1911 reputation?

This is a discussion on 1911 reputation? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I own 5 handguns. 3 of them purchased from the same shop and the same guy at that shop. He is VERY knowledgeable and, more ...

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Thread: 1911 reputation?

  1. #1
    Member Array DasBoot's Avatar
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    1911 reputation?

    I own 5 handguns.
    3 of them purchased from the same shop and the same guy at that shop.
    He is VERY knowledgeable and, more important to me, has proven that I can trust him to steer me in the right direction.
    He's not JUST trying to make a sale.
    On more than one occassion he has suggested I take the LESS expensive item over the big ticket one because he didn't believe I would be happy with it.
    That being said, being in the market for a .45, I naturally inquired about the 1911.
    His immediate responce was "That's not for you. It's way too tempermental and finicky. I don't think you'll be happy with it."
    Needless to say, I was pretty shocked to hear that what with the history and lore behind that model.
    There's even a thread somewhere here about a guy who is having problems with his new 1911.
    So what gives?
    I know it's such a subjective question, but is the 1911 a bit of a problem child?
    I want a gun that, right out of the box, I can expect it to perform as intended w/o having to adjust this or replace that, etc.
    You insights please.
    TX!

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    The 1911 as originaly designed is a robust and reliable handgun that will show acceptable combat accuracy . The 1911 as sold today is considerably tightened up for better accuracy and problems can ( can not necessarily will ) turn up . Some times the problems go away as the moving parts seat themselves thro wear , sometimes they do not . It just depends on the specific problem, and how well the engineers for a specific company understand the finer points of Mr Brownings design , as well as the quality of metalurgy that is used . IMHO there is no better fighting handgun design to this day than the 1911 , however if you want a " grab and go " gun and are not willing to invest the time and effort to learn the action and what should / should not be done with/to it then the 1911 is not for you .
    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 .
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  4. #3
    Member Array citizen510's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DasBoot View Post
    I want a gun that, right out of the box, I can expect it to perform as intended w/o having to adjust this or replace that, etc.
    You insights please.
    TX!
    I have purchased 2 1911s in the last 3 months. I have never owned one before and had not done much reading about them. I have done alot of reading and learned alot about them since my first purchase.

    There is a break in period of 500-1000 rounds which costs plenty in .45 ammo. There are failure to feed issues, failure to return to battery issues and quirks and personality issues with each individual 1911. Both of mine are from Rock Island Armory and are completely different guns. It can get really frustrating trying to get to "broke in" status. So, if you really want something that is good to go out of the box, maybe a really good, used, broke in 1911 might work for you.

    I did not 'have to' change or modify anything on either of these guns. I did change the grips for looks and comfort, but the wood slats were on for the first 500 rounds on the first purchase. If you are not mechanically inclined, you may want to steer clear of 1911s. There are small pieces, springs, pins, etc. that make the complete dissembly and clean a little bit complex, but I am a locksmith by trade and I am used to mechanical things with small pins and springs.

    http://forum.m1911.org/forumdisplay.php?f=17
    has tons of info on various types of 1911s. I really like my Rocks and now that they are broke in, I carry one or the other for personal defense daily. I have owned and used a variety of semi-auto hand guns but I like the 1911 best...personal preferrence.
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  5. #4
    Distinguished Member Array Stetson's Avatar
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    I think everyone should have a 1911 in their collection if they can.
    It's a piece of American history.

  6. #5
    Member Array Jeremiah's Avatar
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    I've heard that 1911s can be finicky as well, especially under 4".
    I loved the trigger on a Kimber Ultra Carry enough to give it a try. I know someone who has an Ultra CDP and loves it as well.
    Got it home, tried it out with ball ammo, no problem. Went through all the different types of .45 I had and it fed them all. Haven't had a problem yet.
    With that being said, a friend of mine got a used Colt Commander, and it's not unusual for it to FTF even with ball ammo. Of course, he isn't known for cleaning his guns well or regularly, so that may not be the gun's fault.
    Bottom line, I wouldn't hesitate to get another quality 1911 that has the standard "work" done to it. As you said though, it's subjective.

  7. #6
    Member Array DasBoot's Avatar
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    however if you want a " grab and go " gun and are not willing to invest the time and effort to learn the action and what should / should not be done with/to it then the 1911 is not for you .
    You say that like expecting reliability at the outset is a bad thing.
    grab and go
    That's exactly what I want....and expect.
    Do you expect anthing less from a new car?
    invest the time and effort to learn the action and what should / should not be done with/to it
    I want to point it at something, pull the trigger, and have it spit out a projectile at a very high rate of speed.
    And I'd like it to repeat that scenario each time I perform each of the aforementioned actions.
    I don't want to have to sit with it over a candle lit dinner listening to Kenny G and asking it how it's day went!
    Is that asking too much?
    That being said, I'm sure I will purchase one someday just to experience it.

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    LOL Das then as i said the 1911 is not for you at this point in your life .

    You say that like expecting reliability at the outset is a bad thing.
    Quote:
    grab and go
    That's exactly what I want....and expect.
    Do you expect anthing less from a new car?
    Actually I expect quirks from anything with moving parts until the parts seat. This is just why i will not carry a firearm for defense unless and untill it has given 500 trouble free rounds . Note that that is not been shot 500 times , it is 500 rounds without malfunction that can be traced to the firearm .. operator error, ammo , and other stoppages not traceable to the firearm dont get held against it . So i guess you could say i just dont expect immediate out of the box reliability from any gun, and i have seldom been supprised . The 1911 is an exceptional design that has its own quirks which is not supprising since it has survived from a time when hand fitting was the norm to todays mim injection and assembly by semi trained orangitains .
    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.

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    1911s are very reliable after you break them in. but you have to be willing to do that. one way to help speed up the break in time is to sit at home and rack the slide over and over as if it were being shot. that will help with a lot of the break in period.
    in my opinion- well worth it. i love mine.

  10. #9
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    I think the problems are exaggerated sometimes. We always hear of 1911 problems from those that experience problems. I know many folks who have and no problems , even with 3" 1911's.
    If you consider a 1911, perhaps a full size, Colt, Springfield or other high tier brand would suit you better. Finally 1911 's were intended to work with FMJ bullets. HP's vary greatly in shape and design and may not work well in the original configuration .
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    There is an important piece of the puzzle missing here... Who made it? There are hundreds of 1911 makers out there, only a handful do I trust to make a good gun. This is why the rep. is the way it is.
    Maker x makes a POC 1911, maker y makes an excellent one. Both look the same and are 1911's. One is good the other is not.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    On top of that six crap like llamas , bas?? molinas ( the brazillian pistol that gets used in movies a lot as a 1911 due to the ease of converting it to blanks ) , and other odditys get lumped into the 1911 mistique when they are not and never have been a 1911 , tho the do superficialy resemble one .
    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.

  13. #12
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    Well, first of all when you say 1911 then you should be talking about a Colt firearm.

    When you're talking about a 1911 from any other maker then that is a Colt Clone pistol or a Copy Colt.

    A Colt clone not necessarily being a bad thing and sometimes a better thing when it comes down to some of the hi~dollar custom 1911s.

    A Colt pistol is NOT normally temperamental or finicky.

    In fact it is better known for being a true work-horse of a handgun.
    Also I would say that the vast majority of Factory Colt pistols do not require any break-in period as they come from the factory.

    Some tighter pistols from other makers do need a shoot in period.

    Truthfully, if you know what you are doing you can completely eliminate the break~in period for any handgun but, that is a subject for another day.

    There are a few things on a Colt pistol that need to be correct and once they ARE made correct it is pretty much an unstoppable machine.
    It would be the exact opposite of finicky and temperamental.

    It is Far More Important for the chopped/shortened slide Colts to be fit and tuned correctly and then they basically also work darn close to flawlessly.

    The bottom line is that every factory Colt should be expected to function flawlessly and feed and eject everything without a hitch.

    It should feed upside down and sideways and it should feed even when allowing the slide to move forward as slowly as possible.
    Ideally, you should be able to actually watch the cartridge being moved forward in the magazine & the bullet nose contact the frame ramp and move up into the barrel chamber while the rear of the cartridge pops up the breech face and on up into the extractor.
    You should NOT have to smack the rear of the slide to get that cartridge to chamber.

    It should feed when the slide is sling~shotted or using the slide stop/release.

    It should be expected to feed the first round and the last round in the magazine.

    It should feed a multitude of various cartridge configurations from the cheapest Military Surplus magazines.

    It should function as well with limp wrist as well as with a crushing grip.

    It should function minus any internal lubrication and it should function without ANY lubrication between the slide and frame rails.

    It should NOT need a full length guide rod.

    It should continue to function when it is filthy dirty.

    It should not need a recoil buffer to prevent the frame from getting battered.

    Read this next part carefully............

    If your personal Factory Colt 1911 Pistol FAILS to do any of the above then there is something WRONG with it...and it needs to be tuned rather than complaining about it - and it's possible to get a "street reliability package" done on it for $100 to $150 from a qualified gunsmith.
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  14. #13
    VIP Member Array Ti Carry's Avatar
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    +1 QK +1!

    And amazingly mine all function just like that! The Colt's that is......the others, well, some have needed a little loven to make them right just like you said.

    If your personal Factory Colt 1911 Pistol FAILS to do any of the above then there is something WRONG with it...and it needs to be tuned rather than complaining about it - and it's possible to get a "street reliability package" done on it for $100 to $150 from a qualified gunsmith.


    Ti
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    Member Array Ten_Ring's Avatar
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    I'll add this, the two main problems with a 1911 or "clone" is either magazine or extractor related. Theses two will give you fits if you don't know what to look for.
    If the mag lips are not true or the spring is weak you can have problems out the ying-yang when it comes to feed issues.
    The extractor will give you fits in both the feed and ejection stages. A cocked extractor will do all kinds of wacky thing on ejection and a loose one will cause FTE. One too tight will cause FTRB.....the list goes on. A 1911 or "clone" is a temperamental tool if not tuned or kept in tune.
    Once you learn what's what and tune it, you will have a great pistol that will feed a cinder block without a hick-up.
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    OPFOR is studiously staying out of this thread...
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