Always carry at least 2.
This is a discussion on Trust no gun within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have three 1911's that I have owned and carried (one since 1998, one since 2001 and one since 2003). My other two 1911s don't ...
I have three 1911's that I have owned and carried (one since 1998, one since 2001 and one since 2003). My other two 1911s don't have a real track record yet so I can't include them. They have all had various amounts of work done to them from what I believe are some of the best gunsmiths available (opinion formed from my experiences but also largely from what I have read over the years on the internet and heard from other local shooters about the gunsmiths).
I still think highly of these gunsmiths but during and after the work that they performed I had to return to them numerous times to fix numerous oversights or errors prior to getting the jobs done right. I know that this is human nature and I don't claim to even be capable of learning their skill / art. I'm not bashing gunsmiths either (but you do need one with a good reputation, don't ask how I learned that!).
Once my guns were each completed, they were incredibly smooth, reliable and accurate. Since then, if I remember right, it was the sear that went out on two of the more expensive builds. This is strictly due to the round count / usage on the gun and nothing to do with the gunsmith's work.
For awhile I considered just buying Wilsons and not messing with builds anymore. I mean, a lifetime warranty is pretty tempting and
Wilson offers a lot of configurations. The bottom line for me is that even Wilson has gunsmiths that will tweak your gun and even though they use quality parts from the start, these parts will break. I also love my Colts and have just started another Colt build.
My last point / ramble: I have one 1911 that was purchased in 1998 and have had an excellent gunsmith do a reliability job on it in 2001. I am no good at keeping round counts but this gun has been perfectly reliable for such a large round count that I feel that I should retire it to range / plinking duties until a gunsmith goes through it. It is just a numbers game now on when something will break. You tend to think it will keep going but I would rather have "fresher" gun (broken in very well of course) for carry purposes.
You can do a lot to reduce the odds of a part failure and to increase the functional reliability, but, like everyone has pointed out, there is no guarantee of 100% functional reliability no matter what route you go. It is good to strive for the build the gives you the 99.99% reliability by using a good gunsmith and replacing MIM parts.
Always carry at least 2.
Les Baer 45
N.R.A. Patron Life Member
Would you take a bet that you favorite gun would fire two full magazines without a single failure, or the brakes on your car will stop you when you press the pedal? The wager is $500 vs your life. If they fail you are immediately dropped into an active volcano but if they work you get $500. Most people would sat that is crazy but we actually do it daily.
I don't know that the brakes on a Corvette are any more reliable than those on a Yugo, supposedly they stop you quicker. Is a Kimber any more relaible than a Taurus or will it just last longer. Just remember that the next time you are tailgating someone you are betting your life that your brakes will work.
If I believed my handgun wasn't reliable, I guess I would have to learn to throw knives.
Well maintained brakes and a well maintained firearm should work every time. If it didn't, I would a.) replace the brakes or b.) replace the firearm.
There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.
Who is John Galt?
I don't agree with most of the original post. I too have worked in design and manufacturing.I don't agree. I believe there are serious differences in quality.most of the major manufacturers are more or less equal nowadays in quality
I have great faith in the new techniques of manufacturing: better understanding and consistency of steels, more sophisticated hardening techniques (inductive heating, laser thermometers, neat things with inert gas), the wonderful advent of CNC machining (computer controlled machining), polymers, centerless grinding, CNC grinding improved lubricants, EDM (a CNC wire that cuts metal using electricity), laser cutting and engraving. There has been a corporate shift in mass production and quality control management too. These things are all for the better.
There have been improvements in consistency and pre-assembly parts testing that may not require guns to be test fired. Most new guns have true interchangeable parts. No hand fitting required.
Of course, quality must always be a goal of any manufacturing process for things to work reliably. I seriously doubt reputable gun manufactures have decided to cut corners to save money and release inferior products. I believe their constant aim is to improve precision and save money at the same time by employing clever manufacturing techniques.
I believe reliability in a mechanical device can be maximized by taking good care of it: keeping it clean (I mean clean!, buy an ultrasonic cleaner), avoiding damage or abuse, careful inspection for damages before they become catastrophic (yes, you can find damage early - they inspect and generally find flaws in airplane parts before the plane crashes), and following the correct schedule with respect to the life of parts (you wouldn't drive 100,000 miles on your car tires, would you fire 100,000 rounds out of 1 barrel?)
just my .02 cents
excellant post. giveya something to think about.
(SHERIFF BUFORD T. JUSTICE) "what the hell is
the world coming too"
NRA LIFE MEMBER
U.S. ARMY FT.SILL, OKLA.
A lot of good analogies have been brought up regarding how we rely on our own mechanical devices every day.
I have alway been amazed by turbine engines, myself. It is typical to have the compressor and turbine sections spinning at tens of thousands of RPMs while enduring incredible temperatures and pressures. They can go for thousands of hours between overhauls as well while we sit there at 30 to 40 thousand feet drinking our coffee and reading a paper not even thinking about it.
I'll gamble that my 1911 builds will work when needed just like the auto brake analogy.
Great post by nutz4uto who stated it all much better than I could have said it.
I Totally agree.
Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ
We used to fire a bunch of rounds through a 1911 to break it in, or more precisely, get all the parts moving against each other to wear down the high spots, so everything ran smoothly. Nowadays, it is more to make sure the parts are properly hardened and heat-treated, it seems. Fire it rapidly, so it gets good and hot. I had a DA auto's slide warp when I fired a mere one mag of rounds through it rapidly, and another weapon, a 1911, did the same with its extractor. The 1911 had previously been fired slow-fire, so it did not get warm, and it had worked through several mags. Another DA auto broke its firing pin after just a couple of hundred rounds.
One maker that I favor has gone downhill in fit and finish. Sharp edges inside the slide, where the customer does not see them, just may snag on something like a cartridge rim, during feeding. Yes, the company will fix them right quickly, but it's a shame to have to send a pistol back to fix something I can feel by running my finger along the feedway path.
its cheap yes, works generally well, but will never be as good as an experienced hand. Just be willing to pay for it.Time to start to learn some metal working and gun smithing! You already have a touch for it. That is the hardest part!it's a shame to have to send a pistol back to fix something I can feel by running my finger along the feedway path
"a reminder that no law can replace personal responsibility" - Bill Clinton 2010.
You are exactly right and the number of people that would rather just buy cheaper ones and complain so outnumber the ones willing to pay the extra cost that no one can afford to put that extra work into a product for such a small quantity.its cheap yes, works generally well, but will never be as good as an experienced hand. Just be willing to pay for it.
Craftmanship isn't dead but the market for it is on its last legs. I always find it funny that the people standing outside Wal-Mart protesting the fact that they are putting the little guy out of business go inside Wal-mart to have lunch while taking their break from protesting.