Getting a 1911 to feed hollow points


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Locnar
April 3, 2010, 06:08 PM
I'm looking at a full size 1911 as my concealed carry gun, but I know there's issues with the platform feeding hollow points. Is there anything that a gunsmith can do (a "reliability package", perhaps?) to ensure 100% hollow point feeding reliability?

I'm willing to sacrifice a bit of accuracy to ensure perfect reliability. I don't need to make overlapping holes at 25 yards; a two or three inch group at 25 yards is acceptable to me.

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EddieNFL
April 3, 2010, 06:16 PM
I'm looking at a full size 1911 as my concealed carry gun, but I know there's issues with the platform feeding hollow points.

I think you may have stumbled across one of those vampire like myths. All the 1911s I've purchased over the past 25 years have feed HPs (designed for autos) right out of the box. The few problems I encountered were not ammo related.

918v
April 3, 2010, 06:21 PM
The "platform" does not have issues with hollow points. Certain variants do.

rcmodel
April 3, 2010, 06:27 PM
Early GI & commercial Colt 1911's didn't especially like JHP's with huge holes in the nose.
That was because they were made before JHP ammo was invented and the guns chamber throat changed slightly to feed FMJ-RN ammo.
But they would usually feed Remington and other brands of JHP with a more GI bullet profile.

Todays 1911's should feed most JHP just fine right out of the box.
If not, a little judicious feed ramp & barrel throat polishing usually makes it so.

Again, any gun can refuse to feed with certain brands of ammo.
You need to try what you want to use, and if it doesn't feed, try something else.
But this is true of most guns, not just 1911's.

rc

Zerodefect
April 3, 2010, 06:31 PM
If you are haveing trouble:
-Try Remington GS 230gn, nice round tips.
-Polish your ramp and that beveled edge of the barrel. I use a dremel with the cotton cylinder thingy that spins onto the screw arbor. Turtle wax chrome polish or the orange dremel polish should work.
- get rid of the garbage mags the gun came with. Get some Tripp Cobra mags.
- get a higher quality recoil spring. Wolf 18 lb.


The above mods turned my Kimber CDP from a jamomatic to a flawlessly reliable gun.

rcmodel
April 3, 2010, 06:39 PM
Kember does seem to leave some sharp edges on the chamber throat.

I've fixed several of them.

rc

sideways
April 3, 2010, 07:48 PM
I have Colt Officer also 1981 manufacture series 70 never had FTF out of either one' I really don't believe I'm just lucky just don't know that is a real concern with modern 1911's

atomd
April 3, 2010, 11:56 PM
If you get a good high quality 1911 you will have more of a problem getting it to NOT feed something. I bought a Dan Wesson last fall that has plowed through a dozen brands of factory ammo (many rounds) along with a couple thousand of my reloads..a lot of them being test loads using a half dozen different bullets with different charges, primers, and OALs. A lot of those rounds were JHP. While it might be more accurate with one than another, it eats anything and everything. I haven't had one malfunction yet.

Sunray
April 4, 2010, 12:38 AM
"...full size 1911 as my concealed carry gun..." Easy enough with the right holster and belt. The belt is just as important as the holster.
"...a little judicious feed ramp & barrel throat polishing usually makes it so..." Yep. And extending the feed ramp taper/angle about half way up the sides of the chamber to make it feed reliably. Needs to be done for SWC's too. A fine jeweller's file will do nicely. However, if you're at all concerned about doing it yourself, take it to a smithy.
Like RC says, it isn't just 1911's. If you're not reloading, you'll have to try a box of as many brands, bullet weights and shapes as you can to find the ammo your pistol both shoots well and cycles the action. The cost of said ammo means nothing either.

mljdeckard
April 4, 2010, 01:06 AM
Yep. Pick a round that you like, (I use 230 gr HSTs,) run 200 of them through your gun. If they run error free, trust them.

My dad just got a Springfield Mil-Spec, and it ate 200 of them no problem.

ckone
April 4, 2010, 02:01 AM
Go to an IDPA match and watch which guns seem to have the most issues just running FMJ... You'll see that it's just about always 1911's, expensive ones too, custom this custom that with all the best "names".

When the heat is on it only gets worse with JHP's.

I love 1911's, but the people who tell you that theirs run flawless are almost always talking about how they do while being shot casually while standing still in a lane at some range punching holes in paper while shooting small groups, Hi-Points work 100% under those same conditions.
Todd Jarett and Rob Leathem seem to have good luck with getting theirs to run right under up tempo conditions, it's too bad we all don't have a small army of factory gunsmiths to make sure ours all run as well too.

918v
April 4, 2010, 02:43 AM
Tell that to all the cops carrying 1911's and FBI SWAT.

Frank Ettin
April 4, 2010, 02:53 AM
I have a variety of 1911s in full size, commander size and officer size. They are all 100% reliable with JHPs, FMJs and LSWCs. I've been able to wring them out in IPSC competition, a number of classes I've taken and various vigorous, high round count drills on practice days at my IPSC club.

It's true that a particular example of any type of gun can be finicky. I've nonetheless been able to do quite well with 1911s. And if one has problems with a particular 1911, most of the time it's a bad magazine or an easily fixed extractor problem.

GLOOB
April 4, 2010, 06:15 AM
Uptempo? It would be rare to go through more than 1 mag of ammo in an SD situation. Most importantly, I would hope they're not all misses.

I don't believe in 1911 magic, but I had a series 80 officers model that never malfunctioned. It was a nice gun. I wish I hadn't sold it.

I like GLOCKs because I'm lazy. If something breaks, I want to be able to replace it myself with parts I buy from anywhere I want. OEM, third party, or whatnot. And because it doesn't need to be cleaned/oiled as often. But I'd trust a 1911 to get the job done, too.

The guns I see jam the most often at matches are:
#1. People running brand new guns (except GLOCKS, which don't seem to need break-in)
#2. People running highly modified guns (most often 1911's, and some GLOCKs). But the reason for so many 1911's choking is likely because of the number of custom parts catalogs and backyard gunsmiths that seem to gravitate towards this platform.

The Lone Haranguer
April 4, 2010, 06:41 AM
I'm looking at a full size 1911 as my concealed carry gun, but I know there's issues with the platform feeding hollow points. Is there anything that a gunsmith can do (a "reliability package", perhaps?) to ensure 100% hollow point feeding reliability?

If it was made in the last 20 years or so, it should already be "ramped and throated" to run with hollowpoints, at least those that have a rounded nose and narrow cavity approximating the shape of ball. (Even many older ones will run with such bullets.) If it does not, it doesn't need a "reliability package," it needs to be repaired as it is not performing as designed.

atomd
April 4, 2010, 10:51 AM
But the reason for so many 1911's choking is likely because of the number of custom parts catalogs and backyard gunsmiths that seem to gravitate towards this platform.

Exactly. So many of those 1911s have been "tuned" by someone. I'd say a vast majority of pistols seen at any matches have had at least something done to them. As soon as you start screwing with them, you're much more likely to have a malfunction of some sort. And if you're looking for a gun to really screw with, a 1911 is an excellent choice. A lot of 1911 guys are like Harley guys...on the ride home with it brand new they are already making a wish list of parts to replace or work to be done to it. You're more likely to see a factory glock or a glock that has a couple of swapped factory parts in them like a different connector or something of that nature. They are all also mass produced drop in parts that don't require any fitting to run correctly so there's less room for error.

Zerodefect
April 4, 2010, 11:00 AM
You just have to build them right. No need to stay stock.

Most of those shooters don't know how to tune thier 1911's. I've tried helping them and I get these replies:

"But it's brand new."- yeah, sure, hows that working for ya.
"Its a $3000 Wilson it shouldn't need polished ramps or a stonger spring."- apparently it deos
"but this is good remington ammo"- dude it UMC garbage.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Most of these 1911 owners don't seem to understand, that something has to be changed to get there gun working well again.

PS: I love external extractors

ol' scratch
April 4, 2010, 11:24 AM
I've never had a problem with either of my 1911's digesting hollow points. I load my own too. The only bullet design my guns don't seem to like are Rainer wadcutters. They eat everything else.

If you do have a feeding problem, try switching mags. I have had very good luck with Wilson Combat Mags.

76shuvlinoff
April 4, 2010, 12:58 PM
Federal Hydra Shoks feed in my fullsize Kimber , zero issues.

Walkalong
April 4, 2010, 01:59 PM
In spec properly made 1911's are as reliable as any platform out there.

Dare I say it? Yes. Mine run pretty much 100%. I have a couple that have never failed yet after quite a few rounds. Wet & clean, dirty & dry.

Tell that to all the cops carrying 1911's and FBI SWAT.
Yep.

EddieNFL
April 4, 2010, 02:09 PM
Lots of folks still fall prey to the internet myths. Gotta wonder if they fall for Nigerian scams, as well.

Hatterasguy
April 4, 2010, 03:27 PM
My Springfield didn't like hollow points at first, but it was new. I put 200 rounds through it and now it doesn't seem to have a problem. It wouldn't chamber Speer Gold Dots, but now that its broken in I'm going to try them again.


I would think these days as long as you buy a decent 1911 from a good manufacturer you shouldn't have problems. If you do they will fix it.

MCgunner
April 4, 2010, 03:43 PM
I had my AMT and my AO worked over, throated, buffed, still ball guns. My Ruger P90 will feed anything. I swore off 1911s for lint, anyway, don't like the single action cocked and locked thing for carry, prefer a DA which fires at least the first shot like my revolvers. Keeps the platform at least somewhat similar since I carry revolvers a lot. The P90's carry is a stash of flying ashtrays I still have. :D When I use them up, I'll probably get some 200 grain gold dots and live happy. That thing is so reliable, i don't even worry about it feeding anything I buy or load for it.

Quoheleth
April 4, 2010, 03:47 PM
I have a $800+ dollar Springfield Loaded and a $400 Rock Island. Both shoot anything from "flying ashtrays" to lead semiwadcutters to lead round nose to factory ball.

Before you spend a chunk of change on a stock 1911, shoot it with different ammunition makers/meplats/styles.

Q

mljdeckard
April 4, 2010, 03:51 PM
Maybe I'm just naive because I never feel the need to shoot anything other than 230 gr jacketed bullets out of mine. I tested some cast 230 SWCs from a friend, and they worked too.

This is why I get the willies when people start messing with barrel length, bullet size, bullet shape, pressure, etc. I see no reason to deviate from how it was designed.

MCgunner
April 4, 2010, 03:54 PM
This is why I get the willies when people start messing with barrel length, bullet size, bullet shape, pressure, etc. I see no reason to deviate from how it was designed.

Fine, if you're satisfied with the limited terminal ballistics and over penetration of ball. Me, I want hollowpoints. .45 ball is pretty pathetic as a performer in flesh compared to a good expanding bullet regardless of what Jeff Cooper had to say about it blowing Japanese off their feet.

But, this is another reason I don't own a 1911. It was designed for ball. I'd rather have a modern design built to feed modern ammo.

mljdeckard
April 4, 2010, 03:59 PM
I see no handicap in using 230 gr HSTs OR 230 gr WWB FMJ. They both work fine in mine, and both will do the job thoroughly.

Quoheleth
April 4, 2010, 04:01 PM
Mcgunner, anytime you wanna get bit by the 1911 bug, give me a holler.

Once you go single-stack, you don't wanna go back. Or, something like that :p

Q

.45Heater
April 4, 2010, 04:13 PM
Ball or Hollowpoints really don't make much difference in .45ACP. Mine feed both equally well and do the same job.

MCgunner
April 4, 2010, 04:16 PM
Mcgunner, anytime you wanna get bit by the 1911 bug, give me a holler.

Once you go single-stack, you don't wanna go back. Or, something like that


Been bit, came down with the fever, took aspirin, got over it, moved on. :D Besides, my KP90DC is a single stack. :D It's a little fatter through the slide, but only 33 ounces on the belt.

Locnar
April 4, 2010, 04:19 PM
Holy crap, I wasn't expecting this much feedback. I just wanted to know that IF there were any issues with MY 1911 feeding hollow points, what could be done about it?

For those who gave the tips of throating and polishing and all that, thanks.

Old Shooter
April 4, 2010, 04:28 PM
Some time back I had a Thompson and a AMT Hardballer that were picky about ammo, especially hollow points. Never could get them to function properly so away they went.

My recent guns have been Colt and Rock Island, multiple examples of each and none has had any problems feeding Winchester or Remington hollow points.

Those are the only two brands of ammo I use so I can't say they fwould eed all hollow points acceptably but, for what it's worth, thats my two cents

EddieNFL
April 4, 2010, 04:35 PM
I'd rather have a modern design built to feed modern ammo.

Same here. 1911A1 for me.

Hatterasguy
April 4, 2010, 04:44 PM
The military never had much of a problem using FMJ .45ACP rounds. Heck it was designed to knock down drugged up tribesmen when the .38 long Colt wasn't doing the job.


I never really get much into the ammo debate, IMHO any bullet will do as long as you hit what your shooting at. Right now my 1911 is loaded with 230gr FMJ ball, and my Sig M193.

Zach S
April 4, 2010, 04:48 PM
Is there anything that a gunsmith can do (a "reliability package", perhaps?) to ensure 100% hollow point feeding reliability?
Here is my method, in two easy steps:

1) Load pistols with JHPs
2) Shoot them!

The only 1911 I had that was picky with ammo was an AMT Hardballer. The other eight or so from other manufactures (Kimber, Para, Colt, SA) didn't have any issues.

Frank Ettin
April 4, 2010, 04:49 PM
....45ACP rounds. Heck it was designed to knock down drugged up tribesmen when the .38 long Colt wasn't doing the job....But when they tried it out in real life they found that even the .45 ACP often didn't do the job. In fact, sometimes the Krag didn't do the job.

SIGLBER
April 4, 2010, 05:36 PM
It is true that the 1911 was designed for ball ammo. Due to it's unique feed pattern a wide JHP can cause problems for some of the older 1911's. Almost all of the newer guns come throated, with a feed ramp that is usually highly polished, and so on. These modifications make the 1911 much more friendly to JHP's. Most every 1911 I've ever owned was fine with JHP's. Some guns didn't like certain hollowpoints. But that can even be true of modern guns designed from the ground up to shoot JHP's.
So the general advice of shooting a fair amount (the number varies depending on who you ask) of your preferred JHP is good advice for all guns. But especially if you have one of the older guns you really need to shoot enough of your chosen JHP to assure reliable feeding. Even if you have an older gun that doesn't like anything but ball their are better options. Cor Bon's Pow-r-Ball has a ball profile to feed reliably even in guns that won't normally shoot JHP's. Federal makes it's EFMJ (expanding full metal jacket round) that has a ball style load profile yet expands nicely. Ball is fine for target practice. But with any ball ammo you can often get overpenetration,
rounds skipping off hard surfaces (including human heads surprisingly often),
and no expansion. In spite of the old "they all fall to ball" b.s. for the above mentioned reasons you are better off with one of the modern expanding bullets. If you need extra penetration the modern bonded rounds penetrate as well as the ball and still expand.

SIGLBER
April 4, 2010, 05:45 PM
To add to fiddletown's comments the only gun the troops really trusted to put down the drugged up Moro's was the Winchester model 1897 shotgun. They did bring back some of the old .45 Long Colt revolvers to help. Contrary to modern myth they didn't do much if any better than the other pistol rounds at stopping the Moro's. No pistol round is a very effective manstopper. We carry them because it would be hard to tote an AR, AK, or shotgun around day to day. Would upset alot of folks (especially LEO's) if we tried. Pistols are easy to carry. That's why we as civilians usually carry them. Not because they are a good choice as far as terminal ballistics. As far as "stopping power" the best definition is "hitting the target in the right place as often as is necessary".

EddieNFL
April 4, 2010, 05:49 PM
But when they tried it out in real life they found that even the .45 ACP often didn't do the job. In fact, sometimes the Krag didn't do the job.
Shot placement.

Frank Ettin
April 4, 2010, 06:00 PM
Shot placement. Shot placement is of course king.

But a well placed shot with a .45 is better than a similarly well placed shot with a .22 lr. And with a given cartridge, most of the time a well placed shot with a JHP is better than a similarly well placed shot with an FMJ. And my ability to get good shot placement with my .45 isn't going to suffer if I use JHPs rather than FMJs.

jhallrv4
April 4, 2010, 06:33 PM
The role of the pistol is to fight your way to your rifle. Or so I've heard.

Hatterasguy
April 4, 2010, 09:38 PM
My point was that your better off picking a round that works in your gun, and is cheap enough that you can shoot a lot of. So you get used to how it shoots and where it lands. Shot placement is even more important with 1911's since their capacity is pretty limited by modern standards.

A box of FMJ rounds is about half the cost of hollow points.

EddieNFL
April 4, 2010, 10:33 PM
But a well placed shot with a .45 is better than a similarly well placed shot with a .22 lr.

And a hit with a .22 is better than a miss with a .45.

I'm not disagreeing with you. I believe in carrying the biggest, baddest bullet you can shoot well. Golden Sabers for me. And contrary to the myth spouted above , they feed
properly in all my non-modified 1911s.

Smokin Gator
April 4, 2010, 10:52 PM
How much hollow point jacketed ammunition was around when the 1911 was designed? Of course it's initial design, feed ramp and barrel, were to feed ball ammo. As has been pointed out modern 1911's have been adjusted to feed modern ammo. As far as guns failing at IDPA matches, I've seen all different types and manufacturers fail including a glock that split it's barrel at last years California IDPA championship. In most cases I don't know if it was ammo, gun design, mags or what the problems were, but I've seen lot's of guys have their guns turn into single shots, mostly with other than 1911's. Mark

walteray
April 4, 2010, 10:57 PM
It was originally designed to feed ball, and HP's arent the problem if you gun will feed wadcutters it'll feed hp's my taurus (yes taurus 1911, so what?) feed everything and 2 thousand rounds later still functions without a single hiccup ever. SWC HP's Ball jacketed, lead everything and its a taurus!

FTSESQ
April 4, 2010, 10:58 PM
1911's don't feed hollow points...:scrutiny:

All 6 of mine do. with boring regularity. Even my WWI era Colt feeds hollow points fine. like any auto loading gun (pistol or rifle) 99% of the time, the weak link is magazine. Good quality mags + good ammo = a happy 1911 (or any other auto for that matter... within reason, of course)

walteray
April 4, 2010, 11:03 PM
Second that FTS cheap mags will ruin your day, I have three that wont lock my slide back on empty although they only cost 6 dollars a piece ;)

Walkalong
April 4, 2010, 11:23 PM
I had my AMTWell there ya go. ;) :D

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