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Posted: 3/30/2006 11:05:21 AM EDT
Before I ask, let me state that I have seen $400 1911s fail and I have seen $2000 1911s fail. I know that there are no gaurantees for out of the box reliability, regardless of price. That being said, which moderately priced 1911s enjoy the best reputations for being relaible without tuning or aftermarket parts? Are there any certain brands or models (other than Llama) that are to be avoided?
Link Posted: 3/30/2006 11:15:15 AM EDT
I've had really good luck with a Springfield PX9109L (Loaded Parkerized). The only failures I've had were with some reloads where my crimping die wasn't set properly.

Can't beat the warranty, either.

I've also had outstanding luck with the internal extractor model Kimbers.

These days, I've been drinking Colt kool-ade and that's been working out for me well, too, but Colts are a little more spendy if you want the most commonly desired features.

I only shoot (and carry) full sized "government models," so my experience with the chopped versions is very limited.

Cheers,

kk7sm
Link Posted: 3/30/2006 11:29:48 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/30/2006 11:38:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SGB:
Moderately priced is goining to have a different definition from person to person. For example Moderately priced to me is $600 - $800. While $400 - $600 is low and below $400 is bargain basement.

Colt, Kimber, Springfield Armory and Smith & Wesson all make good products in this price range. I would have to say that S&W is the one most likely to be trouble free as they seem to have thier Quality Control standards in better shape than the others. IMHO.

Just wish they'd get rid of that damn external extractor.



Is there something wrong with the external extractor, other than it's non-traditional and cheaper to manufacture? People seem to either despise them, or swear by them.
Link Posted: 3/30/2006 12:48:50 PM EDT
S&W 1911's are reliable. Some have refered to them as the "glocks of 1911's".

S&W got the external extractor correct since they have had past experience with them on their other designs.

Kimber 1911 external extractors are the ones that have reportedly had issues.

Most purists complain about the looks of external extractors, but for S&W it's only a cosmetics issue because thiers work great.
Link Posted: 3/30/2006 12:49:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/30/2006 12:50:19 PM EDT by SGB]
Link Posted: 3/30/2006 2:48:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/30/2006 2:51:23 PM EDT by pulpsmack]

Originally Posted By triburst1:
I know that there are no guarantees for out of the box reliability, regardless of price, or manufacturer, or design of ANY pistol. That being said, which moderately priced 1911s enjoy the best reputations for being reliable without tuning or aftermarket parts? Are there any certain brands or models (other than Llama) that are to be avoided?



Your inquiry is a bit too vague for an answer that is "guaranteed" to suit you regarding price. Some people think "moderately priced" is $500 +/- $100. While true of many popular handguns, this is not "moderately priced" for 1911s. I would put a "moderately priced" 1911 at $800 +/- $250.

If you mean the former, then start shopping for a used Norinco. Assuming the latter, I'd put myself into your shoes a moment and outline what I'd do: I would buy a modestly appointed SA, replace the handful of MIM, and get a reliability job done on it. That should put you in the $800-$900 ballpark with one hell of a jackhammer on your hands.

I know you asked specifically what "modestly priced" is most reliable out of the box, and I didn't answer that. Frankly, I can't. The big 3 that make the closest examples to "1911s" Kimber, SA, Colt all churn out reliable products and junk. Without any statistics with ratios of POS to masterpieces churned out (which nobody likely has to offer to the pub here) it is going to be anecdotal speculation. You can spend $650 and get a Kimber or SA that will change your religion about 1911s... make you a true worshipper at the church of JMB. You can get a 1,200 colt that needs to go to the factory twice before it treats you right. It's not the design, but the companys worrying about sales 1st and sorting QC/cust service on the back end. It is not a slight against 1911s but the way the big sellers generally do business (and hell, maybe they have no choice at that size). That's why I am into high-end cottage industry 1911s (my preference being Wilson Combat).


So in summary, you can spend $500-$950 on a Kimber/SA/Colt/Smith and you roll the dice. (Sorry I don't have the MIM count or the service record to help. My suggestion would be SA by preference) Or you can take my suggestion which "colors outside the lines" of your scenario a bit. HTH.
Link Posted: 3/30/2006 2:53:29 PM EDT

I would wager that MOST of the people reporting problems with new 1911s are experiencing
the effects of tight tolerances , low quality ammo , and cheap mags.

Also , hardly anyone seems to shoot more than a box or two of ammo before claiming
they have a POS
Link Posted: 3/30/2006 3:09:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AKsRule:
I would wager that MOST of the people reporting problems with new 1911s are experiencing
the effects of tight tolerances , low quality ammo , and cheap mags.

Also , hardly anyone seems to shoot more than a box or two of ammo before claiming
they have a POS



Good points.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 11:11:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By triburst1:
Before I ask, let me state that I have seen $400 1911s fail and I have seen $2000 1911s fail. I know that there are no gaurantees for out of the box reliability, regardless of price. That being said, which moderately priced 1911s enjoy the best reputations for being relaible without tuning or aftermarket parts? Are there any certain brands or models (other than Llama) that are to be avoided?



Nobody likes to hear this, but the $300 AO I bought at the Navy Arms retail store years ago has been 100% with everything but CCI Lawman after polishing the feed ramp, tossing the factory mag, and using Wilson 7s.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 12:28:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By NickySantoro:

Nobody likes to hear this, but the $300 AO I bought at the Navy Arms retail store years ago has been 100% with everything but CCI Lawman after polishing the feed ramp, tossing the factory mag, and using Wilson 7s.



Hardly the case at all. Granted I sank over $2k into my carry 1911, but I sorely miss the days (or at least my romantic illusion thereof) when a US factory 1911 could be had for $300 and was rock solid every time. I also embrace the Norinco because it created the spirit of the 1911, a no-frills wartime pistol in which you get every penny back that you paid (or more)
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 1:05:59 PM EDT
Never had a problem with my Kimber or Colt 5 inch or Colt Combat Commander 70. Now the magazines that came with some of then is another story. and the kimber after 1k the front sight came loose.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 1:14:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Gregory_K:
Never had a problem with my Kimber or Colt 5 inch or Colt Combat Commander 70. Now the magazines that came with some of then is another story. and the kimber after 1k the front sight came loose.




It seems that hardly anyone even expects the mags that come with their 1911 to work. The 1911 must be one of the few handguns that the aftermarket mags are better than factory.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 1:37:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By triburst1:
It seems that hardly anyone even expects the mags that come with their 1911 to work. The 1911 must be one of the few handguns that the aftermarket mags are better than factory.



I've had good luck with factory mags from Colt, Kimber and Springfield. The Colts and Kimbers that I've gotten in the past several years have been Chip McCormick mags and the Springfield mags were fine, too, although I don't know the mfg.

Still, I really like running the Power Mags, so I wind up using those mostly.

Cheers,

kk7sm
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 6:52:31 PM EDT
Both my factory Colt mags fell apart in less than 500 rounds. They were 8 rounders that the base plates flew off. Bad spot welds. Had a hell of a time getting replacements From Colt. Told me they never recived a package, found it funny when I had the tracking nos proving otherwise to hear them backpeddle.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 7:06:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/31/2006 7:07:38 PM EDT by Mr45auto]
The $400 SA GI model is a reliable base gun. The factory mags work fine but the Wilson mags are better. Mine was 100% reliable right from the box. I would have no problem grabbing it as a go-to pistol right now.

The nice thing about a springfield is that if you have an issue with it they will fix it and they know what they're doing.

Triburst, you stated before you didnt want a 1911 and wouldnt keep one if you had it. Changing your mind? Fair warning, if you buy one and shoot it alot you'll be selling glocks to buy more 1911s.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 12:21:24 AM EDT
I think that there are good mods, and bad mods. Good parts and bad parts.

The basic 1911 is plenty reliable when used with GI ball.

Enough so that the newest ones were 40+ yrs old when the M9 came onto the scene.

Had it NOT been reliable, Dod would have 86'd it.

Consider the short service life of the M14.

And if you want to get into guns breaking, I can tell you all kinds of stories about Glocks.

And as to the Mim controversy, LAPD, USMC, and TPD have no problem using Kimbers.

Bottom line - get something that's of decent quality and shoot the snot out of it. If it breaks, fix it and shoot it some more.

Link Posted: 4/1/2006 12:49:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/1/2006 12:50:45 AM EDT by Saguaro]
Glock. Sorry, but I have yet to meet with a reliable 1911. I know they exist, but IN MY EXPERIENCE, they're a rare beast.

ETA: Your question was about reliability--so my answer is Glock. If you want pretty, if you want historic, if you want all-American, than 1911. If you want reliable at a reasonable price....Glock.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 1:40:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Saguaro:
Glock. Sorry, but I have yet to meet with a reliable 1911. I know they exist, but IN MY EXPERIENCE, they're a rare beast.

ETA: Your question was about reliability--so my answer is Glock. If you want pretty, if you want historic, if you want all-American, than 1911. If you want reliable at a reasonable price....Glock.



Come to one of the OR arfcom shoots, I've got 3 that are 100% reliable. Not rare at all if you start with a quality piece.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 2:12:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/1/2006 2:24:56 AM EDT by pulpsmack]

Originally Posted By Saguaro:
Glock. Sorry, but I have yet to meet with a reliable 1911. I know they exist, but IN MY EXPERIENCE, they're a rare beast.

ETA: Your question was about reliability--so my answer is Glock. If you want pretty, if you want historic, if you want all-American, than 1911. If you want reliable at a reasonable price....Glock.




Clearly you haven't "left the house much" if you have yet to "meet" a reliable 1911 with regards to whatever experience you had. As for your edit, you should have quit while you were behind. He asked about a reliable 1911, not reliability in general.

As for my "experience" I have a good 30,000 rounds of trigger time on 1911s (if time and student budget permitted it would be 4 times this easily) and I have NEVER had reliability issues with 3 of my 4 1911s to date, all of which are of different size, manufacture, and age. The only one I have had reliability issues with was a 3.5" compact (which was a nightmare), but it is well established that 1911s chopped this short are not reliable pistols by design.

If you have a 1911 with a 4" barrel or larger that is not reliable, then one (or both) of two possibilities has occurred:

1. You bought a cheap weapon by a company that does not manufacture their weapons to spec/ proper tolerances (piece of shit by manufacturer)

2. You bought a weapon from a reputable company that overlooked the defective part(s)/workmanship which occurs with ANY reputable manufacturer, but is more noticable in 1911s because 1911s are far more prevelant and vastly popular American companies skimp on QC then make it up on the back end with warranty/cust service.

Otherwise, the reliability factor of 1911s is more than sufficient in the nightstand or in the field. Screw whatever civillian applications you might consider (SWAT, etc)... if they were not reliable, Special forces would NEVER have procured new 1911s once they were outed for the M9.

ETA: Given the popularity of 1911s, imagine the mag market. We have ARs that run flawlessly with battered 1970 issue USGI 20s (originally considered a disposable field piece) or with USGI 30s. Then you have the horrifying mags from Ramline, USA, etc that don't work for shit. Then there's the plastics (orlite/thermold) where accounts vary, and so on.

The 1911 magazine is undeniably sound. Improvements have been made, but nothing revolutionary had occured nor was necessary. I have owned/used Wilsons, Colt, CMC, Kimber, and Para (single stack) magazines. The 2 mag problems I have ever experienced are as follows: CMC- one magazine out of spec... slide won't lock with it; Para - the floorplate ruptured sending a hail of hydrashoks all over the living room (faulty welding of the floorplate).

Moral of the ETA: if you know how/what to by magwise for your AR/1911, you won't have any problems.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 4:36:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Saguaro:
Glock. Sorry, but I have yet to meet with a reliable 1911. I know they exist, but IN MY EXPERIENCE, they're a rare beast.

ETA: Your question was about reliability--so my answer is Glock. If you want pretty, if you want historic, if you want all-American, than 1911. If you want reliable at a reasonable price....Glock.



i hate and rarely do this..



you obviously do not shoot enough, research enough, or get out of the house much.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 6:03:28 AM EDT
SW 1911s are the more reputable for reliablity for the money now a days

i believe em (so far)

my SW 1911PD has over 500rnds through it (mix of: FMJ, Lead, JHP, HP, plastic caped bullets, +P, regualar of brands: Wolf, Speer, CCI, UMC, Rem, Fed, WWB, Win Rangers, Ultramax, some import stuff, and corbons)--no problems whatsoever

friend of mine's SW 1911SC also has had 0 problems--less than a couple of hundred though

the only other 1911 that has had 0 problems is my Kimber TLE II (intenal ex)--but then i always hear about someone having problems w/ kimbers...
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 6:15:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ALPHAGHOST:
SW 1911s are the more reputable for reliablity for the money now a days



I think that's a little premature to assert. I am not implying anything whatsoever, rather illuminating the fact that S&Ws haven't been in the bus long enough to make that determination (It's not everyday you can say that).

Nevertheless, It comes as little suprise that those who have bought them are happy campers.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 7:13:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pulpsmack:

Originally Posted By ALPHAGHOST:
SW 1911s are the more reputable for reliablity for the money now a days



I think that's a little premature to assert. I am not implying anything whatsoever, rather illuminating the fact that S&Ws haven't been in the bus long enough to make that determination (It's not everyday you can say that).

Nevertheless, It comes as little suprise that those who have bought them are happy campers.



yea, i know that its a premature assessment--but so far, its living it up imo

sure, but i got to admit, SW did something RIGHT for autos w/ thier 1911 line....now if they only get on the ball w/ thier other autos
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 7:31:56 AM EDT
I have only one pistol right now. That will change soon cause I came into possession of a beautiful little card that lets me carry it wherever I go(CCw). I own a Springfield Armory milspec 1911. It has been 100% reliable from the first box of ammo. I have about 1,500 rounds through it to date. I plan on shootin it alot more now that I have a responsibilty to shoot it as well as I can. Do yourself a favor and get a 1911 soon. I have shot all the major brands of 1911 and have yet to have one jam up on me. For that matter, I have not even seen one jam that was not caused by a shitty magazine problem. Buy some wilson 47D's.
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