Loose or tight 1911's


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cwduke08
February 25, 2012, 09:03 PM
So I've been doing a lot of research on 1911's. I want one. But now I've been reading a lot about the Ed Brown Kobra Carry, currently my dream gun. But I've been reading about quite a few problems ejecting and feeding. Not character qualities you want in a 2000 dollar handgun. So instead of an expensive handfit tight 1911, should I want a looser 1911 like a govt model colt. Something like a 1991 series.????

It makes me think of an ak rifle, not a tightly made gun but I works in the most horrific conditions! Would an EB or WILSON perform???

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rcmodel
February 25, 2012, 09:17 PM
They better run!

I have never owned one?
But I built 1911 National Match pistols for an Army AMU unit for a living for a while.
Wilson or Brown guns today should be very similiar to them in fit and tightness.

Those guns were tight, with hand lapped slides, fitted bushing, fitted barrel lugs, etc, and would shoot one ragged 10-shot hole at 50 yards out of a ransom rest.

And if they failed to function even once in a 2700 point bullseye match, or dozens of them, the gun was a total failure, and back to the shop for a fix or rebuild.
Followed closely by a very agitated champion level shooter, with a few, no several choice words for his gunsmith, me.

I would expect a Cobra Carry or Wilson to run 100% with any good ammo indefinitely, with only cleaning & oil, as should be done with any 1911.

If you never clean a gun, store it under the car seat for months on end, and drop it in the sand a lot, I would expect problems.

rc

2zulu1
February 25, 2012, 09:35 PM
There are three Colts, two in 45auto and one in 38Super, that have had a lot of holster time, at least six years and they have passed the test of time.

Heat is a good way to test for reliability, so under searing Arizona sun they get a tortuous 150 round, fast as the trigger can be pulled, test. Mix in JHP, ball and SWC ammunition in whatever brand magazines I have and these tests bring about carry confidence.

For out of the box reliability, I'm confident and satisfied with these Colts for personal defense situations.

Vern Humphrey
February 25, 2012, 09:56 PM
The only unreliable M1911 I ever encountered was one I built from a Fed Ord "kit." The firing pin tunnel was off, so the firing pin indentation was on the edge of the primer. I replaced the slide and the gun has run beautifully ever since.

buckhorn_cortez
February 25, 2012, 10:01 PM
Tight or loose? I assume you mean the slide to frame fit? If the gun is put together correctly, the slide/frame fit doesn't really have an affect on ejecting, feeding, or reliability. Reliability comes from a number of factors - not just tight or loose.

Accuracy comes from barrel lockup repeatabilty. That is controlled by barrel bushing / barrel fit and barrel lug to slide fit. Good slide / frame fitting helps some in accuracy but more in how the gun cycles as a poorly fit frame and slide can have areas where they bind which can result in both failure to eject and failure to feed because the slide slows down at the point where the binding occurs. Even a momentary small bind can cause the gun to not cycle correctly as the timing is then off.

There are two ways that problem can be fixed - loose fitment where there is no possibility of binding, and quality fitment where the frame and slide are fit properly, have no areas that bind, and generally give the "ball bearing" feel to cycling the slide.

Feeding problems can usually be traced to: magazine (#1 problem), extractor tensioned incorrectly (#2 problem) as the rim of the case has to fit under the extractor as it is pushed up from the magazine, incorrect timing (a number of causes), incorrect feed ramp slope, incorrect barrel fit (including barrel link length, worn link, worn slide stop).

The idea that a loose gun is more reliable because it isn't as susceptible to binding because of dirt (sand, soil, navel lint, etc.) is not really true as a properly fit slide and frame won't allow the sand/dirt to get into an area where it can bind - and if dirt does cover the slide area during cycling it will be pushed out the rail at the front or back of the gun. Now, I'm not talking about the powder talc type dust found in the Middle East as that is a whole different level of problem.

But, in any case - proper lubrication solves a world of problems - and that is whole different discussion that includes favorite pet formulas, what's the least expensive, "it's always worked for me" empirical data, personal opinions revolving around being ripped off when buying "costly gun lubes," being adverse to anything new, grease versus oil, bacon grease, what my mom always made me use, etc., etc.

Buy a quality gun from a reputable manufacturer and you should have about a 99.99% chance that the gun will work out of the box and continue working if you do your part (clean it and lube it properly).

As an example, I have six 1911's. All are fit "tight" and have worked out of the box. Contrary to Larry Vickers opinion, they have never been touched by a gunsmith after manufacture and have had thousands of rounds through them - and have never failed to feed, eject, or cycle.

But, I keep them lubed properly but not always clean as I have had to shoot several days in a row and have put over a thousand rounds through a gun without cleaning, but, the gun is always lubricated properly.

So, my suggestion is to buy a quality product and not to purchase based on "tight or loose."

flatlander937
February 25, 2012, 10:08 PM
I did a bunch of research on different 1911s before I bought one... I ended up going with a 1991 as well. It isn't "loose" by any means, there is a small amount of play, but it doesn't rattle when shaken.

500ish rounds in with no problems whatsoever... Don't regret it at all.

And it's a Colt.... they've only been doing it for 100 years you know;)

NWcityguy2
February 25, 2012, 10:19 PM
My Dan Wesson was too tight for its own good. It came from the factory with a handful of problems but the biggest one was the bushing/barrel fit was so tight as to make it impossible to rotate the bushing without the added leverage of a bushing wrench. It had constant 3 point jams until I sanded down the barrel until I could rotate the bushing with just my hands.

Zach S
February 25, 2012, 10:25 PM
Doesn't matter, keep it lubed.

Kimbers are tight for production 1911s, and I have one that I put 5000 rounds through before cleaning it. I'll never do that again as it had to be bead blasted to clean it, but it never failed, and about six or seven years later, it still hasn't. But to be fair, I probably haven't put another 5k through it.

I've also owned a Colt 1991A1. Got it used, rattled like a bucket of bolts. It was just as accurate as that Kimber. I had the Kimber first though, so the longest the Colt went without a good cleaning was about 2000 rounds, which was about standard pratice for me when .45ACP could be found for $200/1000.

rcmodel
February 25, 2012, 10:26 PM
so tight as to make it impossible to rotate the bushing without the added leverage of a bushing wrench.Sanded down the barrel???
OHG!

You should have sanded the bushing to fit the the slide hand tight first.
Then sanded the inside of the bushing to fit the barrel, if still necessary, but it wouldn't have been.

rc

NWcityguy2
February 25, 2012, 10:28 PM
Whats the point of arguing with success?

Skylerbone
February 25, 2012, 11:38 PM
If I were looking to spend north of $1,500 on a 1911 I would certainly expect it to be tightly fit. Sure lots of people say their Colt rattled like a____ insert favorite simile but which Colt? Even the occasional rattle trap may perform admirably but a tight fit (among other things) is part of what assures it. As you progress through the line-up even Colt sees the value in machining to tighter tolerances and pricing is commiserate.

If you don't find precisely what you like among the rarified price range you can always have one modified as you please. In that way you'll have a semi-custom that suits you and if you find you prefer a looser fit you'll have saved some coin.

BYJO4
February 25, 2012, 11:42 PM
I have a Les Baer with 10,000 rounds thru it and not a single malfunction. I still have to use the wrench to turn the barrel bushing.

rcmodel
February 25, 2012, 11:44 PM
Whats the point of arguing with success?My "point" was to keep someone else from sanding on a $175 barrel when they could have sanded on a $25 barrel bushing and done the same thing, right.

rc

JDGray
February 26, 2012, 12:19 AM
My SA Milspec is very tight! Needs a bushing wrench for sure, slide is very tight to the frame, and never a bobble in function. If the thing is built right, it will function, tight or loose.

Skylerbone
February 26, 2012, 12:24 AM
This one will shear your hand off at the wrist even with a good wrench and I paid extra for that priviledge. :what: The factory bushing was a turn-by-hand even with the FLGR. :barf:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=159907&stc=1&d=1330229717

Got another one in for the same treatment along with a new barrel. :evil: Sorry, I got a little carried away with those smily faces again.

918v
February 26, 2012, 03:57 AM
I have an Accu-Railed Springer, two Pros, and a SR1911. All run 100%. The first three have zero clearance everywhere, The Ruger is snug, but has .004"-.005" of clearance all over, mostly in the barrel and bushing fit. The first three are twice as accurate as the Ruger. They feel better. They feel like precision instruments.

I recommend tight, super tight. They will loosen up a bit over time.

RH45
February 26, 2012, 06:31 AM
I've never seen an Ed Brown that was what I would consider "tight". I don't need a wrench to take my Kobra Carry apart.
My Les Baer, with the 1 1/2" @ 50 yard group guarantee has about 10K through it, and I also have a Wilson, that was worked over by Rock River Arms with an 1 1/2" @50 yard group guarantee. I cuss every time I take them apart, but, I don't remember any of them missing a beat.

EddieNFL
February 26, 2012, 08:19 AM
I have a Les Baer with 10,000 rounds thru it and not a single malfunction. I still have to use the wrench to turn the barrel bushing.

I have to slightly retracted the slide to remove turn the busing in my LB. The first time I disassembled it, I chewed up a plastic bushing wrench. I've gone as long as 600 rounds (cast bullets) without cleaning/lubing. No hang-ups to date.

The Lone Haranguer
February 26, 2012, 09:26 AM
I want it reliable, irrespective of how tightly or loosely it is fitted. I detest stoppages in a $400 1911, let alone a $2000 one. :rolleyes:

hogrdr
February 26, 2012, 09:51 AM
what he said, one jam in 1000 after break in and its gone!

springer99
February 26, 2012, 11:13 AM
Being tight is not an excuse for having less than 100% reliability in a 1911, especially when it comes along with a $$$$ gun.

LTR shooter
February 26, 2012, 11:38 AM
Being tight is not an excuse for having less than 100% reliability in a 1911, especially when it comes along with a $$$$ gun.

Agree completely!

In the late 80s I had a Sprinfield Armory converted by Clark Custom Guns and it was a very tight gun but totally reliable. Most of the ammo fired was target reloads using lead semi-wadcutters.

CDW4ME
February 26, 2012, 11:58 AM
I have a Ed Brown Special Forces that has not malfunctioned, has about 400 HP rounds through it.

I have a Les Baer UTC that was (still is) VERY tight, I could barely break it out of battery when new and a wrench was definitely required.
I had one malfunction early on with the factory supplied magazine; I immediately stopped using the factory magazine and switched to Tripp mags.
My Baer UTC now has about 700 rounds through it (including plenty of XTP HP) and has only had that one malfunction.

Chuck R.
February 26, 2012, 12:21 PM
Ive got 2 Baers, a Concept V with over 29K through it and a Stinger with about 8K through it. Both started out tight and remain so. The Concept V had a couple FTFs in the first 1000 rounds and I believe it was a tired Wilson Mag, switched to Tripps and its run fine since. The Stinger has never had an issue.

I once had a Colt Gold Cup that started out reasonable tight, was reliable, but did develop a rattle after about 7K through it.

IMHO, IF the pistol is put together right it can be tight and reliable. You just cant get all three:

Tight-Reliable-Inexpensive

Chuck

drbeans
February 26, 2012, 12:57 PM
I think at least part of the questions is can a 1911 be compared to an AK in terms of reliability under extreme conditions? At least thats how I understood it.

I know these are highly battle proven weapons, but could you bury a 1911 in sand, mud, etc and then fire it reliably? Loose versus tight in these conditions?

rcmodel
February 26, 2012, 01:11 PM
but could you bury a 1911 in sand, mud, etc and then fire it reliably?
1906 Army acceptance test:
In the selection process, which started at 1906 with firearms submitted by Colt, Luger, Savage, Knoble, Bergmann, White-Merrill and Smith & Wesson. Only the Savage and Colt passed.

1911 Army acceptance test between the Savage & Colt:
A torture test was conducted on March 3rd, 1911. The test consisted of having each gun fire 6,000 rounds. One hundred shots would be fired and the pistol would be allowed to cool for 5 minutes. After every 1,000 rounds, the pistol would be cleaned, oiled and parts inspected.
After firing those 6,000 rounds, the pistol would then be tested with deformed cartridges, some seated too deeply, some not seated enough, etc.
The gun would then be rusted in Acid, tested, then submerged in Sand and Mud and some more tests would then be conducted.

Browning's pistols passed the whole test series with flying colors. It was the first firearm to undergo such a test, firing continuously 6,000 cartridges with no broken parts or stoppages, a record broken only in 1917 when Browning's recoil-operated machine gun fired a 40,000 rounds test.

rc

918v
February 26, 2012, 02:29 PM
I would not bury my 1911 in mud or sand. That's like taking a brand new Jeep and rolling it down hill, just to prove it can be done. Unless you are planning on a firefight in the Sahara Desert, a 1911 will be plenty reliable.

mljdeckard
February 26, 2012, 03:41 PM
I was wary of a tight gun, until I owned one. It runs just fine with intermittent routine maintenence.

FuzzyBunny
February 26, 2012, 04:19 PM
I have shot 1911s that rattled like a truck full of marbles. Shot accurate with no failures of any kind for 300 rounds. Sweet shooter, ate everything!

Shot tight hand fitted 1911 that had actions slicker than owl snot on a doorknob. Would not shoot 2 full mags without some type of failure except failure to fire. Only had 200 rounds that day. Used the same mix of mags from at least 6 companies. And about the same mix of rounds Ball, SWC, HP and cast.

Been shooting 1911s for about 4 decades and still don't understand the critters. I just chalk it up to magic and sell the troubled ones to folks that claim they can fix them.

One day I would like to take a full course on the 1911 but with just so many years left it would not do me much good. It would kinda take the magic out of it for me too.

Now custom rifle wood stock making would be a real joy. I just love blued steel and nice wood.

One think I do want is custom carved ivory longhorn steer heads with ruby eyes. Dang I'm rambling again

cwduke08
February 26, 2012, 08:00 PM
So basically keep it lubed, because it's an all STEEL gun and she'll be good to go!! I think i'm still leaning toward the EB KC!

What do you figure the break in period is for a 1911???

Skylerbone
February 26, 2012, 08:49 PM
hogrdr
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Posts: 83
what he said, one jam in 1000 after break in and its gone!


I've got to pick on you just a tiny bit here (nothing personal). It really does depend what is wrong when evaluating a firearm, no different than finding a frayed plug wire on your bike does not call for radical measures. I appreciate what you're saying, that arbitrary ghost in the machine problems that appear and vanish without apparent rhyme or reason are unacceptable but a good studying of the available manuals on the 1911 can often determine what is fixable or nixable.

The best advice I have to offer on 1911s aside from keep them reasonably lubricated would be to buy good quality magazines and order new ones every year. Toss the old ones in a pile and mark 'em for range duty or recycle.

ms6852
February 28, 2012, 01:15 AM
I am not a competitor so paying extra tons of money on a gun for that extra 1/3" of accuracy is not important to me. The 1911 I used in the army always went bang and I hit what I aimed at. From what I recall they were pretty lose. I carry the Springfield and the only thing I have had worked done on it is the trigger to 3.5 lbs on both my 1911's. Accuracy on both of them is to my satisfaction in a life and death situation. Most handguns are accurate out of the box. What is not accurate is the shooter, a lot of dedication is required to become accurate with a handgun. This involves lots of time, money and practice.

jr_roosa
February 28, 2012, 01:24 AM
My new Colt rail gun rattles.

The barrel-slide-bushing fit is without play, but no wrench needed for takedown.

The rattle is in slide-frame fit. Since the sights are on the slide and not the frame, I'm OK with it being a bit loose. It's been reliable. and it performs really well at 50yds even though it's not my bullseye gun.

If I had a frame mounted scope, I'd want tighter slide-frame fit.

-J.

peacebutready
March 18, 2012, 03:35 AM
Tight or loose? I assume you mean the slide to frame fit? If the gun is put together correctly, the slide/frame fit doesn't really have an affect on ejecting, feeding, or reliability. Reliability comes from a number of factors - not just tight or loose.

There are two ways that problem can be fixed - loose fitment where there is no possibility of binding, and quality fitment where the frame and slide are fit properly, have no areas that bind, and generally give the "ball bearing" feel to cycling the slide.

Buy a quality gun from a reputable manufacturer and you should have about a 99.99% chance that the gun will work out of the box and continue working if you do your part (clean it and lube it properly).

So, my suggestion is to buy a quality product and not to purchase based on "tight or loose."


Another possibility for people who cannot afford a high-quality product is for the low to mid tier 1911's to be made looser in general-not just the frame and slide. For a defensive gun, reliability is obviously more important, even if a little or some accuracy is lost.

Zerodefect
March 18, 2012, 08:34 AM
Keep in mind that many of those posters in 1911 forums are newb chumps with unrealistic expectations. Waaaaaa, my 1911 won't shoot Wolf ammo without FTRTB malfs, waaaaaaaa.

They lack the comprehension required to figure out exactly why thier 1911 failed. Often it's cheap/weak ammo, bad mags, poor lube, bad spring.

1911forum.com has a rule that any non constructive complaining will be deleted. Without said rule, the forum would just be a bunch of men crying support group.

If you have the above bases covered, and know what you're doing, 99% of all Dan Wessons, Les Baers, and Ed Browns will run fine for you. The high end guns do feel different when shooting. And you're far more likely to get a good well built 1911 from them, than Kimber or Springy.

Use thick lube and Federal FMJ for the first 1000 rounds.

TonyT
March 18, 2012, 02:20 PM
My Dan Wesson Pointman is very tight with a super factory trigger and a full ribbed slide. It's a great gun for bullseye psitol andcost me ca $600 a number of years ago.

Armed012002
March 18, 2012, 08:42 PM
It's common sense that when you reduce the clearances between moving parts in a firearm, it will be less reliable when dirty.

Most 1911s are not built for fighting.

The clearances in most 1911s built today are so tight there's no room for sand, dirt, mud, etc. to go.

A range gun that's never exposed to sand, dirt, mud, rain, etc. is what most people use their 1911s for. Thus, people don't care about a few malfunctions if it means they can punch out the bullseye. When people talk about their favorite 1911, they say "it's insanely accurate", "it's a great bullseye pistol", and so on. That's what sells!

It comes down to intended purpose.

There's a reason I own both Glocks and 1911s. One for fighting and one for the range.

Note that the 1911 of military fame is NOT the 1911 that's built today. A 1911 can be made very reliable; however, people don't want a 1911 that "rattles like a bucket of bolts."

peacebutready
March 18, 2012, 11:19 PM
Most 1911s are not built for fighting.

There's a reason I own both Glocks and 1911s. One for fighting and one for the range.

Note that the 1911 of military fame is NOT the 1911 that's built today. A 1911 can be made very reliable; however, people don't want a 1911 that "rattles like a bucket of bolts."

I wonder if a person can get a very reliable one even if it rattles from a custom or semi-custom shop.

The loose one for home defense and the tight one for range/competition.

Sheepdog1968
March 18, 2012, 11:33 PM
I have taken many pistol classes over the last several years. As best I can tell the 1911s that are most prone to fail are those that have tight tolerances. If you want one that looks good and shoots well my personal recommendation would be to contact Milltec. It's not listed on their website but they also do 1911's and he can give you good guidance on what would make a very reliable shooting gun

Skylerbone
March 19, 2012, 01:43 AM
My 1911s don't rattle like a bucket of bolts and I'd trust my life to them. The only 1911 submitted for the FBI trials that passed isn't known as a rattletrap either. Neither are Wilsons, Baers, NightHawks or Browns or any of a number of 1911s both civilians and professionals trust their lives to.

Ask yourself this question: what piece of machinery I own would be better served by looser tolerances? Say loose fitting bolts or no gaskets sealing it up tight? Does anyone honestly believe inviting contaminants in with a poor fit is better than keeping them out?

If you drench it in oil then drop it in the sand then clean it. I pity the fool who dunks his Glock in water or mud to prove it will still go bang because inevitably that is exactly what it will do and Darwin's theory will have yet another award recipient.

Armed012002
March 19, 2012, 03:33 AM
Glocks and most modern semiautomatic pistols are built to very close tolerances. This thanks to CNC machining, modern investment casting, and MIM techniques.

The proof of this is parts interchangeability. You could take 10 Glocks and randomly swap parts and they would all work. You can't have parts interchangeability without very close tolerances.

Having more clearance between moving parts is a good thing in a fighting gun.

Most 1911s built today have no room for dirt to go because the clearances John Browning designed into his 1911 were removed. The tighter parts fit together, the more accurate it will be, or so most people believe.

Ask yourself this question: what piece of machinery I own would be better served by looser tolerances?

If by "looser tolerances" you mean "more clearance between moving parts" then the answer would be: "a gun".

Does anyone honestly believe inviting contaminants in with a poor fit is better than keeping them out?

To answer your question, I honestly believe having more clearance between moving parts enhances reliability.

Do you suggest that tightly fitting parts keep contaminates out?

Dunk a Wilson, Baer, NightHawk, or Brown into sand, mud, or dirt and it will be filled with contaminates in all those tightly fitted parts. I guarantee it.

Real world examples would be the sands of Iraq and Afghanistan or the swamps of southeast America. Not every gun can operate in a clean environment. Likewise, you sometimes don't have an opportunity to clean and oil your weapon.

peacebutready
March 19, 2012, 09:36 AM
I have taken many pistol classes over the last several years. As best I can tell the 1911s that are most prone to fail are those that have tight tolerances.

I've read Colts are at least a little looser than their competitors. At least as of a few/several years ago, their position was if it didn't work out of the box, it was broke.

peacebutready
March 19, 2012, 09:48 AM
My 1911s don't rattle like a bucket of bolts and I'd trust my life to them. The only 1911 submitted for the FBI trials that passed isn't known as a rattletrap either. Neither are Wilsons, Baers, NightHawks or Browns or any of a number of 1911s both civilians and professionals trust their lives to.

The FBI's is a Springer. You can get the same one for $2500.

Wilson's, Baer's, etc, are out of my price range. Baer's aren't extremely expensive compared to it's competitors.

peacebutready
March 19, 2012, 09:58 AM
Glocks and most modern semiautomatic pistols are built to very close tolerances. This thanks to CNC machining, modern investment casting, and MIM techniques.

The proof of this is parts interchangeability. You could take 10 Glocks and randomly swap parts and they would all work. You can't have parts interchangeability without very close tolerances.

Having more clearance between moving parts is a good thing in a fighting gun.

Most 1911s built today have no room for dirt to go because the clearances John Browning designed into his 1911 were removed. The tighter parts fit together, the more accurate it will be, or so most people believe.


If by "looser tolerances" you mean "more clearance between moving parts" then the answer would be: "a gun".

Yes, that is what I was originally referring to.



To answer your question, I honestly believe having more clearance between moving parts enhances accuracy.

Interesting...I haven't heard that.

Do you suggest that tightly fitting parts keep contaminates out?

Dunk a Wilson, Baer, NightHawk, or Brown into sand, mud, or dirt and it will be filled with contaminates in all those tightly fitted parts. I guarantee it.


peace

Skylerbone
March 19, 2012, 11:31 AM
By your logic Ragsdale the Glock and its contemporaries aren't fighting pistols thanks to their tight tolerances and parts interchangeability.

Now that we've cleared that up...dunking and submerging any pistol into mud/sand/water will of course render it full of said same and that was never a point of contention. Fill up the barrels of a Glock and a 1911 with sand or true mud (not muddy water) and either will fail, they're both machines and neither defies physics. My point was that any fool who drops ANY pistol into those substances and fires it without first cleaning it is a fool. My second contention was that if tolerances are closer than the object seeking entry then it cannot enter. Don't believe me? Clamp two pieces of flat steel together and bury them in the sand. How much sand would you wager got between them? Same experiment with two not so flat pieces. Add a thin layer of oil to the parts and what's your wager now?

I cannot begin to fathom your remaining statements. You don't believe your watch, your engines, your bearings or your plumbing would share the mechanical advantages inherent in your "Loose Tolerance Theory", only your "guns". Does that apply to revolvers as well because it doesn't work so well for timing. The idea that a sloppy fit will be more accurate than a tight fit, all else being equal is quite frankly indefensible, or so most people believe.

Armed012002
March 20, 2012, 02:13 AM
To answer your question, I honestly believe having more clearance between moving parts enhances accuracy.

I meant to say "reliability" and not "accuracy" and corrected my post above.

I cannot begin to fathom your remaining statements. You don't believe your watch, your engines, your bearings or your plumbing would share the mechanical advantages inherent in your "Loose Tolerance Theory", only your "guns". Does that apply to revolvers as well because it doesn't work so well for timing. The idea that a sloppy fit will be more accurate than a tight fit, all else being equal is quite frankly indefensible, or so most people believe.

I'm am not advocating loose tolerances. Loose tolerances are indeed a bad thing. I even mentioned the fact that Glocks are built to high tolerances, which is a good thing, because it allows for parts interchangeability.

You and I have a difference of definitions:

Tolerance - an allowable amount of variation of a specified quantity, esp. in the dimensions of a machine or part: 250 parts in his cars were made to tolerances of one thousandth of an inch.

What you're referring to "tolerance", I'm referring to "clearance".

Clearance - Space between two things, allowing one or both of them to have a certain degree of freedom of movement relative to the other.

To reiterate what I've been saying:

Most 1911s built today are built in such a way where there is not enough clearance between moving parts. In other words, you can manufacture a 1911 with parts holding very high tolerances, but with increased clearance between those moving parts. The increased clearance enhances reliability.

As I said before, Glocks are built in such a way where there is plenty of clearance between moving parts. This increased clearance is exactly why Glocks can feed all kinds of different ammo and work when covered in mud, dirt, and so forth.

...dunking and submerging any pistol into mud/sand/water will of course render it full of said same and that was never a point of contention. Fill up the barrels of a Glock and a 1911 with sand or true mud (not muddy water) and either will fail, they're both machines and neither defies physics. My point was that any fool who drops ANY pistol into those substances and fires it without first cleaning it is a fool.

Obviously, one should check for bore obstructions before firing a gun.

Was the Army "fools" for dunking the 1911 in mud and sand during the Army acceptance test?

Speaking of the old 1911, it was built with plenty of clearance between it's moving parts.

Those old 1911s with their "sloppy fit" that rattle like a bucket of bolts. What were they thinking?


My second contention was that if tolerances are closer than the object seeking entry then it cannot enter. Don't believe me? Clamp two pieces of flat steel together and bury them in the sand. How much sand would you wager got between them? Same experiment with two not so flat pieces. Add a thin layer of oil to the parts and what's your wager now?


If those two pieces of flat steel are supposed to move against one another, why would I want to clamp them together to prevent sand from entering between them? We are talking about a gun with moving parts, after all.

I have quite a lot of experience with sand and gun parts. I deployed to Afghanistan three times.

Sand gets between everything whether oiled or not oiled and inside things you'd never thought it could go.

Trust me, the only way to make an M16 reliable, is to break it down everyday and clean it and oil it. Over and over and over again until you come home.

If you don't, the M16 will jam. Wan't to know why? Clearances

Wan't to know why the AK-47 don't jam? Clearances

Armed012002
March 20, 2012, 02:17 AM
Please also keep in mind, when you read my posts, that I'm not a 1911 basher.

I love, love, love the 1911.

I just hate what it's turned into.

A great fighting gun turned into a rich man's toy.

shiftyer1
March 20, 2012, 02:33 AM
I don't have more than 600 bux in either of my 1911's. One is a safari arms, i've never been able to find the model. Anyway everybody that has shot it, held it, or just looked at it loves it. $600 isn't really a whole lot if you really think about it. In my eyes a $2000 gun better be engraved and have some NICE grips!!

Armed012002
March 20, 2012, 02:40 AM
The really expensive ones typically have higher quality parts. For example, parts machined from tool steel rather than metal injection molded (MIM). All that machining is expensive and the parts need to be hand fit by a gunsmith which further increases the cost.

Comparatively, a Ruger, Kimber, Springfield, etc. use a lot of cast and MIM parts which don't require machining and hand fitting. The less labor intensive you make a gun, the less it costs.

In the future, I'm believe MIM and cast parts will become more and more common.

NWcityguy2
March 20, 2012, 11:11 AM
I don't see the point of your arguing Skylerbone. He is completely right that when properly done increased clearance can add a measure of reliability to a gun. Arguing in absolutes like "then Glocks aren't this" and "doing X will cause Y" is just like saying "eating candy will make you fat". An educated adult knows thats not the cause but understands it can be a contributing factor. Understanding guns is understanding that. Otherwise a gun would always shoot or always jam. There would be no in between without some kind of parts failure.

Zerodefect
March 20, 2012, 02:35 PM
As far as 1911's failing during high round count training. The model of 1911 and if the owner can detail strip a 1911 are good bits of info to have before jumping to conclusions. Yes, a 1911 won't be able to handle the abuse a Glock will. But the 1911 should run as well with proper maintenance.

1911's aren't really good for people who can't even clean the firing pin on a Glock.

A 1911 is really easy to detail strip and clean out. You can notch the grip safety bar so that you can detail strip without pulling the main spring housing and pin. Thats the only hard part I don't like.

The slide on a 1911 is actually easier to detail strip and clean than my Glock.

The tight slide frame/frame fit isn't a concern for sand. If you can get a regular grain of sand between my slide and frame.....I'll give you my 1911. The fit is so tight sand won't even fit in there!

Sand is a problem if it gets into the barrel hood locking lug area and the hammer pivot area. Any 1911 fails there, loose or tight deosn't matter.

Skylerbone
March 20, 2012, 04:01 PM
You don't see the point because you disagree? I do understand tolerances yet the term was being bandied about and the original question, later clarified by the OP was about clearances.

If you wish to talk about tolerance, strict adherence to print is the way to go, that is how it was engineered.

If you wish to talk a about why so many 1911s don't function right we can talk about absolute oddities in terms of measurement and poor tolerances and tolerance stack.

If you wish to know which 1911s really do run in all sorts of environments visit Rogers Precision, Rodgers Pistolsmithing, Warner Pistols, Chambers Customs, Clark Custom. Ask them how loose and sloppy a working 1911 should be for reliability.

The 1911 isn't an M16, in fact a Glock has more similarity to the 1911 than dang near any other pistol. Honestly you can believe what you like but that don't make it so. By the by that original test was 6,000 rounds while that super tight Springfield did something like 20,000.

Armed012002
March 20, 2012, 05:27 PM
Of course, the M16 isn't a 1911.

However, the M16, like the 1911s built today, have very close clearances between moving parts.

Comparing the M16 and 1911s built today to the AK and Glock is a fair comparison as they're designed with similar strengths and weaknesses: the former is accurate, but less reliable. The latter is reliable, but less accurate. The reason being is clearances.

One needs to know the limitations of his or her platform.

If you choose a M16 or 1911, you'll have a weapon that's potentially very accurate. The trade off for that match grade accuracy is constant maintenance. Defenders of these platforms always say something along the lines of "with proper maintenance..."

I believe very strongly that a fighting gun must work when dirty and under conditions you and I would rather not be in. Such as mud, sand, hurricane, and so on and so forth.

The AK and Glock are examples of designs that are built to specifically work under those conditions.

A 1911 built today is not a bad choice, if you understand it's weaknesses.

Likewise, a Glock is not a bad choice, if you understand it's weaknesses.

I'm glad I have the choice between many platforms.

I personally choose a weapon with the strength of reliability over accuracy.

NWcityguy2
March 20, 2012, 05:30 PM
If you wish to talk about tolerance, strict adherence to print is the way to go, that is how it was engineered.

If you wish to talk a about why so many 1911s don't function right we can talk about absolute oddities in terms of measurement and poor tolerances and tolerance stack.

By all means talk about it, this is a discussion forum after all. No reason to have a post dedicated just to letting us know you could talk about it.

If you wish to know which 1911s really do run in all sorts of environments visit Rogers Precision, Rodgers Pistolsmithing, Warner Pistols, Chambers Customs, Clark Custom. Ask them how loose and sloppy a working 1911 should be for reliability.

Which one do I call to talk to you?

Armed012002
March 20, 2012, 05:42 PM
...loose and sloppy...

Having proper clearances designed into a weapon does not make it "loose and sloppy".

I honestly don't understand the obsession people have with making a 1911 as tightly put together as humanly possible.

John Browning didn't design the 1911 to have almost zero clearances.

Does Rogers Precision, Rodgers Pistolsmithing, Warner Pistols, Chambers Customs, and Clark Custom know more than John Browning?

Skylerbone
March 20, 2012, 06:52 PM
For someone advocating loose tolerances NWguy you sure have none for other people's opinion and now I see that unless I'm a Master Pistolsmith I need to quit arguing with your superior position...Well, JMB designed it back when for quick cheap production with a govt. contract in mind and I have zero doubt he would approve of what's been made of his creation by the fellows I've mentioned, and zero doubt you won't be calling any of them. To answer your question more directly, yes. They can build them in a half dozen calibers or more from steel, aluminum or polymer and tune them for bullet weights and profiles that JMB never imagined. They have 100 years of other's experience as well as decades of their own telling them what does and does not work whereas Browning spent just a few years at it. I'd say for the aforementioned gentlemen the 1911 has no more secrets to give up. Their pistols have also seen time in environments from the swamps of Florida to the sands of Iraq and a lot of places in-between, used by people whose lives depend on firearms that run. Plenty of testimonials of theirs working where Glocks were choking as well.

To reassure you I am college educated and a full price at the movies adult. Any other personal info unrelated to the topic you'd like to discuss? How about any proof of the superior reliability of these "high clearance" 1911s, not AKs or shall I just wait for more snarky remarks and another invitation to keep my opinion to myself? Honestly you've provided nothing thus far save proving some will continue to skip reading the forum rules.

Armed012002
March 20, 2012, 06:58 PM
For someone advocating loose tolerances

No one in this thread is advocating loose tolerances. Parts should be built as close to spec with as little variance as possible.

The experts you mentioned are businesses.

They're going to sell what the market wants to buy.

Otherwise, they'd go out of business.

What sells is super-accurate range guns.

That's what the 1911 has turned into. A range gun.

Skylerbone
March 20, 2012, 07:11 PM
That's cynicism at it's worst. I've no doubt several of them could have retired long ago were it not for their commitment. Most use only the specific parts they have chosen for reliability, not whatever the customer wants so, much like the Fords of yesteryear, any color you want, so long as it's black. Sure they're accurate but that's what comes of doing everything else right.

Armed012002
March 20, 2012, 07:17 PM
How about any proof of the superior reliability of these "high clearance" 1911s

How about the standard US pistol, model M1911, used in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and so on?

It might rattle a bit, but worked pretty darn reliably.

All the custom 1911 pistol smiths you mentioned are all following in the footsteps of the smiths that accurized the original military issued 1911s for competition shooting.

In other words, the 1911s built today are not built to John Browning specs.

The 1911s built today are built to accurized competition shooting specs.

Armed012002
March 20, 2012, 07:25 PM
I don't mean for "range gun" to be a derogatory term. It's not.

A lot of people take competition shooting very seriously. So seriously, in fact, Ed Brown, Wilson, and many others make a killing off selling 1911 range guns. Kimber makes even more of a killing selling range guns to budget shooters.

A 1911 built today is not the same gun Browning designed. They're built for competition shooting.

Zerodefect
March 20, 2012, 08:11 PM
Calling a 1911 a "range gun" is a bit much. I wouldn't let the "gamer guns" bias you against the 1911 format just yet.

No better sidearm to take into battle than a nice tight 1911. Built right, a modern 1911 absolutely blows away the old WW2 GI issued 1911's.

Accuracy, Locktime, Reliability, metal Durability, and Magazines have all been improved big time.

Armed012002
March 20, 2012, 09:18 PM
I'll take my Gold Cup to the range and my Glock into battle, thank you very much ;)

Rather have an AK over an AR too :)

Different strokes for different folks. I value reliability over accuracy.

Skylerbone
March 20, 2012, 10:15 PM
Reliability and accuracy are not mutually exclusive. I suppose you can continue to believe that a Glock is not a machine and therefore infallabe but it just ain't so. I won't presume to tell you what to use to defend yourself as you've picked an excellent pistol in Glock but rest assured the 1911 can be every bit as dependable. In fact a Mod. on another forum specific to the 1911 had a friend break a lower barrel lug recently after 100,000+ rounds. Les Baer called it a fluke and replaced it for free. All other parts save springs were still stock and no perceptible wear from its original tight fit. It was still winning competitions up to that point with a barrel that was worn out in terms of life cycle.

jdperry88
May 12, 2012, 02:28 AM
Would just like to say that I am no gunsmith or firearm engineer. However, my dad is ex military from the good ole days and my first gun was a M1 carbine at the age of 12. When I was old enough to own a pistol, I bought a colt 1991 A1 commander. Absolutely loved it, but was seduced by the idea of additional round capacity in a plastic pistol. Sold my govt and commander model and bought XD's in .45. After handling and shooting, they did not feel good so I sold them and bought the same gun in .40. Same thing, bulky awkward, and the exposed firing pin bothered me so I sold them and bought 2 G23's and a 27 for the truck. They felt okay, but ergonomics was so damn different and the sight picture was odd and un-natural to say the least. Told myself that I would practice and get used to the difference. After many trips to the ranch, and shooting with poor results, I was done. I have been shooting for 20 years, and know my way around ANY firearm, I was truly disgusted. Bought an unfired Colt Gold Cup Trophy today and after it was in my hands and recocnized that beautiful feel and simple sight picture, I have a few glocks for sale. The 1911 has been around for over 100 years and has been time/battle tested. If you can't get it done with 8 plus 1 and carry cocked and locked, bake cookies. There is no pistol that I can think of that can compare with an original "loose Colt". Beautiful but simple engineering. Cannot improve perfection.

jdperry88
May 12, 2012, 02:35 AM
Forgot to speak of the trigger. The trigger on the Glocks is like trying to pull an oak tree down with shoe strings. I am aware of the 3.5lb connector, my brother has them in his but absolutely cannot be compared to the quick crisp and immediately responsive pull and reset that is in a good 1911. A good 1911 is nothing short of a firearm engineering marvel. God bless.

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