1911 series 80 myths or facts

1911 series 80 myths or facts

This is a discussion on 1911 series 80 myths or facts within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; So, after shooting today I decided to get brave and take down my Para Commander all the way and give it a proper inspection,cleaning and ...

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    VIP Member Array forester58's Avatar
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    1911 series 80 myths or facts

    So, after shooting today I decided to get brave and take down my Para Commander all the way and give it a proper inspection,cleaning and lube since I bought it used and have never had it completely disassembled.

    Now I get to the slide and I figured out how to get the firing pin stop and firing pin/spring out but, got a little hung up on the extractor. I knew it was tied to the firing pin safety but, it took a trip back into the house and Youtube to see how exactly they were tied together. Ok, got that done and all back together successfully.

    I noticed a Youtube video while I was in there about "converting" a series 80 to a series 70 with this little after market "spacer". The guy claimed that the 80 could fail because of the firing pin safety and all those (3) extra parts to go wrong.

    Now, every semi auto I have owned, I think, has had a firing pin/drop safety. I have no plans to convert my gun but, I thought this guy was kind of full of it to make that claim?

    I understand purity of the original design and supposedly a "better" trigger but, is there any truth behind the series 80 1911's being less reliable? My BS meter says no but, its been wrong before a time or two.

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    Distinguished Member Array Rabbit212's Avatar
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    Anything mechanical will fail. Dont you know those 1911 pistols are jammamatics that will get you killed when you most need them to work....read it on the glock forums. Perfection wouldn't lie to you. Tell me this.....is that kernel of doubt in the 1911 growing in your head after you saw that youtube video??
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    OD*
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    I've only been shooting them since they first came out in 1983, but I have never seen it happen, and I've never heard of a documented case of one failing. Para, Taurus, etc., wouldn't pay Colt royalties if they had even the slightest problem with the "Series 80" firing pin block.

    Your BS meter is spot on.
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    VIP Member Array forester58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rabbit212 View Post
    Anything mechanical will fail. Dont you know those 1911 pistols are jammamatics that will get you killed when you most need them to work....read it on the glock forums. Perfection wouldn't lie to you. Tell me this.....is that kernel of doubt in the 1911 growing in your head after you saw that youtube video??
    No, my gun has been fantastic in reliability and even the trigger, to me, is great. No plans to screw that up just curiosity is all and I know people generally prefer the 70's.

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    I've put a round or two through both the Series 70 and Series 80 type 1911s. While not considering myself an expert on Mr. Browning's design, IMHO there are four or five things that significantly affect the shooting reliability of the design. (Not in any sort of order of importance.)

    1) Use of non-FMJ round nose ammo for which the original design was to shoot.
    2) Ejection port standard or lowered/beveled
    3) Polish level of frame or barrel ramp
    4) Magazines
    5) Extractor tuning

    You will note that my list does not include whether there is a firing pin block or not. Again, IMHO, this does not matter one iota.

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    Senior Member Array M1911A1's Avatar
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    I do not like the firing-pin-block safety.
    My 1911s are all Series 70 or older.

    However, I am the first to admit that this is mostly a prejudice.
    Yes, the extra (and unneeded) safety device seems to have a small effect upon the trigger action. But not much.
    My prejudice is based mostly upon the inelegance of the Series 80 firing-pin-safety design, and the fact that it is a lawyer-mandated safety device that truly is not necessary to the original mechanism.

    Here's proof that my position is merely a prejudice:
    I use the Series 80, spring-finger barrel bushing in two of my 1911s; all except the "shortie."
    The spring-finger bushing is also supposed to be an abomination, but it makes fitting a new bushing easier, and I've never yet had one break.
    Were I truly rational, and not merely prejudiced, I wouldn't use it because Browning didn't design it into the original mechanism.
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    the added hardware of the 80 series is not something any competition gun would use,all custom and competition 1911s are 70 series
    but I guess the lawyers run things for many companies

    My latest,a Colt has the 80 series but its for CCW so I really dont mind it for now,I can add the spacer later and clear the slide of the
    firing pin safety and plunger
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonnycrocket View Post
    the added hardware of the 80 series is not something any competition gun would use,all custom and competition 1911s are 70 series
    but I guess the lawyers run things for many companies

    My latest,a Colt has the 80 series but its for CCW so I really dont mind it for now,I can add the spacer later and clear the slide of the
    firing pin safety and plunger
    I honestly would be bothered by that big hole that might allow crude into the firing pin channel more than the safety.
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    Quote Originally Posted by M1911A1 View Post
    I do not like the firing-pin-block safety.
    My 1911s are all Series 70 or older.

    However, I am the first to admit that this is mostly a prejudice.
    Yes, the extra (and unneeded) safety device seems to have a small effect upon the trigger action. But not much.
    My prejudice is based mostly upon the inelegance of the Series 80 firing-pin-safety design, and the fact that it is a lawyer-mandated safety device that truly is not necessary to the original mechanism.

    Here's proof that my position is merely a prejudice:
    I use the Series 80, spring-finger barrel bushing in two of my 1911s; all except the "shortie."
    The spring-finger bushing is also supposed to be an abomination, but it makes fitting a new bushing easier, and I've never yet had one break.
    Were I truly rational, and not merely prejudiced, I wouldn't use it because Browning didn't design it into the original mechanism.
    Gotta give you a lot of credit for admitting that.

    Teddy Jacobson of Actions By 'T' fame was fond of saying "If anyone claims you cannot get a good trigger job on a Series 80, he is either a liar or incompetent."
    Last edited by OD*; January 3rd, 2020 at 12:48 PM. Reason: Spellin'
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    OD*
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    Quote Originally Posted by forester58 View Post
    I honestly would be bothered by that big hole that might allow crude into the firing pin channel more than the safety.
    I might be concerned with what an ambulance chaser could do with you for deliberately disabling a safety devise in a firearm.

    Burden of proof is a lot lower in a civil case.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OD* View Post
    I might be concerned with what an ambulance chaser could do with you for deliberately disabling a safety devise in a firearm.

    Burden of proof is a lot lower in a civil case.
    Part of the reason I don't mess with altering the internals on carry guns. I know a lawyer can jump on you for anything but, to the non gun public "disconnecting a safety device" is all they hear with no understanding what that really means.
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    I have both series 70 and series 80 1911s. I do not own any Kimber or S&W 1911s. All of mine are steel government model size. I do not care for alloy or smaller versions. I have been shooting 1911s since 1963. I would be very hard pressed to tell the difference in the triggers if you didn't tell me which was which.
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    The only negative that I have found in the 80 over the 70 series is a little more tedious reassemble of the upper receiver.

    I like them both, and have found no real reason to have a preference for my uses.
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-man* View Post
    The only negative that I have found in the 80 over the 70 series is a little more tedious reassemble of the upper receiver.

    I like them both, and have found no real reason to have a preference for my uses.
    Yes, true enough. More little parts that make my fingers work like thumbs. Took some patience to get it back in there correctly but, I wanted to also learn how it all worked in there.
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    When I was shopping for a 1911, the LGS had a few series 80 in stock but no series 70. I had no idea what the difference meant. The gun manager explained everything and was fairly frank about it. He said most of their 1911 die hard customers opted for the series 70 for the simplicity factor alone, and that was the reason they couldn't always keep them in stock. But he didn't trash the series 80 either. I ended up waiting on a series 70.

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