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In search of 1911 safety info.

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Over the past several weeks, I've had no less than one case rupture (a magazine destroying event) and two double taps (one pull, two rapid shots. this happened when a buddy of mine was doing the shooting). The pistol (a Kimber) is now safely on its way back to the factory for a thorough checkout.

In any case, I've now become Learn-All-The-Safty-Issues-With-A-1911-Man, and I've got a bunch of questions for all you experts out there.

- out of battery firing. In theory, the disconnector prevents any out of battery firing. Doing some searching through the board, I've seen at least one guy talking about his pistol having problems locking into battery, but just _barely_ (.125" out of battery). This got me wondering about how possible and/or likely that you could realistically see an out of battery discharge occur when you pull the trigger. And how much tolerance does the pistol have for almost-but-not-quite cases. It also seems to me that .125" out of battery is just not something you're going to notice while you're shooting at the range. I don't stop after every shot and carefully look at the position of the slide, and I'm betting most others don't. How much care should one take in paying attention to the position of the slide after shooting? With a well maintained, quality pistol, what are the realistic odds of an out of battery firing with catastrophic results?

- double-taps/full-auto. I've read several accounts of how/why a 1911 can malf and fire more than one shot in rapid succession. My twitchy buddy who was hammering the trigger instead of squeezing it smoothly had it happen twice within around 50 rounds. At that point, I have to believe there's something wrong with the gun. Seemingly a common cause of this is either damaged innards or a light trigger. Again, what's the realistic possibility of this kind of occurence? How does one avoid having it happen?

- case rupturing due to faulty ammo. Obviously a worst-case scenario, but damn if it didn't happen to me on my first trip out with a semi-auto. Everyone I've talked to including the smith who checked this pistol out afterwards pretty much says its extremely rare, and even then, its always with reloads. Its not something I want to fixate on, but any info on how to avoid this kind of thing would be great.

- issues with field stripping the gun or taking it apart entirely. Clearly field stripping isn't inherently dangerous to the gun itself. What about taking it apart further to inspect it myself? What kind of damage could I inadvertently do to it?

- Is there such a thing as a lemon 1911? Is it the kind of thing a trip to the factory can clear up?

- other stuff I haven't thought of. To be frank, just how "safe" _is_ a 1911? I can believe that my recent experiences are on the far end of the probability scale, but that's not going to stop me from sweating just a little bit more every time I pull the trigger at the range.

Sorry if I'm harping on this a bit. I've made a few posts related to this recently. Being new to pistols I'd like nothing more than to be able to hop over to the range whenever I want and blissfully pop off 300 rounds. I figure the more I know about this hunk of steel the better (and safer)
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Originally posted by 10ring:
Just to double check ... was all of this with the same pistol? If so, it sounds to me like the disconnector isn't doing its job.
Yep. All the same pistol. However (and this is a big however), the rupture happened with Ultramax remanufactured ammo. Dollars to donuts it was the ammo and not the gun which was the problem. The only reason I had it was that I was trying to test out every different kind of ammo I could find to make sure the gun fed properly. Obviously a very unfortunate mistake.

The double taps happened on the _next_ range trip, same pistol, after the smith had a look at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I also suspect the double-fires could be due to your "twitchy" buddy pulling the trigger twice without realizing it. [/B]
He said the same thing as well. He described his trigger pull as "hit-and-release" so with the relatively high recoil which he wasn't used to, I wouldn't be surprised if he inadvertently triggered twice. On the other hand, the two shots were fired _so_ rapidly in succession we almost didn't believe it had happened (the first time. after #2....) Smack both your hands down on the edge of a table quickly enough so that you can barely tell the difference between the first hit and the second hit, and you'll get what we had. Oh well, I trust Kimber. They'll clear it up
 
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