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Old March 12, 2020, 08:00 PM   #1
327 FM
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Alloy frame 1911s

Should there be any concern about shooting an alloy frame 1911 long term with 230 grain hardball/cast at 800 fps?

Thanks for your input.
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Old March 12, 2020, 08:40 PM   #2
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Having shot more than 5,000 rds (mixture of FMJ/cast RN) through my two alloy frame 1911s the answer seems to be. . . no worries.
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Old March 12, 2020, 08:50 PM   #3
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I'd generally be more concerned about the condition of the frame feedramp, than a crack, if the latter is what you're referring to.
With hardball or other round nosed bullets, should be no issues, but if you ever shoot JHPs, some of them can be very hard on the frame.
In my experience, Winchester Silvertips were about as "gentle" a hollowpoint as could be found, but I now shoot Critical Defense in my Commander, because the plastic tip protects the frame.
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Old March 12, 2020, 09:35 PM   #4
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I like and recommend an alloy framed 1911 for carry. I would suggest one with a ramped (steel) barrel or a steel insert to prevent beating up the feed ramp
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Old March 13, 2020, 12:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 327 FM
Should there be any concern about shooting an alloy frame 1911 long term with 230 grain hardball/cast at 800 fps?
Nope.
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Old March 13, 2020, 02:36 AM   #6
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I carried one for a while, my IPSC reloads of an SWC 200g cast Hensley and Gibbs did crack the frame in the end, drilling a wee hole at the start of the crack fixed it.
Stainless Steel McCormick 8 round magazines made a 9 round package, good looking gun, polished frame. Did not shoot it in matches.
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Old March 13, 2020, 04:18 PM   #7
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The only issue I've ever heard about shooting a lot of rounds out of alloy-frame 1911s is flat-nose/JHP bullets boogering up the feedramp, but only on models that don't have a feedramp built into the barrel itself or otherwise have the feedramp made of steel or titanum.

That being said, most alloy-frame 1911s have a steel/titanium-reinforced feedramp these days.
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Old March 13, 2020, 04:24 PM   #8
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Skeeter Skelton shot a .45 Commander until it cracked, not quite 5000 rounds.
But I have been shooting a Springfield Lightweight 9mm (semi-custom) a lot more than that with no damage.
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Old March 13, 2020, 05:25 PM   #9
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But even when a crack appears, the pistol is still shootable. I've never seen a 1911 quit working because of a crack.
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Old March 13, 2020, 05:50 PM   #10
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There is no concern with alloy framed 1911s and 230gr ammo.
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Old March 13, 2020, 07:52 PM   #11
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I've had no trouble with a Colt Commander Series 70 .45 with an estimated 5000+ rounds through it; nor with a Sig 1911 RCS, also in .45. This 2nd gun is my carry piece when I go to the big city...2000 rounds plus through it to date. No worries with either. I carry with 230 HST's in the mag, but practice with 230 FMJ Hardball or 200 gr LSWC's. Both loaded to ~800 fps.

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Old March 13, 2020, 08:12 PM   #12
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Not to Hi-jack the Thread but what 1911 Commanders have steel inserts or ramped barrels for the poster to choose from?
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Old March 13, 2020, 08:54 PM   #13
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Ruger Commanderoid has a titanium feed ramp insert.
SA RO Champion has an integral ramp barrel.
Other brands are left as an exercise for the student.
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Old March 13, 2020, 09:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Watson
Ruger Commanderoid has a titanium feed ramp insert.
SA RO Champion has an integral ramp barrel.
Other brands are left as an exercise for the student.
ALL Para-Ordnance and ParaUSA 1911s had ramped barrels. Armscor (Rock Island) has gone back and forth with ramped barrels in their 9mm 1911s (but I don't think they offer any alloy 1911 pistols).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Forte S+W
That being said, most alloy-frame 1911s have a steel/titanium-reinforced feedramp these days.
I think it's a bit of a stretch to say "most."
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Old March 14, 2020, 03:48 PM   #15
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I was discussing this topic - alloy framed 1911s - with a guy, a gunwriter, who said a Colt rep told him that a customer survey indicated the average number of rounds put through Colt Lightweight Commanders, in the owner's lifetime, is (I guessed 1000 rounds) . . . 13 rounds.
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Old March 14, 2020, 03:52 PM   #16
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I have a LW Officers ACP. A few thousand rounds. No signs of wear. It just works.

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Old March 15, 2020, 02:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
ot to Hi-jack the Thread but what 1911 Commanders have steel inserts or ramped barrels for the poster to choose from?
All of the Dan Wesson alloy models have ramped barrels. On the very high end, Ed Brown uses a steel insert.
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Old March 15, 2020, 02:42 PM   #18
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Quote:
Should there be any concern about shooting an alloy frame 1911 long term with 230 grain hardball/cast at 800 fps?
there SHOULDN'T be any concern, but since "alloy" covers everything from pot metal crap to high quality stuff, no one can really say, without knowing specifically what you are using.
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Old March 15, 2020, 03:03 PM   #19
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My SA RO Compact has run plenty of 230 fmj or lead a lot over the last few years, and no small number of hollow points with absolutely no issue! This does have a ramped barrel.
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Old March 15, 2020, 03:42 PM   #20
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Just my experience

My Kimber 1911 CDP ii 5 inch alloy frame.

Has well over 10,00 rounds through it by counting primers.

Almost all reloads and cast boolits. Some with 5 gr red dot. Some with Blu Dot.

No frame problems.

2 foot by 3 foot steel target at 150 yards, will hit it every time if I do my part
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Old March 15, 2020, 03:52 PM   #21
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I'm somewhere between 10-12,000 of 185 and 230 grain hardball and hollow point through my S&W 1911Sc with zero frame issues. The finish has taken a beating from a year of daily carry but that is about it.
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Old March 15, 2020, 03:59 PM   #22
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It should last forever if that is what you are shooting.
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Old March 15, 2020, 06:44 PM   #23
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I have never had any problems with my Kimber Pro Carry II shooting 230Grn or hollow points. No excessive wear patterns or cracks after many years of use.
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Old March 16, 2020, 12:38 AM   #24
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327, I wouldn't lose any sleep over using that ammo in an alloy framed pistol. That being said, my .45 ACP lightweight Commander cracked the frame on the left side after very moderate use with standard pressure ammo. I stop-drilled the crack, but it soon cracked through where I'd stop-drilled, then cracked on the other side too. I still carry alloy framed guns due to their lighter weight, but I don't consider aluminum frames to be as robust as steel.

The attached picture shows where I stop-drilled my Commander near the slide stop. This is the area where the slide impacts the frame with every shot. It is not uncommon for 1911 type pistols to crack in this area, if/when they do.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Old Cmdr. (640x581).jpg (116.8 KB, 70 views)
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Old March 21, 2020, 11:35 AM   #25
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Sorry to be late to this thread.
If you be sure to choose an alloy framed 1911 with a ramped barrel, the bullets never impact the frame. Problem solved.
I have been carrying/shooting a Dan Wesson Guardian for a long time, and there is not even a hint of any frame damage.
Pick a good one, and ENJOY!
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