1911Forum banner

1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
most of the time when i read a range report, within the first 200 rounds there will be some kind of failure to feed or fire or eject with the 1911 being reviewed. it seems even more rediculous when it's a high dollar gun. for a grand or more id expect my gun to function near flawlessly.

does it have to do with the basic design of the 1911?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
956 Posts
guns'ahoy said:
most of the time when i read a range report, within the first 200 rounds there will be some kind of failure to feed or fire or eject with the 1911 being reviewed. it seems even more rediculous when it's a high dollar gun. for a grand or more id expect my gun to function near flawlessly.

does it have to do with the basic design of the 1911?
Most of today's (especially high-dollar) 1911's are built with a tighter fit than what was originally built for the US back in WWII. Many pistols are fit this way on purpose so the slide/frame fit will wear together and become the best fit possible. Many manufacturers have a number of recommended shots for break-in.

This is much like when you buy a new car, you can't run it over 55 for the first 3 months so the rings will wear to the cylinder.

That being said I've never had a malfunction with any of my Kimbers or Springfield Armory pistols.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
He does have a point. I am relatively new to 1911, and I will be the first to tell you I love them. But I am coming over from Sigs, where it is EXTREMLY rare to have a FTF or a FTE. Im not looking to start a flame war, but for those of you who have both a 1911 and another firearm such as a Beretta or Sig, it is just rare to have a malfunction, both in my experience (20+ firearms) and in others. That being said, I carry a 1911 that I KNOW is reliable, after many rounds fired. A 9mm may expand, but a .45 won't shrink.

Please, Im not trying to start a fight, but Im not a new shooter, and my experience pans out the above.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,028 Posts
I find 1911's fall into 3 groups, brand doesn't matter, Model doesn't matter.

1) Awsome out of the box, blows a 1" hole dead center, no jams, perfect fit and finish.

2) close to #1, but needs some minor tweeking. Sight adjustment,
Extractor adjustment, etc.

3) Jinxed from the start! Total piece of crap that you can't trust your life to no matter what. Sell or trade this gun ASAP!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
972 Posts
"does it have to do with the basic design of the 1911?"

No! It has to do with a number of other things, some of which are the fault of the shooting public.

First, you have one company making "SIG" firearms. You have one company making "Beretta" firearms. You have one company making (fill in another modern gun design's name)...you get the point.

How many companies make 1911s? I'm not sure I know how many there are but it is a pile. Do they have different standards of quality? Do bears deficate in the woods? Is the Pope...well you get this point too.

Now we get to the consumer. Everybody wants "match" accuracy (what ever the heck that is). How many posts have you seen on the internet about which make or model is "more accurate". To get that level of accuracy the gun must be tight. Unless it is hand fitted (expensive) that tightness means less reliability. But those same consumers, who want match accuracy want it on the cheep. Again, how many threads have you seen about what is the "best/most accurate" 1911 for the lowest price. The many different manufacturers keep prices low by cutting corners (MIM parts are just one example).

So, we have a bunch of different makers cashing in on the 1911 craze, trying to make accurate guns but keep the cost low. It a wonder the damn things work at all under those circumstances.

The final point I would make is that more than any other handgun design I can think of, the 1911 has been messed with, modified, tuned, tweeked and otherwise changed more than any other. Some how they seem to survive. Must be something good about "the basic design of the 1911".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
250 Posts
I venture to say that 50 percent of the "problems" are operator related. Limpwristing, improper cleaning, lube, weak springs, wrong length reloads, etc.....

Ever bought a used pistol and noticed the sights had been knocked way over to one side or the other? Then you go and shoot it and you can barely get on the paper? Put them back in the middle and it shoots great. The previous owner had no doubt been telling everybody that would listen that "brand X sights are screwed up out of the box, but I fixed them". The problem was that the guy had poor shooting habits.

Some of the complaints I have read in some threads are so outrageous, it's as if because they spent X amount, if the bullet doesn't hit the bullseye, it must be the pistols fault.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
The other aspect I have found, as with all semi-autos, if you have lousy magazines your gun seems to have problems. I never have understood shelling out $500+ for a handgun and then stuffing a "bought it out of a bin at a gunshow for $5" magazine into it. :D
 
G

·
I have never had a single problem with my 1911.

Buy the right gun for what you're using it for and you won't either.

Quality builders won't hurt either.

I have a Wilson CQB and love it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
378 Posts
99% of problem can either be traced to the magazine, extractor, or operator. "Operator" can include many things, such as bumping levers, riding slide, limp wristing, modifying the gun, putting in a 18lbs recoil spring, etc.

I think the limp wristing is mostly a problem in new guns with stiff springs. With either of my guns that are tight but smooth and have 16lbs Wolff springs I can can shoot them with normal hard ball loads holding the gun between my thumb and trigger finger. That's major limp wristing but I've never been able to induce a failure.

Use good quality magazines, I like 7 rounders. If the springs get weak, replace them.

There are a lot of posts on how to adjust the extractor properly. Loose extractors can cause all kind of weird problems you wouldn't expect.

Dremel tool throat jobs = BAD! I've seen a gun that had trouble with lead bullets because the bullet catches the bottom edge of the barrel since the frame ramp had been "improved". If you must polish the ramp, just polish, don't take metal off.

Any modifications to the gun I'd take one at a time and only if they are necessary. There is no reason to modify it before shooting it. If problems develop identify the source of the problem and fix only that. That way you don't go screwing up one thing in order to fix a problem that was caused by another thing.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
73,854 Posts
flinterfan said:
The other aspect I have found, as with all semi-autos, if you have lousy magazines your gun seems to have problems. I never have understood shelling out $500+ for a handgun and then stuffing a "bought it out of a bin at a gunshow for $5" magazine into it. :D
Only one post, and already flinterfan nailed one of the three main reasons. There are more crappy, cheap 1911 mags on the market than good ones. What's even more pathetic is that many of these are the factory OEM mags! Buy only quality mags and watch most of the problems disappear. I'm amazed at folks who complain how expensive Wilson mags are at $30 a pop. Ever price out a genuine factory SIG or Glock mag?

The second and third reasons have been touched on already- consumers' infatuation with super-tight tolerances and wavering quality control from many 1911 manufacturers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
688 Posts
I watched a newbie use another shooter's 1911 this morning. he couldn't get through three rounds without an FTF. The owner (with same 1911), myself and one other shooter has zero malfunctions.

Poorly skilled operators, poor quality ammo and cheap magazines probably cause 90+ percent of all malfunctions. No scientific evidence, just based on what I've experienced and observed.

Eddie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
I wouldn't shoot a 1911 without having it fine tuned by a gunsmith who knows what he is doing.

My first 1911 was a Colt series 80 that I got from my wife in 1989 for our anniversary. Until that Colt, I had only owned wheel guns.

A guy that was a customer of mine was into "combat" shooting. He was explaining it to me, and it sounded fun. I didn't want to try it with a revolver, although he said I could. It just sounded to me like the sport was meant for an autoloader.

My buddy told me that when I bought the Colt, I should not even open the box, but rather take it right to Nelson Ford, a popular 1911 gunsmith in Phoenix. I thought he was nuts. I felt that if I spent $500 on a name-brand Colt, it better be ready to shoot.

I took it to the range the first chance I got. I shot one mag and almost cried. Needless to say, after the gunsmith did his thing to it, it was a whole nother story.

I now have five (5) 1911's and I still have my first one. I call it "gramps". It has over 60,000 rounds through it. The only issue I ever had was hammer-fall after about 30,000 rounds. The same gunsmith who worked on it when it was a bay fixed it up. Sure, a stove-pipe now and then.

So, yes, you may here about out-of-the-box issues. For all of the reasons stated above. Cutting corners, cheap mags, limp wrists, etc. When it's right, there's nothing like it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
I'm kinda with the original thought-and this goes for any type of weapon.
The tighter the tolerance in the weapon the more accurate it is-but- the less the tolerance or the looser the fit the more reliable it is.
I am old enough to have been around a lot of these old ones, we are talking 1911's here, to know that they rattled when ya shook em.
I think if you look at the history of weapon failures in combat it was due to close tolerance of the construction design of the weapon.
In the games and competitions we play I would say that a good close tolerance is what ya want because you are not betting your life on it.
If your wanting tha thing to go bang EVERY time, and betting your life on it, then a good loose fitting weapon is the route to go.

blessings, and a merry christmas to all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,694 Posts
Re: Re: why are 1911's so problematic ?

J Taylor said:
And just how many of these pistols follow JMB's original design?
Of course you realize that the Army changed JMB's original design with the grip angle and grip safety, just to name two items. There were several. So none of us own a JMB original design if they have a pistol built since 1911.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
346 Posts
t-tac said:
I find 1911's fall into 3 groups, brand doesn't matter, Model doesn't matter.

1) Awsome out of the box, blows a 1" hole dead center, no jams, perfect fit and finish.
This sounds like my Wilson CQB. No ftf, fte no nothing! It is without doubt the most reliable semi auto pistol I've ever owned or shot! I guess for the price, I shouldn't expect anything less.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
i wasn't trying to start a 'flame war' or anything like that, i love the 1911 style platform, it just bothers me that i see so many feeding, extraction, ect problems from people using them... and when someone reports that 'out of the first 200 rounds i had 5 malfunctions' ect, they treat it as if it's to be expected...

.. i just did a quick check of the current range reports, and on the first page alone roughly half the people reported some kind of malfunction with their firearm. comming from shooting mostly sig's and glocks, it almost seems comical :(


it seems many of the problems tend to be magazine related, but why would you ship a gun with a magazine that doesn't work reliably? and there was even a problem with a wilson mag on the first page. i dont know, i just get the impression that a majority of 1911's are 'hobby guns' more than an everyday, count on it to fire every time, self defense type. im sure there are a ton of people that have an ultra reliable 1911 that they trust their life with, but was it like that out of the box?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
73,854 Posts
The Army never looked at them as "hobby" guns, they were killing devices for taking into harm's way. If a person can't do the same with a new production gun then there's a problem.
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Top