Most Reliable 1911 .45 ACP Pistol


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Killer Angel
February 21, 2004, 12:54 AM
What is the most reliable 1911 .45 ACP pistol out of the box?
THANKS.

Killer Angel

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dsk
February 21, 2004, 01:40 AM
Probably Colt, but I still don't trust ANY new 1911's until I've had time to finish what the factory started. I'm talking about checking the extractor tension and making sure the bullet ramp is correctly profiled.

Greg Bell
February 21, 2004, 01:48 AM
No comment:uhoh:

denfoote
February 21, 2004, 02:19 AM
My only experience is with the springer, but it has been good!! :D

RikWriter
February 21, 2004, 07:49 AM
Frankly, if you buy a good brand name factory gun, use good mags and good ammo, ANY of them should be reliable.
Out of the over two dozen 1911s I've owned, I've NEVER had a factory-assembled gun that had significant reliability problems. I did have a Para Ordnance P12 once that wouldn't feed the old-style HydraShoks (before they made the bullet rounder) and I also had an old, old military-issue Colt that didn't like the 230-grain Cor-Bons, but they both fed all other HPs I fed them and never jammed on FMJ.
All of the Kimbers I owned (five of them, all series one) fed everything I put through them, going well over 10,000 rounds in my Kimber Gold Match with no jams of any sort. I have yet to shoot a series two Kimber, so I don't know about them.
I currently have two Colt Govt Model pistols, the older of which has yet to jam through around 1000 rounds, while the newer had several jams but only due to my ignorant use of American Ammunition, a mistake I will NEVER make again. It fed several different brands of JHPs with no jams, however. I've also owned Colt XS and XSE models and series 70 and 80 Gold Cups which fed just fine.
I've also owned a couple Springfields that fed anything I gave them without complaint, though in general they weren't as accurate as the Colts or Kimbers.
I've never owned a Wilson or a Baer or any of the really high-end, $1000+ guns so I can't speak to those.
Don't listen to the Chicken-Littles who constantly whine about 1911s jamming. There is no reason to expect jams from a quality factory 1911 and if it DOES jam with quality ammo and good mags, send it back to the factory and make them fix it.

RikWriter
February 21, 2004, 07:50 AM
No comment

If only...

stans
February 21, 2004, 08:09 AM
All factories will turn out some lemons. If they turn out enough lemons, the get a real bad reputation and no one buys their guns and they go away. Colt, Springfield Armory, Dan Wesson, Smith & Wesson and Kimber all make good 1911's. Odds are in your favor that you will get a good one. I have read lots of reports of Kimbers firing pin safety system failing. S&W uses the identical system and they recalled all of theirs and replaced the parts. Kimber has never admitted to a problem.

Auto Ordnance is a different story. The old Auto Ords frequently had problems, some so severe that they could not be easily fixed. Khar bought them a few years ago and the quality is supposedly improved, but I say buy at your own risk.

Armscorp, Rock Island, and Charles Daly seem to be fairly well made, but rough around the edges. Most people like them and they usually work, at least with hardball ammo. I have read a few reports of guide rods and spring plugs failing. These are not expensive to replace.

I did not mention Para Ordnance because they do not make traditional 1911's. They make high capacity guns in single action and LDA as well as single stacks only in LDA format. Most Para's are good, there again, the lemons do make it to the dealer just like all other manufacturers.

So there you have it. My advice, look it over carefully before parting with the cash. A good warranty also helps, just in case it goes terribly wrong.

Dobe
February 21, 2004, 08:22 AM
DSK,
I don't trust ANY handgun, until I run a few boxes through it.

My experience has been almost 100% reliability with the 6 Kimbers that I have and do own, one of which is a Series II. Others will report the same for their Colts, Springers, etc. I run some pretty funky ammo through some of my handguns, so I will never achieve 100% flawless operation.

There is not a make or model that will not give you trouble. The 1911 suffers more bad history than some, because there are so many different manufacturers producing this handgun. The 1911 also receives more good press for the history it has achieved over its 100 years of existance, and deserves that press also. It truely is a good design. It just isn't always manufactured in the same spirit.

Anyway, I as most of you have seen malfunctions and unreliable Glocks, P7's (I have a story about this one), and even a BHP that I once owned. Yet, all of the forementioned are (in my mind) reliable handguns by design.

Dobe

Tamara
February 21, 2004, 08:40 AM
What Dobe said.

Especially this: "I don't trust ANY handgun, until I run a few boxes through it."

It boggles my mind to see someone load up a handgun they just bought and put it on their hip, without function-testing it or even verifying that a firing pin was included with their shiny new purchase. :uhoh:

Greg Bell
February 21, 2004, 12:12 PM
RikWriter,


:D :D :D :D

Gunhead
February 21, 2004, 12:53 PM
Most reliable?

This is the wrong approach, I think.

The proper topic name is the "Least unreliable 1911 .45ACP pistol". ;)

RikWriter
February 21, 2004, 01:04 PM
The proper topic name is the "Least unreliable 1911 .45ACP pistol

Only to those who get all their information about 1911s from the internet.

PigPen
February 21, 2004, 06:51 PM
Try them first...........No matter what you buy (100 rnds). You buy junk, junk you'll have.

The same goes for Smiths........

PigPen

Sean Smith
February 21, 2004, 07:04 PM
The proper topic name is the "Least unreliable 1911 .45ACP pistol".

Whatever. :rolleyes:

At a reasonable price, Colt. The 01991 I had ran better than some Glocks I've had, and had more rounds put through it than any of 'em. The other Colts I've owned were reliable, too, but I had them modified for fun. Of course, we know based on the genius posts on this forum that that ain't possible. ;)

At an unreasonable price :D , a Springfield Armory Professional model.

c_yeager
February 21, 2004, 07:11 PM
Didnt the 1911 design pass the absurdly difficult military trials prior to acceptance? Packed with mud, left in salt water, generallly beat the hell up. etc.? When did they become an unreliable design?

RikWriter
February 21, 2004, 07:19 PM
When did they become an unreliable design?

When some Joe Schmoe put bad ammo and bad mags into one and decided that all 1911s were unreliable. And then posted it on a bulletin board. The rest is whining history.

Maddock
February 21, 2004, 08:43 PM
When some Joe Schmoe put bad ammo and bad mags into one and decided that all 1911s were unreliable. And then posted it on a bulletin board. The rest is whining history.
Amen! Brother Rik

Black_Talon
February 21, 2004, 08:49 PM
Springfield Professional Model.

Of course you'll pay for that privilege but you asked....

dsk
February 21, 2004, 09:01 PM
Didnt the 1911 design pass the absurdly difficult military trials prior to acceptance? Packed with mud, left in salt water, generallly beat the hell up. etc.? When did they become an unreliable design?

When machined barstock steel gave way to first investment cast, then MIM. When the factories began hiring employees who had no idea how to properly fit an extractor and weren't about to be taught. Basically, when the manufacturers stopped looking at the 1911 as a life-or-death killing tool, and more as a toy to play games on Saturdays with.

Greg Bell
February 21, 2004, 09:13 PM
Rik,

"Only to those who get all their information about 1911s from the internet."

Yes, yes it is all a conspiracy started by the internet. Damn internet. It is a shame that we now get our information from actual users--not just gun comic books who count on gun companies for their livlihood.:uhoh: I've learned a lot from my fellow gun owners here on THR (and the old TFL) but it has been common knowledge for as long as (I'd wager) anyone here has been alive that the 1911 usually needs a little tweaking out of the box. As a person who has owned 1911s, shot 1911s, listened to friends with 1911s, gunshop customers with 1911s,etc I can unequivocally state that it has been my experience that the 1911 design is no where near as reliable any Sig, HK, Glock I've owned or shot. Can it be made to work as reliably as these others? I am sure it can since we have people who claim they have never had problems with their guns here on THR. Some of them I have followed for years on TFL and elsewhere so I believe them. Do I believe that a 1911 that is as reliable as a SIG/Glock is a common occurrence--heck no!

A little story about my Kimber. First of all, it was a jammomatic. However, it was, bar none, the most accurate pistol I have ever shot (and that includes a HK P9s competition I owned). It was phenomenal. So, I understand the devotion to the 1911. I love the cocked and locked feature (that is why I bought a USP even though I hate the grip). Still, the 1911s brilliant features can't undo its bad ones. And one of those bad features is, on average, it is less accurate that other modern designs like the Glock,Sig, etc.

GHB

dsk
February 21, 2004, 09:34 PM
A little story about my Kimber. First of all, it was a jammomatic. However, it was, bar none, the most accurate pistol I have ever shot.....

Oh yes, there's the other part of the problem. Modern 1911s tend to be fitted so ridiculously tight you'd think they were trying to make 'em waterproof. The 1911 was never supposed to be that tight, and they're not normally going to give "bar none" accuracy if designed as a fighting tool like they should be. But we gun lovers expect, no, DEMAND match-grade accuracy out of 1911s so the makers aim to please. The result is a design that is now built to win trophies, not gunfights.

My genuine USGI guns DON'T jam. They are every bit as reliable as ANY Glock or SIG. Some of the newer commercial guns I have bought have been just as reliable. Unfortunately many of them haven't.

Lobotomy Boy
February 21, 2004, 10:29 PM
DSK, do you think the Springfield Mil Spec is designed to acceptably loose tolerances? Judging by reports on various threads, that generally seems to be one of the most reliable 1911s.

PS. It's amazing how you little rascals start squabbling every time the numbers "1911" appear in a post.

RikWriter
February 21, 2004, 10:34 PM
Yes, yes it is all a conspiracy started by the internet. Damn internet. It is a shame that we now get our information from actual users

Yes it is, because it's inaccurate. It's subject to sampling error, as those who've had negative experiences are MUCH more likely to respond than those that haven't. It's also totally anecdotal, key details are usually missing and it's usually totally anonymous.
I trust my own experiences and those of people I know in real life FAR more than I do those I read on the internet. They are still anecdotal, but at least I know all the details.

unitman
February 21, 2004, 11:16 PM
I bought a new 1991 Series Colt Combat Commander last month and have put slightly over 300 rounds through it so far. It has been stone-cold reliable and very accurate. The fit and finish are excellent. I like it so much that I plan to buy a full-size Colt Government model later this year. Check out the reviews of the Colts at the 1911 forum. I recommend that if you buy one, get one of recent manufacture because Colt reportedly had QC problems in the eighties through late nineties.

Feanaro
February 22, 2004, 12:22 AM
it has been common knowledge for as long as (I'd wager) anyone here has been alive that the 1911 usually needs a little tweaking out of the box.

It was once common knowledge that black people were inferior to whites. Didn't make it true, did it? :neener: If I could get my grand-father to register, I would most surely collect that wager. His, and those of everyone around him in the Air Force, functioned perfectly no matter what they did to them. And there weren't any hollow-points to jam on and people weren't clamboring for a pistol that is both extremely accurate and reliable. How much is this wager? No point in bothering him if it's a small amount. :D

Greg Bell
February 22, 2004, 12:29 AM
O.K., on that note, I'm leaving this to you guys.:uhoh:

not cool

Jammer Six
February 22, 2004, 01:02 AM
I bought a new 1991 Series Colt Combat Commander last month and have put slightly over 300 rounds through it so far. It has been stone-cold reliable and very accurate.

Unitman, that's not what I mean by "reliable".

When I say reliable, I'm talking about 300 rounds in a session, and a few thousand rounds between failures.

When the army adopted the 1911, it ran a six thousand round test, with a wipe down every couple hundred rounds, and a cleaning every 500 rounds.

Three separate 1911's went all six thousand rounds without failures.

That's what I'm talking about when I use the word "reliable", and I suspect that's what others here mean when they use the word.

Run 300 rounds through your weapon every week for a couple months, then run a case of your carry ammo through it. It should go a thousand rounds without cleaning, which means that at your rate, you've got a couple more months before you need to buy solvent.

If it doesn't pass muster, my opinion is that a milspec weapon is in order.

Either that, or lots and lots of practice clearing jams.

I practice jam drills on a milspec, but I'm conservative.

antediluvianist
February 22, 2004, 04:13 AM
The 1911 was not designed to feed hollowpoints. If you will be using .45 hollowpoints, which are, after all, more effective than .45 FMJ, then maybe you should drop the 1911 design altogether and consider more modern .45 designs such as the Glock, SIG and H&K.

Or spend a couple of hundred dollars extra to smith your 1911 to specifically feed hollowpoints reliably.

Just my experience. Mileage may differ.

WESHOOT2
February 22, 2004, 07:04 AM
IME an Ed Brown or Wilson 1911 will be extremely reliable.

Machines, though..........

For lower-cost option recommend Kimber as offering the most satisfying ownership experience.
No whining, please.

(Mine's a full-custom Caspian. Perfect.)

Double Naught Spy
February 22, 2004, 07:53 AM
Lobotomy Boy said,
"DSK, do you think the Springfield Mil Spec is designed to acceptably loose tolerances? Judging by reports on various threads, that generally seems to be one of the most reliable 1911s."

The original 1911 was not loose. It wasn't until after being subcontracted out and determinations made that corners could be cut and the gun still function well that the looser tolerances became standard.

-------

antediluvianist said,
"The 1911 was not designed to feed hollowpoints. If you will be using .45 hollowpoints, which are, after all, more effective than .45 FMJ, then maybe you should drop the 1911 design altogether and consider more modern .45 designs such as the Glock, SIG and H&K.

Or spend a couple of hundred dollars extra to smith your 1911 to specifically feed hollowpoints reliably. "

The original 1911 was designed for a lot of things. It was not designed to shoot non-corrosive or jacketed ammo. It was not designed to be a race gun. It was not designed....for a lot of things, and yet it excels at them.

Assuming you are not referring a pre 1980s 1911/A1, the feeding hollowpoints should not be a problem. You see, after hollowpoints were invented, people realize that if they changed the design slightly, it would feet hollowpoints. My post 1980s 1911s are ALL designed to feed hollowpoints as none are the original 1911 design.

So, just because an object was not designed to do something does not mean it won't do it and just because an original design would not do something does not mean the modern redesigns won't do it either.

hube1236
February 22, 2004, 08:00 AM
I think another problen with the 1911 today is that they are the PC's of the pistol world, meaning that all the manufacturers, regardless of price, seem to use third party parts in the assembly process- much like the box you are reading this on.

Windows has a SP every 28 seconds. You have to connect to the internet to download a driver for your modem (?) and set dip switches on your drive using instructions written in singaporeeze.

How about a 1911 - say Kimber- with an Ed Brown safety, wilson mags, clark custom barrel, Chip Mc extractors- all made to, but not necessarily in MIL-SPEC tolerences.

All of these (+/-) add up. People using +/- 0.000X parts with other parts built to +/- 0.X will probably realize issues at some time. And they send the gun off to the Smith to get that +/- 0.000X part opened up and polished.

Aftermarket and third party parts are good, but I FEEL a lot of times both average Joe and factory assembler Joe (and hence the production staff) rarely care to work the pieces together until a desired fit is ok.

It happens, but from MY experience, people tend to leave the internals of Glocks and Sigs and H&K's- even Rugers to their host companies outside of a Glock 3.5 trigger set up.

RikWriter
February 22, 2004, 08:28 AM
not cool

I didn't see anything not cool. Or is it just not cool with you if someone disagrees with you opinion?

RikWriter
February 22, 2004, 08:33 AM
The 1911 was not designed to feed hollowpoints.

Yet I have found that all my 1911s will feed them with no trouble.

Sean Smith
February 22, 2004, 09:33 AM
All major production 1911s out there are already throated from the factory for hollowpoints. They have been for about... 20 years now. :rolleyes:

The picture, left to right, is: GI-style barrel throat, standard "modern" barrel throat, and Colt's newest "dimple" throat. Both of the latter two are designed to feed hollow points.

Greg Bell
February 22, 2004, 02:36 PM
Rik,

No I wasn't talking about you. I've enjoyed our 1911 debates. I'm just not comfortable with the race analogies.

Clearly, you haven't seen any problems with 1911s. If I hadn't seen any problems I would believe the same way you do. My experience, and strangely, the experience of every person I personally know to have owned a 1911, has been the opposite. That, of course, leads me to give credit to the opinions of those that think the 1911 is less reliable than other modern designs.


GHB

RikWriter
February 22, 2004, 02:53 PM
No I wasn't talking about you. I've enjoyed our 1911 debates. I'm just not comfortable with the race analogies

Ah. I didn't read that post until after I answered you, as it was on the previous page.

BrokenArrow
February 22, 2004, 02:54 PM
Any 5 inch model from Colt, SA, or Kimber could be.

I've got two stock SA Mil Specs now that are better than some more expensive 1911s I've had in the past, and are better than some more expensive 1911s my friends have now, and are better than the real deal M1911A1s Uncle Sam issued to me...

1911s: some can't live w 'em, some can't live w/o 'em... I sure can't. ;)

Pendragon
February 22, 2004, 06:51 PM
I am not convinced that any production 1911 can be guaranteed reliable.

The guns are all made on machines and tool wear means they all come out different - if only in the smallest way.

Semi customs are built more the way the original 1911s were built - one at a time, everything fitting properly.

Oh yes, there's the other part of the problem. Modern 1911s tend to be fitted so ridiculously tight you'd think they were trying to make 'em waterproof. The 1911 was never supposed to be that tight, and they're not normally going to give "bar none" accuracy if designed as a fighting tool like they should be. But we gun lovers expect, no, DEMAND match-grade accuracy out of 1911s so the makers aim to please. The result is a design that is now built to win trophies, not gunfights.

Again, another myth.

Of course, everyone discounts the idea of getting a $1,200, $1500 or $1800 1911 because they see a gun that looks about the same for $550.

If you want a reliable production gun, bou a Sig or HK or Glock - those guns were designed to be manufactured.

The 1911 was designed to be made by a person.


My Valtro:

1. Hand scraped and EXTREMELY tight.
2. Guaranteed 1"@25yd accurate (don't ask me, I cant do it)
3. 100% reliable with FMJ, LRN, LSWC, LTC rounds - in cheap Mec-Gar mags
4. Well over 1000 rounds between cleaning - zero malfunction.

Double, maybe triple what a "ordinary" 1911 costs, but then - what is total reliability worth?

I was extremely disappointed in the fitting on my Colt Defender - it looked like it was made in high school shop class. Never ran right - although much improved after a few changes.

I would rather have 1 very reliable, well made, accurate, digests anything with any mag pistol, than have a box full of "also ran" guns.

I subscribe to the Cooper ideal of having your own "Personal Weapon" that you keep for life and that you trust and maintain and rely on and ultimately, hopefully, master.

So in the 20-50 years I hope I have left, what is an extra $700 or $900 amortized over my lifetime to be sure?

PigPen
February 22, 2004, 07:06 PM
I have a Springfield "Custom Carry", a Colt "Box stock" 70s "Gold Cup" two Colt Commanders (Lwt. is implied), Two custom built Caspian "Combat Commanders" that all run fully as well as my .45 USP compact H&K.

I think you guys are getting your panties in a wad over a honestly disputable issue.

Maybe we could agree that all of these pieces could be highly reliable with the dedicated skills of a good smith and without the homemade adjustments of some owners.

One other thing that I think some people overlook at times is that some of these firearms (If not all) need a couple hundred rounds (Minimal) to sort of "Burn in" and "become" more reliable if you will.......................One thing for sure, a home fixer upper gunsmith will make things worse.


PigPen

Gunhead
February 22, 2004, 08:05 PM
"The proper topic name is the "Least unreliable 1911 .45ACP pistol".

Only to those who get all their information about 1911s from the internet.

Or only to those who shot everything from Auto-Ordnance to STI/SVI and never found a single 1911/2011 which worked 100% out-of-box without tweaking - and only for those who saw them break down (eating replacement parts and springs like candy) more times than all the other popular designs combined... ;)

Pendragon
February 23, 2004, 02:40 AM
The fact is, no matter how many rounds you have through your gun, there is simply no way to guarantee with 100% certainty, that it will go boom the next time you pull the trigger.

Having thousands of rounds through my gun without any stoppages makes me feel better - my Colt could not even do 100 - but no matter how many you shoot to "proof" it, it could always fail on the next shot.

That said, I would rather bet on my Valtro than my Colt - by more than 10 to 1.

Pendragon
February 23, 2004, 02:41 AM
Wow Gunhead, your anecdotal allusions are compelling. :rolleyes:

Bahadur
February 23, 2004, 05:49 AM
So in the 20-50 years I hope I have left, what is an extra $700 or $900 amortized over my lifetime to be sure?Of course, extra $700 or $900 saved now and invested for over 50 years can be quite a chunk of change.:)

RikWriter
February 23, 2004, 07:25 AM
Or only to those who shot everything from Auto-Ordnance to STI/SVI and never found a single 1911/2011 which worked 100% out-of-box without tweaking

Sorry, I simply don't find your anecdotal evidence more compelling than my own.

Gunhead
February 23, 2004, 09:23 AM
It's not an anecdote, it's my 1st hand experience as an euro gun writer and competition shooter (who gets no pocket money and free guns from the manufacturers to bend the truth every month to their liking - unlike most of my colleagues in the States), but well, nevermind. ;)

RikWriter
February 23, 2004, 10:18 AM
It's not an anecdote, it's my 1st hand experience

I see someone needs to look up the definition of "anecdotal." And that someone ain't me...

cratz2
February 23, 2004, 10:21 AM
I don't pretend to be an expert on 1911s... been shooting them my whole life and I've owned at least one from just about every manufacturer that builds one under $1,000 except S&W.

I've had at least one Springfield, Colt and Kimber than never, ever failed in any way with any ammo I used (keep in mind, I don't use junk ammo). I specifically tried to induce failure in the Kimber but it ran 100% including when firing weak handed upside down. The first Charles Daly I ever shot was 100% and that was on it's first outing... completely stock with nothing adjusted. One I shot later literally couldn't get through one magazine without a failure including a magazine I supplied. Both Daly's were 5" guns shooting ball ammo.

All companies make lemons... most make good guns. If you buy a Springfield MilSpec or a NRM Colt 1991 and properly clean and lube it, use a known good magazine and shoot S&B or WWB ammo, there is an extremely good chance you will not experience a 50% failure rate some 1911-haters would like to suggest. If you look through twenty examples of super duper tight Baers and select the very tighest one, and go to the range with 250 rounds of Wolf ammo... you just might get a failure or two.

Much like the Glocks that will instantly blow your hand off, a large percentage of those seem to be reloaded lead ammo. Many failures with 1911s, in my experience, are ammo-related, magazine-related or were never really even shot... just some internet geek that decided before he ever owned a gun that the Glock being the only reliable pistol available today.

It's also pretty amazing the number of shooters that will tell you how no 1911 will run 100% and in the same breath will tell you that their Glock or SIG can hold 1" groups at 25 yards with pretty much any ammo they tried. Just off handed, or two handed, not off a rest. I think a lot of people (but certainly not all) that claim to be able to hold consistant 1" groups at 25 yards with a handgun more than likely read the internet and/or gun magazines a lot more than they actually shoot. ;) And it almost always seems to be a Glock, SIG or HK that can shoot these 1" groups that are not ammo dependant. Every single shooter I know that can consistantly shoot into 2" or less at 25 yards does so with a 1911 or a S&W 952. In all my years of shooting, I can't recall one single 1" groups fired at 25 yards from a SIG or a Glock.

What are the chances that with all the bullseye shooters and law enforcement officers I know, 1" 25 yard groups from Glocks and SIGs are so hard to come by yet on the internet, there are hundreds and hundreds of them? :confused:

Gunhead
February 23, 2004, 10:37 AM
Oh, and I see someone who couldn't resist the temptation to grasp for the straw called "language barrier". And that wasn't me. ;)

RikWriter
February 23, 2004, 12:05 PM
Oh, and I see someone who couldn't resist the temptation to grasp for the straw called "language barrier". And that wasn't me

It certainly was not "grasping at straws." You gave anecdotal evidence to support your case---experiences that had, you said, happened to you and in your presence. I have my own experiences, and although to everyone else they are still anecdotal, since they happened to me, and in my presence, I find them convincing.

GoRon
February 23, 2004, 09:54 PM
My anecdotal evidence is that my Springfield TRP goes and goes with no failures ( 1500 since last ftf, most likely caused by my following the slide inadvertently, I don't use the slide stop to drop the slide on first round) I do use Wilson and McCormick mags though. My buddies jammomatic has become flawless with new mags.

Marshall
February 23, 2004, 09:58 PM
Shoot, they all suck! :neener:

Brass Balls
March 9, 2004, 06:44 PM
There are three myths, regarding 1911s, that I believe to be untrue or irrelevant.

1911s are unreliable out of the box and they all need tweaking to make them reliable. A gun is not reliable unless it can go 1000 rounds in a session without being cleaned. A tight 1911 is more prone to failures than a loose one.

First I have several 1911s that ARE reliable right out of the box. Second, shooting a thousand rounds in a session has zero bearing on the purpose of a carry or home defense gun imho. Third, my Les Baer Thunder Ranch Special came from the factory tighter than a pair of dress shoes three sizes too small and it has been 100% perfectly reliable over 5000 rounds.

I'd suggest buying from one of the more well known manufacturers like Colt, Kimber, Springfield, Les Baer, Wilson Combat, Ed Brown, Dan Wesson, STI. Choose one that has a good warranty just in case you should need it. Then buy some good magazines and ammo and enjoy a terrific pistol platform. For me they're like potato chips, once you have one you'll want another. :)

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