3" 1911 SD ammo test fail

This is a discussion on 3" 1911 SD ammo test fail within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I purchased a used Kimber Ultra Eclipse II a while back to use as my main carry gun. So far put about 400 rounds through ...

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Thread: 3" 1911 SD ammo test fail

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    Member Array Ducmonster's Avatar
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    3" 1911 SD ammo test fail

    I purchased a used Kimber Ultra Eclipse II a while back to use as my main carry gun. So far put about 400 rounds through it mostly ball ammo. Accuracy has been great. reliability I am still not sure of. First time out had a few FTF's with some old Wolf ammo I had around for a long time. Also had this happen when I was using an 8 round mag from my 5" Kimber. I blamed these failures on the wolf ammo and the 8 round mag maybe not being seated in all the way.

    Today testing what I thought might be my SD rounds 185 gr Hornady XTP JHP's. Had 6 FTE's in 40 rounds using 2 different Kimber mags. These resulted in the empty case still in the chamber and the slide trying to push another round in. Tap and rack won't fix that. Most failures were with one mag so I ran about 40 rounds of 230 gr ball through it with that mag not one failure. Then ran some partial boxes of other old hollow points I have had around. 230 gr Magtech guardian gold +p and 165 gr Federal personal defense hydroshoks again no failures. Guess my Kimber does not like the Hornady XTP's.

    I Knew I should test my SD ammo and this was a good demonstration of why. I will probably carry ball for now until I can test something else. If anyone has had good results with something in their 3" 1911 I would welcome some recommendations.

    Wish it still cost what the old boxes I shot off today did 8.95 and 11.95 a box.

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    My EDC is a Springfield Micro-Compact, the only ammo I have found 100% reliable is Winchester’s 230gr JHP. I even though Springfield recommends against +P ammo I have tried some with miserable results FTF, FTE and stovepipes. Around here the Winchester is the most common standard pressure load so I have not tried any others.

    USA Ammo 45 ACP 230 Grain Jacketed Hollow Point
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    Short-barrel 1911s are the racehorses of the breed that can be finicky eaters. I'd be pretty cautious about using an 8-round mag in a short-gripped gun like yours; if you get too aggressive running the mag home your mag may bugger the mag catch and/or the rounds may sit too close to the slide stop 'nub.'

    Before condemning your ammo outright, I'd get some better mags, either 6 or 7-rounders designed for the Officer's Model frame size. Tripp, Wilson and Shooting Star have all earned their stripes, and you won't go wrong investing in any of those. Then expand your selection of candidate SD ammo to include stuff from Winchester, Federal and Remington as well as the less-popular brands (CCI-Speer, Cor-Bon, etc.). A box of each should help you narrow down the field to one or two that you have confidence in, then shoot a lot more of that/those rounds.
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    Use SD ammo that is shape more like ball ammo. Try critical defense or golden saber for example.
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    I'd recommend kimber tac-pro's cheap and reliable for me when I had my Ultra Carry II. My Ultra ate Ranger T 230+p, Golden Saber 185gr &+P, Corbon 230gr, Federal HST 230gr just fine. I do not recomend Hornady FTX/ critical defense. It shot really accurate but the tip acted like a rubber brake on the ramped barrel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Short-barrel 1911s are the racehorses of the breed that can be finicky eaters. I'd be pretty cautious about using an 8-round mag in a short-gripped gun like yours; if you get too aggressive running the mag home your mag may bugger the mag catch and/or the rounds may sit too close to the slide stop 'nub.'

    Before condemning your ammo outright, I'd get some better mags, either 6 or 7-rounders designed for the Officer's Model frame size. Tripp, Wilson and Shooting Star have all earned their stripes, and you won't go wrong investing in any of those. Then expand your selection of candidate SD ammo to include stuff from Winchester, Federal and Remington as well as the less-popular brands (CCI-Speer, Cor-Bon, etc.). A box of each should help you narrow down the field to one or two that you have confidence in, then shoot a lot more of that/those rounds.
    Kimber told me the same thing about using the 8 rounders instead of the 7's it is supposed to use. I really don't think it was the mags since they are made by Kimber ( or at least sold by Kimber with their name on them )and I'm using them in a Kimber. Also problem never occurred after switching ammo.

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    The Kimber mags I had (1 came with the gun, plus the 1 I bought) for my Custom CDP II were the epitome of unreliability. Rather annoying for a $1200 gun, I thought. I pounded them flat and threw them out. I stand by my suggestion of TRYING other mags.
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    Ammo and mags, mags and ammo. As stated the short 1911's can be picky.

    When you find a load they like use it and be happy as they can eat up an ammo budget quick trying to test different loads. Kimbers have had issues before with the external extractor models, not sure what yours is, but anything other than stock mags or quality equals may cause problems. You would think an 8 round 1911 mag made for a full size gun would do just fine in a compact but that is not always the case. Just have to play around with it.

    When all is said and done ball ammo may be the best choice as far a reliability goes and I don't think it is all that bad as a SD load either. It has worked as one for many years.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducmonster View Post
    Kimber told me the same thing about using the 8 rounders instead of the 7's it is supposed to use. I really don't think it was the mags since they are made by Kimber ( or at least sold by Kimber with their name on them )and I'm using them in a Kimber. Also problem never occurred after switching ammo.
    Don't let the fact that Kimber supplies them with the gun and puts their name on them fool you. Most gun makes skimp when it comes to magazines. In my 1911's I use Chip McCormick Power Mags.

    I would send it back to Kimber and have the feed ramp polished, bore throated and ejector tuned.
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    Quote Originally Posted by msgt/ret View Post
    My EDC is a Springfield Micro-Compact, the only ammo I have found 100% reliable is Winchester’s 230gr JHP. I even though Springfield recommends against +P ammo I have tried some with miserable results FTF, FTE and stovepipes. Around here the Winchester is the most common standard pressure load so I have not tried any others.

    USA Ammo 45 ACP 230 Grain Jacketed Hollow Point

    +1. Same gun, same ammo.
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    Nothing wrong with the ball ammo. It still works.
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    I recently purchased 2 1911's I in a sig and the other in springfield 3", the gunsmith I talked to said from his experience most 1911's dont much care for the 185 gr bullets and that if I wanted to be happy just stick with the 230 gr and never worrry about it.

    Now again this is not me this is him (I will tell you when i get more familiar with the guns)
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    ............ failure to extract is an extractor issue, not a magazine issue. As has been stated 3" 1911's can be very hard to get to run reliably and then they require a lot of preventive maintenance to keep them that way.

    Your extractor has too little tension and needs to have the correct amount of tension properly applied. Tripp Research 7R-45-WO/7R-45-RO magazines are the best you can run and Corbons all copper 185 Gr +P DPX loads are an excellent choice in 3" 1911's.
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