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1911s TO AVOID.

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by Evan1678, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. aviator41

    aviator41 Sharpshooter

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  2. GUN DOG

    GUN DOG Sharpshooter

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    I haven't had alot of expirence with 1911's just recently started to aquire some. the 3 I have are inexpensive Ria tacticl, 2 cimmarons one blue one nickle. The failures I have had seem to be magazine related. I've got a couple of colt mags, the mags that came with the pistols all work with the ria, but no so with the cimmarons. The colts wont go through a full mag with any of them. Got a couple of wilson 47d's and they run flawlessly with all 3 pistols with my reloads and hollow points. I have heard mags are the biggest prob & I have proof
     
  3. 68mustang

    68mustang Sharpshooter

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    Here's a good post from the above article about 1911's.

    Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:
    December 30, 2014 at 12:38

    The 1911’s made by Colt (et al) for WWII production were made on manual machines, ie, by hand, on fixtures & jigs developed for the purpose, just as all guns were made back then.

    There often was a bit of hand-fitting on the assembly line to clean up parts to get them to work, but no more than necessary to ship the gun. They weren’t fitting for anything other than getting the gun to function reliably and ship it.

    No one back then was trying (or even attempting) to out-spec everyone else with tolerances and allowances to impress armchair warriors. They were making weapons for war, and the first (and really only) criterion for this exercise was that they went “bang” and ejected a bullet out the muzzle on command.

    The GI-issue 1911’s worked and worked very well with 230gr ball ammo. They worked when they were dirty. They worked when they were wet. They worked after being dropped. They worked after they were used to club someone to death. They just worked. The only people claiming that 1911’s are “unreliable” and are a “unreliable design” are young punks who don’t know jack about anything before the 1911’s that started appearing in the civilian market in the late 80’s. The 1911 passed a 6,000 round acceptance test before it was accepted as “the” sidearm for the US military 100 years ago. Everything else failed to pass the test.

    This isn’t and wasn’t anything special. The 1903 Springfield “just worked,” the Garand “just worked,” the M1 Carbine “just worked,” as did the BAR, M3 Grease Gun and a host of other such weapons. The US War Department, before it was infected with Harvard graduates and MBA’s trying to conduct military campaigns by spreadsheet analysis, required reliability out of the weapons coming out of the US Army’s armory system. “Springfield Armory” used to be a real armory – not a company. They made small arms for the US War Department and US Army – and they did it well. Sidearms were contracted out to bidders responding to War Department requirements.

    Back then, guns were all made on manual machines, put together by hand, with QC done by gaging and manual measurement. There was no NC or CNC machine in sight – anywhere, no CMM, no laser scanning, no Renishaw probe system, etc. It was all by hand. The Springfield Armory even used to heat treat their 1903 receivers by eye – which led to the problems with early 1903’s being damaged on bright, sunny days. After the investigation in the early 1920’s, they relented and started using pyrometers on their heat treating processes.

    That’s how guns were made, and they worked and worked well. Why? Because they had some slop in them. Almost nothing in guns needs tolerances down to 0.001″. About the only guns that were ever lavishly and lovingly hand-fit from the get-go in the US gun industry were the Colt Pythons, and I’ve praised their workmanship elsewhere here at TTAG.

    The 1911 was known as a reliable pistol until people started trying to turn it into a match pistol. While Colt had a “match” pistol that underwent a bit of extra fitting and trigger tuning in the mid-30’s, it wasn’t until the late 50’s that you saw the serious muckery start on 1911’s. Then people started trying all manner of mods to get the groups down to under 1.5″ at 50 yards for competitive target shooting.

    This was being done because there were really no other hardball target pistols out there in centerfire loads at that time. The 1911 was “the” semi-auto pistol available in the US in quantity at that time, and there were lots of them available. They were easy to work on, and gunsmiths were starting to cater to the new military marksmanship units’ requests for more accurate pistols.

    Fast-foward to the 70’s: By now, there’s a whole industry among gunsmiths that has arisen to make 1911’s very accurate for bullseye and military target work, and a parallel industry among gunsmiths to make 1911’s reliable and higher-capacity for IPSC.

    Out of this era came some of the gunsmiths who now make semi-custom or custom 1911’s as an industry to themselves – Wilson, Brown, et al.

    Then by the time the 90’s came around, the 1911 appeared to be on the way out. The polymer striker pistols were in their ascendancy, Glock was merely the first of many, and S&W was cranking out semi-auto pistols based on their Model 39 for law enforcement (and others) – 4xx, and then later, the 4xxx pistols.

    1911’s appeared to be on their deathbed… even in IPSC, where European CZ-type pistols and double-stack .38 Super 1911’s had it all over the .45 ACP 1911.

    And then, one pasty Senator from San Francisco got her granny panties into a twist about guns and rammed through the 1994 “assault weapons” “ban.” Suddenly new guns were limited to 10 rounds.

    The Cheez-whiz pistols lost their hi-cap advantage over the 1911 in a hurry. Hi-cap pistols for IPSC were basically frozen in inventory.

    And the 1911 came back into the marketplace with a roar. Except now, CNC shops were setting up to crank out 1911’s that didn’t “need” tuning from the get-go to get them a tad more accurate and reliable. Whereas Colt’s QC had been suffering all through the late 70’s and 80’s, the new CNC’d 1911’s were more consistent, and they’d shoot pretty well right out of the box. It was like the 1911 was reborn, out from under Colt’s shoddy practices…

    Then the specmanship started. Who made the tightest, most accurate gun? Who had the fanciest CNC machinery on the line? Who could splatter the most buzzwords on their press release to impress people who don’t know jack about metal alloys, machining, gunsmithing, etc?

    For those of us who know the 1911 from a ways back, it made many of us roll our eyes. In the old days, many of us who used 1911’s for target and defense had multiple 1911’s: You had a 1911 that was tuned and tightened for target work, and then you had your carry piece (where allowed) and then you had a bedside 1911. The latter two weren’t target guns, they weren’t pretty, but they sure as hell went “bang” every time you pulled the trigger.

    Well, here we are. A beautifully finished, yet unreliable 1911 made to exacting specifications – by people who probably don’t understand how a 1911 really works. And that gets me to another point: Lots of people don’t really understand what is going on inside a 1911 as it functions – and it shows when they start making mods to a 1911 to attempt to achieve something. Those who do understand what is actually happening inside a 1911 can make them function easily and reliably. It isn’t obscure information, BTW. Pistolsmiths have been trading this information around for 50+ years now.

    But here’s the really bitter irony in all of this:

    However tight you want to make a 1911 for target work, it isn’t ever going to get you the sort of results you can buy in a pistol made specifically for target shooting, eg, the S&W Model 52. The Model 52 is so reliable at feeding, you can put an empty .38 Spl case into the middle of a magazine and you will see that pistol reliably and consistently chamber an empty case. The 52 was designed to shoot 148 gr. full wadcutters, the bullets seated flush into the case mouth, that’s why. There is no bullet sticking out of the case for a Model 52. If you tune it to eat empty cases, you’ve tuned it to eat wadcutter ammo, which is what it wants to shoot. And shoot, it does. It will shoot rings around most all target-tuned 1911’s. The AMU used 52’s for their target pistols for years and years, and they cleaned up at pistol matches. The 52 is an awesome piece of gear for a target shootist. You need only a very light load in .38 Special to get it to function, and a wadcutter makes such a nice, clean hole in your paper that you don’t even need a spotting scope to see what you’re doing. It is a pistol that is truly a joy to shoot on paper.

    The 1911 was made to be a reliable pistol. If you can drop all seven rounds from a 1911 into someone’s chest at 50 yards in a couple of seconds into a 5″ group, then the 1911 has done the job for which it was designed.

    It seemed to work reliably enough for Alvin York. Every time he pulled the trigger, it went “bang” and a German was sucking mud.
     
  4. dennishoddy

    dennishoddy Sharpshooter

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    I Put the offer out there. Put up or shut up.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2016
  5. aviator41

    aviator41 Sharpshooter

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    Aint no WAY I'm reading all the mess. whats the point? in a sentence or two. Do I look like I have time for all that? I'm in a hot pursuit after the Bandit. Come back.
     
  6. 68mustang

    68mustang Sharpshooter

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    breaker breaker... one 9 come back.

    TDLR just some interesting history of an older guy explaining the 1911. Actually sounds like the magazine limit of '94 had a part in saving the 1911 in match competition and popularity. Also talking about how stupid it was when companies started getting really precise in the dimensions of the 1911.
     
  7. Glocktogo

    Glocktogo Sharpshooter

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    I wouldn't say I'm a Kimber hater, but I'm not fond of them. I've owned two, and early 5" Custom II (a so-called "Clack") and an Elite Carry. Both guns had issues with reliability using various factory loads and magazines. The Custom II was maddening to sort out. It would hang up so hard that the firing pin hole would literally gouge a chunk of brass off the rim. The E.C. was easier to sort, but then the mag catch lock sheared the lug and the mag would fall out after each round. I finally got rid of both (once I had them fixed of course). It seems with Kimbers that they either work, or they don't. If you have a good one, don't let go of it. I think the spotty QC is a result of Kimber management primarily being in the sales business with a product that happens to be guns, rather than the other way around. I tend to look at Sigarms the same way.

    I've owned everything from ATI to Wilson Combat and a few makes in between. My favorite manufacturer currently is Dan Wesson. They put out a quality gun using all tool steel internals and superb fit & finish. For the money, I don't think there's a better value on the market. That they don't "billboard" the crap out of their guns is a nice touch. :)
     
  8. JD8

    JD8 Sharpshooter

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    Far from my first choice but it's really not that surprising that one can do it......one just has to look outside of internet lore.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2016
  9. JD8

    JD8 Sharpshooter

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    BTW for all the of the haters..... I believe Eric @ 2A had something like 80K+ through his Wilson in a couple of years time. Only thing that was replaced was the barrel. If it wasn't reliable.... he wouldn't have won anything with it.
     
  10. dennishoddy

    dennishoddy Sharpshooter

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    Have those guys never heard of clip loaders? Their thumbs must have been really hurting.
     

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