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1911 noob with questions

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by hnm201, Dec 29, 2003.

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  1. hnm201

    hnm201 Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Ok, I'm not a total 1911 noob. I have owned three 1911s (all government models) before. Being an idiot, I sold them off to fund other purchases in an attempt to find "the ultimate (for me) carry gun". After a solid year of daily concealed carry of smaller autos I've come to realize that concealing and carrying a full size 1911 government may not the impossible task that I thought it was. After all, I'm 6'3". I've gotten over my irrational fears about concealed carry (spontaneous combustion, discovery, etc), I've adjusted my wardrobe to ccw and now it's back to basics. So, I decided to get a basic government model and some nice leather (a selection of milt sparks iwb + a paddle and another iwb) try the 1911 for a year. If it works out, I'll invest in a high-end model.

    So now I own a Springfield Milspec, Parkerized, full-size. I took it to the Bluegrass Range today in Lexington to break it in with a 250 rds assortment of UMC hardball 230 gr, Winchester White Box FMJ (flat nose, 185 gr) and some Federal Hydroshocks. I used the stock metal form 7 rd magazine.

    I really like the way the gun shot. Out of 250 rds I had two failures to eject (edited for clarity). Both were on the next to last round of the magazine. The slide was forward but not in battery and the empty case was hung in the ejection port and the live round was half out of the mag, nudging up below the spent case. The spent case wasn't 'stove piped' out - it was inline with the live round below it.

    I was willing to chalk these malfunctions up to the stock metal form magazine. Does that sound right? I seem to remember having this problem before with my Colt 70 series (I know, I can't believe I sold it) and that changing to Wilson combat mags cured the problem.

    Other than the FTEs it shot really well! I am pretty much in love with this gun right now. But naturally (for me), there is one other minor problem.

    The rear sight blade fell off. I noticed that it was a little loose and at the end of the session I was packing up and noticed that it had drifted right out. A staff member at the range gave me a small bottle of red loctite. I went home I dissassembled and then swabbed some gun scrubber in the blade channel and on the bottom of the blade. When that dried I then brushed the red loctite onto the bottom of the sight blade and into the sight channel with a cuetip and then pushed the site in from the right. Do you think this will hold it on? I'd hate to have to return for warranty repair if the fix is this easy. I plan on keeping the gun stock. If I want bells and whistles later I'll buy a tricked out 1911 and take this one camping.

    Finally, about cleaning. Maybe I've been cleaning my hand guns the wrong way all of my life. I think I have been over lubricating. Before heading to the range I cleaned the gun as I would normally: a bath in warm water with some simple green, a scrubbing with a tooth brush and a nylon brush for the chamber and bore, followed by warming up to 120F in an oven, air drying (with a little help from some canned air) and then liberal amounts of Break Free CLP and wipe off the excess. That works great with glocks but maybe I left too much oil on the 1911. I thought I had wiped it all off but the first few rounds that I shot I could see the oil spraying up when the hammer fell! LOL. Then I read on THR about CLP containing solvent and possibly deadening primers. So I bought a small container of rem oil. I also have a tube of Tetra grease.

    How do you clean your hard working 1911? I mean, this thing is milspec, right? I envision this winding up as my beater. What should I do to keep my 1911 beater up and running without babying it? Thanks for entertaining my questions! Best, Dominic
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2003
  2. Black Majik

    Black Majik Member

    Sep 13, 2003
    Orange County, California
    The magazines causing the stovepipes at the last round sound right. Maybe a change of the magazine spring? Or geting some CMC powermags. I use them on my 1911's and they work great.

    As for cleaning your gun by soaking them in water then putting them in the oven, well... I personally wouldn't put my gun soaked in water. Thats asking for rust. Just a simple field strip after each range session is all that is needed. Clean the gun using the solvent, then lube it up. But dont overly lube it, just lightly along the rails, a drop to the disconnector, a drop to the barrel lug and w/ the left over oil/grease on your fingers lightly coat the barrel and any bushings etc... Rack the slide a few times & very lightly coat the gun w/ oil and your good to go!
  3. Drjones

    Drjones member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Couple things:

    1. Get a Colt. Better fit and finish than the springs. Much better looking too...

    2. Why do you feel the need to get a fancy, tricked-out 1911? The most important thing is that the gun is reliable and that you shoot it very well. If ambi safeties, beavertails, and all those bells and whistles really help you out, fine. There is nothing wrong with carrying a stock mil-spec.

    3. I really must protest to your cleaning method. Especially on an all-steel gun (as opposed to a Glock or HK), you are just begging for problems if you bathe your 1911 in water. There will be (if not already) some place where you will get rust. Water and guns just doesn't mix. Plus, I'd think the simple green isn't the best for the finish either, as well as the oven treatment.

    Get a toothbrush, toothpicks, and some q-tips for your cleaning, as well as a bore brush and stuff.

    Just use the CLP and you'll be fine. Put some CLP on a rag or Q-tip to swab out gunk, get little crevices with the toothpicks, and you should be fine.

    I don't have a 1911 so I can't tell you how to clean yours, but here's what I do with my Glocks and Beretta:

    1. Verify unloaded condition.

    2. Remove slide.

    3. Remove spring and barrel.

    4. Use toothbrush to brush all over; slide rails, breechface, around extractor, etc. Brush all over.

    5. Turn frame upside down so gunk falls out and brush with toothbrush. If need be, swab out crevices with Q-tip.

    6. Place a few drops of Eezox (my CLP) in bore and brush away with bore brush. Inspect, repeat as needed. Swab lightly with a cotton-tipped brush with some Eezox on it. Clean ramp too.

    7. Coat whole barrel in light coat of CLP.

    8. Place one drop of CLP on slide rails on both sides, as well as other places recommended by Glock. (Inside of top of slide, etc.)

    9. Reassemble.

    10. Wipe down exterior with CLP.

    Good luck,
  4. Monkeyleg

    Monkeyleg Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Decatur, AL
    The water issue has been addressed, so I'll just confine my comments to your use of Loctite red. The red stuff is for parts you plan on never taking apart again. In order to get the red stuff to loosen up, you have to heat the part with a torch. Do you really want to do that to your sights?
  5. dsk

    dsk Member

    Jan 1, 2003
    The military armorer's method for securing a loose rear sight is to smack the center of the slide dovetail with a center punch. The raised metal around the punch mark should be enough to keep the sight where it belongs. A less elegant alternative is to hit the top of the dovetail across the "ears" with a hammer to close the dovetail. Me, I much prefer method #1! :eek:
  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Changing magazines to remedy a failure to eject is a bandaid on the real problem.

    The extractor is probably wrong, maybe the ejector. What is likely happening is that through the rest of the magazine, the extractor is just barely pulling the empty, and it is guiding along the next round in the magazine until it hits the ejector. The last round in a GI magazine is not resting at quite the same angle due to being on top of the flat follower instead of a rounded cartridge. So it doesn't guide the next to last empty like the previous rounds did. This type problem is more common on the last round when there is NO next cartridge to support the empty until it contacts the ejector.

    You need a gunsmith knowledgeable in the 1911 to adjust or replace your extractor and look to see that the ejector is not loose or cut at a funny angle. SA could do it on guarantee, they should do it on guarantee, I just don't know if they will do it on guarantee.

    Washing a gun in detergent is good to get out the shipping grease and any crud left in from the factory but is not a normal routine cleaning. You don't need to completely disassemble every time; maybe once a year... or if dropped in creek. Lube the contact areas with oil, you can see the rubbed areas now that it has been shot some. If it slings oil in your face when you shoot, use less. Wipe the rest of the gun with an oily cloth.

    I use M-Pro 7 which is a low odor cleaner, bore brush, chamber brush, machinst's brush (think wire toothbrush) toothbrush, Q-tips, patches, rag. My present lube is a military surplus oil predating CLP.
  7. hnm201

    hnm201 Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Drjones asked
    I don't feel the need for a tricked out 1911 at this time. This one appears to be meeting my needs just fine for the time being (assuming that I can get it eject reliably for a run of 250 rds). I comitted myself to getting a "bare bones" 1911 to start off and if I was still carrying after a year or two I would then consider an "upgrade". Frankly, I don't really see what a beavertail would do for me and I am not planning on competing at this time. The only real upgrade I could see yearning for at this point would be Novak carry sights.

    I was frugal with the application of the red loctite. Hopefully it shouldn't be to hard to drift the rear sight off if I want to upgrade sights.

    I'll run another 250 rds through the gun with the stock mag and see how she behaves. I'll also look into "tuning the extractor" if needed.

    Thanks for all of the opinons so far. More opinions welcome!
  8. tpelle

    tpelle Member

    Dec 29, 2003
    Northern Kentucky
    Since you mentioned the water thing, that reminded me. One thing that I came up with for my 1911:

    I have wood grip panels on mine. Even though it's a stainless pistol, I noticed that the frame was starting to pit under the grip panels. I figure that this is from moisture (sweat) soaking into the wood when carried during the humid summer months. This bothered me.

    Here's what I did. I happened to have one of those report covers that you buy in the stationery department at Wally-World that had the mylar or whatever transparent plastic front cover. I removed the grip panels and traced the outline on the mylar. I then carefully cut the mylar slightly INSIDE the traced outline. Punch two holes to correspond to the bushings and I ended up with invisible waterproof mylar spacers to sandwich between the frame and the grip panels. This holds the grip panels out of contact with the frame, forms a "moisture barrier", and totally prevents rust!
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