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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A question for all of you folks out there.

I was watching one of my customers shooting a battery of his guns the other day. He was firing a pure production 1911, a semi custom 1911 and a full house one man shop custom 1911. I was very surprised standing off to the side to watch the difference in muzzle flip in each of the three guns.

The question is why.

For the sake of no name calling and flaming of work by manufacturers and builders I will leave who made what out.

Ammo was the Federal Eagle 230 cheap range stuff at least a box or more of same per gun.

All functioned with all of the ammo.

Naturally the semi and custom had the best accuracy. But this was not a accuracy session. We could not tell the group difference but the conditions of the shooting were off hand and not conducive for pure tight groups. Just at action style targets and can bouncing.

All guns were steel five inch 1911's the semi and customs did not have a guide rod, the production gun did.

Here is the question.

Why would there be less muzzle flip and more control with the semi-custom and custom than the production with the additional weight of the guide rod.

I am not addressing the accuracy and reliability of anything here. Just muzzle flip with steel guns of the same design and weight. (exception is the production with the guide rod was a couple of ounces more)

The pure full house was slightly better in rapid fire than the semi-custom but both the full house and semi were noticably better than the pure production gun in rapid fire. (chasing a can around, emptying a mag or two into a target and hitting a reactive target.

I understand the accuracy and the rest but the muzzle flip was the surprising observation.

Is it lock up, timing, or what.
 

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It is probably a case of the semi-custom and custom guns cycling more smoothly (barrel locking/unlocking, the cartridge feeding up the ramp and it's rim beneath the extractor) and being "sprung" correctly.

Frontstrap textures and the effects of the grip safety in how high the shooter can get his grip are probably a factor too.

Rosco
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I forgot to mention the recoil springs on the guns. The production gun was under 200 round total from new.

The semi-custom was 3000 rounds plus of every piece of varing quality and junk ammo I could find as this is my demo gun.

The custom was less than 150 total.

Surmising and not assuming the recoil springs in the semi may have been a factor but not in the production.
 

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I can think of a couple of factors.
First, the sights. Better sights let you get back on target faster. They track better. A narrower front sight is faster.

Second, the lube. I've noticed that a greased slide is softer in recoil than an oiled slide.

Third (and probably most likely), the combination of grip profile and grip/frontstrap checkering, beavertail, and thumb safety (if a high ride grip is used). Depending on the user's hand and the fleshyness of the hand, the gun grabs the hand or it doesn't. If the gun slips in the hand at all during recoil it doesn't come back to the same place in your grip/stance alignment, and the user will have to adjust from shot to shot. Often the adjustment is not a change in grip, but a manual realignment of the sights by breaking the wrists just a tiny bit to adjust.

If the gun is hard to hold, the user will tighten his grip, slowing him down. A neutral grip and relaxed grip (not loose, relaxed) will result is faster recoil recovery. If the user is fighting the gun in any way, speed will suffer. Read what Brian Enos or Leatham have to say about recoil management as I got the above ideas from Enos' book. They work. When I implemented them my group sizes dropped in half and speed went up by about a third.

People have commented to me when watching me shoot that the gun doesn't seem to affect me much from shot to shot. The gun isn't moving as much because I have a relaxed, neutral grip. Tenseness kills all that and the gun moves a lot more as I try to hold on to it. Kind of counterintuitive but it works.

The fact that the semi has a lot of rounds through it makes a difference. I'm sure it was smooth.

The fit of the gun to the user is critical. I've always said certain guns say "yes" to me by the way they feel when they shoot. Shotgun guys understand this. A 1911 is not a 1911 is not a 1911.

My .02

(ps this thread is also running at 1911 forum and this is a duplicate of what I posted there.)



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: JiminCA on 2001-06-13 13:10 ]</font>
 

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JiminCA pretty much nailed it. Now from my own experience, the thing that has made the biggest difference in muzzle flip control has been how the gun sits in your hand and how you grip it. I can be shooting the exact same gun and have different muzzle flip level if I don't hold it consistently the same way.

A gun that rides lower in the hand and gives you a solid hold on the frame, so that the recoil is delivered straight back into the palm and your wrist does not break from it's hold.
 
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