|04-27-2012, 02:15 PM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Greenfield WI
Circa 1918 Coltl M1911
I am new to your forum and I would like some educated opinions.
Here is my situation.
I have an October of 1918 Model of 1911 pistol. I bought it for a little too much money about 15 years ago. It looks like a World War I bring-back; had its UNITED STATES PROPERTY marking ground off, refinished, and when I received it, had a World War II High Standard barrel in it.
Over the years, I've replaced most of the internal parts: all of the pins, all of the springs, sear and disconnector, barrel and bushing, mainspring housing internals, titanium firing pin. Most of the parts are new Colt parts except the sear, disconnector, and pins, which are Wilson Combat Bulletproof.
This pistol when I got it wasn't shot much, and I doubt I put a thousand rounds through it myself. I have Kuhnhausen Volume II and anything I could reasonably measure measures to his specs except the frame and slide rails; however, these match each other quite well and I have no doubt that it came off of the Colt assembly line as it is today.
This pistol shoots like no one's business. I use 80s GI contract magazines from Checkmate with new Checkmate followers. Everything is balanced so well that I have no problem whatsoever shooting one-handed, left or right doesn't matter. Assuming I can see the sights, I can hit what I aim at, and in the defensive pistol course I took, shooting without the sights wasn't as bad as I had thought.
Now the reason for sharing all of this is to say that I have heard horror stories from a number of people on different forums ranging from I wouldn't shoot it to that slide is about to explode in your face. I understand the collectors getting all squeamish, but they're collectors. It's my pistol, not theirs.
Everything I can do to look for something wrong, I have. I see absolutely no issues with the firing pin port in the slide. The extractor is original and untouched and it flings the brass up and over my head and to the right. The cases look fine except for a small dent in the side, which I do not find concerning.
Ever since I've put the new Colt stainless barrel in, after shooting and cleaning, I inspect all of the "this is where these things break" spots with a loupe and I see absolutely no changes in anything. Previously I used one of those Wolf springs and a Shok-Buf, but I could feel that the timing was off, so I threw those out and put standard Colt springs in.
I figure you guys have real-world experience and can give me truth instead of "zomg it's going to break! Never shoot it! Sell it to me!" crap I get from collectors and guys who read forums for all of their information.
While I'm of the opinion "it's mine, I'll shoot it until it breaks if I want to", it would be nice to be reassured that I have to put 10,000 rounds more through it before that happens.
While I would like to get another pistol some day, this is the one I know in my heart and it's my carry gun as well (no, it's not too heavy).
Thanks for reading.
|06-23-2012, 05:16 PM||#2|
Join Date: Feb 2006
The WW1 vintage 1911s were not heat treated. They were never intended to be high round count guns. Will a lot of shooting eventually result in a broken slide? Probably yes. Can anyone predict exactly when that will happen? Nope. It could happen next week, it could happen next month, or you might go 50,000 rounds before it gets tired.
I had this discussion with the curator of the Army small arms museum at Aberdeen proving Ground. I don't recall his exact words, but he basically said that NO firearm in their collection gets shot ... period. The reason is that there is no way to predict if the next shot will be the one that breaks the weapon.
But yours is what is considered a "shooter grade" pistol, not a collectible pistol. So shoot it until it breaks, and when it breaks get a new slide. But IMHO you should assume that if you shoot it, it's a case of "when" it breaks, not "if" it breaks.
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