Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Is the 1911 a Reliable Design?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by LouisianaGunner12, Jun 13, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. LouisianaGunner12

    LouisianaGunner12 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    Messages:
    53
    Is the Colt (not other manufacturers) 1911 a reliable gun?

    Since there are so many 1911 makers, I guess I'll limit this question to Colt 1911's specifically.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2012
  2. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    Messages:
    8,084
    Location:
    Greeley, CO
  3. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Messages:
    11,717
    Location:
    Johnson City, TN
    The design is fine. Deviations from the original design and poor manufacturing techniques and quality control are the problem. I have had three 1911 "lemons," but the original design isn't to blame.
     
  4. LouisianaGunner12

    LouisianaGunner12 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    Messages:
    53
    Since there are so many 1911 makers, I guess I'll limit this question to Colt 1911's specifically.
     
  5. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Messages:
    11,717
    Location:
    Johnson City, TN
    One of my "lemons" was a Colt. But it was used when I got it, dating to the early 1990s. Colt has had their "ups and downs" in quality control, which this one undoubtedly suffered from. I read very few complaints about their latest ones.
     
  6. WC145

    WC145 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    2,259
    Location:
    Maine
    Yes, it is.

    Can you think of anything else that's still being produced in what is essentially it's original form after 100 years? Must have something going for it.
     
  7. Auto426

    Auto426 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    Messages:
    473
    The 1911 is a reliable design. What's lacking today is the execution of that design, by the various clone makers that drift from the original blueprints and cut as many corners as possible in the name of profit.
     
  8. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    18,693
    Location:
    northern california
    Generally, yes

    Not always

    My first semi-auto duy gun was a Colt 1911...it was the only departmentally authorized semi-auto...along with 4 academy mates. Three of them had function problems during the qualification portion of the semi-auto class required to carry the gun on duty. Those three were being shot right out of the box. Mine had already taken a trip to a pistolsmith and ran without a bobble.

    A nearby LE agency recently allowed officers to carry personally owned 1911s as a duty weapon. None of the Colts, 3 out of 15, made it though the qualification. Neither did any of the other 1911s priced under $1500
     
  9. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    3,235
    Location:
    Northeast TX
    The 1911 is a very reliable design and a very reliable gun no matter the manufacture if the parts fit correctly and are within specs.

    Colt is just one of many manufacturors. Some are worse, some are better. Colt was just the first.....100 years ago.
     
  10. LouisianaGunner12

    LouisianaGunner12 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    Messages:
    53
    What would you say is better than Colt?
     
  11. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Messages:
    5,884
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Wilson Combat and Springfield Armory are both better than Colt in terms of out-of-the-box tolerances and reliability.
     
  12. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    18,693
    Location:
    northern california
    You'll have to define better
     
  13. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,511
    Location:
    SoCal
    I can say without a doubt that the 1911A1 is a much more reliable firearm than the original M-16.

    The darned 1911 design has been around over 100 years. If it didn't work, it would have been relicated to the scrap heap long ago.

    As to Colt brand firearms. It all depends on what era. Current 1911's from Colt are pretty damned good (of course you pay for it). But some from a few decades ago had some pretty spotty quality control.
     
  14. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    12,705
    Location:
    In a part of Utah that resembles Tattooine.
    I owned a Colt. It wasn't magical. I will echo what others have said above, Don't mess with what works.
     
  15. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    Messages:
    8,084
    Location:
    Greeley, CO
    You open yourself up to a hornets nest of subjective opinion with that question. Better in what way?
     
  16. coolluke01

    coolluke01 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,041
    Location:
    MN
    I guess I have a problem with this. The 1911 was the best at one time.
    1911's can be finicky. Not all, and many have shown why that may be. But I do think there are better designs currently than the 1911 for reliability.

    If this question was only for how reliable colts were in a world of only 1911's than I missed the main point of this thread.
     
  17. gym

    gym member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    Messages:
    5,903
    A well tuned 1911 is a wonderful thing, an out of spec one is a nightmare. they are my favorite guns to shoot bar none. You need to do your homework and read a lot about them befor jumping into the pool.
    There are some terriffic 1911 guys inhere, some have the 1911 in their handle. A couple already gave you some input. Go slow and learn the differences, shoot a bunch of them and decide if they are for you.
    It's the opposite of the polymer hi-cap pistols that have become so popular. It's important to have had one and please ask questions, of these gentlemen as you won't find better information anyware. You should by all means own one to round out your shooting experience.
     
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    46,705
    Location:
    Alabama
    My Colts simply work. I only have three though, and they made a ton more than that.
     
  19. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,077
    Location:
    Georgia
    In 1911 it was the most reliable design. In 2012 it is still reliable, if done right, unfortunatey MANY are not done right. But as good as it was, there are better choices today.
     
  20. Steve C

    Steve C Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    4,670
    It is reliable enough. Compared to many modern designs it is not a reliable as say the Beretta 92, Glock(s), or Sigs. The US army was satisfied with a meen time before failure of around 860 which they determined by firing relatively new conditon .45's before specifying the level which competing handguns needed to meet when they where in the selection process which the Beretta won. Both the Beretta and Sig had a MTBF rate of over 10,000 when they stopped testing as they had far exceeded the spec.
     
  21. HDCamel

    HDCamel Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Messages:
    796
    Location:
    Virginia
    Ballistol. :D
     
  22. mavracer

    mavracer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    4,393
    Location:
    wichita
    The basic tilting barrel design is the most used design period. The 1911 as designed is very reliable, as reliable as any other. It is however a more difficult design to hold within tolerances. It has a two part ramp that needs to be correct and multiple lugs which must be fit correctly.
    Colt does a good job nowdays.
     
  23. JustinJ

    JustinJ Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,046
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Reliable is a relative term? Compared to modern quality guns, no, in general the design is not reliable or durable.
     
  24. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Messages:
    18,550
    Location:
    Lexington,North Carolina...or thereabouts
    *cough*

    Whut??

    OOH! OOH! I beg to differ...
     
  25. BRE346

    BRE346 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    217
    Location:
    South Texas
    Wasn't there a long and bitter competition to settle that about a hundred years ago?
    There may have been minor improvements along the way but I haven't read of any more reliable design.

    To many, that is the holy grail of handguns.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page