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Thread: The Art and Science of Keeping Your 1911 Running

  1. #1011
    I have a question changing the subject from sights but keeping in the 1911 reliability area. For you 1911 “lifers”, if I am buying my first 1911, do you recommend against a Stainless slide on Stainless frame construction? I want a 1911 and I don’t mind spending $1600-$1700 on a Dan Wesson Specialist or PM9. I don’t anticipate buying another. I am debating between a Bomar rear sight vs Novak style. But I keep reading about Stainless galling and problems that are hopefully “bad break-in” related. But some guys seems to have no problems even when deviating from recommended break-in lubes and some guys follow all the rules and seem to have problems. So for guys that have a lifetime of experience with 1911s and keeping them reliable, is there a universally agreed opinion to stay away from Stainless? I really like the look of stainless finish. But I would be frustrated to spend a decent amount of money and be sending a pistol back to factory. Thanks

  2. #1012
    Site Supporter
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    Jun 2014
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    Minnesota
    Quote Originally Posted by Rmiked View Post
    I have a question changing the subject from sights but keeping in the 1911 reliability area. For you 1911 “lifers”, if I am buying my first 1911, do you recommend against a Stainless slide on Stainless frame construction? I want a 1911 and I don’t mind spending $1600-$1700 on a Dan Wesson Specialist or PM9. I don’t anticipate buying another. I am debating between a Bomar rear sight vs Novak style. But I keep reading about Stainless galling and problems that are hopefully “bad break-in” related. But some guys seems to have no problems even when deviating from recommended break-in lubes and some guys follow all the rules and seem to have problems. So for guys that have a lifetime of experience with 1911s and keeping them reliable, is there a universally agreed opinion to stay away from Stainless? I really like the look of stainless finish. But I would be frustrated to spend a decent amount of money and be sending a pistol back to factory. Thanks
    Not all stainless is identical...there was a reason why stainless 1911s didn't really come about until Detonics finally figured out and perfected the formulation of a type of stainless that was galling-resistant (which was then stolen by someone else, thus stainless 1911s were born for the masses...all of this is in some online Detonics history btw).

    Colt seems to have gotten it right with their 1911s, but DW seems to have not gotten it right on theirs...they're the maker I more recently hear of being associated with galling issues. Them, Randall (older 1911 maker) and a few others...but I haven't really heard of Colts having issues.

    Stainless also has some other issues over plain old carbon; it's softer (at least on 1911s, in general), so just like older 1911s where the slide stop notch would peen out, before 1911 slides were spot then all hardened from WWII onwards...it's far easier to do on a stainless slide than it is on a properly hardened carbon slide. This isn't a huge issue until you start running high round counts, OR your mag springs start getting weak. Especially noticeable on most 8 round mags, too. Easy way to tell, is seat an empty 8 round mag and yank the slide back, and let the mag lock it open. If you can push up the slide stop a little further up into the notch after that...well, don't use that mag in a gun with a stainless slide. It WILL eventually peen it out if it doesn't seat the slide stop all the way into the notch. For comparison, try it with a GI 7 round mag with a good spring in it; it should shove that slide stop as far into the notch as the slide will allow. Source, is it happened to me...I wound up having to send a slide out to get the notch re-cut because of it, in a stainless gun. I also got rid of most all of my 8 round Check-Mate mags; if I use an 8 round mag, it's a Wilson with a longer 8 round specific tube. I won't use any 8 round mags that use a 7 round mag tube anymore; they make too many compromises especially in the follower. There's a reason the rear leg of the follower in a 7 round mag is so long...it's to prevent the follower from tilting when the mag is empty and ensure that the slide stop gets rammed as far up as possible. Check your standard 8 round mag and press down on the follower, then pull it up...bet you can move that follower a fair bit up and down. Try it with a GI 7 round mag and I bet that follower is far more stable..

  3. #1013
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Georgia
    Quote Originally Posted by Rmiked View Post
    I have a question changing the subject from sights but keeping in the 1911 reliability area. For you 1911 “lifers”, if I am buying my first 1911, do you recommend against a Stainless slide on Stainless frame construction? I want a 1911 and I don’t mind spending $1600-$1700 on a Dan Wesson Specialist or PM9. I don’t anticipate buying another. I am debating between a Bomar rear sight vs Novak style. But I keep reading about Stainless galling and problems that are hopefully “bad break-in” related. But some guys seems to have no problems even when deviating from recommended break-in lubes and some guys follow all the rules and seem to have problems. So for guys that have a lifetime of experience with 1911s and keeping them reliable, is there a universally agreed opinion to stay away from Stainless? I really like the look of stainless finish. But I would be frustrated to spend a decent amount of money and be sending a pistol back to factory. Thanks
    I view it this way: There's a chance that even if you don't follow the prescribed break-in procedure a stainless DW pistol will be fine. But if there is a problem with galling the company may or may not take care of it. If you follow the break-in procedure to the letter then it's very unlikely you will have a problem with galling, and even if you do DW will almost certainly take care of the problem.

    Once beyond the break-in period, maintenance should be the same as with any 1911.

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