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  1. J

    1911 Magazines and Controlled Feed

    So much debate over which magazine is "best" for this or that 1911 pistol warrants pointing to a few things that seem to have escaped notice by many. There are two basic magazine types. One is the modern version with the parallel feed lips and early, abrupt release point, and the original...
  2. J

    1911 School: Series 80

    We're all acquainted with Colt's Series 80 safety system, love it or hate it. Its roots cn be traced all the way back to the mid-1930s when a few people became concerned with the fact that the 1911 pistol would fire if dropped straight onto its muzzle from a height of about 5 feet onto a hard...
  3. J

    1911 School: Series 70 explained

    Almost as soon as Colt introduced the Series 80 pistols, they began to be denigrated by the purists, and all the pre-Series 80s...whether they were built in 1912 or 1982...were to become known as "Series 70" guns...even the pistols not made by Colt. Now, it seems that even Colt has taken to...
  4. J

    Troubleshoot Thursday: Colt Series 80 Government Model

    The year was 2002...or maybe it was 2003. Memory is a funny thing sometimes. A young friend of a friend found his way to my humble abode with a nice, new Colt. Nothin' fancy. Just a solid, blue Government Model that came with a Checkmate 7-round magazine with the "Hybrid" feed lips. It was...
  5. J

    1911 Oddities

    For this one, instead of a troubleshooting teaser, I thought I'd just tell the story of two pistols. The first was an old Thompson Auto Ordnance that I came to own as payment for some work I'd done on another pistol for a guy. I figured that if it'd work for a couple thousand rounds or so, it'd...
  6. J

    Troubleshoot this one.

    Study this photo and tell me what's happened. It's a little hard to see because of photobucket's logo, so look close.
  7. J

    1911 Oddities

    Here's one that's been showing up of late. First on a couple Springfields, and most recently on a Commander=-length Ruger. It's not a common thing, but it does happen. This time, I'll show the problem and the cause. No brain wrackin' this time. Just goes to show how much QC is in play these...
  8. J

    Pre Series 70 Colt odd problem

    The year was 1983...I think...and a guy walked in with a Colt Government Model, circa 1970. Fairly high mileage gun with a lot of vertical slop frame to slide. Lifting the front of the slide made a good bit of the recoil spring visible. Sloppy. Owner wanted a little tuneup and a new barrel...
  9. J

    Colt Trouble

    Colt 0991 Series 80 Enhanced Government Model, circa 2001. I was living in Rural Hall at the time. Neighbor bought it lightly used from a local dealer. Pistol was dead reliable, and never missed a beat. About 1500 rounds into it, he noticed something odd with the brass. A weird "U" shaped...
  10. J

    Magazines!

    Inevitably, the talk eventually turns to magazines, and over the years people have asked me why I'm such a hound for the tapered feed lips of the "Hybrid" and the standard old USGI sticks. I try to explain it as carefully as I can, but many can't seem to see it...mainly because they've only...
  11. J

    Trouble, Trouble: Early Norinco

    A friend bought one of the first Norinco 1911s that arrived in the US of A back in the early 90s. It laid in his safe, unfired for a couple years. He decided to take it out and stretch its legs, along with 500 rounds of PMC ball. When he got home and field stripped the gun to clean it...he...
  12. J

    Troubleshooting: It's the little things

    The troubleshooting series that we just participated in was a partial compilation of the oddball things that I've seen over the years. Not all of them, of course, but representative of how small issues can confuse and confound...and how they can bring a pistol to a screeching halt. How just...
  13. J

    Troubleshoot Finale'.

    Unnamed semi-custom 5-inch gun with two problems. Owner called me on a rainy Saturday afternoon. First problem was intermittent failure to go to battery. All critical frame and barrel specs were good. Magazines not the problem. Extractor wasn't clocking, or at least not enough to cause a...
  14. J

    Troubleshoot Thursday: Another Springfield

    Late 90s production Springfield Champion. Intermittent failure to go to or return to battery. most often on the top two rounds but can occur at any place in the magazine. Slide stopped about a quarter inch out of battery. Slide could sometimes be pushed into battery, but usually not. Feed and...
  15. J

    Troubleshoot Thursday: GI Springfield.

    This one was mine. Still is, in fact. Good pistol once I got rid of the ILS and replaced the cheap two-piece barrel. It was one of the early ones. Not one of the first "blocky" frames, but early. 2002...I think. Noticed a little hitch right away. On the first magazine, actually. Fed...
  16. J

    Troubleshoot an early Series 80 Colt.

    It was summer 1980 something. The day dawned like any other. The phone rang. An unfamiliar voice on the other end...the friend of a friend who gave up my number. The guy had a problem with his new to him Series 80 Government Model. "It won't work" is the only description he gave me. When...
  17. J

    Troubleshoot a fairly new Taurus 1911

    The Gun Store in Lexington had a new Taurus in the showcase...probably 3-4 years ago. Nice lookin' pistole' but there was a hitch on the gitalong. They'd just discovered it as I walked in. The magazine was a serious pill to remove. I'm talkin' grit your teeth and set your heels hard. It was...
  18. J

    Troubleshoot a fairly old Springfield.

    A guy called me one bright Sunday morning and described a problem he was having with an early Springfield 1911A1. He'd just bought it at a gun show a day earlier and went to burn up some ammo. Seems that the hammer was following the slide on every shot. Not to half cock. All the way down...
  19. J

    Troubleshoot an old Ithaca.

    Back in the dear, dead days before the 1968 Gun Control Act, local gun shows were a veritable bazaar for anyone hoping to score a USGI 1911 or 1911A1. Often stacked on tabletops like so much cordwood, the good ones sold for about 35 dollars and a rough example could be had for as little as 15...
  20. J

    Troubleshoot an old Colt.

    Up early this AM, and my thoughts turned to problem chillun that have found their way onto my bench. A particularly interesting case came to mind in the form of a post-war Commercial Colt that had first belonged to his grandpappy...then to his pappy...and finally fell to him. Serial number...
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