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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I figured i would tell you a little about the pistols i have worked on/customized and owned for those who are looking to possibly buy a new pistol.

First is my Les Baer concept V that was custom ordered from Les Baer almost 2 years ago. If your considering a custom pistol i can not imagine finding a more reliable pistol. I have put approximately 10,000 rounds down range and NO B.S. i have yet to have a single malfunction. I can hit 12 inch plates at 100 yards + with no rest, Just standing and out of 5 shots i can hit 3. 10 shots with a spotter to tell me were my first round hit (due to fiber optic covering up the target at that distance) i can hit 9 out of 10 times. I shoot semi Wad cutter 200 grain bullet, 4.5 bulls eye powder. Defense ammo it likes the hornady Zombi max and Hornady TAP the best. I have shot every round hornady makes for .45 acp, Golden sabers and Wilson Combats. All are very accurate. Only problem i have ever had is rounds that have been reloaded several time and swelled to much do not want to fit in the chamber. A Dillon Go/no Go gauge to every round and never had that issue again. A+

Next: Springfield loaded Parkerized Model. Bottom of was not trued. Put a Ed brown Mag well on and front of mag well gaped from the front of the grip about 1/8". Extractor hole was not drilled correctly. A few thousands to far to the right. Serious extractor cocking causing bending shells and completely ripping the last ejected brass in the magazine. Due to the cocking of the extractor it would eject rounds back into the chamber. EGW over sized Extractor and FP stop fitted nice and tight fixed the problem. Positive is even thought the factory trigger pull was over 6 lbs the sear had plenty to work with. After doing a trigger job and matching it with a STI carbon trigger it is no 4lbs and breaks like glass, pre travel and Reset is so amazing that each Knowledgeable person who has shot it has said that was the best reset/pre travel and over all trigger job they have ever felt (pretty proud of that). Mixed with my customizations and some match fitting this is a very dependable pistol and now will shoot at least 1000 rounds without any malfunctions. I read several reviews on this pistol and found the extractor is a common problem in this model.

Next SS Springfield Loaded (my first 1911 before i learned to work on them). From factory would not feed, double feeds and extraction problems. Called Springfield and hands down the best customer service. Sent me a label in 15 minutes. Sent it to Springfield and had it back in under two weeks. Ran three mags and same problem. Called them back and same great service. I requested running 50 rounds of Winchester White box this time and they were happy to do what i asked. I asked what happens if it cant be fixed and the lady told me not to worry. If they couldn't then they would give me a brand new pistol and test it thoroughly before they sent it to me. After reciving my fixed pistol it ran flawlessly, It did not want to feed Semi Wads for the first 500+ rounds but after that it fed anything i put through it. Now this pistol has been fully customized by me, With all C&S trigger and STI trigger i have a 2lb crisp trigger, Refinishing, Polishing, Match fitting etc with all the best parts this pistol is exreamly accurate and reliable. It has over 25,000 rounds through it and less then 1000 are FMJ.

(2)S&W 1911s (one 1911 ES commander slide and officer frame, the other was the SS railed 1911 both in .45acp. From the box i had no issues with either one of these pistols. But i have friends with S&Ws and after a while the swartz FP safety has given them trouble. You have to have a great grip on the pistol or else the firing pin goes but the shell wont. I dont like this safety system due to in a self defense situation you can not guarantee when you get your pistol out you will have the perfect grip. And due to this horrible safety system that has proven from the pistols i have seen and shot in competition though they are great guns they dont always go bang. So maybe if your a 500 round a year shooter it might be ok. But ill go with a 70 series and know that my pistol will go bang if i need it to. You may only have one chance and i would hate to see a bad safety design ruin that chance. But only a couple malfunctions were experienced with my pistols.

Fusion 1911 commander. Started with a kit. Fusion does and awesome job building these kits. Built one for a friend and used stock parts that i had taken off alot of my customized pistols. Some things were new like the C&S sear,disc, hammer etc. Novak rear and DP front sights. The frame and slide are match from Fusion already. Added and fit/blended an Ed Brown Grip safety and did some other work but did not match fit a bushing or anything like that. Beautiful gun and was much more accurate then the Springfield, and S&W commander pistols i had shot. Amazing groups and fed anything i put in it. I dont think you can find a frame and slide kit the same quality for the price of a fusion. Plus Fusion comes with a fitted barrel, Comes with a GI guide rod and plug, Slide stop and blasted from factory. Plus Bob the owner is great to deal with and treats you like a million dollar customer.

Next is a Fusion scout frame and slide kit in 9mm. I had Fusion Engrave the slide, flush cut and crown the barrel to the EGW thick flange busing i fit. Once again the craftsmanship and detail are next to none. I have not shot it yet but is now ready to be painted. Will give more info when its done.

RIA. I am working on one for a friend. have not shot it but can tell you the mainspring holes dont line up, Comparing it to a quality 1911 you can see were you extra money will go. if you plan to just keep it factory it would probably be alright but if your looking for a good pistol to customize i would not recommend it.

Taurus PT1911. Once again if your looking for a pistol to shoot out of the box it would probably be ok. I fully customized on for a friend and after completely stripping it the pistol looks like it was finished in a hurry with tons of burrs and imperfections inside and out. So many parts of the pistol are over sized and difficult to buy parts to match fit. Hours with files and stones took care of alot of the issues and since every part on the Taurus is an MIM part there is more money in parts then the pistol cost new. Now including what it would cost to blend, match fit and completely customize a 500$ pistol. Both RIA and Taurus have horrible spongy triggers (if you never owned a 1911 with a perfect trigger you might be happy with it). Converted the Taurus to a 70 series, EGW over sized parts and alot of work and now it doesn't shoot like a Taurus any more. It has a very nice trigger, Very smooth action and after i lowered and flared ejection port mixed with a WIlson Combat BP extractor and Ed Brown Extended ejector it Runs like a dream. Now it shoots great groups, Very reliable and have tried to make it jam with several tests and it proves reliable. But once again if you are going to customize it the results for the same amount of money in custom work compared to a Springfield or other quality pistol...i would stick with Springfield or similar. I had a bunch new parts left since it was hard to find parts that were over sized enough to achieve what i wanted.

So this is my range report on some of the 1911s i have had or built. Hope this will help someone who is looking to buy a 1911 but is not sure what they should get. Now factory mass produced guns are not all the same and im not saying every one will be the same but this will hopfully give you an idea.
 

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great post

Great post, thanks for the good information here. I will probably never have the time, tools, or skills to build one myself, but this is good information for those who will, and an interesting comparison among several brands on their "stock" quality. Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences on this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well i hope it helps. I know when i go to buy a gun i look for info from people who have ran more then 100 rounds. Nothing against that but i wont carry a pistol unless i have ran 1000 rounds without any major malfunction caused by the pistol. So in additional info i would like to add a couple more reports of pistols.

M&P Pro 9L:
Pre 2010 model- Ran 500 rounds of reloads with no malfunctions. After adding the Apex forward sear and trigger, DPM systems guide rod, SSS mag well, bla bla bla (basically stuff i didn't need but thought i did). Since the modifications i have put 3000 rounds through the pistol this year. So total or 3500 rounds since Feb 2013. After putting the apex sear and new sear block that was Post 2010 i had issues with the Striker not resetting. I would pull the trigger after taking a few shots and nothing. I would have to rack the slide enough to cock the striker then it would shoot a few more before doing it again. I had this problem for about 200 rounds. After looking at the old sear block, A sear block from my mothers M&P i found that the take down lever that is attached to the sear block would not move to the lock position with the apex sear. So under magnification and several energy drinks i found were i needed to remove material. A couple spots that contacted the sear were not allowing the back of the sear to rise enough to catch the striker. Stoning a few thousands in a couple places and reassembly a couple of times and it functioned as it was supposed to. Since then approximately 2800 rounds fired with no malfunctions due to the pistol. The sear block i purchased from Midway for 20 bucks. If you have a pre 2010 model pistol and want to add the trigger kits i suggest buying the new sear block all because the sear spring is the very small one in the early models and Apex recommends using the large spring to prevent sear flutter. So dont be afraid to diagnose the problems with the take down lever. Worst you can do is stone to much and have to take the lever off your factory sear block (or do it to begin with..hmm should have thought of that first) since parts are extremely cheap for factory S&W. Be warned when installing a SSS mag well and base pads that M&Ps will do the glock bump from factory weather you want it to or not. if you have fat hands like me and shoot mostly 1911s, all us 1911 guys know when putting a magazine in a pistol that has a round in the chamber you slam it in to make sure it has seated. Well that habit becomes second nature on empty or loaded pistols. I tend to hit the mag well with the palm of my hand before the mag has seated on the M&P (one more reason why 1911 is king) and the slide comes forward without stripping a round from the mag. This usually happens during IDPA comp and makes me look dummer then i already do. but if you want to brush up on your tap and rack drills this is one way to get er done. This is the second one i have owned since i sold the first one that was built the same because i am dumb. After 6000+ on my old pistol the extractor was wore out. After talking to real gunsmiths i found that putting a round in the chamber and dropping the slide on it only wears the extractor out twice as fast. But after putting thousands of rounds through 70 series 1911s it is once again habit to put the mag in, Rack the round in the chamber, pull the mag and put another round in the mag. One more thing..These are not Glocks. Rounds dont fall out of the chamber like you have stuck a 9mm round in a .45 chamber. M&Ps are very tight chambered pistols (impressive if you ask me since i have yet to find another polymer framed pistol like this). I found that the best option when running reloads especially if your like me and run them till the case splits, is buy a hone from Fusion or midway and and run a few passes in the chamber. use oil and be sure not to bell your chamber. You dont want to take your tight chamber and turn it into a glock chamber. If you want loose just buy a loose built pistol. Fusion sells and un beatable Emory polish and finish polish that is the best (in my opinion), Use the Emory then the finish on the chamber and feed ramp and bam! if you like a friend of mine who cleans his brass just enough to look like i just came out of the mud and is sticky and constantly had casings getting stuck in the chamber, This process will eliminate 90% of that problem without loosing the benefit of having a match quality chamber. 99% if you actually clean you brass like your supposed to. Now i know this is not a 1911 but im sure most of us have a dreaded polymer framed pistol hidden from our die hard 1911 friends so hopefully this will help any one who may be experiencing any of these issues. I just bought my daughter a m&P pro Core 9mm. By april this pistol should have a minimum of 1000 rounds down the pipe so i will give a report about this pistol. And of course i am not a great gunsmith or professional but I am always willing to answer any questions or give any info to any one with questions. If i know i will tell you. If i can fix it your more then welcome to send it to me and i will do it free of charge (minus parts and supplies). I just love working on guns and helping others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
LS9/ Springfield Ultra Compact

First the Springfield:
Upon buying the pistol i noticed the extractor had some movement but everything else looked top notch. First trip to the range consisted of Factory 230gr fmj. 50 rounds and extraction issues popped up. Due to the extractor cocking it ejected shells erratically and some back into the chamber causing the brass to be damaged badly. Plus the feeding was rough and you could feel the bullet dragging on the feed ramp. After fitting a WC bullet proof extractor and tuning it the extraction problem was fixed. The second trip included 185 gr Flat nose FMJ, Various 230 gr round nose FMJ and 200 gr Semi Wad Cutters. All FMJ had feeding issues and some required hitting the back of the slide to get the round in battery. You could feel the clunky feeling with each round shot. Then i tried the Semi Wad cutters. These worked the best and tho you could feel the dragging but not near as bad as the FMJ. I then did a trigger job taking it from 5.5 lbs to 3 & 3/4 lbs, Polished the feed ramp and chamber, Did a internal reliability and burr removal and added a couple other goodies including beveling the mag well to match the Nighthawk Custom MS housing and Mag well i installed. Results were flawless feeding and ejecting, WC mags worked the best and 200gr Semi wad cutters shot the best groups and were the smoothest feeding. For carry ammo i shot Remington Golden sabers> Rough feeding and had one fail to feed, Hornady TAP, Hornady Custom, Critical Defense. All worked great and shot nice groups. Hornady Zombie max was the show stopper. Absolutely smooth, Very tight groups and ended up being the carry ammo for this pistol.

STI LS9 9mm
This pistol was very nice, lightweight, and very controllable. Only issue with this pistol was it was very picky on HP ammo. Tested several different types of Ammo, Fed HP, Golden Sabers, Hornady. Now when i got this pistol i polished the feed ramp and chamber and that was it. FMJ all fed great but the best defense ammo was the Hornady Critical Defense. Running it flawless and smooth. Good groups (not great with any ammo at 20 yards but still pretty good for a 3" barrel. Other types of HP ammo it would have feeding issues. After a little over 1000 rounds the extractor was toast. The bottom was rounded off and started causing malfunctions. I had never seen a extractor turn to junk in 1000 rounds but STI sent me a new one but gave me the option of sending the pistol to them. After a new extractor the pistol was reliable again. So for a BUG this was a great pistol.
 

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Kimber Master Carry Ultra/Malfunctions?

The Kimber Mastercarry Ultra (3inch),has been out there awhile now.
I am wondering ,those that have one,have you had malfunctions on kind of a regular basis with it?
I am wondering if being a 3 inch barrel is going to be an ongoing problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well i can tell you from shooting IDPA i have seen alot of kimbers from 3" to 5". Sadly i have seen more kimbers malfunction then any other 1911. I have seen some good ones as well but in BUG matches (were the 3" are used) surprisingly enough the 3" models i have seen run better then the full size models. Im not a kimber fan but from what i have seen the 3" have less malfunctions then several models of the full size.
 

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Well i can tell you from shooting IDPA i have seen alot of kimbers from 3" to 5". Sadly i have seen more kimbers malfunction then any other 1911. I have seen some good ones as well but in BUG matches (were the 3" are used) surprisingly enough the 3" models i have seen run better then the full size models. Im not a kimber fan but from what i have seen the 3" have less malfunctions then several models of the full size.
Usually the other way around
 
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