This is a discussion on 1911 reputation? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; People keep telling me that I'll have no end of problems from a 1911, but of the six I've owned, not one has given me ...
July 28th, 2007 11:10 AM
People keep telling me that I'll have no end of problems from a 1911, but of the six I've owned, not one has given me minute's worth of trouble(except for me loading up a batch of too-long ammo).
I'll take a .45 and a large side of JHPs, please.
July 28th, 2007 11:14 AM
I'm probably the only person on the planet who has no use for DAO pistols. It's been a long time since I've seen in print Jeff Cooper's famous observation that a double action semi-auto pistol design was a solution in search of a problem. Seems that it's OK to run rifles and shotguns which feature external safeties but a pistol so equipped is somehow complicated, difficult to operate under stress, and "unsafe". It's an embarrassment to hear some speak of the 1911 as complicated in a manner that almost implies that the speaker is dull-witted, incapable of learning the pistol's features. If DAO pistols were all that had been available for the past 110 years and a company brought out a design featuring a simple external safety, the use of which left the pistol with a delightfully crisp trigger, then it would be hailed far and wide as a breakthrough.
I purchased a 1918 vintage Colt Model 1911 for myself on my 21st birthday and still have it 29 years and thousands of rounds later. It is a correct military model but very worn. I have a Remington Rand contract 1911A1 and a Colt Gold Cup as well. I really don't consider the Gold Cup to be in the same league as the military models as far as reliability goes. It was marketed with a different purpose in mind. My military 1911's never jam and are more accurate than their reputation suggests.
The thing I would recommend to the newbie buying into the goodness of the 1911 is LEAVE IT ALONE! Just shoot it. Some brands perhaps require breaking in but don't give in to the temptation to customize it. Don't believe everything you hear or read about what a 1911 "needs" to run right or be accurate. Give the gun a chance in its stock form. Show me a balky 1911 .45 and I'll show you a pistol that has been fiddled with. There's gobs of them out there, lurking in gun shops and gun shows. Or in the gun safes of jazbos who have monkeyed with theirs and want to offload them on the next unsuspecting chump. If the newest Glocks, H&K's, SIG's, etc. were monkeyed with as much as is the poor 1911, none of them would run right either.
The 1911 doesn't need to be sawed on, changed up, modified, tricked out, full-length guide rodded, balanced and blueprinted, chopped and channeled, rolled and pleated, plumbed for nitrous, stuffed with three kinds of cheese with special sauce dribbled on top, or have Joe Champion's name engraved on it along with some sinister sounding model designation such as "Macho Blaster of Doom" in order to give complete shooting satisfaction and years of service. Spending $1000 to $3500 for a 1911 .45 is just insane! If one has the bucks and wants to, then git 'er done, but don't kid yourself into believing it's required or necessary.
I enjoy the original Colt product but have handled and fired a number of inexpensive 1911's that were great and offered good, reliable .45 shooting value to any pistolero.
July 28th, 2007 11:17 AM
QK i feel i should point out that i once bought a NIB steel commander ( was in the 80s ) that came shipped sans any sort of feed ramp on the frame whatsoever . How it made it out of colts qc i dont know , but none the less colts can and do have issues from time to time . I am not anti colt by any means , and i take my share of the blame for not inspecting the firearm on purchace . It was quickly resolved by returning it to the dealer where we BOTH inspected the replacement commander lol .
Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .
Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.
July 28th, 2007 11:21 AM
i tend to try to compare things to the chevy 350 in relationalship terms , such as what firearm(handgun)has more parts availbility at a fair price ?
where can you purchase said parts (where not can you?) ?
also familiarity, rarely are you going to encounter any trouble that wont be readily daignosed and easily fixed .
i own two chevy trucks , one a 91 sub4by the other 72 flatbed dually 1ton dump with 4on floor . yes it's a 350 . also a 06 mailibu no it has the 4banger .
now as with fuel the ammo aint cheap but how many of you toytruck drivers can carry 3 cord of firewood , or run 85 down the interstate with the air on (both of them) and nine comfortably seated folks?
i carry a 5" springfield mil-spec 1911A1 the mag catch i wore out ,sitting too deep in the frame causing the mags to jam when loading . 19 bucks later i'm back on the road so to speak . i like being able to throw big hunks of lead out there in a controled fashion and the weight of the 1911 lets you do that we'll call it traction .
i also owned a 75 blazer with rebuilt 350(750$) full soft top,i could reach in thru the window and fire it off ,every time . every time i pull my 1911(563$) out she fires off and there ain't a 2 liter pop bottle within 100 feet thats safe . no i can't put them thru the same hole but they all get one .
i've always been kinda utilitarian i've got a job to do and need the best tool for the job . it won't be the same for you as it is for me , my job is dif than yours . and best also includes value , my dream car is a diablo , not quite the best value is it . not saying that a carbon fiber aluminum alloy space polymer high cap 22 isn't a good gun or doesn't have it's place . just ain't right for me , i so wanted the XD in .45 to be right for me , i went to the gun range and as with the glock it lacked "traction" . also at the range the glock trigger spring broke wouldn't reset .
my advice would be to don't let anyone tell you anything about whats right for you . find out for yourself our range has all makes and cals of pistols for rent at 10 bucks each . weigh need or want verses price or weight or cal , mine shot good out of the box, did i carry it right away no, not till i built faith in it, and me because i didn't perform well right out the box.
as for reliability from a 1911 , how many race cars run hopped up 350's do they need tuned and adjusted yes, but their job is diff !
so power reliability value availbility traction familiarity all work for me , by the way i went bought a 870 12 gauge ,2 toms and a armadillo later , happy as a lark. i kind compare it to a honda 70 4 stroke LOL
good luck good shooting
July 28th, 2007 11:39 AM
One other thing.....
Well, it can't be too much of a problem, it's been around for a looooong time.
Originally Posted by DasBoot
“Is the 1911 .45 an outdated design”
Of course the 1911 is an outdated design. It came from an era when weapons were designed to win fights, not to avoid product liability lawsuits. It came from an era where it was the norm to learn how your weapon operated and to practice that operation until it became second nature, not to design the piece to the lowest common denominator. It came from an era in which our country tried to supply its fighting men with the best tools possible, unlike today, when our fighting men and women are issued hardware that was adopted because of international deal-making or the fact that the factory is in some well-connected congressman’s district.
Yes, beyond any shadow of a doubt, the 1911 IS an outdated design….and that’s exactly what I love about it.
– Rosco S. Benson
July 28th, 2007 04:18 PM
Senator Pogo2 rises...
I feel like Senator Pogo2 from the great state of 1911, rising in the Senate to defend a slur upon his state.
Originally Posted by DasBoot
I guess I have owned about a dozen 1911s since I got my first one 43 years ago. That first one was a Remington Rand parkerized US Army gun from WW2, and it ran just fine. Since then I have owned mainly Colts and one Kimber, and currently own eight 1911s. I shoot them frequently at the range, along with other types of guns.
I have had very few problems with my 1911s, and when I have had a problem or wanted some enhancement, I either dealt with it myself or handed it to a gunsmith. Over the years I have learned the basics of the 1911 and can diagnose most simple problems myself.
At this point I have shot maybe 40,000 rounds through 1911s, mainly .45 ball with a few 10mm's thrown in. I am quite happy with how they have worked, and don't consider them "problem children" at all. I trust their reliability enough to use one frequently for CCW, either a 4 inch Kimber or 3 inch Colt.
I think the poster should buy a 1911 of a quality brand such as Colt, Kimber, S&W, Wilson, etc. and expect it to work out of the box. I don't think he will be disappointed.
July 28th, 2007 05:26 PM
yawn yeah they are finky all right they dont like the crap mags you get at gun shows or crap ammo
There so bad i have over 15 of them
July 28th, 2007 05:36 PM
July 28th, 2007 05:42 PM
For "grab and go" with reliability, I recommend Glock, XD or a revolver.
I've shot a fair amount of IDPA and USPSA, and if there's one thing I'll attest to, it's that about 95% of the malfunctions I've witnessed over the past 10 years have been 1911s. Usually the malf is followed by excuses about ammo, magazines and such, but it's always a 1911 that's been in the shooter's hand! Yet many, as seen on this thread even, hail it as the greatest combat pistol ever built...hmmmm.
"It's a big gun when I carry it, it is also a big gun when I take it out” – Clint Smith
July 28th, 2007 06:04 PM
Yeah, but how many of those 1911's have been tweaked and tortured by their owners, their owners buds, or the local yokel 'smith?
After 89 years the front sight finally fell off my oldest Colt. In thousands of rounds it's never failed to feed and fire, passing all the points in QCshooter's excellent post. The other 1911's I own or have owned have all been completely reliable as have savvy friends' 1911's. They shoot them rather than customize them. Others I've known couldn't leave well enough alone and suffered the malfunctions and made the excuses.
For this grab and go business the only semi-auto pistols I'd accept are the full sized 1911 or a Hi-Power.
July 28th, 2007 06:17 PM
I've had the following:
- Para P16-40: zero malfunctions
- Para Nitwhawg .45 (p-10): zero malfunctions
- Llama mini-max: jam-o-matic, got rid if it as quick as I could
- Para CCW LDA .45: zero failures
- Para P14-45 LDA: Zero failures
- Kimber CDP Pro .40: Took about $200 dollars worth of work from EGW to make it run right, lost faith in that gun, sold it.
- Kimber CDP Compact. .45: zero failures, sold it, shouldn't have
- Colt Series 70 Combat Commander: Bone stock, bought as a project gun, decided to go in a different direction and sold it, but it had zero malfunctions.
- Springfield 1911A1 Loaded model (older model, still had slab sides):1
failure to feed and I was probably limp wristing as I was near the end of a 500 round shooting binge.
- Colt 5" XSE: Going on about 700 rounds, first two mags I fired I had two failures to lock back on empty, grabbed some Wilson mags out of the range bag, no more fail to lock back.
I've been hit and miss with Kimber and I won't buy another one.
I think that most of the problems with 1911s are that they aren't maintained properly, they do need a little more upkeep compared to Glocks and some people just don't want to do it.
Also, multiply X number of 1911s out there and then look at the number of complaints.
If it was as bad as some people make it out to be, I don't think we'd be shooting or carrying them. When you get into the shorter models, you tend to hear about more issues, but I wonder how many of those were caused by neglect. With the shorter models you need to change out the recoil springs more often.
All manufacturers will have a few guns that make it past QC with some issues, it happens. Most of my guns are used, the one's I've actually bought NIB from a shop have been trouble free, had I bought my Kimber CDP Pro new, I would have sent it back to the factory for repairs and not had to pay for it.
My advice is this, don't buy a used 1911 unless your familiar with them and know what to look for, there are too many amateur gunsmiths out there that can muck up a 1911, buy a gun with a lifetime warranty like Springfield, Colt, or S&W; go with manufacturers that haven't had as many complaints, or buy custom IE Les Baer, Wilson Combat, Ed Brown etc. etc.
I've shot Sigs, Glocks, Berettas, various S&W revolvers and autos, Springer XDs, HK USPs and alot of others and I keep coming back to the 1911
July 28th, 2007 06:42 PM
Which reminds me,
Originally Posted by JimmyC
when are they going to start shipping the bullet proof thigh cover with the Glock?
July 28th, 2007 06:43 PM
Keep it civil guys, this is one of those thread where "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say it at all" needs to be applied.
If this starts into a flame war posts are going to get deleted...
July 28th, 2007 06:47 PM
To clarify, the original poster is asking about reputation of a particular model, not what else he should be buying.
And the 1911 vs "X" has been beaten to death and does not need to be revisited.
July 28th, 2007 06:55 PM
Funny how any mention of 1911s brings a lot of folks to the table.
In absorbing all of this, I can only make the analogy of buying my first, and only, Harley.
Lots of folks said "Lots of problems with those Harleys! You'll always be working on it. They break down alot. Etc, etc, etc."
I've slept on the side of the road a few times.
Well, I bought that pig regardless and yes, there have been plenty of problems, but it's given me 28 yrs of service and memories that I wouldn't change for the world.
I runs flawlessly at this point.
But I never needed it to protect myself or my family.
I'm certain I will own a 1911 at some point if only to experience firsthand what that legendary firearm is really like.
More than likely it will be a Colt or possibly a S&W.
But right now, for CCW and defense, I'll opt for as near to total reliability as I can get.
I think SIG fits the bill.
The 1911 can wait.
Great posts by the way!
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