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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do I mean, you ask?

What I mean is that Colt, Springfield Armory and Kimber are utterly pitiful by the standards of any respectable industry. They sell a product that is supposed to save our lives from violent assault, and yet they let hundreds if not thousands of defective handguns go out the door every year.

Consider this: does any pistolsmith NOT offer a 1911 "reliablity package"? No, because there are huge numbers of 1911 pistols that need them. A complete one, like the one Dane Burns is doing to my Delta Elite, runs $199. Think about that: I am buying a life-or-death product and need to spend 1/3 again the cost of it just to make it WORK RIGHT!!! My Kimber was no better, and my old Para-Ordinance would jam horribly on 230gr ball!

How many people do you know that buy "reliability packages" for their new car? Their SCUBA gear? Do hospitals have to buy "reliability packages" from Stryker, Inc., for their medical equipment? Hell, no. First of all, Stryker actually has pride in their product, and second of all they'd be sued off the face of the earth or imprisoned the first time a Stryker Cast Saw severed someone's limb...

Failures and breakages are inevitable, even for a company whose products have a bit error rate of 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000+ (like the one I work for). But the American handgun industry seems practically 19th century in its quality control. That's a sweeping indictment, but I'm sick of getting 1911 pistols that do not FUNCTION, and this has been going on for DECADES. I'm at the point now where I'd almost break down and vote for a handgun "lemon law" to get their sorry butts in line.

In conclusion: what gives? :mad:
 

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It is posts like this that allow people to make a living doing "reliability" jobs.

If I remember correctly, the gun that Dane has is the same Delta Elite that you gave a very good review in this thread:

http://www.1911forum.com/ubb/Forum35/HTML/000031.html

You then sent that same gun, that worked with everything but a couple silvertips (which probably don't have the world's best reliability record), to a smith to have some work done. The smith supposedly screws up and you send it to Dane to correct and now complain that you have to pay Dane to fix what the other smith screwed up. How is this Colt's fault??

Seems like you should be complaining about people who send good guns to be mangled by so-called smiths and the smiths that mangle them. You might have a beef with Winchester. Out of curiousity, how many rounds total did you fire through the gun before you sent it off for "work"?

How in the world is a "lemon law" going to protect you from yourself? I suppose you think Colt should be responsible for Dane's $199 bill?

I agree...what gives??






<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: James on 2001-06-14 14:40 ]</font>
 

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I suspect that there's a fine line in defining 'Reliability' problems.

I've had new 1911's that REALLY required a break in period, and some that didn't. I've also had 1911's that were junk out of the box, but certainly correctable.

So, lets consider a few things... What many feel is needed for 'Reliabilty Work' is getting the pistol to run consisently with all sorts of ammo, whether it's Ball, HP's, or SWC's. Could be a fair request.

It's possible the manufacturers only design, or build around Ball, and the pistol really doesn't like SWC's, but then, we consider that not all 'factory' ammo is the same...

Some stuff varies slightly in pressures, length, others vary in nose profiles, and of course, styles. in a perfect world, it all interchangeable, but the reality is that it's not.

Well... Okay... Maybe there's a few guns that will run ALL the different ammo without even choking once, and maybe, some like a particular style, or brand.

Lets consider a car... I've had fatory hotrods that wouldn't run on regular, only premium, and in some cases, only premium from Union 76, or Chevron, but not Shell, or Arco. To their credit, the manufacturer DID recommend Premium Fuel only.

Okay, so I had a Thunderbird Super Coupe that you could hammer on all day long on long mountain twisties, but I burned the brakes down in 2-3 hot-laps at Laguna Seca running on some old scrubbed GS-CS's from the Mustang Road Race car. In other words, I exceeded the manufacturers expectations.

Back to guns... So Colt designs a gun... Maybe, if you only use Ball, it works fine, but when you run JHP's, it's not... Kinda like Regular and Premium gas.. It'll run, but not well... I don't know... Just a thought...

So, now, I decide to 'Hot-Rod' my Colt, and exceed the design limits doing whatever, and it chokes... Kinda like the Brakes on the SC... not really Fords fault... It was on me.

I know there are guns that don't work the way the should out of the box, and most companies work hard to correct that problem. Kimber raised the bar on the sloppy work we saw in the early 90's from Colt, and Colt has improved considerably. The consumer ultimately speaks with their wallets, so when Colt, or someone else starts selling poor products, and they don't sell, they try to figure out why, and if they want to stay in business, they fix it... There may be more room to improve, but they're going in the right direction.

If everyone will stop buying Springfields, and complain about the knife sharp edges, maybe Springfield will cure that problem.

It might not be a fair knock to say that every 1911 out of the box needs work though... I've had several that didn't, both old, and new. My Kahr broke on the 4th round out of the box, but they are known for being very reliable...

Mass production probably attributes to a few 'lemons' making past QC, but in general, the breed is better, and more cost efficient than back when an army of craftsmen hand crafted every piece.
 

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Hey CB, having a bad day ? ..:roll:

Truth is the vast majority of New Colts and Kimbers work just fine out of the box, and always have.

It`s a real pisser to get a Dog in a New Handgun, I know because I have, more then once.

Getting a Dog in a used Gun is alot more easy, I know because I have over 33 years experience in that :grin: In fact to paraphrase the old joke; " The buying of used guns is a triumph of hope over experience."

I almost never buy used Guns anymore, ( unless they are something very special ) because included in the purchase price is a round trip all expense paid vacation to Burn`s or Heinie.

That`s just the way it is.


Go blow holes in some paper , you`ll feel better...:smile:













<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Blackjack on 2001-06-14 15:48 ]</font>
 

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On 2001-06-14 15:37, Blackjack wrote:
Getting a Dog in a used Gun is alot more easy, I know because I have over 33 years experience in that :grin: In fact to paraphrase the old joke; " The buying of used guns is a triumph of hope over experience."

I almost never buy used Guns anymore, ( unless they are something very special ) because included in the purchase price is a round trip all expense paid vacation to Burn`s or Heinie.

That`s just the way it is.

Go blow holes in some paper , you`ll feel better...:smile:
Yup... Took a while for me to really convince myself but it just seemed that what I thought was a bargain (used) gun, was really someone elses nightmare they dumped because it wouldn't run...

Unless it's special, or has a known history (like a friends gun or something) I try to avoid the used route, it almost always means "Add $500 to the purchase price" :wink:
 

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My own experience has been close to CastleBravo's. I currently own 2 Kimbers and 2 SA 1911's. I had owned another Kimber 5". None of the 5 was reliable OTB. All had to be sent back at least once and I ended up sending two of the Kimbers to custom smiths, Jim Clark and Brian Bilby, for reliability work as the factory couldn't get them reliable. I don't accept that we should have to buy a couple hundred bucks worth of ammo to see if one is reliable and break it in. However, I know it is that way and I don't expect to get a new 1911 that is reliable OTB. I don't question anyones integrity, but I wonder how many of those who have OTB factory guns that have fired several thousand rounds without a malfunction, have made excuses for the gun. A bad magazine, ammunition it doesn't like, limpwristing, etc. In addition to my own 1911's I have several friends who own several factory 1911's, and not a one of them has been reliable without at least one return to the factory.
Sometimes this year I hope to get a 1911 that is completely reliable as received.

If I didn't "love" 1911's so much I would use Glocks. The ones my friends own and my G26 are completely reliable. Mine runs with handloads of all shapes, and all factory. It never malfunctions. When this subject comes up many will say that Glocks, etc also have about as many problems as 1911's but that is not my observation or anyone's I know, some who are firearms instructors. The Glock OTB is far superior, function wise, to any factory's 1911.
I also have a 1911 that I bought through the NRA and DCM in 1960. It runs with everything every time, all the time. I don't know why the factories can't put out a gun that does the same. In my 22 years of active duty I don't recall ever having a 1911 malfunction.I realize we used only ball, but the factories know that today most are purchased for use with HP ammunition. I think it is inexcusable that we have to send them back and have reliability jobs to make them work properly.
Jerry
 

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On 2001-06-14 16:40, JerryM wrote:
I don't accept that we should have to buy a couple hundred bucks worth of ammo to see if one is reliable and break it in. However, I know it is that way and I don't expect to get a new 1911 that is reliable OTB.
I am not opposed to breaking in a new 'mechanical device' if the manufacturer recommends doing so, even if they don't. I break in a new car/engine when I buy one, but when I hand craft a race motor, there's no such luxury, we might get a couple hours tops on the Dyno, but then, the motors are designed, and engineered for maybe 20 hours tops, some even less, so they don't really get broke in, but the 'blueprinting' is such, kinda like a house custom, that's it's not required.

I don't question anyones integrity, but I wonder how many of those who have OTB factory guns that have fired several thousand rounds without a malfunction, have made excuses for the gun. A bad magazine, ammunition it doesn't like, limpwristing, etc.
That's cool... FWIW, when I say no, it's because I meant no... None... If I had had a couple 'minor' irratants, then I'd say so... Kinda like the Kahr... While it has been fine since it was repaired, it did break out of the box, and they are supposed to be a bit better in terms of reliability, kinda like a Glock.

Of course, I suppose I can caveat one thing... I use Wilson mags... I don't use the factory mags, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't work with the factory mags, simply I prefer to use a mag that I feel is superior to most any other I have used.

As for Ammo, as long as I use my preferred Federal AE, and it works, I am happy... Once I have given a proper cleaning/lubing, break-in period, and cleaning/lubing again, then I 'certify' it for use for carry by running a few hundred rounds of Hydraskoks through it... If all is well, I am happy... If it chokes, it chokes... I have had some choke, but I have had many not choke... No biggie... I too expect the worst, and get very pleased when I 'prove' myself wrong.

I expect different things for different things... I expect that I can jump in my Expedition, turn the key, and drive off, and drive for years without a problem... I KNOW I need to take a different approach with the Mustang... Once it's ready to go, it'll really go, but it's more like sex... It gets started slowly, and needs to run a few minutes, and let the Temps, and Pressures come up... Then, you can flog the beast, but like many women, she can be finicky :wink:

Oh... as for Glocks... My daughters Glock 27 was choking when she first got it... She lives in AZ, and when she first got it, and she told me she was having a 'reliability problem'. I told her she was limpwristing it, but she assured me she wasn't... I told her to go to the range with a few friends, get someone at the range that was familiar with it to see if it was the gun or her... This went on for months, and she was always saying it was the gun.

Finally, when I went out to AZ last summer, and we went shooting, she finally learned that Daddy was right... She had a few FTF's in her first 19 rounds (2 mags), and complained about it, I took it and ran 81 rounds without a problem. She WAS limpwristing, but was it really her limpwristing, or was it the gun :grin:

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: jaydee on 2001-06-14 17:11 ]</font>
 

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Let me state this for the records. The only 1911s with which I've experienced any kind of long term reliability problems were a few Series 80 Colts from the mid to late 80s. All other that have not been "fixed" by some smith have worked out of the box, most even with hollowpoints.

I have yet to run into any current production SA, Kimber or Colt that has any chronic reliability issues.
 

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I have been very lucky with 1911 purchases. I owned a 70series 38 super never jammed and a 80 series 45 never jammed . That was a few years ago and all I shot was hardball. Currently own a Kimber that after I finally learned to keep my damn thumb off of the slide release (slide stop when it stops the slide/ slide release when I drop the slide with it) has run every ammo/mag combo I have put thru it. But I did have a S&W 59 back in the mid 70s that would not shoot anything but I wont go there
Thanks
Gerald
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow, that's alot of hostility for a Thursday night! I intended to stirr things up, wiseass that I am, but wow! :eek:

If I remember correctly, the gun that Dane has is the same Delta Elite that you gave a very good review...
If I was only talking about one gun that wasn't completely reliable, you might have a point. But I wasn't, so you don't. Just goes to show that if you are willing to take something far enough out of context you can prove anything. :roll:

I have owned 3 1911 pistols, and none of them were completely reliable out of the box. Notice that I'm not talking about *ONE* that may just be the fault of age/bad gunsmithing/fluke breakages/whatever, but the total of three (aka "3", aka "III," three being the number of the counting... :grin:) that didn't work. PLUS however many other broken ones that MUST exist for reliability jobs to be a booming business... AND to account for all the posts on various forums complaining about unreliable 1911s.

Anything that can make money will become a business eventually. Gunsmiths make money because (a) people would like stuff customized and imroved even if it did work, and (b) alot of 1911 pistols don't work even when they are NEW. I fall into both categories, incidentally... otherwise I'd stick to my Glock. Again, I point out that virtually every other product does NOT have people that make money by charging 25-30% of the original cost of a product to make it *WORK*.

And in case this wasn't clear the first time, this isn't a slug on pistolsmiths... or the 1911 design. The fact that someone can LEGITIMATELY charge $200 to make sure my pistol works right goes to show you not that the pistolsmiths are robbing people blind, but that these things often have so many things out of spec. And the fact that I sent off my 1911 for expensive work is due to the fact that I admire the design (if not the execution).

And finally, if you went to my website and READ the gun reviews I posted there, you would see that while I point out the *many* strong points of the Kimber and Delta Elite, I also point out how reliable they were, or weren't, and what I suspected the causes were... including the various Delta Elite follies. Yes, that was a shameless plug for my site. :grin:

Cheers,

_________________
CastleBravo
Visit The Pit: http://www.geocities.com/mr_motorhead/

P.S. From now on I think I'll stick to non-controversial topic titles like "Only Mean Dumb People Vote Republican!!!" :wink:

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: CastleBravo on 2001-06-14 19:47 ]</font>
 

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(aka "3", aka "III," three being the number of the counting... ) that didn't work
I like your sense of humor there man :lol:

P.S. From now on I think I'll stick to non-controversial topic titles like "Only Mean Dumb People Vote Republican!!!"
MEAN AND DUMB PEOPLE?#))(# I rese...errr resemble that remark :lol:

Serious thou, if reliabily of the 1911 wasn't an issue you wouldn't see people out there selling 'reliability' jobs. Its just common sense. I think the manufacturers could easily do a LOT more to make the guns run right. The cost of this thou would be passed on to US. So I guess we are kind of hosed either way you look at it :smile:
 

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I guess it's the luck of the draw. I own 6 stock 1911's and 5 of them are as reliable right out of the box as my vaunted Berettas. Number 6 is a Springfield that had a slide that wouldn't go all the way forward with a fresh round. That happened twice in the first 50 rounds and hasn't hiccuped since.

I don't blame the gun at all since I probably didn't even lube it before firing. I feel blessed to have had good luck with my stock 1911's.............Mike
 
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I'm going to have to disagree with your thread/topic statement as I have owned over well let's say 100 1911 pistols, yes Martha the man said 100 and that is the number I will admit to.
I will further stipulate that I have owned more 1911 pistols than the average gunsmith can build in a decade. Their was a period from 1992 to late 1996 maybe 1997 where Colt pistols seemed to suffer a marked drop in quality and until 1998 every Springfield I purchased needed to be either returned or sent out to a smith and I will admit to having tried several dozen Para Ordinance pistols from late 1994-1997 before giving up on them. I have owned a few dozen Kimbers and I have found them to be very good "production" guns, even their "custom" shop guns are not really custom, but they are good guns.
But I have seen this trend completely reverse itself in the last three years as even Para Ordinance has managed to get the "bugs" worked out. The last 8 Springfields I purchased have been very good and I was so impressed with the Springfield TRP PRO that I purchased a SS TRP and after that one I purchased a new compact model.
I have been very impressed with my Les Baer factory guns, yes I consider them factory/production and I have witnessed ramarkable quality improvements by everyone except Colt. Colt's pistols have actually decreased in quality IMO.
 
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Mike,
It really kind of sneaks up on you, it used to be worse, I previously ordered all of my new guns in pairs- just to be sure- when testing them for carry and then I would order two pair in each caliber, two pair in 9mm, two pair in .38Super, then two pair in 9x23, then two pair in .45 caliber and these were full size series 80-Colts. Then I would move to Officers/Commander pairs, then to Springfields, then to Para's, then I picked the "right" pair ordered two more and sent the first two off to be customized, then when they came back the second pair went out.
I really do mean it when I say that I test and test, then test some more and then I go and practice a lot.
 

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Good Lord! If I have a firearm that I have'nt shot in 6 months I trade for one that I will shoot. Sentimental value is the only reason I keep one past 6 months. David if I tried that with your collection I would have more $ in ammo than house and car. But I do envy you.
Thanks
Gerald
 

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jaydee,
I think the G27 is a gun that is particularly succceptible to limpwristing, especially with the heavier bullets. That is the major reason that I don't recommend the G27 for ladies.
However, if I were a betting man which I'm not, I would bet a thousand dollars that we could take 50 or more Glocks of 9mm or .40 and the same number of factory 1911's and the Glocks would win hands down for reliability. One of my best friends is a firearms instructor and also shoots with the various NM LE agencies. He certainly sees dozens of each of the popular LE guns. In his experience the Glock is much more reliable than the 1911's, and more of them are carried by LE. Another friend is a chief of police. His department went to the Glock .40 several years ago. A couple of people have had limpwristing malfunctions until they learn to hold it tightly. However, in his experience they are completely reliable without any tuning.
I haven't owned 100 1911's but in my family and friends I have personal knowledge of at least 13 including 2 Colts and the rest Kimbers and SA. Only one, a Colt series 80 has never malfunctined as far as I know. It belongs to my son in law and he shoots about as much in a year as most of us shoot in 2 weeks.
I don't doubt your statements, but that hasn't been my personal experience or the experience of anyone I know.
I don't agree with your analogy of the automobile break-in. I always buy new cars and I never have had but one, a '53 Desoto Firedome, that wasn't reliable OTB. I will grant that there are nearly always some little things that have to be corrected, but an auto is much more complex than a 1911.
I agree with those who say that if a 1911 is so reliable OTB then why do the pistol smiths do so many reliability jobs?

I did once ask a poster who said his gun was totally reliable and he confessed that some of his reloads had malfunctioned. Sure poor reloads will not function in any gun, but a malfunction is still a malfunction and, if not explained, a statement that it has never malfunctioned is not correct.

Jerry
 

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100.... Wow! I don't even come close :wink:

I have owned more than 20 examples of the 1911 that I can recall, and I am certain there's a few I can't, since the 70's. Most have been Commander sized, with 4 or 5 Officers sized examples, and the rest Governments.

Most of them I kept for a short period, and sold for something else, but many were kept. Some where 'Special' editions, or customs, and some were plain old 'stockers'. Most were in 45, a few 38's, and 2 9's.

I'd say most were Pre 70's & S70's Colts, and at least 6 were S80's, the rest varied from SA to Norinco. I got away from them after I got out of the military, and picked it back up a few years back, but for the most part, I have owned at least one since the mid 70's, and currently, own 3, and another is waiting to be built from a bare frame.

Anyway... My person sample bases is high enough for me to make an informed decision, and while there have been some 'lemons', many had been very solid.

As for Car's... My wife's SC was purchased new, and was a 90 (second year of production) and still a bit buggie with lots of 'new' technology for the day. It spent more time at the dealer in the first year than we can remember, mostly computer related stuff, but the AC compressor was a source of major grief. Since Ford liked Serpentine belts to run ALL the accessories, when the Compressor locked up, it pretty much killed the motor, as it smoked the belt, but I digress... It was (is??? Still have it) a nice car, although it's remained parked for most of the last 3 or 4 years. She doesn't drive much now, being disabled, and it's a stick, so she can't even really drive it. I have preferred to commute with the SUV, since an Automatic is easier to 'multitask' & get my calls started when I have 'windshield time', but have been lucky to not have to deal with the commute now for over a year.

Anyway... This has been a good thread... It really brings back some fond memories, and in some ways, makes me sick, thinking about some of the pistols I have owned, and sold... I wish I still had them, and have vowed that I won't sell anything out of the collection any more, just add to it, and let it grow... I can't count the number of 1911's I bought for under $200, and most would sell for well over $600 today... including a US&S, and a Remington Rand, and a Pre-War Commercial that I picked up for $75 that would probably be worth 2 grand. Oh well...

Enjoy!
 

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jaydee,
As it turns out the DCM "unserviceable" 1911 I bought in 1960 is a Rem Rand that I still have. A great gun. I paid $12.50 + S&H. I think that brought the price to about $20.00. Wonder where I can find another for twice that price?
BTW that was David who has owned 100 1911's, not me.
Have a good day.

Jerry
Jerry
 
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