Springfield/Warren 9mm 1911 Endurance Test: Report #11

16-Oct-12 – 20:02 by ToddG

18,651 rounds 9 stoppages 0 malfunctions 1 parts breakages

Last week began with an unusual turn of luck. Jason Burton of Heirloom Precision happened to be in the Dallas/Fort Worth area at the same time as me. He generously offered to look over the test gun and declared it very well done. Sincere thanks to Jason for taking time out of his own busy schedule to help with the 1911 test.

The pistol ran exceptionally during the 3-day Law Enforcement Pistol class I taught in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. The shooter, however, didn’t do as well. Three times I engaged the safety after dropping the slide during a slidelock reload. I pressed out and got nothing from the trigger. Each time I did a tap-rack (apparently getting my thumb atop the safety and the safety disengaged without thinking about it). It was only during the third instance that I realized what was happening. Obviously, these mistakes don’t count against the gun.

However, something that will count against the gun was the first part breakage of the test: the mainspring housing pin broke in half. It’s impossible to know when it broke, but it was discovered at 18,633 rounds when half the pin was found on the range floor. I contacted Springfield Custom Shop and was told it’s something they’ve seen before with the S&A magwell. A couple of replacement pins are on the way, and in the meantime I simply cannibalized the pin from the backup gun.

The pin breakage did not shut the gun down, but the pin (or rather, the half still in the gun) did walk itself part way out over the course of a magazine’s shooting. I wouldn’t purposely want to shoot the gun extensively in that configuration. (it’s worth noting that the awesome VCD Grips that have played such a big role in improving my 1911 shooting also come in a magwell version that traps the pin and would have prevented this from becoming a problem)

In terms of shooting, things continue to smooth out with the 1911 though I haven’t spent as much time practicing (and dry firing in particular) as I should lately. In particular, F.A.S.T. runs in class have been a lot more consistent with about half being clean under five seconds. I also shot the infamous Humbler (aka, the 700 point aggregate) and despite being impatient on the slow- and timed-fire strings managed a 637-19X.

I’m hoping to get another practice session before leaving for the Indianapolis AFHF class this weekend.

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:


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  1. 5 Responses to “Springfield/Warren 9mm 1911 Endurance Test: Report #11”

  2. Wow. That’s like, an AWESOME, demonstration of how manual safeties are inherently disadvantageous for gun fighting.

    I’d hardly consider you to need more training on the platform, so “training is key” obviously isn’t the answer.

    By Tyler on Oct 16, 2012

  3. Tyler — On the contrary, it’s purely a training scar that came about from a bad practice habit.

    By ToddG on Oct 16, 2012

  4. I think we’d all agree you’ve got plenty of experience…but we all have our ‘moments.’ If you’re demonstrating for a class, it becomes the ‘teachable moment.’

    How many times have we all screwed up something we’ve done a 1000 times for no apparent reason? Maybe just the very slightest distraction, mind on something else? “I gotta make sure I remember to call so-and-so after class today…” or whatever. Its called being human. As long as it happened on the range, nobody got hurt, and you learn from it, keep moving forward.


    By BOSS on Oct 17, 2012

  5. In general, I prefer “pin covered” grips, since any time you’re going to have the MSH out of the gun, the grip panels will likely be off anyway.

    (I have square-bottom pin-covered VZs on my Pro.)

    By Tam on Oct 17, 2012

  6. As Tam says, if you’re not breaking gun parts you’re not shooting it enough. Hadn’t thought about mainspring housing pin breakage before, but considering the cyclic stress on the MSH it’s obviously something I overlooked.

    Methinks I need to add to the number of bits that are on the scheduled replacement list.

    Thanks, Todd.

    By Alien on Oct 20, 2012

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