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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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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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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.
 

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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...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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.
 

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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.
 

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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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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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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.
 

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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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Sorry.....I've had grape jam,strawberry jam and raspberry jam, But no 1911 Jam.:confused:
 

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I don't know that there is an answer to your question...I have owned 1911's for over 25 years, some were a little touchy when new, some weren't...Remember the original 1911 was designed as a battlefield pistol. It was designed to shoot ball ammo. Tolerances were big to allow the gun to function in the worst possible conditions. Those loose tolerances, also made them less accurate. When makers started making them tighter, for better accuracy, them also made them more likely to malfunction...

When I bought my first Colt 1911, in the 70's, the first thing I did was shoot about 200 rounds of FMJ ammo through it. It functioned 100%, if I remember correctly. I cleaned it, then I sent it to be 'throated and polished'... It was considered the 'norm' to send your 1911 to have it tuned before you carried it...
 

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The vast majority of Colt 1911 firearms do not need a "break in" period before they will function correctly.

I don't know who "they" are that told you that or gave you that information but, that statement is not factually correct.

Kimber states that their guns will sometimes need a "break in" period but, then again not even all Kimber 1911s need to be "broken in"
Basically....what Kimber says is that if you buy a Kimber and it suffers from FTFs then try shooting 500 rounds through it before you bother us and complain to us that your gun is a lemon.
But, there is no set number of "jams" that would be typical.
You could have 2 FTFs in that first 500 rounds or you could have 150 FTFs.
It would depend on the individual firearm.

Almost every 1911 pattern firearm that does not "run" correctly right out of the box has a problem that can be traced directly to the extractor being improperly tensioned.
Some other Colt Clone 1911s are supplied with crap magazines and their problem can be traced directly to the magazine.

I have owned about 8 or 9 new Colt 1911s and none of them have required a "break in" period.
Forum member OD has owned at least 20 new Colts and I remember him saying that all of his ran perfectly right out of the box.

My opinion is that if you bought a new Colt and it is not feeding correctly or it is stove-piping or you are experiencing any other function related problems then don't bother wasting 500 rounds on it.
Send it either right back to Colt or to a qualified gun-smith and have it made right.

My personal opinion is that if Kimber would spend an extra 20 minutes to "finish lap" their slides to the frame and then spend another 10 minutes to properly fit and tune/tension the extractor - Kimbers would not need a "break in" period but, for some odd reason they would just rather that the customer get frustrated burning up ammo to do it instead.

There is absolutely NO inherent or mechanical reason why a 1911 pattern pistol should not function just as perfectly "right out of the box" as every other semi-automatic pistol.
 

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There is absolutely NO inherent or mechanical reason why a 1911 pattern pistol should not function just as perfectly "right out of the box" as every other semi-automatic pistol.
DITTO!

I have one Colt I bought new (1984) that I had to tweak, not so that it would run, it ran fine, it's extractor was clocking and the empty brass would bonk me in the head. :wink:

I still have that old girl, and it still runs like a champ.




Another myth is that John Browning built the M1911/M1911A1s loose, so they would function. The folks that make that claim have apparently never had the opportunity to handle an original and unaltered M1911, they WERE NOT built loose (the specs were loosened in Nov. of 1943 to aid parts interchangeability from maker to maker). They are loose by Les Baer standards, but that is comparing apples and oranges too, and Les Baer has disproved the myth that a "tight" 1911 won't function in adverse conditions.
 

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.... but the question here is what is an accepted amount of jams during a break in period for a 1911 generally speaking.
There is no set answer, it depends on the makers. As has been mentioned, if the pistol is built correctly, it shouldn't need a "break-in", IMO.
 
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