Which is more reliable, accurate, etc, between the 1911 and BHP?


November 5, 2008, 02:06 PM
I was thinking on this during one of my less-than-important classes today. Between the 1911 design and the BHP, which design is less "labor-intensive" to get to function, which requires more/less maintenance, which is (on average) more 'reliable', and which is more accurate?

I've seen plenty of "1911 vs. the earth," "BHP vs. other 9mms", but not all too many BHP vs. 1911-style threads in this same vein; especially since most 1911 threads always seem to mention "you have to drop lots of money to get them to work right (which isn't always the case, I might add)", but not so many complaints against the BHP, etc.

So, thoughts?

And for the record, I've got a 1911 (it works fine), and am somewhat contemplating picking up a BHP before January *cough, cough*.

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Jim Watson
November 5, 2008, 02:30 PM
I would venture to guess that the BHP would be the more reliable "out of the box" largely because it is still made by the original manufacturer and few others. Unlike the 1911 which has been knocked off by innumerable clone labs, most of whose operators think they are either smarter than Mr Browning or can cut corners he did not... or both.

Out of the box, there is nothing to choose on accuracy but there is a lot more that can be done with a 1911 if you want refinement. You don't see many bullseye shooters with Brownings.

Maintenance is easier with a 1911. One poster said the BHP was very easy to disassemble and reassemble... but there was the need for a third hand. And tools.

November 5, 2008, 02:48 PM
I've found no difference in reliability between Colt and Springfield M1911s and my Browning High Power, given proper ammunition. My Norinco M1911 took a little work, but WAY less than the price difference between it and any name brand M1911. I spent the first Bush stimulus check on mine. Even with gunsmithing and parts, it was cheaper than a new BHP, even at the old CDNN close-out price.

A minimally modified M1911 is MUCH easier to shoot accurately than a Browning High Power. It's FAR easier to get a beautiful trigger pull with an M1911 than a good one with a BHP. Removing the magazine safety from my BHP vastly helped the trigger pull, but nobody's ever going to mistake it for that of an M1911 tuned by even an average gunsmith.

I've carried both my Norinco M1911 and my BHP interchangeably.

November 5, 2008, 03:11 PM
I have had some 1911's that did not work out of the box.

I love 1911's but IME they require more work and TLC than other guns like Glocks, Sigs, Beretta.

That said I think the hi-power is more reliable "out of the box".

Mat, not doormat
November 5, 2008, 03:55 PM
The 1911's greatest asset is in the trigger. It may have other weaknesses, but the sliding trigger arrangement is probably why it, and now it's bastard son the S_I 2011 have been so dominant in competition for so long.

Hinged triggers in general, and the stock BHP unit in particular (with the mag safety still in place) just can't compare.


November 5, 2008, 04:02 PM
The 1911's and BHP's are both potentially reliable out of the box, but to litterally take it out of the box and shoot it, the BHP would work better. I have both and the BHP is definately easier to dis-assemble for basic cleaning. There are fewer parts and you don't need a bushing wrench to take the barrel out. The 1911 is a lot easier to detail strip and clean. The 1911 trigger is without a doubt far superior to the BHP mechanism. You don't have the magazine disconnect to deal with on the 1911 either. In my opinion, that is the one aspect of the BHP that should have been dropped years ago or never included in the first place. From my personal experience, the BHP is more rugged and doesn't need as much tender loving care as the 1911, but you have to care for them both or you wind up with a piece of junk.

November 5, 2008, 06:35 PM
I've had new 1911's that had "issues". I've yet to see a hp that didn't work out of the box. I think it boils down to quality control or the lack thereof.

November 5, 2008, 06:55 PM
I believe that whether a pistol is reliable or accurate has very little to do with the fact that it is one design or another. It is pretty easy to find extreme examples of both designs that wouldn't be considered by most to be accurate or reliable. They are both great designs but the function (or lack of) is pretty much dependent on the manufacturer's quality control and inspection standards. Individual models of any design should be evaluated on their actual performance and not their lineage. With a good design most reliability or accuracy can be fixed. And yes I know we shouldn't have to but that seems to be the lay of it.

November 5, 2008, 08:18 PM
Out of the box, the BHP should be more reliable in theory. But for accuracy, give me a good 1911.

Jim K
November 5, 2008, 09:21 PM
The Canadian forces used the BHP in competition and did very well with it; their armorers did wonders with that trigger mechanism and without removing the magazine safety.


Jim Watson
November 5, 2008, 11:06 PM
Versus what?

November 6, 2008, 12:55 AM
I have a Series 80 Colt and a late 60's BHP in mint condition. Both have been reliable, the Colt seems more comfy and thus more accurate for me.

November 6, 2008, 05:23 AM
in terms of pure reliability, a nice 1911 and a nice bhp won't hicup unless bad ammo is involved. accuracy is harder to say and might come down to a caliber preference for any one shooter. i know i shoot heavy 9mm more accurately than light .45cal. i think a nice 1911 will outlast a bhp in terms of round count though, provided you keep firing and never maintain your gun.

November 6, 2008, 06:41 AM
My experience has been the P-35 is more reliable "out of the box" than a similarly priced 1911. Not the case if you're talking Wilson/Baer 1911's.

November 6, 2008, 09:19 AM
Both my FN Hi Power & my Norinco 1911 are 100% stock. I did'nt even remove the magazine safety from the former. Still I prefer my Hi Power's trigger action, even though the Norinco' s trigger pull is way lighter.

Maybe it's because I more often shoot DA revolvers than auto pistols that I find a pivoting trigger more managable.

On the other hand, I realize that there may be a difference in quality standards between those two manufacturers (FN Herstal & Norinco).

And finally, maybe I'm just chauvinistically prejudiced, like a lot of my fellow countrymen :
you'd be surprised how many Belgians consider the HP to be a Belgian gun.

Jim Watson
November 6, 2008, 09:46 AM
You mean just because it IS a Belgian gun?

Mr Browning was darn near an honorary Belgian from what I have read of the way he was treated by FN managment and labor alike. And his local protoge Dieudonne Saive was no dummy, either.

November 6, 2008, 10:11 AM
Over the last four decades I've owned 13 HP's (currently have 10) and in all honesty cannot remember a single problem with any of them. During the same period I have also owned 27 1911's (currently have 20). Of these 14 worked 100% out of the box. The others, with the exception of one Colt, responded well to fixes that ranged from minor tweaking to major gunsmithing to correct reliability issues.

As far as accuracy, every HP shot as well as the mid price range 1911's I've owned but they cannot compete with the top end 1911's, but this is hardly surprising.


November 6, 2008, 08:08 PM
Both can be reliable.

The HP, whether in 9mm or .40, usually has good good combat accuracy out of the box. If worked on by a good smith the HP can have very good accuracy.

The 1911 can be a much more accurate gun that the HP though in any of the calibers that it is chambered in (9mm, 38 Super, 9x21, 40 S&W, 10 mm, 45 acp, etc.). This is because of the barrel bushing, the link, the length of the rail and the trigger.

The bushing allows for a match grade fit of the barrel to it as well as a good match to the slide. The 1911 has longer rails than the HP and this means that the slide can be fit to a much closer and longer lasting fit than can the slide to frame fit of the HP. The link, regarded by some as a weak point and it sometimes is, can be fit to a particular barrel for a better lock up and smoother functioning of the the gun. The trigger, well folks know about.

The things I've mentioned make the 1911 potentially a good deal more accurate than the HP in any of it's calibers and as reliable as the HP. Browning didn't design it with match shooting at 50 yards in mind but it has become that. It is likely the most flexible and adaptable service sidearm ever made.


November 6, 2008, 10:53 PM
The 1911 has longer rails than the HP and this means that the slide can be fit to a much closer and longer lasting fit than can the slide to frame fit of the HP.

With that in mind, are the rails on the CZ SP-01 longer than on the CZ-75, or is the longer frame purely an accommodation for an accessory mount?

November 6, 2008, 11:07 PM
Rangegod's words are straight,and true...

November 6, 2008, 11:55 PM
With the plethora of 1911s and clones out there...if you asked that question in 1970 most people would consider them about equal. 1911s didn't need too much tweaking to be good duty pistols in those days. Now...

My only two BHPs are an Inglis and a Belgian Mk. III. With Mec-Gar magazines both are dead-nuts reliable. The Inglis still has the mag safety; the Mk. III does not.

I shoot the 1911 better and it feels better to me just from long acquaintance. But the BHP is one helluva good gun.

November 7, 2008, 07:43 AM
With that in mind, are the rails on the CZ SP-01 longer than on the CZ-75, or is the longer frame purely an accommodation for an accessory mount?

I don't know the answer to that.

With the 1911 the slide can be tightened and hand lapped to fit the frame. Because there is more of the frame rail in the 1911 than in the HP a longer lasting fit and better support are usually the result.


November 7, 2008, 10:19 AM
pay attention in all those classes. you may miss a nugget.

November 7, 2008, 10:34 AM
Depends on the 1911
Depends on the Hipower

November 7, 2008, 10:43 AM
The BHP was never intened to be a competition pistol the 1911 is a more accurate pistol by design.As far as reliability once you start pimpn out the 1911 you are throwing out reliability the BHP wins hands down in this area. I have had several Belgian still own 1 and been issued more Inglis's than I can remember still have my Colt Combat commander

November 7, 2008, 01:02 PM
The 1911 was originally intended to be a comp gun? :scrutiny:

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