You are Unregistered, please register to use all of the features of!    
Firearm & Gun Forum - > Handguns > Semi-Auto Handguns > 1911 Forum >

1911 Reliabilty Question

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-20-2010, 04:49 PM   #1
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: lexington,ky
Posts: 21
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default 1911 Reliabilty Question

I am an owner of several double action handguns in many calibers, including 45 acp. I have decided it is time to become an owner of a 1911 type pistol. As I read online reviews of both 45 ammo and 1911 style handguns, a number of the reviews mention problems with cycling, ejection, etc. It seems that no price range is immune to this problem.

How common is this issue with 1911s? Are my concerns merited considering this new purchase woud be a daily carry pistol?
bighosscat is offline  
Reply With Quote

Join Today - It's Free!

Are you a firearms enthusiast? Then we hope you will join the community. You will gain access to post, create threads, private message, upload images, join groups and more.

Firearms Talk is owned and operated by fellow firearms enthusiasts. We strive to offer a non-commercial community to learn and share information.

Join Today! - Click Here

Old 12-20-2010, 04:53 PM   #2
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 7,152
Liked 32 Times on 7 Posts


Lots of folks carry 1911s every day. Much of the bad press surrounding these guns is due to cheap magazines. Most factory mags are basically junk - not sure why but they are. Some 1911s are sensitive to JHP ammo - especially the "flying ashtray" design but not all of them. The bottom line is a quality 1911 from a reputable manufacturer with good magazines will generally be as reliable as any other handgun. I have a number of 1911s and I trust all of them...
NGIB is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2010, 05:09 PM   #3
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
JonM's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Rochester WI,Rochester WI
Posts: 20,129
Liked 7681 Times on 4098 Posts
Likes Given: 625


on top of what ngib said a lot of of the issues with 1911 comes from the gun owner limp wristing or sever flinching which will throw the recoil impulse off and cause misfeeds.

new manufacture colts will feed anything. both my new agent and series 70 will cycle empty cases. there isnt another semi auto i have in my collection that will cycle empties.

colt redisgned the feed ramp/throat of their barrels and the results in reliability and the ammo it will eat is amazing. if you get a close view of a new make colt compare the throat/feed ramp area to a kimber or glock or whatever its very different.

i wouold stack my colts against any da auto for reliability.

i cant say the same for my springfield A1 altho so far my 1944 issue ithaca 1911-a1 will also feed empties and havent found a hp round it wont eat.
"Gun control: The theory that a woman found dead in an alley, raped and strangled with her panty hose, is somehow morally superior to a woman explaining to police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound." — L. Neil Smith

The problem with being stupid is you cannot simply decide to stop doing dumb things...

"I crapped my pants to avoid the draft!!" -Ted Nugent
JonM is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2010, 05:41 PM   #4
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: I see you, and you will not know when I will strike
Posts: 24,301
Liked 3516 Times on 1621 Posts
Likes Given: 3590


My first 1911 was a Kimber Custom II that is now floating around the forum here with a new owner.

Before it, I carried a Sig for years. I had a little shooting session with an older guy who schooled me in our shoot off and then he gave me a brief instruction on his 1911. I fell in love and have never looked back.

The only 1911 that I have personally had problems with is the Kimber 22lr, all aluminum that I got for a training model and that was a three fold fix: A stronger spring & a better magazine, which made the third problem I was having ( dirt a residue from shooting cheap range ammo ) a non issue once the new parts were in place.

I have shot a lot of them. Nowhere near as many as NGIB, but I have yet to see a 1911 that wasn't built by some half ass wannabe gunsmith that didn't function correctly when it had quality mags, quality ammo and a quality shooter owning and maintaining it.

I have carried a 1911 for going on 9 years now, been through thousands of rounds and would not think of reaching for anything else in need of a handgun.

Good luck, do some research, and I am sure you will be most happy with the purchase. They truly are still popular after over 100 years of production for a reason.

Dillinger is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2010, 05:51 PM   #5
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
CA357's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Oregon
Posts: 19,871
Liked 1179 Times on 514 Posts
Likes Given: 2978


As has been said, there is a reason that the 1911 is still in use today. Unless the pistol has been messed with by an idiot that was clueless, any 1911 should be good to go.

However, you do get what you pay for.

Sometimes a pistol, any pistol will require breaking in to operate 100%. The parts need to mate through use and the pistol will sometimes not function to its ability until it's had several hundred rounds through it.

I've owned a number of 1911's and all ran fine except for one that was a pure lemon. I got rid of it promptly. Unfortunately, lemons sometimes happen.

Every other 1911 I've owned proved reliable and accurate. Most often, the problem with a 1911 is crummy magazines.
“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”Samuel Adams
CA357 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2010, 06:10 PM   #6
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
DinkyDauDon's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Wherever my hat's hanging today
Posts: 63

I go along with what has aready been said here. I carry one everyday...have nine of them (working toward an even dozen)...would feel confident betting my life on anyone of them. If I've gotten a lemon, I got it fixed or got rid of it.
I carry a .45 because shooting twice is just silly!
ROMANS 12:21 - Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.!
US ARMY - '56 to '65 - SFC
Happiness Is Having Been An Airborne Ranger And Still Being Alive To Brag About It!
DinkyDauDon is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2010, 06:51 PM   #7
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
CHLChris's Avatar
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Portland,Oregon
Posts: 2,523
Liked 191 Times on 130 Posts
Likes Given: 89


The only problems I've had (much less experience than most 1911 owners 'round here) are related to magazine. I give a magazine 2 range trips to prove themselves.

If a magazine malfunctions on a range trip, I set it aside and do NOT use it to carry. When I go to the range again, I take that magazine and try it out. If it malfunctions again I say adios!

Some people switch out springs and followers. For me life is too short. I'm very Darwinian about my magazines. Function ALWAYS or you get whacked.
.45acp, .40 S&W, 9mm, .38 Spl, .380 acp, 22lr
12 gauge, .223/5.56x45mm, 30-30 Winchester

2 Chron. 7:14 Christians must seek His face
CHLChris is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2010, 07:23 PM   #8
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
General_lee's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Lumpkin,Georgia
Posts: 1,268
Liked 17 Times on 9 Posts


I have two Springfield 1911s, one I've had for about a year and the other one probably 6-8 months.
Both have performed flawlessly so far with JHP, SWC and FMJ ammo using Chip McCormick and KimPro magazines.
IMO the 1911 design is one of the best, if not THE best pistol ever made.
Like others have said before me, most of the feeding problems you get with a 1911 are due to bad magazines. Stick with high quality magazines and you should be fine.
General_lee is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2010, 08:08 PM   #9
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
danf_fl's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: LA (Lower Alabama),FL
Posts: 12,356
Liked 4849 Times on 2696 Posts
Likes Given: 2368


Mags are the biggest problem with the 1911, followed by poor maintenance or repairs. When you consider that the number of matches shot with the 1911a1, the number of 1911a1's carried for defense, the years the 1911a1 has been around, I would venture to guess that not too many people really have reliability problems with it.
Amendment II:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Life Member NRA
Life Member NAHC
Former President of the ECPT (Eifel Combat Pistol Team)
danf_fl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2010, 01:05 AM   #10
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
HOSSFLY's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lufkin,Tx
Posts: 6,932
Liked 2184 Times on 1472 Posts
Likes Given: 1191


The bottom line is a quality 1911 from a reputable manufacturer with good magazines will generally be as reliable as any other handgun.
That truly is the bottom line
I've owned dozens of 1911's over 40 yrs & i dare to say if any problems occured with any of them 95% was mag related--
Texan By Birth & Choice
HOSSFLY is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Firearms Forum Replies Last Post
Question about mag for SA 1911 A1 SmokeDogg251 1911 Forum 2 02-28-2010 01:48 PM
1911 Question Dzscubie 1911 Forum 6 12-29-2009 03:14 PM
1911 question johnm Gunsmithing Forum 10 11-05-2009 08:26 PM
1911 question? hogger129 Semi-Auto Handguns 27 08-18-2009 02:09 AM
Ammunition selection for semi-auto reliabilty Uncle Tom .22 Rifle/Rimfire Discussion 5 02-03-2009 03:41 PM