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Old 06-29-2012, 16:51   #1
nastytrigger
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Personal 1911 Stoppages

I was just thinking about the stoppages I've had in my semi-auto collection starting in 1998 (when I got into shooting). Luckily, it hasn't been much. All of my stoppages, not attributed to .22LR, happened in 2005-2006 and hasn't happened since (I'm past due). Even my reloads have been 100% out of my guns.

In my Springfield Loaded Parkerized 5", two FTFire (all in the same day during my first bowling pin match with Wolf 230gr steel case, all I could afford at the time. Attributed to hard primers, hammer dropped with no boom on them, tap-rack-bang fixed.) Had my Loaded since 2005, and I'd have to say, just two stoppages in 3,000+ rounds is fine by me

I've read through a lot of the different types of 1911 stoppages, for example from 10-8 Forums, Hilton Yam's photo collection. Does everyone note them too?

In fairness, I had a couple stoppages through my NIB Glock 19 and 37 caused by limp wristing. Seen a Glock 30 and Glock 36 choke too. Advantage Arms .22LR conversion has been the only thing to cause my Glock 21 to choke.

Just wondering how reliable everyone elses 1911's have been? What made them choke? How long did it take before it did? What did it take to fix a habitual issue? Did you get rid of a 1911 that wasn't reliable, or couldn't be made reliable?
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Old 06-29-2012, 17:58   #2
Jason D
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I had a hardball gun built a couple years back that has given me troubles.
After the gun got broken in is started short stroking. That problem was caused by an extremely powerful recoil spring. While that problem was going on the gun also took to dropping the hammer at half cock. A new recoil spring and sear spring were in order.

The old sear spring had one of the leafs clipped in such a way as to lessen the amount of spring contacting the sear.

Once the springs were installed the gun ran perfectly for about 350 rounds. Then it started a new set of problems that I only just figured out. See this gun has an extra long link in it that forces the barrel to lock up really tight every single time. Therefore on the forward stroke the gun has a hitch as it swings through the link back to battery. The new problem was the gun failing to go into battery. It would get almost there and stop. This was past the hitch, but before full battery. The gun is tight enough you couldn't whack it in battery, so you'd have to pull the mag and clear the gun.

This problem worsened and then lessened depending on the magazines used. At first I blamed the magazines and were going through them like crazy to find several that were reliable. Then I started thinking this was due do the weak variable power 16 pound spring not having the power to fully drive the slide forward through the link hitch. I purchased three new springs. They were made by Springco and sold under the name Tactical springs. I installed the 18 pound spring and stepped out back and fired the gun with only 6 rounds. It seemed to work alright.

In playing with the gun and spring and still having the battery problem. I started thinking I would have to change the link to a shorter one. Not wanting to do that I changed from my practice ammo (lead), back to hardball and the problem went away entirely.

My theory is that the lead offered just enough friction dragging on the feed ramp and barrel, as to slow down the gun just enough so it wouldn't fully go into battery. Since I don't have money coming out my rear, or a secret money tree in my back yard. I will not be practicing with the hardball. I will just have to live with on average 1 failure to go into battery in 50 rounds.


I have never in my life had a gun that give me as many problems as my hardball gun.
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Old 06-29-2012, 18:24   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason D View Post
I had a hardball gun built a couple years back that has given me troubles.
After the gun got broken in is started short stroking. That problem was caused by an extremely powerful recoil spring. While that problem was going on the gun also took to dropping the hammer at half cock. A new recoil spring and sear spring were in order.

The old sear spring had one of the leafs clipped in such a way as to lessen the amount of spring contacting the sear.

Once the springs were installed the gun ran perfectly for about 350 rounds. Then it started a new set of problems that I only just figured out. See this gun has an extra long link in it that forces the barrel to lock up really tight every single time. Therefore on the forward stroke the gun has a hitch as it swings through the link back to battery. The new problem was the gun failing to go into battery. It would get almost there and stop. This was past the hitch, but before full battery. The gun is tight enough you couldn't whack it in battery, so you'd have to pull the mag and clear the gun.

This problem worsened and then lessened depending on the magazines used. At first I blamed the magazines and were going through them like crazy to find several that were reliable. Then I started thinking this was due do the weak variable power 16 pound spring not having the power to fully drive the slide forward through the link hitch. I purchased three new springs. They were made by Springco and sold under the name Tactical springs. I installed the 18 pound spring and stepped out back and fired the gun with only 6 rounds. It seemed to work alright.

In playing with the gun and spring and still having the battery problem. I started thinking I would have to change the link to a shorter one. Not wanting to do that I changed from my practice ammo (lead), back to hardball and the problem went away entirely.

My theory is that the lead offered just enough friction dragging on the feed ramp and barrel, as to slow down the gun just enough so it wouldn't fully go into battery. Since I don't have money coming out my rear, or a secret money tree in my back yard. I will not be practicing with the hardball. I will just have to live with on average 1 failure to go into battery in 50 rounds.


I have never in my life had a gun that give me as many problems as my hardball gun.
Thanks for the post. Exactly what I'm looking for. I'm still new to the internals of a 1911, but I have a general understanding of what's going on.

Sounds like the shorter link may be what you need. Why not try it?

On the link subject, what would a short link do? What does my Loaded have, link wise, versus a TRP or Pro, as examples. I understand match barrels vs two-piece, but what about the links themselves? It's an important part I've never really questioned about.
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Old 06-29-2012, 18:40   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nastytrigger View Post
Thanks for the post. Exactly what I'm looking for. I'm still new to the internals of a 1911, but I have a general understanding of what's going on.

Sounds like the shorter link may be what you need. Why not try it?

On the link subject, what would a short link do? What does my Loaded have, link wise, versus a TRP or Pro, as examples. I understand match barrels vs two-piece, but what about the links themselves? It's an important part I've never really questioned about.
Most all guns have a standard length link in them.
Installing a longer line is an old school gunsmith trick to get the barrel to lock up tighter and more consistently. The thinking is you gain even more accuracy out of the barrel over just installing a tight barrel bushing. You may get a gun to unlock faster with a shorter link. If any lock time were saved there is would be minimal

An accurate gun needs to have a tight barrel bushing and be consistent in it's lock up. You can take a gun like say a Springfield GI and get a little more accuracy out of the barrel by adding a national match bushing. You may get a little more by fitting it with a longer link. That's provided the gun has a half way decent barrel.

There was a device sold that replaced the guide rod and barrel link in an M1911. It being the Dwyer group gripper. The product forced the gun to lock up tighter and improved accuracy. It's kind of a newer design on an older trick.

My gun was made with primary USGI parts including barrel, bushing, small parts, and the slide I suspect though don't know for sure. As there were some unmarked slides out there.

I did not want to install a shorter link as I wasn't sure the gun could still get 3" or better at 50 yards. It may considering the well fitted bushing. I just didn't want to take the chance of losing anything.

I want the gun to be accurate, but also reliable. As long as it shoots hardball reliably I will keep it as is. It's for CMP hardball matches and you can only use FMJ ammo.






The link is not something most people would worry about.
If the gun works for you and you are happy with it. There is no need to go changing it unless it somehow becomes damaged or worn.
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Last edited by Jason D; 06-29-2012 at 18:44..
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Old 06-30-2012, 20:03   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason D View Post
Most all guns have a standard length link in them.
Installing a longer line is an old school gunsmith trick to get the barrel to lock up tighter and more consistently. The thinking is you gain even more accuracy out of the barrel over just installing a tight barrel bushing. You may get a gun to unlock faster with a shorter link. If any lock time were saved there is would be minimal

An accurate gun needs to have a tight barrel bushing and be consistent in it's lock up. You can take a gun like say a Springfield GI and get a little more accuracy out of the barrel by adding a national match bushing. You may get a little more by fitting it with a longer link. That's provided the gun has a half way decent barrel.

There was a device sold that replaced the guide rod and barrel link in an M1911. It being the Dwyer group gripper. The product forced the gun to lock up tighter and improved accuracy. It's kind of a newer design on an older trick.

My gun was made with primary USGI parts including barrel, bushing, small parts, and the slide I suspect though don't know for sure. As there were some unmarked slides out there.

I did not want to install a shorter link as I wasn't sure the gun could still get 3" or better at 50 yards. It may considering the well fitted bushing. I just didn't want to take the chance of losing anything.

I want the gun to be accurate, but also reliable. As long as it shoots hardball reliably I will keep it as is. It's for CMP hardball matches and you can only use FMJ ammo.






The link is not something most people would worry about.
If the gun works for you and you are happy with it. There is no need to go changing it unless it somehow becomes damaged or worn.
Thanks for the info.

Glock's are so boringly simplistic, but the 1911 has a history, and engineering genius, about it that I'm slowly learning about.
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Old 06-30-2012, 21:08   #6
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I've owned two Kimbers (both "Gold Match" & three Colt Govt. Models) All ran 90%. The only 1911 I've ever owned that was 100% is a Wilson CQB. In a video, Wilson explains that there is a lot of metal-to-metal friction in the 1911 design & very little in the Glock, which makes the Glock more forgiving about lube, fouling, etc.
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Old 07-01-2012, 14:22   #7
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Back when I first got my 1911, it came with no magazines. I was astonished when I recieved the mags, because I got 3 point jams (the worst kind) like crazy. Adjusted extractor tension, once that was in spec, it left 2 areas. Barrel throat, and feed ramp. I polished my barrel throat, and angled my feed ramp (SLIGHTLY!!!), and now it'll feed empty brass, 2/5 tries. Not that feeding empty brass is something I need it to do, but it runs hollow points like candy, and round nose is equally as reliable.

Here's the jams;
1911 Forums
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Here's the fix;
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I bought this double stack, polymer framed 1911 for $400. Asside from 5 mags, I have less than $100 into it. Only part I've actually replaced was the stock RH only GI safety, with a kymber peice.

porn;
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It's done, asside from needing a refinish. I even like the GI sights.
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Old 07-01-2012, 14:32   #8
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I had two Colts, hardball guns only. The first one was an Officers, used a Kings bushing and FLGR setup, but I never trusted it. The second was a Commander length 1991a1, it was actually a neat gun, but didn't care for the finicky feeding with JHP and loose front sight.
The Kimber CustII was the ext extractor version. According to the internets, a very bad design.
I had one or two FTE's when it was new, approaching 3K now with no issues. Feeds everything including the Black Hills lead 200gr SWC load...they don't lock back the slide though, kind of lightly loaded.

Accurate, though.
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Old 07-01-2012, 17:25   #9
Jason D
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nastytrigger View Post
Thanks for the info.

Glock's are so boringly simplistic, but the 1911 has a history, and engineering genius, about it that I'm slowly learning about.
That's true. One of the reasons the M1911 is one of my favorite guns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AA#5 View Post
I've owned two Kimbers (both "Gold Match" & three Colt Govt. Models) All ran 90%. The only 1911 I've ever owned that was 100% is a Wilson CQB. In a video, Wilson explains that there is a lot of metal-to-metal friction in the 1911 design & very little in the Glock, which makes the Glock more forgiving about lube, fouling, etc.
I have always subscribed to the grease as lube for just about any arm. Just for poops and giggles I tried some red Lucas gun oil on my problem 1911. While I can't say it caused less malfunctions. It did seem to run smoother.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Berto View Post
I had two Colts, hardball guns only. The first one was an Officers, used a Kings bushing and FLGR setup, but I never trusted it. The second was a Commander length 1991a1, it was actually a neat gun, but didn't care for the finicky feeding with JHP and loose front sight.
The Kimber CustII was the ext extractor version. According to the internets, a very bad design.
I had one or two FTE's when it was new, approaching 3K now with no issues. Feeds everything including the Black Hills lead 200gr SWC load...they don't lock back the slide though, kind of lightly loaded.

Accurate, though.
1911 Forums
A little know fact is that an early prototype to the M1911 was made with an external extractor.

Also Kimber seems to be replacing the uppers with the externals when they come back for whatever reason.
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Last edited by Jason D; 07-01-2012 at 17:31..
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Old 07-02-2012, 13:08   #10
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Down through the years I have shot many 1911s and have never seen one that was a Jam-O-Matic except for a shade tree 1911 that was built by a shade tree gunsmith.

Heck, I've seen old GI 1911s while I was on AD that were completely worn out and they function 99.9%.

Most hiccups in 1911s are due to the magazine.
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Old 07-02-2012, 19:39   #11
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I've had a few 1911's that were less than reliable, but almost all were either hi-cap models or compacts. When I've stuck with the original configuration (5" barrel, single stack mag, .45 ACP), I have had very good luck. In fact, I've had more malfunctions with my issued Gen 4 Glock than with most of my 1911's.

Of the problems I have had with personal 1911's, the magazine and extractor are by far the most common sources of problems. I have only had a couple problems that weren't solved by throwing out a bad mag, or by installing a Wilson extractor.
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