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I am still new to the 1911 platform and have found a few things over the last year since I really started to pay attention.

1. If a 1911 is marginal with ball ammo, many jhp will choke it, even though you may not realize it's marginal.
2. You can have a shiny mirror feed ramp and jhp can still choke a 1911.
3. You need your extractor set up correctly - yes, the long time guys will know that a poor extractor can affect feeding. See #1

My SA Loaded I bought in late 2019 feeds damn near anything. My cheaper Tisas Carry choked on jhp...at first. Now that I have a properly tuned extractor, it eats the same stuff for breakfast. My Tisas Bantam eats jhp for lunch. I just got a new Tisas Duty that came with a terrible extractor and it had problems with anything. But I used the stock part and fixed/tuned it, now it runs jhp.

There is a pattern there I think.
 

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JMHO but the Series 70 never worked with JHP unless you sent it to a 1911smith. The Series 80 was 50/50 from my experience. Any Colt made since 1991 is 100% reliable
Colt began incorporating wide feed ramps on their Government Model barrels sometime during the 1970s with their Series 70 production. I used to have a 1980 S70 with the wide ramp and it was completely reliable with hollow points, and my 1989 Series 80 is also reliable. People need to look at their feed ramps to determine whether their pistol is set up for JHP ammo.

The barrel on the far left is a USGI barrel. Older commercial Colts and 1911 copies were also like this. A narrow feed ramp like this may or may not work with most JHP ammo. The barrel in the middle is a typical "wide" feed ramp and should work with most JHP. The one on the far right is Colt's current "dimpled" feed ramp and should also be reliable with JHP ammo.
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1911's in the old days, i.e., before circa 1990, had to be throated by a gunsmith who knew what they were doing as back in the old, old days we had only the Speer/CCI Lawman "Flying Ashtray" 200 gr. JHP that was worth a damn and even then it needed a 5" barrel to open up well. I have owned many 1911's that needed throated, e.g., Colt, Randall, etc., but all from the old days. The old days were not so golden unless you used ball ammo. Of course, that's what the original 1911 was designed to shoot.
 

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A partial list of older 1911s I either own or used to own and the feed ramps they came with:

1966 Colt Government - narrow ramp
1980 Series 70 Government - wide ramp
1986 Series 80 Combat Elite - wide ramp
1989 Colt Government - wide ramp
1990 Springfield Armory - narrow ramp
1990 Auto Ordnance - narrow ramp

Like I said, you have to look at your pistol to see what it has. Colt began incorporating the wide JHP-friendly feed ramp sometime in the 1970s, but I don't know exactly when as I haven't owned a pistol from that era in decades. The various "clone" 1911 makers continued to sell their pistols with narrow GI-style feed ramps well into the 1990s.
 
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Colt began incorporating wide feed ramps on their Government Model barrels sometime during the 1970s with their Series 70 production. I used to have a 1980 S70 with the wide ramp and it was completely reliable with hollow points, and my 1989 Series 80 is also reliable. People need to look at their feed ramps to determine whether their pistol is set up for JHP ammo.

The barrel on the far left is a USGI barrel. Older commercial Colts and 1911 copies were also like this. A narrow feed ramp like this may or may not work with most JHP ammo. The barrel in the middle is a typical "wide" feed ramp and should work with most JHP. The one on the far right is Colt's current "dimpled" feed ramp and should also be reliable with JHP ammo.
View attachment 646043
#3 looks like there is a DIVOT carved deeper into the ramp/lip, rather than a dimple.
 

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#3 looks like there is a DIVOT carved deeper into the ramp/lip, rather than a dimple.
Call it what you want, but it works. Colt has been using that feed ramp style since around 2000 and feeding issues are not common with their pistols.
 
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I was on another forum and the topic was carrying JHP vs FMJ in a 1911. There were still a number of people that proclaim that "1911s don't function well with JHPs. You should carry FMJs for reliability."

My BS meter started going to 100%. Yeah, that may have been the case a long time ago before JHPs were so prevalent. But it seems like this position just doesn't pass the smell test anymore with modern manufacturing. Maybe the $400 third world guns still have the problem, but if U.S. manufacturers are still producing 1911s that can't handle JHPs, that seems like a manufacturer problem, not a design problem.

Your thoughts?
The first time I read that statement was here on this forum. I was having a devil of a time with my first 1911. Which was also my first pistol. A Rock Island Armory circa 2011 or so. Looking back, I couldn't tell you if it was because it came with a mediocre spring, whether I was limp wristing it (let's be honest - this was probably a factor), or whether the thing didn't like anything that wasn't ball ammo. At first. I was told to just run it with ball - and did so until I found a hollow point it liked.

I can tell you that after 500 rounds, a wolf spring recoil spring, and 1K sand paper polishing the feed ramp it stopped giving me guff. I also started to use Remington Golden Saber rounds in no small part because the nose matches the ogive of a ball round.

Needless to say, it did in fact feed hollow points. Eventually. After the 500 round mark it never gave me anymore trouble. My Springfield Loaded has never given me any trouble with anything I've fed it from day 1. Neither has my Girsan, or my Magnum Research 1911. All of the above have throated barrels, like the center barrel in DSK's picture.

At this point, I don't necessarily trust any gun with any particular ammo type until I've vetted it. At least 2 trouble free boxes of the type of hollow point I want to use if it's a carry piece. I'd set the bar higher, but right now those things are running a premium.
 

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The magazines were likely the most usual problem with a 1911 feeding any style bullet. I have a tool made to reform the lips of the GI magazines to get them to feed whatever bullet. The intention of the tool was to get them to feed SWCs but it works for HPs too. It was given to me by an old fellow who used to shoot military matches.
 

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Good point, the style of magazine you use can also have a bearing on reliability.

Here we have a GI magazine with the tapered feed lips on the left, a mag with the parallel, controlled-release lips meant for SWC and JHP ammo on the right, and in the center a "hybrid" one that's semi-controlled release and may work better in certain pistols.
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Barrel throats, magazines and bullet profiles all have a roll to play. Having a barrel throated was a big deal on old 1911s, not today though as others have noted. As to which magazine feed lips will operate reliably in your 1911 with your chosen HP is something to experiment with. I found Winchester 230 grain JHP reliable with all three feed lips.
 

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BTW the wide feed ramp profile we're all used to seeing today wasn't originally developed for hollow points. It was meant for lead semi-wadcutter match ammo like they used in Bullseye match shooting. Gunsmiths started modifying barrels in this fashion during the 1950s while turning USGI pistols into Bullseye guns. The Colt Gold Cup National Match was the first model to come from the factory with it, if I recall correctly.
 

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Back in the Day, I used a WWII Remington Rand as an off duty carry gun, totally reliable with Flying Ashtrays, and more than adequately accurate for the tasks at hand.
It probably had a 50-70 Gov't chamber.
 

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I was on another forum and the topic was carrying JHP vs FMJ in a 1911. There were still a number of people that proclaim that "1911s don't function well with JHPs. You should carry FMJs for reliability."

My BS meter started going to 100%. Yeah, that may have been the case a long time ago before JHPs were so prevalent. But it seems like this position just doesn't pass the smell test anymore with modern manufacturing. Maybe the $400 third world guns still have the problem, but if U.S. manufacturers are still producing 1911s that can't handle JHPs, that seems like a manufacturer problem, not a design problem.

Your thoughts?
It's a design problem. Most serious manufactures has learnt to deal with it and can make a traditional 1911 reliable with JHP ammunition. But mistakes will be made as most 1911 pistols are made to a price.

Test it properly, fix it if needed. The 1911 can be an excellent firearm with some work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
I agree that the original barrel feed ramp design didn't get it done for JHPs, but the mag feed lips were problem #1 IMHO because they were so finicky that you could get stovepipes and bad feeding even with ball ammo. But as has been discussed, both have been resolved for decades except in guns intentionally made to duplicate the original designs for whatever reason.

It seems however that we're putting to bed the notion that the 1911 is still a "jam-o-matic".
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
At this point, I don't necessarily trust any gun with any particular ammo type until I've vetted it. At least 2 trouble free boxes of the type of hollow point I want to use if it's a carry piece. I'd set the bar higher, but right now those things are running a premium.
Agreed! I wouldn't even trust a Glock (if I bought one in a weak moment) without shooting 100 rounds of my carry ammo through it. That just a basic with any gun, even revolvers.
 
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