Bad experiences with the 1911

tomrkba

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The only trouble I have had with a 1911 was the tiny Colt 1911 Officers model 1st run.
Twice back to Colt 3 times to the Gunsmith, & still no joy. Traded it for parts on a super great Commander.

I believe it was the extractor as the LW version had no FTF nor FTE like the STD weight.
What do you believe happened to your tiny 1911?

Honestly, no idea. The 'smith tried tuning the extractor, playing with spring weight, tuning mag lips, messing with the ejector, etc.
 

tomrkba

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There must be something wrong internally with the gun sir. Have you taken it to a Gunsmith to have it checked? Have you sent it back to the manufacturer? I have an SDS Imports 1911 A1 Tanker that shoots like it's nobody's business. It eats everything I feed it. No issues. Yes, Impressive for a $400.00 1911, considering the Dan Wesson I had jammed constantly and that gun was $1100.00. The 1911 requires a lot of lubrication, and no I am not talking tons of oil, but a little more than you would use on a Glock or any other Polymer wonder. Have it checked. Maybe there are parts inside that need replacement?

Oh and one more thing, are you having these issues with Hollow point ammo, ball ammo or both?

1911s were not designed to eat hollow points so if you are having issues with that kind of ammo then there is your answer. Ball ammo is what they prefer as that's what they were designed for.

It depends upon the gun.
 

Mike A1

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1911s were not designed to eat hollow points so if you are having issues with that kind of ammo then there is your answer. Ball ammo is what they prefer as that's what they were designed for.
I know this will come as surprise to some, but all those 6000 rounds that the first 1911 ate without fail were all FMJ 230gr BALL ammo. :eek:
All my 1911s Colts all eat 230gr ball flawlessly & it's even what I carry in my Colt Commander to win a gunfight. I use, see pic below.

One last time. :confused: A 45acp cartridge is too slow to expand a HP reliably in a Human target. Humans are soft compared to Deer & so to expect expansion
with a big fat slow bullet may be a pipe dream. A handgun bullet works by shock so tissue must stretch .380 vrs. .451 dia the .451 works better to shock the target. We want to stop an attack & the big Old slow 45Automatic Colt Pistol round will get her done.

Some worry about over penetration with the FMJ OK just what if a 230 HST .45 really did expand in a human. If the same 230 RN bullet came
out & a 230 gr bullet expanded or not, hit a 12 year old bystander. A good chance of survival with a round nose compared to a ragged shape. Massive damage from the HP most will not survive.

It's easy, both 230 gr .45 cap bullets will over penetrate the round nose will not shred flesh like an expanded HP if it would open up.
When it all comes down to seconds to live or die worrying about a Jam in my 1911 is not something I want to think about.

If the 1911 did not work every time I pulled the trigger, then I would be carrying a Colt .45cal SAA. I still love them Big Booolets ;)
Ask my Old man if he needed a hollow point when he Shot a Kraut in the shoulder, & when he tried to help the guy up his arm came
out of his coat sleeve. Bet that hurt a bit. :(
5.jpg
 

rmc51

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tomrkba

Where do you live? Try to get together with a couple other guys at the range, two, three+ other pairs of eyes many times help figure out what is going on and you may have someone from this site that is near you, also.

Bring paper & pencil with you and start making notes, Gun #1 does this, doesn't do this, Gun #2 does/doesn't and so on, make lists of the problems.
If you get to many rings going on at the circus at one time you can get confused.
 
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tomrkba

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tomrkba

Where do you live? Try to get together with a couple other guys at the range, two, three+ other pairs of eyes many times help figure out what is going on and you may have someone from this site that is near you, also.

Bring paper & pencil with you and start making notes, Gun #1 does this, doesn't do this, Gun #2 does/doesn't and so on, make lists of the problems.
If you get to many rings going on at the circus at one time you can get confused.

Oh, I've done all that. Pictures, video, friends, etc. Heck, I tested on the range with the gunsmith. I send them pictures of the notes.

These guns are long gone. I regret the Colts since they were great. I only have a few left, two of which were mentioned in the original post.
 

tomrkba

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1911s were not designed to eat hollow points so if you are having issues with that kind of ammo then there is your answer. Ball ammo is what they prefer as that's what they were designed for
Colt's dimple in the barrel ramp seems to be a simple solution to the problem. My XSE and WW I Repro both ate Golden Sabers and Federal Hydrashoks like they were ball. Otherwise, it seems to require customization from a gunsmith.
 

tomrkba

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I’ve never had such poor luck with guns. Hell I don’t personally know anyone that has.

I have many other guns, the vast majority of which never have any trouble--usually due to parts breakage due to high round count. I'm a SIG guy most of the time, but somehow managed to accumulate a stack of Glocks, HKs, various revolvers, S&W M&P's, etc. Just the damned 1911, which is a favorite, is a problem.
 

tomrkba

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UPDATE: 22 SEP 2021

I never sent either pistol back. I decided to try tuning the extractor myself. I did quite a bit of research and narrowed down the problem to extractor first, and a list second. If tweaking the extractor did not work, then the gun would go back.

I acquired the Weigand extractor tuning tool and gauges. I measured the tension ten times and both extractors averaged 32 to 33 ounces. The Weigand tool instructions say it should be set at 25-28 ounces. I played around with it until I was able to get 26 ounces or so. I repeated the process on the other gun.

Unfortunately, I did not have enough ammunition to get to 150-200 rounds to see if the feed failures would occur in the Valor. I doubt they will and it still ran great. The Enforcer that could not get through a magazine ran great for 150 rounds and fed Federal HST.

Both guns can be carried. I just need to test the Valor to see if it starts choking at 150-175 rounds. I won’t clean it and will hit the range soon.
 
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Mike A1

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You know Tom I don't have a single gun that does not work, if I did it would be gone
or I would fix it.
PS: My 1918 1911 getting a new frame now. It does not shoot at this time.

When I buy a new gun, it works or I send it back. :oops:
 

Pierre

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You know Tom I don't have a single gun that does not work, if I did it would be gone
or I would fix it.
PS: My 1918 1911 getting a new frame now. It does not shoot at this time.

When I buy a new gun, it works or I send it back. :oops:
Concur!!! I've fired guns that stove piped when others were firing it but when I shot it it worked fine. People somehow do not understand "limp wristing" ... Plus the only other gun that fits my paws perfectly even better than a 1911 is the hi power...
 

tomrkba

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"You know Tom I don't have a single gun that does not work, if I did it would be gone
or I would fix it."

That's what I just did. It turns out that the extractor tension was incorrectly set to 32-33 ounces. Looking at various online resources led me to that conclusion and the follow-up research in tools and techniques.

The reason I did not send it back was: 1) Nighthawk's policy where if they cannot replicate the issue, they charge you $200 (which is annoying if you sent pictures and can get video), 2) Turn around time is months, and 3) I figured I could fix it myself. The research confirmed the likely failure and the testing confirmed the fix.

We'll see about the Valor. It may need some additional work, such as chamber polishing or ejector tuning. It's been good so far and I'll run more rounds through it this weekend.
 

Mike A1

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You know Tom, I had the opportunity to shoot every kind of Rifle/Pistol in Service & out.
Compared to the Ruger MKI .22, the 1911 & copies like the Stars are so simple to work on & keep running.

When John Moses Browning designed the M-1911 he was not thinking of Civilians like us.

If I can be so bold as to try & second guess JMB :eek: Well I believe that John was looking to develop a Pistol platform
that would serve the GI but would let, a not so professional Battlefield Gunsmiths repair the weapon & keep it
in the fight.

The 1911 is a Battlefield weapon, & like any weapon of War its the loose tolerances that make it Reliable.
I would bet that my 1917 or 1918 just new springs & Parked finnish would still shoot those 6000 rounds of .45 Automatic Colt Pistol rds
better than one of the super tight squeaky Copies for 4 or 5K bucks.

Extractor :eek: A part to feed rim up 2 & remove the fired case. Spring tension ? Cure under duress, bend the replacement you installed due to
a broken extractor replacement until lip feeding & extraction workbest. All things in Moderation.

Everything JMB put into the 1911 was for ease of use & maintenance for War use in dirty condition that would clog up those squeaky copies
of the real thing.

If you want as close to perfect as you can get with a CCP. A loose not sloppy, Frame & slide, you can go in & polish everything & just like a
handloaded 45 acp round loaded with care, primer pockets trimmed etc won't make a tinker's damn. It's the design of the 1911 that's it.

For my CCP: 1 LW Commander 45 acp Flat Aluminum MSH replaced plastic one. A long John Harrison trigger, replaced the short plastic one.
One piece FLGR, & 3 Mag tubes by Check Mate, new in wrap Milsurp, Wolff springs & Pachmayr SS rounded Follower that's it except for the ammo.

I shoot & carry Winchester Military Match 60s vintage. What? Well just think of how you would feel if a 230 grain .451 FMJ at 800 feet per second
just passed through you midsection :eek: ??? Gonna get back up & rumble? Crackhead/Morro Warrior yep them 2 ;) BOOM yer down/

Oh & if my kid was the unfortunate recipient of a shoot through, well I would rather be hit by a FMJ than a ragged HP trying to open up.
Think about it.
 
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tomrkba

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You know Tom, I had the opportunity to shoot every kind of Rifle/Pistol in Service & out.
Compared to the Ruger MKI .22, the 1911 & copies like the Stars are so simple to work on & keep running.

When John Moses Browning designed the M-1911 he was not thinking of Civilians like us.

If I can be so bold as to try & second guess JMB :eek: Well I believe that John was looking to develop a Pistol platform
that would serve the GI but would let, a not so professional Battlefield Gunsmiths repair the weapon & keep it
in the fight.

The 1911 is a Battlefield weapon, & like any weapon of War its the loose tolerances that make it Reliable.
I would bet that my 1917 or 1918 just new springs & Parked finnish would still shoot those 6000 rounds of .45 Automatic Colt Pistol rds
better than one of the super tight squeaky Copies for 4 or 5K bucks.

Extractor :eek: A part to feed rim up 2 & remove the fired case. Spring tension ? Cure under duress, bend the replacement you installed due to
a broken extractor replacement until lip feeding & extraction workbest. All things in Moderation.

Everything JMB put into the 1911 was for ease of use & maintenance for War use in dirty condition that would clog up those squeaky copies
of the real thing.

If you want as close to perfect as you can get with a CCP. A loose not sloppy, Frame & slide, you can go in & polish everything & just like a
handloaded 45 acp round loaded with care, primer pockets trimmed etc won't make a tinker's damn. It's the design of the 1911 that's it.

For my CCP: 1 LW Commander 45 acp Flat Aluminum MSH replaced plastic one. A long John Harrison trigger, replaced the short plastic one.
One piece FLGR, & 3 Mag tubes by Check Mate, new in wrap Milsurp, Wolff springs & Pachmayr SS rounded Follower that's it except for the ammo.

I shoot & carry Winchester Military Match 60s vintage. What? Well just think of how you would feel if a 230 grain .451 FMJ at 800 feet per second
just passed through you midsection :eek: ??? Gonna get back up & rumble? Crackhead/Morro Warrior yep them 2 ;) BOOM yer down/

Oh & if my kid was the unfortunate recipient of a shoot through, well I would rather be hit by a FMJ than a ragged HP trying to open up.
Think about it.

I am going to have to disagree. I think you're engaging in "the fantasy of the 1911" that is convincing because it has elements of truth in it.

Colt's manufacturing in 1941 was nothing like that of today. Colt in the 1970's through mid 1980's couldn't make a running 1911. I think they were using worn out equipment at the time and had to update to compete. As Michael Bane put it "You bought a Colt and immediately turned around and shipped it to a gunsmith to make the damned thing work." It comes down to workmanship and adherence to the specification and old machines can have trouble with the latter.

Regarding the war, I am fairly certain military armorers checked those guns before sending them out. Larry Vickers mentioned that three things need to be tuned on the 1911 pistol: 1) thumb safety, 2) grip safety, and 3) extractor. Additionally, he stated that it's not a "plug-and-play" gun like the Glock. Users must pay attention to ammunition, magazines and what it's doing.

You modified your Colt LW Commander, including using a full length guide rod. So much for "as JMB intended". My "imitation guns" have the same limitations as yours. Loose is fine (per Kuhnhausen); it's the lockup of the barrel in the slide as related to the sights that matters most. Obviously, the slide to frame fit can be tightened but it's not necessary.

For some reason, you're carrying 60 year old ammunition ("shoot & carry Winchester Military Match 60s vintage"). That seems a bit unwise since you will likely see ignition failures. Perhaps some new Federal American Eagle 230 grain FMJ or something similar that has been sealed at the primer would be better.
 
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Mike A1

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For some reason, you're carrying 60 year old ammunition ("shoot & carry Winchester Military Match 60s vintage"). That seems a bit unwise since you will likely see ignition failures. Perhaps some new Federal American Eagle 230 grain FMJ or something similar that has been sealed at the primer would be better.

The reason is simple, if you have shot hundreds & hundreds of one brand & lot# of ammo without fail.
Why queer the numbers? I bought cans of sealed Military surplus ammo early 80s for $3.00 a box all with
sealed primers & bullets.

As for the FLGR I removed that last year for a simple take down without tools. The FLGR was of no real benefit I could ever see.

You can pick it all apart by blaming Colt Firearms, but you can never disregard there are thousands or Military & early Colts like my 51
that are drop dead reliable & beautiful. Just my .02 if I had only one pistol, it would be Betsy a 1917 Military Colt 1911 that has from day one
shot with all the gusto a real 1911 can have in one life.

That is all.
IMG_20201005_133843250_MP.jpg
This is Betsy with her org shoes. ;)
 

BillBro68

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MikeA1, I'm glad to hear you say that you dont have a single gun that doesnt work. Neither do I and I am always reluctant to say that myself because so many people do and just find it unfathomable. Granted I probably don't have quite as many as alot of folks but maybe more than some but they all do in fact function, and I'm including all of the AR platform rifles I've built. I just stick to basics, dont do trick. I build to a known standard of what is known to function. As for my 1911s, I pretty much feed them whatever I wish and they just happily eat it all up, spit it out and leave a smile on my face, every time. The DW Valors' favorite meal is a 200gr XTP over 8.8gr of A7 and it has eaten thousands. Probably as many of those as ball rounds. I know for sure I'm coming up on 10k with that one. Now I may start having extraction issues on the next trip but as of the last one it was good. New springs and that's been it so far.
I can think of anything more frustrating than a gun that doesnt work.
 
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