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

Loose or tight 1911's

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by cwduke08, Feb 25, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. cwduke08

    cwduke08 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    TEXAS
    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???
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    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
     
  3. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    Messages:
    1,088
    Location:
    Arizona
    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.
     
  4. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    18,389
    Location:
    Deep in the Ozarks
    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.
     
  5. buckhorn_cortez

    buckhorn_cortez Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2010
    Messages:
    520
    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."
     
  6. flatlander937

    flatlander937 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    Messages:
    198
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    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;)
     
  7. NWcityguy2

    NWcityguy2 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Messages:
    804
    Location:
    El Paso, TX
    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.
     
  8. Zach S

    Zach S Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2003
    Messages:
    5,515
    Location:
    Western NC/East TN
    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.
     
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    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
     
  10. NWcityguy2

    NWcityguy2 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Messages:
    804
    Location:
    El Paso, TX
    Whats the point of arguing with success?
     
  11. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    3,365
    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.
     
  12. BYJO4

    BYJO4 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,776
    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.
     
  13. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    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
     
  14. JDGray

    JDGray Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Messages:
    5,130
    Location:
    SW MI.
    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.
     
  15. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    3,365
    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:

    [​IMG]

    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.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. 918v

    918v Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    3,931
    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.
     
  17. RH45

    RH45 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2004
    Messages:
    297
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    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.
     
  18. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,329
    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.
     
  19. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Messages:
    11,717
    Location:
    Johnson City, TN
    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:
     
  20. hogrdr

    hogrdr Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Messages:
    101
    what he said, one jam in 1000 after break in and its gone!
     
  21. springer99

    springer99 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Messages:
    343
    Being tight is not an excuse for having less than 100% reliability in a 1911, especially when it comes along with a $$$$ gun.
     
  22. LTR shooter

    LTR shooter Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    Messages:
    454
    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.
     
  23. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Messages:
    904
    Location:
    USA
    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.
     
  24. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,454
    Location:
    Leavenworth, KS
    I’ve 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 FTF’s 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 can’t get all three:

    Tight-Reliable-Inexpensive

    Chuck
     
  25. drbeans

    drbeans Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    New Mexico
    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?
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page