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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
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    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
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    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.

  4. #1014
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    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
    Modern stainless alloys are trouble free if you lubricate properly. You don't need a PhD in tribology or the latest Gucci lube. Just keep the slide channels and frame rails well lubed.

  5. #1015
    a few years back, a co-worker had a stainless TRP. It was a very nice slide to frame fit for a factory gun.

    The slide locked up on the frame. We sent it to Springer and they fixed it with a caveat to have the owner use more oil.

    It locked up again and it was sent back. I got a call from Dave Williams (SACS) saying to tell the owner that after this time, it will no longer be fixed under warranty. The issue was lack of oil.

    I instructed the owner to HEAVY OIL this piece. He sold it.

    my 2 cents.... as others have said. Nothing wrong with STS... just keep it lubed.
    If you're going to be a bear….be a GRIZZLY!

  6. #1016
    On my Beretta 92A1, I use Lucas gun grease on rails, and locking block and where barrel goes thru slide hood. I use Lucas heavy duty gun oil everywhere else (trigger, trigger bar, hammer, sear, guide rod, ejector, etc). I have never had an issue but it is NOT stainless. After you break in a 1911, is it advisable to use oil or grease on the rail interfaces on slide and frame? Seems to me the grease would adhere better? But I don’t own a 1911 yet. And if I get one I would follow the break-in verbatim. Just wondering what guys with broken in pistols do? Grease or oil on rails?

    PS: just watched a video from Rob at Alchemy Custom Guns. He said grease on the rails is a mistake with tight fitting slide/rail interfaces. He said the thick grease will just get plowed from rails leaving little lubrication. Use oil. He said grease is good on barrel lugs and barrel feet to slide stop interface or impact points.
    Last edited by Rmiked; 04-19-2021 at 03:39 PM.

  7. #1017
    Site Supporter FrankB's Avatar
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    Identify This Police Department 1911

    It was recently used to Wack a Mole by the Riverside PD Metro Unit, and it ran just fine: https://youtu.be/AuXDHL50dcw
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  8. #1018
    Site Supporter NPV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrankB View Post
    It was recently used to Wack a Mole by the Riverside PD Metro Unit, and it ran just fine: https://youtu.be/AuXDHL50dcw
    Name:  4F6C881F-5DE0-4DB0-A67E-1CA0CF3BCF34.jpg
Views: 188
Size:  47.3 KB
    Name:  99AAF99D-FB14-4AF6-8533-C7ADD5B0F3EC.jpg
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    Springfield Armory of some sort, hammer is the dead giveaway. My initial thought was a LB operator but doesn’t look like it has a mag well but I guess it could just be removed.

  9. #1019
    Site Supporter FrankB's Avatar
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    @Rmiked I’ve had several stainless on stainless 1911’s, and never had any sort of problem. I’ve seen where some people complained about their Dan Wessons galling, but that was reportedly resolved several years ago. I also have several SS slides on alloy frames without problems. 🤷🏼🤷🏼🤷🏼🤷🏼

  10. #1020
    platform jumper CSW's Avatar
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    New Hampshire.
    I'm going to probably catch flack for this, but I have been using Froglube paste as a lube for years without any issues.
    It stays where you apply it, and lubricates fine in my applications

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