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reliable 9mm 1911


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The last time I had a 9mm 1911 was a few years ago.  I had a series of 3 over about 10 years and only one was ever very reliable.  Have any of the companies figured out how to make a reliable (with 10 rd mags) 9mm 1911 out of the box?

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I don't think the reliability of 9mm 1911's has much to do with the gun itself, but rather the combination of the magazines and your bullet choice. You just need to figure out what works best.

I had some nose dive issues with my Tripp mags and the flat point 147s I was using, switched to round nose 125s and never had any problem after that.

I cant remember the last time my gun malfunctioned without it being my fault.



Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

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That was my experience before.  My experience was even more that it was bullet specific.  If you used a normal round nose, things were fine, but with flat nose or hollow points problems would start becoming an issue.  While I liked shooting them, that's why I ended up going to CZ, steel frame, good grip, but doesn't really care about bullet profile.  I don't think that not picking the right bullet and mag combination is my fault, I am more of the opinion that if the mag is designed for that gun, and the bullet is that caliber, the gun should function.  I haven't done much pistol shooting since 2013-2014 and with all the other developments and improvements in the shooting world, I was hoping a company had figured out how to tweak the feed ramp or something else about the design to get it less finicky.

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The basic problem is the 1911 geometry is designed for 1.25" long straight-wall FMJ rounds like the .38 Super and .45 ACP.  Shorter, tapered rounds are always going to be more of a challenge, and even more so pushing the mag capacity to 10.  I think the 9-round 9mm factory 1911 situation is pretty solid, but nobody much cares about that... 

 

The things we do for cheap ammo.

 

 

 

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Dan Wesson Specialist has been extremely reliable for me - my favorite of the several 1911's I own.  I load 147 gr RN over WSF powder for a high 120's power factor and use an 8 lb recoil spring.  Works with Chip McCormick, Wilson and DW (metalform) mags.  The only issue I had was the plastic base pads on the DW mags over-riding the front strap of the pistol when a mag was slammed home.  I fixed this by replacing the plastic base pads with Dawson aluminum base pads.  I also have a Springfield Armory 9mm RO that I've never had a problem with although I've only got a few thousand rounds through it.  My open gun is an STI Steel Master with >10,000 rounds down the barrel, but it's not an "out of the box" gun.  I shoot minor loads for steel challenge and action steel matches and it runs great as long as it's kept reasonably clean (every 1,000 rounds or so).  So yeah, I think a 1911 in 9mm can be reliable.

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i have a handful of sti 2011 double stack 9mm's that have no issues.  but i just couldn't get a 3" single stack 9mm to work, despite using a couple of different brand mags.  too many ftf's and i just didn't feel like dealing with it.

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My wife has three Springfield 9mm 1911s:

Stainless Loaded with a Burris FastFire III optic and all John Harrison parts, this her primary IDPA gun

Stainless Rang Officer with a Burris FastFire III optic and all John Harrison part this is her back up IDPA gun

9mm compact carry gun

The all have been problem free.

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A stainless loaded Springfield was the one that I had which was reliable, but that was almost 20 years ago.  It was my ESP gun, but I only used the 9rd front spacer mags in that gun.  Foolishly sold it off chasing something new.  But I was never sure when I started using 10 rd mags after getting a new 9mm later, if it was a fact that the Springfield just ran, or if it was the mags I was using.

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With ten round 9mm 1911 mags it is more a question of mag catch shelf height and really stiff mag springs.  You can see this for yourself when seating different mags.  One will snick in and be held tightly.  Another brand may lock in, but jiggle up and down.  That's because that brand was designed for a higher mag catch shelf height.

 

After trying a bunch of different mags (Wilson, McCormack, Tripp, etc., I finally settled on Brownell's (Metalform) mags.  Even do I had nose dives because the mag spring tension was so high.  It has to be high because the rounds are tapered and don't stack like 40sw or 45.  I left the mags fully loaded for weeks until the springs took a set.  Now that they are conditioned I can load ten with no problem and use any bullet profile out ti 1.161".  I load 115gr Hornady HAP JHPs to that length.  They feed perfectly in my JEM 1911 receiver with Dawson Precision mag catch.  I recently shortened the OAL to 1.145" so I could also use them in my PCC.  They still feed fine.

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21 minutes ago, andyivan said:

I have had great success with a Dan Wesson Pointman 9 (Dawson 10 round mags).  I shoot 124 HP but it'll eat whatever is around as well. 

My experience as well.  My DW Pointman  9 is backup to my Les Baer 9mm.  Both use Dawson 10 round mags.  Don't believe you can go wrong with a Dan Wesson as an out of the box comp gun.  OAL at 1.145 which I use for all minor shooting,  production and CO (Glock), PCC, Ltd minor (Para), and SS.

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I only had one 9mm 1911, it was a Citidal (Rock island), I used metal form mags and RN 125 grain bullets and never had any issues.  I shot several thousand rounds through it before i moved on from SS minor.  They are rough guns, but the one i had worked, but IDK that i highly endorse them haha. I would probably go with a Springfield now, but happened to catch the Citidal on sale for $350 so it was hard to go wrong

 

I think i shot some hollow points and expected jams but I recall them working fine too.  But lead 125s was what i had planned on shooting and since they worked fine i never experimented further. Good luck

Edited by RJH
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12 year old SS STI that just runs. A new WC EDC x9 that is reliable so far at 2k rounds.

Traded away over time a Colt 9mm, STI commander and Springfield that all were great guns.

9mm 1911s used to have issues but that seems to be history.

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I have a Springfield Range Officer Elite Target in 9mm and use Dawson 10 round magazines with the black aluminum basepads. 

Dawson magwell with gap. 

( I use it in IPSC Classic Division)

My reloads have COL: 29,5mm ( 0.1161 inch)

I use 145 grain coated round nose bullets. 

It runs flawless  (with the occasional nose-dive on a slide-lock reload which can be cured by a little slap on the back of the slide.)

I did have to have the chamber reamed to get my reloads to fit.  (Springfield chambers are TIGHT)

EDIT:  My reloads have a power factor of 130 with the factory 9 pound recoil spring. 

Only other internals I have changed out are the Firing pin stop plate, main spring (light competition spring) and Geppert X-line trigger. 

The stock main spring was very heavy, but didn't hinder function of the gun... it was just a pain during empty starts, having to quickly rack the slide.

The Range Officer Elite target does not have front slide serrations and front strap checkering, but grip tape fixes that. 

 

 

Edited by WFargo
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On 2/24/2020 at 10:03 AM, WFargo said:

I have a Springfield Range Officer Elite Target in 9mm and use Dawson 10 round magazines with the black aluminum basepads. 

Dawson magwell with gap. 

( I use it in IPSC Classic Division)

My reloads have COL: 29,5mm ( 0.1161 inch)

I use 145 grain coated round nose bullets. 

It runs flawless  (with the occasional nose-dive on a slide-lock reload which can be cured by a little slap on the back of the slide.)

I did have to have the chamber reamed to get my reloads to fit.  (Springfield chambers are TIGHT)

EDIT:  My reloads have a power factor of 130 with the factory 9 pound recoil spring. 

Only other internals I have changed out are the Firing pin stop plate, main spring (light competition spring) and Geppert X-line trigger. 

The stock main spring was very heavy, but didn't hinder function of the gun... it was just a pain during empty starts, having to quickly rack the slide.

The Range Officer Elite target does not have front slide serrations and front strap checkering, but grip tape fixes that. 

 

 

I also have the same pistol.  I know what you mean about the chamber being "tight."   I started using a 9mm Lee undersize die and that has eliminated my feeding issue, certainly helps reform the Glocked brass.  The Lee undersized die takes the brass down an additional 0.003".   My problem was the gun would stay out of battery a 1/8" or so occasionally.  Seems like you addressed this problem by having the chamber finish reamed.

 

There is something to it when the users manual says "use factory ammo."  We have to do our best and turn out quality reloads with this gun.     

Edited by Jeff9mmM&P
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quote: "There is something to it when the users manual says "use factory ammo."  We have to do our best and turn out quality reloads with this gun."

 

That is very true, Jeff!   😁  I also use a Lee / EGW undersize die.  Some brands still wouldn't fit even after reaming the chamber. 😄

 

 

 

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