BB Gets disappointed – Part 2 More tales of the Taurus PT1911

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Today’s blog is going to be a BIG one, so settle back with your coffee cup and make sure the pot is still hot. At the end of my report I’m going to do some editorializing, because there’s something I have to get off my chest. This will sound like a rant, but I believe I can expose something that is seriously wrong with some companies today. Read it if you like. I will warn you before I launch.

For those just tuning in, a while back I wrote a post about a .45 automatic I bought that didn’t live up to its hype. Since I can usually steamroll my way past most airgun problems, I thought I’d use this experience with a new firearm to let you watch what I do when life hands me a lemon. And what a lemon it was! Read part one to learn what an uphill battle this turns out to be.

Just a quick reminder, the problem I experienced was a failure to feed fresh rounds from the magazine. Eight times in 84 rounds a round failed to feed properly. I took a picture to show you what that looks like. Okay, now you’re up to date.

You readers offered advice about 1911s. Some of you told me to go easy on Taurus because you had good experiences with their guns, but a couple people told me Taurus guns had let them down in the past. Well, I checked into this deeper. I have an acquaintance who used to do work for Taurus, and he still has some connections inside the company. He placed a call and learned that Taurus knows all about the PT1911 problem. What I experienced is apparently not that uncommon.

Then I did some more research on the Internet. The problem with that is you can’t tell whether a person is telling the truth or just has it in for a particular company, but when you encounter the SAME problem being discussed everywhere, there is a reason for it. PT1911 feed problems are being talked about in many places. And there seems to be a common solution – the Wilson Combat 8-round magazine!

Boy – if that isn’t ironic! I bought the PT 1911 BECAUSE it offered the same features as a tricked-out Wilson, only the Taurus retails for under $600 (street price) vs the Wilson that STARTS at $2,100. Big difference there! Yes, I could have really stretched and bought the Wilson (by giving up a couple birthdays, maybe Christmas and perhaps by mowing the lawn extra times), I suppose. And if I had, what would I have had to talk about? Wilson Combat guns are the gold standard when it comes to 1911 reliability. The phrase “As good as a Wilson” would be used, except there aren’t any other guns that good. Oh, that’s not true at all – I’m just crying in my beer now! But you guys who want me to conspire with you in a lie that a Gamo CF-X is just as good as a TX200 – THIS is what I am talking about when I rant at you! One gun really is the standard to which all others are compared and the other is just a good value for the money.

Only the PT1911 wasn’t turning out to be such a good value, after all. It is a defense gun that cannot be counted on to operate. That’s as useful as a nuclear hand grenade with a three-second fuse!

So I gird my lions and place the call to Wilson, expecting a lecture on sow’s ears from some good old boy who puts me on speakerphone so the office can have a good laugh. Instead, I get Traci, who seems to know exactly what I need when I tell her what gun I own. She’s new to Wilson, so she checks with one of the techs, but it turns out she has heard this problem enough times that she has it down pat. I placed my order and yesterday evening the new magazine arrives.

Today I was at the range for many different things, but one of them was to see what kind of difference a different magazine can make (you Umarex shooters getting this?). Well, instead of 8 failures in 84 rounds, there were 3 failures in 116 rounds. I call that an improvement. We’re not out of the woods yet, but we’re heading in the right direction.

Now some something else has come from my research. Apparently, some new 1911s with trick tuning have to be broken-in before they shoot reliably. Nothing was said anywhere about the Taurus PT1911 being a tight gun, but I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt.

Some of my research has been in books written about the 1911. As I mentioned in part one, I used to tune 1911s, but I know nothing of the post-1980 models that Colt added a fourth safety device to. However, in my reading, I learned that it’s a good idea to shoot a new gun without cleaning it for several hundred rounds, which is exactly what I have done. It seems that a gun that’s allowed to get dirty and still forced to function wears in better. Then you are supposed to clean the gun thoroughly and lubricate it well.

The airgun equivalent to that would be to NOT add chamber oil to the transfer port for several thousand rounds, and to clean the barrel with JB bore paste. SEE – there is an airgun tie-in!

Where do I go from here?
I’m looking for reliability, and this pistol is not there yet. When I can feed it 500 handloads with lead semi-wadcutters with nary a bobble, I’ll call it macaroni (Americans, sing the lyrics to Yankee Doodle – everyone else, I will be satisfied). I will be very happy then, because I will have a $600 pistol that’s almost as good as a Wilson.

If I can’t get to my goal of reliability, I will sell the pistol and buy the Wilson I should have bought in the first place. Someone else will have to rationalize the occasional mis-feed. Either way, I will continue to report to you on my further research and experiences.

NOW COMES THE EDITORIAL – Look away if you don’t want to know what I think is wrong with retail sales today.

Taurus knows there is a problem with this pistol. Do they tell customers they might need to expect a break-in period? No, they don’t. Had they done that, I would have shut my trap and soldiered on in the knowledge that what I was doing would result in me getting what I wanted in the end.

One BIG problem with the PT1911 is the Taurus magazines. They don’t always work reliably. Neither of my two are reliable. But does Taurus tell their customers that? Of course not! That would be an admission that their stuff doesn’t work, and if they know that, why aren’t they fixing the problem? Wilson Combat obviously knows it, and they have a solution ready to go. So, instead of stopping to fix a problem that is obviously fixable, they continue to pour thousands upon tens of thousands of guns on the market and ignore what has now become a black eye on their reputation – at least for this one model.

What Taurus is doing is taking out full-page $50K full-color ads in American Rifleman, touting the wonderful features of this pistol. And more people like me are wondering whether it is possible to get $2100 worth of value in a $600 package.

Want to know why it isn’t? Because a part of that money Wilson charges is for the labor of human beings checking things after assembly. They can afford to do that, and they HAVE to, because their reputation is on the line with every gun that ships. Taurus, on the other hand, has cut the price so close that they haven’t got the same time to devote to after-assembly work that Wilson does. It’s nothing they should be ashamed of – they are selling a product for a price, and there have to be certain efficiencies to hold the line on costs when you do that.

Well THERE YOU GO! There are airgun manufacturers who also do not have the time to spend testing each and every gun they produce. They are selling for a price and there will be guns that slip through the cracks. In just the past three days I’ve heard of a Crosman 1077 and a BAM B40, both of which I have touted long and hard as excellent guns, only these two have problems – barrel problems, it seems.

Up to this point, I have no beef. This is the way the world turns and anyone who thinks otherwise is a pollyanna.

HOWEVER – when there is a known problem and a company does not reveal what they know about it, I do have a problem. When a manufacturer ships a gun that cannot meet an advertised specification and they know about it, I get mad. And this happens everywhere! The Gamo Hunter Extreme that they advertise in American Rifleman as being a 1600 f.p.s air rifle, when all the reports I have heard point to it perhaps being a 1400 f.p.s. gun, for example. I don’t care that nobody would WANT to shoot 1600 f.p.s. – just that they are claiming it with nothing to back it up. Oh, well, they do have a televised spot that shows the gun going 1600. Well, next week I will test one for you with PBA Raptors and guess what? You’ll just have to wait and see.

I have worked in organizations where the ship was full of holes and taking water fast. It broke my heart to see a hopeful customer with cash in hand about to make the mistake of his life. Could I warn him? Of course not! But after the sale, I was often the guy who had to take his vehement (and deserved) tirade. It’s sad to be in the wheelhouse and see that the ship is running aground, yet not to be able to do anything about it. It’s sadder to steer a customer towards a product or service that you know is wrong for them, but it’s all your organization provides.

That’s what’s wrong with retail sales today, though it doesn’t affect every organization. Land’s End and L.L. Bean are two companies that have set the retail world on its ear with service that astounds both the average shopkeeper and the huge chain store. It also takes their business, each time they decide to play games.

Anyway, that’s the way I feel today.

69 thoughts on “BB Gets disappointed – Part 2 More tales of the Taurus PT1911

  1. BB,

    Great Blog. I’m too young to know how manufacturers ran their businesses years ago, but I know from the management decisions I make today, the bottom line drives everything. And the bottom line better improve quarter over quarter. And I’m sure marketing is driving the product design more than the engineers.

    I’m sure the American worker feels it everyday when their job is sent to China or India. I’m sure the innovators don’t have long to reap the profits of their better design or service.

    I also look at the US Auto Industry and think they wasted their chance. They failed to innovate. They got fat on their profits and so did the Unions. There is a case where the inferior company continued to innovate and overran the leader.

    It’s a tough reality to face. I shop at Wally World and know what it means. I will ask you if the B40 can be a TX200. Like everyone, I want the most for my dollar. I also wonder what it means to send all our dollars off-shore. I wonder what it means to send all our technology and manufacturing skills to the 3rd world.

    Maybe you can explain how manufactures can copy each others models. Why is it the BAM B40 can be designed to match the TX200 and they don’t get sued?




  2. Kimber,

    The Kimbers sell for about half what the Wilsons bring, if my research is correct. Maybe there is a better grade of Kimber that I’m not aware of.

    But you miss my point. I was trying to save money and get a product “just as good as…” which is usually impossible.

    B.B.


  3. Funny you should bring this up… I recently sold the excellent 1926 vintage 1911A1 “C” model I had with the idea of buying a 1911 that I could shoot without degrading its value. So I plunked down a trifling $450 for an almost-new Springfield Armory GI-model knockoff.

    While I was at the shop, the proprieter showed me a copy of “Gun Test” magazine in which they tested 3 1911′s. The Sprigfield got a B+, with the thickness of the grips being a major complaint. The Dan Wesson got an A-. The Taurus got a D; they experienced something like a 6% jam rate. Needless to say, I think I’m gonna be happy with the SA.

    As for your beef – well, a great many people just can’t admit they made a mistake. I’ve worked as an engineer for the Navy for 20+ years – need I say more?

    But in many cases it’s far more profitable (and even somewhat defensible) to let the QC slide a bit… it keeps production costs down and keeps the product competitive. One big difference, however, is what they do about the oinkers that get through.

    The better companies will handle warranty claims quickly and smoothly and develop a reputation for good customer support. Crosman is like that. Others will cut you loose and let the chips fall where they may. Air Gun Inc. (Industry Brand’s importer) seems to be more like that.

    It also depends on the product. Let’s face it – nobody likes a new toy that doesn’t work. But if you have to send a 1077 in for service – well, no big deal, really. Nobody’s life is ever gonna depend on a the flawless operation of a 1077. Your Taurus, however, is a different kettle o’ fish… a man could die if his weapon jams. So such a policy is far less defensible for certain manufacturers.

    in any event, I’m glad I rely on a revolver for home defense…


  4. Vince,

    My wife and I each have .357 Ruger revolvers at the ready, but after shooting several hundred rounds through a Makarov pistol, I have switched to that. I can do double-taps in less than a second and both stay on target at 15 feet.

    However, the desire was for a 1911 to do the same thing.

    I won’t let this gun defeat me. One way or another, it’s going to work out.

    B.B.


  5. hi, i recently found the Pyramid site and therefore your blog. Awsome work, they are really interesting. I just wanted to share some of my experiences with the people who are looking to buy their 1st gun. I have a number of air guns and firearms, ranging from 3.5 ft-lbs CO2 pistols, to 70ft-lbs rifles. But, the gun that is used more than any other is the 850 airmagnum. Why? well, it has a magazine, so you dont have to mess about loading every time, and its almost silent, so the neighbours dont hate me, and its accurate enough to allow me and my wife (or my dad) to run our own little competitions in the garden. When i 1st got in to liking airguns, i honestly believed that power was the ingredient to fun, hense me having the 70ft-lbs air rifle, but i had learned that this just isnt the case. CO2 guns are great too, as they have plenty of power, but not so much that you cant use them indoors if the weather is bad. anyway, ive shared my thoughts lol. Keep up the great blogs



  6. The internet makes it far easier to look for (hopefully) unbiased reviews of products and services than in years past. Even with this ability, one still finds that some products and service providers may not be as good as it would appear.

    In my particular case, I am ranting about medical services. I had problems with heart arrhythmias and went to a local cardiologist who had been highly recommended by some local physicians that I trusted. He also had been a NIH Fellow leading some research project. It turned out he misdiagnosed and mis-treated me — then basically abandoned me as a patient rather than “fess up” and say, “I was not competent to do the job.”

    I ended up going back to a distant cardiologist who did have the experience with my particular arrhythmias — he instantly diagnosed the problem by looking at the cardiogram; the problem was that the cause was in the opposite chamber of my heart than the first doctor had treated. This second cardiologist did the proper procedure, and I am now cured.

    Is there a way to avoid the 1911 and doctor problems? Perhaps! I suggest making the world aware of problems (and solutions, if available) with blogs, reporting problems to the state medical board, telling those who referred you to the provider, and other approaches helps. It requires a lot of effort on the individual’s part in some cases, but if no one does it, the problems will persist! Basically, I an espousing the “60 Minutes” approach.


  7. I have been looking at 1911′s for awhile now and thanks to you B.B. I have eliminated one of the choices.
    Sorry you are having such a time with this gun. But thanks for sharing so that others don’t make the same mistakes.


  8. i agree with everything you said except for this statement:
    “…Do they [Taurus] tell customers they might need to expect a break-in period?…”

    anyone,…anyone, that is knowledgeable and experienced with firearms knows they require breakin periods. airguns require breakin periods.
    any gun manufacturer that gets you to blindly believe that their product does not require breakin is pulling your chain. yes, you could tell me manufacturer “x” may state the aforementioned, but they are relying on their “proven” manufacturing methods that statistically alleviate issues out of the box, and you will pay a higher cost for that “proven” reliability. a sane person would never trust any gun out of the box for self-defense, or for pulling the trigger on anything (airguns included) that shoots a projectile at a high rate of speed.
    like I said, i agree with your blog, except for that statement. i am experienced enough to walk into a shoe store and know shoes go on my feet without anyone telling me, but i’ve watched a 2 year old place them on their head and in their mouth. i am also experienced enough with guns to not criticize a manufacturer for not telling me that i should break it in.


  9. BB, thanks for the heads up. I was almost enticed. I almost bought one of their revolvers too but the C/F ones are supposed to have crappy sights.

    I think Taurus means “bull”. Don’t buy the bull.

    To return the informational favor: Four Ubertis=Three Lemons.



  10. Based on my experience with one Taurus 1911, I must concur with your dismal appraisal. The one a shootin’ buddy got just wouldn’t group for me, no matter what ammo I used. I really wanted to make it work and swap him out of it, as he’d become disillusioned, too, by more frequent jams than were acceptable to him. I have no stats, just the sour memory.

    I found much better performance (accuracy and wide acceptance of different ammo) in a S&W 1911, and in one of the less expensive Springfields. Still, a much more expensive Springfield that I really want to work just isn’t up to snuff, either.

    It is not fair to judge a whole class based on one or two examples, but I can’t usually afford to buy more than one, so that’s the make or break point.

    I like the Taurus 94, 941, and Tracker revolvers in .22LR, .22 magnum and .17 HMR, got 8 of ‘em and each is better than the other…

    I have seen one Makarov out of, maybe, 25, that wouldn’t work. A replaced ejector fixed that, and it’s close to 100% until it gets too dirty. Last week I got a new holster and magazine carrier that are working okay for my Mak.
    http://redstormholsters.com/Site/Home.html

    Thanks again for your help!


  11. Has Taurus examined the gun and been afforded the opportunity to fix it? What does the official Taurus warranty claim department have to say about your gun?

    I’m no fan of Taurus products after having owned two of their revolvers, but so far this sounds like a one sided discussion.


  12. My own experiences with two repairs of firearms both had good outcomes.
    The first one involved a Ruger Blackhawk chambered in .45 Colt that broke its backstrap during a shooting session with my maximum loaded 200 grain led semiwadcutters.
    I called Ruger, knowing they don’t have a warranty as such.
    The customer service rep mentioned that they could replace the stock broken aluminum backstrap with a steel one for $90 installed.
    I agreed, sending the big revolver the next day.
    It came back a little less than two weeks later, with the steel backstrap and two pleasant surprises, which were a new Super Blackhawk style lower and wider hammer, and a repolishing and tightening up of the cylinder assembly.
    And, while I still had to pay for the fractured backstrap, they exceeded what they told me they would do without even having mentioned it or charging extra.
    Good job.
    The other was with a Smith & Wesson model 1006 (10mm double action full size autopistol) that had chronic misfires.
    The symptoms were that it would fail to fire about every 10 rounds, but able to fire if I dropped the hammer in single action mode on said unfired round.
    Upon examination of the misfired round empty case, I discovered a blob of brass welded to the firing pin strike on the primer.
    Sure, enough there was a tiny burr around the firing pin hole that was scraping the case heads, thus creating a bit of brass shavings in the firing pin channel.
    Naturally, this caused a misfire every ten rounds or so as the brass shavings built up and softened the first strike of the firing pin.
    I called S&W (full lifetime warranty this time), and they had me send it back for a deburring.
    They sent it back less than two weeks later, but someone had clearly dropped the ball, because there was no improvement in the firing behavior at all.
    I called back, resent it, and this time, they had the burr thoroughly removed, along with polishing the sides of the feed ramp and ultrasonically cleaning the entire handgun.
    Now, it will feed an entire magazine of empty cases cycled by hand.
    Ever since, as long as I am using full power loads and use a strong grip on the stocks, it has not failed to chamber a round after hundreds of rounds later.
    It is just about as good as a revolver for reliability, plus the magazines and flatness of an auto are the other two selling points.

    Both manufacturers stood by their products.

    -Scott


  13. Im a firm believer that you get what you pay for, so could you tell me what differences there are between scopes costing $150, which seem absolutley fine, and those thst cost $4000+
    Both can have the same magnification, both hold zero, both have the same recticles and the same features, such as fog proof etc. I have only ever used the lower cost scopes, but surely the more expensive ones must be better in some ways?


  14. Break-in,

    Most off-the-shelf semiautos do require a break-in, but guns in the Wilson class do not. They do shoot smoother with time, but they will function reliably from shot one. That’s why I said what I said. Because Taurus is trying to reach that market with the PT1911.

    B.B.




  15. No, I have not yet called Taurus on this. There is a limited lifetime warranty, but I have yet to discover how well it works.

    Don’t worry, though. If I can’t get the gun to work, they will get the call and I’ll be telling you how it goes.

    B.B.


  16. Scope price checker,

    The main difference between the $400 scopes and the cheaper ones is where they are made and quality of optics in general.
    It is pretty much like the difference between a $1000+ Nikon digital SLR and a $200 Kodak C340 digital camera.
    The Kodak will work great for 98% of camera users, but the Nikon is for the professional who is ultra picky about picture quality, features, camera construction, etc.
    Also, since labor cost is a major – if not predominant – factor in scopes, keep in mind that most of the less expensive scopes are made in China, while three of the $400 range (depending on the scope, btw) scopes are American made.
    Those three are Burris, Leupold, and Redfield.
    I actually have a Leupold 2.5-8 on my Ruger, and it is wonderful, but expensive is true.

    -Scott


  17. Expensive scopes,

    I hope you mean $400 scopes and not $4,000, because I don’t know any scopes that cost that much. There may be some, but I don’t know of them.

    Let’s get specific. We both know that Leupold is one of the more expensive scope makers. Not the highest price, but well above the norm.

    So let me comptre a Leupold Vari-X II EFR 3-9 against a Leapers 3-9. The Leapers wins because it is clearer and has crisper adjustments, despite cost ing less than a third as much.

    HOWEVER, no Leapers made can compare to the Leupold Vari-X III EFR 3.5-10X50. It is (or was) a sterling scope with water-clear optics. I don’t know if it is still made today, but it was inching towards $500 several years ago. But no scope I ever looked through could compare.

    Bushnell’ 4200 scope – good. Bushnell lower-price scopes – trouble!

    Burris 8-32 – good scope. Burris 6 power compact – worst glass I ever looked through.

    Sightron scopes – good glass. If they only sold for half the price.

    The reason I recommend Leapers all the time is they always come through for me. Scopes are the most difficult accessory to sell or recommend, and I get fewer complaints about Leapers than any other brand I have ever been associated with.

    B.B.



  18. Never tried Pedersoli. These represent the first four authentic B/P guns I have ever bought so it’s not just a bad streak.

    I believe Ubertis are largely put together by craftsmen (craftspersons?) working out of their homes from basic machined castings.

    Also, don’t let an online retailer fool you by saying they have a clearance/scratch-n-dent section. They WILL resell sent-back revolvers as new; only the worst ones wind up as scratch-n-dents.

    Gun Tests said they tested an aged finish EMF and found the BORE had been aged. They also said EMF said no one complained before! Surely the makers and distributors know this. Many people don’t buy these guns to shoot!


  19. I do subscribe to Gun Tests but I started the issue AFTER they ran the Taurus PT1911 report. I tried to buy the back issue, but they won’t let you do that until you are in their database as a subscriber, and I waited a month before forgetting about it.

    I hear Pedersoli has a good reputation, and once again, I have a money question. They want $1800 for a Quigley Sharps, while Shiloe wants almost $3000, plus several years wait.

    Sharps are simpler guns than 1911s, but that doesn’t comfort me after this experience.

    B.B.


  20. It really bites when they know there is something wrong with their products and they won’t do anything about it.
    Happens too often with too many things.
    When it comes to airguns, I am inclined to think that the rejects are set aside for shipment to Walmart.

    Too little integrity in the consumer market.


  21. I posted last time about my brothers awful experience with the constant jams in his Taurus, he traded it in for a Springfield and has never had a problem since. I’m quite the mechanic/tekie, and I had a look at that Taurus before he got rid of it. Just like your picture shows, the classic jam…looked to me like the bullet was jamming against a ridge in the bottom of the feed path…in fact, if you study the jam, while its in the position that you pictured, you can see where the bullet is jammed on the ridge. Slight variations in the bullets allow some to pass and some to jam, and would explain why hundreds of rounds through the feedpath would smooth it out and “break it in”. I wanted so badly to take that ridge down a little, by honing or grinding, but my brother would have no part of it. I can see why people are attracted to the Taurus…I mean it looks and feels perfect in your hands. If I had my own, I would take down that ridge a little, and I’m 99.9% sure that the feed problems would go away. The magazine seems to be ok…its the path right after that. Sorry about my lack of terminology, but I don’t know what that “ridge” is called. It’s a ridge that has the actual shape of a bullet.


  22. twotalon AND B.B.

    I think its a bit early to condemn Taurus warranty service.

    As I said earlier, I’m no fan of Taurus products, however B.B is conducting a one-sided rant here.

    The first question B.B himself would pose to anyone ranting about an airgun problem on this very blog is “have you contacted the vendor/manufacturer?”


  23. I’m not sure what the ridge is you describe, but the feed path of a 1911 is anything but straightforward. It’s more like a controlled train wreck. The nose of the bullet is supposed to hit the feed ramp cutout at the bottom rear of the barrel, which deflects the nose straight up until it impacts on the top oif the chamber that sticks out of the rear of the barrel. It’s a square hood that sticks back on the top of the barrel.

    When it hits that, it is deflected down at the same time the rear of the cartridge is pushed up by the magazine. The rim of the cartridge is supposed to align with the extractor and slide in at this time, then the cartridge gets pushed into the chamber all the way.

    On my gun, the hangup appears to be the extractor, though it went from almost 10 poercent failures to feed to just 3 percent. I could clean out the extractor notch, but like I said, I don’t know enough about these post-1980 Colts to know if there is a different shape to the extractor.

    I agree with you that the gun feels wonderful. I had a ball shooting it yesterday, and mine is extremely accurate. It has a slight creep in stage two of the triggwer that I’m hoping will go away. If not and if I keep the gun, I will someday pay for a better trigger. But I do like the gun when it works.

    B.B.



  24. Ah…there’s the terminology I was looking for…the feed ramp cutout and the square hood. Therein lies the problem. It was my diagnoses at the time that the feed ramp cutout had just a little too much height, therefore pushing the bullet up just a little too much in some variations of bullets. Like in your picture, if the chamber was stuck open like it is, but you took the bullet out, you would see the cutout perfectly. It seemed that if the cutout were taken down a little, and maybe even the square hood could use some honing, then there would be no more hangups. A different magazine would in fact change the feedpath, but the fact that you still have hangups points to something else. I don’t know, but I get these really strong feelings about things deep inside my gut and then they usually turn out to be the fix or at least part of the fix. Heck, last nite I fixed our clothes dryer because of a strong feeling that I had, and saved us hundreds of dollars. :-)
    But it’s hard to break a gun in when 3-4 of the bullets are jamming from each magazine. It is *extremely* frustrating.



  25. I wait because there is a process to follow. I may complain about the lack of certain information I wish Taurus had published, but I am following the advice of others who have been through this problem before. If they are proven corerect, I will have been proven right for waiting and for doing whatever I did.

    Taurus will be called, if and when I fail to achieve reliability. I will not alter the gun before calling on them, though, which is one of the points I am trying to make to new airgunners.

    This is a long process (in this case). I am drawing it out to have a model to show to new airgunners who buy guns that they think don’t work.

    For example, I tell the buyers of most new air rifles to clean their barrels with a bore brush and JB Bore Paste before firing the first shot. Where did THAT come from? Not from the manufacturers. But I hope I have demonstrated that it is a good break-in procedure for a new airgun. The parallel is that Taurus should have told me to expect a certain percentage of mis-feeds in the first 500 rounds (or whatever it turns out to be). They should have recommended certain ammuntition, if they knew what was best to break-in their gun. I surmise that they DO know all that, because the rest of the world seems to know it.

    I have told airgunners to use a drop of Pellgunoil on the tip of each new powerlet they put in their guns. In the 1960s, Crosman did the same. Then in the 1980s, they stopped telling people to do it. In about 2000 they began to recommend a drop on every third powerlet. Today I am informed they are back to telling people to do it with every powerlet.

    I am telling airgunners what I WISH Taurus had told me about their PT1911. Had they done so, I might still have bought it and I would have been a darn sight happier breaking it in.

    At this point in time I don’t know whether I am right or wrong about this. So all I can do is tell people what I am doing and what is happening as a result.

    B.B.


  26. Sheesh…can a man vent without scolding? I’m pretty sure BB knows what to do, and anyone can look at his past writings and compare it to what he said today and find some inconsistentcy. Its his blog and if he wants to write about his irritations, then so what? What if we didn’t have this blog to share our pride, information, and/or ventings?


  27. Yikes!!! BB I think I missed your point about not modifying the gun in any way yet. Me being Mr fixit man an’ all :-)



  28. im missing your point. are you saying out of your personal experience that it is impossible to buy quality for cheaper? i thought we went over that the marksman 2004 was the same gun as the p3 retailing for 100 bucks less?


  29. You bring up an important point that I have been wondering about for several days now…The P17, P3, and Marksman 2004 are all the same gun? I got my P17 for 32 bucks and I’ve been sent back to my childhood days everytime I use it. That is the funnest, accuratest, cheapest, and easiest gun to use that I have aquired so far. Even my wife likes it. Awww…now I’m gonna haveta go shoot it…
    –dave Ennis


  30. As an auto mech, I can attest to several cases where they should have stuck with KNOWN good parts and designs rather than attempt improvements that only result in things that fail two years off the showroom floor.
    As for air rifles, I’m a bit disappointed in my 22SG and it’s well-known loose barrel problem. After securing the barrel very well (I couldn’t see spending for repairs on a $100 rifle), it’s still not accurate. (Worn barrel perhaps? How do you tell? I’ve never cleaned the barrel.) Still, maybe a blog on diagnosing and testing a rifle to find the problem, and the best recommended solution, would be appreciated. JP


  31. BB,

    Sounds like you will have to put some time in at the range and the alter to get the PT1911 where you want it. How many rounds will you have to shoot before the cost savings are gone? Toss in a few bucks for piece of mind. Make sure that cost assessment finds its way in your final write up. Should be good therapy.

    To a more palatable subject. I could not hit a barn with Dad’s RWS 34 and he warned that it was the pellets (just walmart crossman’s). After reading here, I ordered some Kodiac Match and RWS Superdomes. Presto! Both grouping inside a quarter with open sights at 25 yards (most of the time). We will see more when the scope mounts are in.

    Question: The Kodiacs are heavier, but hit exactly 2.5 inches HIGHER than the Superdomes. Did not expect that. Any comments.

    All Best,
    Francis Marion



  32. Francis,

    You just described the kind of experience I am trying to have with my Taurus. You were having no luck with your 34 until you did something different. Then it worked fine.

    You didn’t tear it apart. You didn’t spend the purchase price again, getting it tuned. You just found the right pellets for your gun and everything changed.

    If you read my report on the 34 Panther, you’ll see that I was very surprised by its accuracy. My past experiences with 34s were more like your experience before you found the right pellets. Maybe I changed – not the gun!

    But the Taurus is still a mystery to me. I have read tons of other people’s comments, and they are leading me in what I think is the right direction, but until I get there, who knows if it’s right or not?

    THAT is what I am trying to show new airgunners with my detailed step-by-excrutiating-step description of my experience with the PT1911. Your dad knew what the problem was and he told you. You did what he said and he was right! But what does a person do when nobody knows the answer? THAT is what I am trying to show/demonstrate to all who read this blog. A safe, non-destructive way of moving from an unacceptable gun to one that you like.

    Because I am doing this in real-time, without knowing the outcome, it’s like walking a tightrope without a net. I may discover that the Taurus is really a sow’s ear in disguise. If that happens, I still need to put a happy face on this experience, because I’m being watched by new, inexperienced shooters.

    The opposite of what I am doing with the Taurus is a guy who buys an AirForce Condor, decides it isn’t doing what he thinks it should (despite not owning a chronograph) and disassembles his new gun is a futile attempt to fix what isn’t broken to begin with. I always get the call AFTER the guy has destroyed his rifle and is spreading bitter rumors about the manufacturer around the internet. Then I play detective through Q&A for a month until the real story is out in the open.

    Then I help him solve the problem.

    I want to provide guidance for people breaking in new airguns so that dysfunctional secnario doesn’t have to happen. It’s an experiment in many ways, and I hope it turns out for the good.

    B.B.


  33. Expensive scope guy,

    Well, I looked and I’m shocked. I can’t see the value. They advertise over 90 percent light transmission. Heck – Leapers has that, too.

    I’m sure this is a very nice scope, but I won’t be buying or recommending one soon.

    B.B.


  34. Quality for cheaper,

    No, that isn’t what I am trying to say at all. It;s BECAUSE there are real bargains in the world like the Marksman 2004 and the IZH 61 that I allow myself to believe the PT1911 could be one, too. And though I’m dragging all you readers through the mudbath I go through to find out if it’s true, if this series has a good outcome, it will be worth it.

    B.B.


  35. JP,

    You’re right abnout paying for quality. The tough part is knowing WHEN to pay and when to save.

    I hope this series with the PT1911 will help mothers pick their way through the mudpile.

    And I am really sorry about your SG22. Mine has a loose stock, but the barrel is tight and the gun is accurate. I wish I knew a fix for the barrel.

    I do think about the diagnosing blog all the time, but the differences in manufacture from gun to gun makes it difficult to write. If I get too detailed I put everyone to sleep, but if I try to encompass all gun types, the result is a frothy worthless mess.

    B.B.


  36. B.B.,
    You’ve done it again!
    The email you just posted to Francis really hit me in the face like a load of bricks. (All of it, that is, except the part about “spreading bitter rumors” all over the internet.) I always want to dive in and “make it better”. My wife calls it one of the “amusements” (not her exact words, LOL) of living with an engineer. I appreciate the patience you have to methodically plod through this 1911 saga, and I think you are accomplishing your goal of making people, me anyway, have realistic expectations of what we buy and how to approach disappointments. (Did you know you were a psychologist too?) If the darn gun was made to shoot 700fps, why try and make it shoot 900fps? I know those types of science projects have their place, and they are definitely fun, but its OK if the gun shoots 700fps like it was designed to do. If it does that, leave it alone, and if it doesn’t, maybe I should look for the non-invasive solutions first.
    Thanks again!
    Pestbgone




  37. Response to the PT1911 blog

    I have a Taurus PT92 AFS 9mm that I bought about 8 years ago and it has functioned flawlessly (yes I am aware of the different actions, etc). with any 9mm ammo and in that time have put 1000s of rounds down range and it has NEVER had a stoppage or feed problem. Yes it has had a few FTFs but that has been ammo not the gun. The PT 92 has been a great pistol for 25m falling plate competition. But that is the quality from the factory then, now I dont know.

    I also bought two Taurus revolvers in 2006 and both had to be sent back for work. Admittedly pistols and revolvers are made in two separate facilities but I feel maybe Taurus quality these days may not be up to par from yesteryear.

    In Taurus’ defense, both revolvers were fixed under the Taurus Lifetime Warranty and did not cost a cent out of my pocket, not even s&h. That being said I am a bit suspect on their quality now and probably will go with other manufacturers in the future.

    If I was in the market for a 45 I think I would probably consider Springfield, Colt or Kimber.

    Just my 2 cents for what its worth … probably just 2 cents.


  38. WOW there are alot of comments

    but i have a question about Daisy are rifles

    out of all of the 753s and 853s which one is recomended the most by you and is it worth the extramoney to get the higher up ones.

    also is it just as hard to pump as the 953 version

    Thankyou


  39. BB,

    I live at 6000 feet. Which springer would you recommend? Or would you even recommend a springer at all? Thanks.


  40. Hey bb,

    im back

    i was in north carolina visiting family for the past week so i have not been on the web. Nice report. Cant wait for you to bust gamo.

    I have my adapter that fills my CF air tank to fill the guns. So you should hear all about my new airwolf soon. I bet your on the edge of your seat LOL.

    -sumo


  41. BB.
    Thanks for the tip, and coming to think on a diagnosis blog, well, the auto mech part of me says you’d be in over your head like I would to be talking car diagnostics, so I won’t try to ask about that blog. Still, I’m considering a new rifle. Maybe a Benjamin 392, considering your recommendation for it’s “streaking” brother for survival (I prefer .22, and you didn’t have any reason a .22 couldn’t do the same job, right?) Thanks for the tip, and I’ll let you know how I fix the SG. JP


  42. BB–Editorial was right-on, thanks– But as l recall one of your past blogs about the Webley’s from Turkey being as good or better as the ones from England,–well–now you know what a strech can do. TK


  43. Scope price checker,

    Another difference between the expensive ($400+) and the far more affordable Leapers is that most of the expensive scopes are built to be a bit more rugged for abuse more common with centerfire rifles.
    And I don’t mean recoil force, as I am fully aware that nearly any spring piston rifle is considerably more punishing to a scope than even the most heavy recoiling centerfire.
    It just is not commonplace for a pellet rifle shooter to wander through the alders of Alaska, smacking his rifle on limbs and rocks, getting rained on all day, and generally dinging things around in the bargain.
    Also, a key difference is that the Leapers and other scopes suited to airguns usually either have fixed parallax adjusted at 50 yards or less or (better) have adjustable objectives.
    Scopes used with centerfires usually have fixed parallax set at 100 yards or more, and parallax is less of a factor the farther out you shoot, as centerfires allow.
    Other factors are such things as adjustment repeatability, i.e. you can adjust four clicks up at 100 yards, get exactly one inch higher groupings, then click back down four clicks as before and hit where you started before any adjustments were made.
    Another thing I have noticed is that my Leupold doesn’t change point of impact when I change the power, whether it be at 2.5x or 8x.
    I don’t know how Leapers is about this, but my new Centerpoint can’t do that at all.
    One more thing to consider is that the higher end scopes are designed so that power adjustments have less impact on the exit pupil and eye relief.
    Oh, one more thing to consider is that (if you can afford them, of course) the big three American scopes are made in the U.S., so to those who really take pains to support the American worker, that is something to consider.
    I also should mention that my Leupold also has a full lifetime warranty.
    However, I can’t justify the expense of one comparable to the one riding on my centerfire Ruger now, as that scope cost $250 in 1988 and now goes for $400.
    I would have nothing but Leupold on all three of my rifles – I AM that impressed – but the $800 it would take to buy two more top of the line VariX-IIIs would be out of my reach now.
    Besides, Leupold makes but one scope whose size is reasonable for airguns that also has an adjustable objective, that being the rimfire 3x-9x model, and my $60 Centerpoint is working admirably enough for me that only today I took down a bird at 75 yards with it on my Gamo CFX.


  44. Daisy 853,

    The 853 and 753 share identical actions. The only difference is the stock, which in the 753 is fuller for adult use. However, adults can do just fine with the 853 because it is large enough to fit everyone.

    The 953 and 853 have identical pumping effort.

    B.B.




  45. JP,

    With Crosman Premiers gone from the .20 caliber world, I have to recommend the 392 over the Blue streak. I bought 4 boxes from the pile of .20 Premiers Pyramyd Air just discovered, but what to do when they are gone?

    B.B.





  46. B.B.–Scott298 here-I was going to ask this question on todaay’s blog but there wasn’t a section for comments (july 30 ). I own the leapers accushot 3-12×44 with side wheel adjustment for parallax. Do I have to be concerned with the distance then set the parallax or is just tuning the side nob until the target is crystal clear and forget what the parallax number should be? Example-I’m shooting at a target 25yrds away and dial the parallax so it’s clear, but the parallex numbers indicate that I shood be shooting at 75yrds. –Thanks aagain Scott


  47. Scott,

    Thanks for the head’s up! I fixed the posting issue.

    Turn the knob until, the image is clear.

    What field target shooters do is attach the optional large sidewheel and put white tape around the rim, which they then mark with actual yardages at a give temperature. Those relationships change as the temperature changes.

    B.B.


  48. krikke,

    Thanks for the link. I guess that sounds logical now.

    BB,

    That’s cool and I understand your purpose. I think you know from our past communications that my comments are partially tongue and cheek. Indeed, I hope that it works out. Actually, most 1911′s that I have owned required some break in and tweeks to be top performers. My only “sows ear” experience was the Norinco, as we discussed. What made it a sow’s ear was that all the kings horses and all the kings men, just could not make it reliable. Poor accuracy makes me frown, unreliability makes me sell…

    It will be fun to watch.

    Regards,
    Francis Marion


  49. Daisy 853,
    The 853 comes with three spacers for the buttplate. I found two to be enough and I am 6’1″ with long arms.

    I like the stock better than the 753. It feels like an M1 or M1A, kind of.


  50. I'm sorry that you felt like you weren't getting the value out of it. I had a bounty hunter metal detector that worked great for a long time, longer than my gun!



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