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Posted: 9/10/2010 5:37:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/10/2010 5:38:43 PM EDT by Boom_Stick]
I've always liked 1911's but their spotty issues of reliability precluded me from carrying or using one as my go-to gun. For a while I've researched the problem and found it comes to magazine choice.
Particularly feed lip geometry. The 1911 feed stroke was designed as a perfectly timed ballet and the original setup was round nose ball ammo, dimpled follower, 7rd mag with GI style feed lips. That is THE holy grail combination for the 1911 because that's how JMB originally designed it. With ball ammo and GI feed lips the gun loads like butter. However with the advent of hollow points and wad cutters, the new modern day holy grail design is the hybrid feed lips from Checkmate. I hand cycled round nose and semi-wad/wad cutters in my Colt 70 series with hybrids and they fed like butter. The nose of the round was feed directly to the chamber whereas other brands of mags, straight lip design (wad cutter lips) nosed the bullet into the feed ramp first. At high speed that translates into bouncing off the feed ramp. The result is noticeable dents to the nose of the bullet....not smooth as butter.

I've always wanted to standarized my mag supply for my 1911's and now I'm sold. It's GI (for ball ammo only) and hybrid feed lips from now on. I suggest if you're having problems with your 1911 that you read this and do the research yourself: This is just one resource I've used but it's the best single explanation I can find.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 5:48:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/10/2010 5:51:50 PM EDT by frozenny]
The magazine is not a minor part. its key. And a large part of the problem may not be solely the magazine but rather the Colt you are using.

When a 1911 is set up correctly it will feed anything. I've got several, and not only will they feed 230 ball, they'll feed 200 semi wadcutters, 200 gold dots, 185 silvertips and everything else. For that matter, I can pick up a handful of fired cases, stick 'em in the magazine and hand cycle the slide. They will reliably feed an empty case. This is with Chip McCormick shooting star mags, kimber mags and wilson mags. Reliability using ammo and a decent magazine in a decent gun is 100%.

For that matter I just sold a 1944 vintage 98% Remington Rand 1911a1. With any of the above magazines it too would feed and fire everything including 230 ball, 200 swc cast, 230 JHP and 185 silvertips. Failures? zero.

I suspect a large part of the 1911's reputation for 'unreliablity" (if thats a word) stems from some cheap bastard buying a 27 year old crapped out magazine in a gun store used parts bin.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 5:49:01 PM EDT
My Kimbers and SA get 47Ds or 500s with a diet of Corbon Pow'R Ball or DXP.

No worries.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 5:51:49 PM EDT
Originally Posted By frozenny:
And a large part of the problem may not be solely the magazine but rather the Colt you are using.

The Colt was never the problem, it was another name brand pistol that these mags fixed the problem.

I'm simply suggesting that if you're having a feed problem, go with hybrids. Chances are it'll cure your ills. I'm not an experienced gunsmith but many on-line renound smiths swear by them. I simply proved their suggestions and now spreading the wealth.

Link Posted: 9/10/2010 5:52:22 PM EDT
I jumped on the Springfield coupon deal for 10-7rd mags when I bought my TRP. They work great for FMJ or LRN. I bought slam pads from Brownell's to put on them.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 6:13:00 PM EDT
How many time's have I seen a thousand dollar gun choke because of a ten dollar mag. And many times the owner has looked at my 450.00 beater and wondered why it will feed anything. I use the cheap mags for range practice. Helps me practice malfunction drills as well. But for serious stuff. In goes a Wilson 47D.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 6:14:17 PM EDT
Oh ya and I have read that article. And will be trying some Hybrid's soon.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 6:26:21 PM EDT
Yes..the magazine is particularly important to a 1911...but so is the proper manufacture of the pistol itself.

A good mag MIGHT make a shitty gun work...and there are a lot of shitty made 1911 pistols out there too..

A decent 1911 might work with a shitty mag....but then I've only owned one 1911 that didn't need any work to make it reliable.
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