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What is wrong with the 1911 design?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by SuperNaut, Feb 4, 2008.

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  1. Xringfighter

    Xringfighter Member

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    The greatest downfall of the 1911 is that it is not parts interchangeable with the Chevy 350 or the Ford 302.
     
  2. SuperNaut

    SuperNaut Member

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    It isn't a big deal really. It is just odd to open a thread on the 1911 and see an ass shot. Especially since it wasn't accompanied by an explanation.

    Seemed very random.
     
  3. hrgrisso

    hrgrisso Member

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    Citations Please

    Michael,
    I'm not an academic conqueror of all that I survey, but in my world citations are your friends. Your last statement about the 210 in military service, I'd like supporting statements, FROM A RELIABLE SOURCE.

    2nd if you shoot no better using 2 hands than you do one I think you need to spend some more time on the range. just a thought, of course I don't know anyone who should spend less time at the range...

    Additionally on an English language forum, English is your friend and citations in other languages don't help your cause.

    Well no because your taking a life painter like Rembrandt and comparing him to two abstract artists. Has Rembrandt been eclipsed? Not necessarily, but it's possible he's become irrelevant due to the nature of modern art and his initial subjects.

    And this is the best comparison to the 210 vs 1911 debate. The 210 has become irrelevant when men can get equal accuracy from higher capacity 9mm's. And the 1911 allows a harder hitting killing cartridge like the .45 or the 10mm with a much higher tolerance for poor maintenance. In a white room the 210 may win, but will probably lose to a tuned Beretta. In the battlefield, it's nowhere to be found.

    Citations are your friend! :neener:
     
  4. Dobe

    Dobe member

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    As defined by Demming, quality is adherence to a standard. In this case, I would suggest that a Big Mac is quality made. It may not be up to your standard of fine dinning, but it does closely follow the rule of quality...i.e. adhering to a standard.

    In refenece to the 1911, the fact that it has lasted and has been so malleable for almost a hundred years is testimony not to the manufacturing quality of every 1911, but to its design.

    I have no bone to pick with th 210, but the 1911 is a fine handgun.
     
  5. SuperNaut

    SuperNaut Member

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    I didn't realize it earlier, but apparently the 210 is a 9mm. It seems to me that we again do not have an apples-to-apples comparison. Michael must have mistaken this for a Hi-Power thread.;)
     
  6. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Apologies for jumpin' out of this one for a spell. Affairs of state called. The state of chaos around here, that is...

    Michael's points have validity...even though I and many other's may not agree with them all...he's a devoted admirer of the 210, and that's his choice.
    The 210s that I've handled have been exceptionally fine pistols in the engineering and in the execution. Ideal? No...but neither is any other design.
    Collectively piling onto him with demeaning remarks is not the way to shoot his position down...nor ours...Michael. This is The High Road, after all. Let us keep to it. It's easy to fall into that mode. I've been guilty of it a time or two...no denying it. Once an argument goes past a certain point, much of it becomes fairly ridiculous anyway. At that point, it's usually time to stop, because we're not about to change anyone's mind...and the arguments mainly serve to correct mistaken information and "Urban Myth" type statements such as the one about "Because the 1911 was designed around hardball, that's all it'll function with unless it's been extensively modified." Beyond that, there's really no point in carrying on.

    Back to the debate...

    Using one or two aspects of any arm to determine its superiority is false logic. We can have a remarkably accurate weapon that drives us 'round the bend trying to get it to work...or we can have one that we can fill with toothpaste without causing it to miss a beat, yet can't hit the water with it if we were standin' on a boat. "Ideal" therefore, must fall between the two extremes.

    The true measure of the utility of a piece is much more than that. It must be reliable. It must be durable. It must be easy to service in diverse places, far removed from an armory. It must be accurate enough to fill its intended role.
    If a personal sidearm will keep all its shots in a 6-inch circle at 50 yards...it's more than accurate enough to save ol' skinny at 50 feet. 6 inches at 50 yards is a fairly pedestrian gun, and most new ordnance-grade 1911 pistols would beat that handily with issue ball ammo...as would the P-210. But, to what end? If the engagement distances for a pistol are likely measured in single-digit feet instead of yards...how much accuracy is necessary for the gun to do its job?

    In other words...The weapon must be able to perform a number of tasks well enough to rely on. A general purpose rifle isn't as accurate as a target or sniper rifle...but it's infinitely more useful, because it does many things acceptably well rather than just one thing exceptionally well. A finely-tuned Ferrarri is a wonder to behold and drive...but a pickup truck is a much more realistic choice unless all one plans to do is drive fast. The pickup is a utilitarian...or general purpose vehicle. The Ferrarri goes fast and can generate lateral G-forces that loosen your fillings...but it fails miserably when a load of firewood is across town from your woodstove.

    So...Since this one has degraded from its original intent...let's get it back on track or let it die. I leave it to the mod on duty to make the call.

    Cheers!
     
  7. Michael Zeleny

    Michael Zeleny member

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    I am not sure that Deming has ever given a definition of quality, in so many words. But he did say that variation is the enemy of quality, and on that account, the quality of an M1911 is inferior to that of a P210. For milspec P210 pistols were designed and manufactured for drop-in part fit. Whereas as a matter of design, the same level of accuracy of an M1911 depends on variation in the dimensions of the barrel bushing and link, individually hand-fitted to each handgun. I take this as evidence of design fault.
     
  8. Michael Zeleny

    Michael Zeleny member

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    Other factors being equal, more accurate guns are better than less accurate ones. Other factors being equal, more uniform parts fit in guns is better than less uniform parts fit. I have pointed out the shortcomings of the M1911 design in this regard, relative to the P210. Rebutting this analysis with claims that the M1911 is "more than accurate enough to save ol' skinny at 50 feet" amounts to a change of subject.
     
  9. SuperNaut

    SuperNaut Member

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    I'd like the 210 vs. 1911 posts split out into a new thread if possible.
     
  10. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    And I've invited you to show that the 210 is a match for the 1911 in other regards...which you've declined about 3 times now...which amounts to ignoring the challenge. I'll put one of about a dozen of mine against your Sig in an machine rest accuracy test...if you'll put your Sig against one of them for functional reliability under...some pretty adverse conditions. Any day.

    FWIW...I've done this before with Glocks and modern Sigs, etc. Many of the owners who followed my lead were rewarded with non-functional pistols in short order. Most of them refused to follow. I've got a feeling that you would, too. In fact...I'd lay odds on it.
    If I had a 210, I would.

    How so...unless target shooting is the only game you're playing? I don't know about you, but I can barely see an inch at 50 yards these days...much less hold to it. How much accuracy is necessary in a defensive sidearm? All mine are more accurate than I can prove without sandbags...and I'm a pretty fair shot.

    Or, as Jeff Cooper so eloquently put it:

    "Absolute accuracy in a service pistol is rather like top speed in a pickup truck. Interesting, but irrelevant."
     
  11. Michael Zeleny

    Michael Zeleny member

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    My offer stands as issued. I propose to fire 5,000 rounds out of a machine rest at 50 yards, at an NRA bullseye target, for a combination of accuracy and reliability, with mutually agreed upon score penalties for failures to fire or cycle, and harsher penalties for field-replaceable part breakage. The point is to test our equipment, not our skill. I am not interested in measuring functional reliability as determined by individual ability.
    An inch at 50 yards is a performance metric. What matters to me is being twice as likely to hit my target with a milspec SIG P210, as with my 1939 National Match Government Model Colt.
     
  12. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    And I don't care to pit my skill on 50 yard targets against yours either. With my eyes, I'd probably lose that one before I started...so the machine rest accuracy test is on.

    But...Testing functional reliability from a machine in a controlled environment is rather like using a dynamometer to determine whether or not a race car will make it for 500 laps without blowing a head gasket.

    And..it doesn't introduce the "oops" factor of a real-world torture test.

    I maintain that you're trying to stack the deck. I don't have a problem with that as long as I get to stack it a little, too. You're either willing to take it to the wall, or you're not. I'm ready to get bloody with ya, Michael. Let's really wring it out and see what it'll stand. Surely a die-hard fan like yourself has a sufficient number of the guns to be willin' to offer one up as a sacrificial lamb, and defend the honor of the 210s of the world.

    Come see, come say.
     
  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    This is gettin' good. . :uhoh:
     
  14. the pistolero

    the pistolero Member

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    You better watch out, Tuner, once you take that engine off the dyno and put in the car, you're getting into fairytale territory. :rolleyes:
     
  15. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Movin' on...

    The idea of the 1911 being designed around the .45 ACP round as a "flaw" indicates a basic misunderstanding of who...and what...the Army had in mind for the new service pistol.

    In a word...Cavalry. The armies of the world still relied on mounted cavalry at the time, and the need for shooting a horse out from under an enemy cavalryman was heavily considered in the concept...because, once you take the cavalryman's horse away from him, he's a much less effective force to be reckoned with. It's a lot like taking an infantryman's rifle away and handing him a single-shot scattergun. The caliber had to be heavy enough to break down a horse.

    Then, there was that thing about the mid-bores being less able to bring down a man than the heavier calibers...which is why the Army began to reissue the 1873 single-action Colts that it had remaining in inventory as a stop-gap...until a sidearm in a more suitable caliber could be developed.

    They looked closely at the German Luger and its 9mm cartridge and found that it lacked in many of the capabilities that they'd already determined necessary...not the least of which was caliber effectiveness against man and beast alike. Hence the call for a heavy caliber.
     
  16. RancidSumo

    RancidSumo Member

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    Is that because it doesn't matter how many hands you use when you put it in the machine rest?

    Back on topic
    I think that the only flaw in the 1911 design is the grip saftey. It serves no real purpose. To the person who said that the single stack mag is bad, I like that feature since it keeps the grip thinner and fits the hand better.
     
  17. Michael Zeleny

    Michael Zeleny member

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    Of course I am trying to stack the deck. Modern tactical doctrine does not recommend relying on a handgun at a long range. As Colonel Townsend Whelen put it, only accurate rifles are interesting. Only a dedicated bullseye shooter would make a similar claim about handguns. I enjoy my prewar Colts and Smith & Wesson Magnums, even though my DWM LP08 can shoot rings around them. The great advantage of a P210 is in combining the accuracy of a Luger with robust reliability of a well set-up Colt Government Model.

    The P210 is a product of the Königsdisziplin that tradition imposes on Swiss shooters. The only other modern sidearm made to the same standard of precision and robustness is the French Manurhin MR73. A handful of shooters worldwide can make a critical difference by firing such arms in anger. I do not belong to their rank. All I claim is that an accurate handgun suits my shooting style better than a less accurate one. By definition, a sidearm is a last ditch defensive resort. Being able to take a long range shot with a P210 when a rifle is not readily available can make the difference between life and death. The extra safety secured by this ability is well worth compromising on the likelihood of having to shoot my way out of a sand pit or a mud bath. If your lifestyle involves sand pits or mud baths, the P210 is not for you. Most people I know stay out of such places. My testing concerns are aligned with my karass. Please don't expect me to choose yours over mine.
     
  18. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Blame it on the Army Ordnance Board, and the fact that..while you may not see a purpose for it...they may have had some very good reasons for specifying it, just like the thumb safety. The 1911 pistol wasn't designed with the idea that we'd be using them nearly a hundred years later to go play games of "Let's Pretend" on Sunday afternoon.

    John Browning was asked to help with the design. He didn't have a completely free hand, and he didn't do it alone. He didn't dictate the features, and he didn't decide on the caliber. He gave'em what they asked for. To him, it was just another assignment. A job, and nothing more.
     
  19. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Most of the people that I know that have had to shoot their way out with a pistol or a rifle didn't have the luxury of dictating the conditions they were in.
    That's the funny thing about real-world killing fields, Michael. It almost never goes down the way that we imagine it will.

    So, you may keep your marvelous piece of engineering clean and oiled so that it will function when you want to shoot it. So will I, given the chance...but I still like the comfort of knowing that mine will work should I not have that opportunity, or should some unfortunate happenstance introduce foreign objects into it. As the man said: "**** Happens."

    You're wise and prudent not to accept my part of the challenge, by the way, but I've got a feeling that you were aware of that all along. You're obviously smart enough to understand the adage: "Never wrestle with a pig. You'll both get muddy and the pig don't mind." ;)

    Enjoy your pistol. I'd like to own one myself someday.
     
  20. Dobe

    Dobe member

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    Hence, a Big Mac is quality? Actually it is by the standard, just not my choice for well planned meal.

    The design is what has led the 1911 to so many different applications, and quite successfully, I might add. Hey, I bet you knew that, didn't you? :neener: And again, why has this successful 210 not been so popular? It must be that we amoung the masses are not capable of appreciating the finer fruit of the gods.;)
     
  21. mpmarty

    mpmarty Member

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    __________________

    I not only disagree with your "other factors being equal" I find it ludicrous as the "other factors" are unknowable and vague. The Sig is indeed an engineering marvel for its time, forty years ago. It is a kludge of complex parts, close tolerances and chambered for an ineffective military round. The 1911 is of few parts, simple design, easy to maintain, chambered for a far superior military round. And both its parents are prettier too!:evil:
     
  22. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    One final nit-pick point, if I may...

    The link in a gun built to spec has nothing to do with mechanical accuracy.
    Its only function is to disengage the barrel from the slide, and to time that function. Long-linking a barrel to increase vertical lug engagement is counterproductive as far as accuracy goes, and can cause serious damage to the gun if taken a little too far.

    If you're going to offer technical critique on a design from an engineering standpoint...I'd suggest that a little study to understand how it functions would go a long way toward validating your arguments.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2008
  23. Michael Zeleny

    Michael Zeleny member

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    That is why I keep a rifle in the trunk of my car. The only use for a pistol is to fight my way back to the rifle I should not have laid down in the first place.
    I am relying on Kuhnhausen describing the use of NM links in conjunction with fitting lugs to the slide on NM barrels. Replacing the link with a camming slot streamlines this process. But as a practical matter, milspec barrels wil slip into a P49 without needing any lug fitting whatsoever. Look here to compare its armorer's manual to that of an M1911. As far as I can tell, this level of interchangeability cannot be realized in an M1911 without compromising its accuracy well below the P210 standard of 8 shots going into 5cm at 50 meters.
     
  24. Michael Zeleny

    Michael Zeleny member

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    There exist finer standards of quality. In this regard, I am more inclined to follow Plato and Aristotle than Deming and Taguchi.
    Thank you for conceding that the M1911 falls short on the standard of quality that you have cited.
     
  25. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    I see...

    I can go through the Kuhnhausen manuals and find about 10 things that are wrong and/or contradictory in about 30 minutes. There were a few things that he either wasn't clear on, or he simply didn't describe it carefully enough for all to understand. Part of that may be due to bad editing and the fact that they were compiled from a collection of shop notes that spanned a period of several years, or even decades.

    The most glaring mistake that he made was in the "Balanced Thrust Vector" description of operation. That can't happen. He amended it in his later editions to describe the drag effect by the bullet on the barrel. But the bullet exiting the barrel before the slide moves? Not in this universe, cap'n.

    For the record, and your continuing education...

    If the pistol's vertical stack height above the slidestop crosspin centerline called for a .291 link in order to time the barrel linkdown, then that link is the correct on-center length for that gun, and the barrel isn't long-linked.

    If, however, you have a gun with vertical dimensions that times correctly with a .278 link, and you install a .291 link...then the barrel is long-linked, and the linkdown/drop timing is delayed...possibly to the point of damaging the barrel and/or the slide beyond repair.

    And there lies the advantage of the falling link design. It allows the armorer to find the link that provides optimum timing, and to utilize a lower lug that provides optimum vertical barrel engagement. With the linkless system, you're pretty much stuck with what you have unless you buy a semi-finished barrel and start over. The link system is versatile...which is why it's still in use on today's 1911s. If the linkless system were so far superior...it would have long since gone the way of the Wooly Mammoth.
     
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