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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a newbie here but I have owned 1911s for over 35 yrs. so the design is not new to me. I used to consider the 1911 reliable but now I read many saying the design is "inherently unreliable". They describe Sigs, Glocks, H&Ks, Walthers ect as inherently reliable. Since there is only one source for each of these and many sources of 1911 and since the 1911 has been around for so long there are many different levels of quality for the 1911 but not for the others.

This is where my confusion exist. I have seen and even owned some poor quality or variable quality 1911s and I positive that if any of the newer designs where produced with the same poor or hit and miss quality they would be unreliable also.

I have heard some say their failure rate was around 1% which means they have 1 failure every 100 rnds. However I have owned and still own 1911s that have never failed to go bang in thousands of rnds.

So my question is how do you seperate out the old worn out 1911s, low quality 1911s, the poorly assembled 1911s, the 1911s fed marginal ammo, from the design itself?

How do you wade through the tremendous variabily of 1911s compared to the single source uber guns and know that the design intself is unreliable?

The reason I ask is because this unreliable design idea suggest that I should get rid of even the 1911s that have never failed even once or the ones with less than 0.1% failure rates because the design is flawed. Even though I waded through a lot of individual 1911s to find the ones that work well, it was for nothing.

In other words it is not the individual gun but the design that is the sole determining factor.

Forgive the long post but this has been bothering me since I began reading the threads in this forum.
 

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I think people saying that 1911s are inherently unreliable are full of crap.

If gun manufacturers would spend five minutes and fifty bucks putting properly adjusted quality extractors in their guns, and maybe throw in a couple of quality wilson mags for another $50 and 1911s would have a good rep for reliability like Sig, Glock, etc.
 

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I have three pistols that have never failed me:

- My Springfield 1911. I've only had it a few months but it's over a thousand rounds without issue at all.
- My Russian Makarov. Thousands of rounds of JHP later, it goes bang every single time and I've trusted my life to it more times than I can count.
- My Chinese Tokarev. I learned early on it only liked ball ammo, and since then, it's fired at least two cases of Wolf 9mm. I clean it when I open a new case of ammo. It's my 'throw in the glovebox' beater and loaner.

All are simple, old designs.

The reliability problems I've seen first-hand with Glocks and S&W and damn near everything else make me glad I have what I do, and in large caliber hand cannon, the 1911 works just fine.
 

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I used to consider the 1911 reliable but now I read many saying the design is "inherently unreliable".
Here's an analogy:

In 1998 one of the "unbiased" consumer reports type rags evaluated the LS1 Trans Am. The write-up went something like this:

"The exhaust was too loud, the ride stiff and fuel economy poor. If we pressed the accelerator too quickly the rear wheels would spin wildly and speed increased dramatically. We felt we would be better off with a Toyota."

Eddie
 

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There are good and not so good products in most anything. The quality of 1911s and "inherent reliability is no different - some are clearly better than others.

However, if inherent reliability refers to the 1911 design, then it's completely unfounded claim. The FBI, LAPD Swat teams, and others issue the 1911. Now, the Tacoma Washington Police Department issue 1911s (commander size) to all their officers with a Glock as an option.
 

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tcsd1236 said:
I think they are probably referring to the perception that you need to dump a lot of money into a 1911 to get it working as reliably as the other weapons do out of the box.
You may be right but, a Sig costs about the same as a reliable "out-of-the -box" 1911.
 

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Anything made by humans is "inherently unreliable". We can't make something perfect. It just that a 1911 was never made for some 20 something year old idiot to pick up and use and it was never made for someone to make using inferior parts. It was designed in a period where any firearm made would receive some TLC from a competant gunsmith at the factory. Most of that has to do with the manufacturing technology at the time. Some of the parts are not friendly to modern manufacturing methods. So they need to be made using older more expensive methods. And above all else, it was made for a professional. It requires a little bit of training. Which is a good thing. Very few people I know who own or use Glocks or similar pistol are any good with them. The ones I know who are, either own the thing cause they wanted one and hardly use it, or it was issued to them. Most of them like revolvers better then Glocks.
 

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Perhaps if there were 40-11 different companies in umpteen different countries making clones of SIGs, H&Ks and Glocks with slightly different specs for internal parts and dimensions with their own ideas how to improve the designs then the question would not come up. Now toss in another few hundred or more companies making magazines that are just a wee bit out of spec or made out materials that are questionable at best.
 

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KAS said:
Very few people I know who own or use Glocks or similar pistol are any good with them. The ones I know who are, either own the thing cause they wanted one and hardly use it, or it was issued to them. Most of them like revolvers better then Glocks.
I strongly suggest you check out an IDPA shoot and/or a GSSF shoot. You will see people with all manner of Glocks shooting as well as or better than the 1911 shooters.
 

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I considered this before buying my first pistol. I eventually realized this: If the 1911 were NOT reliable, then why is it still popular after 92 years? If the design was not a good one, then it would have been consigned to the dust heap of history long ago. Instead, it is still wildly popular, and as mentioned by others, it is still being issued by police agencies.

The other day I was trying to think about other semiautos that were contemporaries of the 1911. Other than the Luger (which really isn't being produced anymore), I can't think of one. Admittedly, I was only going off the top of my head, but the inability to think of others tells me just how dominant the 1911 has been. Yeah, bad builders will build a crappy one, and occasionally the good builders will make a lemon. But the usual rule applies: you get what you pay for, and I would be willing to put a quality 1911 up against any other semiauto ever made.
 

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Browning High Power is a contemporary to the 1911.
 

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technosavant said

"Browning High Power is a contemporary to the 1911"

the High Power is a P35 ie released in 1935 designed in the early 30's. It was released about 24 years after the 1911 and as such has several changes/improvements. A external extractor as #1 and a linkless barrel system as a distance second. But still it was released considerably later.
Ed Henry
 

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Originally posted by scalinghammer the High Power is a P35 ie released in 1935 designed in the early 30's. It was released about 24 years after the 1911 and as such has several changes/improvements. A external extractor as #1 and a linkless barrel system as a distance second. But still it was released considerably later.
Ed Henry
A side note: The BHP originally used an internal extractor. It was in the late 50's or early 60's when they changed to an external extractor. :)
 

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I strongly suggest you check out an IDPA shoot and/or a GSSF shoot. You will see people with all manner of Glocks shooting as well as or better than the 1911 shooters.
Never had the opportunity to see either in person, but have seen several of both on T.V. As to Glocks, never seen so many jams in my life. As to shooting as well or better than 1911's, most I top shooter I saw shooting shot about as well as I do, and I am not by any means an expert shot with a pistol.

Go on over to Glocktalk amd you'll have some people disagreeing with you. I have no problem with my Glocks, either the ones issued or personally owned.
As I posted originally,
Very few people I know who own or use Glocks or similar pistol are any good with them.
Word of caution don't come near me with one. I have never seen one that was reliable. And I've seen several people shooting them in person. Maybe I just have bad karma concerning Glocks.
 

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Tim said
"A side note: The BHP originally used an internal extractor. It was in the late 50's or early 60's when they changed to an external extractor. "


I have seen WWII HP's and I thought they had external extractors. My first HP I got from my father was purchased before 1954.
Ed Henry
 

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KAS said:
...Very few people I know who own or use Glocks or similar pistol are any good with them...

...As to Glocks, never seen so many jams in my life...

...I have never seen one that was reliable...
Most people I have seen or taught to shoot, shoot Glocks as accurately as anything else. I personally shoot well over 100 rounds per week and regularly observe that Glocks shoot as accurately as just about ANY gun I have shot, including custom 1911s and Sigs. Well, I can shoot my 229 and 226 a bit better - but that may be because I want to.

Reliablity is a hallmark of Glock. What you have observed is very out of character for a Glock. Although I am not a Glock fan, I do own 8 Glocks and have shot thousands of rounds through them and they have always been very reliable.
 

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Tangle said:
Browning High Power is a contemporary to the 1911.
I did remember that one a little later, but as mentioned, it is over twenty years newer, and also designed by JMB. Although it is also a good gun, (correct me if I am wrong) the 1911 has a larger following, especially here in the US. That might be different in Europe.
 

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technosavant said:
I did remember that one a little later, but as mentioned, it is over twenty years newer, and also designed by JMB. Although it is also a good gun, (correct me if I am wrong) the 1911 has a larger following, especially here in the US. That might be different in Europe.
1911 - 1935 just seems so long ago, and since J. Browning played a role in both designs, it didn't occur to me that the 1911 and BHP were 24 years apart.
 

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wlynn5 said:
I'm a newbie here but I have owned 1911s for over 35 yrs. so the design is not new to me. I used to consider the 1911 reliable but now I read many saying the design is "inherently unreliable". They describe Sigs, Glocks, H&Ks, Walthers ect as inherently reliable.
If you've been around that long, you should be able to recognize the aroma of fresh BS when you smell it. IMO, no auto loading pistol is "inherently reliable"....... but some are damn good guns.

wlynn5 said:
I have heard some say their failure rate was around 1% which means they have 1 failure every 100 rnds.
It doesn't mean that. Assuming it's accurate, it would mean that out of 100,000 guns produced, 1% would exhibit failures to perform. The other 99,000 would work perfectly for thousands of rounds fired. I suspect the actual defect rate on mas produced guns is actually a lot higher than 1% based on my persoanl observations as well as that of gun shop owners, but it doesn't just apply to 1911's. Most mass production gun makers have non-existent QA.

wlynn5 said:

The reason I ask is because this unreliable design idea suggest that I should get rid of even the 1911s that have never failed even once or the ones with less than 0.1% failure rates because the design is flawed.
NEVER! reliable is as reliable does. If you have good gun, you keep it. The basic design is good, they just don't fit mass production guns correctly and they use some defective parts.

wlynn5 said:
Forgive the long post but this has been bothering me since I began reading the threads in this forum.
Never let the words of fools worry you.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Bountyhunter said, : "It doesn't mean that. Assuming it's accurate, it would mean that out of 100,000 guns produced, 1% would exhibit failures to perform. The other 99,000 would work perfectly for thousands of rounds fired. "

Just to clear up my meaning the writers I referred to actually said 1% meant 1 out of every 100 rnds. in their individual guns. The definition you are using sounds like a commercial quality control standard and may in fact be the standard we shound be using.

For practical reasons I think few shooters actually have data on commercial quality control but do know how many failure their own personal guns have had.

If you do have a source for commercial quality control on guns I would love to know what the manufac. know about their own products.

I would also like to say that I have nothing against the uber pistols I mentioned other than the calibers they originally were designed for. I had no intention of starting a "bash the foreigners" thread. That would be a bit too easy on a 1911 board.
 
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