Some thoughts on the 1911

This is a discussion on Some thoughts on the 1911 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I read a post elsewhere by former Marine sniper Steve Reichert about the troubles MARSOC is having with their 1911's down range. It seems that ...

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Thread: Some thoughts on the 1911

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    VIP Member Array old grunt's Avatar
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    Some thoughts on the 1911

    I read a post elsewhere by former Marine sniper Steve Reichert about the troubles MARSOC is having with their 1911's down range. It seems that the once super reliable military 1911 is not holding up in the environments our troops are operating in today. This made me think(and respond to Steve) that maybe in the 'evolution' of this gun we have tightened the tolerances up so much, among other things, that we have made a pistol designed originally for military service into something else. I posted in another thread that as you get older you realize you don't need to spend big bucks to make a 1911 reliable. I'm starting to think in an effort to make the 1911 more appealing to a civilian market we 'tweaked' the gun too much and reliability and durability suffered. My GI 45 that I had in the 82d was loose(it was 40 years old also)BUT it always went BANG. I submit to my friends here that we need to keep weapons as close to their original design intent as possible. How else can you explain a weapon that served GI's and Marines in 4 major wars and numerous smaller actions and was known for it's 'framing hammer' reliability is now causing problems for today's warriors? I would venture to say that with the exception of better sights and maybe the plunger tube being made part of the frame.... Leave Brownings design alone. Curious to hear your thoughts. Thanks !,
    Last edited by old grunt; September 2nd, 2013 at 02:02 PM.
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    It is what it is.

    If other manufacturers can make a product that "goes bang every time" and it doesn't malfunction under any circumstances, then maybe, just maybe the malfunctioning product is in fact inferior for todays market.
    That is what drive industry, customer satisfaction and the world.
    If the requirement is to make a product that goes bang every time, and you don't need to hit the broadside of a barn from the inside, then OK.
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    Fine sand. That's the thing I encountered over there that would lock up any weapon, even the 92F and the M16.

    I even encountered total lockup of my G26 when conducting seawater testing. I found that if I dunked it in the shallow surf loaded with churned up sand, that sand would get into every crevice of the gun and completely seize up the action, including trigger.

    Now, I'm not aware of the particular problem with the MARSOC guns, but from my experience, poor maintenance combined with environments are disaster on any weapon.
    I have also noticed that even though Colts seem to be a bit tighter than they once were built, they are still considerably looser than other makers with respect to slide fit.
    But a loose slide fit is not the thing that determines accuracy. It's the slide to barrel and bushing fit.

    My guess here, and this is only a guess, is that since the handguns are not the primary weapon, they stay holstered for periods of time and neglected because of the assumption that they are protected from the elements.
    And when they are cleaned, they are oiled.

    The Colt will operate just fine with no oil or lube, regardless of Inet folklore.
    IMO it's probably a neglect and poor training issue other than an inherent problem with the design.
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    Every 1911 I used in the Corps (combat & requal) rattled like a windchime...and went bang every time. None would drive tacks, but COM was never a problem.
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    I think you got it right. I think it all started in the 90s with the practical shooting competitions and need for 'better' parts this and that. The sports saved an industry, but the tolerances are now so tight that the design, if not custom made by the best, unreliable. I recall building my own match guns from sratch, and they were reliable (with occasional malfunction in every match due to mostly reloaded ammo) shooters.

    1911 is the gun I know the best after hundreds of thousands of rounds through it, but I prefer to carry a Glock (among others) now. I can't carry my self-made 1911 due to legal reasons (yup, I belive in Ayoob), and every 1911 I've bough (not the $3000 ones) has been unreliable.

    Kind of sad, because it's a hell of a gun.
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    I loved those forty-something 1911s I carried in the army, as well. I agree with all the OP said. If guns like this one weren't so costly for what I would be using them for, I would likely be carrying one right now:
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    Quote Originally Posted by old grunt View Post
    I read a post elsewhere by former Marine sniper Steve Reichert about the troubles MARSOC is having with their 1911's down range. It seems that the once super reliable military 1911 is not holding up in the environments our troops are operating in today. This made me think(and respond to Steve) that maybe in the 'evolution' of this gun we have tightened the tolerances up so much, among other things, that we have made a pistol designed originally for military service into something else. I posted in another thread that as you get older you realize you don't need to spent big bucks to make a 1911 reliable. I'm starting to think in an effort to make the 1911 more appealing to a civilian market we 'tweaked' the gun too much and reliability and durability suffered. My GI 45 that I had in the 82d was loose(it was 40 years old also)BUT it always went BANG. I submit to my friends here that we need to keep weapons as close to their original design intent as possible. How else can you explain a weapon that served GI's and Marines in 4 major wars and numerous smaller actions and was known for it's 'framing hammer' reliability is now causing problems for today's warriors? I would venture to say that with the exception of better sights and maybe the plunger tube being made part of the frame.... Leave Brownings design alone. Curious to hear your thoughts. Thanks !,
    Wonder what exact 1911 they're using? It may be that. I remember when Army first switched to Beretta M-series, there was some problem, forgot exactly what it was. Beretta re-designed all their 92s of that era to take care of the issue. I also know Army still has some problems occasionally with sand and the Beretta and several weapons, sand is little rocks in your gun - the problems are tolerable in numbers but not real relaxing for the poor guy who has the problem.

    Marines may use a "too-modified" 1911 to try to give supreme accuracy instead of going for simple like the originals . On the other hand, I think LA Swat uses 1911s as well as a few other special-teams Police in other areas - and no report of problems that I know of. As a test, these guys should have bought for them a few other 1911s to check the difference. They may have picked the wrong gun or given the manufacturer too many requirements and new specs in design for their own good.

    I Carry revolvers mostly for the same principle you mention. They're the same old basic design as they have been for decades and decades, simple in operating mechanics etc.: "Same old, same old" is sometimes better as you say. (Except for the RHINO, that is, I fired one once - lousy trigger, overly complicated mechanics and you still get recoil, that's physics, just slams your hand straight back instead of at an angle that brings the gun up. - And, for me at least, U-G-L-EEEEEE - I wouldn't want even a BG to see me with such poor taste.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    But a loose slide fit is not the thing that determines accuracy. It's the slide to barrel and bushing fit.
    Correct lower lug size/cut so that the barrel locks up solidly with lugs on the crosspin and the link bearing no load is also important in 1911 accuracy.
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    I don't have much experience with 1911s. But I will say that a few of my autos that have a bit of a rattle when you shake them, never malfunction. Guns like my Ruger P90 may not be the finest of all handguns, but it is accurate and utterly reliable.
    old grunt likes this.
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    "If it rattles, take it to battle"

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    If you have ever spent time in the dessert you leaned a few things.
    There is more clay dust than sand in many. Clay dust and weapon lube form a kind of cement. No ones stuff works prefect there not even the over rated AK47.
    The older 1911's had a bit more play in them, they lasted so long and worked so well as they wore from normal use. And still kept firing they could stand up to more build up
    New stuff can be made to well. Don't hand me that clean it more stuff. If you do you spent your time back at some rear support unit.
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    Match quality and combat quality are not necessarily the same.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Match quality and combat quality are not necessarily the same.
    Bingo! ;-)
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    If they are having trouble with the Colts, my Dan Wesson Valor would really be in trouble. The Ruger SR1911s that I have looked at should work great, they rattle almost as bad as the 1911 I had in Viet Nam.
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    The military contract guns I've owned and used over the years have always been dependable and more accurate than they're generally given credit for. This World War I era Colt Model 1911 probably has a long and interesting tale to tell as it was also the subject of an World War II Augusta Arsenal rebuild. It's given perfect function with heavy use for the 35 years I've had it and "coffee can accuracy" to 25 yards (if I do my part). That's practical, useful, "good 'nuff" accuracy. A Remington Rand 1911 A1 kept around here is just as dependable and scares a Colt Gold Cup that I have for accuracy. I've owned an Ithaca contract 1911 A1 in the distant past that always gave good function and practical accuracy. A Colt Government Model I picked up first of last year has been great. Completely unfussy. I admire Colt and other military contract 1911s and 1911 A1s along with the Colt commercial models. Like full-sized pistols best. Still would like to buy a brand new Colt Government Model at some point but believe I'll mostly stick with the familiar "tried and true" rather than attempt any clones of the 1911 design. I'm not used to drama with 1911 guns and don't need it. As it is, after personal observation, I equate the 1911 with the vaunted Glock for ultimate automatic pistol reliability.

    Our Marine son is about to be re-deployed to Afghanistan. Given his duty this go-'round, he needs my ol' 1911 Colt real bad, along with proper magazines, pouches, and ammo. He'll get an M9 that might be dodgy and might not be dodgy. Oh, if I could only send the old Colt along with him.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

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