PDA

View Full Version : So, how long does a 1911 barrel last?


Kayser
September 18, 2011, 04:44 PM
I've got a circa-2001 Kimber that has seen pretty continuous use. Very easily above the 10,000 round mark, the majority of which have been middle-of-the-road 230 gr reloads.

Looking at the barrel, the rifling seems like it might be a little worn down, but I don't really recall what it looked like when I bought it :D

Still seems to shoot well, although my pistol skills are certainly not elite (I can hold a 4 or 5 inch group at 10 yards, slow fire).

So I was kind of curious how much life might be left in the old girl. What sort of signs should I expect to see if it's wearing out?

Thanks!

g.willikers
September 18, 2011, 05:09 PM
Probably longer than the shooter will last.
Competition shootists get many, many ten thousands rounds of life from one.
Assuming, of course, nothing is done to damage it.

As far as signs of wear, er, ah, how shall I put this............
With your presently stated pistol skills, you aren't likely to know any difference.
I know, I shouldn't have said that out loud.

golfnutrlv
September 18, 2011, 05:17 PM
Willikers is right, should last longer than you ever will.

I have a Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm that has seen a little over 16,000 rounds. Still shoots as good as the day I bought it.

Not a 1911 I know, but a good example.

SilentHitz
September 18, 2011, 05:28 PM
I lost count of rounds fired in a Combat Commander I bought in the early 80s...I went thru 2 barrel bushings though...stock barrel was still in it when I sold it. Still accurate.

SIGSHR
September 18, 2011, 05:46 PM
The "Official" doctrine is that continuous use of "hot" loads or FMJs will wear a barrel faster than milder-i.e. Bullseye shooting loads with lead bullets. Cf the picture's in McGivern's book of tight groups fire from S&W K-22s with over 200,000 rounds through them. I would be more concerned with worn recoil springs that would accelerate wear on the frame.

Casimer
September 18, 2011, 06:01 PM
45 ACP is a relatively low pressure round and so is not prone to wearing out a barrel. It's not uncommon to read reports of good barrels w/ 50K and even 80K rounds through them. Also rifling for 45ACP tends to be shallow, so what appears to be the effects of wear may just be the standard rifling. Check against a newer barrel if you're concerned. You'll know when it's worn out because you'll start seeing your groups open up significantly.

At 10K rounds, you may want to install a new recoil spring if you haven't already.

DBLAction454
September 19, 2011, 02:36 PM
I agree that the barrel will probably easily last longer than you will but if you want to inquire about other parts such and springs, which usually could use a good replacing after a long life/use, I would give kimber a call...

I have a USP .45 and I believe HK recommends a full detail cleaning (not just your basic field strip and lubrication) every 10,000 rounds and a new recoil spring every 12,500 rds.

Either way a phone call wouldn't hurt


Take care of our guns and they'll take care of us :D

BigJimP
September 19, 2011, 02:42 PM
Wilson Combat ( who I trust on these issues ) says they have 'match grade' barrels in some of their "range" guns that have over 750,000 rds thru them and they're showing no sign of accuracy issues.

I have one 1911 - a wilson - that is well over 35,000 rds thru it at this point / and its 5 yrs old now ...and no signs of any barrel problems.

dahermit
September 19, 2011, 02:43 PM
The barrel will last longer than many of the other parts. Rifling usually does not wear out. However, in the 1911, some gunsmiths report that the end of the recoil spring cap will break off and the ejector will come loose with high round-counts. Magazines lips will crack, springs in the mags and gun will need to be changed. But the barrel? Ruined by pitting from rust is more common is suspect.

10mm4ever
September 19, 2011, 03:08 PM
Naturally, softer lead bullets are much easier on the barrel than jacketed rounds. The 45acp is a very low pressure round and that also helps toward extended barrel life.

Chris_B
September 19, 2011, 03:51 PM
Looking at the barrel, the rifling seems like it might be a little worn down, but I don't really recall what it looked like when I bought it

Still seems to shoot well, although my pistol skills are certainly not elite (I can hold a 4 or 5 inch group at 10 yards, slow fire).

So I was kind of curious how much life might be left in the old girl. What sort of signs should I expect to see if it's wearing out?

This barrel from 1918:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v441/Chuck_Older/barrel.jpg

In this 1911 from 1918 that was used as a target pistol for who knows how many decades:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v441/Chuck_Older/1911right.jpg

shot this well in 2010, off hand, the first time I fired it (7+1 rounds). All I did was change grips for the range session
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v441/Chuck_Older/1911range.jpg

I think you'll be old and infirm before your Kimber's barrel is shot out.

Kreyzhorse
September 19, 2011, 06:45 PM
Willikers is right, should last longer than you ever will.

+1. It will take you a long time to shoot out your barrel.

Ozzieman
September 19, 2011, 07:06 PM
You can wear out or damage a barrel by improper cleaning faster than you can by shooting.

tony pasley
September 19, 2011, 07:46 PM
Try a tune up with springs and possible bushing ect. by a good gunsmith.

HisSoldier
September 19, 2011, 07:48 PM
Not a 1911, but one thing about the broomhandle Mauser is that they are vary often found with very shallow riflings or none at all. I don't know if that is common to any other pistol types, and would love to know why it's such a common problem with the Broomhandle. Your post reminded me of it.