Convincing 1911 Pistols To Feed And Function

Here’s an an overview of 1911 reliability checks and needed corrections.

by RK Campbell

Despite the modern trend to highly reliable and well designed 1911-type handguns, we still see the occasional problem in feed reliability. Some of the problem comes with the current crop of foreign-produced budget pistols. They are minimal, but everyone has to start somewhere. These pistols are affordable and give many shooters on a tight budget a taste of the 1911’s good handling. There are also inexpensive domestic products that are not jewels or sterling examples of the gunmaker’s art. Many of these pistols are reliable only with full metal jacketed round nose ammunition. I have examined a few that would not feed even hard cast 230 grain lead bullets. As for hollow point ammunition anything other than the CorBon PowRBall is out of the question.

Many of these pistols are purchased for personal defense and the user just doesn’t understand why it will not feed anything stuffed in the magazine. There is also the issue of poorly made ammunition from south of the border or the Pacific Rim. This makes for poor utility and customer dissatisfaction. Some trade up to a better pistol but others come to us for a fix. When you look at the whole picture, ensuring reliability may be a complex issue. It isn’t as simple as a feed ramp polish, as the magazines, barrel hood and the ramp itself are all part of the issue. And it isn’t just the foreign produced pistols. The Auto Ordnance GI pistol is recommended for ball ammunition only but anyone who shoots enough needs to handload and one of the most popular accuracy loads of .45 ACP handloaders is a cast 200 grain semi-wadcutter bullet.

Read more in our July 2013 issue. Back issues are available.

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