B.B. gets disappointed!

by B.B. Pelletier

This is a story about a firearm I recently bought, and I want to use it to explain my motivation when I test airguns for you. I hope you will look past the firearm aspect of the story and try to put yourself in my shoes, because that is what I am trying to do for you. The point of this story is that I understand what it’s like to buy something expensive without knowing what you will really be getting.


Taurus PT1911 is loaded with features that would cost thousands if they had to be added. On the surface, it looks like a great handgun!

The gun is a Taurus PT1911 .45 automatic. I have been wanting a .45 ACP for several years, and I shopped hard for the last two years to find exactly what I wanted. The gun is to be used primarily for defense, though it will also be called on to plink, hunt and generally accompany me when I go into the field.

The number one criterion is reliability. Semiautomatic pistols are not known to be 100 percent reliable, so a buyer has to decide how much less than perfect he’s willing to accept. I have owned 5 Colt M1911s and A1s over the years, so I had a good idea of what was possible. I hoped for no more than three failures per thousand rounds, and hopefully less than one. With my Colts, that would not have been unreasonable.

I am aware that revolvers are more reliable than semiautomatic pistols, and I do own several of them, but all in .357 Magnum caliber. While that’s a good caliber, it doesn’t have the defense performance I’m looking for, plus revolvers generally hold fewer rounds than semiautomatic pistols of the same size.

The choices were many
Like many of you who are overwhelmed by the choices in airguns, I found that the firearm marketplace is bursting at the seams with 1911 pistols. And many of them have good reputations.

S&W
The S&W 945 is a wonderful gun. I have fired it and found it to be accurate, nice handling and it has a wonderful trigger. It was hard to pass it by. The price is high, but the gun seems worth every penny.

Kimber
Kimber is the top name in production 1911s today. That makes them a sort of Weihrauch for 1911 pistols. I seriously looked at them for a year, but they turned me off with a few marketing practices. First, there are no reliable Kimber dealers in my area. The few guns that dealers do carry are not the models I would choose, and they are often priced several hundred dollars above Kimber’s suggested retail price. I got fed up with that practice back in the ’70s when the same thing happened to the S&W model 29 revolver. And, finally, when I tested Kimber triggers at the SHOT Show last year, they all felt creepy. That stopped me cold.

Colt
Why not buy from the original maker? I would, if Colt were the same company they were in 1950, but they aren’t. They’ve been run into the ground by mismanagement, in and out of bankruptcy over the past decade and they were among the first to buckle to anti-gun interests – to the point of inventing features for their guns just to appease the anti-gun press, even though nobody had asked for them. They still make a good 1911, but the overhead burden of mismanagment has driven the price through the roof. Too many drawbacks for me.

Philippine .45s
There has been a rush to the Philippines to produce 1911s under American-sounding names – not unlike Winchester having their air rifles made by Hatsan of Turkey. Rock Island Armory is typical of the breed. They make good bread-and-butter pistols that others can gunsmith into great guns. But I wanted something off the shelf that they didn’t offer. Most off-the-shelf upgraded pistols based on Philippine frames are set up for mall ninjas. I wanted a real defensive firearm.

Custom makers
There are dozens of these, coming and going all the time. A few are rock-solid and are the foundation of most of the good things that have happened to 1911s since 1970. Others are just hobbyists who turn out product that is less trustworthy – not unlike some airgunsmiths.

One custom maker who I did consider is Bill Wilson of Wilson Combat. His guns are the stuff of legends – quite similar to John Whiscombe in airguns. And his prices are similar to Whiscombe’s as well! The price was the thing that threw me, because a Wilson CQB had all the features I wanted.

Taurus
Which brings me to Taurus. If Kimber is the Weirauch of 1911s, Taurus is the Gamo. They have a spotty reputation that includes huge successes (the Raging Bull revolver) and dismal failures. Unfortunately, the failures are all on the semiautomatic pistol side. But advertising for the PT1911 showed all the features of the Wilson pistol I wanted at one-quarter the cost. Their full-page ad in American Rifleman (about $50,000 per insertion) shows the value of all the features they put into the pistol totaling $2,100, but retailing as a package for just $600. And I had tried their triggers at the SHOT Show and found them to be okay. So I bought one.

Now, as an owner, I’m an expert on why you don’t want this gun. In the first 84 rounds, there were 8 failures to feed – exactly the complaint that’s been leveled at this model, which I discovered after the fact. You can find heated arguments all over the internet about whether or not there is any substance to the claim that PT1911′s have feeding problems, but I have lived it. This happened in both factory magazines with two different Remington factory loads, one of which was the time-honored 230-grain hardball GI load that chambers like quicksilver in most 1911s, so no alibi there. ANY failure to feed is the kiss of death for a defense gun. Ten percent makes me sick! Yes, I could try different kinds of ammo and hopefully one or two will be flawless, but my confidence is now shaken.


Taurus did this 8 times in 84 shots. In defensive situations you can’t get the mutts to wait while you clear a jam. You need firepower – not excuses.

I like most of the gun’s other features. I will even tolerate the Colt Series 80 “trigger safety” trigger that is unnecessary and makes for a creepy pull in the target mode (when the trigger is squeezed slowly). It adds one more safety to what is already recognized as the safest semiautomatic pistol in the world, and no custom tuner works with it. I hate the Colt-inspired hammer lock, but I don’t have to use it so it’s not a problem. I wanted so much to love this pistol, but poor reliability is the worst sin a defense gun can commit. I’m not sure I can forgive it.

Making lemonade
Taurus has a lifetime repair warranty that I intend exercising just as soon as I can. Like Gamo, they talk a good talk. I’m going to find out if the walk is there, as well. But either way, I’m going to write about this handgun for the rest of my life. Taurus is proud to tell all comers that each PT1911 is hand-fitted before leaving the factory, so I want to know why one of the two 8-round mags they sent will only hold seven rounds! How come I can gunsmith a real Colt 1911 and get it to work all the time, but Taurus can’t? Perhaps they can fix the problems, but even if they do it will still be a long time before I can ever trust this handgun for defense work.

Where YOU come in!
I think about stuff like this when I test airguns for you, which is the point I’m making today. There is a lot of pressure – not from Pyramyd Air, but from some of you readers, for me to rate a certain airgun better than it really is. I suppose it comes from people who got stung and want me to convince them their gun isn’t as bad as they know it is. If B.B. says it’s good, then it must be! Well B.B. isn’t going to lie for anyone. I have to worry about some crappola gun landing in my lap, just like you. And, like you, I cannot afford to spend my money testing everything on the market. This experience has renewed my perspective about the dangers of trusting advertising and why I have to tell the truth when I test airguns for you!

98 Responses to “B.B. gets disappointed!”

  • Anonymous Says:

    Wow. That is disappointing. My Ruger P89 has never failed me but I don’t shoot it as often as my air guns. I hope Tarus comes thru for you.

    I do appreciate all you do for us. I find that testing even my own guns usually raises more questions than answers. You make it sound easy but I know it’s not.

    Thanks,
    Springer John

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Springer John,

    I hope Taurus comes through, too, but even if they do I will write about this mishap for the rest of my life. This is what happens when a promised product fails to deliver. People don’t stop talking about the bad things that occur. I just happen to be a writer.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    I learned the same way about buying airguns off the gunbroker auction site. One day I got wild and made three bids. I “won”. One gun, a Daisy 188, was like new, just as the seller said. A Crosman was supposed to have been resealed. It was not. Looked great otherwise. The third was said to “not pump up”. I found it had missing parts and someone drove a steel rod up the bore for Pete’s sake. I learned my lesson.

  • Anonymous Says:

    Like you B.B., I try to like autos but I trust revolvers. My favorite carry gun is an old Colt detective special .38. It has a hammer shroud. I tried out Charters, S&W’s and some autos but nothing felt as right as my old Colt.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    I used to have a Detective Special. Wonderful gun! Wish I still had it. Now my snubbie is a Ruger Security Six, which is hardly the same.

    My 9X18 Makarov is dead-reliable, with 1,000 shots and not a single hangup. And I use eastern block ammo exclusively because of the reliability, cost and accuracy.

    But I have known 1911s that could do the same.

    B.B.

  • Twotalon Says:

    Too many years and too much money spent on junk airguns. Almost impossible to find something good without spending a lot.
    Should have gotten something that was worthwhile in the first place.

    Twotalon

  • Anonymous Says:

    I appreciate your article and your opinion, but my experience has been different. I was wondering why in your search you left out Springfield, Para Ordnance, Dan Wesson (CZ-USA). Each of these companies make fine 1911 style firearms and are extremly reliable. Also, I sell many guns each month and have sold several of the Taurus 1911s and not one has come back because of failure to feed or failure of any kind. I understand you are writing about your experience but I am not sure you can generalize a whole product line because you got a bad apple. I am not sure what Taurus’ failure rate is and I am sure it is higher than the average but you are paying less for it than many other brands that function very well. You can usually get into a Springfield for just a little more than the Taurus and they are ususally twice the gun. I could continue and argue the benefits of other semi-autos besides a 1911 but that is really not what your article is about. If you want a 99.99% reliable handgun, stick to revolvers, H&K, Glock, FNM, Ruger (not pretty but they work), CZ, Sig. This is part of my experience in 20 years of the firearms business. Thanks DCR

  • Anonymous Says:

    i’m with DCR on this one. i’m surprised you would generalize also. if i had the same attitude, then when i made my first disappointing purchase with pyramidair, maybe i would have slammed them and not given them a second chance, which would have possibly caused me to not purchase another 12 air rifles from them. they told me I got a “bad apple”, i belived them, and they made good. “is it not possible for bb to get a bad apple”? i know you mentioned you will give taurus a chance to make good. i’m not a writer, but i’m a blogger, i guess i could go around to all the blogs and only write about my one bad experience with pyramidair.
    i also realize its your blog, but get some perspective on this one. just like you tell us which pellets work well in which air rifles (and i have to say i don’t know much about firearms), but maybe taurus or some blog can tell you which ammo is reliable in your 1911.
    “everyone is so used to expecting perfection nowadays”

  • Anonymous Says:

    Thursday, May 17, 2007
    A whole bunch of questions

    B.B. Pelletier said…

    “The point is that it is always best to shoot just one accurate pellet and to learn how it performs at all ranges”…

    …”Get the gun, find one good pellet and then GO LEARN TO SHOOT IT!”

  • Anonymous Says:

    “you get what you pay for”

    purchases should be made by what is at stake. if your life is on the line, spend the extra money. if you are expecting to get attacked by a rabbid squrrl, a gamo will do the job…
    i could use one of those free little umbrellas they stick in my tropical drink in a rainstorm, but i bet i’ll get wet…

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Twotalon,

    That was the point I was making. Of course, that’s what I thought I had done, too!

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Yes, I am steamed about this gun. Not because Taurus let me down, but because I went against my better judgement and fell for it.

    Regarding the “one pellet” comment, that applies to accuracy – not reliability. Reliability is a different game when it comes to preserving your life.

    I will get over this and I will tell you all how it turns out.

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    DCR,

    You see – you have had the other experience. That no PT1911s have come back. Of course they would go to Taurus, but I’m sure your customers would let you know.

    And, yes, this could be a bad apple, but now that I know what to look for it seems the PT1911 has a lot of them. I wish I had known that before.

    I mentioned that I left out a lot of other makes when writing my post because there wasn’t room. But I did look into each of them. I only highlighted the standouts.

    I have a Bugarian Makarov that is dead-nuts reliable, plus I have owned five Colt 1911s previously that were equally good, so I do know it can be done. I guess I am just venting. But venting with a purpose.

    When I test a Mendoza and discover that it is far better than the bad rap it has been given, I want ty clear the record. When the Gamo CF-X out-performed my expectations, I apologized in print.

    I also want my readers to know that I get snookered just like them.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    FOR THE MONEY, that CF-X is a damn good air rifle. beautiful with a 3-9×40 scope on it….I repeat,…for the money….

  • MajorKonig Says:

    BB ,

    I kinda liked the post quite a bit. I dont want to open a can of worms, but I’ll say it straight, I am not too fond of “management” boards of any company. More than half of corporate disasters happen ONLY because managerial misadventures. Ok, time to stop.

    By the way, BB, dont take me wrong, but I’d say you would be better off with the sixguns. You could have taken any of Linebaugh’s sixguns. Or a Wyoming 50 if you can handle it.

  • Twotalon Says:

    B.B.
    You definitely made your point.
    Looks and sales hype snag a lot of folks.
    Just like the packaging on fishing tackle ….designed to catch fishermen, not fish.
    Twotalon

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    MajorKonig,

    I can’t even take the recoil of a .454 Casull. I’m sure the Wyoming .50 is out of the question for me.

    B.B.

  • Jay Says:

    It seems the older I get the more people in general don’t want to know the truth, about anything. I for one am not one of them. I like hearing the truth or plain facts even if they happen to be disappointing. So as far as I’m concerned you just keep telling us things the way you see them as a result of your testing.
    It’s what make this blog such an interesting read.
    Thanks for all your efforts B.B.

  • pestbgone Says:

    B.B.,
    Thanks for being the “Consumers Reports” of airguns, and honoring us with your trustworthyness and honesty. As you’ve said, too, I read the other airgun forums and blogs mostly for entertainment, and rely on you for “real” information. How can you not read a post from someone saying they know their gun is “very powerful” because it “shot through the mattress and wall and into my brother’s bedroom,” and not be entertained? I guess he missed the chronograph.
    Thanks again,
    Pestbgone

  • Dave Says:

    bb,

    im sorry you had to go through that…i think its a little diff. then ppl that get an airgun. they get it for fun/competition/hunting. you got that handgun for protection. i would be raging mad. so, what gun are you going to get for protection now? personally, i like .40 s&w over .45 acp…still powerful, and you can usually get another round in the clip. why did you choose .45 acp over other chambers of around the same size? as for revolvers, i would work up my strength and get a .500 s&w, but thats just me, lol. i wanted a .500 revolver since they came out.

    Dave

  • Anonymous Says:

    My brother was excited to have his Taurus in hand as we went out to use it for the first time. Extreme dissappointment and frustration. Constant feed jams, getting worse and worse as time went on, and no amount of cleaning would reduce it. My brother realizing that this was an unreliable self defense firearm, traded it in for a Springfield and has never had a problem since.

  • Anonymous Says:

    J.

    To anyone who can answer my question.

    What happens if i drop my new beeman R1 and hits the front of the gun and damages the crown? will this ruin my gun?

  • Anonymous Says:

    interesting post. i just have one question, why would you want a .45 for personal protection? most people want .22s such as c camps or tomcats or tphs… which btw is no longer sold in the us. a .45 is a little meaty to carry comfortably. unless of course you will use it for protection from animals when big game hunting with an airgun in case you are in trouble.

    that brings me to my last question which is really ridiculous but i have been curious. can a pocket airgun such as a p23 with 410 fps be used for protection? 331 fps is needed to penetrate skin and this exceeds that. im sure most of us would agree that we would not want to take someone’s life in a defense situation, just to injure them enough to get to the police. i don’t know, i’d like to hear your input BB. thanks

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Never threaten anyone with an airgun. They can call your bluff and it will go worse if you have hurt them. Hardened criminals will not be stopped or even slowed by a BB gun or small pellet pistol.

    A .45 ACP is a good self-defense weapon because it takes out the bad guys very effectively. 9mm and .38 Special caliber can be effective, but too many times they have failed to stop the bad guys. That’s why the U.S. Army is abandoning 9mm and returning to .45 ACP. They have had the same bad experiences in the middle east that they had in the Philippines last century.

    A .22 should never be used for defense unless it’s all you have. It just doesn’t have what it takes to do the job reliably. That’s not to say it isn’t dangerous, because it certainly is. But it’s never recommended for self defense.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    BB,

    I hope you have an idea for me to try or any insight would help.

    My Diana 36 in 0.22 bought new and using a Beeman Peep site with JM spring kit with new apex seal. I have put 250 – 350 pellets through it since the tune but the groups at 16 yards are stringing vertically with all pellets that I try. Todays typical group is 1.518″ ctc but the group is vertical with 4 in a basic line and only one 1/4″ to the right. Different pellets do the same thing with different poi’s I thought I had it solved with the breach seal shims I added. I want to love this gun but it is too eratic. Am I just not giving it enough time to settle in? The crown looks OK but I am no expert. Ant thoughts?

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    This is almost certainly a hold problem. Vibration is your enemy here.

    Here’s what to do. Balance the rifle on the flat of your open palm just in front of the triggerguard. It will feel nose-heavy. You can rest your hand on almost anything you want.

    Before you shoot, relax and exhale. Then look how much to the side and down your front sight has moved. Resight from this relaxed position for every shot, and let the trigger break surprise you.

    Please tell me if this helps.

    B.B.

  • N.Y. Says:

    B.B.

    It sure sounds like you sure got the short end of the stick this time. But try out that return policy anyways. If I had based my opinions on 2240′s on my first defective one, I’d be quite the bored airgunner right now.

  • Anonymous Says:

    I will try. I have tried a forward hold, then under the Diana name, and currently the place you mention just in front of the triggerguard that has given me the best results soo far. I am also trying to just use the pad of the trigger finger and on the rear with the thumb only with out holding the grip. I have had less fits with the RWS 350, 34, and of corse teh HW 50S you convinced me to get. I have to shoot that again afterwards just to get my confidence back! Thanks for all your help.
    BTW forgot to sign the last post. Oops.
    KTK-Racine

  • Vince Says:

    BB – regarding the Philippine ’45, you said… “But I wanted something off the shelf that they didn’t offer. Most off-the-shelf upgraded pistols based on Philippine frames are set up for mall ninjas.”

    Could you explain that? I’m probably selling my mint 1926 “C” model A1 (after finding out what it’s worth!) and buying a Gov’t model lookalike. The Filipino gun is one I was considering.

  • Anonymous Says:

    I know in past posts that you have mentioned being skeptical about the airgun forums, and certainly there is good reason to be to a certain extent. But I think the subject of your blog today may suggest one of the areas when the forums can really be useful. Before buying a gun, many of us throw out the question “has anyone bought such and such gun, and what do you thinkk – any problems?” Within a day you will most likely have a half dozen or more people telling you what their experiences are (and yes, sometimes they all contradict eachother. But many times they are consistant) and you have a pretty fair idea of what you are getting into. Just thought this related to your topic.

  • Anonymous Says:

    im a little confused by the need for .45 though. if your not a police officer then a .22 i think will be fine for personal protection. unless you enforce the law, the chances of you engaging in gun battles or getting into enough trouble where a .45 would be needed is slim. when most people want protection they go small so it can easily be carried. i don’t understand why a .45 would be needed to go shopping if you know what i mean? and lets not downplay the effectiveness of a .22 LR. although much larger, an m16 fires a 5.67mm, only .12mm larger than a .22 a 2240 can potentially be deadly so…???

  • Davee1 Says:

    The .45 was developed for its knockdown power. A .22 may not knock a man down. A .22 may have deadly potential, but the .45 has much higher deadly potential. Do most of us want to kill people, no of course not. But, if in a situation where you had to use a handgun, why not whip out a big one, and finish the job. I was taught that you never take out your weapon unless you are going to use it, and unfortunately, when protecting my own and members of my family…I ain’t takin’ no chances. Try taking a leisurely stroll in badtown USA. Its only a matter of time before the bad guys hit you up somehow.

  • Anonymous Says:

    Where I live, just going to the movies is dangerous…

  • Dave Says:

    an m16 round is not only larger, but also about 1.5 times heavier, and shoots at around 10x’s faster then a .22lr, so, there is a huge difference, you cant just look at diameter of a bullet. a .22 lr gives between 100-200 fpe(i dont remember exactly what), and an m16 round has around 1200 fpe(figures from remington catalog)…large difference.

    Dave

  • Anonymous Says:

    i am well aware of the difference in power between the two,just using this as an example. of course a .45 has more knockdown power, but for protecting yourself a .45 is too big to conceal easily. besides the fact that that kind of power is not needed. and lets be realistic, most people DONT carry guns. if your not in law enforcement, i see walking around with a .45 thuggish. of course, i love firearms and airguns for that matter, but i would not dare take one off of my personal property.

    on a side note, when you talk about power, it reminds of the desert eagle. people think it is good because of its knock down power, but in actulity it is a pos. you better hope you make your first shot because there are no second chances with that gun!

  • Vince Says:

    The 5.56 does a lot more damage than the .22 because of the shock wave it generates in tissue when it hits (at what? 2500-3000fps?)

    As for the .45, if you have to pull the trigger bigger is better (and if you want to limit your collateral damage, slower is better, too – to a certain point). Even if you have the extreme luxury of shooting “not to kill”, you have a better chance of disabling your attacker with, say, a shot at the legs or shoulder.

    That said, I have a .38 with wadcutters as my HD weapon… simply because I believe that the reliability of the revolver is worth the tradeoff of the smaller round.

    As for the .22 – well, it’s better than nothing, especially if you’ve got good shot placement. There are some people (like my 4’11″ aunt) who get intimidated by anything larger. But it wouldn’t be my first choice if my life or the life of a loved one is at stake.

  • Anonymous Says:

    BB, Don’t sell the .357 Mag. short. It has the best record of one shot stops when used with good 125 gr. JHP’s.

    Also, Glocks have a very good rep for working out of the box. We use them at “work”. Few problems, they are .40 S&W’s.

    A good “Smith” should be able to make the Taurus run. Your picture, of a position one stoppage, is common on rough guns.

    Me, I’m using a 1968 National Match (Bought used in “88″)and a Combat Commander from the Colt custom shop circa 1986.

    Or, a Glock 19 (9mm) and a S&W 640 Hammerless in .38 Special. The key to effectiveness in 9′s and 38′s is very good and hot ammo.

  • Anonymous Says:

    BB,

    I was also sucked in by the hype. In my case I was burned by compasseco’s TF 99. Wish I had found your blog and Pyramyd Air first. The TF 99 sounded too good to be true, and $170 plus $50 in seals and teflon and a lot of rework later, it’s still too good to be true. Spend the money up front for something good… Hind sight is always 20-20, live and learn, and all that.

    Desert Eagle? Too much risk of over penetration with the 44 and 50. Great fun to shoot when they are spotless clean and working! I have one to thank for getting me into reloading (economics). Trust my life with it? No way, No way, N-F-W!! Unless it was the only thing I had. If there are 2 bad guys you better hope they are lined up, or you might have to take the other guy out by throwing the 4 1/2 pound pistol at him after it jams… I love my reasonably accurate, dead reliable Polish Radon in 9x 18 Mak. It fits in my pocket too. Why not carry a firearm off of your property!?! Thinking like that gets us new knee-jerk gun laws when we have enough already. OK, off my soapbox.

    another /Dave

  • Anonymous Says:

    BB,

    i saw how you were thinking people would not want to hear about firearms as much but wow, this has been very popular.

    -sumo

  • Anonymous Says:

    Isn’t this an *_AIRGUN_* oriented blog?

    Many of us are interested in firearms as well, but this really doesn’t seem to be the place for self defense discussion.

  • Alfred Says:

    It’s his blog, and an interesting read.

  • Anonymous Says:

    “It’s his blog, and an interesting read.”

    Yes it is. A post about disappointment with a product purchased.

    Not about xyz vs zyx ballistic performance of a powder gun.

    Lets get some perspective here.

    Nothing sold by Pyramyd Air even remotely qualifies as a defensive arm.

    Please read that last sentence again and contemplate it carefully.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Vince,

    A Rock Island Armory .45 is a good basic gun. It would be a good one for you, given what you intend doing.

    What I said w3as many customisers are using this frame, because it is cheap, to create “Extreme” .45s with lasers, lights and other crap. That’s the mall ninja remark.

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Dave,

    This problem causes me to stop and think. Thirty years ago my reaction would have been to sell the Taurus and buy either a Kimber, S&W or a Wilson (if I had the money). But I have several good defensive handguns plus a couple of shotguns, so the need for a .45 isn’t that urgent.

    What I was aiming for was to have one dead-reliable pistol instead of having to choose from several that all offer something, but none that do it all.

    What I will do is see how Taurus treats me, and what they can do with this gun. If they get it working, I will put it through several acid tests of endurance and reliability – not unlike what the U.S. Army did when they held the field trials for the original 1911. If it passes (with no failures that cannot be explained by other things) I will trust the gun. If it fails, I will sell it and get a good gun.

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Springfield,

    Thanks for that report. I sure hope the same doesn’t happen to me, but if it does, I’ll put Springfield on my short list.

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    J,

    It sounds like you have a problem. Unfortunately, youy don’t specify how bad the damage it. Scratches on a crown are harmless unless they cut into the bore. It might be good to have a good airgunsmith look at your rifle.

    B.B.

  • JDB in NY Says:

    BB, thanks for the good read. A little topic variety is great. Your experiences both good and bad are eductional for us all.

    This post is especially interesting to me. I’m also in the market for a .45 1911. I had it narrowed down to the Kimber or the Taurus. Now I will have to re-think. Please keep us informed as to how Taurus takes care of your issue.

    P.S. Just ordered a CF-x in .22cal. I will compare to my .177 and give you a side by side comparison (opinion).

  • Anonymous Says:

    BB-

    Timely article as we get closer to 2011 (100years)
    I think of getting 1911.

    Sad for those who have totally missed your goals/objectives in writing this piece. (Story more as vehicle of experience readers can relate to.)

    Where firearms outlawed i.e.: Phillipines, Argentina. Powerful CO2 airguns seemed to emerge. CO2 was able to meet needs and easy to get. Have found I enjoy several .25 Sharks very much. Suggestions regarding any semi auto air pistols or any other product lines in this category. (CO2 prefer .25 cal)

    Please post conclusion! (Like Sand Through Hourglass So Goes….As The Pellet Turns) If you do not get it you might be too young:)

    Ray

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Days of Our Lives,

    I’m older than I look.

    But semiauto .25 caliber pistols! Come on. There are fewer than 15 semiauto air pistols in production at this time, and the bulk of them are .177 target guns.

    CO2 you can get. It’s .25 caliber that’s a problem.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    BB-The Army is returning to the .45? Hallelujah! I have never liked the Beretta 92 as a US Military sidearm (nor for that matter, the M16, although i carried one in Vietnam). I qualified with the .45 while at Ft. Benning but I never thought especially highly of it’s accuracy at the time. Reading Elmer Keith’s long-range experiences with it in WWII made me re-think, and I’ve wanted one ever since. However the $$ seemed always way too steep. How sad that Clinton had so many used Govt model .45s scrapped during his presidency, rather than turn them loose for public sale. So what .45 is the military going with now? -Joe

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Joe,

    They are talking aboiut a mnodernized gun. I don’t think the 1911 will be given another chance. But I believe that a lot of the good things they learned about it will be requirements for the next one.

    B.B.

  • Vince Says:

    If I’m not mistaken, the 1911 is still issued to some special forces, especially in the Marines. I believe they are old frames refitted with Kimber parts.

    I’m just hoping that it survives in SOME official role for another 4 years…. making it an even 100 years of military service.

    Does anyone know if there is any pistol design, auto or otherwise, that has been in continuous production as long?

  • Anonymous Says:

    how is the glock 26 for personal protecction. one of buddies (federal agent) has a 9mm glock 26 and im thinking of purchasing one? BB maybe you have some insight for me.

    p.s. has anyone had any experience with a semiauto MAC?

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Vince,

    I do believe the 1911 is the champ.

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Glock,

    I have zero experience with Glocks, but the articles I read praise them highly for reliability. They have never been touted as accurate handguns in the same vein as the 1911, but for defense they are very trustworth, from all I have read.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    BB,

    How accurate is the talon SS .22 at 50 yards with kodiak? You’ve only tested it at 35 yards. Could you do some testing at 50 yards? Thanks.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Not only have I tested the Talon SS at 50 yards, it is used by the U.S. Army Sniper School at Ft. Bennig as an informal sniper training gun. They regulary shoot half-inch groupos at 50 yards with Crosman Premiers.

    With Kodiaks, the best groups will be an inch or so.

    B.B.

  • CrosWomam Says:

    B.B.–

    Sorry about your disappointment with the Taurus PT1911. The shop where I work has sold at least a dozen, and I don’t recall having to return any of them for service (a courtesy you should expect from a gun shop). If you return the gun to Taurus, expect a 3-4 wk. turnaround, little explanation of what they actually did (sometimes they include a checklist), no charge, and a gun that will function with no further problems.

    Please be aware that 1911s of any manufacture require a minimum of 200 rds. break-in before attempts to assess reliability. The design is, after all, 100 yrs. old.

    Also, please note that Remmington (& Winchester) ammo from the “big box stores” is…(searching for polite word here…)Sub-Standard! WallyWorld and their ilk browbeat the ammo companies into such low cost product, that the powder charges are usually below spec, except for the occasional & alarming slight over-charge (minimum Q.C. cuts costs). At our range, we FREQUENTLY see this ammo fail to fully cycle the slides of full-size service pistols, especially new ones. Cursing a newly purchased expensive gun because the box store bought the name but not the familiar trusted product is a scene I see played out almost daily. (Cheap Chinese pellets in a Webley would evoke the same response, for the same reason.)

    Our range Taurus PT1911 was up on the range the first week the gun was available, has had thousands of rounds thru’ it, has been cleaned very rarely (who wants to clean a range gun?), and is just now getting to the point where it should have a real cleaning & a new recoil spring. I wish you a similar satisfying experience with yours.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Gun-store guy,

    Please tell me more! I bought the ammo at a gun show, so it wasn’t the low-quality Wally World stuff that, I agree, is substandard. But it was Remington, and I have had some problems in the past with their .22LR stuff.

    I also know about the break-in period. I used to tune 1911s when I was younger. But I was a hack, even though all my guns ran fine. This time I wanted a gun that wasn’t a kitchen-table job.

    The problem seems to be with the extractor, but since this is a Series 80 trigger, I don’t know enough about it to say for sure.

    The experience you have described of running for thousands of round is exactly what I expected from this gun. So tell me, what ammo would you recommend? I will try it and apologise publicly if something that simple has caused the problem.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    bb
    if you really want a good defensive gun, go with a glock. They shoot accurately are drop dead reliable and
    are a good defensive workhorse. just my opinion

  • Anonymous Says:

    @*$&!% go with a glock!

  • GadgetHead Says:

    B.B. wrote: “Please tell me more! I bought the ammo at a gun show…”

    Hi B.B.,

    ‘Scuse me for buttin’ in here. I understand why you posted this blog topic and yet I’ve had a hard time resisting jumping into the firearms comments. Interesting stuff, no doubt!

    Well, sorry. Your ammo comment I just couldn’t resist. There are web sites I’ve come to trust more than others when I’m seeking info. that’s likely to get me going in the right direction. Of course, your blog is on my toplist when my need is info. on airgun products.

    When it comes to firearms and ammo, the web site hosting the article I’ll name below is on my toplist. You probably already know a lot of the stuff covered in this particular article, but maybe not.

    The article is “_AMMUNITION FOR THE SELF-DEFENSE FIREARM_, Opinion by Anonymous.” The anonymity bit is sort of explained in the Forward to the article, written by Chuck Hawks. Here’s the URL…

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/ammo_by_anonymous.htm

    I hope you find the article helpful, to get you going in the right direction. Perhaps resolving the case ejection issue is a matter of finding the right ammo.

    Sorry I don’t have experience with .45 ACP or 1911 pistols to share with you. That’s a bug that never bit me.

    Cheers,
    GH

  • Anonymous Says:

    BB…Had a Taurus wheel gun, it had a dangerous failure…About 15 years ago l purchased nice blue Taurus revolver in .22 Mag. RF, planed to use for hunting…They did not c’bore the cylinder for the case rims, one split during shooting and set off a second round, very scarie…I sent it back for repair, they said l used bad ammo (New Winchester HP)…So there you have it, good luck…TOM

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    GH,

    In the words of Gomer Pyle, “Thank you, thank you!”

    That was what I needed. I’ve bookmarked the site. After the other comment about reduced power loads, I looked at my cartridges and they wwere not on the recommended list. They also ejected weakly, so I will try some off this recommendeed list and see what happens.

    As I said before, I will alologize publicly if ammo is the culprit.

    B.B.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Tom,

    I know Taurus used to make junk guns, just like Weihrauch (Arminius). But they got their act together several years back and now they make pretty good wheelguns. The Raging Buill is a fine example.

    I am hoping that my problems were caused by substandard ammo and not by the gun. If that’s the case, I will eat humble pie.

    B.B.

  • GadgetHead Says:

    LOL! OK, B.B.

    In the words of GySgt Carter, “Move it, move it, move it!”

    So, get on down to the store and get some ammo.

    Cheers,
    GH

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    GH,

    I’m on a working vacation right now, but as soon as I return, – “Yes SIR, Sgt. Carter!”

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    Well, I hope I’ve found out how to reach you, BB.

    I’ve been doing as much reading as I can, but I’m still very confused about the subject(s) of fps,pellet weights, and calibers, and their effects.

    So let me set up the following situations, and hope that you can explain it to me.

    DISTANCES: 25′, 50′, 75′, 100′, 125′, and 150′.

    TARGETS: pigeons, crows, starlings, rabbits, squirrels, and rats.

    CALIBERS, SPEEDS, and WEIGHTS:
    .22, 14.3, 400fps, 500fps, and 600fps.
    .177, 7.9, 400fps, 500fps, 600fps, and 700fps.
    .177, 10.5, 400fps, 500fps, 600 fps, and 700fps.

    What exactly makes the .22 the preferred caliber for most pests?
    Especially since the 7.9 and the 10.5, at higher speeds, can equal the “barrel oomph” of the .22?

    For example, a 14.3, .22, at 500fps equals the “barrel oomph” of a 10.5, .177, at roughly 583fps.

    Thanks.

    jh

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    JH,

    Push your chair back. Turn off computer. Get a pellet gun & go outside & shoot.

    You are spending too much time thinking about this and not enough time doing it. Stop reading the internet & start shooting pellet guns.

    B.B.

  • bluzjamer Says:

    I have a Tarus P-145, also about 6 others. I have no feed problems. Change your ammo buy several different brands and go out and shoot. Make sure you have some basic hardball rounds. They usually feed in everything. Stay away from semi wad cutters. Lastly if you get no satisfaction visit a gunsmith or ship it back to the factory. Most new guns need a couple of hundred rounds through them to break in.
    On the Markarov….jeez nice looking gun. I bought a PA-63 two tone. Shot 10 rounds and put it away. I shoot everything up to a 444 in contender barrel. Nothing is worse than the thumb bite of that 9/18 round. Good luck.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    bluzjamer,

    As I stated, I will be trying the gun with a lot of other ammo. However I have discovered that Taurus does indeed know they have problems with this gun. Their returns are heavy for feeding problems.

    The PA-63 may bite, but the Makarov does not. It’s as smooth as any 1911 I ever tuned.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    BB,

    I can only say… sell it. I tried to make lemonade out of a Norinco once…once. I thought, I am going to custom it out anyway…it will be a cheap base. It was.

    I think Kimber WAS the cadillac, but their recent fame and volume have made them slip. Still love their line of 22 rifles though.

    I shot a 1911 in competition in the 90′s. At that time, Springfield was considered the best “starter” pistol for reliability in a 1911. By “starter” I mean people trick 1911′s more than 67 camaro. Springfields were WAY better than Colt, cheaper than Kimber.

    All that said, I still have never fired a 45 ACP as reliable and accurate out of the box as a SIG.

    Just my 2 cents, but I have not kept up on the 1911 crowd. Things change over time with gun makers.

    Now for that International Harvester M1…

    Francis Marion

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Francis,

    Today I call Wilson Combat to see if their 8-round magazine will fit a PT1911. I expect to be laughed at, though my wife (see how good wives can be?) pointed out that they will probably do all they can to help me, knowing that the next time I will bite the bullet and buy a Wilson.

    I will, too!

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    BB,

    Yes, Wilson is top shelf…as is Ed Brown. But now you have surpassed even the Kimber in bucks!

    BTW, did you try having Taurus replace it as a lemon? They might if it was new.

    I did a quick run down on the web and saw raves for the PT1911, though most of those were “initial quality” reviews. I like to know would they buy it again after a few thousand rounds. Just a few negatives on the web though.

    Perhaps your gun simply was not fit well. You could send it out for fitting perhaps? (add a match barrel if you do)

    This looks like way more gun than my Norinco, which I bought for the frame basically. Problem was, it still jammed a lot. I gave it to my father-in-law (even though I liked him) and it was stolen in Utah. He said, “I hope I find the guy who stole it, I owe him $50.”

    I personally hand made a pair of red cedar grips for it that were absolutely stunning contrasted against the blue finish. They were a little soft, but people stopped me every where to see them. My Dad used to say they were the finest grips he ever saw on a turd. Nice family.

    I sure do miss those grips.

    Cheers,
    Francis Marion

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Francis,

    I haven’t done anything about the Taurus yet, but I have a Wilson mag on the way. I feel the problem was either the magazines or the extractor, because of how all the failures occured.

    I will follow up on this report, because I’m trying to set an example for new airgunners about what to do when you get a lemon.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    BB,

    If it is jamming on extraction, sometimes it is the fit of the lugs to the barrel or more typically the pivot arm that inserts and removes the barrel from the lugs.

    All the Best,
    Francis Marion

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Francis,

    No, it’s failing to feed. I think the mag spring is too weak, so I’m trying a Wilson mag. They have a great rep. If that doesn’t work, I’ll send it to Taurus for repairs/

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    BB,

    Failing to feed is the bain of the 1911. In the past, the first “mod” to any 1911 was polishing (fitting and polishing) the throat to improve feeding. Most all would feed FMJ, but other bullets could be problematic. Polishing the throat greatly improved the feeding of various other bullets, especially hollow points like hydroshocks,talons, etc.

    If it jams on FMJ, bib red flag.

    For clarity, I think you are taking the right approach. These are just comments.

    However, I would not be “satisfied” unless it would feed various loads and projectiles with confidence. When you get the new clips, be sure to try various loads. I used to intentionally hand load some “problematic” rounds to see where I stood. That mainly encompasses the bullet seat depth variance for FMJ and hollow points.

    All the Best,
    Francis Marion

  • coltman Says:

    Brazilian arms?????????? hohohohohoho……try a colt.

  • Blake Adams Says:

    Just to add in my two cents – I put 200 rounds (that’s right, 4 50-count boxes) of FMJ .45 ACP from Wolf, PMC, and Winchester on the first day of getting the Taurus, and it functioned flawlessly.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Blake,

    I hear reports like yours, as well. Apparently some PT1911s come out good and others don’t.

    Here is a link to the last report I wrote about my pistol, which will show you what I’ve been through, thus far:

    http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2008/01/bb-gets-disappointed-part-4-wilson.html

    There are links to all the earlier reports at the top.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    Mr.Pelletier,
    I have 35+ years experience carrying, shooting and qualifying on military and police courses with M1911A1 pistols. In March 08 I purchased a Taurus PT1911 pistol. This is a fine pistol at twice the price. I have fired more than 700 rounds with no problem. My first qualification with the Taurus was on 12 June 08. Out of a possible score of 300 I scored 295 points. This is timed fire with both strong and weak hand, barricade and low light.

    I don’t know you or your experience with 1911 pistols. I do know that if the 1911 pistol is not held correctly it will malfunction. This is not a fault of the pistol but of the shooter.

    The Taurus PT1911 pistol is an excellent firearm and is very reliable. I now carry my Taurus as a replacement for my Kimber.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    I’m glad you had a good experience. I shoot expert with the 1911, and accuracy isn’t the problem, though my PT 1911 sure isn’t as accurate as my Wilson CQB.

    The problem was reliability, and I think I have solved it. You need to read the rest of the report.

    http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2008/01/bb-gets-disappointed-part-4-wilson.html

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    Ok obviously you ignored or weren't provided with the theory of a break in period. I own two PT 1911's and yes new I had failure to feed problems but I was told run a few hundred rounds and the gun will function alot better, and I suffered through 21 failure to feeds on one gun and 26 on the other, after the break in period, about 190rnds for the first and between 210 and 215 for the second I will say that now 1st gun has had 500 more rounds, all types LSWC, jhp, fmj, handloads and rounds from any maker I can get my hands on including wolf, cci blazer (non brass), some brazilian stuff a friend loaned me that smelled like a$$ when fired and I haven't had a single malfunction. Now gun number two is a different story and additonal 300rnds went through about 250 were LSWC and I had one failure to feed on a hand load, my Factory loads have not had such problem.

    Trouble with people reviewing guns is they ignore the tips and hints, have a few bad experiences and give up and cry foul. well being more of an expert than You since I own two PT1911's I can say I'd rely on this gun to protect not only my life but I'd stake the lives of my two children on it.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    I considered the break-in period. Eight identical failures to feed in 84 rounds isn't indicative of a tight pistol. Something is wrong. I was a 1911 hobby gunsmith in the 1970s, so all I had to do was catch up on things like the Series 80 trigger and some new tightening techniques, which the PT 1911 doesn't need.

    If you read the other six reports I did on this pistol you will learn what the problem really was:

    http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2009/05/1911a1-colt-national-match-part-7.html

    I stayed with it and learned the pistol's faults, correcting them as they became obvious. It looks like I have solved all feeding failures now. I won't spoil the ending for you, but it's in the reports.

    I may write another report on this pistol, which is now my favorite defense gun. It has even nudged my Wilson Combat CQB to the side.

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    I have a PT1911 I have shot thousand and thousands of rounds through it everything from rounf ball to core lock I know im just starting playing the game but with just under 25 1911's of every make and model under my belt I will have to respectfully dissagree. I have owned the pt 1911 for about three years and by my range card I have had less then 6 misfires in 4thouse five hundred shots and three of them were diring the break in period. Sometimes you do have to polish the slide and thats something that you can do with a drimal tool you can get a walmart. If you polish the feed ramp and you still have feed problems then make up your mind

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    Will you PLEASE READ the other six reports I did on this gun!!! Yes, not all of them apply to this pistol, but they are all part of one story prompted by my PT1911.

    http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2009/05/1911a1-colt-national-match-part-7.html

    In those reports I tell you and show you in detail what was wrong with the gun and how I fixed it.

    I have never had a misfire with this pistol, but I've had PLENTY of failures to feed over the 1,500 rounds I have fired. And, this problem is well-documented by other gun writers. In fact "Gun Report" gave the pistol a "D" rating when they tested it.

    Your comment has prompted me to write a part 8 to this story, if you're up for it. It will be on the main blog on Friday. It goes live at 6:30 a.m., Eastern.

    http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    .357 Magnum doesn't have the "defense performance" that you're looking for? What kind of performance are you hoping to achieve? The .357 can outclass the .45 ACP in terms of velocity and energy without question.

    Secondly, you claim that "the U.S. Army is abandoning 9mm and returning to .45 ACP." Please don't hold your breath waiting for this to happen. I realize certain units do carry a .45, and I would gladly welcome it, but a wholesale change is nigh impossible.

    While I don't necessarily agree with your thoughts and comments concerning the .45 ACP, I think you are running a great blog. Keep up the great work, shoot safe, and share the sport!

  • JBC3 Says:

    I agree with B.B. The Taurus 1911 offers a lot a "packaging" that will catch the buyer…but maybe NOT the perpetrator.

    My PT1911 had the safety jam after about 50 rounds. After getting it back from Taurus (6 weeks), I ran 150 rounds thru it. The front sight shook loose and I was firing 6 inches to the left. Six weeks later (again), it was back with a new slide/sight assembly.

    I am now at around 500 rounds thru the barrel and the pistol is performing flawlessly.

    I decided to keep it, but only as a range toy. The Kimber has assumed the honor of Defense Duty. It has NEVER failed since day one!

    Just like a significant other…if he/she cheats on you once, you might forgive and try to forget. But will you ever totally trust him/her again? Yes, the Taurus is a real "looker" and a great performer…as long as it stays in a "good mood". So when I'm looking for a "good time", I'll take her out of the range bag. But my "full time companion of substance" is the Kimber. She's every bit as sexy as the Taurus. And when I "push her GO button", she ALWAYS delivers a bang. Ain't that what life is really about?

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    JBC3,

    What an analogy! A cheating lover!

    But I stuck it out with this one and now I trust her as much as my Wilson Combat. Read the other reports, staring here:

    http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2009/07/bb-trusts-his-taurus-pt1911-part-8.html

    B.B.

  • ptbeltek Says:

    I wanted a 1911 for years but I am just a working man so $1000+ was just too much.I am also left handed so an ambidextrous safety is neccesary. I researched the PT 1911 and found it difficult to find any bad reviews. (somehow I missed yours). So I bought a PT1911. I anxiously got to the range that same day and my extractor broke after firing three rounds. I can't even explain how dissapointed I was. I had the gun sent back to Taurus for repair. 5 weeks later and they still have not even looked at it. I guess they can't keep up with all the defects that keep coming in for repair/replacement. I'm left with the feeling that I just made a big mistake trusting the advertising and falling for the -$600 price tag. Shame on you Taurus, you will not fool me again. Like the saying goes…, "fool me twice, shame on me."

  • Anonymous Says:

    You made me a skeptic in your opening when you said that you were going to use it for "hunting". I've hunted all my life and this is NOT a gun that you would "hunt" with. I give all my handguns a 2oo round break-in period. After that I'd send it back for repair.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    I beg to differ! The 1911 is used extensively for pig hunting, and plenty of deer have been taken with it. The bullets have to be correct, of course. You don't shoot hardball. And the maximum engagement range has to be held to the distance at which you can reliably hit your target. But the 1911 most certainly is a hunting arm.

    B.B.

  • tocoldinak Says:

    You must have gotten the lemon in the bunch. I have my Taurus 1911 for about six months now, i"ve fired about 600 rounds and have never had a miss feed or any other problem.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    tocoldinak,
    I did, indeed, get a lemon. I went on to write seven more reports on this and other 1911s. You can access links to all of them from the final report:

    http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2009/07/bb-trusts-his-taurus-pt1911-part-8.html

    B.B.

  • Anonymous Says:

    I was going to say you probably just got a lemon, but it turns out you already realized that, haha…

    I have had my PT1911 for a few months now and have put 150 rounds through it, brass cased and cheap Aluminum cased, and never had a single jam so far.

  • B.B. Pelletier Says:

    This is a very old blog, and you have just read Part 1. I went on to write 7 other reports on this gun, which turned out to be one of the two best 1911s I own. Here is a link to Part 8 that has the links to all the earlier parts:

    http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2009/07/bb-trusts-his-taurus-pt1911-part-8.html

    If you are interested in the shooting sports, you are on the most active blog in the English language. But this is not the current site. Go to this site to rear out daily exploits:

    http://airgun-academy.pyramydair.com/blog/

    B.B.

  • BrooklynResident Says:

    I used to always carry a .25, a .38 S&W revolver, or a .32 hammerless colt. The .25 with Hornady hollowpoints, the Colt with Westchester Silvertip hollowpoints, and the .38 with…you guessed it-hollowpoints. I could always carry, always be ready.

    I live quietly, and no one would ever know I had a gun.

    That's the whole point behind concealed carry.

    I did have to pull a gun, more than once, BUT I never had to shoot anyone.

    That, also, is the point.

    Deterrence is preferable to all the mess involved with an "incident." My life is complicated enough.

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