1911 Jams

1911 Jams

This is a discussion on 1911 Jams within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Ok, this post is about 1911 jams.. They say 1911's need to be broken in before it finds its grooves, and it will start to ...

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Thread: 1911 Jams

  1. #1
    Member Array RogerThat's Avatar
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    1911 Jams

    Ok, this post is about 1911 jams..
    They say 1911's need to be broken in before it finds its grooves, and it will start to shoot like it should without malfunctions and what not.
    My question is what is a normal amount of jams in a break-in-period?
    I understand some people are going to post and say they've shot 3k rounds without any problems.
    Well you're lucky if thats you, I'm asking what perspectively in general rule is a normal amount of jams for a 1911 in its break in period
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    Member Array ScubaDuba's Avatar
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    So far I have 120 rounds through my Kimber with two malfunctions. Both times the slide did not lock forward (go into battery).

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    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    Ammo selection can effect reliability. Some autos don't like some ammo. The tighter tolerance can hinder reliability until broken in. The old 1911s in the Navy had such sloppy tolerance that they were extremly reliable.
    Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around laws. Plato

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    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    If a 1911 is put together right, it shouldn't matter whether it is breaking in or not. This is a point of contention I have had for a long time with some folks, but then again, I have been shooting and carrying them for the past 25 years, so here is what I know:

    I have had 1911s I have bought off the shelf, and 1911s built from scratch and 1911s built from spare parts I had lying around from matches I had won them in. Every gun that resulted from one of the three options I described all functioned flawlessly and would cut a ragged hole in the target.

    The one thing in common they all had was that I had someone who knew what they were doing put them together and/or fitting them. I have had guns built or worked on by:

    Alex Hamilton
    Greg Ferris
    Benny Hill
    Dave Dawson
    Junior Nowlin

    All of the aforementioned gunsmiths are acknowledged Masters of their craft; 2 of them (Hill & Dawson) are 3-gun Grandmasters in USPSA so they know what works and what doesn't with 1911s as well as anyone out there. As far as reliability is concerned, a properly built 1911 should cycle empty cases loaded into the magazine through the gun without a hitch. I have always thought of break-in periods as excuses for poor work on the gunsmiths' part. The only time I ever gave any concerns to a 1911 wearing in was so that I could determine when to send it off to get hard-chromed.......

    Just my .02...
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

  5. #5
    Member Array RogerThat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevew View Post
    Ammo selection can effect reliability. Some autos don't like some ammo. The tighter tolerance can hinder reliability until broken in. The old 1911s in the Navy had such sloppy tolerance that they were extremly reliable.
    I'm understanding there are variables in this equation... I'm looking for a straight up answer as to what they perceive to be acceptable as normal for jams in a break in period for 1911's.
    A man with a briefcase can steal millions more than any man with a gun.

    No law ever prevented a crime.
    -Anonymous

    A Fool refuses to protect himself, his family, and his home. - Me

  6. #6
    Member Array RogerThat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edr9x23super View Post
    If a 1911 is put together right, it shouldn't matter whether it is breaking in or not. This is a point of contention I have had for a long time with some folks, but then again, I have been shooting and carrying them for the past 25 years, so here is what I know:

    I have had 1911s I have bought off the shelf, and 1911s built from scratch and 1911s built from spare parts I had lying around from matches I had won them in. Every gun that resulted from one of the three options I described all functioned flawlessly and would cut a ragged hole in the target.

    The one thing in common they all had was that I had someone who knew what they were doing put them together and/or fitting them. I have had guns built or worked on by:

    Alex Hamilton
    Greg Ferris
    Benny Hill
    Dave Dawson
    Junior Nowlin

    All of the aforementioned gunsmiths are acknowledged Masters of their craft; 2 of them (Hill & Dawson) are 3-gun Grandmasters in USPSA so they know what works and what doesn't with 1911s as well as anyone out there. As far as reliability is concerned, a properly built 1911 should cycle empty cases loaded into the magazine through the gun without a hitch. I have always thought of break-in periods as excuses for poor work on the gunsmiths' part. The only time I ever gave any concerns to a 1911 wearing in was so that I could determine when to send it off to get hard-chromed.......

    Just my .02...
    Makes sense, but lets just say your buying from a gun shop and your fairly new to guns in retrospect compared to the experience you have. I don't have those connections or that insight yet to obtain a gun that I know will be that reliable and perfectly fitted and what not. So I'm referring to a 1911 that you would generally buy from a gunshop and nothing has been done to it after it left the manufacturer
    A man with a briefcase can steal millions more than any man with a gun.

    No law ever prevented a crime.
    -Anonymous

    A Fool refuses to protect himself, his family, and his home. - Me

  7. #7
    Member Array RogerThat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScubaDuba View Post
    So far I have 120 rounds through my Kimber with two malfunctions. Both times the slide did not lock forward (go into battery).
    was this while your were loading your first round or was this half way through shooting?
    A man with a briefcase can steal millions more than any man with a gun.

    No law ever prevented a crime.
    -Anonymous

    A Fool refuses to protect himself, his family, and his home. - Me

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array TWO GUNS's Avatar
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    I have never needed to break in my Colt 1911's
    Have Fun and Shoot Straight !!

  9. #9
    Member Array RogerThat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TWO GUNS View Post
    I have never needed to break in my Colt 1911's
    ok that isn't what I'm asking... I stated already I know there are going to be people who have never had a jam with whatever they shoot and thats fine, your lucky.... but the question here is what is an accepted amount of jams during a break in period for a 1911 generally speaking.
    A man with a briefcase can steal millions more than any man with a gun.

    No law ever prevented a crime.
    -Anonymous

    A Fool refuses to protect himself, his family, and his home. - Me

  10. #10
    Member Array ScubaDuba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RogerThat View Post
    was this while your were loading your first round or was this half way through shooting?
    One time it was the last bullet in the mag, and the other it was about halfway through.

  11. #11
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    I own 8 different 1911s, from several different manufactures. Kimber, Springfield, STI, Caspian, Les Baer. All but 2 are .45acp, the others are 10mm & .38super. They also are different sizes as well; full size, Commander & Officer.

    The failures I have had the most have been a result of problem magazines! Cheap magazines will turn a good gun bad. Don't go cheap on magazines!

    Some of mine have had to be 'broken in'....The Les Baer comes to mind, it was so tight from the factory that it was difficult to rack the slide. It was totally reliable after about 250 rounds. It now has nearly 10,000 rounds thru it.

    A couple have had minor feed issues & required the feed ramp to be polished. One required some minor extractor work to operate properly.

    I also have a full custom gun that TTi made for me. The only problem with it was magazine related.

    YMMV, but the 1911 is my primary carry during all but summer, when I switch to Glock.
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    Member Array Jim Macklin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RogerThat View Post
    I'm understanding there are variables in this equation... I'm looking for a straight up answer as to what they perceive to be acceptable as normal for jams in a break in period for 1911's.
    My friend bought a Kimber Ultra CDP. First round failed to feed, bullet drag on feed ramp stopped the cycle.
    Took it to kitchen, stripped it and used some 400 grit paper wrapped on a ballpoint pen barrel and did about a dozen polishing strokes. Put it together and it has not failed since with any load/bullet.

    My Officers ACP did the same thing when I bought it 25 years ago. I used some 320 then 600 grit paper to polish the barrel and feed ramp of all Colt's tool marks. I also polished the end of the slide stop
    so a bullet won't kick it up prematurely.

    A 1911 depends on good magazines, so each magazine should be tested. A proper firm hold is important too.

    But after that first malfunction and proper fix, no malfunctions are expected.
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    Member Array liljake82's Avatar
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    Definatly buy good mags. Dads GC NM series 70 will feed anything through chip mcormic mags, and won't feed any HP's reliably through the GI knock offs. (I'm sure when dad passes my bro and I will fight to the death over that gun, but dad says he's taking it with him)
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    I'll be happy to chime in on this one in the morn. Right now it's ZZZZZ time for me.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array Sarge45's Avatar
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    My experiences come from many 1911's. Colt, Springfield Armory, Kimber, Curtis Lemay. Out of the many I have owned and shot I would say as a general rule, 1911's need a "run-in" period to settle the parts. After that, they are good to go.

    I am a huge fan of the 1911 handgun and own 5 currently. The ones I own at the present are a Springfield Armory, (3) Colts and a Kimber. I've owned many others,as I said earlier so my opinion is formed from much experience.

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