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Thread: Us guys & gals that carry 1911's.

  1. #1
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    Hi everyone,

    I have been open carrying my 1911 Kimber TLE Custom 2 for about a year now, and from what I've heard through the grapevine if its true or not is that the 1911's work better with FMJ rounds. I've heard the pro's and con's with the Hydrashock rounds and don't particularly favor them much, but I do understand the over penatrating capabilities of the full metal jackets.

    So my question to you all is, as far as concerning 1911 pistols, what type of ammo is best, brand wise, and the reasons why you utilize that ammo for self defense, all and any information would be greatly appreciated!!

    -hellstorm702

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    Regular Member Superlite27's Avatar
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    The 1911 was designed for use with round nose bullets, but I've run HydraShoks in my Springfield Armory without a hitch. However, when I started packing my STI, the tolerances were a whole lot tighter. I've never had a problem with any factory ammo, but I've run lead semi-wadcutters through it and it was a jam-o-matic. I'm guessing because of bullet profile, because when I switched back to round nose, it worked just fine. This made me a little apprehensive since thisis one of my carry gunsand the profile of a hollow point isn't that much different than a SWC (even thoughHP's are jacketed and SWC's are cast)

    Since the 1911 is an uncontrolled feed firearm, I think the round nose of the bullet is more reliable to bounce off the roof of the chamber when feeding than the flat dimension of a hollow point. Not that I've ever had a problem with jacketed bullets of any kind. The only problem I've ever had was with cast bullets.

    Even so, after performing my own research for my firearm (my STI has a 3" barrel) I wanted something that had enough velocity to ensure expansion of the hollow point, yet feed relaibly. So, I went out in my back yard, set up my chronograph, and ran a wide variety of factory self defense ammo through it to find what worked best for me.

    What I finally settled on was 1 Hornady 200gr. +P in the chamber (Don't have to worry about it feeding because it's already there!) and Glaser165 gr. +P Pow R' Ball's in the magazine.

    I got similar velocities out of both the Hornady and the Pow R' Balls, (The Remington Golden Sabres completely sucked for youRemington fans. We're talking 700-800 fps! Wellbelow what the box advertised. Did they test these out of a rifle?)so I opted for a Hornady in the pipe because it was35 gr. heavier at a similar velocity to the Pow R' Balls. (Around 1000-1100) I chose the Pow R' Balls for follow up shots for reliability. (They tested near 1100-1150 fps. NEARLY the 1225 advertised on the box.) I still have the velocity, but whatI lose in weight, Igain in having a polymer round nose.

    (Note: The 165 gr. HydraShoks had the closest spread, therefore were the most consistent all around 950-980 fps out of a 3". The 230 gr. HydraShoks were similarly close butdropped to around 850-870 fps. I'm guessing because of the weight.Good, but not as good as the Hornadys, yet still WAY above the widely spread Golden Sabrestaking aleisurely stroll to the target at700-800)

    Just my personal opinion, nothing "scientifically proven", butin my mind, I still get the expansion of a hollow point, with the relaible feedingof a round nose with the Pow R' Balls.

    BTW: That's just for my45. If I'm packing my XDm40, it's Winchester RangerT's all the way.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    I use 230gr JHP +P Federal HSTs in all of my .45s. Don't know of a better round for both penetration and expansion--even through heavy denim or leather.
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

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    Regular Member elixin77's Avatar
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    I have a Taurus PT1911, and from my experience with it, it doesn't like to feed JHP rounds through it. When I hand cycle, there is a lot more resistance then if I were hand cycling FMJ rounds. The bullet would catch where the barrel and the ramp meet, and there wasn't/isn't anything I can do about it. Keep in mind, I have not shot JHP rounds from my gun, so I can just be flat out wrong, and the Taurus would take JHP rounds just fine.

    I know they make some magazines that provide a higher angle that the bullets sit at, but those are a bit pricey.
    Taurus PT1911 .45 ACP. Carried in condition 1, with a total of 25 rounds.

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    Regular Member Huck's Avatar
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    I figure when in doubt use what the gun was originallydesigned to use and that was FMJs. That's allI have, and ever will have, for my Springfield 1911.
    "You can teach 'em, but you cant learn 'em."

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    Regular Member Deanimator's Avatar
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    My first handgun was a Colt Series 70 MkIV which I bought in 1979. When I first bought it, it wouldn't feed hardball but was 100% reliable with the 200gr. "flying ashtrays". After it broke in, it fed anything.

    I carry nothing but hollowpoints, jacketed or lead, in everything I carry. I use the 200gr. Hornady TAP in my Norinco M1911. I wouldn't carry anything that wouldn't feed hollowpoints.

    I'll defend a good shoot every day. There's no defending a through and through that kills somebody's kid.
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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    A ramped barrel will GREATLY improve feeding of non-ball ammo in a 1911. And if you don't have the option of a ramped barrel, having a gunsmith "fluff and buff" your ramp, chamber, and ejection port will also GREATLY improve feed and cycling of "oddball" ammo.

    My Para has a ramped barrel, which was fitted, and polished by a VERY good gunsmith. It will feed just about anything I put through it. I've never tried SWC, or non-jacketed (bare lead) rounds, so I can't speak to them. But I've run just about every popular "defense" ammo through it without a hitch. CorBon, Ranger, HydraShok, Gold Dot--they all just feed, go bang, and eject with Swiss-watch-like precision...

    I think the stock Colt-style non-ramped barrels might be a little more finicky about the profiles of different non-FMJ bullets with regards to feeding, but like I said, a good gunsmith can usually fix that with a light polishing and re-fitting.

    I'm currently carrying Winchester Supreme Bonded PDX1 230gr ammo, but sometimes I carry Federal HydraShok 230gr. They both feed, fire, and cycle "like buttah"...
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    It doesn't matter whether "1911's work better with FMJ rounds". It only matters what works in your gun, whether it's a 1911, XD, Glock, or Hi-Point.

    Don't pay any attention to what works in someone else's gun, unless they have the same exact model you have. Even then, only use it as a guideline, and don't trust that ammo until you have a couple of hundred flawless rounds through your own personal gun (assuming your gun is already properly broken in with 500+ rounds).


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    elixin77 wrote:
    I have a Taurus PT1911, and from my experience with it, it doesn't like to feed JHP rounds through it. When I hand cycle, there is a lot more resistance then if I were hand cycling FMJ rounds. The bullet would catch where the barrel and the ramp meet, and there wasn't/isn't anything I can do about it. Keep in mind, I have not shot JHP rounds from my gun, so I can just be flat out wrong, and the Taurus would take JHP rounds just fine.

    I know they make some magazines that provide a higher angle that the bullets sit at, but those are a bit pricey.
    My previous PT1911 (gotta replace that soon... sigh.) ran fine on Federal HST's, but I don't think I put any through it until after about 300-400 rounds of Winchesterwhite boxand American Eagle FMJ's.



  10. #10
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    i dream of the priviledge of owning a 1911 someday.

  11. #11
    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Superlite27 wrote:
    Since the 1911 is an uncontrolled feed firearm
    False.

  12. #12
    Regular Member Superlite27's Avatar
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    marshaul wrote:
    Superlite27 wrote:
    Since the 1911 is an uncontrolled feed firearm
    False.

    You are correct.I have mistakenly reversed my terminology. Here is a write-up from a guy called 1911Tuner from M1911.org where I got my information awhile back.

    http://forum.m1911.org/showthread.php?t=9178




    Controlled Feed Principles [/b]



    Guess it's time to do a thread on the Controlled Feed principle. Seems that many don't have a full grasp on exactly what it means and how it works. So...since part of the mission of the forum is to educate...Here ya'll go.

    The system is actually pretty simple. It's in understanding how it works that throws so many people off the trail. Simply put...The cartridge must remain under full control of the gun from the time the magazine is locked in until the empty case clears the ejection port.

    Much is made of the angled feed causing problems. Much ado about nothing. It's not supposed to feed in a straight line. Or another way...The cartridge is SUPPOSED to dip into the feed ramp. That's part of how it's kept captive as the magazine starts to lose control of it. The feed ramp angle is precise. 31 degrees + 1/2 degree, minus nothing, at a prescribed depth of .400-.420 inch from the top of the frame rail


    As the bullet nose dips and strikes the ramp, it's under tension...for lack of a better term...between the slide and the ramp. The magazine still has a grip, but it's gradually relinquishing that grip...and something has to take over. Nose-diving into the ramp keeps linear pressure on the cartridge between the ramp and the slide. Knock the barnacles off your thinkin' caps here.
    If the round was supposed to feed in a straight line, the gun wouldn't even need a feed ramp, much less a ramp at such a precise angle and depth. Note that the ramp is also curved. That works to keep the bullet nose contained on the sides, and keeps it tracking straight. The curve and the angle literally aim the round into the chamber.

    The bullet ogive is also important. The angles have to work together in order for the controlled feed to function as intended. Bullet length forward of full diameter is also important. If the cartridge is too far forward in the magazine when it hits the ramp, full control is compromised...or lost.

    The corner at the top of the feed ramp also must not be altered except when correcting the feed ramp angle. If the cartridge isn't deflected upward into the barrel ramp...often mistakenly referred to as the "Barrel Throat"...at a steep enough angle, it strikes the barrel ramp too low.

    When it does that, it pushes the barrel forward...and when the barrel moves forward too early, it also cams UP too early. This increases the angle of cartridge entry and brings about the well-known Three-Point Jam. A too-long link has the same effect, but with different mechanics.

    If the round hits the barrel ramp above center, it works to keep the barrel down against the frame bed, keeping the angle correct for the horizontal break-over and chambering. Once the cartridge is horizontal, or neraly so, and deep into the chamber, the barrel is free to cam into
    lockup. The noted gap between the lower edge of the barrel ramp and top corner of the frame ramp helps to insure that the cartridge will enter the barrel ramp above centerline and well forward of the corner. This is also an aid to keeping the barrel down in the bed during the initial feeding phase.

    The angled approach is also a requirement for the rim to get under the extractor correctly. If the feed angle is reduced...straightened out, as some are fond of saying...the bottom corner of the extractor hook is positioned very close to the rear face of the rim. A small variation in case rim can make contact there, and cause a stoppage. Lightly radiusing the bottom corner of the extractor hook nose is done to provide a little extra clearance there...for the reason of varying case rim diameters...but it won't take care of an incorrect feed angle. The angled ramp insures that the rim approaches the hook from well underneath.

    Okay...the cartridge is deflected up into the chamber. The forward radius of the bullet ogive is in contact with the roof of the chamber...but what it that cartridge is not only too short, but the ogive is also too wide. The short cartridge moves farther out of the magazine when it takes its necessary dive. That makes the dive steeper, and the resulting upward delfection is also steeper. The bullet ogive hits the chamber roof farther back and at a steeper angle...and you have another variation of the Three-Point Jam...except this one is jammed tighter. In extreme cases, this one can almost mimic the Bolt-Over Base failure to feed.

    Positive magazine control of the round depends largely on spring tension. This isn't an issue when the magazine is past half-full, but as the magazine loses rounds, the tension degrades. Most important in controlling the last round...when spring loading is at a minimum...it requires a helping hand to prevent the last round from moving too far forward and possibly escaping
    under the inertial effects of recoil, which...in a .45 caliber 1911...is a pretty violent, slam-bang affair. That helping hand comes in the form of a tiny little bump on top of the magazine follower. Without it, the cartridge is free to roam...and often does. It may not cause a stoppage if it moves too far forward...even if it doesn't completely escape...but it feeds at a straighter angle, which...as we've already covered...isn't good. It's not good for reliability and it;s not good for the extractor. The extractor wasn't designed to snap over the rim...not even the external extractors. The externals are simply more tolerant of the occurrence, but they'll still suffer damage if forced to do it for very long. At the least, the coil springs that drive them will
    weaken much faster because they're being compressed farther than they're supposed to. Some may even compress enough to go into coil bind...which damages a coil spring quickly.

    So, in summary...

    The round is properly under forced, positive control from at least three points from the instant the slide hits it.
    By steps:
    1...Slide, magazine lips, and spring tension.
    2...Slide, feed ramp, and magazine lips/tension.
    3...Slide, extractor, and barrel ramp.
    4... Slide, extractor, chamber roof and the top corner of the barrel ramp.
    5...Slide, extractor, chamber walls, and chamber shoulder.

    If the gun loses partial control of the cartridge from any one point...due to whatever is incorrect... it sacrifices a percentage of the reliability that the gun was built with.

    Common wisdom has stated that the 1911 was designed to feed hardball, and any variation of that bullet shape causes problems. That's partly true, but it's not the fact that the bullet doesn't have a round nose that causes the problems. It's incorrect ogive geometry too-short overall length of the cartridge that does it.


    ETA: link

  13. #13
    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    That's exactly what I was going to share, but I figured there was a good chance you'd realize your terminological error.

    1911Tuner is the man, BTW.

    Edit: If anybody is interested, here are a couple of interesting articles which touch heavily upon this point (specifically the second article):

    Magazine Analysis

    Magazine Analysis, Part 2

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    hellstorm702 wrote:
    ┬*

    Hi everyone,

    ┬* I have been open carrying my 1911 Kimber TLE Custom 2 for about a year now, and from what I've heard through the grapevine if its true or not is that the 1911's work better with FMJ rounds.┬* I've heard the pro's and con's with the Hydrashock rounds and don't particularly favor them much, but I do understand the over penatrating capabilities of the full metal jackets.

    ┬* So my question to you all is, as far as concerning 1911 pistols, what type of ammo is best, brand wise, and the reasons why you utilize that ammo for self defense, all and any information would be greatly
    appreciated!!┬*┬*

    ┬*-hellstorm702

    If your Kimber is of the quality of my two Kimber, it shouldn't have a problem with hollow points. Some guns do have problems with some ammo, either a failure to feed, a failure to eject or simply the round doesn't group as well as other manufacturer's.

    I have many 1911's and I've ( knock on wood) never found ammo that has problems functioning. But, I do not test as many brands as do writers for gun magazines when they are reviewing a gun.

    Decide on the HP that you feel is best for your purpose (I assume for defense) and try a box. If it works, shoot more of the same ammo to be sure. I shoot cheaper ammo, usually FMJ, for target shooting and keeping my skills up to date. I also shoot some of my HPs just to be certain. If I change to a different HP, I start the process over again.

    By the way, most HPs will shoot accurantly enough for self-defense. Don't get hung up on having to have ammo because the test showed 1.5. inch grouping compared to brand x that had 2.0 inch grouping.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    open4years wrote:

    By the way, most HPs will shoot accurantly enough for self-defense. Don't get hung up on having to have ammo because the test showed 1.5. inch grouping compared to brand x that had 2.0 inch grouping.
    This is a very good point to keep in mind. Grouping is a function of the bench rest shots done in the gun mags. Actual grouping is more a function of the shooter's skill. That I can group, offhand, 2" at 12 yards with my SIG 1911s doesn't mean you can. And does mean Todd Jarret could do an inch or better. Find what groups best in your gun with you shooting. That is trial and error. And fun, as well.
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

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    I didn't answer about the ammo that I use. Personally, I put great weight only the only study that used different ammunitions to kill living creatures. I may have the spelling wrong, but it was called the Strausberg test.

    The sheep were all wired with heart monitors. They were all shot from the same distance and shot in the same location. There were 800 sheep used. I don't know, but I would imagine the sheep were sheared first. Even so, the amount left should be equivalent to a shirt and light jacket.

    There was one brand of ammunition that stood out. It was MagSafe. It is basically a hollow point with (then) bird shot in the cavity and glued in place. A .380 round of MagSafe was more effective than a .45 hollow point of any brand. I believe the time of death, with the MagSafe, was 4 seconds. Remember, that was just one bullet used.

    However, despite this test that was performed indepently and without MagSafe, or any ammunition manufacters knowledge, the MagSafe and similar ammunition has been ruled basically worthless as it doesn't penetrate deep enough.

    I believe this is based on new FBI standards that requires (I think) 12 inches of penetration. Another advantage of such ammunition is that it has a very low chance of over-penetration. That alone leads to it's lower status. A photo circulating on the net shows someone who was shot in the arm with MagSafe. To me the wound was impressive, but a x-Ray revealed that the shot that penetrated, was just under the skin of the chest.

    MagSafe themselves have changed their product to achieve greater penetration. The went from birdshot to #2 shot. Now the shot penetrates deeper but with less pellets as the #2 shot is bigger and fewer of them can fit into the round.

    Did this help things or make it worse? Was the number of wound channels what killed the sheep so effectively? Now bigger wound channels but less of them. The rounds are too expensive to do much testing with them.

    Another ammunition that I use is DoubleTap. Recently Winchester came out with bonded HPs. These expand better and more uniformly. This would be a good choice.

    As for the FBI requirements, I think they are a bit foolish. Twelve inches? The heart, lungs, aorta, etc., are not that deep. Matter of fact, 12 inches might over penetrate in my body with a frontal shot.

    I'm a bit on the fence right now. I do believe that multiple wound channels, no matter how small, are better than one bigger channel. What if situations were such that you only had one chance for a frontal shot? I would choose more channels. After all, that is what is so lethal about shotguns. That is my five dollars worth. Too long of a reply for only two cents!

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    Dreamer wrote:
    A ramped barrel will GREATLY improve feeding of non-ball ammo in a 1911. And if you don't have the option of a ramped barrel, having a gunsmith "fluff and buff" your ramp, chamber, and ejection port will also GREATLY improve feed and cycling of "oddball" ammo.

    My Para has a ramped barrel, which was fitted, and polished by a VERY good gunsmith. It will feed just about anything I put through it. I've never tried SWC, or non-jacketed (bare lead) rounds, so I can't speak to them. But I've run just about every popular "defense" ammo through it without a hitch. CorBon, Ranger, HydraShok, Gold Dot--they all just feed, go bang, and eject with Swiss-watch-like precision...

    I think the stock Colt-style non-ramped barrels might be a little more finicky about the profiles of different non-FMJ bullets with regards to
    feeding, but like I said, a good gunsmith can usually fix that with a light polishing and re-fitting.

    I'm currently carrying Winchester Supreme Bonded PDX1 230gr ammo, but sometimes I carry Federal HydraShok 230gr. They both feed, fire,
    and cycle "like buttah"...
    A huge ditto about having a gunsmith polishing the ramp, etc. My first 1911 was a Colt Commander .45. It had more FTE, stove piping, than feeding but I did have FTF on occassions. I took it to a pawn store and they told me their gunsmith could fix it.

    I was lucky to have gotten a good gunsmith. He polished the ramp and it looked like he changed the angle more towards horizontal. He ground, polished and blued a ramp at the rear of the ejection port. This is now common on all of the 1911's I've seen. I'm not to keen on the ejectors on most 1911's as I think it fixes a problem that doesn't exist. That Colt never had a FTF or FTE in the 30+ years that I've had it. It will take any ammo you give it.

  18. #18
    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    The "Strasbourg tests" are often considered to have been a hoax.

    http://www.gunandgame.com/forums/gen...ml#post1005277

    Even many of those who believe the tests did take place question their merit, for the following reason:

    ...it was concluded that the most effective ammunition available for an unobstructed lung strike is the high velocity type which uses pre-fragmented or fragmenting projectiles or those types that cause immediate expansion on impact.4

    "I thought the methodology was plausible, provided they were trying to determine what ammo was best for collapsing goats by shooting them in the lung." --Tim Burke, MD
    http://www.thegunzone.com/strasbourg.html

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    Regular Member Brimstone Baritone's Avatar
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    What a great Dr.! I would have never guessed that such a test would be most conclusive to the subjects of the test. [/sarcasm]

    It's almost as if he is implying that the test needs to be performed on living humans. :shock:

    If that's the case, we have several thousand people scheduled for execution. Let's go line up the firing squad.
    There was a time that the pieces fit, but I watched them fall away, mildewed and smoldering, strangled by our coveting. I've done the math enough to know the dangers of our second guessing. Doomed to crumble, unless we grow and strengthen our communication. -Tool, "Schism"

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    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    I have a Sig GSR 1911 the once the feed ramp was polished will feed anything I put into it. @ 12 yards I have 2 inch groups.

    I also had a Springfield 1911 chambered in 9mm that shot any type of round in 1.5 inch groups at the same distance.



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    It can depend on the make and model moreso than the design.

    A Colt 1911 might feed certain rounds while a Para 1911 may not or vice versa...

    If you experience stove-piping or jamming with a particular brand or type of ammo, try something else.

    My old Para did not like shooting anything made by Federal... so I switched to Corbon (this was years ago). My current XD loves eating Hornady +P rounds.

    Really the only brand of ammo that I have never once had a problem with... not a single jam or misfire in all the hundreds of rounds fired in .40, .357 and .45 ACP is the Winchester Silver tips.

    They feed like a dream and are not terribly expensive.

    Plus if you ever run into a warewolf you will be prepared...



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    Lone Star Veteran Ian's Avatar
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    Gunslinger wrote:
    I use 230gr JHP +P Federal HSTs in all of my .45s. Don't know of a better round for both penetration and expansion--even through heavy denim or leather.
    +1 HST is the best.

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    I have acustom built Mk IV series 80 Colt and a Custom built STI 2011Compact (basically a VIP, but has a steel upper frame vs aluminumand a stainless slide). Both were built by a friend who is a master class shooter.

    The Colt has had the barrel throated,feedramp polished and the ejection port lowered and flared. It will shoot everything I have ever put through it including Glaser Safety Slugs,Black Tallons, Eldarado Starfires, Hydra Shocks, 180 gr SWC, 165 gr SWC, JHP, Remington snake shot and CCI snake shot. I caneven hand cycle empty cases through it.

    The STI has a ramped and fully supported barrel and the ejection port lowered and flared. It will shoot everything listed above except for the CCI snake shot which will hang up on the feed ramp.
    Revelation 1911 - And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

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    elixin77 wrote:
    I have a Taurus PT1911, and from my experience with it, it doesn't like to feed JHP rounds through it. When I hand cycle, there is a lot more resistance then if I were hand cycling FMJ rounds. The bullet would catch where the barrel and the ramp meet, and there wasn't/isn't anything I can do about it. Keep in mind, I have not shot JHP rounds from my gun, so I can just be flat out wrong, and the Taurus would take JHP rounds just fine.

    I know they make some magazines that provide a higher angle that the bullets sit at, but those are a bit pricey.

    So far,(500+ rounds) my PT 1911 has digested anything I fed it. I did have one recurring problem early on, where it would fire, load the next round and the trigger would lock. That was corrected by replacing the Taurus hammer (safety locking screw) with a Wilson combat hammer and sear set. No problems since then.
    You can't fix stupid, but you can vote it out of office

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    I've used Golden Saber 185 gr in each of the 1911s I carry. The only ammo I've had a problem with was some round nose lead.

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