Discouraged - my first and last 1911?

This is a discussion on Discouraged - my first and last 1911? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Decided I wanted a 1911 back in the spring. So after a lot of reading I sucked it up and bought a commander size S&W ...

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Thread: Discouraged - my first and last 1911?

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    Member Array contented's Avatar
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    Discouraged - my first and last 1911?

    Decided I wanted a 1911 back in the spring. So after a lot of reading I sucked it up and bought a commander size S&W 1911SC-E, which had a retail price of over $1,300. Simple me, I thought with a gun of that price I wouldn't have any problems. But there is a learning curve with this 1911 platform. :-(

    First it was the 8 round factory mag, I could barely force the 8th round into it and it was next to impossible to insert it into the gun with the slide closed. So, after a lot more reading I buy three chip McCormick mags. Much to my chagrin, the gun didn't like any of these mags. Failure to lock the slide back after last shot, stove pipes, nosedives, or rounds standing straight up. :-(. So I buy two Wilson Combat mags, problems solved, but $115 wasted on Chip's mags. Never could understand why chip's mags wouldn't work. :-(

    So, finally I'm liking this gun, shooting it a lot and getting fairly good with it. A little under 2,000 rounds down range.

    Yesterday, after three rounds out of a mag the trigger locks up and I discover that the "housing" that contains a spring loaded rod that goes between the slide lock lever and thumb safety has partially broken and rotated upward. See picture. When I look at the back side of the piece it appears one of the two mounting studs has broken. So I ask myself, "is this what they mean about mim parts?"

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1379584962.254386.jpg
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1379584991.079329.jpg

    I am constantly reading about the genius of John Browning and his 1911, yet how is it that such a "wonderful" platform can't even standardize magazines? Why can't manufacturers include magazines that do what they advertise. Why, why, why........

    I'll be calling S&W, but I think I've had it with 1911's. Could have bought three other guns for the price of this one. Maybe I'll but another Ruger or (gasp) even look at Glocks.

    Thoroughly disgusted. Rant over.
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    Senior Member Array sonnycrocket's Avatar
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    wow never seen that happen before,thats BS id be pissed too but I would not give up so soon on 1911s.......
    They really are reliable.. Maybe that frame being Scandium is an issue,id ask around at the 1911 Forum

    The good news is S&W has one of the best CSRs I ever worked with and im positive
    they will get your fixed up
    USM1976, Jaeger and maxwell97 like this.

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    I understand your frustration. After years of issues, mainly reliability, I finally, with the help of knowledge from people who understand the design got it right.

    My opinion. S&W is not a true 1911 design. They deviate in the area of their extractor. JMB didn't make it that way.
    Also, your plunger was not properly staked.

    Solution; trade it for a Colt and don't look back. They are the original maker and know what they are doing. You get a lot more gun for the money, even with a standsrd Gov model. Very few mims parts in non critical areas and, a solid forged steel frame.

    That's my 2 cents. For the cost of that S&W, or Kimber, you could have a solid steel gun with everything as it should be with enough money left to buy some ammo and a good holster.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    Plunger tube came unstaked on one side

    From your photos it looks like a 1911 part called the "plunger tube" came partially unstaked. This tube holds a spring internally that applies pressure to the slide stop on one end and the thumb safety on the other end, so it does double duty. The plunger tube is "staked" to the frame of the gun - it has two small pins that fit into two small holes on the frame and then are fastened to the frame by "staking", which is using a tool to spread the end of the pins, locking them in place on the frame. The fix of your problem is simple - use a punch of the right diameter to re-stake the pin that came loose. If you are handy with tools you can do it yourself - otherwise you need a gunsmith.

    I would guess that the original staking of the plunger tube at the S&W factory was not done well. So it needs to be repaired or the gun won't function.

    But this is not the first time that a gun has failed and needed repair. Unfortunately, the fact that the gun cost $1,300 does not guarantee it will not have a problem. I have had problems with guns costing more than that, and they were sometimes 1911 style guns.

    Here is a photo from Brownells of a plunger tube:

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    I am with glockman on this. S&W makes great wheel guns but I have never liked their semi-autos. I own three 1911s and love them.
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    I agree with Gman with the additional recommendation of Springfield.
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    VIP Member Array Ksgunner's Avatar
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    So if you buy a brand new car and it ends up with a recall does that mean you will never buy that type of car again? jus wonderin

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    Sucks your pistol broke and is giving you problems. Deviations from the original design may cause even more headaches. So many makers / models/ pistols out there I think some are bound to have issues. As for mags , my Springfield works best with factory mags. Wilson's are ok and the chip McCormick didn't work well at all.
    At least you have a good company to deal with as far as warrany work.
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    mkh
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ksgunner View Post
    So if you buy a brand new car and it ends up with a recall does that mean you will never buy that type of car again? jus wonderin
    Or swear off all cars?

    I had the same thought you did but you beat me to it.

    Browning did a great design job. Some manufacturers screw it up.

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    Member Array wondering's Avatar
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    Are 1911's normally this finicky with magazines? I have read more than a few posts of people having issues with mags working with their particular 1911.

    Also, I was looking at a S&W 1911 earlier but a few posts about their issues have me looking at other manufacturer's.

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    Distinguished Member Array Glock2201's Avatar
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    I don't know what the OP has been using for ammo but is this something that could have been caused by some hotter handloads?

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    Alas, many 1911s aren't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Alas, many 1911s aren't.
    And even if they are, if they are not properly hand fitted, they will still cause you grief.

    That design just does not lend itself well to the modern manufacturing process. Sometimes you can even get lucky and get one off the line that works as intended.

    I have said it before and I say it again, unless you have the knowledge, skill and tools (not to mention inclination) to be your own gunsmith, the 1911 is not the best choice of defensive handguns. You just really have to be willing to tinker with it on a regular basis to get the most out of one. Now, to be fair, if you have one that works and is maintained in a proper fashion, the 1911 just can't be beat. The problem is that those are few and far between.
    "Mind own business"
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    Senior Member Array RightyLefty's Avatar
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    Agree with others who said buy a Colt or a Springfield. You could also have saved yourself $500-600 and had yourself a Ruger SR1911 which for the price is really nice quality 1911. I am a fan of S&W and own M&Ps but I am with glockman on this and the external extractor being a major turnoff for me. Same goes with Sigs, really nice guns, but I wouldn't buy a 1911 from them for the same reason.

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    I don't have a 1911 but I can certainly empathize with your problem. Good luck and I hope you can resolve your problems.
    Last edited by Str8upguy; September 19th, 2013 at 04:55 PM.
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