What's most likely to break on my 1911?

This is a discussion on What's most likely to break on my 1911? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I've almost given up on being able to purchase a second 1911. It seems the prices are out-pacing my ability to save I've decided to ...

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Thread: What's most likely to break on my 1911?

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array sniper58's Avatar
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    What's most likely to break on my 1911?

    I've almost given up on being able to purchase a second 1911. It seems the prices are out-pacing my ability to save I've decided to learn how to fix whatever breaks so my 1911 can remain my primary. I have a Rock Island .45 (bought NIB for cheap) that is an absolute horse. No frills, no bells, no whistles, no FtF, no FtF, stove pipes or other maladies. It eats 230 ball, 200 JHP, 185 +P JHP flawlessly. The only thing I've done so far is replace the recoil spring with a heavier one, polish the ramp and change the grip. BTW - I shoot it (with mil-spec sights) better than my 3-dot sighted .40 (2"-3" at 15 yds combat grip).

    What's most likely to break? What spare parts must I have and what would be nice to have? Total cost IS a factor. Thanks to all!
    Tim
    BE PREPARED - Noah didn't build the Ark when it was raining!
    Si vis pacem, para bellum
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  3. #2
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    Springs...spare springs are always nice to have. If there is anything plastic, replace it with a quality metal.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    VIP Member Array artz's Avatar
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    I may be wrong but I say extractor wear....It happened to me on the Para.
    " Refuse to be a victim, make sure there is a round chambered ! "

    Just call me a pessimistic optimist !

    U.S. Navy vet 1981-1992

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    Member Array frostyeyes's Avatar
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    spare firing pins and extracters
    Gun Control: What a long strange trip it's been

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    Quote Originally Posted by artz View Post
    I may be wrong but I say extractor wear....It happened to me on the Para.
    Your right, thats the other biggie.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Usually--- One initial weak link on a 1911 pattern pistol is the plunger tube BUT, only if it was not properly staked in at the factory.

    There are two ways that a 1911 pistol barrel is factory fit.
    One way places some stress on the Slide Stop pin when the pistol slide slams into battery and the barrel pivots.
    The more correct barrel fit does not place any stress on the slide stop pin at all.

    Both set-ups will function fine and the EASY solution is just to replace the slide stop with a hardened Tool Steel machined slide stop.
    Which is more than able to handle any stress which may happen to be placed on the slide stop part as the pistol locks into battery.

    Really guaranteeing future reliability is just a matter of upgrading standard factory parts uith ultra high quality aftermarket parts but, that can get expensive and I'm not really sure how absolutely necessary it is.

    In other words you can spend 90.00 and upgrade your 1911 hammer to an ultra precision hardened EDMed Tool Steel Hammer but, really there is nothing wrong with a Factory Standard Colt hammer. It's all mostly just how fat your wallet is.

    Now there ARE some things that you can do that will make your carry firearm a bit slicker for daily carry but, they are really not mandatory modifications.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

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    Distinguished Member Array sniper58's Avatar
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    Thanks guys! I appreciate your feedback. It's getting close to my "crash & burn" time so I'll jump off this thing and pick it up again tomorrow. So far, I've got a spring kit and extractor in my cart. Keep the suggestions coming!
    Tim
    BE PREPARED - Noah didn't build the Ark when it was raining!
    Si vis pacem, para bellum
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    Senior Member Array Geezer's Avatar
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    The only things I've had to break was an extractor and a barrel bushing (defective from the mfgr).
    I keep a spare extractor, spring, bushing , pin and grip screws in my range bag for insurance.

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    Ex Member Array Glock 'em down's Avatar
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    Have any of you guys seen the new Sheriff Jim Wilson model by Ed Brown? Truly a work of art and a "no nonsense" fighting weapon. It has everything you need and not a bunch of crap that you don't!

    If only the MSRP wasn't $2,295!

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    Distinguished Member Array BIG E's Avatar
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    Look on Ebay for cheap 1911 parts. There are quality parts for sale out there for a fraction of the cost.
    Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft!

    -- Theodore Roosevelt --

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    Senior Member Array Timmy Jimmy's Avatar
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    how many rounds down range before you would expect to have to replace a spring?
    Timmy Jimmy

    If it is not in the US Constitution then the Federal Government should not be doing it.

    "Carrying a gun is a social responsibility."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Timmy Jimmy View Post
    how many rounds down range before you would expect to have to replace a spring?
    It depends on a lot of factors, but I start replacing around 5k. I do that for all my guns, 1911 or others.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Senior Member Array Timmy Jimmy's Avatar
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    What are the symptoms that I need a new spring?
    Timmy Jimmy

    If it is not in the US Constitution then the Federal Government should not be doing it.

    "Carrying a gun is a social responsibility."

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    Depends on the cartridge caliber & size of the firearm.

    For .45 acp in 1911
    Common weakened recoil spring indicators
    > Increased ejection distance.
    > Improper ejection.
    > Stovepipe malfunctions.
    > Sporadic failure to fully go into battery.
    Best Quality factory standard recoil springs- probably about every 3,000 - 4,000 rounds with standard factory ammo.

    Chrome Silicon recoil springs less often.

    Compact .45 acp pistol recoil springs should be changed out at least twice as often.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

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    Distinguished Member Array sniper58's Avatar
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    Great info - thanks! I'm building a shopping list. I have less 750 rounds through my 1911, but I want parts now (just in case). I installed a heavier spring after about 300 rounds only because my casings were 11 points away. I was on point 1 at Ocala and the guy at the end (on 12) was returning my brass!

    I have only had one piece break on any pistol I've ever owned. That was the safety on my Witness .40 (after about 1000 rounds). That was enough to convince me I need some parts. Thanks again to all!
    Tim
    BE PREPARED - Noah didn't build the Ark when it was raining!
    Si vis pacem, para bellum
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