Unreliable 3 inch 1911s - Urban Legend?

This is a discussion on Unreliable 3 inch 1911s - Urban Legend? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Para Ordnance Slim Hawg goes "boom" every time. MIM and all... So does that $229 Kel Tec, too....

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Thread: Unreliable 3 inch 1911s - Urban Legend?

  1. #31
    Member Array Catalina's Avatar
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    Para Ordnance Slim Hawg goes "boom" every time. MIM and all...

    So does that $229 Kel Tec, too.
    Go Glock - until you can afford H&K

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  3. #32
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    Here's where I start laughing.

    Someone says something like, "the 1911 is 'known' for being problematic" and don't even consider that the 1911 is probably the most widely made gun on the planet.

    Glock makes Glocks. No one else can make Glocks. There is only one company, making perfecting and manufacturing the weapons. If the weapon starts failing and people start bad mouthing the Glock they have only one company and gun manufacturer to blame.

    Now.. the 1911 is made by almost every single stinken company that can make a decent firearm (and some that CAN'T make decent firearms). And so every time some off-name company (or even a well known company that's just sticking their toes in the water of 1911 making) turns out a bad gun, suddenly everyone points their fingers at poor John Moses Browning and blames the design of the gun because someone somewhere decided they'd get creative and the entire lineup gets a bad name.

    It simply isn't true.

    Our entire military was issued the 1911 for dozens of years and they didn't have time to run out and do break-in periods or buy new magazines, or change out their springs or any of that stuff, yet a number of them still have 1911s and still trust their lives to nothing BUT 1911s. Their experience with the Colts, Singers, Remington Rands, Ithacas, etc. was that they worked every time they needed it and it probably saved their lives a few times.

    People blame the design WAY too much. It's not the design. It's never been the design. The design has proven itself. If you are going to blame anyone, point out EXACTLY which company is making that 1911 and blame them.

  4. #33
    Senior Member Array Rustynuts's Avatar
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    I'm 50-50. My Kimber UC CDP II is flawless so far. SA Loaded Micro = suckage. Polished to a mirror, worked on twice as far as I know (bought used-first mistake), opened up the chamber. Still won't feed JHP. Had one good string of 50 with no failures, but normally at least one feed problem on EVERY mag! Kimber works fine with same ammo, same mags, same day, so it's not me, the ammo, or the mags, HAS to be the gun.

  5. #34
    Senior Member Array David III's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GotSig? View Post
    From what ive seen, experienced, and heard..........yes. Picky over ammo, picky over mags, over what time of day it is and the location of the moon. I get the 1911 thing, they shoot awesome and theres no better trigger out there, i just don't get having to spend 1000 bucks, then buy Brand W mags because the mags that came with my gun won't feed, then having issues with what hollowpoint it likes, or better yet send it to X the gunsmith so it will actually so what its supposed to, shoot anything i want, when i want.
    I guess I'm incredibly lucky then. After having 4 short 1911s and one Government (I have three short ones left, I sold a SA and now only have Colts), they will all feed dirt. But, so will Sigs. The only platform I've ever had a problem with is Glocks. If the shooter does not grip them reasonably tight, they'll jam. That's based on my wife shooting. My wholesale price for a G19 is $560. Wish I got the LE discount. My Colt Defender was about $600 maybe two years ago. I use W brand mags, but I did convert the Colt mags to W brand followers for $6 each. So, I guess you do have to pay more and do modifications to have a 1911. My favorite gun is a Sig P226, but I have never been able to afford one.
    I guess for me, it comes down to one thing. The guy who I trust the most in my life, and who served two tours in Vietnam, carries a Colt Officer's model. He knows more than I do, so I stay with the little Colts. If my wife had been able to shoot a G26 without it jamming every round, I'd still carry one. I thought it was a great gun.
    My personal thinking is that if a 3" 1911 works for you, then that's your gun. If it takes $1000 to buy one, then I guess you get what you pay for. I haven't had to pay that much, so I don't know.
    Is there another flat big bore handgun that I should consider?

  6. #35
    Member Array Waynefi's Avatar
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    I have been looking at the Para Carry 9 which is a 3", 8 shot 9MM. I have heard mixed feelings about the 3 inch, but that thin 1911 3" is a real flat nice size piece. I am a revolver guy in general, but really like the Carry 9.

    So I rented one last weekend, and shot about 125 rounds of 3 different brands of ammo, some hollow points all mixed together in the mag. Fast, slow whatever and I never had a jam or other issue. This was a rental gun, that was a bit dirty, and had about 1,000 rounds threw it. The guys there, and they are pretty honest, claim to not have any problems with that gun. PS: the gun was a lot of fun.

    So while I hear what every one says, but this little test went well.

  7. #36
    Senior Member Array Devone6's Avatar
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    limatunes,

    An excellent point! I had never thought of it that way, but it does really open an eye to the possible age of production (as many popular current pistols are just pups to the 1911), number, different models, companies, etc....., one might expierence with a 1911 and might use to condem the whole design.

  8. #37
    VIP Member Array raevan's Avatar
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    I have carried 1911's for over 40 years, the only problems I have had are when the feed lips of one WW2 mag spread to much and when another WW2 mag split at the seam, both were replaced with Wilson Mags 4 years ago.

    If we condemed a weapon because some models don't work, then the Military should have scrapped the M16 during Vietnam.

  9. #38
    Senior Member Array Vaquero 45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes View Post
    Our entire military was issued the 1911 for dozens of years and they didn't have time to run out and do break-in periods or buy new magazines, or change out their springs or any of that stuff, yet a number of them still have 1911s and still trust their lives to nothing BUT 1911s. Their experience with the Colts, Singers, Remington Rands, Ithacas, etc. was that they worked every time they needed it and it probably saved their lives a few times.

    People blame the design WAY too much. It's not the design. It's never been the design. The design has proven itself. If you are going to blame anyone, point out EXACTLY which company is making that 1911 and blame them.
    It's not the design, as long as you are talking about an actual 5" 1911, designed exactly as JMB intended, mass produced with loose tolerances, and firing 230 grain ball ammo. Any deviation from that standard is a corruption of that design, and subject to failure.

    When you start throwing JHP ammo, higher capacity mags, shorter barrels, different spring setups, modified extractors and other design changes into the mix, there's no telling what you'll get. Some companies can make 'em reliable, some can't.

    I don't carry a 1911, but if I did, it would be a Commander or full size. Not necessarily because of reliability, but I don't like the low velocity numbers out of stubby barrels with most 230 grain ammo. Plus, for me it's no problem to conceal a pistol with a little bit longer barrel. It's usually the grip that is hardest to conceal.

    Those 3" 1911's are cute, though!
    Slow is smooth.....smooth is fast.

  10. #39
    Senior Member Array Vaquero 45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raevan View Post
    If we condemed a weapon because some models don't work, then the Military should have scrapped the M16 during Vietnam.
    Well, actually........

    Nah, nevermind. That's a whole other thread!

    Slow is smooth.....smooth is fast.

  11. #40
    Member Array johnnyrigger's Avatar
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    I have a 3" defender, a Commander SS, and a WW1 Rep. "all Colts" the only problem i have had is when my wife put the recoil spring in backwards on he defender. and that was the only problem i have had. my wife and my self shot every weekend so we have about 5,000 rds on 230 gr ball ammo shoot in each 1911, well al but the WW1 thats in a case on the wall!! :) i love the 3" colt due to my smaller size, im 5'9 and 165 LBS and both conceal well but the 3" just fits me better. well thats my .02 cents.

  12. #41
    Member Array Mr_D's Avatar
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    I shoot 3" Kimbers and never had a problem.
    Mr_D

  13. #42
    Senior Member Array Herknav's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metro 40 View Post
    It's not the design, as long as you are talking about an actual 5" 1911, designed exactly as JMB intended, mass produced with loose tolerances, and firing 230 grain ball ammo. Any deviation from that standard is a corruption of that design, and subject to failure.
    Detonics was the first production (i.e. non-custom) 3.5" 1911 to be produced in any significant numbers. From what I've heard, these weren't 100% reliable. When Colt introduced the OACP (about 5 years later), they had problems getting it to work as well. I read somewhere that Bill Laughridge (of Cylinder & Slide) came in and made the OACP to run. It's now 25 years after Detonics brought it out. I think the manufacturers have learned a lot since then.

    My only question regarding 3"-ers is, "Why not shrink the grip by 3/8?" It's been done for a while, and reliably at that. If I'm going to carry an Officer's frame, it out to be a CCO format. YMMV

  14. #43
    Senior Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    All guns are subject to malfunctions. All guns are made by the hand of man. Some men make some things better than others.

    At one time I believed that Colt was THE name in 1911's. Not quite so true any more. For my 3" I chose SA and it has been flawless right out of the box. It goes where I go and I have every confidence in the world that if called upon to do so it will help me defend my life and that of others.

  15. #44
    VIP Member Array ELCruisr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metro 40 View Post

    I don't carry a 1911, but if I did, it would be a Commander or full size. Not necessarily because of reliability, but I don't like the low velocity numbers out of stubby barrels with most 230 grain ammo. Plus, for me it's no problem to conceal a pistol with a little bit longer barrel. It's usually the grip that is hardest to conceal.

    Those 3" 1911's are cute, though!
    Depending on the ammo you select the velocity loss is not what you might think. So much depends on the powder used. If you want to see some hard numbers look here at a test done by Steven Camp.

    http://www.1911forum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=93705
    If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good. ~ Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

  16. #45
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    Enough posters here (as well as other gun sites) told of their unreliable 3" 1911 pattern guns, I decided to go with a 4" instead.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


    Nemo Me Impune Lacesset

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