It has been quite some time since we have had a FF so I thought I would resurrect that tradition for this week. At our last Combat Focus Shooting course David (who is a great shooter and a good sport) showed up with a 1911. I knew this was going to turn out the same way it always does so it was no shock that the gun stopped running. I was able to catch one of the malfunctions on camera and we chatted with David briefly about the situation. Check out the video below.
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The Issue with 1911′s
The 1911 is a favorite of gun enthusiasts and it is no surprise why. The 1911 is attractive, nostalgic, highly customizable, typically has a heavy frame to help reduce recoil, and the single action trigger can be tuned to dreamy, crisp pull weights that can help shooters press incredible precision out of their pistols. Wait, the heading above is the issue with 1911′s and I just listed a whole slew of advantages….
The simple fact is 1911′s have reliability issues.
Those of you that have been around for a while know that my shooting is originally founded in the competitive arena. I cut my teeth with a 1911. I must say that I still have a soft spot in my heart for the platform. I’m actually surprised that I don’t hate the guns. If I was a rational man, I probably would.
Here is how getting a new gun ready for competition went:
- Spend close to $1000.oo on a nib 1911 from ANY major manufacturer
- Take my pistol to one of two local nationally know 1911 gunsmiths
- Wait 6-24 weeks
- Write a check for $600-$1000
- Head to the range and start working to tune my ammunition so the gun would run.
Some of the work that I would have done was not related to reliability, but, a lot of it was:
- Throating the barrel
- Polishing the feed ramp
- Fitting slide to frame
- Adding an extended ejector
- Tuning the extractor
- Tuning magazines
- Replacing various springs
Does this seem like a lot of work to be performed on making a new gun run?
Why There is an Issue
When I was competing the only issue was the resources that needed to be expended to get a gun working. The consequences of a failure (there were failures) was that I didn’t win a prize.
What I didn’t get at the time was that I applied competitive gear, mindset and consequences to self-defense. Bad idea. I carried my competitive gear for defense. What are the consequences of failure in a defensive situation? Think on that.
All the money, all the effort, all the energy and still the guns failed. I realized many years ago that this was unacceptable in a combative firearm. All of this for .001% increase in precision that doesn’t matter. Just plain silly.
Some say that the 1911 design isn’t condusive to mass production.
Others profess that the quest for tack drivers created the reliability issues.
Others complain about Frakenguns being the issue.
I don’t care why, I just care that the 1911 reliability issue is fact.
I lived it in my shooting career, I watch it today in my classes. One thing is for sure I take no part in it. If you ask me, and I know you didn’t, I think you should avoid 1911′s too.
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