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Thread: The Art and Science of Keeping Your 1911 Running

  1. #21
    Wannabe Privateer RevolverRob's Avatar
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    Section Courses:

    @theJanitor noted these, which alas I cannot add to the OP at present -

    http://chamberscustom.com/1911-university/
    http://www.rodgerspistolsmithing.com/1911class.html

    Perhaps @Tom_Jones can help us with this one.
    Seriously guys, are we not doing 'phrasing' anymore?

  2. #22
    Member JHC's Avatar
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    I hope this thread get's the sticky treatment.
    As a man sows, so shall he reap.

  3. #23
    Wow! I've been doing it all wrong. Normally just clean them every couple hundred rounds. I did replace an ejector in my 9 MM Citadel. Tightened the front sight on a Colt Combat Elite, replaced the pin in the rear sight on the Gold Cup, the other 5 just keep going.

  4. #24
    Wannabe Privateer RevolverRob's Avatar
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    Let's remember folks - no one is questioning whether or not a 1911 can be a reliable firearm.

    But remember the goal of this thread is a clearinghouse of knowledge that includes troubleshooting info and general things for if/when your 1911 breaks. Most guns will break if you shoot them enough. Some guns do it sooner rather than later, but most will eventually break. The only exception to this rule is, you might not be able to break a full size HK USP in 9mm or .45, unless you use it for a hammer (and even then...).

    Section All:

    If your 1911 is not broken. Do not attempt to fix it.

    When your extractor shows signs of failure replace it (i.e., erratic ejection).

    Change your recoil springs every 2k or so rounds (for standard coils) in a Government or Commander regardless of caliber.

    Change your recoil springs every 500-1000 rounds in an Officer's.

    Lubricate the Gun.

    Clean it every once in awhile.

    Feed it good ammo.

    Find magazines (Wilson, McCormick, and/or Tripp is where I would start) that work and use them until they stop locking back reliably. Then toss them or rebuild them, relegating rebuilt mags to the training pile.
    Seriously guys, are we not doing 'phrasing' anymore?

  5. #25
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    For tools...I find the weigand gauge invaluable and the weigand tensioning tool to be almost without value.

    Also, the gauge is brass...it can wear out. Be mindful.

    I have about five paragraphs or opinions and I'm a little drunk so I'll refrain until later, but basically:

    1. Ammo that isn't steel cased Russian slag
    2. Pass the 10-8 extractor test
    3. Then buy any one of the awesome available mags. Wilson, CMC, Checkmate, Brownells, or Metalform.



    Sent from my moto g(6) using Tapatalk

  6. #26
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    Dean Caputo's armorer video is essential...did my own trigger job after watching it, to my own specifications....

    Carried it on and off duty for more than half my career.

    As Ken Hackathorn has said...If you treat your pistol like you treat your lawn mower....get a Glock..."

    You need specific knowledge if you wanna run a 1911. You need to care.

    pat

  7. #27
    I really think it can't be overstated that extractor problems aren't usually extractor problems. All an extractor does in a properly feeding gun is slip over the case rim and pull it out of the chamber. It literally just flexes a few thousandths of an inch and drags a piece of brass that weighs less than a quarter of an ounce out of the chamber.

    If the extractor is regularly (more than every 20K+ rounds) losing tune or breaking, it's push feeding over the case rim and/or being subjected to excessive force getting the case out of the chamber.

    Poor barrel fit is the #1 cause of all issues with 1911s. Almost EVERY one of the 'fixes' in these types of threads aren't fixes at all, they're just do-it-yourself ways to try to mask the problem.

    Getting a barrel properly fit should be the #1 priority. Finding magic magazines and tuning the gun with springs is a waste of time and money.

    Every part on a 1911 has to work together to create a fully functional machine. It should be built from the ground up at the SAME TIME. Buying a cheapie, or even an expensive clunker and trying to just fix a single component here and there will almost always result in frustration.

    The frame, slide, and barrel group (barrel, bushing, link&pin, slide stop) should all be fit together at the same time.

    The fire control group (trigger, grip and thumb safeties, sear, disconnector, sear spring, and both pins) should all be fit and tuned together.

    One piece at a time doesn't cut it.
    Last edited by M2CattleCo; 05-11-2019 at 09:03 AM.

  8. #28
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    I think I see your point, however those few thousands of an inch that the extractor flexes are pretty important. As is the overall length and geometry of the claw/hook area.

    Poor barrel fit/timing will certainly ruin your accuracy and reliability, and a barrel that isn't finish reamed (which is shockingly common, even for higher end guns) will get a lot of failures to feed that are attributed incorrectly to an overly tensioned extractor.

    Those facts notwithstanding, I've found that extractors with too little tension or too much deflection will fail to extract and are often independent of barrel fit. Additionally, an extractor that loses tension quickly can have too much deflection or the claw tip may be contacting the case bevel and causing breakage/tension loss even in the absence of push feeding.

    Sent from my moto g(6) using Tapatalk

  9. #29
    Site Supporter farscott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAD View Post
    For me slim grips are essential to shootability. I have had two come loose over the years, both on steel frames incidentally. One was caught very early before it had an impact on performance, and that tube has now been replaced with a welded part by MARS. The second decided to torment me during a CCW "class" in 2008. It did not make the pistol a paperweight -- the slide just kept locking back -- and I finished the test without comment. It was staked by that evening; the pistol, which was well into the tens of thousands of rounds and maybe close to six figures, is now in service with a good friend who couldn't otherwise afford a pistol; I sold it to his wife for a Benjamin because she insisted on paying me.
    That is interesting. When mine failed, the rear stake failed, the front stake was still attached, and the the thumb safety was engaged. It made manipulating the thumb safety not possible as the detent exited the tube and would not allow the safety to be disengaged.

  10. #30
    Hobbyist JAD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farscott View Post
    That is interesting. When mine failed, the rear stake failed, the front stake was still attached, and the the thumb safety was engaged. It made manipulating the thumb safety not possible as the detent exited the tube and would not allow the safety to be disengaged.
    Makes total sense mine failed front.

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