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Thread: The Art and Science of Keeping Your 1911 Running

  1. #831
    Site Supporter JonInWA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clusterfrack View Post
    Today I shot a local match that was Single Stack themed (I didn't shoot that division). The Single Stack shooters there desperately needed to read this thread on keeping their 1911 running. I have never seen so many malfunctions at a USPSA match. On my squad, we had guns from Atlas, Dan Wesson, Sig, a full custom, and others I didn't pay attention to--in 9mm and .45. Not one single gun had fewer than 5 malfunctions, and most had far more.
    Hmmm. I ran my upgraded SIG GSR that I've discussed in the other concurrently running thread for 171 rounds in an IDPA match yesterday, in 29 degree gradually increasing to 40 degree weather with absolutely zero problems, using Sellier & Bellot 230 gr ball in a variety of Check-Mate magazines, with my primary lubricant TW25B. I'll go out on a wild-assed limb and posit that using quality factory ammunition, tuned springs, decent magazines in aproperly cleaned and lubricated gun just might have been crucial factors in achieving a consistantly uneventful performance...

    Best, Jon

  2. #832
    King of Craft Clusterfrack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M2CattleCo View Post
    USPSA SS shooters have a few problems with hardware that make beating them generally as easy as shooting fish in a barrel.
    1) They try to cheap out on everything.
    2) They let some local race gun guy tune their gun.
    3) They can’t reload worth a shit.
    4) Their mags and their guns are junk and they try to make their reloads fix it.
    5) They’re usually old and can’t see.
    5B) They don’t care if they win. They’re there to escape from home, scrounge up brass, and maybe get lunch paid for by someone.
    Quote Originally Posted by 45dotACP View Post
    Half joking but many Boomers can't internet. It is probably why many 1911 guys have problems.
    LOL! Yeah. There are a few around here like that. But most of guys I'm talking about were A,M, and GM-level shooters, and not one of them was old enough to have attended Woodstock.

    Quote Originally Posted by farscott View Post
    6) The pistol had not been fired in months before the match.
    I think this is the answer in large part. A couple of guns had recently had replacement parts (e.g. extractor), but weren't fully tested.

    Quote Originally Posted by JonInWA View Post
    Hmmm. I ran my upgraded SIG GSR that I've discussed in the other concurrently running thread for 171 rounds in an IDPA match yesterday, in 29 degree gradually increasing to 40 degree weather with absolutely zero problems, using Sellier & Bellot 230 gr ball in a variety of Check-Mate magazines, with my primary lubricant TW25B. I'll go out on a wild-assed limb and posit that using quality factory ammunition, tuned springs, decent magazines in a properly cleaned and lubricated gun just might have been crucial factors in achieving a consistently uneventful performance...
    The winner of this match is a truly outstanding shooter. But it's hard to know how much of his trophy is due to doing what Jon posted above, while his equally-skilled competitors assumed their guns would run, and were wrong. In these times of limited ammo and reloading components, testing a gun for reliability isn't easy for a lot of people.
    "BJJ is sort of like nonconsensual yoga"
    "You don’t really graduate from certain problems or certain things… like you always have to work on trigger control and pulling the trigger straight. " --Ben Stoeger 1/24/2018

  3. #833
    Hobbyist JAD's Avatar
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    Man, how many of my matches have gone to shit because I said, “oh, I know, let’s dust this sucker off and see how she does!” The last one of those was an L frame for which I had brought K frame speedloaders.

  4. #834
    Beware the man with one gun, for brought the right mags.

  5. #835
    Site Supporter psalms144.1's Avatar
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    My current "hard use" 1911 is a bare bones Springfield Range Officer 5". I'm THIS CLOSE to finishing the 2000 round challenge with it - just a question of getting out from under miserable weather now. So far, 0 issues, using the cheap ass Springer 7 round mags, and a number of Wilson 47Ds. Might be the fact that I'm only shooting USG-issued 230gr FMJ through it, and haven't fiddle fucked with anything except replacing the adjustable rear with a Harrison fixed.

    I'm sure if I had started the test using my 200 gr SWC handloads over dirty dirty Unique, I'd have choked by now due to reduced recoil impulse and gnarly residue. But, so far, so good.

    In the past, I have taken perfectly good pistols, 1911s and otherwise, and turned them into finicky, puking piles of trash by "improving them" with non-standard springs, cheap mags, aftermarket parts, etc.

  6. #836
    Damnable 1911 Heretic Elwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M2CattleCo View Post
    Beware the man with one gun, for brought the right mags.
    I'm pretty paranoid about this mistake based on past experience. I just recently took sharpies to ALL my .45 mags, giving them a silver stripe around the baseplate and a "45" on the spine (in addition to the numbers they already had) so I can easily tell them apart from the 9mm mags they now share space with. Because I know that the one time I bring the wrong mags, it'll be when I really, really need the right ones, and they won't be anywhere nearby.

  7. #837
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    Quote Originally Posted by psalms144.1 View Post
    My current "hard use" 1911 is a bare bones Springfield Range Officer 5". I'm THIS CLOSE to finishing the 2000 round challenge with it - just a question of getting out from under miserable weather now. So far, 0 issues, using the cheap ass Springer 7 round mags, and a number of Wilson 47Ds. Might be the fact that I'm only shooting USG-issued 230gr FMJ through it, and haven't fiddle fucked with anything except replacing the adjustable rear with a Harrison fixed.

    In the past, I have taken perfectly good pistols, 1911s and otherwise, and turned them into finicky, puking piles of trash by "improving them" with non-standard springs, cheap mags, aftermarket parts, etc.
    That's about a word for word description of my competition gun. Springfield RO in .45 with a harrison fixed rear and a mag well. I prefer CMC magazines for a .45 but that's personal preference. The gun can run with anything.

    Tuned the extractor and it has been great excluding the times my dumb ass doesn't insert the mag enough.

    As for keeping a gun reliable? You just gotta occasionally do the shake test, make sure the extractor is profiled right, and if you're a high round count guy, properly lube and re spring your gun at the specified intervals. Even then you can get a little wiggle room.

    This gun was my previous game gun and my first 1911. I've lost count of the rounds through it although it's probably between 30-40k. Not a lot. Still in the original extractor and the ejector wiggles like a loose tooth, but it's still pinned in place so it's no matter. It's been like that since birth sadly, as when I built this gun I didn't correctly prep the surface for the loctite.

    It's still devastatingly accurate and I still absolutely trust it to run. It had malfunctions certainly. Especially because I had to look up how to fully disassemble a 1911 before I even started trying to put the pieces together. So not everything was right when I started.

    But the lessons I learned gave me a ton of experience and knowledge and perspective. Enough so that the next gun I built was better. And the other guns I did work on were better off for my having worked on them.



    Sent from my moto g(6) using Tapatalk
    Last edited by 45dotACP; 01-25-2021 at 07:38 PM.

  8. #838
    Quote Originally Posted by psalms144.1 View Post
    So far, 0 issues, using the cheap ass Springer 7 round mags, and a number of Wilson 47Ds.

    Ahem!

    Those cheap ass mags, last time I checked, were Checkmates with g.i. follower and wadcutter lips. They’ll still be doing their thing long after those 47Ds are dead

  9. #839
    Member gato naranja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psalms144.1 View Post
    My current "hard use" 1911 is a bare bones Springfield Range Officer 5". I'm THIS CLOSE to finishing the 2000 round challenge with it - just a question of getting out from under miserable weather now. So far, 0 issues, using the cheap ass Springer 7 round mags, and a number of Wilson 47Ds. Might be the fact that I'm only shooting USG-issued 230gr FMJ through it, and haven't fiddle fucked with anything except replacing the adjustable rear with a Harrison fixed.

    I'm sure if I had started the test using my 200 gr SWC handloads over dirty dirty Unique, I'd have choked by now due to reduced recoil impulse and gnarly residue. But, so far, so good.

    In the past, I have taken perfectly good pistols, 1911s and otherwise, and turned them into finicky, puking piles of trash by "improving them" with non-standard springs, cheap mags, aftermarket parts, etc.
    How's the Harrison fixed rear working out for you? I have a chance to pick up an RO but the adjustable rear is keeping me from being too interested.

    My 5" Springfield RO Operator in 9mm gave me a few problems at first, but I resisted the urge to do much of anything to it other than eliminate burrs. I did swap out the grip panels, but that was the only parts change. Funny how "improving them" frequently does the opposite.

    (I used to fall fast and hard for the "bullet proof/extra-strength/super duty" pitch on aftermarket parts until I finally realized that randomly putting a few stronger links in the chain - so to speak - was not necessarily even a good idea, let alone a great one. Maybe I should have read more things like J.E. Gordon's "New Science of Strong Materials" and "Structures" instead of gun rags back in the day.)

    Leaving it stock, breaking it in slow, and keeping it lubed and clean was my grandpa's prescription for about everything mechanical.
    gn

    (un VIEJO gato naranja... and still skeptical about humans)

  10. #840
    Site Supporter psalms144.1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gato naranja View Post
    How's the Harrison fixed rear working out for you? I have a chance to pick up an RO but the adjustable rear is keeping me from being too interested.
    I love the Harrison rear. The install was WAY past my basement gunsmithing skill, and the local smith was cussing a blue streak to get it fitted. But, it's solid, the picture is great, and I have no doubt I could beat a zombie to death with it and not worry even a little about damage...

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