3/10/2012 1:24pm, #1
I Drank the Koolaid and Bought the Harley Davidson of Handguns
After a very long time, I finally was able to talk Mrs. TEA into allowing me to purchase a 1911. It is an original Colt's Series 70 in .45 ACP manufactured in 1978.
I've always wanted a 1911 and wanted one that was as close to a USGI 1911A1 (i.e. WWII vintage 1911) as I could get, but one that I can shoot and not have to worry about babying because of collector's value. My Great Uncle Joe carried a 1911 and a Garand in WWII. Now I have both a Garand (International Harvester) and a 1911.
My Uncle Joe receiving his DSC from Ike in Normandy in June of 1944.
My new (to me) Series 70.
So, being a rainy day, I went to an indoor range in Joshua, just up the road from here. Not only is this my first 1911, this was my first time to shoot a 1911 and the first time I've even shot a pistol in a very long time (at least six or seven years).
I started off with American Eagle just to make sure that everything was working fine with the pistol. (all targets shot at 25yds)
My first magazine wasn't very impressive, but I don't think too awful for a total noob. I called the one in the wrist and the one in the hip (jerked the trigger).
I then shot 11 more seven round magazines of American Eagle (so, 84 rounds total) with one stove pipe on the second to last round of the last magazine.
After that, I tried some Bitter Root Valley 230gr FMJ reloads I got from Cheaper Than Dirt. No failures to feed or stovepiping out of 50 rounds of BVAC.
Then I tried Remington/UMC 230gr JHP to see how she likes hollow points. While shooting the Remington/UMC I suffered a catastrophic magazine failure. While dropping the magazine from the pistol, it bounced off the bench and onto the floor - spilling its guts. The floor plate popped off and the spring and follower followed. I put it back together and started shooting again.
The first magazine went fine, but I had a failure to feed on the second magazine. While loading the third magazine after putting the floor plate back in, the floor plate popped back out when I was pushing in round #5. After that, I had the same problem again two more times. Each time just before the magazine would come apart, I would have a failure to feed on the second to last round.
I took the magazine to one of the guys running the shop to make sure I was putting it back together properly (I have lots of experience taking apart and putting back together M14 mags but not 1911 mags). He said I was putting it back together correctly but that the magazine just looked worn out. The "ears" inside the magazine that are supposed to hold the floor plate in place were worn down. I purchased a new Kimber mag and was good to go.
After that, I had another failure to feed. I think it was the same round that had failed to feed on the previous magazine just before it fell apart for the last time. I tried to load it in the next magazine, and it failed to feed again. Just to make sure, I tried it a third time, and it still failed to feed. At this point, I am not sure to what extent the failures to feed the JHP were caused by the magazine and/or one bad round. Overall, I fed 49 Remington/UMC rounds through my 1911 and just had that one round that wouldn't feed - and it wouldn't feed repeatedly.
For the BVAC and Remington/UMC I got a new target and tried the Mozambique Drill.
I need to work on this one quite a bit more. Looks like I'm pulling to the right fairly consistently. Is that more symptomatic of poor sight alignment, jerking the trigger, or flinching?
3/10/2012 1:26pm, #2
A WWII 1911 Story
This is a copy of a letter my Uncle Joe Dawson wrote to his family after the battle of the Falaise Gap. This is one of many letters published in Cole Kingseed's From Omaha Beach to Dawson's Ridge: The Combat Journal of Captain Joe Dawson I thought you all may appreciate this.
Originally Posted by Joe Dawson
3/10/2012 1:29pm, #3
Uncle Joe's DSC Citation
Just in case y'all were curious:
Originally Posted by Distinguished Service Cross Citation:
Cole Kingseed largely relies on Ambrose's account in his book From Omaha Beach to Dawson's Ridge: The Combat Journal of Captain Joe Dawson for the details of Company G's ordeal on June 6, 1944, so replicates Ambrose's error.
Here is a link to his obituary, which provides a pretty good summary of his life - http://www.caller2.com/autoconv/funerals-Dec061998.html
3/10/2012 6:01pm, #4
A few thoughts:
- You and I have similar tastes in pistols, but I went the extra mile and made sure my arched mainspring housing had a lanyard loop. I will probably never use it, but it doesn't match an M1911A1 without one.
- I heartily recommend Checkmate magazines. They have the contract for Colt factory magazines, but buying direct gives you a lot more options.
- Various styles of training targets (such as this one) can help you diagnose your flyers.
3/10/2012 6:15pm, #5
Thanks for the target info. I'll try a Checkmate to see how well they work in my pistol. Checkmate is also the current USGI vendor for M14 mags.
I am here: http://tapatalk.com/map.php?0a1abu
3/10/2012 8:50pm, #6
Edit: Errrm, yeah, like Robstafarian said.
3/11/2012 1:13am, #7
- Join Date
- Feb 2012
- Saint Louis, Missouri, United States
- Boxing, Judo, Kenpo
I haven't had any experience with checkmate mags... but have had great experience with Wilson Combat and McCormick mags.
Nice 1911 btw, welcome to the club.
3/11/2012 10:40am, #8
I think a lot of the spread in the second target (the one I practiced the Mozambique Drill on) may have been me firing without getting a good sight picture and/or not focusing on the front sight for the second round of the double tap and the head shot. I find it a bit hard to rapidly acquire and line up the small GI style front sight. I may have to put a set of Trijicons on it.
On the first target, looks like I was healing for the five shots that landed in his shoulder, anticipating recoil for the two in the wrist, and letting my front sight drop for the four in his belly. The other 72 rounds were pretty much where I wanted them to be - right through his hand over his heart.
I have a Wilson Combat on order and just received a Chip McCormick from Cheaper Than Dirt. I'll get a Checkmate next so that I can try all three and then stock up on whichever one my pistol likes best. I didn't realize that Chip McCormick's is just down the road in Spicewood. I wonder if they're any cheaper direct from the shop.
4/09/2012 3:43am, #9
- Join Date
- Mar 2012
- Chicago, Il
I have the Series 70 from 1980. I love it. (Just don't drop it while it's loaded.)
Do you have a bushing wrench? If not I would seriously look into getting one. It makes life much simpler when taking the bushing off.
4/09/2012 12:53pm, #10
As I understand it, the low mass of the firing pin and the resistance of the firing pin spring result in absolute safety when the gun is dropped in normal conditions (i.e. you weren't on the roof of a tall building with your gun over the edge when you lost your grip).