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spammusubiboy
08-01-2011, 7:13 AM
I haven't been here long but I've seen quite a few threads asking various questions about 1911's. Here's a good link for those of you wishing to aquaint yourselves with the gun along with some of the features and nuances:
http://militarytimes.com/blogs/gearscout/2011/06/08/read-this-before-you-buy-your-first-1911/

huntndog
08-01-2011, 7:50 AM
Good stuff... Thanks!

Going from Glock --> 1911... Vickers went the opposite direction! :D

“Now, I shoot a Glock,” Vickers tells me. “Make sure you tell guys that the 1911 is a pain in the ***.
If they don’t like messing around with the pistol and spending a grand to really get it tuned, then they should forget it.”

redcliff
08-01-2011, 8:22 AM
With no disrespect intended to Mr. Vickers, I think that comment should be taken with a grain of salt.

I can understand the rationale for something other than a 1911 from an institutional standpoint. I feel generally 1911's are enthusiast's pistols which require both knowledgeable gun handling and some degree of mechanical aptitude, like being a Harley owner or muscle car owner.

Having grown up in the muscle car era of the 60's and 70's we learned to work on our own cars, doing basic tune-ups and repairs and often learned to rebuild engines, transmissions, etc. In todays society thats a somewhat uncommon aptitude as most people don't work on their own cars due to the electronic controls and tight packaging of components. Therefore the majority of people enterring the service today probably have little mechanical aptitude or at least little mechanical experience. Combine that with the lack of prior shooting experience we see in so many people due to both societal viewpoints and inability to even discharge bb guns in city limits a simple to operate, very low maintenance pistol like the Glock makes much more sense.

Now as to "spending a grand to really get it tuned" I have to ask if anyone on this board with a 1911 has ever had to do so to get one to run that wasn't ruined by someone that didn't know what they were doing. While I've had to tune extractors myself on new pistols (a 5 minute job) or send others back for warranty work on an out of spec part (bad slide stop, bad thumb safety) most of my 1911's have worked out of the box with no money expenditures.

Naturally, if you want a truly custom 1911 personalized to your taste the sky is the limit, but that expenditure isn't necesary. We have dozens of happy RIA owners on this forum that are happy with their 1911's out of the box.

thenodnarb
08-01-2011, 8:26 AM
With no disrespect intended to Mr. Vickers, I think that comment should be taken with a grain of salt.

I can understand the rationale for something other than a 1911 from an institutional standpoint. I feel generally 1911's are enthusiast's pistols which require both knowledgeable gun handling and some degree of mechanical aptitude, like being a Harley owner or muscle car owner.

Having grown up in the muscle car era of the 60's and 70's we learned to work on our own cars, doing basic tune-ups and repairs and often learned to rebuild engines, transmissions, etc. In todays society thats a somewhat uncommon aptitude as most people don't work on their own cars due to the electronic controls and tight packaging of components. Therefore the majority of people enterring the service today probably have little mechanical aptitude or at least little mechanical experience. Combine that with the lack of prior shooting experience we see in so many people due to both societal viewpoints and inability to even discharge bb guns in city limits a simple to operate, very low maintenance pistol like the Glock makes much more sense.

Now as to "spending a grand to really get it tuned" I have to ask if anyone on this board with a 1911 has ever had to do so to get one to run that wasn't ruined by someone that didn't know what they were doing. While I've had to tune extractors myself on new pistols (a 5 minute job) or send others back for warranty work on an out of spec part (bad slide stop, bad thumb safety) most of my 1911's have worked out of the box with no money expenditures.

Naturally, if you want a truly custom 1911 personalized to your taste the sky is the limit, but that expenditure isn't necesary. We have dozens of happy RIA owners on this forum that are happy with their 1911's out of the box.

Very informative.
Could you point me to an article or video on how to tune the internal extractor. I'd be interested in seeing how that is done.

spammusubiboy
08-01-2011, 8:33 AM
Very informative.
Could you point me to an article or video on how to tune the internal extractor. I'd be interested in seeing how that is done.

A quick way to check your extractor tension is to remove the slide, insert a spent casing into the extractor hook from underneath (just as it's inserted as the gun chambers a round during operation) and hold the slide rightside up. It should go in smoothly without having to use force. If it holds the casing firm enough to not let it slip or drop out then your tension is good.

As far as adjustment goes, either it's too tight or too loose. You can take the extractor out of the gun and insert the thick end back in (backwards) and using your hand: either bend it to relieve tension or to add it. Use the test above to check where you're at when doing so and remember that a little goes a VERY long way.

There are also tools out there (on Brownells for example) that can adjust it with much more precision but this method has worked for me. Just have to be careful/gentle so as not to overdo it.

spammusubiboy
08-01-2011, 8:50 AM
With no disrespect intended to Mr. Vickers, I think that comment should be taken with a grain of salt.

I can understand the rationale for something other than a 1911 from an institutional standpoint. I feel generally 1911's are enthusiast's pistols which require both knowledgeable gun handling and some degree of mechanical aptitude, like being a Harley owner or muscle car owner.

Having grown up in the muscle car era of the 60's and 70's we learned to work on our own cars, doing basic tune-ups and repairs and often learned to rebuild engines, transmissions, etc. In todays society thats a somewhat uncommon aptitude as most people don't work on their own cars due to the electronic controls and tight packaging of components. Therefore the majority of people enterring the service today probably have little mechanical aptitude or at least little mechanical experience. Combine that with the lack of prior shooting experience we see in so many people due to both societal viewpoints and inability to even discharge bb guns in city limits a simple to operate, very low maintenance pistol like the Glock makes much more sense.

Now as to "spending a grand to really get it tuned" I have to ask if anyone on this board with a 1911 has ever had to do so to get one to run that wasn't ruined by someone that didn't know what they were doing. While I've had to tune extractors myself on new pistols (a 5 minute job) or send others back for warranty work on an out of spec part (bad slide stop, bad thumb safety) most of my 1911's have worked out of the box with no money expenditures.

Naturally, if you want a truly custom 1911 personalized to your taste the sky is the limit, but that expenditure isn't necesary. We have dozens of happy RIA owners on this forum that are happy with their 1911's out of the box.

My experience has been very similar to yours. I've only had very minor issues with a couple guns and havimg learned the platform they were quickly and easily addressed. No issues effected reliability other than a loose plunger tube that I re-staked on a Springfield and getting an occasional light strike from a ti firing pin (which was replaced with steel since it both deviated from the design and detracted from reliability). Largely, I've had flawlessly running 1911's. A couple of which with tens of thousands of rounds that even still have incredible triggers (haven't degraded).

I'm not one to hang on LV's words but rather find the article itself to be helpful. The part you highlighted is largely worthless :p the rest however is helpful to people trying to sort through all the 1911 features out there to make an informed purchase.

I'm definitely not one to put the 1911 on a pedestal and say it's the best out there or that it's the perfect gun but there IS a reason why it's hung around so long and why it's my personal gun of choice. If you want to seriously run one as a duty gun or in competition then it IS a good idea to know the design and have some capabilities in regards to maintenance and some skill in basic adjustments/tuning and the ability to recognize wear and potential problems that need to be addressed. The 1911 definitely isn't as forgiving as a Glock but you're far from walking on eggshells with them either :D

cortayack
08-01-2011, 9:16 AM
Thanks for the link and read.....Very informational!

hkfooey
08-01-2011, 9:24 AM
Good reading on 1911 - thanks! :)

CK_32
08-01-2011, 9:30 AM
Good read. Thanks for posting.

I love the slide and features the SW one has.

MrExel17
08-01-2011, 9:33 AM
A lot of good info,Thanks for passing it down!

gorenut
08-01-2011, 10:05 AM
Good info. It is funny seeing the comment section in that article. A lot of people took it as 1911 bashing - really missing the point of the article. There was one poster there that commented and made a lot of sense of the conversation de-railing though...
"For a fastidious civilian pistol owner who can comfortably fire and carry a heavy .45ACP pistol, the 1911 is a platform without parallel, and still the best available design a century on.
To take on a deployment, I wouldn’t feel comfortable without having a set of pre-fit spares (amounting to almost a spare pistol), but in a military logistic system that struggles to provide simple interchangeable items; in a service pistol we’d be better served by a less mechanically accurate pistol that is cheaper, easier to maintain, and easier to logistically support, freeing up resources to improve the weakest part of most military small arms weapon systems: the user."

RealBarber
08-01-2011, 10:14 AM
With no disrespect intended to Mr. Vickers, I think that comment should be taken with a grain of salt.

I can understand the rationale for something other than a 1911 from an institutional standpoint. I feel generally 1911's are enthusiast's pistols which require both knowledgeable gun handling and some degree of mechanical aptitude, like being a Harley owner or muscle car owner.

Having grown up in the muscle car era of the 60's and 70's we learned to work on our own cars, doing basic tune-ups and repairs and often learned to rebuild engines, transmissions, etc. In todays society thats a somewhat uncommon aptitude as most people don't work on their own cars due to the electronic controls and tight packaging of components. Therefore the majority of people enterring the service today probably have little mechanical aptitude or at least little mechanical experience. Combine that with the lack of prior shooting experience we see in so many people due to both societal viewpoints and inability to even discharge bb guns in city limits a simple to operate, very low maintenance pistol like the Glock makes much more sense.

Now as to "spending a grand to really get it tuned" I have to ask if anyone on this board with a 1911 has ever had to do so to get one to run that wasn't ruined by someone that didn't know what they were doing. While I've had to tune extractors myself on new pistols (a 5 minute job) or send others back for warranty work on an out of spec part (bad slide stop, bad thumb safety) most of my 1911's have worked out of the box with no money expenditures.

Naturally, if you want a truly custom 1911 personalized to your taste the sky is the limit, but that expenditure isn't necesary. We have dozens of happy RIA owners on this forum that are happy with their 1911's out of the box.

i completely agree

PRCABR4Christ
08-01-2011, 10:21 AM
I believe one must be mechanically inclined to own 1911's, either that or have some money to have a smith fix it when something goes wrong...with that said, I went from Glock to 1911's

I've never had any type of a problem with Glocks, but I've never had a problem I couldn't fix on a 1911. Just 2 nights ago I put the sear, disco, and hammer under a magnifying glass as I had it apart anyway as I was messing with my sear spring, and lo and behold, my stock Colt sear, hammer, and disco had nary a scratch on the mating surfaces, and this gun is 20 years old give or take, I was just amazed (I've only ran a few thousand rounds through it, maybe 3k). So with that said, it's not my belief that these things aren't easy to break, but they can be very difficult to run well if you don't know what you're doing or know how to properly tune it. 1911's generally have a couple issues, and here they are as follows...
1. Improper grip when firing...the 1911 needs a solid platform to feed and eject rounds, if you limp wrist it, you'll have problems

2. Improper assembly/disassembly...I was at my local gun shop this week and the owner gave me a kimber with hammer follow, he replaced the thumb safety and sights and couldn't figure out why the hammer was following the slide "sometimes"..."sometimes" was a key word, the problem was whoever put it together didn't make sure the sear spring was positioned correctly, therefore it was only holding the sear "sometimes", a quick manipulation of the sear spring and buffing on the "sticking" thumb safety and we were back in business

3. If you want to improve your 1911, remember that rarely anything drops in, if you don't know how the parts interact with each other, don't file, dremel (:eek:) or buff it, there's no reason your feed ramp has to look like a chrome bumper, it's a gun not a Harley, the fee ramp only has to be at the proper angle, if you don't know what angle it is, don't touch it

4. If your extractor is incorrectly tuned, not only will you not be able to eject emptys, you may not be able to feed to begin with, see #3 as the feed ramp isn't always the problem (could be mag springs too), here's a good site that tells you how to properly tune a 1911 extractor http://www.m1911.org/technic2.htm

AeroEngi
08-01-2011, 11:19 AM
Thanks for the link! Very informative and a great read!

DArBad
08-01-2011, 4:08 PM
thanks for the link, but my thoughts are similar to " Redcliff " above.

On a personal note, my dad and several uncles fought in WWII in the pacific theater. They had been in some of the bloody battles of Okinawa and had on several occassions used the GI issue 1911s, they survived and came through.

Now, according to these veterans, the 1911s were reliable and can be counted on to pull through when the need was there. Their maintenance consisted cleaning their 1911s with nothing but kerosene and oiling them with used motor oil!

I don't know personally Mr. Larry Vickers, his credentials no doubt is impeccable BUT his opinions is only one amongst many. The 1911s are plenty reliable enough for me, for my dad and uncles (rest their souls--they are all gone now) but they had survived that world war with the 1911 and anything told to the contrary is nothing but----bull****.

Blackhawk556
08-01-2011, 5:41 PM
How does that saying go, "Opinions are like *****es, everyone has one"

redcliff
08-01-2011, 6:07 PM
I want to apologize for pulling this thread a bit off course, I think most of the article was good information for a new 1911 buyer and I agree with his opinions on what mods are worthwhile. I only disagreed on his comment that it takes $1k to make a 1911 reliable.

spammusubiboy
08-01-2011, 6:38 PM
I want to apologize for pulling this thread a bit off course, I think most of the article was good information for a new 1911 buyer and I agree with his opinions on what mods are worthwhile. I only disagreed on his comment that it takes $1k to make a 1911 reliable.

No worries, I'm pretty sure we can all agree on the 1k part. Especially when a reliability package is about $300 and a Wilson extractor (fit) will run you $65. Perhaps he meant it takes 1k total? Buy gun plus reliability work= 1k grand total? Though I doubt that's what he meant :p

I thought only officers carried 1911's for the most part. Why is it that everyone's father, uncle, grandfather etc carried one......apparently there were all chiefs and no indians in the military of old :p

ljgrasso
08-01-2011, 7:14 PM
Very good read, thanks.

InGrAM
08-01-2011, 7:33 PM
No worries, I'm pretty sure we can all agree on the 1k part. Especially when a reliability package is about $300 and a Wilson extractor (fit) will run you $65. Perhaps he meant it takes 1k total? Buy gun plus reliability work= 1k grand total? Though I doubt that's what he meant :p

I thought only officers carried 1911's for the most part. Why is it that everyone's father, uncle, grandfather etc carried one......apparently there were all chiefs and no indians in the military of old :p


What do you think men used to clear NVA tunnels in Vietnam? Ntm all the men that manned tanks, supply trucks, any position where a full sized battle rifle was not effective, ect... A lot more than just officers had and used 1911's.