The Experts Agree: The 1911 Sucks!



I promised Crapgame that I wouldn’t gloat.

But a very well-known gunblogger and 1911 gunsmith has come out against the 1911 design:

Hilton Yam: My Personal Path Away From The 1911

SaysUncle picked up the story, and it’s going to get a lot of attention.


Shootout at the Gun Blog Corral: Stuck in the Middle with You

Bring Popcorn

Bring Popcorn

What’s that old saying?  “Life would be easy if it weren’t for other people”.

Do you like guns?  If you’re here, you probably do.

Do you know a lot about guns?  Some of you do, some of you don’t.  Some are aware of where you stand on the gun knowledge spectrum, and others are not.

Do you want to talk about and learn about guns?  Once again, if you’re here, you probably do.

It would be great if we could all discuss the things we like and learn more about them.  But like any activity, once you add people into the mix it can get pretty complicated and annoying.


1911 – It Still Sucks, Even the Expensive Ones

Les Baer - Lemons for Sale!

Les Baer - Lemons for Sale!

Wow.  What is it with Les Baer 1911s?

First, in our post about the relative quality of  1911s, Glocks and Tauruses (Tauri?), we recounted the story of a Les Baer 1911 Premier II ($1800+ MSRP) that left their factory despite requiring 2 grown men to draw the slide back.  Gun Tests magazine explored that incident in detail.

Now, from the reduntantly-named WilyIrishman at DayAtTheRange, we have the story of another Les Baer Premier II, this one falling to pieces in less than 16,000 rounds.  “So to review, that’s two broken slide stops, a link pin, a safety, a sear spring and a bushing in less than 16,000 rounds, which is an average of 1 broken part ever 2500 rounds or so.

The .45acp is a low-pressure round (21,000 psi vs. 35,000 psi for 9mm according to SAAMI).  With modern steels, there is no excuse for a gun in the price range of the Premier II breaking (let alone multiple times) while firing a low-pressure round like the .45acp.

So, is it the brand?  The model?  Or is the design just that trouble-prone?

AK goes KaBoom

AK goes Kaboom

AK goes Kaboom

From Liveleak:

AK goes Kaboom

There’s no such thing as a perfect gun design.  Kabooms happen, and not just to .40 Glocks.

Kabooms even happen to 1911’s (which often have an unsupported chamber, something that 1911 fans throw mud at Glock about):

Excess Frugality leads to… A Range Mishap (1911 KaBoom)

1911 kaboom pics
“Most .45 acp’s don’t have supported chambers, especially 1911’s, and if you look at the 2nd pic, the case head nearly completely separated, …”

1911 Kaboom! – Snowflakes in Hell

My 1911 goes Kaboom

1911 Kaboom

Images for 1911 kaboom

Ahead of their time (ASP & Devel modifications to Smith & Wesson pistols)

ASP Conversion

ASP Conversion

Today, the compact service-caliber pistol is a staple of the gun industry: the Glock 26/27, Ruger LC9, Kel Tec PF9, Sig P290, Kimber Solo, Rohrbaugh, various Kahr models.  But that is a recent trend.  Until the last few decades, shooters had almost no factory options available to them if they wanted a compact pistol that fired a full-power cartridge.

The trend began on 2 paths: one path represented by the hard work that gunsmiths and manufacturers did to create the chopped-down Officer’s model of 1911, and the other path followed by the work of 2 gunsmiths to heavily modify full-size Smith&Wesson pistols into something smaller and handier.  As there is no shortage of people to explore every aspect of the 1911 design, this article will examine that second path.