Limp wristing and M1911A1s


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Tired_and_hungry
November 7, 2012, 02:39 AM
I own a colt series 80 M1911 .45auto government model.

How sensitive is this pistol to limp wristing? I notice that on some of my shots (4 times out of 250 rds), the pistol experiences a FTF, usually after a shot with pronounced muzzle flip.

Also, if limp wristing is to blame and a tighter grip with tensed biceps is the solution, how do you guys deal with the inevitable muscle fatigue and trembling arms after a while? It really tends to affect accuracy.

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Solo
November 7, 2012, 03:02 AM
a tighter grip with tensed biceps is the solution
Biceps are in your upper arm. They do not affect grip strength as far as I am aware.

You may want to consider exercises to build up your grip strength.

Steve C
November 7, 2012, 03:48 AM
I can't ever say I've had a 1911 FTF from limp wristing, even when I've been a bit lazy about holding on tight. Generally the problem occurs in light handguns with polymer or aluminum frame and rarely in a steel frame pistol as the weight of the gun provides enough resistance for function. Most people now shoot 2 handed so LW isn't usually ever a problem even with light polymer or alloy framed guns.

Most of the time when I get a FTF in a 1911 its because of accumulated powder fouling and loss of lubricant. I've seen match shooters lube their 1911's every 100 rounds or so to make sure the gun continues to function 100% during a match.

9mmepiphany
November 7, 2012, 04:03 AM
It has been my experience, through personal testing and having taught many other shooters, that blaming Limp Wristing for causing Failures to Feed (I'm assuming you didn't mean Failure to Fire) is widely exaggerated.

I can fire a correctly functioning gun...locked breach or blowback...by holding it with just my middle finger pulling it into the web of my hand and letting the muzzle climb as high as it wants without causing a mis-feed. If you can put enough pressure behind the gun to be able to counteract the press of a duty weight trigger, it will function. If it doesn't, there is something wrong with the gun.

You'll also have to define tighter.

When you refer to biceps, I have the feeling you are talking about push-pull tension or pulling against the muzzle flip of the gun in recoil. If that is what you are referring to, that is a mostly obsolete shooting technique and I would recommend you learn about the more optimal Isosceles arm geometry and enveloping grip

1911Tuner
November 7, 2012, 07:37 AM
First:

FTFeed or FTFire?

If it's the former, most feed-related problems can be traced straight to the magazine. Describe the malfunction in as much detail as you can.

Second:

Have you installed a heavy recoil spring?

Over springing the slide can cause short recoil and lead to a feed failure known as Bolt Over Base Misfeed where the live round is caught between the slide and barrel hood, standing straight up. It's also sometimes referred to as Live Round Stovepipe.

JTQ
November 7, 2012, 08:25 AM
A video from one of our forum members

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsewsolPyBU

C0untZer0
November 7, 2012, 08:55 AM
I was a range NCO many times when officers had to qualify with the M1911A1. There were a lot of female officers who came through with smaller hands and substantially less grip strength than some of the male officers but I never saw an M1911A1 fail to cycle unless there was an identifiable mechanical problem with the firearm.

IMO, the M1911A1 generally is not suseptable to "limp wristing"

C0untZer0
November 7, 2012, 09:13 AM
Early last year I noticed I was getting fatigued at the range doing offhand shooting. After 20 minutes or so of shooting I couldn't hold a steady sight picture, my arms were trembling.

I was a little amazed at this because I hadn't had the problem before, and every morning I do pushups, situps, leg lifts and I curl 30lb dumbells. I also ran and did cycling.

At that time I also purchased a Glock 17L, and I was not able to dry fire it and maintain good follow through - the sight always twitched to the right. I had people tell me I had to pull the trigger more slowly - more slowly still. I had people tell me I needed stronger fingers so I could do a smooth pull...

I started doing research and I added different exercises to my workout.

I started working out with Grip Master finger exercisers.

I also started doing Hammer curls:

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Brachioradialis/DBHammerCurl.html

Ulnar dumbell:

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/WristFlexors/DBUlnarFlexion.html

Wrist curls:

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/WristFlexors/DBWristCurl.html

Reverse wrist curls:

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/WristExtensors/DBReverseWristCurl.html

Wrist roller:

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/WristExtensors/CBRollerWristExtention.html

And Captains of Crush gripppers.


It has made a huge difference in keeping a steady sight picture, and being able to shoot better for extended range sessions.

It never did fix the Glock trigger and having better follow-through. I didn't have that problem with my HK P7M8 so I figured it was the gun not me. I got a trigger kit for the Glock and that fixed it :D

1911Tuner
November 7, 2012, 10:02 AM
Here's the thing...

In a sudden emergency/gotta shoot to stay alive situation, you have no guarantee of obtaining just the right grip and stance, and there's about a 50/50 chance that you won't even be able to get two hands on the gun. If you're carrying a gun that requires just the right two-handed grip in order to function reliably...you just can't trust a snake like that.

Tired_and_hungry
November 7, 2012, 11:31 AM
To 1911Tuner and all others who can help:

Firstly, upon inspection, my magazines appear to be in good shape with the feedlips undamaged and the spring tension adequate.

Secondly, the problem occurs as such......I load a full 7 round factory mangazine or 8 round aftermarket magazine into the pistol, rack the slide and proceed to fire 2 - 4 rounds when one of the empty cases will eject successfully but the return movement of the slide fails to perfectly strip the next round off the magazine and into the chamber. Instead, the fresh unfired cartridge appears to be stuck between the feedlips off the magazine and with the head or projectile jammed up against the hood of the chamber.

Additionally, since the recoil spring that came with the gun seemed weak, I swapped it out for a Wolff 1911 factory spec 16 pound recoil spring.

rcmodel
November 7, 2012, 04:28 PM
IMO: With a properly working steel frame pistol, and a stock 16 pound spring?

I don't believe it is possible to limp wrest a 1911.

We used to do firing displays in the Army to dispel the stories the recruits had heard about the 1911 kicking like a mule.

The demonstration was to fire a full magazine holding the gun with only the trigger finger and thumb around the grip safety.

The gun weighs enough to support itself against slide recoil and should function just fine.

rc

AnthonyRSS
November 7, 2012, 04:31 PM
To 1911Tuner and all others who can help:

Firstly, upon inspection, my magazines appear to be in good shape with the feedlips undamaged and the spring tension adequate.

Secondly, the problem occurs as such......I load a full 7 round factory mangazine or 8 round aftermarket magazine into the pistol, rack the slide and proceed to fire 2 - 4 rounds when one of the empty cases will eject successfully but the return movement of the slide fails to perfectly strip the next round off the magazine and into the chamber. Instead, the fresh unfired cartridge appears to be stuck between the feedlips off the magazine and with the head or projectile jammed up against the hood of the chamber.

Additionally, since the recoil spring that came with the gun seemed weak, I swapped it out for a Wolff 1911 factory spec 16 pound recoil spring.
Sounds like a three-point jam. I'm sure Tuner will be along with better advice than I can give.

k_dawg
November 7, 2012, 06:47 PM
I think the 'limp wristing' is often blamed when there are other problems. It is also possible that other problems are more likely to cause failure if it is limp wristed.

The Lone Haranguer
November 7, 2012, 11:13 PM
I think the 'limp wristing' is often blamed when there are other problems.
Agreed. IMO it is used far too often as an excuse, along with the "500-round break-in." Five hundred rounds is nearly $200 in range ammo these days.

1911Tuner
November 8, 2012, 08:48 AM
Sounds like a three-point jam.

There's one way to tell. Induce the stoppage, and use a length of wood to bump the muzzle straight back...briskly enough to move the slide a little...but not with excessive force. If the slide snaps to battery, it's a 3-Point. If it doesn't, it's either magazine or extractor related.

On the extractor...

The tension may be okay and still produce failures to go to battery if there's too much deflection...or too much of the tensioning wall protruding into the breechface. In some instances, you can remove tension until a round falls off the slide, and still get RTB issues. I see this particular problem pretty often these days. Twice just recently on a Colt and a Springfield...both with OEM extractors.

Averageman
November 8, 2012, 09:18 AM
I was teaching a 13 year old to shoot my 1911 Series 80 and that kid could induce a jam every 4 to 6 rounds almost like clock work.
Same magazine, same ammo and I could not get it to happen.
Smaller hands less grip, I'm not sure but I would definatly number my mags and slowly but surely troubleshoot my pistol one methodical step at a time until I came up with the answer.

CommanderCrusty
November 8, 2012, 01:04 PM
When was the last time you changed the recoil and hammer springs on the pistol and the magazine springs in those boxy flat things that go inside the grip?

If you don't know, it may be time for a little preventive maintenance. Spend $30 and do it all at once. See if that doesn't fix it.

If your elbows are even kinda locked, the gun should work fine. The only way I can make a 1911 "limp wrist" is to ride the recoil backward as if I was pretending to shoot a gun. Otherwise, a 1911 with good springs should work just fine.

9mmepiphany
November 8, 2012, 03:24 PM
There's one way to tell. Induce the stoppage, and use a length of wood to bump the muzzle straight back...briskly enough to move the slide a little...but not with excessive force. If the slide snaps to battery, it's a 3-Point. If it doesn't, it's either magazine or extractor related.
That brought back some old memories.

I remember when I was first shown that in the back of a gunsmith's shop...never had to use it, but it was still there

winfried
November 9, 2012, 08:27 AM
If you are tired you better sleep, if you are hungry you better eat.

You can solve your problem by calculating the remaining velocity of the slide quite easily using the metric system.

from bullet weight, velocity and slide weight you get recoil velocity of the slide.
From recoil velocity, slide weight, spring force and slide travel distance you get the final velocity of the slide as well as the Impulse Io in gram/sec to operate your pistol which should be about 390g/s. At the time you can also insert the distance of the slide travel to the impact point on the ejector to get the side velocity at the time of ejection.

I have seen people put their left index finger against the slide to cause malfunctions. One CZ 75 kept staying open with cartridges still in the magazine. He denied that he lifted the hold open lever until I took hi-sped pictures showing his mistake.
Regards

WAH

1911Tuner
November 9, 2012, 08:33 AM
I have seen people put their left index finger against the slide to cause malfunctions.

Not difficult at all with a locked breech pistol. Imposing an outside force on the slide before it gets any momentum from acceleration will stop one in its tracks pretty easily.

Observe:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gw8sbb8eDjg

Once it gets a full measure of both, it's a little different story. Basically, the path to preventing limp-wrist malfunctions is to stop worrying over frame damage and avoid overspringing the slide. If your small wife or girlfriend experiences malfunctions that you don't with the same pistol...drop the spring rate a couple pounds for her and let her have at it.

U-235
November 9, 2012, 11:03 PM
I shoot in a pistol league and we always do strong hand and weak hand shooting. I intentionally limp wristed my Springfield Operator while shooting weak hand and was able to get a Failure to Eject. It took a lot of trying with a very weak grip and I was only able to get it to happen once. I would agree with the previous posts about the 1911 not being very susceptible to limp wristing.

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