a binding effect as the slide travels. This same attention must also be paid to the slide to ensure that they mate correctly. The end result should be a fit that is free and moves easily, with A tiny amount of side to side play and almost no vertical play. The other modifications for reliability included refitting the barrel hood, locking lugs, feet, link and bushing. This resulted in a gun that consistently would shoot about 1" @ 25 yards from the bench, with 230grn ball ammo.

    Other modifications included Novak style sights, an Ed Brown beaver tail, and a trigger job setting the pull at 4.5lbs. These modifications make the gun easier as well as more comfortable to shoot.

    "So how reliable is it?", you ask....Well I can only guess how many rounds have been through this poor old beast, but I can assure you that it has seen more than 200,000 rounds over the years, and the only malfunctions have been the result of magazine failure, or parts breakage. A few years ago, I had to replace the barrel, as accuracy was beginning to slide a bit, so yes, this gun has a lot of rounds through it. This gun has performed flawlessly after prolonged exposure to harsh conditions of real life in combat and shown itself to be a fine handgun in all respects. I have used this gun for the past 12 years as my primary carry and competition gun, as well as allowing many clients interested in 1911s to test fire it.

    Many of the failures that you see on the range can be attributed to various things, but I honestly believe that a 1911 chambered in .45, fitted correctly, fed quality ammo from quality magazines, is just as reliable as any other gun out there. Keep in mind that the 1911 was originally designed in 45 and to build it in any other caliber can cause reliability issues, as you are asking it perform outside of it's original design parameters.

    Judging the reliability of 1911s in general, by the performance of race guns is not a realistic viewpoint. Almost all calibers that are common to the 1911 pattern pistols, are vastly different than the .45acp. Take your pick from 9mm, .38 super, 9x23, 40 S&W, 10mm, and any other that you can think of. All of these calibers operate at much higher pressures resulting in faster slide velocities. All of these calibers are dimensionally very different from the .45acp and require a different feed geometry to operate correctly. Then look at the modifications made to many guns...Lighten the slide, add a compensator, a hybrid ported barrel, feed it from a double stack magazine in a polymer frame, fit everything as close as physically possible to achieve match rifle accuracy, and then ask the gun to perform flawlessly??? Try that level of modification with any handgun and see what kind of results you get...

    While I will admit that I have long since had a love affair with the 1911, I am also aware of the limits of the design. While I have built many 1911s in various calibers, I still feel that the platform works best in .45ACP and that to attain the ultimate in combat reliability, care must be taken to assure that all of the parts of this fine old pistol work in harmony. When this is done, the 1911 is a fighting pistol that is truly hard to beat, and still carries with it a certain romance for all us old s that like steel guns.

    While there are many high quality very reliable guns out there, that are of a more modern, higher tech design, in the latest gee whiz configuration, firing the latest greatest offerings from the ammo companies, don't count the old warhorse out quite yet. The 1911 is still a formidable fighting pistol that has earned it's place in our hearts....


    Fly!!!

  8. #8
    hideit's Avatar
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    Steve M1911A1: you speak what I think.
    Flyboy 451: I couldn't have said it better.
    BEFORE KIDS: I had a 1972 colt 1911 govt with a beaver tail installed. Shot flawlessly.
    Then when kids came along she made me sell it!
    Now... kids are gone and I still dream of that gun.
    If Springfield had the Mil-Spec gun with Beaver Tail standard on the gun then that would be my gun.

    Too bad in today's world - they make em just as accurate and cheaper and lighter and hold more ammo (ie XD and Glock et al)

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