9mm 1911 Project Part 2.1- The Road to Reliability

I stripped off the Aluminum Black; it looked like hell. better shiny than that!

The 9mm 1911 is all in one piece. Weight is finished, sights are mounted. All ready for finishing work? Not quite. First it needs to work. Yes, after 300+ rounds it does work. Mostly.

The first range trip happened yesterday. I’d decided load some 124gr JHPs over 6.2gr. of Unique, and hand-cycling led to my first discovery. Here’s a note about this; the ability to hand-cycle rounds from the magazine does not guarantee the gun will cycle, but in my experience the inability to do so means it won’t. It’s a place to start, not a definitive test.

In hand-cycling I found the gun prefers that flat-nosed bullets (and hollow-points) be seated rather deep. OK, this isn’t a maximum- pressure load, it can take a bit more pressure. I backed the charge off to 6.0 gr. and seated the bullets relatively deep. This worked. Mostly; the gun does not like two of the Sig-Sauer magazines. Fair enough, that’s an easy fix. Also it’s shooting very low; another easy fix, just shorten the front sight.

Looking pretty good, though I think it will look better once it’s completely finished.

I stopped at Pinto’s on the way home and picked up the two Mec-gar magazines they had in stock. Mec-gar makes a good magazine, so I thought it worth trying. Besides, more magazines is better. *Nods wisely*

On arriving home I shortened the front-sight and commenced to reloading. I loaded a hundred more of the 124gr. JHPs, and then decided to load some of the 124gr. LRN bullets I had also bought at Pinto’s. After consulting the reloading tables I selected a modest load of 4.5gr. of Unique.

First thing this morning I headed back to the range to try things out. I promptly discovered was that the gun is still shooting low. No worries, plenty more sight to ‘adjust.’ The second thing I noticed was that my 124gr. RNL loads were a bit too modest; they often failed to cycle the gun. Ugh. OK, back to the jacketed loads. These continued to work fine from the Sig Sauer magazines but there was an issue with the Mec-gars. Occasionally the lip of the cartridge would catch on the back of the barrel-hood and stop the gun. Pushing down on the cartridge would cause the gun to go into battery, so this seems like a simple fix; if I chamfer that edge this will stop that from happening.

Ok then, shorten the front sight, chamfer the edge of the barrel-hood and load the 124gr RNL a bit hotter and it looks like we’re there. Time to head into the shop, makes those fixes and do some more reloading. After lunch. Priorities.

Oh, no target pics from today’s range-session; I forgot to take my phone. Well, they weren’t that impressive anyway. Double-taps are reasonably well-grouped but significantly faster than usual; the TISAS’s excellent trigger helps this a lot. Not sure exactly what the future will bring, but I do know that more practice won’t hurt…

Stay safe and take care,

Michael Tinker Pearce, 11 December 2021

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