1911 Reliability

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  • What is the best buy?

    • Springfield

      Votes: 5 22.7%
    • Colt

      Votes: 5 22.7%
    • Rock Island

      Votes: 3 13.6%
    • Taurus

      Votes: 0 0.0%
    • Kimber

      Votes: 3 13.6%
    • Remington

      Votes: 1 4.5%
    • Sig

      Votes: 4 18.2%
    • S&W

      Votes: 0 0.0%
    • SDS

      Votes: 1 4.5%
    • American Classic / Metro Arms

      Votes: 0 0.0%

    • Total voters
      22

    RaleighReloader

    Well-Known Member
    Rating - 100%
    23   0   0
    Jan 30, 2015
    1,130
    48
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Over the years I've owned 1911's from the following companies:

    Taurus (45 ACP)
    Remington (45 ACP)
    Ed Brown (45 ACP)
    Colt (45 ACP, .38 Super)
    Remington Rand (CMP) (45 ACP)
    Les Baer (9mm)
    Nighthawk (9mm, 10mm)
    STI 2011 (9mm)
    Wilson Combat (9mm)
    Tisas (45 ACP)

    Most of them have worked well for me, and I'd buy most of them again without hesitation.

    For "bang for the buck," the Tisas has been the best. It just runs and runs, and I don't think I've ever experienced a FTF or FTE.

    For "best gun ever," it's the Nighthawk (I own two now). There is absolutely nothing to be done to them except feed them a steady diet of ammo and keep them clean.

    My go-to race gun is the 2011. Yes, I know it's technically not a 1911, but I include it here because it's close. It works every time and is boringly accurate.

    The worst was a Colt Gold Cup in .38 Special. It has the promise to be a superb gun, but my particular example just doesn't feel right. It's almost like someone assembled it but didn't give it a final tuning. Trigger is janky, the slide to frame fit feels sloppy, and it doesn't have the refinement that I expect from Colt. Hopefully it's just a one-off, and I'll probably send it to Nighthawk to have them work it over and turn it into the machine that it should be.

    So, more expensive doesn't always mean better.

    Mike
     

    DBMJR1

    Madame Mayor's Fiefdom
    Rating - 100%
    23   0   0
    Jul 27, 2008
    1,969
    63
    New Orleans, La.
    I'm pretty sure that Colt is the company most likely to have the original drawings on hand.






    Generally I have found:
    If you buy a 1911 with a cast frame and add quality parts, you will end up with a great shooter.
     

    gwpercle

    Well-Known Member
    Rating - 0%
    0   0   0
    Feb 20, 2013
    401
    18
    Baton Rouge, LA.
    Out of all the 1911's that have gone through my hands , including Colt Gold Cups (2) ...the only one that has stayed the course and sits with me on the desk is :
    Arcadia Machine & Tool ( AMT ) Hardballer

    Arnold Swartzenagger . in the movie "Terminator" carried a AMT Long Slide w/ 7" bbl. ... the Hardballer is similar but has std. 5" barrel and has never failed me ... never jambed or refused to feed and chamber or go "Bang" !
    All the Colts ...standard , commander , gold cups , cut down custom mini , Star model PS have all drifted off into the sunset .
    The first original stainless steel 1911 has indured !
    Gary
     

    DBMJR1

    Madame Mayor's Fiefdom
    Rating - 100%
    23   0   0
    Jul 27, 2008
    1,969
    63
    New Orleans, La.
    Out of all the 1911's that have gone through my hands , including Colt Gold Cups (2) ...the only one that has stayed the course and sits with me on the desk is :
    Arcadia Machine & Tool ( AMT ) Hardballer

    Arnold Swartzenagger . in the movie "Terminator" carried a AMT Long Slide w/ 7" bbl. ... the Hardballer is similar but has std. 5" barrel and has never failed me ... never jambed or refused to feed and chamber or go "Bang" !
    All the Colts ...standard , commander , gold cups , cut down custom mini , Star model PS have all drifted off into the sunset .
    The first original stainless steel 1911 has indured !
    Gary
    AMT made a long slide in .30 Carbine that I'd love to get ahold of.

    (But not $2200 bad)
     
    Last edited:

    Trailboss

    Well-Known Member
    Rating - 100%
    7   0   0
    Apr 2, 2013
    342
    18
    Norwood LA
    Best buy and most reliable are two different questions, and don't always coincide in the same pistol.

    My 1954 Argentine Systema cost $300 20 years ago and will feed and eject everything including empty cases. Recently bought a new Tisas Tanker with hammer forged slide, barrel and frame for $450 and no failures yet. I'm really liking it so far.
     
    Last edited:

    Sapperboomboom

    Active Member
    Rating - 100%
    2   0   0
    Sep 28, 2017
    30
    6
    Slidell
    Best buy and most reliable are two different questions, and don't always coincide in the same pistol.

    My 1954 Argentine Systema cost $300 20 years ago and will feed and eject everything including empty cases. Recently bought a new Tisas Tanker with hammer forged slide, barrel and frame for $350 and no failures yet. I'm really liking it so far.
    I agree, but to me the most reliable is the best buy.
     

    Grosbec

    Active Member
    Rating - 0%
    0   0   0
    Mar 25, 2022
    27
    3
    White Castle
    What brand do y'all say is the most reliable out of the box?
    From my personal experience I’ve owned a few 1911’s.

    2 Sigs
    1 Kimber
    2 Springfields
    The biggest bang for the buck is easily is a Sig 1911. Internals are fantastic and they are super accurate. However they are a little more squarish looking than all the others.
    The Kimbers are right behind them and can be had for a little less money. Very accurate also.
    The Springfields are good also, but there internals meaning hammer, hammer strut, sear and disconnector usually need to be worked or replaced if you want a smoother trigger system. Sigs and Kimbers internals are go to go from the factory. Also the Springfield will be slightly less accurate compared to the other 2.
    Ruger makes a good 1911 also though I have not taken one apart.
    Even if a gun says it has a match grade barrel that doesn’t mean a lot unless it has been match fit. The lock up into battery is everything on these guns when it comes to accuracy.
    The take from all of this is this. I would buy anyone of this four brands of 1911 without hesitation if the price is right. If you spend another $140 or so on Cylinder &Slide brand internals on the lower end Springfield model it will be up there with the Sig and Kimber though slightly less accurate in most cases. I’m not sure about Springfield higher end stuff.
    Also consider this when looking at prices. The difference in a $700 Kimber and a $900 Kimber is usually the addition of front strap checkering and night sights. It’s very well worth it. It’ll cost way more to have done after you buy the gun.
    Sigs normally have all that from the get go. Kimbers you just have to check. Springfields usually don’t unless it’s a higher end model.
     
    Last edited:

    Cajun2wheels

    Member
    Rating - 0%
    0   0   0
    Jan 9, 2013
    13
    1
    Not on the list but my Ruger SR1911 runs any any ammo I put through it and never had a problem.
     

    Abby Normal

    Well-Known Member
    Rating - 0%
    0   0   0
    Apr 16, 2014
    656
    28
    Metry
    As far as take any abuse & still function, I remember a couple of crazy guys on BS that had a Utube channel that Truely Torchered 1911s & glocks. A RI 1911 was dragged behind a truck on a gravel road, wiped down & fired. The Glock was broke. I can’t remember their names or channel but they had some interesting videos. I also said to Never let them near your guns.
    Does anybody else know who these guys are?
     

    pptpe45

    Well-Known Member
    Rating - 0%
    0   0   0
    Mar 29, 2012
    49
    8
    I've had two RIA Match pistols and have loved them. They are accurate and have fed everything I've fed them from factory self defense to handload plinking rounds.
     

    RaleighReloader

    Well-Known Member
    Rating - 100%
    23   0   0
    Jan 30, 2015
    1,130
    48
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Even if a gun says it has a match grade barrel that doesn’t mean a lot unless it has been match fit. The lock up into battery is everything on these guns when it comes to accuracy.
    Preach on.

    Every time I see a gun advertised with a "match grade barrel," I giggle a bit. It's like the "Trail Rated" badge on the side of my Jeep ... it means absolutely nothing.

    I'm sure the barrel on my Harpers Ferry smooth bore musket was also "match grade."

    That said, heaven knows how much money gets spent every year on people "upgrading" their guns with "match grade barrels."

    Mike
     

    LouisianaJoe

    Active Member
    Rating - 0%
    0   0   0
    Oct 6, 2008
    41
    8
    Luling, Louisiana
    I have a 1918 vintage Colt that my father won in a poker game in the 1940's. It has never failed to go bang.
     

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