Unreliable 3 inch 1911s - Urban Legend? - Page 4

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; The short barreled 1911 format pistolas can be totally reliable. BUT, due to the nature of their chopped top end, everything concerning the way they ...

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Thread: Unreliable 3 inch 1911s - Urban Legend?

  1. #46
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    I'll Chime In

    The short barreled 1911 format pistolas can be totally reliable.
    BUT, due to the nature of their chopped top end, everything concerning the way they are put together "up top" is far more critical.

    There are logical reasons for this and they are the increased feed angle - less slide mass - less recoil spring space & a couple of other things.

    SO...
    > The extractor needs to be perfectly fit and tensioned.
    >Its hook should be modified to more easily release the cartrige case on extraction/ejection.
    >The breech face surface needs to be smooth.
    >Barrel & "bushing to barrel" fit are critical.
    >Barrel ramp & chamber opening should be polished.
    >Magazine feed lips should not bite hard into the top cartridge case.
    >The slide & frame rails should be lightly lapped smooth to decrease friction.
    >The slide disconnector run should be polished.
    >Magazine springs should not be overly strong or +power.
    > The pistol needs a properly engineered (and/or correct weight) recoil spring system.

    So let's say that stubby 1911s CAN BE made to be highly reliable.
    No pistol benefits more from a qualified "going over" by a talented custom gun smith. Because the top end can not just be quickly assembed by grabbing various parts out of the parts bins and the final pistol be expected to function 100%.
    Just my opinion on that.
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  2. #47
    Senior Member Array kahrcarrier's Avatar
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    I have an older SA Ultra-Compact with the 3 1/2" barrel that I purchased new sometime in the 1990's, and I am forced to admit it has some reliability problems.

  3. #48
    Member Array LVLabs's Avatar
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    QK Wrote:
    So let's say that stubby 1911s CAN BE made to be highly reliable.
    No pistol benefits more from a qualified "going over" by a talented custom gun smith. Because the top end can not just be quickly assembed by grabbing various parts out of the parts bins and the final pistol be expected to function 100%.
    I agree with this. I have had two shorties, still have the UCDP but both had some issues of FTF, stove piping, etc, both are IE's so no ejection issues. Could have been a break in issue but I am not tolerant enough to wait for that. The stock mag could have been the other potential issue but I am not to sure about that now as they run just fine with any mag now, although the mag might not of liked something just enough to cause issues?

    I sent them both to my excellent gun smith for a tune and they run like a Glock now. They have never even considered not running since then. The thing I dislike is that I had to do this in order to get the gun's to run right. Again, this could have been a break-in issue but when is enough, enough? 1000rds, 1,500, 2000rds? I am not willing to be pissed off for that long. I sent mine in at about 800 very angry rds through them both.

    I have since gone to much simpler platforms such as HK, Glock and XD's, all have ran like thoroughbreds since day one out of the box, they never have an issue, they never need a gun smith and they never miss a beat.

    1911's are great gun's but if I have to send them to time out to fix problems I am not interested. On the other hand, I also have commander and government models that have been perfect since day one. Even the 9mm Springfield Loaded that has been flawless that everyone said would be a problem.

    So, bottom line. I believe and know the sub 4" 1911's can be picky if not tuned/assembled correctly from the factory. High production IMO causes these correctable issues we here about online. Manufacturers just don't want to take the time to do it right.

  4. #49
    Senior Member Array Slim_45's Avatar
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    This is how i fixed those pesky little 1911 problems
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  5. #50
    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    guess my 3" 1911 didnt get the memo

  6. #51
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    So far no issues with dozens of UC's and UCDPs' delivered and getting hard use in the field. PM me for dealer pricing.

    Show me a simpler design that has as nice a trigger and thin sides and is as safe as the Kmber in 45ACP and I'd carry it.

    Besides, even a gun that has had no malfunctions in the past will, in the future, sooner or later, for any number of reasons, stop running. Denial is no excuse for not having a BUG.
    Liberty, Property, or Death - Jonathan Gardner's powder horn inscription 1776

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    ("Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it.")
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  7. #52
    Senior Member Array Sarge45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes View Post
    Here's where I start laughing.

    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.

    Good job Lima. Exactly correct.

  8. #53
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    I had a 3 inch Kimber ultra carry.

    Loved the gun...except for the plunger tube coming off the frame...

    And how the gun decided it liked to just lock open while I was shooting hardball...

    And the time it decided to start feeding rounds IN FRONT of the extractor...

    And when it was returned from the factory after being services it was sent to me with a broken recoil assembly...

    And when it took three weeks to get the part in the mail to me...

    3 inch 1911's...mine sucked.

    You can have them...and Kimber in general.

    I'll stick with a company that doesn't return you a broken gun when servicing an unreliable one.

  9. #54
    Member Array airbornerangerboogie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    Not to get into it again, but have you ever heard of ANYONE, ANYWHERE, who bought four Glocks or Sigs and had to send two of them back to get worked on.
    No, but I know a whole bunch who say the glock; grip, trigger, and handling sucks....(not to get back into anything)
    “Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today.” James Dean
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  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by airbornerangerboogie View Post
    No, but I know a whole bunch who say the glock; grip, trigger, and handling sucks....(not to get back into anything)
    Touche, but those are subjective complaints. "The thing don't work!" is an objective complaint.

    And to Lima, you're right - there are so many companies making 1911 pattern pistols, it's hard to paint them all with the same brush. However, just in this thread we've had bad experiences with Colts (x2), Kimbers (x3), Springers (x6), Para-Ordnance and Curtis Lemay.

    I know, everyone makes a lemon now and again. I know, the 1911 has a long and illustrious track record. I know this is just the internet, and what could anyone learn from here? I know, I know, I know... And I also know that brand/platform loyalty can spit in the face of facts all day long and come up grinnin'.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  11. #56
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    It's the same old story. Folks that buy a bad Glock hate Glocks and folks who bought a Glock when they were rail-cracking will never buy another one.

    Somebody purchases a bad KelTec P3AT & they condemn the P3AT while 6 people who bought a flawless one sing praises of them.
    A shooter that bought a LEMON full size Colt or Colt clone (had all sorts of function problems) and then went out and bought a chopped 1911 will swear that the full size Colts are no good and the chopped versions are 100% reliable.

    It's a normal human reaction to paying good money for anything that does not work properly.
    You go buy a SONY TV and it's DOA then SONY TVs suck.
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  12. #57
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    I Have a Question for OPFOR...

    How many 1911s have you personally owned or had issues with?

    I'm a little new here still, but I'm betting you don't own any, nor ever have, so I kind of have to wonder exactly what makes you think your an expert on the deficiencies of the 1911. If I wanted advice on the 1911, I'd ask the people that own them, have owned them, and will continue to own them, based on my reading here, the guys I want to talk to are OD, PingPing, and Bud White, not the guy who has never owned one.

    Anyway, getting back on topic.

    I've had quite a few 1911s, and have moved on, but it was not due to mechanical issues, I just wanted something lighter, with more rounds.

    I haven't had much experience with the 3" 1911s as I've ever had two, but those two worked fine and dandy out of the box, one Colt Defender and one Springfield Ultra Compact, I just didn't like the 3" 1911 as a whole, and decided to go with a poly 9mm

    Are there some lemons out there? Sure, do some guns need to be sent back? Sure, heck even some Sigs have to go back sometimes, and I've heard rumors ( Yeah RUMORS as I have never had issues with them, that Sig has bad customer service)

    From what I've heard Kimber is probably the worst to go with, not due to any current issues, but mainly because of the external extractor and MIM parts issue, and they are struggling to get out of that light. I also think that the fact that in the Kimber instruction manual it suggests a break in period, that people get a little worried, and surely some horror stories come from those that can't RTFM, and report problems and make a fuss at 150 rounds not knowing that the book recommends a 500 rd break in. Now personally, I want mine to work out of the box and not "need" a break in, and that's why I've never messed with Kimber.

    I think another part of the problem is that 1911s aren't "cookie cutter" guns. And some fitting is required, and looking at today's manufacturing techniques going to mainly automated systems, I'm not surprised things may be going to pot on the 1911, they just aren't being made like they used to. Also as mentioned above, the altering the tolerances may also be an issue.

    But seeing as how some of the custom guns, made more by people than machine are just as tight if not tighter, run just fine.

    Also a good thing to ask and to think about is why do Wilson Combat, Les Baer, Nighthawk Custom, Ed Brown, Rock River, etc. etc. not offer a 3" 1911? IIRC Wilsons shortest bbl length is 3.6" as well is NHC, while LB 's smallest gun is the Stinger with a true 4.25" Commander length bbl.

    I think the bottom line is that while there are some case of issues, I don't think slamming the genre as a whole is justifiable, if I were to judge every Glock by the four or five I've seen being shot incorrectly (limp wristing) causing jams, I'd say that they are all crap.

    If the maker of the gun can make it right, it's fine with me, but I won't carry anything I don't trust to run 100%

    I look at it like this, on the 3" guns, you're taking a gamble with the odds being slightly more in your favor.

  13. #58
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    My being upset at Kimber was more at the lousy customer service I received.

    I can forgive a bad gun, provided the service is commensurate with the failure I experience.

    I had a problem with a Kahr PM40 Covert, and Kahr jumped on my problem.

    I sent the gun off and 8 days later it was returned in like new condition.

    While I was pissed I had to send the gun back because it should have worked out of the box, I would buy another Kahr based on the service I experienced.

    Kimber...

    Eh.

    Not even if it was free.

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchellCT View Post
    My being upset at Kimber was more at the lousy customer service I received.

    I can forgive a bad gun, provided the service is commensurate with the failure I experience.

    I had a problem with a Kahr PM40 Covert, and Kahr jumped on my problem.

    I sent the gun off and 8 days later it was returned in like new condition.

    While I was pissed I had to send the gun back because it should have worked out of the box, I would buy another Kahr based on the service I experienced.

    Kimber...

    Eh.

    Not even if it was free.
    I've heard that about Kimber, yet another reason I wouldn't buy from them.

  15. #60
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    I've owned exactly 0 1911s. I've also never lived through the Byzantine era, but somehow managed to get a degree in History. I've also never been shot, but I'm pretty sure - based on reading about it, seeing it happen to other people, and hearing the experiences of others - that it sucks.

    Even if I had owned 100 1911s, that would still only give me a statistically insignificant sample. I can only go on the collective (and reported) experiences of the entire universe of 1911 owners/users. Your argument is fundamentally flawed, in that individual experiences are much LESS usefull than broad trends... And asking 1911 devotees (the ones one would assume have the most experience) isn't exactly the best idea if you're looking for unbiased opinions, is it?

    It still gives me a chuckle that people will deny the huge number of negative experiences in favor of the "mine's OK" response. I'm sure yours is OK. I'm sure the majority of them are OK. I'm also sure that they have more reported issues than any other handgun that even approaches them in popularity. Doesn't mean I don't like ya as a person...
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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