This is a discussion on This should stir up a hornet's nest. within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by edr9x23super For all the 1911 Owners: I have always advocated since day 1 that if you want a 1911 you can bet ...
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I'm way late to the party but I've got to make a comment in regard to 1911s.
The two statements in the OP I hear and read that often. Like at least once a week often.
1911s break. Parts seize up and fail. They are finicky. Etc. etc. ad infinitum...and this is all we ever see as 'instructors' during courses.
Yeah okay, but who are these people you are instructing, and at what level of training and function are they themself, and what condition was there gear in to start as cold before a round was fired?
In every sport I've ever participated in that involved equipment from track (spikes) to baseball (glove and bat), tournament paintball (marker, tank, feed system, and ammo tubes), autocross, kayaking and even tournament volleyball...not to mention IDPA (!) there has always been equipment failure.
And that equipment failure to my own eye as a trainer, instructor, and participant does come from a large majority degree not from poor equipment or equipment inherently being failure prone by design but due to the operator exhibiting poor maintenance skills, having low if any maintenance regimen, and/or the operator simply having zero clue or care toward proper maintenance and care of their equipment.
With 1911s in specific it is well known that proper lubrication is required.
For carry and low volume use an oil will get most along fine with no problem. While for heavy/extreme use including high round count constant use where clearly the gun will heat up and parts change clearance by way of expansion one is better off using a grease as a lubricant.
Additionally using TOO MUCH lubricant will ruin your day.
Yeah yeah Glocks will run like a top metal on metal. We all have seen the YouTube videos.
Same though as we saw YouTube video of Todd Jarret putting a Para Ordnance 1911 through the most extreme of usage test running the gun and magazines so hot that it was literally too hot to touch and he incurred burns to his hands.
What I'd rather see and hear from instructors and trainers is advice and suggestion to students new to them, regardless of course level, that they up front at the beginning of class cover how to _PROPERLY_ function check, lubricate, and maintain their firearm so as to prevent these widely reported issues and function errors from occurring in the firt place. Possibly send out a written document to students who register via e-mail and a required pre-read toward course attendance. And post same with common defensive firearm make instructions at their website be it handgun or longgun (rifle and shotgun).
Making posts to forums as these two instructors in the OP did solves nothing. It does nothing aside from perpetuate urban legend and anecdotal evidence 'feelings' about specific makes and models.
Next time they the instructors should try harder and do better themself which is to educate in a real way rather than dismiss and be dismissive.
I personally have been running nothing but the 1911 format handgun for defense as well as training and IDPA use the past 8 years now across the following mfrs.; Sig-Sauer (GSR), Springfield Armory x2, and a Colt 'Defender'.
In fact all four of my 1911s are widely deemed, on the internet, to be the worst types of 1911s to have for being unreliable and/or inappropriate for defense/combat use.
* SIG 'GSR' Series 1 (Original release version)
The industry's tightest spec factory 'custom' 1911 ever brought to market.
* Springfield Armory 'Lightweight Compact'
An aluminum framed 1911 that allegedly should not ever see high round count use because the aluminum frames are widely said/rumored to not be durable
* Colt 'Defender'
Aluminum frame mixed with a 3.25" barrel and a dual captured spring recoil system which widely is reported to be ineffective, most often by people who state it's not how John Browning designed it and persons who have them self never actually owned one nor a Kimber Ultra-Carry of exact same design and is equally reliable.
* Springfield Armory 1911-A1 Loaded Target '9MM'
Any one who cuts open their hands on a target sight during a slide cycle is clearly doing the action of cycling the slide wrong. Hello.
Further according to the internets a 9MM 1911 cannot be made to function correctly without tweaking to it's spring, internals, and magazines.
All of the above as based on my own experiences real world, and I run every one of my guns _a lot_, is a bunch of BS.
I train on average twice a week. My guns all of them see on average 10K rounds of use per year while the 9MM 1911 in specific since new out the box has probably at this stage seen triple that total across the just less than 2 yrs. that I've had it. The LTC it replaced had seen in my hands easily 40K rounds and I bought it second hand well used.
Solid. Reliable. Functions and goes bang every time.
Oh, and for my .45 I run 8 rd. and 10 rd. mags exclusively. The only 7 rounders I have are Wislons which I use as the primary mag in the Colt for carry, with an 8 or 10 rd. mag as backup.
My handgun magazines as a rule are all from quality mfrs.:
Novak/ACT 8 rd. (OEM from SIG), Chip McCormick 8 and 10 rd., Metalform 9 rd. (9MM and 38 Super).
Thus far I have had one magazine be bad from the factory which was covered under warranty. I've had three magazines feed lips have a structural material failure upon 6 yrs. of constant use. A visual inspection on my part caught the issue and I simply replaced the magazines disassembling and tossing out the old ones. All magazine errors were caught as per my normal equipment technical inspection at the time I was doing same of my firearms during a field strip inspection and cleaninig. I clean my mags too BTW, as folk should.
I would any day of the week put any of my 1911s up against these so called high round stress tests of 800 rds fired with no cleaning, with exception of the Colt 'Defender'. It's recoil design system is designed to be replaced at just that round count and though it would continue to function fine beyond, as I have tested, there would be increased potential for function errors thanks to worn springs.
Which leads to a final comment. Recoil springs require replacement. Duh. Like the shocks on your car require same. They do not last forever. As a general rule change your recoil springs, especially so on a 1911, every year if you shoot more than say 3K rds. per year. If you shoot less than that then well go to the range more so as to hit that number and then change it on schedule.
If Joe Blow students would tech their equipment before hand then they won't have these posts of woe by instructors, trainers, and coaches as a direct result on the whole much less specific to the 1911.
It's not hard, it's actually really simple.
- Janq is right now wearing a Colt 'Defender'
P.S. - Oh and as I've posted before in a different thread I run a stress and function test on any newly purchased gun that includes firing of 1K minimum to as much as 2K rounds (two thousand!) through it with no cleaning but an exterior wipe down inbetween uses and again every one of my pistols has passed with no problems using nothing special but quality magazines and running commercial ammunition. There is no reason why others cannot experience same.
I currently run Brian Enos' 'Slide Glide' grease lubricant in addition to using Gunzilla as a base CLP on allof my guns including the very tight GSR, a gun that prior would only function reliably on MiliTec TW25B and even with that would begin to exhibit cycling issues at the 1.2K rd. count...well beyond what these high round count instructors see in class. Now on Slid Glide I've run it as high a 3K rds. (!) without any cleaning at all but an exterior wipe down (did not carry nor apply to HD while undergoing this test) and it ran like a Singer sewing machine and with accuracy. I stopped the test only because I got tired of it and wanted to bring it back into my carry rotation.
Take care of your gear and your gear will take care of you. A simple and very old truth of all gear and tools mechanical.
I love shooting semi auto pistols but when the bottom falls out
I'm grabbing my old Blackhawk and my Mossberg 500
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And now for a small vacation from the 19111 debate!
About the rubber grip sleeve... I have put one on every handgun I owned simply because my hands sweat and I have found I cannot reliably hold a proper grip while shooting.
Until my last purchase. The grip surface on my PT145 eliminates the need for a rubber sleeve.
"Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18
Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
Paramedics With Guns Scare People!
thank you sgtD , that was a very good post and full of useful info
EDC's Colt Defender 45 acp and S&W 442 .38
Springfield XD 45 acp
Ruger Super RedHawk .44 mag
mossberg 590 12 gauge tactical
I must live a blessed life, I have never had a problem with a 1911 even with thousands of rounds down range. I have a Kimber TLE II .45 that is a year old with over a thousand rounds through it with no problems. I also have a Browing Hi Power MK I that has had too many rounds through it to count. I am sure I need to replace the recoil spring which one of the posts mentioned.
I clean and lube after every trip to the range, my cleaning may not pass Gunny Hicks inspection, but I think he would like my groups.
I would like more information concerning the ammo the failures were using, many quality training facilities will not allow handloads or remanufactured ammunition simply because of the problems they can introduce. I shoot handloads at the range, but for formal training I recommend factory ammunition. My SD ammunition is factory made and I do take it to the range and shoot it from time to time.
Another thread to get a feel for the passion?
There is a good chance I will get my wife a Glock because of the simplicity of use. Any monkey can use a Glock!!
Lots of information and opinions to think about with this one for sure.
The only things I can add are as an IDPA Safety Officer I will see 10 1911's choke for every Glock. The reasons can be so widespread I don't even want to get started on that one.
My mix of Wilson, SA, Novak and ACT eight round magazines have always worked fine for me and I have shot the same mags in IDPA for over two years with no problems.
I can say the only two times my SA 1911 let me down in competition was once when the ejector came loose and the second time the plunger tube came loose and even though the gun worked fine, the slide was not locking back on an empty mag. I replaced parts and fixed the gun myself both times.
I have also seen Glocks, Sigs, XDs and S&W M&Ps mess up during competition. Again for many reasons including bad ammo, broken parts, bad magazines etc.
I also know from personal experiences with taking training classes some instructors love one brand of gun and hate all others!
A lot of good comments and some not so good. I have seen many 1911s fail in an USPSA match but 90% of the time it is an ammo issue or lack of cleaning especially the race guns. That said when Todd Jarett and Robbie Leatham do so well perhaps the gun will stand up under pressure. I actually disagree with only 2 issues completely.
My Wilson 8 round mags have NEVER failed even after being constantly dropped in sandy areas during a match. The only mag that would not function in 4 years was the one I stepped on and bent the feed lips which Wilson replaced free of charge.
As a huge Sig fan I am glad that they had no failures. I am also not surprised. I disagree with the DA/SA switch being a problem. At the range sometimes, but in competition the transition is hardly noticable because you are keyed up. As for "gaming", a good range officer will require you to decock just as he will have you put the safety on a gun with one.
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I bought my first 1911 through the DCM in 1960. It cost me $12 + S&H for a total of around $20. It is loose, but reliable with ball.
Subsequently I have bought 7 1911s; 3 SA, 3 Kimbers, and one Colt Gold Cup. Not a single one was reliable OTB with HP ammo. I had to send a couple back to the factory at least twice. I gave up on two of the Kimbers, and had custom smiths give them reliability jobs. Finally they are reliable.
However, if I had to bet $1,000 that the next 2000 rounds with all HP factory ammo would not malfunction I would not bet on any of the 1911s. My bet would be for the G26, and the Makarov.
Others have different experiences, but that is mine.
I also find that excuses are often made for malfunctions so that they are not charged to the gun. It was the magazine, bad ammunition, limp wristing, or not broken in yet after several hundred rounds.
It might be strange, but I have not had to make excuses for Glocks, although the .40 is subject to malfunctions from limp wristing.
I suspect that many who have sent 1000s down range without a malfunction are using ball.
One of my best friends is a firearms instructor and gunsmith who takes some courses from nationally known teachers/instructors. In addition, he instructs LEs, and CCW classes.
Of the major good brands and platforms, the 1911 is the least reliable.
While I consider that no handgun feels as good, and has as good a trigger as the 1911, they are not reliable OTB, percentage wise, without some fine tuning. Finally I have gotten my 1911s reliable enough so that I can carry without worry, but it took some time, money, and frustration.
If I were starting out today, and know what I know I would buy Glocks instead of 1911s.
I don't doubt that the instructors observations are valid. I've seen the same sort of thing in.
The problem with 1911s is that "everybody" is making them, and "everybody" is shooting them.
All 1911s are not created equal, and some manufacturers are claiming "match" grade accuracy with assembly line quality work, and it just doesn't work that way. There's some hand fitting that's involved in a match grade reliable 1911 and that costs money. A lot of shooters insist on the tight tolerances, but don't want to pony up the cash.
Then there's the shooters that simply "have to" have a 1911 but don't take the time to learn how to run one or maintain it. To top it off, they then "go cheap" on magazines which is a critical component of how well a 1911 runs.
The 1911 is an old design from a time when some hand fitting was the norm. It was designed with somewhat loose tolerances to shoot 230 grain FMJ ball ammo from a 7 shot magazine.
Anytime you deviate from that it's going to take some fitting to make it work, and the maintenance is more critical.
I've got a pair of Baers, my 5" has close to 25K through it and my little Stinger has about 7K through it. I've taken classes with both and the 5" is my IDPA gun. I'd say both of mine are extremely reliable, but neither came cheap.
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Many (all??) new HKs come with a recoil buffer. Notwithstanding the comment by the threadstarter, I highly question removing this piece, as the weapon is designed to have it in it, and it would probably ruin the sales/trade in value of the weapon. While it would be cool to go to a 800 round class, I'm not sure it's realistic or productive outside of the hypothetical realm.
HK P2000SK 9mm LEM
Seeing as I carry only 17 to 25 rounds of Federal HST, that means I'd have to go back for 775 more during the fight. I imagine at that point I'd run like heck, so 800 is a little extreme. I would say I'd grab my AR, but God knows my shoes would be on fire for running so fast!
Having said that and not wanting to beat a dead horse.......but, I shoot IDPA, USPSA, Carbine / 3 Gun.... I've never once had a failure with any of my 1911's - all Kimbers right now.. I have seen some slight failures in 1911's that were easily rectified. Those same guys usually finish in the top 3 regardless of failure or not! I don't understand all the concern over a 1, 2, 3, etc. failures in a thousand that may happen. If you train like me, you train for this to happen.
Now last weekend it was rainy and very muddy, only one 1911 failed to go into slide lock, but two Glocks had failures. Does that mean I don't trust Glocks now?? Come on! It's a machine, this will happen from time to time.
1911's are somewhat finicky and need more attention than most. I don't know about any one else, but I like that. I like taking care of them, because in turn, they take care of me. I enjoy my guns.
It's also very important to look at WHO is saying one platform doesn't work. Is it the guy that only owns Glock and never owned a 1911? Is it a new shooter whose first gun is a 1911 and doesn't understand the difference? Is it the guy that owned one cheap 1911, had a couple failures at first, read all the nonsense online from others with little experience then gave up on his $400 1911, causing him to give up on all 1911's?
I still don't understand why some have such strong opinions and always let it be known? if your Glock works for you, great! If your 1911 works for you, great! If your....... To each his own! I use Mont Blanc pens, with my cheapest being $450. Guess what, it runs out of ink a little quicker than my $1 Bic, but when it's on, it is so smooth and a pleasure to us. I'm sure some think this is insane, will talk trash on my pens and continue on with their war-ready Bic - even though they probably never owned one or even used one for that matter.
Plus, I've noticed many of the instructors at Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, Shootrite, local Texas shooting schools, etc. use 1911's. Valhalla uses XD's because anyone can pick one up and learn it quickly - according to Rob Pinkus (Sp?).
I think if you are armed and understand how to use your gun, you're already ahead of the game! Keep shooting with whatever you have and protect yourself and your family at all hours, no matter what. That's all I care about!