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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I ran two Wilson Combat (.45 CQB Elite pictured and a 9mm X-Tac) 1911's in USPSA competition as well as steel plate. The 9mm X-Tac remains the best shooting hand gun I have ever fired.

So looking at my MidwayUSA ammo receipts on-line and guessing, maybe I had 5,000 to 6,500 rounds between the three highly maintained 1911's last year and a total of 7 malfunctions. That's pretty great reliability. But it was seven, and I routinely carried these weapons for defensive carry.

So in a disconcerting but eye-opening post, the Wilson Combat rep on the WC sub-site this month mentioned a long list of things that can be causal in a 1911 malfunction. I quote:

"Things like a sloppy grip, rubbing the slide, rubbing the bottom of the thumb safety instead of riding it, split shok buff..the list goes on and on. If you don't lube a 1911 9mm every 300-500 rounds you will start seeing a few malfs in our experience. Light recoil springs..." He also mentioned ammo as a source for malfunctions: "The other real issue is the issue of ammunition. We see quite a few problems with bulk factory ammo ... you will have a hard time with uncrimped, oversize or swollen rounds. Your Glock may eat that ammo up! Or Your M&P! But a 1911 with a snug chamber and headspace? Maybe not." Wilson Combat Rep. August-2015.

Whoa. Wilson Combats are arguably among the best and most reliable semi-auto's money can buy, I paid $4,200 and $3,100 respectively even with the LE discount. So it was startling for me to hear their own rep say the list goes "on and on" regarding failure sources. So within his statement is a huge maintenance burden, and a significant level of applied expertise regarding the platform and ammo. So I stopped and asked myself, how many of the things on that rep's failure source list applies to my two carry revolvers? Or to my duty Glock for that matter?

I went to my closet shelf and began to revisit my S&W Perf. Ctr. 627 8-Shot pictured below or my 586 L-Comp 7-Shot (not mine pictured). And really non of the WC Rep's failure-source comments would apply to those revolvers. When I put the 627 in closet storage in 2011ish, it had never ever failed, not once; and, it had a lot of training and USPSA rounds through it.

So I began to address the N frame 627's capacity, reload, etc., relative to that of a semi auto with the goal of coming closer to better reliability without losing other important components. Capacity was limited to 8, but match grade moon clips made re-loads similar. And, it is getting Trijicon Night Sights. Accuracy and follow-ups are excellent too. So half capacity seemed to be the big issue. Except it is not.

A huge part of the answer is application and context: In a civilian self-defense scenario, they will not going to get in to a running gun battle, there will be an average of 3.5 shots, it will be very very close range; and so the firearm needs are vastly different from LE, and more different still from military.

On duty, it is unlikely but possible to need the agency mandated Glock's 16 chambered capacity and 30 other rounds on my belt. But I hardly need that in self-defense, although you'd never know it with all the civilians in their 5.11 tactical pants with a spare hc magazine on their left thigh. But all the civilian self-defense gearing up by enamored consumers in many ways is just unnecessary; and the narratives by the manufacturers are part of the problem as they seek to move product.

Going through Gun Site Academy is smart for a civilian wanting the right frame-of-reference and skills for self-defense. Gearing up afterwards like you're an operator is not.

I would gladly compete with a WC 1911. I trust the Glock 35 I carry on duty. For defensive carry, it is a trial step back in time for the moment.



Finally, as an afterthought, I must say that on duty, the Glock has been incredibly reliable, and like most, have only fired it in training. While I've seen them fail on the range, I've personally yet to experience that save one FTF that was my fault. I would carry the Glock for SD, but am just as secure with the 627 or 586 L-Comp that I own (586 pictured is not mine).
 

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that makes some sense, but if you think about it, all the major revolver failures I've seen (and I have seen some) require tools and work bench to get them taken care of. But most of the semis just need a good smack or quick reload.
 

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I'm not sure if all states offer the same Active Shooter training as offered in Texas, but would bet they are similar. It's advocated that off duty Officers carry their weapon, spare magazine (or capability to reload your weapon), and a set of hand restraints.

There are several things that make a 1911 good for off duty carry. However I'm of the opinion that for ultimate reliability, the 1911 platform is at it's best in the original caliber for which it was designed, .45 ACP. Though there will be those that argue the 1911 in 9mm has come a long way in terms of reliability. No doubt Wilson leads the way, however I trust what the Wilson rep has to say.

While I carry a light weight revolver as a backup weapon, I'm of the opinion that we can be more efficient with semi-autos and spare magazines for them. If I'm going to carry a 9mm it will be with a pistol that was built around this caliber. Glock 17 and 19 are my weapons of choice for 9mm.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Years ago my first active shooter class I travelled to Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department, FL; shortly after using a Federal grant, all sworn officers in our agency went through as our own academy cadre had been trained by a program developed by a Texas university if I am not mistaken.

Carrying the agency mandated Glock out of uniform I have a spare magazine; if I'm packing a revolver I have two additional moon clips.

Just to clarify, the CQB Elite I mentioned is a .45 and it is the X-Tac that is a .9mm. Two of the failures came from the 9mm, and I only load the magazines to nine, topped off at 10 in the the 9mm you get occasional FTF's.
 

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I've got a couple pistols have haven't had a malf in 20K, that I couldn't immediately point to a screwed up reload of mine.

I've got a couple revolvers that have never malfed but I don't shoot them near as much.
 

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Kind of reminds me of my Wife's BMW. It experiences a failure every eighteen months or so. Now my Jeep on the other hand, reminds me of my cheap low end Springfield 1911's, 100% reliable. Go figure.
 

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When I started in LE, I was issued a S&W Model 66 (that tells you how long ago that was). Department Regs said I had to carry it for two years before I could carry an alternate weapon. The day my two years was up, I started carrying my Colt Gov Model. Fast forward several years, the Department started issuing Glocks. I declined, I kept my Gov Model and it never let me down.

Off duty, I carried my Colt Commander and still do. The one I carry now I bought new about 18 months ago. It has over 5K rounds through it and it has yet to have a failure.
 

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I see this thread is about a month old but, I wanted to through my 2 cents in. Or I guess more express the internal debate I am having.

When hired by my department we were required to carry beretta 92 9mm. After graduating the academy you could opt to go through a tradition course and carry a HK USP 45 at your own expense, which I immediately did because I was a MAN and MEN cary 45s (right :roll eyes:). Fast forward several years and actually educating myself on the ballistics of modern hollow point ammunition, I realized there is not that big of a difference between the 9mm and 45 (not trying to start a debate, just saying the round won't make up for shot placement) A few years back my department transitioned away from the beretta to the M&P 9 as its issue. I went through the class and I was so pleased with the M&P, I actually gave up my H&K for the extra 5 rounds per mag the M&P gave me. I also picked up a M&P 9C for off duty. I now have 8k rounds through it with zero malfunctions (note it has all bee factory ball or duty ammo, I don't reload hand gun rounds).

All that said, with new leadership in the department the HMFIC has already signed off the policy expanding our list from 4 authorized guns to almost any gun you want to carry to include a list of 1911s, we are now just waiting on the lawyers to sign off. So I have been looking at picking up a 1911. But a big hesitation for me is the reliability factor. It seams like every time I go to an IDPA match or a training class a large portion of the guys with 1911s have issues. So for me I am still going to pick up a 1911 in 45. But I am going to spend some money looking at Wilson, SFCS, Night Hawk, ect. But long before I every carry it in the field a lot of rounds are going to go through it to make sure the bugs are worked out, and even then not sure if I will be making the switch for uniformed patrol work. Might end up more as a toy/ceremony gun, I don't know. But either way this is a great excuse to by my first custom 1911.

As for off duty, I don't see myself going away from the M&P 9C. I carry it with a full size mag giving me 17+1, and depending on where I am going or what I am doing I will through a 2nd mag in my pocket giving me another 17. That combined with the fact that my off duty gun aways seams to be filthy, dusty, and full of lint. I don't think people are going to debate that 1911s need a little more TLC then a plastic striker fired pistol. That combined with the round count issue I will stick with my M&P9C for off duty.
 

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Now way would I switch from a proven reliable 18 round gun to a 9 round gun for police work.
But, Im not a cop.
 

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My absolute favorite off duty pistol is a Glock 19 that was built by a retired Delta operator.

I can't bring myself to carry a low cap 1911 at work these days, even though I love how easy they are to shoot accurately.
 

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Both my Sig and my Glock barf occasionally. Train for malfunctions and forget about it. If your defense plan involves a magic gun that never fails loaded with magic ammo than never fails then you need a new plan.
 

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There are four in my rotation in which I have qualified on. Glock 22, M&P40 and Springfield Professional, Springfield Professional Light Rail
 

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I would agree to some degree the sources of the malfunctions, however, most of them can be corrected and are non issues if one pays attention to detail. Any pistol owner must make sure the weapon is lubed properly, good ammo, etc.

A Wilson representative stating a long list of problem sources for pistols, including their own is begging for folks not to buy their products. Irresponsibility is the operative word here. Providing a long list of problem sources is an excuse when one of their (or any other producer's product) fails to perform. Marketing at its worst.

For the record, I carry a full sized 1911 on duty, and a Colt Officer's Model off duty. No problems. Both pistols work every single time. They should, if one's life or the lives of others may depend on it.
 
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