Springfield/Warren 9mm 1911 Endurance Test: Report #26

13-Aug-13 – 23:14 by ToddG
49,174 rounds 14 stoppages 0 malfunctions 4 parts breakages

As reported last week, the SACS/Warren test gun suffered its second broken ejector. It was shipped back to Springfield at their expense on Monday the 5th and was back in my hands on Friday the 9th.

Candidly, I have mixed feelings about this breakage. A part that fails multiple times during a test is certainly troublesome but the breakage did not have any obvious negative effect on function. The pistol fired hundreds and hundreds of rounds after the break was discovered… and probably hundreds, possibly thousands of rounds before it was discovered.

A little experimentation and observation shows that the rear of the left magazine feed lip is just barely making contact with the ejector when the mag is inserted forcefully into the gun. This is the case with the Wilson, Metalform, and Tripp 10-round magazines but not with the factory supplied Springfield/Metalform 9-round magazines.

Since the gun has been back from SACS it’s fired more than 2,200 rounds without the slightest issue. Still, my attitude is now more a matter of when the ejector will break again rather than if it will break again. I’m not overly worried since the gun obviously continues to function reliably even without the ejector but if nothing else it’s an inconvenience to get it fixed. Not enough of an inconvenience to start using 9-round magazines, though, obviously.

sacswarren-randclpFurther tempting fate right before the 50,000 round mark is reached, I’ve begun using Rand CLP (now branded as Viking Tactics Rand CLP and endorsed by renowned instructor Kyle Lamb). Rand sent me two 4oz samples before this year’s SHOT Show but I promptly forgot about them until recently. Then I saw the write up at Modern Service Weapons and thought I’d give it a try. It’s been great so far but obviously there’s a long way to go before I can say it’s actually performing better than the Militec that’s protected my guns for more than a decade of high volume, low maintenance shooting. New magical lubricants come and go nearly daily in our industry and I’m always skeptical that the latest gun oil is really snake oil. But enough folks are giving Rand CLP the thumbs up that it might just be a better solution, pardon the pun.

The SACS/Warren gun itself is quickly closing in on the 50,000 round mark. Hopefully, that will happen with the next update in about a week.

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:

  1. 14 Responses to “Springfield/Warren 9mm 1911 Endurance Test: Report #26”

  2. I thought it was called an exstractor?

    By Samuel Suggs on Aug 14, 2013

  3. Gotta cash this reality check.

    Model: Rounds/Stoppages/Malfunctions/Breakages (update)
    1911: 49k/14/0/4 (report 26)
    P30: 50k/9/0/3 (week 25)
    Glock: 50k/8/0/1 (week 36)
    M&P: 50k/2/0/2 (week 25)
    HK45: 50k/1/1/1 (week 37)

    So sure, the sample size of two per model is tiny. And let’s ignore the fact that these 1911s each cost 2x-4x the others listed above. But when a semi-custom gun resulting from the collaboration of experienced smiths still has both more breakages and more stoppages than any of these off-the-shelf guns, it supports the idea that the platform is just plain outdated.

    To be clear, this isn’t anything against the testing or even the gun. Less than 0.03% failure rate is pretty amazing in a vacuum; it’s just less impressive in the context of cost, custom smithing, and other options.

    As I posted before, I really wonder how a normal, off-the-shelf 1911 would fare under such a testing regimen.

    Anyway, thanks again for all the hard work in testing these great guns, including the 1911, and sharing the results with us!

    In case it’s not too early to begin wondering about the next test gun, how about another low cost option? Taurus is really trying to turn their image around. Seems like a perfect candidate. (Yes, I’m serious.)

    By Curby on Aug 14, 2013

  4. I’d bet that you could file down the back edge of the magazine. Just taking off enough where it can touch the ejector. I’d also bet it wouldn’t hurt the magazine function if you were inclined to do it.

    By Ken Rihanek on Aug 14, 2013

  5. Curby — Numbers don’t lie. It’s simply a matter of what conclusions one draws from them. I’ll be discussing the gun’s reliability (in both absolute and comparative terms) in the 50,000 round post.

    By ToddG on Aug 14, 2013

  6. Regarding filing of the magazines, I’d say that filing down the ejector might make more sense seeing as how the gun ran fine while broken vs. filing multiple magazines. Less margin of error filing one item vs. “X” number of magazines.

    By JD on Aug 14, 2013

  7. Based on the numbers above at 50k, makes me glad to be running an M&P…

    By DocGKR on Aug 14, 2013

  8. Do you have the same faith in the 1911 as you did in the other pistols? Few people shoot as much as you and it seems a stoppage is rather rare for you; the 1911 seems to be changing that.

    By steve b on Aug 14, 2013

  9. In a recent 1911 operators class, the instructor , who is a well-known 1911 gunsmith, took each gun and trimmed the ejector arm back so it wouldn’t overhang the magazine well and contact an inserted magazine. Considering your gun ran well with a shorter ejector arm, perhaps Springfield could reduce shipping and repair costs and build the gun with a shorter ejector.

    By Tim on Aug 14, 2013

  10. I suspected you might have some clearance issues, but as I stated in the other thread, I really don’t know anything about 1911′s.

    By BKS on Aug 14, 2013

  11. Probably the biggest benefit of using a non-toxic CLP over militec is your own health more than performance differences.

    By EMC on Aug 14, 2013

  12. Todd, simply have SACS install a milspec/milspec profile ejector and call it good. It’s what your pistol is apparently (and repetitively) crying for anyhow, and, as you’ve noticed, there’s no degradation of functionality-and you’ll have one less broken part fragment rattling around your receiver potentially waiting to tie things up to worry about.

    By Jon Stein on Aug 15, 2013

  13. Say, not to change the subject or anything, but what’s the word on that Heirloom project? I’d be interested to see how a commander frame in 9mm would compare reliability wise. Also, if you don’t feel comfortable carrying that springfield, you should just donate it to me. You shouldn’t carry a potentially unreliable gun, so I’ll fall on my own sword and take that disaster of gunwork off your hands :P

    By John on Aug 15, 2013

  14. John — The Heirloom gun is in line waiting to be built. Jason is going to document the process as he goes to it will have to fit in between other projects that don’t require as much extra “admin” work to accomplish.

    I truly appreciate your willingness to carry this gun on my behalf. You’re a gentleman and a scholar.

    By ToddG on Aug 15, 2013

  15. Todd,
    Would like to get you a new bottle (new branding, etc.) of the RAND CLP. Please shoot me a note.
    Also, anyone wishing to receive a free sample can go to http://randbrands.com/pages/samples. Sending samples out along with a coupon code to purchase…

    Jon

    By JonM on Aug 25, 2013

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