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Hi, my cousin told me story of his service pistol as an MP during the vietnam war. He didn't go to Vietnam, recalled week before deployment, but he said the 1911 was the worst pistol he has ever shot. He said at 15 yards, he couldn't hit a 18" circle. Please, I beg of you, shoot down this story with stories of your own and maybe pictures of what you and your 1911 can do. No target 1911's stories will be told to him but service model stories will
 

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Many 1911s were as inaccurate as your cousin said, some could trace their lineage back to the original version in 1911. After being rebuilt however many times, the tolerances can be a bit loose though "still in spec". I have relatives and friends who also shot military 1911s like the one you mention as well as some that were very accurate. If one could, they stuck with the same gun through the qualification if it was accurate. It came close to fisticuffs on more than one occasion when someone tried to swipe one of the "accurate" guns and replace it with a dog. The pistols that found their way to the action seemed to be of a bit better stripe, most likely because some armourer felt the guy at the front needed a fairly accurate gun and made it so while the REMFs didn't and got the "junk".
 

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A good share of the "accuracy problems" with the GI 1911 pistols can be attributed to the sights.

In the interest of providing sights that would not protrude so far as to be subject to impact damage or hanging up in a holster, the military 1911s had sights which were, at best, lousy.

As UD said, some of the 45s in service in Vietnam (or parts of them, anyhow) could be traced back to WWI - and I doubt there was anything newer than Korean War vintage. I never saw one that couldn't put 'em all within a few inches of center of mass at 10 yards on the range. Under fire, however, the "pucker factor" dominates.... having the best sights on the most accurate 1911 doesn't matter much..... it just has to go bang EVERY time you pull the trigger.
 

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My dad told stories about the 45's they were issued during the Korean Affair. He was on stockade duty and stationed in Germany. He said the one they ALL qualified with, was not the one they were issued for carry while on duty. The "qualifying gun" was kept for that purpose. He said that you'd be lucky to hit the floor,with the issue gun, if it was pointed down when firing. I've seen more than one 1911 with US PROPERTY stamped on the side that rattled badly when shaken.


HWD
 

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Ah, yes, the undying 'inaccurate 1911' myth.

During my time - I did four years active and about a year and a half reserve - I had occasion to fire several 'rack grade' 1911s. I qualified with one or two. In addition to that, I have conversations with a dozen or so real shooters in various services; they too have fired issue 1911 pistols.

The concurrance is rack grade 1911s shoot to the sights, and tight enough to easily keep all shots on a human sillouette target at 50 yards. Most will keep all shots within the nine ring of a standard 25 yard target at 25 yards.

Much of the difficulty in shooting 'govmint 45s' came from one or more of a few basic factors.

One: In those days, handguns were perceived by the military to be an unavoidable nuisance. Most handgun training was slanted toward not hurting oneself or one's colleagues, not serious marksmanship. The level and scope of training was not sufficient to overcome ...

Two: Most troops assumed they knew how to shoot a pistol from watching John Wayne do it in the movies. With all respect toward the late Mr. Wayne, one does not learn by paying attention to scriptwriters.

Three: Hearing protection was just beginning to be noticed when I went to boot camp in 1969. It is hard to pay attention to sight picture and trigger squeeze when bleeding from the ears.

Four: Trigger pull on rack grade guns is not the best. Weight of pull was a minimum of six and a maximum of twelve pounds. Not the most condusive to teaching a new shooter how to fire accurately.

Yes, the M1911 and M1911A1 tend to rattle when shaken. It don't mean nothing. They are - were, I should say - more than adequate for the task at hand.
 

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My grandpa's told me about the old 1911 he used to shoot in the army. He said he couldn't even hit the paper with the thing. A couple years ago my dad won a 1991A1 and gave it to him. He was really happy about it, especially since it was the first time he had one in his hands in over 50 years. He still remember how to take it apart though, he just grabbed it and had it laying on his footstool in about 30 seconds. It's a good gun, but it's in defininate need of a set of adjustable sights, at about 15 yards (from the factory, I might add...) it's shooting about two foot low and to the right. It seems like if you were to pay over $800 for a new gun, it's be at least bore sighted!

JMO...

Matt
 

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mtthwvngold20....

Without watching your Grandfather shoot, I can't be sure, but if he's right-handed and hitting a mile low and right, the most likely culprit is his grip & trigger pull.

You should grip so that your index finger height is even with the trigger, and the pad on the end of your finger is what you pull the trigger with. Most people, not knowing any better, will pull the trigger with the last joint on the index finger.
 

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Another thing to add here is what happened to us 2 weeks ago at the range. My wife owns a SW 99-45 and my son owns a Glock, both are chambered for 45acp. We stopped at Wallyworld to pick up one of those 100 packs of shells. All they had were a couple of boxes of 185gr Reminton HPs. With these shells, both guns were shooting 12-18 inches low. My son, the hot head, got all pissed because he thought something was wrong with his gun and wasn't worried about why Mama's gun was hitting the same as his. I dug around in my range box and glovebox, and found 6 230grRN shells of different makes and had him shoot them from his Glock. All of them clustered right in the black! I finally got him to understand that his factory fixed sites were set for this round.
Got a box of 230gr Rn and reshot the wifes peestola last weekend and guess what? Right in the black, in another little cluster.

Just a thought...

HWD
 

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I was active Marine Corps in the late 80's. Our 1911s had been built in WWII. At 25 yards, it was a struggle to keep rounds on target, but at 10-15 yards it was a good enough combat handgun. The tolerances were intentionally kept loose to provide greater reliability; this does not provide for optimum accuracy.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to shoot a WWII vintage 1911A-1 that had been "liberated" by the soldier it had been issued to and hadn't been shot since. I expected the same accuracy I experianced in the Marine Corps' guns, but was pleasantly surprised. It was no target gun, but accuracy was acceptable enough that I would use it as a defensive handgun.
 

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I was in the army from 1968 to 1971. The 1911 was a terrible pistol at the time-the ones we were using were worn out WWII era pistols.
Most people who had to use them wanted a better, modern pistol, such as the M9.

I like my 1911's, but the pistols as issued in the 1960s were on their last legs. If it were not for the good work of the armorers they would have been useless.

mark

Former SP4, 1/504,82d Abn Div
 

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The last time the US government ordered a new 1911 was World War II, it is a documented fact. Really does put the innaccuracy statements into context.

It reminds me of the story that my dad tells about being in Vietnam. You had to qualify on the 1911, but in country you could carry anything you wanted so long as it fired .45ACP. Due to the hit or miss accuracy of the issue 1911's, his sidearm of choice was a Blackhawk with an 8 3/8 barrel chambered in .45 Colt that he ran ACP through.

His reasoning was in a combat situation one rarely gets the chance to reload when it comes down to having to use one's sidearm. If he could fire 6 accurate shots, he was better off than the guy with 8 shots that could only hit the target 50% of the time due to the poor accuracy of the issue 1911's.

It's kinda funny seeing pictures of him in country with the Blackhawk hanging off of this belt.

Justin
 

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He was not alone. Many carried revolvers, and not a few SA revolvers.
I almost got gutshot with a Colt SAA in .357 the owner swore was unloaded. Pointed it at me, pulled thr trigger-click.
Pointed it at the floor, did it again-blew a big patch of the concrete floor out.
Never forget that.

mark
 

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I have owned many 1911 service pistols colt,remington,rand argentine, norwegian etc. I have never found one that was as bad as the stories you hear. The 45 1911 was a close range side arm built loose for reliability. but I have never found one that would not shoot a decent groupat it's intended range of 25 yards or less. I think the problem is more in the shooter than the gun. I have to laugh when ex service man I talk totell me yeah I shot a 45 in the army it kicked like a mule and coulnd't hit paper at 15 yards .
 

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Hello New Member here.

I could not help but reply to this post. I have owned to many 1911's to count about 20 Years ago i had A Remington Rand 1911A1 WW2 era Gun.
It was so loose it rattled when You shook it in Your Hand. But it was in Excellent Condition for it's Age I would rate it over 95% .

With that being said let Me say how it shot, I could Shoot 2-3" Groups all day long with 230g Hardball and 2" or less with Good
200g Lead Reloads My own Reloads.

I had no Problem out Shooting 2 of My Friends who were both Police Officers 1 had A as Issued Smith Mod 59 9MM
The Other A Smith Mod 66 in 357mag with A 6" Barrel.

So I feel like others posted here it has More to do with Who is Pulling the Trigger than anything else.
[/b]
 

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I spent 22 years in the Navy, the first 2.5 years as shore patrol in Saigon, we carried 45 acps, tjat were vintage WWII models, yes, they were ragged because they were not well maintained. But when I retired in 1994 I became a police officer and carried a Colt God Cup, with plenty of modifications and could keep the shots in a 3/4" area on a target at 25 yards. Now that I am retired I still carry it as my CCWP. Practice and a well maintained gun is most of the problem solvers.
 

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Aside from the obvious age and rebuild nature of ALL 1911's during the period of time in question, the major contributor to the APPARENT "accuracy problems" attributed to the 1911 was the total LACK of any hand gun training given the average infantry "Grunt". I carried a 1911 for over a year while stationed with the 3rd Marine Division in the 1950's in Japan. My total firearms training with that weapon was ZIP, ZERO, NADA...NONE..!! Of course, I could not hit a bull in the backside from 5 feet away with MY DUTY SIDEARM during practice shoots and qualifications.. What a disgrace, but that was how it was in those days. I too cursed the weapon....because I blamed it for my inability to shoot it accurately. Fast forward to today and after 15+ years of teaching defensive hand gun techniques to thousands of students, I can shoot 2 and 3" groups at 10 meters all day long with custom 1911's and much older ones, as well. In fact, at my present "senior citizen" status, I am still able to shoot an occassional "one ragged hole".
 

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I've been on several pistol teams, worked initially as a small arms repairman and wound up my career as a Match Grade armorer. When your cousin says he couldn't hold 18" at 25yd, I'm sure he was telling the truth. I can assure you though that the pistol was easily capable of 6" groups at that range, and I'm talking an 'arms room clunker', so long as it has been properly maintained and functions reliably. And that's the catch. Most unit armorers have no training ("hey you - you're the unit armorer now") and there are a lot of broken weapons in arms rooms. The .45 can have a loose ejector, plunger tube housing ready to fall off, broken extractor, cracked barrel bushing, full of sand, and still deliver a ton of stopping power right where it's needed. These little problems do affect the ability of a 1911 to deliver all its shots to the same tiny hole at 25yd, but any one of these or similar problems would result in a stoppage to just about any other pistol.
 

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It's true that no 1911's had been built for the military since 1945 and most of them by vietnam had had parts switched around by armorers who would take a bunch apart, clean all the pieces and put the pieces back together into guns without regard to which gun it came off or even manufacturer.

Also, and this really puts it into perspective. The sight on a 1911 is only 1/5 inch high because when this gun was designed the CAVELRY CHARGE was still the preferred method of attack and you can't really use sights very well from the back of a running horse.

BTW The first electric starter on a car came out in 1912. The first radio stations came out in the '20s. The 1911 is an amazing piece of engineering.
 

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Funny... in all my many years in the Corps, I never had any trouble qualifying Expert with all those inaccurate 1911's. :wink:
 

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WELL my friend had a Vietnam issue 1911A1, and this is in no shape or form an exaggeration, we could not hit a tin can at 5 feet with this thing. AND we were both avid shooters for years. We moved the can to three feet and we still could not hit it. LIKE it was yesterday, (And this was 1987) I remember us than moving the can right in front of the muzzle and blasting it. NEW people, new generations do not realize how horrible some of the old GI 1911's were, after the 9mm took over, only than did bushing kits come out and custom kits to make them better.

Stopping power means nothing when you cannot hit what your shooting at.
 
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