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 Why do 1911 makers advertise 'Tight tolerances' as a good thing?
Grudgie  [Member]
8/17/2012 11:28:28 PM
Simple question. I would like to hear your opinions on this.

It seems that such a beautiful military gun has been turned into an ugly 'race gun' now-a-days. By ugly I mean slanted slide serrations mainly. It offers nothing and takes away the classic looks of a beautiful tool.

This is just my opinion ofcourse. My real gripe here is that people refer to 'my tight 1911' as a good thing. I just hate that the quality of a modern 1911 is measured in how tight it is. I prefer an old COLT 1911 that sounds like an aresol can when I shake it.

Who else is for the return of some 'loose tolerance' 1911s? It seems like reliability is all the rage these days. I wonder why 1911 makers don't capitalize on this. I suppose it is because people have turned the words 'loose 1911' into the words 'Bad 1911'
92muddyXJ  [Team Member]
8/17/2012 11:41:49 PM
I have an 1943 Ithaca that has seen at least one war carried by my grandpa. It rattles quite a bit and shoots 100%

I have a Springfield Mil Spec that is pretty tight and has run 100% for almost 3000 rounds, My series one Kimber that was made in 1999 is still tight as a drum and runs great.

Step brother has an Ed Brown Special Forces that is crazy tight but it shoots perfect and is very accurate.

IMO, the tightness of the gun has nothing to do with function. If you get everything else right, it will run ok.
Torment  [Member]
8/18/2012 12:37:19 AM
I have both one loose Colt and another straight out of the custom shop. Both are quite healthy and never miss a beat.
Grudgie  [Member]
8/18/2012 1:04:38 AM
To me, civillian applications don't mean anything to a gun's reliability. The commonly heard 'Not had a problem yet' phrase means very little when you take your nice oiled gun out and have a hundred round range session and then clean it afterwards.
lowonair  [Team Member]
8/18/2012 1:52:12 AM
Originally Posted By Grudgie:
To me, civillian applications don't mean anything to a gun's reliability. The commonly heard 'Not had a problem yet' phrase means very little when you take your nice oiled gun out and have a hundred round range session and then clean it afterwards.


Not everyone does this. There are plenty of "tight" 1911s out there that have gone thousands of rounds without cleaning.
Gamma762  [Team Member]
8/18/2012 2:38:11 AM
Well, tight tolerances are a good thing. Tight clearances are up for discussion. Most don't know the difference, so the marketing folks take advantage.
dwhitehorne  [Member]
8/18/2012 5:38:22 AM
It is all marketing because people don't like something that rattles. Just think of the money made on the accuwedge to take the play out of the upper and lower of the AR. How about the constant internet threads over my bullets rattle in my double stack magazine. I have even seen that someone makes a shim to take the rattle out of the loose gas tube on the AK. Non of these affect function, but no one like to buy something that rattles. David
Ken914  [Team Member]
8/18/2012 8:29:17 AM
Once upon a time, there was a flood of USGI 1911s out there. They were road hard and put away wet.

The tolerances were loose to begin with. Add significant wear & tear from training and war, they rattled like a bottle of pills. Many were just plain worn out.

Wouldn't you want to get as far away from that image as possible?
Gregory_K  [Team Member]
8/18/2012 8:40:14 AM
Learn the difference of tolerances and clearances before posting.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
11BDad  [Member]
8/18/2012 8:51:02 AM
Originally Posted By Gamma762:
Well, tight tolerances are a good thing. Tight clearances are up for discussion. Most don't know the difference, so the marketing folks take advantage.


^ What he said.
Covertness  [Team Member]
8/18/2012 9:11:02 AM
From the lastest Wilson Combat e-mail

10 Things to Look for When
Shopping for a 1911
10) Seamless blending of all parts. Is there enough carry bevel performed so you new pistol won’t tear up your holster or hands at the range? Pay special attention to the front of the magwell, hammer, mainspring housing and front/rear of slide.

9) Crisp operation of the safety parts. Your thumb safety should snap on and off crisply-not mushy or too soft or stiff. Your grip safety should be easy to disengage in a high-hold firing grip.

8) Snug slide to frame fit. A little play is essential for high-round count reliability, but your slide/frame fit should be smooth and snug yet easy to retract. Smooth is the key.
7) Barrel/frame gap. Your barrel feedramp should sit off the frame ramp with a slight gap present. This allows the round to feed smoothly and is essential for feeding hollowpoint ammunition.

6) Bowtie cut. Does the frame have the bowtie cut? Where the barrel lugs impact the frame there should be a round cut to allow the top of the barrel feet to impact the frame “bowtie”. This is essential for a 1911 that will last many thousands of rounds.

5) Feedramp. Does the pistol have a smooth, deep frame feedramp that measures a minimum of .350” deep from the top of the frame rails. This is essential for reliable feeding of hollowpoint ammunition.

4) Trigger Action. Is the trigger fitted with a minimum of up and down play and overtravel. Does the sear break crisply without excessive creep or perceptible sear movement?

3) Quality Control and Inspection. Was your new pistol test-fired? Does it have a target verifying point of aim?

2) Clean machining and cosmetic details. Is your checkering straight without overruns? Are your slide serrations clean and straight? Are logos properly applied and machine cuts free of chatter? Is the finish applied evenly and smoothly?

1) Overall parts quality. Is the frame or slide a casting or machined from a forging or billet? Is the slide stop injection molded, a casting or machined from billet? Are any of the internal action parts Metal injection molded (MIM) or castings instead of properly machined from billet steel? Are all of the parts made in the USA? Are quality magazines supplied with the pistol?

Black-Lions  [Team Member]
8/18/2012 11:22:51 AM
Don't ask me! I like Norinco's !! Good is just good ! Tolerance is thinking twice before you shoot !
AR45fan  [Team Member]
8/18/2012 12:05:59 PM
Originally Posted By Gamma762:
Well, tight tolerances are a good thing. Tight clearances are up for discussion. Most don't know the difference, so the marketing folks take advantage.


Would you explain the difference, please? I guess I am most.
BSWilson  [Member]
8/18/2012 12:12:06 PM
http://i.imgur.com/rowkK.jpg
Gamma762  [Team Member]
8/18/2012 3:29:50 PM
Originally Posted By AR45fan:
Originally Posted By Gamma762:
Well, tight tolerances are a good thing. Tight clearances are up for discussion. Most don't know the difference, so the marketing folks take advantage.

Would you explain the difference, please? I guess I am most.


Originally Posted By BSWilson:
http://i.imgur.com/rowkK.jpg

^ That does as good a job as any.
DanTSX  [Team Member]
8/18/2012 5:06:56 PM
Some people are more interested in showing off and talking about their guns than shooting them.

For some people, you could probably weld the slide to the frame, and they'd never know the difference. Others, they never have time to shake it because they are always busy shooting it.
pepperbelly  [Team Member]
8/18/2012 7:35:00 PM
My first 1911 was a Colt Mk IV series 70. It was just a plain .45acp. I carried it on and off duty for years, and always qualified first. (We didn't technically keep score, but we did and I won). It would rattle if I shook it. That was just from a loose slide to frame fit. It was my belief that that loose fit made it a little more reliable in case it got dirty. Since I had a habit of going in creeks chasing people I liked it. It is my understanding that the slide to frame fit has the least influence on accuracy.
The barrel and bushing fir to the slide has the most effect on accuracy.
1911smith  [Team Member]
8/18/2012 10:00:26 PM
This and what GregoryK says about knowing the difference between tolerences and clearances.

Tolerence stacked is a common throw around phrase.

Few people know what it really refers too and confuse it for clearance.

Clearance is to parts what tolerences are to feed path.


Originally Posted By pepperbelly:
My first 1911 was a Colt Mk IV series 70. It was just a plain .45acp. I carried it on and off duty for years, and always qualified first. (We didn't technically keep score, but we did and I won). It would rattle if I shook it. That was just from a loose slide to frame fit. It was my belief that that loose fit made it a little more reliable in case it got dirty. Since I had a habit of going in creeks chasing people I liked it. It is my understanding that the slide to frame fit has the least influence on accuracy.
The barrel and bushing fir to the slide has the most effect on accuracy.