Springfield/Warren 9mm 1911 Endurance Test: Report #30

26-Oct-13 – 13:01 by ToddG
57,257 14 stoppages 0 malfunctions 4 parts breakages

Lots of mechanical goings-on with the SACS/Warren gun since the last update and I am now officially moving into the realm of kitchen table 1911 tinkerer.

Wilson-414BS-9mmslidestopbulletproofAs mentioned last time, I’ve switched to the Wilson Bulletproof 9mm slide stop. It dropped right in and has proven 100% reliable over thousands of rounds and almost 500 slidelock reloads. While the thumb shelf doesn’t protrude quite as far outward as a typical 1911 slide stop, the flat surface (as opposed to the normal slope) is much more positive and results in fewer fumbles. Also, because it rides a fraction of an inch higher without the slope, the Wilson Bulletproof part allows me to get a slightly higher support hand grip on the gun without interfering with consistent lockback of the slide. About the only way it could get better would be if Wilson would start making the new semi-extended Bulletproof slide stop in a 9mm version.

As reported a week ago, I had some issues with the new black Wilson ETM 10rd 9mm magazines. After thorougly  cleaning the inside of the mag tubes and the followers, they got tested again and showed no signs of trouble. I’ve also left each of the six mags fully loaded in a gun for at least 24 hours and none of the followers became “stuck” like last time. I’m confident enough in them that I’ve gone to using the black ones as my concealed carry mags. I keep one in the gun and two on the belt with three others (unloaded) in reserve if any of the carry mags shows signs of wearing out. The stainless ETMs I use for practice are running without trouble even though some have gone more than 5,000 rounds on the same spring & follower.

And in further Wilson Combat love, the Wilson flat wire recoil spring kit is working perfectly in my test gun.

  • The 17# spring, as it shipped from Wilson, allowed the 9mm pistol to run without any stoppages whether I was shooting standard or +p rated ammunition. However, slide motion was clearly retarded and the muzzle movement in recoil was less than ideal.
  • Wilson Combat suggests cutting 2-3 coils from the spring for 9mm 5″ guns so I tried that. The gun was still 100% reliable but recoil became inconsistent. After talking to a buddy (thanks, Bill!) I polished the cut end of the spring and that fixed the problem.

On a lark I also bought 11#, 13#, and 15# Glock flat wire recoil springs because they are compatible with the Wilson guide rod.

  • The 13# spring provided an incredibly flat shooting experience but it lacked enough force to feed some FMJ (and all JHP) ammo that I tried when loading from a locked back slide. (as always, stoppages caused as a result of parts experimentation don’t count against the gun)
  • The 15# spring — after polishing per Bill’s advice — gives 100% proper function and is almost as nice shooting.

Between the 15# Glock spring and the cut Wilson spring I’d say the difference is negligible. If I was doing it again I wouldn’t bother buying the Glock springs. The only benefit of the Glock spring is that it’s slightly more convenient because it can be used as-is without modification, but since I’d take the time to polish the ends anyway it’s not particularly onerous to cut a few coils off the Wilson spring at the same time.

Finally, my rear Warren Tactical sight came loose during a shooting session a few days ago and had me thinking I’d completely lost the ability to do a press-out or even just plain hit the center of a target:


That windage was good for a few inches of POI shift at just seven yards! A wrench and some blue Loctite solved the problem handily, though. The witness mark on the sight and the serrations on the slide made getting the sight centered easy without having to worry about zeroing it at the range, too.

From a shooting standpoint, I continue to enjoy shooting the gun and struggling to master it. I’m becoming more attuned to the trigger: I’ve shot a couple perfect 7yd Dot Tortures with it over the past few weeks; and, on Friday I was shooting Bill Drills with .14 and occasionally .13 splits. Both my draws and reloads are getting cleaned up enough that I’m starting to feel like I know how to shoot a pistol again. My best official F.A.S.T. time since the last update was a 4.35 (clean / 1.40,.26 / 2.15 / .18, .19, .17).

With all the hardware issues sorted out for the time being, the next few weeks should be dedicated to much needed software improvements. My number one shooting goal between now and the end of the year is to turn in consistent sub-2s concealed reloads with this gun. Check back in a few weeks for the next report.

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. 10 Responses to “Springfield/Warren 9mm 1911 Endurance Test: Report #30”

  2. Todd where did you put the Loctite? On the Allen screw alone? For extra security apply Loctite to the Allen screw and the sight channel.

    From what you describe it sounds like the rear sight fits into the channel relatively loosely for two reasons 1. it moved & 2. you were able to reposition without a pusher or hammer and dowel. I would remove the sight and apply a liberal amount of Loctite to the channel and the sight base, reinstall, center and lock down with Loctite on the Allen screw.

    Front sights can benefit from Loctite too, even pinned sights. Typically the barrel bushing keeps the pin from falling down and out but it could depart the other way (up).

    By John O on Oct 27, 2013

  3. I have been following this from day one and appreciate the reports. So much so that I bought not one but two. I have nothing but good things to say about it. Keep up the good work/fun.

    By Scott E on Oct 27, 2013

  4. Why won’t the .45 version of the WC semi-extended version of the BP slide stop work in your 9mm 1911? A visual comparison of the two slide stops in my 9mm and .45 WC pistols leads me to believe they are the same, although I have not confirmed this with a micrometer.

    By Tom D on Oct 28, 2013

  5. What is most interesting to me is how the stoppage rates significantly dropped once the magazine spring issues were resolved.

    By Scott E on Oct 28, 2013

  6. I should have said

    “What is most interesting to me is how the stoppage rates significantly dropped once the magazine and recoil spring issues were resolved.”

    By Scott E on Oct 28, 2013

  7. It would be nice to see a timeline of when the stoppages occurred with what magazine/recoil spring were in at the time. That could provide some interesting results.

    By Scott E on Oct 28, 2013

  8. I just did a breakdown by going through the counts and all the reports. I am taking out the four breakages here just to focus on the stoppages portion only.

    Up to 12758 rounds There were 8 Failures using a Wolf #12 Variable and various magazines (mostly metalform and wilson).

    After that a Wolf #14 variable spring was installed.

    For the next 44498 rounds there were 5 Failures.

    Note that gives a total of 13 stoppages not 14 as listed. Report 12 listed an extra stoppage although the article says there were no issues. Not sure why this is or if I am missing something.

    The breakdown of the 5 failures are as follows:

    Report #25 – Double Feed. Mr. Green states Gun and Mag was in hot, dusty environment for 2 days without cleaning or lube. Mr. Green also states “… if I drop the slide gently by hand (which I’d consider a shooter induced stoppage)…”

    Report#24 – FTF.

    Report #23 – Failed to go into battery. Simple Tapping magazine resolved problem (Possible mag wasn’t seated properly).

    Report #17 – 1 Failure to Fire – Hammer dropped but no bang.

    Report#10. FTE. Recoil spring and firing spring swapped out day before.

    I am curious not that your are tinkering with the recoil spring if it will affect the reliability.

    Keep up the good work.

    By Scott E on Oct 28, 2013

  9. I’m not in the 1911 vs other guns foray, but it looks like you are fully infected at this point.

    happy shooting, dv

    By dustyvarmint on Oct 28, 2013

  10. I figured out where the extra stoppage came in. There are two #12 reports as weird as it sounds. It is not explicitly listed and you have to get to it through a weird way (select Report #12 scroll to the bottom and select Report #12 again).

    In either case it was a FTF.

    “The problem was quickly identified as debris in the magazine. Most of the magazines had been dropped repeatedly in the sandy red dirt and were clearly in need of cleaning.”

    By Scott E on Oct 29, 2013

  11. Todd, how has the slide/frame and slide/barrel fit held up on the 1911? Have you seen any significant loosening?

    By Mark on Oct 30, 2013

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