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Old December 29, 2012, 02:17 PM   #76
dahermit
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The 1911 is definitely an enthusiast's model; it is not a good choice for the shooter who isn't interested in studying the platform and becoming proficient in maintaining and occasionally tweaking the gun. Those folks are better off with pistols like Glocks and M&Ps.
I agree. I am a compulsive tinkerer, fixer. I get bored with a gun that never has any problems. That is why I like Colt 1911's, they have given me many opportunities to keep me busy over the years.
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Old December 29, 2012, 02:45 PM   #77
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I agree. I am a compulsive tinkerer, fixer. I get bored with a gun that never has any problems. That is why I like Colt 1911's, they have given me many opportunities to keep me busy over the years.
I, too, have had many happy years tinkering with my 1911's!

I also learned that you can tinker waaay too much (and hastily reverse course back to basics!) and spend waaay too much on custom work. But that's all part of experiencing the 1911 lifestyle to the fullest.

A "rite of passage" for a great many 1911 enthusiasts is to buy a reliable new 1911, tinker with stuff -just because you can- and because you are lead to believe that you should... only to find that you've spent a bunch more money and sacrificed reliability for unnecessary, whiz-bang, custom goodies, then having learned some new lessons, happily retreat back to reliable 1911 basics.

Last edited by DHart; December 29, 2012 at 02:52 PM.
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Old December 29, 2012, 04:11 PM   #78
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dahermit
After doing some searches, it seems that I may have been in error about the exact nature of the recoil spring plug failure. However, it seems that it is the bushing that fails, allowing the plug and spring to go down range.
So yes, I would care to post a link:http://www.m1911.org/textfiles/1911acp.htm
The problem is, although I know the owner of M1911.ORG personally and I know he tries to screen the information he offers in the technical issues area to ensure accuracy, in a lengthy article with a lot of good information, it's always possible that there are errors. This is such a case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by article
PROBLEM #3: THE BARREL BUSHING/RECOIL SPRING PLUG:

The barrel bushing/recoil spring plug is a high-stress area of the gun. Not only does the barrel whack around in the bushing every time you fire the piece, but the full force of the recoil spring also bears upon the bushing via the recoil spring plug. If the barrel bushing gives way, your recoil spring and recoil spring plug will depart the front of the gun at high speed. Effectively, the gun is disabled. Now, this doesn't happen very often, but I have had it happen to me while firing a Combat Commander. The bushing shattered, losing the semicircular piece that holds the recoil spring plug in the gun. My recoil system was somewhere down range, my gun out of action. I believe this occured because the slide of my gun came from the factory slightly shorter in front than it should have been. There was a fingernail-size gap between the barrel bushing's flange and the slide; you could move the bushing back and forth with your fingertips. This being the case, of course, the bushing took a hellacious pounding as it jacked itself back and forth every time the gun was fired, and finally it gave up the ghost. You should check your gun to ensure that the bushing fits snugly into the slide.

The exact same problem can occur from a different cause: The recoil spring plug may give way. This is common with hard use of the compact Officer's ACP guns. Most compact 1911s slavishly copy the Officer's ACP's recoil system, so this problem is not limited to Colts. On the Officer's ACP, the only thing holding the recoil spring plug in the gun is a tiny tab that hooks into a slot in the slide. If that small tab gives way (and it often does), your gun is hors de combat by virtue of a missing recoil system. I'm a big fan of the aftermarket recoil spring plugs for Officer's ACP-size guns that use a ring of metal at the rear of the plug to hold it inside the slide. There's no way such a part can come out of the gun.
Let's address the highlighted comments in the order in which they appear.

So the barrel bushing is subjected to the full force of the recoil spring every time you fire. So what? It is NOT a "high-stress" area. It's also subjected to exactly the same "full force" of the recoil spring every time you manually rack the slide. The recoil spring in a full-size 1911 produces 16 pounds of force when the slide is fully retracted. That's it ... that's ALL it can do. That will NOT fracture a barrel bushing. What DOES fracture barrel bushings is installing a replacement recoil spring that's too long for the gun. Now, when the slide retracts the spring compresses into a solid column of steel and, instead of the slide stopping when the dust cover impacts the flange of the spring guide, the full force of stopping the slide is transmitted to the barrel bushing. Yes, that will break something. That is not a flaw in the design of the 1911, that's a problem created by incompetent gunsmithing.

In a previous response to one of your posts I mentioned the issue of the tab on the recoil spring plug of the Officers ACP. But even this is not the major problem many claim it to be. First, the autor of this article is in error in claiming that most makers of Officers-size 1911s "slavishly" copy the Colt system. That's simply not the case. The only company I know of that did copy it was para-Ordnance with their esarly P12.45 pistols. But they went away from that style recoil assembly in the early to mid-2000s. Colt doesn't use it in their Defender and New Agent pistols. I don't think you'll find any current make of "compact" (meaning 3-1/2" or 3") 1911s that uses the recoil spring plug with the small retaining tab.

But even the original Officers ACP didn't fail regularly. I have a friend who has put well over 10,000 rounds of "robust" handloads through his Officers and the recoil spring plug is intact. In reality, what happens is the same thing that breaks bushings -- people replace the recoil spring with one that's too long, the spring "stacks," and the full impact of the slide stopping is then taken by the recoil spring rather than the slide. The gun wasn't designed to operate that way, so we shouldn't be surprised if it breaks.

Last edited by Aguila Blanca; December 29, 2012 at 04:30 PM.
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Old December 29, 2012, 04:14 PM   #79
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I think the 1911 is a beautiful gun, but the ones I've shot just don't fit my hand comfortably. The slide lock location is awkward to me, and I've never gotten comfortable with manual decocking. Great triggers, though, and the ones I've shot have been accurate. 100+ years of history means they're doing something right.

My preference for a metal pistol is the Sig P226. Fits me well, and all of the controls seem natural. I can field strip and reassemble it quickly, even blindfolded. For plastics, I prefer the M&P platform for the same "natural fit" reasons. (Glocks and XDs are fine guns, but like the 1911s, they're just not comfortable to me.)


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Old December 29, 2012, 04:22 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dahermit
But, then there will be the those who's experience has been lucky in that they have one of those 1911's that they will claim that they have shot for "thousands" of rounds and it has always functioned flawlessly. If those guys had the experiences with the Factory new, Colt 1911's I have had, they would have sworn off 1911's.
The same could be said of any new firearm, from any maker.

I have had the good fortune over the past twenty years to have been able to afford to purchase a precious few NEW handguns. Most of those have been 1911s, and almost all were Colts. Not a single one of them was in any way less than 100 percent reliable. The same was true of the couple of Para-Ordnance 1911s.

A couple of other handguns, of types other than the 1911 and from well-known makers other than Colt and Para, were significantly less than 100 percent. Most of those were disposed of quickly, as IMHO life is too short to waste it arguing with guns I should have known better than to buy.

Problems with 1911s arise when people who think they are smarter than John Moses Browning try to "fix" that which was not broken. The results are predictable ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dahermit
I disagree. "Staking" is the process of plastic deformation of the soft steel. If the area that is staked is very small as in the plunger tube, I would expect the small amount of metal that is involved to become battered and loose its shape after a high round-count even though the tube would not seem to be put under that much stress during the firing cycle.
The plunger tube is under NO stress during firing, and at no time is it in any way subject to "battering." In fact, when building 1911s I have on more than one occasion subjected the pistol to lengthy sessions of test firing before I finished the frame. When I do that, I just press the plunger tube into position and rely on the left-side grip panel to retain it -- which the left-side grip panel was designed to go. I've never had one come out when used without staking, as long as I use grips that conform to the original design.

Last edited by Aguila Blanca; December 29, 2012 at 04:35 PM.
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Old December 29, 2012, 04:37 PM   #81
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As to 1911s being "unreliable" under less than clean room conditions:

http://ezine.m1911.org/showthread.php?t=93
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Old December 29, 2012, 04:43 PM   #82
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I'm not a fan of polymer guns. 1911s just feel better and I absolutely love them. You can't beat the way a good 1911 feels in your hand. There's a million other reasons on top of that.



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Old December 29, 2012, 04:55 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biner
I think the 1911 is a beautiful gun, but the ones I've shot just don't fit my hand comfortably. The slide lock location is awkward to me, and I've never gotten comfortable with manual decocking. Great triggers, though, and the ones I've shot have been accurate. 100+ years of history means they're doing something right.
If it doesn't fit your hand, that's a legitimate complaint. Sometimes guns fit, sometimes they don't. I don't understand why the slide lock would be a problem, as it isn't used during the operation of the pistol. Unless, of course, you're using it as a slide release, which it is not. It is designed to lock the slide after the last round is fired. To put the pistol back into service, simply grasp the slide with the non-firing hand, retract it and let it go forward.

Why would one manually decock a 1911? The thing abounds with safeties and it's no more dangerous to carry cocked than any of the current crop of plastic pistols.
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Old December 29, 2012, 05:59 PM   #84
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It's a classic.
And it still holds up after all these years.
dc
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Old December 29, 2012, 11:53 PM   #85
KyJim
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Quote:
In a previous response to one of your posts I mentioned the issue of the tab on the recoil spring plug of the Officers ACP. But even this is not the major problem many claim it to be. First, the autor of this article is in error in claiming that most makers of Officers-size 1911s "slavishly" copy the Colt system. That's simply not the case. The only company I know of that did copy it was para-Ordnance with their esarly P12.45 pistols. But they went away from that style recoil assembly in the early to mid-2000s. Colt doesn't use it in their Defender and New Agent pistols. I don't think you'll find any current make of "compact" (meaning 3-1/2" or 3") 1911s that uses the recoil spring plug with the small retaining tab.
Also, keep in mind that the article linked to is dated to 1994. Things change.
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Old December 30, 2012, 10:03 AM   #86
dahermit
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The plunger tube is under NO stress during firing, and at no time is it in any way subject to "battering." In fact, when building 1911s I have on more than one occasion subjected the pistol to lengthy sessions of test firing before I finished the frame. When I do that, I just press the plunger tube into position and rely on the left-side grip panel to retain it -- which the left-side grip panel was designed to go. I've never had one come out when used without staking, as long as I use grips that conform to the original design.
And yet, I have seen severals posts from 1911 owners who's plunger tubes have come loose in the gunsmithing areas of 1911 forums.
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Old December 30, 2012, 12:31 PM   #87
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I've fired thousands of rounds thru my Colt 1991A1 (ORM) and absolutely no problems. It even feed and fires 255 grain swc made for .45 Colt, it is one of my favorite loads.

My Baer Concept 5 has thousands of rounds as well and the same thing no issues.
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Old December 30, 2012, 12:52 PM   #88
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Prior to the 1911, the semi auto designs of the era were considered as overly complex novelties. The 1911 proved that the semi automatic pistol should be taken seriously and the 45acp cartridge showed that serious lethality could be delivered from the auto. The 1911 and 45acp caused a paradigm shift that influenced the rest of the world.
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Old December 30, 2012, 01:27 PM   #89
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dahermit
And yet, I have seen severals posts from 1911 owners who's plunger tubes have come loose in the gunsmithing areas of 1911 forums.
Oh, it can happen. But when it happens, it's because someone goofed, and there have to be at least TWO goofs for it to tie up the pistol. First, the plunger tube must NOT have been properly staked. And, second, the left side grip panel must NOT have been made to Browning's design.

I had it happen, with a NIB SIG pistol I was trying out. It tied up the pistol. Needless to say, I didn't buy it, and because of that and other issues I observed in that pistol I will never buy a SIG 1911, nor will I ever recommend to anyone that they consider buying a SIG 1911. When SIG entered the 1911 market, their stated objective was to make it better than anyone else had. That meant they decided to depart from Browning's design specs, which at the time had been producing functional 1911s for about 95 years. The first two or three generations of SIG 1911s were absolute disasters, proving conclusively (to me, at least) that Browning was a genius, and that those who try to outsmart him are fools.
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Old December 30, 2012, 01:52 PM   #90
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There is nothing like a 1911... In its many wonderful variations...









Lightweight Commander Custom by EGW


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Old December 30, 2012, 01:53 PM   #91
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And a few more just for fun...
Colt Commander Bobtail Custom by Ned Christiansen


Kimber Compact Custom Eclipse by Victor Tibbets




Springfield TRP


Springfield Hi-Cap Custom by John Harrison


STI Edge
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Old December 30, 2012, 04:09 PM   #92
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From Aquila Blanca's post
Quote:

I believe this occured because the slide of my gun came from the factory slightly shorter in front than it should have been. There was a fingernail-size gap between the barrel bushing's flange and the slide; you could move the bushing back and forth with your fingertips. This being the case, of course, the bushing took a hellacious pounding as it jacked itself back and forth every time the gun was fired, and finally it gave up the ghost. You should check your gun to ensure that the bushing fits snugly into the slide.
Awhile back I posted a query about the same sort of gap showing at my S&W Model 59's bushing, the gap extending all the way around. I was told this was not a concern.
If its a sign of a potential problem in the future should I start looking for a replacement bushing?
I've never heard of a S&W bushing failing, but I'm not sure if the bushing of my pistol is the factory original.
The pistol does not appear to have been fired very much before I got it, and retains near 100% of the original bluing. Only touch up needed was to a few scratches on the rear of the grip frame that look to have been from contact with a safety strap snap or something of the like. I touched these up with an aluminum blacking compound.
The pistol functions flawlessly, though for me it prints to the left and required some windage adjustment to get it centered in the black. Could a bad bushing (on the S&W or Colt 1911) throw bullets to one side?
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Old December 30, 2012, 04:33 PM   #93
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Dhart, Bac, & WV should have a 1911-off.



It'd be a close race, i'd put some coin down on Bac though.
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Old December 30, 2012, 05:06 PM   #94
DHart
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Quote:
Dhart, Bac, & WV should have a 1911-off.

It'd be a close race, i'd put some coin down on Bac though.
Hmmm... I've got another seven or eight 1911's that I don't have pics of with me! Gotta wait till I get back home in May. (Sun-shining it in Arizona right now.)

There are quite a few guys out there with some amazing 1911 collections... I'd just be happy looking at them all!
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Old December 30, 2012, 05:21 PM   #95
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DHART- A while back (A week ago OR several months) ... (my memory is getting old and weak) Here in the Semi-Auto Forum there was a post asking for 1911 pictures.
Talk about eye-candy!!! It was several pages long and pics of every kind and color. I must have looked at that post for several days in a row just to see any new ones posted. It was quite a trip and worth the search. Enjoy the looking, it still doesn't cost anything.
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Old December 30, 2012, 05:24 PM   #96
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richardcorey... thanks... I'll head on over there and peruse for awhile!
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Old December 30, 2012, 05:24 PM   #97
Tucker 1371
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DHart, are those all yours? I'm drooling
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Old December 30, 2012, 05:25 PM   #98
DHart
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GSU... yes, sir, they are.
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Old December 30, 2012, 05:33 PM   #99
Tucker 1371
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I am green with envy, very nice collection sir!
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Old December 30, 2012, 05:48 PM   #100
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1911's aren't bad by any means. Attractive appearance, beautiful trigger. I'll certainly keep them for fun. But if I was knowingly going into a fight and had a choice, I'd take a Glock or Sig any day of the week.
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