What Breaks? (Other Than Your Heart)

Discussion in '1911 Forum' started by parinoid54, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. parinoid54

    parinoid54 New Member

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    I don't know how to ask this question without incurring the wrath of those who believe Mr Browning's design is impossible to break, or getting responses like, "My second cousin's son's wife heard..." . Unlike myself who has only had my 1911s less than a year, are there those of you who have extensive use and experienced a parts breakage in your 1911 while YOU were shooting it? If so...

    -What broke;

    -What was the manufacturers brand and how old;

    -What is your best guess as to WHY (MIM, lack of lube, poor fitting, excessive rounds, a rat was sleeping in the barrel).

    As a FNG to the 1911, I am drawn to all the super-superior kyptonite diamond encrested aftermarket parts, partly just because I like to play with my toys, and partly because I am dumb enough to be taken in by advertising.

    So, dropping my guard and my pants :eek: to trust what you guys who worked with JMB, advising him what to do, what have you to say in your experiences and your recommendations as to what to replace with my vast fortune working at McDonalds?
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011
  2. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger New Member

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    I myself am way too young to have worked with JMB, but there are a few older members who might have. :cool:
     

  3. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    if all 1911's were made to ww2 government 1911A1 specs breakages would be very few and far between.

    i was running an arms room during the change from m1911 to m9 and repair logs for th3 ww2 era 1911s we had that served in the pacific theater in actual combat in korea during actual combat in vietnam during actual combat had very very few parts breakages. our records went back to 1950 none were kept before that.

    inside a year of adopting the m9 the repair logs on the m9 exceeded the last 25 years of the m1911.

    properly made and maintained 1911s will last a lifetime.

    unfortunately in todays mim/investment cast and cheap steel this isnt the case as reflected by the record of the m9. most modern made 1911s suffer the same amount of breakage as any other gun in most off the shelf models.

    if im not mistaken colt has the fewest amount of cast or mim parts and none in critical areas of the gun. they are the closest production guns to the military 1911A1 ww2 standard.

    my springfield 1911A1 has suffered in the course of the last decade 1 firing pin block breakage and one broken safety. ive got close to 75,000 rounds through it on a guess based on my shooting habits. i replace firing pin springs and recoil springs on a regular basis. im confident in this pistols quality so much so it is being converted into a dedicated 460 rowland. i would like to add neither breakage caused the weapon to stop functioning.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011
  4. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Personally? I have never had a failure of parts in my 1911's. Granted. I don't buy low end products. If I know a part of a weapon I purchase is known to be a problem, I have it replaced before it is a problem.

    If a magazine fails to feed or causes problems, it gets binned for ones that I know are reliable.

    I recently acquired a Taurus PT-1911 as a project gun. I know that the ambi safety has been a cause for problems in the past, so I bought a new single side thumb safety and it's being replaced currently. Why risk it?

    A lot of issues with 1911's that you read about are due to the owners' and their maintenance, or lack thereof.

    I would take a lot of what you read about "failures" with this type of weapon with a heavy salt lick as it's been around, doing dirt, for over 100 years.

    Just sayin'. :rolleyes:

    JD
     
  5. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    I direct you to my new signature line. It was graciously lent to me by a member of a 1911 forum that I visit. It was in a thread about Kimber and MIM parts.

    "A lot of people find facts annoying once they've made up their mind how they feel about something."
     
  6. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    when mim parts are made with great attention to quality control they are pretty much indistinguishable from milled parts. however there are a great deal of not so good mim parts in lots of different low end gunsto higher guns that give mim and investment casting a bad name.

    kimber is one of those companies with a VERY spotty history of crappy mim usage.
     
  7. parinoid54

    parinoid54 New Member

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    JonM:

    So, in your opinion, WHAT caused these breakages? Was it the number of rounds fired; poor quality of part materials; or what?

    I am not expecting anyone to act or speak as a metalourgist (sic), or an X-ray tech, but only your best guess.

    I suspect, in the end, it will be low quality material of the parts (read: cost savings for the manufacturer). In my rediculously simple opinion, MIM/investment cast parts may be fine in auto cam lobes (YO! - Canebrake), but do not belong in a tool designed to save your or others lives.

    So my original question remains, if you have experienced a parts breakage in your 1911, what part was it, and why do you think it broke?:confused:

    I suppose I must add, is the difference between the cost of a CNC machined tool steel part THAT much different from a MIM part? I'm not howling at the moon, but I don't understand the logic!
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011
  8. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    Dammit! Now I have to sell my new Kimber before I even pick it up. :mad:



    yeah, right.
     
  9. parinoid54

    parinoid54 New Member

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    Oh GREAT! Now it's going to take me an extra 30 seconds tonight to fall asleep for causing you to doubt. However, perhaps you should be doubtful over buying a gun that is more advertised than Obama's "investments" or Bud Light.

    Still waiting on your answers! What, did I ask an embaressing question?

    I made an extra $2.30 in tips tonight at Micky D's, and I want to spend it on some really great replacement parts.;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011
  10. parinoid54

    parinoid54 New Member

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    Great, an anwser - but WHAT parts?
     
  11. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    I am going to pick up my Kimber when I can and shoot the heck out of it. If something breaks, well that's what the warranty is for. That's why I bought a new pistol.

    I had a Les Baer Thunder Ranch Special that was a good pistol, but I wasn't crazy about it and a Dan Wesson Commander Bobtail that was just outstanding. If I could have afforded to buy another CBOB, I would have. In fact, selling the CBOB is on my "What the heck was I thinking?" list. But I couldn't afford one, so I bought the best quality pistol I could afford, a stainless Kimber Pro Carry II.

    I'll post a range report and an evaluation. I'm not proud, if something breaks or is wrong with it, I'll post it.
     
  12. parinoid54

    parinoid54 New Member

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    Sir, thank you for serving our country!
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011
  13. parinoid54

    parinoid54 New Member

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    AH! But, had you gleened info from many others of parts brakeage from this (or any other) pistol, would you still have bought it; would you have bought it and also replacement parts to exchange upon receipt? Of course, if this is not your carry for self-defense pistol, it makes little difference.

    But, if someone decides to carry a 1911 pistol as their primary defense weapon, wouldn't it be somewhat reassuring that based upon other's experiences you changed out parts that others have experienced to be a weak point in this gun; be it a Kimber, Colt, S&W, etc?

    This brings me to the root of the matter. I am searching for a 1911 to carry at all viable times for self defense. WHATEVER brand I choose, I want to gleen any and all info I can about it of its weak spots.

    I do not believe that I am alone, so I turn to you asking for experienced help.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011
  14. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    I knew about the MIM. I had a Springfield Mil Spec that had MIM parts as well. Both of the Rock Island POS's I had have MIM parts. They were crap, but it wasn't because of MIM parts.

    Knowing this, I am prepared to carry the Kimber once I am satisfied that it is reliable. That's assuming I can get a CCW in the (hopefully) new county we will move to.
     
  15. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    mim in and of itself isnt a real issue. poor quality steel can be less durable than poor quality mim parts. it all boils down to how the parts were made and with what materials.

    the breakages in my springfield were due to rough usage lots of near max loads and just running around 75k rounds thru it. i didnt notice anything wrong till i went to clean it and the safety came off in two pieces. safeties and firing pin blocks are common fail points btu they dont stop the weapon from shooting. so if one of those pieces breaks its no big deal.

    this applies to any handgun:
    inspection with magnifying glass of critical parts is a must. your looking for hairline cracks and the begining of fractures. replace any suspect parts BEFORE they break. i got no problem running guns with mim or investment cast parts. some of my favorite guns (bersa) are chock full of mim and investment castings. with the 1911 it is super easy to strip it down to base components for a good visual inspection. this is almost impossible for guns like glocks sigs XD and m&p. those guns are almost ALL mim parts but no one seems to have a problem with em?? why is mim an issue in 1911's??

    there is nothing wrong in and of itself with mim parts. i shoot em till the parts show wear then replace with pieces from wilson or cylinder and slide or other high quality manufacturers.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011
  16. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    I so agree with the fact that if all 1911's were made to WW2 milspecs there wold be little to no problems with them. It is when someone tried to turn the 1911 into a tackdriver that things started breaking. I am not saying the 1911 is not an accurate handgun. Mine will shoot amazing groups.

    While in the CANG we had old 1911's a few drops of oil and a mag full of ball ammo and she would run like a champ. They had no parkerizing left they all looked like SS guns the slides were lose the barrels rattled some even had rifling that you could hardly see when looking down the barrel. They still all out shoot the M9. The M9 is a good weapon and served well in its life. They had their problems in the beginning as any weapon does in the military. Designers are not soldiers or marines. I know My weapons took lots of abuse LOTS. If you think something can't be broke give it to a military engineer and we will break it in 30 minutes or less.

    MIM parts are just as good IF done right. If not done right then they are crap. just as if a billet part was made incorrectly it would be crap as well.
     
  17. masterPsmith

    masterPsmith New Member

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    I've probably put over 1,000,000 rounds through 1911s over the last 40+ years (over 5000 a week when competing), and have only had the following breakages.
    firing pins
    extractors
    barrel links (very few)
    sear springs
    sears (a few)
    thumb safetys
    slide stops
    ejectors
    hammer strut pin
    Any and all of these breakages are usually caused by metal fatige from more usage and abuse than the average shooter would put one through in a lifetime.

    Jim..........
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011
  18. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    By example?

    Magazines are usually the first to "fail" in 1911 platforms. A gun that is "problematic" with factory mags might run just fine with aftermarket mags of a higher caliber of construction and more attention to detail.

    Recoil Springs. If the weapon has had a steady diet of +P ammo, or is of a high round count since the last time it was changed ( 1,500-2,500 rounds ) I would recommend a replacement.

    Slide to Frame fit - If it's too tight you may experience the break in period that people talk about ( around 300-500 rounds ). This isn't a failure of a part, it's just a period of needed metal on metal wear to get everything playing together nicely. This can happen in low quality weapons, high quality weapons and even weapons that ran perfectly fine but you suddenly had a new part installed like a "competition" barrel.

    Overtightening of Grip Screws - Have seen this a couple of times. Guy changes grips, or changes from thick to thin grips without changing screw lengths, and wants to gorilla the screws in place. Runs them in so far they affect the ability of the magazine to seat and unseat properly.

    Firing Pin Break - Seem 2 "in all my days" and only one was on a 1911. The tip of the firing pin broke off just enough so that it would no longer punch a primer, hence the weapon no longer goes bang.

    Basic stuff like that is "most common".

    Hope that helps.

    JD
     
  19. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    This must be the 10th or so 1911 thread that the OP has asked roughly the same questions (and got roughly the same answers). A few comments:

    Any, I repeat any mechanical device can fail - I don't care if it costs $10 or $10,000.

    You will not be able to buy a gun that is 100% guaranteed not to ever fail.

    I have probably at least 20K rounds through a variety of 1911s and have never experienced a parts failure. These range from basic Rock Islands to higher-end Dan Wessons.

    My advice to you: buy something and start learning what the 1911 is and what it can do...
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011
  20. parinoid54

    parinoid54 New Member

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    Well, IF I have, pardon the heck out of me. :(

    To those of you who overlooked my severe shortcomings and tried to pass on your knowledge to me - Thank You :D