Tactical Arms - 1911

This is a discussion on Tactical Arms - 1911 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by QKShooter Even though Larry Vickers states that anybody that wants to rely on any 1911 format pistol that is smaller than a ...

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Thread: Tactical Arms - 1911

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    Even though Larry Vickers states that anybody that wants to rely on any 1911 format pistol that is smaller than a full size 1911 should shop for a different pistol.
    In the video clip, Larry quite clearly stated "In my opinion", so it's not like he was proclaiming it as holy writ.
    "I've run across shooting after shooting where the defender shot a violent aggressor with a .380 and did little to immediately stop his depredations. A good hollow point load in 9mm or .38 Special will, historically, end lethal assaults more quickly."

    ~ Massad Ayoob

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  3. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miggy View Post
    The 1911 platform is slowly disappearing from IDPA matches and the reason is lack of reliability.
    Do you have a source for your claims?

    It's not disappearing from IDPA in my state, and I've found several of the current 1911's to be quite reliable. More 1911's are being sold today than at any time in history.

    Delta Force, Marine Recons, LAPD SWAT, LAPD Special Investigation Section and many other elite military and law enforcement units, all swear by the 1911.

    The main reason some people choose handguns other than the 1911, is ammo capacity. Since most people can't shoot like Rob Leatham, they prefer a Springfield XD or similar high capacity polymer pistol for self-defense.
    "I've run across shooting after shooting where the defender shot a violent aggressor with a .380 and did little to immediately stop his depredations. A good hollow point load in 9mm or .38 Special will, historically, end lethal assaults more quickly."

    ~ Massad Ayoob

  4. #33
    VIP Member Array varob's Avatar
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    I watched that episode ( it's on about 5 times a day ) and kind of took that as a general statement. " If you don't know how to disassemble, clean, lube, and reassemble your firearm". More as a recommendation, not as a fact. Which I in part, agree. If you can't field strip, clean, lube, and reassemble your gun, it may not the gun for you.

    Plus, it's TV. They kind of cater to the lowest common denominator. Not the more skilled gun owner.
    Don't believe what you hear and only half of what you see!
    -Tony Soprano

  5. #34
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    One Thing I agree with is you need to understand how to clean and operate your firearm of choice,some people shoot revolvers because the dynamics are easier to learn,some people can't effectively clear a jam in a Semi-Auto during practice.I'm no expert but I have been shooting handguns over 30 years.Some people train more than others,I think that he was probably referring more towards people that have little or no experience with the 1911,with that said,my next purchase is gonna be a Colt Combat Commander XSE
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  6. #35
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    I hear you.
    He is presenting himself as an expert standing before the masses with a personal opinion of the 1911 and I disagree with his opinion as that opinion relates to "suitable for self-defense" compact 1911 firearms.
    Obviously the entire firearm industry of 1911 gun makers disagrees with him also...because they are still making compact version 1911s that multitudes of consumers "out there" are extremely happy with and are not having a whit of functional trouble with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Defensive Arms View Post
    In the video clip, Larry quite clearly stated "In my opinion", so it's not like he was proclaiming it as holy writ.

  7. #36
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    I'm not a 1911 shooter, or an expert my any stretch, however, I do watch some of these shows that have either Clint Smith, Mas Ayoob, or Ed Head from Gunsite on from time to time, and yes they are experts in thheir fields, but it doesn't mean their word is the set in stone. Should we listen to them? Sure. Should we always agree with what the say is the final word without thinking for ourselves? Absolutely not, that would be foolish.

  8. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    So....in other words your definition of "reality" regarding the 1911 is whatever Larry Vickers says about the 1911?
    No, my definition of "reality" about the 1911 is partially informed by genuine subject matter experts who have a wealth of experience using the 1911 as a combat sidearm over a number of years.

    Once more for clarity:

    Mr. Vickers worked in a unit that legendarily used the 1911. While in that unit he had to learn the 1911 in and out just to keep the weapons up and running given their op tempo and the number of rounds they fired downrange. He got good enough to win an award for his 1911's from the American Pistolsmith's Guild, and the guns he built now command extremely high prices in the market. They are sought after by 1911 aficionados. As a guy who kept guns running in a unit with more operational experience with the 1911 than anybody since WWII (perhaps even including WWII) and who has trained literally thousands of people who use the 1911 as a sidearm he's probably supervised more rounds downrange through various 1911's than just about anyone else currently above ground.

    You can ask practically anyone who makes 1911's (Bill Wilson, Lynn Freshley, Jason Burton, etc) or who knows them really well (Ken Hackathorn, etc) whether or not Mr. Vickers knows his stuff on the platform and they will answer in the definite affirmative.

    Listening to the man about a platform he knows well would be a wise move.

    My personal experience, while nowhere near as significant, has led me to the same conclusions....but even if it hadn't....even if every 1911 I ever touched was reliable and happy I would *STILL* pay very close attention to what Mr. Vickers has to say because my experience level with the platform will never come anywhere close to where his is. My personal experience with a few dozen 1911's over the years doesn't measure up to that standard.

    Some people know more than I do....and know more than you do. Some people have more experience than I do...and more experience than you do. It would be wise to listen carefully to what they have to say.


    For the vast majority of folks that carry a full size 1911 or...a more compact 1911 - their "reality" is not using that firearm defensively by having to go out and dispatch 3,000 bad guys in the desert with an improperly lubricated firearm.
    No, the average user will not be firing 3,000 rounds through a handgun to defend themselves....nor does the average soldier find himself needing to fire a few thousand rounds during an engagement.

    ...and yet military personnel kept experiencing serious malfunctions or problems getting their weapons into action because the military taught that you should use only the tiniest amount of lubrication on issue guns as possible. The result: Lots of malfunctions and problems when it came time to use the weapons to put down a threat. Strangely enough those who learned to generously lubricate their weapons had far fewer problems when it came time to actually use the weapon to stop a threat.

    Imagine that.

    Proper lubrication is one of *many* factors involved in getting optimal function from a 100 year old pistol design. Those who are relying on that pistol to save their life in a critical moment would be foolish to ignore the input of people who have lots of experience actually deploying that weapon to save their lives.

    So if a person carries and shoots that firearm in the world of their personal reality and they have absolutely no function related issues at all with that handgun...then that firearm is functionally perfect for their personal reality and their individual life situation.
    ...even if "their personal reality" is exceptionally limited?

    Again: We're talking about the 1911 as a combat sidearm here...a weapon meant to drawn and used to put holes in vital bits of a bad guy's anatomy in a moment where you are facing the possibility of death or great bodily harm....just how much compromise are you willing to accept in that moment?

    People who do not understand how a 1911 works and how to keep it in optimal working condition....people who want to treat a gun like a lawnmower...shouldn't be using a 1911. They should be packing one of the other options on the market that will tolerate being treated like a lawnmower. Someone is infinitely better off with an "ugly" 9mm Glock that will go bang than a cool looking snake-skin patterned 1911 that has feed issues when they are facing someone who is trying to kill them.

    The site *is* named "Defensive Concealed Carry", right? A site dedicated to employing a handgun as a means to stop the hostile actions of a criminal aggressor? People like Mr. Vickers and Mr. Hackathorn (and others) have experience using the 1911 platform for just that purpose and as such it would be wise to pay attention to what they are saying.

    Compact and all "less than full size" 1911 pattern pistols have certain physical characteristics and idiosyncrasies that could possibly make them less reliable than a full weight slabsides.
    I would never argue that fact.
    By using the term "possibly" you are arguing that fact.

    The feed path of a 1911 is more complicated than on more modern designs like Glocks. That's just the simple truth of it. This core issue makes the weapon more likely to have feed issues.

    With a 5" gun using an in-spec recoil spring, a properly tensioned extractor, ammunition designed for reliable feeding, and a good magazine (most 1911 mags are crap) you have the best feeding scenario possible with the 1911. If the recoil spring tension is off a bit, the gun will probably still run fine. If the extractor tension is off a bit, the gun will probably still run fine. If the magazine springs are weak, the gun will probably still run fine. On a 5" gun with Wilson 8 rounders generally the first sign of trouble is when the slide stops locking to the rear on empty rather than a feed issue.

    When you chop that 5" gun down to a 3" gun you've dramatically complicated the feed process. Now everything has to be darn near perfect if the weapon is going to feed reliably. If your mag springs are weak then it's a lot less likely to get that next round up in time to be stripped by the faster moving slide. If the extractor tension is out of spec it will be much more critical. Etc. You have FAR LESS room for error, and that assumes that the gun worked from the box...which, given my experience with compact 1911s is HARDLY a guarantee. I don't know of a single 1911 maker out there who produces 5" guns that run all the time.

    I've been in training with practically every brand of 1911 imaginable, and I have yet to see a single brand that didn't have a malfunction of some sort...and that includes a lot of well-known, high-dollar makers.

    They ARE much less tolerant of being poorly built.
    Yes...and even less tolerant of being poorly maintained. Here's the question:

    How does the average gun owner spot a poorly built 1911? Answer: They can't because they don't know what a properly built 1911 is. Half the companies making a 1911 these days don't know what a properly built 1911 looks like, so how on earth is the average joe supposed to figure it out? How does the average joe know that the hole for the extractor is drilled improperly into the slide? How does the average joe know that the feed ramp was done improperly on the gun?

    All of those considerations are going into the statements Mr. Vickers made on the show, and they are behind his advice that most people are better off selecting something other than a 1911 as a sidearm.

    As a guy who has carried a 1911 for YEARS, I agree with him 100%.

    To get a 1911 to run with acceptable reliability as we currently understand it requires an end user who knows the platform well enough to buy one that works initially and who will perform the required maintenance to keep it in optimal working condition. Everybody isn't like me....everybody out there isn't willing/able to switch out mag springs every 6 months, recoil springs every 3,000 rounds, or check/adjust extractor tension with every recoil spring change. Everybody isn't willing to put 500 rounds of carry ammo downrange with the weapon to check for feed and function in the gun. (230 grain Winchester Ranger HP)

    Obviously the entire firearm industry of 1911 gun makers disagrees with him also...because they are still making compact version 1911s that multitudes of consumers "out there" are extremely happy with and are not having a whit of functional trouble with.
    The firearm industry is loaded with dysfunction. Take Sig as an example. They imported the management from Kimber, who promptly scuttled their legendary QC and replaced it with efforts to make rainbow colored firearms in an effort to boost their profits. It worked. Sig is now at record levels of profitability...and their QC is in the toilet. They ship more lemons out now as a percentage than they ever have...and yet they keep selling guns.

    Most consumers are, to put it mildly, unsophisticated. We've all been there. When I first got into guns I didn't have a clue. It took lots of years, wasted money, and lessons learned the hard way to correct that. Most people do not go through that process. I have a family member who bought a Beretta .380 25 years ago and they just finished the FIRST BOX of ammunition they bought with the gun last week.

    I went through over 4,000 rounds and 2 formal training courses with my carry gun in just the last 30 days.

    Most people haven't put the time and effort into learning that I've put in...and yet when it comes time to actually use a firearm for the purposes of defending their life, they'll need it to work every bit as much as I will.

    ...so frankly I don't put too much stock in the marketing nonsense. Yes, people are buying compact 1911's...and web boards are full of people asking why the gun they just spent 1,000 dollars on doesn't work....and then a few months later you see that they've sold the micro 1911 and bought a Glock, and now all 1911's suck horribly and Glocks are the greatest things ever because their gun didn't work, etc.

    It's a lot of the blind leading the blind out there. If people would actually listen to people who have useful knowledge....people like Mr. Vickers...more often than not they'd end up with a happy outcome.

  9. #38
    New Member Array carrya1911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OD View Post
    That, unfortunately, is a misconception many people hold, the original M1911 was not built loose, it did not rattle like a can full of ball bearings (it was built just as designed by John Moses). The myth most likely started with the GIs who had the misfortune of be issued a M1911/M1911A1 that had been shot extensively without the benefit of an arsenal rebuild (the last NEW M1911A1 purchased by the U.S. Gov't was in 1945). The truth is the tolerances were not loosened until November of 1943 to ease parts interchangeability among manufacturers. Building them too loose is just as bad as building them too tight, too loose and you're just opening the pistol up to more debris entering it.

    But, I do agree with you that there is little standardization with today's 1911 platform.
    Precisely.

    When initially built the 1911 was built to very strict standards laid out by the DOD. GI ammunition was also designed for optimum reliability with a bullet shape that gave a best case feeding scenario for the weapon and a taper crimp on the cartridge used to aid in reliable feeding. These days the only ammo you find taper crimped is premium quality duty ammo like the Winchester Ranger ammunition.

    1911's are not built to a single standard these days, nor are they fed with ammunition carefully designed for optimum reliability in the weapon.

    If I had a dollar for every 1911 I've seen with the barrel sticking out over the improperly done feed ramp, I could probably buy another case of ammo.

  10. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Defensive Arms View Post
    Delta Force, Marine Recons, LAPD SWAT, LAPD Special Investigation Section and many other elite military and law enforcement units, all swear by the 1911.
    Mr. Vickers is former Delta.

    ...and Delta has been actively looking to replace the 1911 for a very long time, primarily because of the difficulty of keeping the weapons up and running with their op tempo.

    The last scuttlebutt I heard was that they were using .40 caliber Glocks. Out of the frying pan, into the fire....

    While mag capacity is nice, that's not the primary reason agencies usually try for something other than a 1911. The expense and effort required to field the 1911 as an issue gun in an agency/unit that actually shoots their sidearms is enormous. Lots of people want that crisp 4 pound trigger...but not very many people are aware of what kind of problems and headaches go along with that 4 pound trigger.

    Like Ken Hackathorn says: "1911's are like Ferraris. When they run, they run great. If you want one, you'd better know a good mechanic and you'd better bring lots of money."

    Or:

    "The 1911 is the king of combat handguns. The 1911 is also the king of feedway stoppages."

  11. #40
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    My only 2 cents on this might be...

    ...its TV, he could have easily edited out his misses. But he didn't.

    And since he was the more expierienced and respected figure (ie...Internet forum quabbles such as this one would not bother him)on the show, maybe he missed on purpose to simply save time.

    (TV time costs money, and he and his buddy probably could have kept going all day doing those shots)

    Im...just sayin'
    I thoroughly disapprove of duels.
    If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand
    and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.
    -Mark Twain

  12. #41
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    Well, I've been using them for 20 years. There is much that I am in total agreement with you on. Some things I disagree with.
    I am willing to listen to anybody.
    I don't like blanket statements regarding how all 1911 variations run.
    So I didn't really appreciate his statement about how folks that are looking for a 1911 any smaller than a full size 1911 should go shopping around for a different make of firearm.
    I carry a Combat Commander almost daily and I have to tell you honestly that I wouldn't want/own/ or carry a gun built by ANY custom gunsmith that was not able to get a Commander length 1911 to run every bit as reliably as a full size Government Model.
    I don't care WHO they are or what their credentials are.


    Also: The vast majority of the ones that go out into the world run just fine.
    The ones that do not function correctly are the ones that we hear the most complaining and whining about on the Internet.
    It's the age old story of the squeaky wheel.

    Well, you really don't know what my experiences are. I certainly have disassembled, polished out, and electroplated more 1911s than most folks have ever seen so, I am not just pulling stuff out of the ozone.
    I (for sure) will admit that the 1911 is THE most "screwed around with" and "home gun-smithed" firearm on Planet Earth which is where many function related difficulties originate from.
    People just don't know what they are doing when they install "drop in" parts that really don't just drop in.
    The vast majority of real world malfs in a 1911 can be traced directly to the extractor.

    I never said that people should carry the 1911 or it's variants without lubrication. Personally, I use WeaponShield with additional Jardines Extreme on the rails. What I DID say was that the military tested the 1911 for function sans all lubrication for extreme Arctic & Desert conditions and they functioned fine.
    That is a historical fact. I have no idea how many rounds they fired through them or how long the continued to function without incident.
    I did run the same test (out of curiosity) on my own guns and they did run just fine.
    I would not carry them that way as I am not planning any trips to Antarctic right at the moment.

    Also - We are not talking about a "Military Sidearm" here on DefensiveCarry. We are mostly always talking about personal protection civilian carry firearms here because that is what this site is predominately about.
    The majority of our members purchase a firearm for concealed carry and OUR members keep their firearms clean.
    The majority of our members shoot a minimum of 500 trouble free rounds through that firearm before they ever decide to carry it and if they do experience any malfunctions the guns either get sent back to the manufactured or to a qualified gunsmith to have the problem corrected.
    And then they go through the entire procedure again until they feel personally confident in that firearm.
    I don't see anything wrong with that & I don't think they are "limited" in their experience as to what they can feel confident in.
    The buy the firearm. They function test it. They shoot it. It works. They shoot it some more. It works. They keep it clean. They lubricate it. They carry it and they are not compromised nor do they feel compromised.

    I agree that any people that want to treat any firearm like a lawnmower should probably carry something much less complex...like a baseball bat.

    I agree that a properly fit full size 1911 is less finicky and it is less important that everything be perfectly exact than the compact 1911s - no argument there.
    I also believe that there is no reason why a well fit compact 1911 cannot be suitable for the purpose of personal self-protection.
    If it runs...it runs and that's the end of the story.

    I apologize for not wanting to cast a bronze statue in the likeness of Larry Vickers and worship at the feet of it.
    I'll do what I always do regarding what L.V. or any other human being says.
    I'll absorb what I feel is worthwhile, useful, and applicable to me...and I'll reject what I know is fabrication, inaccurate or B.S.
    I don't put anybody up on a pedestal.

    I don't agree that the feed path of a 1911 is any more "complicated" than any other semi-automatic pistol.
    I agree that the extractor fit is far more critical.
    The recoil spring decompresses - the slide moves forward - strips the top cartridge from the magazine - shoves it up into the chamber while the case rear cams up breech face into the extractor.
    It's a fantastic proved and simple captive feed cycle & it doesn't sound a whole lot different than most other semi-automatic pistols to me?

    Any properly fit 1911 will feed sideways, upside down, with the slide slowly eased forward, and it will function limp wristed.

    The 1911 uses almost none of the frame feed ramp during the feed cycle by the way. The highly polished feed ramp is more custom gunsmith "looks good" ~ "feel goodism" more than anything else.
    With the majority of bullet nose configurations the very top of frame feed ramp just acts more to cam the cartridge up into the barrel throat/chamber than anything else. You can check out for yourself.

    Also...I didn't see the show. I was responding to his statement in the video clip that was posted in this thread and to your statements since you seem to be speaking for him.

    And now...I don't have time to get into the entire firearm industry since I have to get to the post office soon.

    But, it's been real.
    We'll just have to agree to disagree on a few things.

  13. #42
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    Carrya1911, you speak too well and explain yourself too clearly to be on this forum!! I would expect that over at 1911forum, but here you have to add a derogatory comment towards those with whom you disagree...

    Your first name wouldn't happen to be Larry, would it!?

    It's nice to have you here and I appreciate your comments and the way you expressed them. I look forward to seeing more of your posts.

    Thanks,
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

  14. #43
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    Oh, my simple opinion is that it was a general statement. If you're going to carry a handgun, you should know that firearm inside and out and be willing to learn how to keep it running at 100%.

    As for the miss at 100 yards, so what! They were both his, he didn't reshoot or edit and it was a bet between the two. It's the armchair quarterback, again. Hardly any of us could shoot along with him, but his miss has to be made into a topic?

    I don't see anyone here with their third consecutive firearms related show! Just because he said it, doesn't make it gospel, but anything he says, I'll at least give some thought too.
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

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