|31,818 rounds||11 stoppages||0 malfunctions||2 parts breakages|
In case the photo above didn’t clue you in, the SACS/Warren gun suffered another small part breakage. After firing round number 31,704 successfully, the gun failed to fire on the next round. A quick glance at the gun showed a piece of metal stuck between the new round’s casehead and the breechface. A tap-rack cleared the problem and the gun continued to fire without further incident. After finishing the drill the pistol was inspected more closely. The ejector had broken. Even with the ejector essentially missing from the gun, it remained 100% reliable for the remaining 289 rounds of practice that day. Nonetheless, the test gun got put away and I loaded up the duplicate spare Warren 1911 for the ride home.
I traded a few emails with Dave Williams, the head of Springfield Armory Custom Shop. He recommended returning the gun to SACS for replacement & fitting of a new extractor. Nonetheless, as the gun was running properly I decided to keep shooting it. My hope was that it would get through one more practice session and the KSTG match on Tuesday night.
During the next practice session, the test gun shot approximately 400 rounds before problems began to occur. Ejection started to be erratic and slide velocity was noticeably inconsistent. Occasionally, the slide wouldn’t cycle quite far enough when the last round in a magazine was fired and the slide stop would only make it part way into the slide notch. The result was that the slide would fly closed as soon as the empty magazine was ejected. The problem came on suddenly and was very consistent.
You’ll also notice in the photo that the slide stop notch is slightly deformed. That’s been happening slowly over the past month or so. It wasn’t caused by the ejector breaking and probably exacerbates the issue of the premature slide drops.
All of the ammunition fired through the gun since the ejector broke had been +p: either military-spec green M882 or Federal 124gr +p HST. So I decided to try some standard pressure ammunition. Five rounds of 115gr Blazer TMJ resulted in five failures to eject. (note that these are not being counted against the gun; they occurred after the parts breakage had been identified and after Springfield advised me to send the gun in for repair)
Suffice to say, the gun is heading back to SACS. Springfield’s customer service has been phenomenal. They provided a FedEx overnight shipping label to get the gun back to the shop. Nonetheless, it was awfully impressive to see the gun work for about 700 rounds after the ejector broke. As anyone who’s read this blog for a while knows, every gun I’ve tested has broken small parts along the way. Shoot guns as hard as they get shot in these tests and you will break something. What matters most is whether the breakage shuts the gun down. If the gun continues to be functional for as little as fifty rounds after a part breaks, that means it is capable of firing all the ammo I normally carry when CCW’ing… and then some.
So for now, the backup gun is keeping my 5 Shot S.M.E. warm. It served well enough to win Tuesday’s match by a good margin. Once SACS is done with the repair and the test gun is returned, I’ll provide a detailed account of all the work they’ve done.
Train hard & stay safe! ToddG
You can also follow and discuss via the pistol-forum.com 2012-2013 Endurance Test thread.
Previous Springfield/Warren 9mm 1911 Endurance Test posts at pistol-training.com:
- Report #17
- Report #16
- Report #15
- Report #14
- Report #13
- Report #12
- Report #11
- Report #10
- Report #9
- Report #8
- Report #7
- Report #6
- Report #5
- Report #4
- Report #3
- Report #2
- Report #1
- Springfield/Warren 9mm 1911: The Magazines
- Springfield/Warren 9mm 1911: The Gun
- I Own 1911s
- Springfield Endurance Test Guns
- Why 1911?