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Most Reliable "GI"-type 1911s

Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:09 pm
by Hand and Steel
Share your thoughts on which 1911 A1/WWII/GI type 1911s are most reliable, and explain your experience with them. Springfield Mil-Spec vs Colt "Series 70", etc.

Re: Most Reliable "GI"-type 1911s

Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:32 pm
by Nathan
In my experience, mil-spec is mil-spec is mil-spec. Aside from the Colt name, there is no valid reason to buy a Colt mil-spec over a Springfield mil-spec. That said, if you're wanting an authentic mil-spec 1911, it gets no more authentic than Colt. Quality will be comparable.

Is this something that you intend to upgrade over time or will you leave it mil-spec?

Re: Most Reliable "GI"-type 1911s

Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:52 pm
by Hand and Steel
It would be left stock, except perhaps for grips or a mainspring housing without the lock in the case of a Springfield. Almost certainly in stainless.

Re: Most Reliable "GI"-type 1911s

Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:55 am
by MisterB
I have an Auto Ordnance WWII parkerized mil spec 1911 that I'm quite happy with. It really has the look and feel of an original WWII 1911. I added genuine WWII issue grips to complete the look. I know you said you wanted stainless. This is all steel frame and slide, but parkerized. That said, Auto Ordnance has multiple other versions you might like.

Re: Most Reliable "GI"-type 1911s

Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:06 pm
by hkguy
anything from the Philippians, Springfield, Colt, para, etc. but your options will be limited if your looking for a stainless gun.

Re: Most Reliable "GI"-type 1911s

Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:49 pm
by Hand and Steel
MisterB wrote:I have an Auto Ordnance WWII parkerized mil spec 1911 that I'm quite happy with.
I've heard that Auto Ordnance 1911s can have difficulty with hollow points. What is your experience with this?

Also, anyone know what the current word on Springfield's titanium firing pins is? Of course a firing pin takes about 10 seconds to replace on a 1911, but I'd like to know ahead of time if I go the Springfield route.

Re: Most Reliable "GI"-type 1911s

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:29 am
by MisterB
Hand and Steel wrote:
MisterB wrote:I have an Auto Ordnance WWII parkerized mil spec 1911 that I'm quite happy with.
I've heard that Auto Ordnance 1911s can have difficulty with hollow points. What is your experience with this?

Also, anyone know what the current word on Springfield's titanium firing pins is? Of course a firing pin takes about 10 seconds to replace on a 1911, but I'd like to know ahead of time if I go the Springfield route.


Yes, that's correct, but I'm fine with that- seeing as they are attempting to stick very close to the WWII 1911-A1 that was designed for FMJ before hollow point was even a thing. I haven't tried hollow point in this gun, but the manual says not to. I'm not sure if this is the case with other true to original 1911's or not

Re: Most Reliable "GI"-type 1911s

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:50 am
by Nathan
The beauty in .45 is that hollow points aren't required, anyway. Other bullets hope to one day grow up to become a .45 when they expand. In +P loadings the hollow point makes the .45 even better, but I wouldn't feel in any way under-gunned carrying .45 FMJ, either.

Re: Most Reliable "GI"-type 1911s

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 1:26 pm
by Hand and Steel
I used to carry my 1911 loaded with FMJ on a daily basis and never felt uneasy about it. I occasionally still do when out in the woods. My main interest in hollow points for a .45 lies in limiting the potential for over penetration.

Re: Most Reliable "GI"-type 1911s

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 4:49 pm
by Nathan
Hand and Steel wrote:My main interest in hollow points for a .45 lies in limiting the potential for over penetration.

Write this in the Bible; a .45 caliber slug will never over-penetrate anywhere near ACP velocities. If you could push it beyond 1200 fps it might be a plausible possibility, but certainly not in 850-950 range. If you're going to push a 230 grain slug out > 1000 fps, do it in an HK.

Re: Most Reliable "GI"-type 1911s

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:12 pm
by Hand and Steel
I've found more than one account of .45 ACP FMJ rounds going clean through people. Would you want to test it with people behind the target?

Re: Most Reliable "GI"-type 1911s

Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:31 pm
by Nathan
I've never heard of .45 ACP penetrating >100%. If anything, I've always found it to be perfect. Perhaps saying it can't happen was a bit too much, but in my experience and testing I've found no greater consistent caliber than the .45 ACP @ 230 grains. Be it ball or JHP, it always penetrates right into the sweet spot. Not too much, not too little...just right.

Re: Most Reliable "GI"-type 1911s

Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:04 am
by Hand and Steel
One instance that leaps immediately to mind was described in "Shooting to Live" and involved a man being shot six times with a 1911 loaded with FMJ at a distance of between 10 and 3 feet. Only two of the rounds stayed in the body, with four passing clean through. A two out of three over-penetration rate in that instance is not reassuring from the perspective of not accidentally shooting someone directly behind the target. I trust the .45 hardball to do its job, but if reliability is assured with good quality 230 grain hollow points, I would generally prefer the expanding round as insurance against a pass through, and take whatever additional effectiveness it has as a bonus.

Re: Most Reliable "GI"-type 1911s

Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:53 pm
by Nathan
Hand and Steel wrote:One instance that leaps immediately to mind was described in "Shooting to Live" and involved a man being shot six times with a 1911 loaded with FMJ at a distance of between 10 and 3 feet. Only two of the rounds stayed in the body, with four passing clean through. A two out of three over-penetration rate in that instance is not reassuring from the perspective of not accidentally shooting someone directly behind the target

Be aware this contradicts every conclusion I've reached in thousands of rounds of testing. I'm not saying that it didn't happen; I don't know the specifics (was the guy a half-starved tweaker who weighed 95 pounds and was about 6" thick? Were they shots in the arm/leg/butt/etc. that passed through?). I only know statistical analysis of data gathered through my own first hand testing. In keeping with something I stated in CarryGuide.com:
"You will hear of threats dropping immediately from a .25 ACP and you will hear of threats that continued to fight despite a solid .44 Magnum hit but these are rare exceptions and should never be considered representative in any way of overall stopping power potential. They are nothing beyond extremely rare incidents that have minimal impact on the overall averages used to calculate overall stopping power potential."
I'm mentioning this to demonstrate an acknowledgement dismissal of rare incidents that statistically do not affect probability of ballistic properties. You can find rare examples to substantiate any position you want to take if you are willing to accept rare examples as conclusive. I'm not going to tell you that you are wrong; I'm simply stating that my own testing is conclusive enough for me to state that over-penetration from a .45 ACP is extremely rare, even statistically impossible, for an average size/density male shot center mass. As always, YMMV.

Re: Most Reliable "GI"-type 1911s

Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:53 pm
by Tye
So, with hollow points are you going to take that shot with somerone right behind the bad guy?

Re: Most Reliable "GI"-type 1911s

Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:17 pm
by Nathan
Tye wrote:So, with hollow points are you going to take that shot with somerone right behind the bad guy?

If he is considered a lethal threat? Absolutely.