Part of it has to do with how the barrel and breech lock up.
This is a discussion on 1911 For Dummies within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Hey all you 1911 guy's I need help. I'm not new to firearms, been shooting my entire life but I'm interested in buying a 1911 ...
Hey all you 1911 guy's I need help.
I'm not new to firearms, been shooting my entire life but I'm interested in buying a 1911 (maybe) so I need to know why the barrel doesn't "tip up" when the slide is racked back like most newer pistols? I know the barrel being tipped up allows for the bullet to slide in at a less binding angle so why don't 1911's do the same? Does this cause a lot of 1911's to jam up or do they have another means of preventing a jam?
I did a search before I started this thread and couldn't find the answers I was looking for.
Part of it has to do with how the barrel and breech lock up.
Retired USAF E-8. Curmudgeon at large.
Lighten up and enjoy life because:
Paranoia strikes deep, into your life it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth
The barrel DOES tip up. Actually, the rear cams down. It has a link rather than a milled out cam-type slot on most modern pistols. But it does cam down.
This complete STI 1911 all parts function/cycle VID should really help answer all your questions. Check it out.
OK here is the best animation vid (Click The Link Below).
Play around with the VIEW settings. It's an absolutely incredible animation.
Hit Split Slide
Hit Show Barrel
Hit Hide Frame
I've been toying with the idea of buying a 1911 over the last few months. Just not sure if I want to save up for high dollar pretty one or mid range but still nice looking one. I do know that I want a more compact 1911 in the 4" barrel.
Shoot it a lot, learn a bit about it by going to
The M1911 Pistols Organization
And read up on how they work.
1911s are just as reliable as any other pistol, provided you do your part. They are the "B-block ford engine" of the pistol world. They require a bit more attention is all, than other, more modern pistol designs.
Thanks for the info. Just curious tho. Why would buying a full size 1911 be better than a smaller 4" model? I'm very new to the world of 1911's so I'm humbled by my lack of knowledge on the subject. never owned or even shot one. Been a wheel gun guy for most part but have owned a semi or two.
"Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom" Gen. George Patton
What ever you do don't buy a 1911 Because then you'll want another and another and so it goes on and on. It's a bad addiction once it starts. (See Super Duper 1911 Thread if you don't believe me).
"Those who would give up essential liberties for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety" -Benjamin Franklin-
NRA Endowment Life Member
I'm always reading about people needing to modify this part or that because such an such part didn't function correctly. So with that being said my next question is do most 1911's require some modification straight from the factory? I'm sure most of these questions have been covered to some extent in this forum but i'm too lazy to go searching for them. Kinda sad huh?
"So with that being said my next question is do most 1911's require some modification straight from the factory?"
No...the vast majority do not.
But, the 1911 pattern pistols are incredibly well suited to tailoring to individual shooter preferences.
All of mine & I have owned 14 or so in my lifetime have all worked/functioned right out of the box but, now all of the ones that I still own now are exactly the way I want them.
Short trigger, old style thumb safety, rowel hammer, no Full Length Guide Rods, flat mainspring housing, etc.
Wow QKshooter, 14 1911's?!
I'd say you are without a doubt an expert.
I've been getting more and more curious about them over last few months. Not sure what triggered it (ha ha see my play on words there?)
Got a buddy of mine that owns a Kimber, not sure of the model but he spent so much money on it and doesn't want to shoot it. Kinda pointless to me. I can't see buying a gun you don't plan on using. I'm considering a Rock Island for first 1911 just to test the waters.
I started buying 1911s when I was 21 years old but, had shot them earlier than that.
All of my 1911s these days are COLT brand pistols.
I sort of drink the COLT brand Kool-Aide because I always liked the way Colt built a Colt.
They have always worked for me & I am a creature of habit with regard to self-defense pistols.
These days though you have so many great choices for uber quality pistols. Les Baer, Ed Brown, Wilson and many others that are less expensive but, are also quite decent.
Truthfully I could take a factory Colt with an arched mainspring housing, a long trigger & a newer style thumb safety and be absolutely fine with it but, it's nice to be able to change things around once you ultimately determine what works best for you. I have personal reasons for not liking Kimber pistols at all.
Though I do like some of the Kimber innovative long guns.
BTW: I actually LIKE the Commander length pistols best. That is what I mostly carry these days.
2 years ago I would have told you "Nope, no way would I ever buy a 1911. They're ugly looking" (That was 2 years ago, please forgive me)
See I've been so used to revolvers and only thing I carry is a revolver right now. My semi auto stays home and collects dust. I'm for lack of better words scared of a firearm that can jam or mag fall out or whatever. To me a revolver has very little chance of failure, if the first round is a dud you just squeeze trigger again and Bang!.
But I decided to start being open minded, both on guns and life in general.
I'll always be a revolver guy but other guns are worth at least fostering in my humble home.
A couple months back, I picked up an STI Shadow 1911, which has a 3" bull barrel on an Officer's sized frame. Street retail price is about $1200. STI also has a few models under $1000, as well as the Spartan 1911 that can be found for ~$550-650 (little more than a Springfield G.I.).
I purchased it through Thunder Mountain Custom Rifle, in Arizona. As of 2mos ago, they had a promotion to cover all labor on typical add-on services you might do at time of purchase (ie, throating/polishing; polishing of the ramps, breech face and lugs; tuning of the extractor and ejector; installation of an ambi thumb safety; installation of a shorter trigger). Might still be offering it. That can make what seems to be a reasonably high-dollar introductory 1911 be quite a value, as compared to what all those services would cost you if you had a gunsmith do them and charge full prices.
I, too, am a newbie when it comes to 1911's. But after spending a few weeks of reading about the 1911 pistol, operation and the various models available, I purchased one and started shooting. It's easy to use, easy to strip and clean. Other than the minutiae of a full detail strip and the obvious difference in the trigger/safety interface, it's little different than any other semi-auto pistol.
If you're game, I'd suggest just diving right in and doing it. You'll learn faster by doing it. $650 for an STI Spartan, and $30 for the AGI 1911 Armorer's video, plus a few special 1911 tools. If you're able to find a rental range in the area that has one or more 1911's for rent, that might be a good way to introduce yourself to the platform before purchase. But, if you've got a good amount of time in the saddle with other firearms, I'd simply jump in with both feet. Can't hurt, and you can always sell the gun in the long run if you find it isn't your cup of tea.