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  • Short 1911s are unreliable?

    For the record...

    Slide speed is only part of the problem with the chopped clones.

    The abbreviated slides operate faster because they have less mass. This isn't a problem unto itself until the slide starts to return to battery. The reduced mass makes stripping the round and chambering it a little problematical unless it's going faster to make up for the loss of momentum. (Momentum=VelocityXMass) This is accomplished with a heavy recoil spring.

    The problem with speeding up the slide is that it often outruns the magazine, leading to Bolt-Over Base and Rideover misfeeds. This requires speeding up the magazine...with another heavier spring...which imposes added drag on the slide via the next round up and its contact with the center rail. This works to delay the slide, especially when the magazine is at or near capacity, sometimes leading to short-cycle and failures to eject.

    Because the heavier spring is also generally of a higher rating than standard...t tends to bleed velocity from the slide faster, and since Newton 3's dictum of equal and opposites is in full effect when dealing with momentum...and because the slide's momentum is equal to the bullet's...momentum loss occurs faster than with a standard slide and recoil system.

    Lighten the spring to provide reliable slide cycle backward...and you lose critical forward momentum. Stiffen the spring to provide adequate momentum for reliable feed and return to battery...and you lose velocity rearward for positive ejection and/or the magazine can't keep up when the magazine is on the last round or two. Install a heavier magazine spring to get the timing of the cartridge rise on track...and you're back to applying added drag on the slide when it's full.

    Then, just about the time you get it all worked out, and everything's runnin' like it should...shoot it about 5-6 hundred rounds and the recoil spring starts to take a set and soften...and you're back to return to battery issues.

    Install a new spring...and if it happens to be just a bit stiffer than the one that you had workin'...and you get to start all over again.

    This is why I repeat that little rhyme whenever I'm asked about the shorty 1911 variants:

    "There was a little girl, who had a curl, in the middle of her forehead.
    When she was good, she was VERY good! But when she was bad...she was horrid."

    I just know that somewhere up there, John Browning is goin:



    And sayin:

    "Three inches??? You've GOTTA be yankin' my chain!


    Note by John: This post was copied from this thread where this issue is discussed.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Why are short 1911s considered to be unreliable? started by 1911Tuner View original post
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