When I first got my Colt WWI 1911 Reproduction close to a year ago, after a month it had this scary malfunction: the slide would stay open as if the gun was unloaded after shooting quite a few rounds, like the mag was now empty. So, with both occurring you assume it's unloaded.
SURPRISE! IT WASN'T: it still had a live round in it! Great.
Gets even better: I noticed this while a young family member was shooting it! Luckily I was watching him like a hawk and after the slide had remained open, noticed a live round fall out when he dropped the magazine. I immediately told him to put the gun down and leave the lane. I checked it three times to make sure it was unloaded, took it home and back to Colt it went the next day.
They replaced the extractor and sent it back. Worked fine.
Until 2 weeks ago. Starting having Failures to Extract, then live rounds would get stuck half in, half out of the barrel and have to be removed by range personnel carefully with tools. I thought it was maybe grease which I had tried for the first time, or limp-wristing. So out with the grease, back to the oil, watched carefully for limp-wristing and: first round stuck in the barrel. I asked a range worker to watch me shoot. HE saw the problem. As the slide cycled after a shot, the HAMMER FELL ON IT'S OWN, no trigger pull from me, I was pausing for the next shot - which never came as a bullet would get jammed in the barrel.
He then did a test: racked the slide quickly and multiple times and sure enough, the hammer would fall on it's own. It fell then to the half-notch, what it fell to when I was shooting during the 2 weeks prior I've no idea. Hopefully not all the way to the firing mechanism.
This problem I found out is called "Hammer-Follow" (or "Follow Down" or "Hammer-Follow-Down").:
" "Hammer Follow" is when the hammer falls simultaneously with the release of the slide when initially charging the 1911. When it occurs, unless special steps are taken, the gun will fire. (An important safety rule is to always keep the muzzle of the gun pointed in a safe direction.)- Preventing 1911 Hammer Follow
It's extremely dangerous. Your gun can (and I've read a post on another forum from someone's whose did) suddenly go into full automatic mode, spraying bullets all over the place though you are not touching the trigger. Poster said it was terrifying, the gun jumping all over the place in his hand firing round after round. And his was 1911-type .380. Mine is a .45!
Back to Colt it's going. I bought a great Sig 220 (see my other thread about it). I don't think I'll trust the 1911 to Carry even though I'm sure it will be fixed. Too freaky a gun.