Tag Archives: M1911

1911 Squib Round with Cheap Ammunition

This happen recently at a gun range that I use frequently. The range officer gave me permission to share the photos.  This happened with a new shooter and his new, very expensive custom 1911. The shooter was using Parabellum Research (PBR) ammunition when he had a squib round and fired the next round into the squib. Luckily the frame and slide held up well and did not appear to be damaged. Only the barrel had been damaged. The manufacturer of the ammunition is taking care of the firearm owner. The range advised it has been having problems with this particular ammunition manufacturer.

It is important as a shooter to quickly identify when you have had a squib round, to avoid firing then next round into it and blowing your barrel and firearm up. If you have the money to buy a custom built very expensive firearm, (no matter what it is), don’t shoot low quality / cheap ammunition through it to save a few cents. You had the money to buy the firearm so don’t get cheap on the ammo. While this can happen with any ammunition, if you buy known quality factory or premium factor ammunition, this will lessen the chances of having a squib or catastrophic failure.





Old And Nostalgic Can Still Be Good And Useful


I am not exactly a collector of WW2 gear, but being a devoted worshiper of the Colt M1911, I have always had a love for the old nostalgic  web belt, brown leather holster and accessories that came with the issuance of the 199 during the war. the belt was set up with what you needed to support the pistol in garrison or the field and more was added to it as needed via the 1910 wire hangers most of the gear used at the time.

The belt and pistol was a sign of authority and prestige, When you saw a soldier with the gun and belt, it was most likely an officer or a SGT; He was the guy who had the authority of command at least on some level.  The  set up was also used by anyone who could get it of course and was a huge comfort to men who had main weapons slow to deploy or useless at close range, like a mortar or bazooka. And of course every paratrooper could use one when their M1 was taken apart in a jump bag and they found themselves in the vulnerable moments after landing on the DZ.

While current products that fill the same role are better, the attraction I have  for the old ” pistol belt and 45 automatic ” is still strong and I often will wear it with a plain Gov model M1911 when hiking or doing chores around the property just for the fun of it and the feeling of history it give me.

I have had this original  J.A. Show belt since the 80s, Purchased from an old widow at an estate sell.  The 1st aid kit is original as well.   Recently I hit the jack pot with the WW1 era mint, never issued, 1918 magazine pouch.  This pouch was widely used in WWII as well as the other model with a single push the dot snap often seen.  While I have both, the 1918 model really is my pride,  Being the Colt was adopted in 1911 and used shortly after in WW1. I like the idea of the canvas gear being as close to the guns birth in time.  I can not put a finger on why, but I do.


The 1918 pouch was carefully stored in some government depot for who knows how long, and is mint.  It has the snap to connect it to the pistol belt and keep it in place.  The drab green/khaki color matches the belt nicely. the original US stamp is still sharp and clear on the belt as can be seen.


Above. the picture shows how the two 7 round  GI issue mags set in the pouch along with makers mark, model and date stamp on the inside flap still bright and clear.  The brass metal fittings still have the black finish that cuts down on the shine of the brass. It won’t be there for long since I use this stuff often.  The combo of the items is classic and iconic in my mind, seen in hundreds of movies about killing nazi scum bags or commie north Korean human waves or older still, charging across no man;s land in France trying to make it to the krauts trench system.

I don’t have a lot of original WW1 gear as I said, but what I do gather has a lot of  value to me and meaning.


Two failures: Broken S&W 1911, Case head seperation in a XD.

S&W 1911 broken slide stop:

S&W 1911 broken slide stop

The pistol was new, and the part failed in the first two shots.

Case head separation in a .357 sig XD.XD .357 sigCase head separations are more often seen in machine-guns and reloads.  In this case it was factory ammo.

As always, test your equipment, practice, and have back ups.

Unnecessary “Upgrades”

It is common for a firearms enthusiast to ‘upgrade’ a firearm after they get it.  The question is if each change done to the firearm is really an upgrade or not.

Plenty of changes can be made to most firearms to add capabilities, improve ergonomics, etc.  However often people are changing things just for the sake of change, or make questionable upgrades that are sometimes downgrades.

Some examples.  New Beretta 92FS pistols come with some plastic parts.  Some owners on gun forums remove the “cheap junk” plastic guide rod and install a “superior metal guide rod”.  The plastic guide rod replaced the metal one as an upgrade because it can flex and still work, while if the metal guide rod gets bent, it can prevent functioning.  The plastic guide rod also has clearance space for sand or gunk thus allowing functioning in adverse conditions.  These owners are downgrading their pistol while thinking that they are upgrading it.  A similar thing is often done with 1911s.  For quite some time full length guide rods were considered an almost mandatory upgraded.  Now we know that in many cases, you are better off with a standard GI style recoil spring setup.  Even with the Glocks, you often see new owners want to “upgrade” the recoil spring guide rod.

With the AR15 and the AK family of weapons owners will often change out furniture, or make other changes to try and achieve a different look.  Before spending your money, why not take a minute to consider if you really need that $50 dollar pistol grip, or that $200 dollar butt stock.  While most all of these changes are nice, decide if you really need them.  Consider if you really want an opposing lawyer showing a jury your pistol with its Punisher logos on it.  Will it really be so cool at point in time?  Will those aluminium pistol grip be comfortable in hot weather, or when its left out in the sun?  Is putting a several hundred dollar quad rail on a rifle you don’t plan to mount any accessories on really worth while?

Make sure that the changes you make to your firearms are actually improvements, not potential problems.  Each change should be thought out, and improve either the capabilities, functionality, or ergonomics of a firearm.

Q&A 2

This is the second session of LooseRounds.com Q&A.  If you have a firearms related question please email it to QA@LooseRounds.com. We will post the your questions anonymously and give you our answers.

Shawn and I thank Catherine Kim for the article she submitted and to thank Duncan Larsen for the articles he has submitted and for his help on our Facebook page.  We also appreciate the work CJ does as an editor on LooseRounds.com, he keeps us from looking as illiterate as we are.  Thanks also to Adam O’quinn for taking the 901 in action shots.


1.  How are the Surefire 60 round mags?

Howard:  Both Shawn and I own Surefire 60 round mags and we like them very much.  While we haven’t torture tested them, or run them very heavily, they appear to be good mags.  We recommend them, but be sure to test each mag before you rely on them.

2.  ar15 bolt face ring

Howard: Well that is not much of a question.  Normal wear on the bolt face may leave little pits, and a ring corresponding to the primer on the round.  If any pits extend into the firing pin channel, replace the bolt.

ARMY TM 9-1005-319-23&P and AIR FORCE TO 11W3-5-5-42 page 3-22 explain:

(a) Bolt faces with a cluster of pits which are touching or tightly grouped, covering an area measuring approximately 1,8 Inch across, will be rejected and replaced.

(b) Bolts which contain individual pits or a scattered pattern will not be cause for rejection.

(c) Bolts that contain pits extending Into the firing pin hole will not be rejected unless firing pin hole gaging check determines excess wear.

(d) Rings on the bolt face (machine tool marks), grooves, or ridges less than approximately 0.010 inch will not be cause for rejection.

3.  Winchester Model 70 used in Vietnam?

Shawn:  There were two types, one was the heavy barrel national match that had a target stock and a heavy barrel with a sporter stock.  The sporter stock model started off as sporters and then the Rifle Team Equipment (RTE) armorers added match heavy barrels.  Both were glass bedded and free floated by the RTE armors.

4.  Duty holster for 1911 with light

Shawn:  LooseRounds uses a Dark Star Gear holster kydex that can be used for IWB or outside carry.  Found it to be best of its type tested so far.

5.  scar 17 vs sig 716

Howard:  Right now you can get more parts and accessories for the Sig, such as cheap quality Magpul mags.  However as for company quality control and function out of the box, I would trust FN more then Sig.

6.  What cheap asian are good?

Howard:  Well, the following are optics and accessories are junk.  UTG, NcStar, Leapers, Counter Sniper.  Some of Tapco stuff is good, but much of it is junk.  ATI is similar with mixed quality items and plenty of junk.

Colt Rail Gun 4,000 round Test Updates with Report on Test Report for Phase II test of M45A1

Link to our Colt MARSOC  M45A1 Review  Part 1 and 2  to read about the M45A1 USMC 1911s accuracy and features





Since the news hit that Colt has won the contract to supply the USMC with the new 1911 pistol for MARSOC a lot of people have had a lot of questions regarding the rail gun. The pistol has been out since 09 and the only cosmetic  difference between the USMC contract gun is the FDE finish, the Novak night sights and a lanyard loop and the size and the M45A1 is a true picatinny rail along with a dual recoil spring system on the USMC gun.  The rail gun is stainless steel, frame and slide. The models with a dark finish are SS as well but with the extra coated finish.  There are a few nice touches on the rail gun that colt does not advertise for some reason, so I will break it down for you.

The rail gun comes with colt’s National match barrel. The barrel is slightly over sized at the muzzle end for a tighter fit for the barrel bushing and then slightly relieved. The slide has been dehorned for better handling and carry. Under the trigger guard is relieved for a higher grip and the front of the trigger guard is milled flat for those who like to put a finger in that spot. The pistol comes standard with Novak low mount combat sights and a Smith and Alexander upswept beaver tail grip safety. The rail gun I own came with the excellent STI ambi safety ( which has always been my personal favorite) but now comes with what may be the wilson combat ambi safety. The barrel and throat and chamber have all the normal upgrades that most 1911 buyers have a gunsmith do. This is a lot of upgrades on a pistol that is not advertised as being semi-custom, but they are there despite Colt not talking about it. You can confirm this all by reading some of the recent gun rag articles on the rail gun if you do not want to take my word for it.

The rail gun submitted for the new Marine special ops pistol has drawn a lot of attention lately from 1911 hater and lovers alike. The 1911 was tested to destruction in some cases and pictures have leaked out showing some cracking.  The rest of the story is not widely out at this point and the net being what it is, things have been taken out of context. The specs on testing show freezing the colt to 25 below for hours then heating to 100 degree then shooting and scraping ice off with knives. This is pretty harsh testing considering no service side arm would have anything like this happen or be shot that much.   But to try to understand what happens when a rail gun is used hard and to soothe the current rail gun owners frazzled nerves I decided to do a 4,000 round test of my own over the weekend.  My rail gun already had 10,000 rounds through it before I started the testing and I had an extra barrel ready to install anyway along with all the springs etc. So I decided I would use up whatever it had left to see what happened. I stopped at over 14,000 rounds through the gun when the USMC stopped at around 12,000.

I started off early in the morning and started shooting and loading mags as soon as they all run dry. I soon found out that I needed help with that so a friend got stuck loading mags for me to keep up the rate of fire and save time. With such a high rate of constant fire, it did not take long for me to burn myself on the gun. At times the gun got so hot to hold I had to place it in front of a large shop fan while reloading magazines

The gun would get so hot even the rear sight would be too hot to touch.

I did lube the gun every 300 rounds and I took the gun apart and wiped it off with a cotton towel. I did lube but I used no solvent or brush. This gave it a little time to cool down so I could hold it. By the time I had fired 2,000 rounds I had a few burns, blisters, and cuts myself. The web of my right hand is raw and my thumbs just plain hurt from loading. I am here to tell you–shooting this much non-stop is hard work. After a while I stopped trying to use training drills or shoot for group. I was so tired I just did not care. It truly is hard work and my ears still ring even with plugs in. The rear and front sight’s white dots became black from powder fouling covering them and my hands became filthy from the crud of so many fired rounds.

In all of this shooting I had three malfunctions. And I can tell you with 100 percent accuracy that it was mag related because it was the same mag, The culprit was a weak spring in a wilson combat 10 round magazine. Once I took it out of rotation I did not have another problem.  The only other problem (other than burning myself) was the grip screws would loosen up. I expected this since i have seen it before and have never loctited them. I normally do not approach this amount of shooting in one setting so I live with re tightening the grip screws once a year when I think about it.

After I finished up I took a few pictures of the gun. These are pictures of the rail gun after the last 1,000 rounds shot through it.

As you can see in the picture, the surefire x300 is so coated I could not see the light when I tried it. I thought the batteries died or the light took too much abuse until I wiped it off and tested it again. The light never got loose and helped tame the recoil slightly. I do not find .45 ACP hard kicking, but after that many rounds, it starts to wear on you.

Eventually the 1911 was so dirty, nothing on it was clean to the touch. Wiping it off every 1000 rounds helped but it seemed like I was still not able to keep up with it. Slip2000 showed itself to be truly excellent oil with a little GM grease added around the barrel link for when it got hot enough to bake off the light oil.

With the exception of the one wilson 10 round mag, all of the mags worked perfect. I only used colt factory 8 round mags and wilson combat 8-7 and 10 round mags along with 5 shooting star mags. The shooting star mags worked fine much to my surprise for they have ever been a source of frustration for me in the past despite their rep. I have 5 of the wilson 10 rounders and all but the one worked perfect.

I did not do any accuracy testing after the fact because to be honest, I was tired and do not think I had the ability to shoot a decent group even if the gun could. Sorry about that, but you are free to try it at home with your 1911.

I took the gun apart and looked it over with a magnifying glass I used to use to inspect diamonds at a Pawn shop and could find no crack or problems. The gun was a lot looser than it was the day before, but is fine. It is not so loose to make me worry or even care and I have 1911s looser than it is now that shoot better than I could hope for. I tried to take a picture showing the inside but they are too blurry owing to my 89 dollar camera not having a setting for super close up.

Above is a picture of my improvised target stand to keep from ruining my normal stuff. It is completely eaten  away from the amount of rounds through it. All 230 grain ball ammo.

Here is a target I used for the last 500 rounds. you can tell how tired I was by looking at the shots all over the target. He was dead already so I stopped caring. Getting those last rounds fired was a act akin to running through hell with gasoline underwear on.

For those of you with a rail gun or thinking of buying one, do not let the out of context pictures of cracked slides make you worry. I now have over 14,000 rounds total through my Colt and it is still working just like Colt meant it to. I do not advise abusing your personal 1911s to the point that I did. I some times part-time gunsmith 1911s locally and have enough Colt parts to build two 1911s except for stripped frames and slides so I can do this with little worry.  I have already replaced the barrel and springs so it is back to normal and I can go back to CCWing it.

It was a tough day. I am just glad I do not have to clean up after myself!!

Here is a source that provides some of the details of the COLT M45A1 during testing.

This test report summarizes testing conducted from 24 May - 28 July, 2011 at Quantico, VA,
in support of the Close Quarters Battle Pistol (CQBP) program. The objective of this test was
to continue the verification of Colt CQBP bid samples that had been started during the previous
Phase I testing and Limited User Evaluation.
The following events were conducted as part of this test effort:
· System Reliability
· Dispersion
· Compatibility with current M45 magazines
· Functionality in various orientations
· Functionality in adverse environmental conditions
All testing was completed, and the results can be found in the body of this report.

The intent of the Close Quarters Battle Pistol (CQBP) Bid Samples, Phase II testing was to
evaluate bid samples submitted in response to solicitation number M67854-11-R-1006.
This report summarizes the information collected on Colt’s bid samples (Proposal B) by the
Ordnance Test Facility during the CQBP Phase II testing. This test event was conducted at
Quantico, VA, from 24 May - 28 July, 2011.
CQBP – Close Quarters Battle Pistol
DFD – Double Feed
DoD – Department of Defense
DODIC – Department Of Defense Identification Code
FEJ – Failure to Eject
FFD – Failure to Feed
FSR – Failure of Slide to Lock to the Rear
FTC – Failure to Chamber
FTL – Failure to Lock
FXT – Failure to Extract
IAW – In Accordance With
IW – Infantry Weapons
MCSC – Marine Corps Systems Command
OTF – Ordnance Test Facility
OTH – Other Failure
PM – Program Manager
SLR – Slide Locked to the Rear
TP – Test Plan
TR – Test Report
UUT – Unit Under Test

Failure Definition:
A failure is any of the following, when attributable to the weapon:
1. A stoppage in weapon function
2. A failure to stop firing when the trigger is released
3. A malfunction where the weapon does not operate in accordance with design intent
(including failure of the slide to lock to the rear on an empty magazine)
4. A visually observed crack in the slide or barrelwhile following prescribed immediate action procedures.

Class II. A failure that may be operator clearable requiring more than 10 seconds. Only the
equipment and tools issued with the weapon may be used to clear the weapon.

Class III A failure of a severe nature. The failure cannot be corrected by an operator because
it requires higher level of maintenance or the use of tools and parts that the operator is not
authorized to carry on his person.

The following documents are referenced in this report:
a. TP/11/PM-IW/001 – Test Procedure for the Close Quarters Battle Pistol (CQBP) Bid
Samples, Phase II, 1 Dec 2010
b. TR/11/OTF/002 – Test Report for the Close Quarters Battle Pistol (CQBP), Proposal “B”
Bid Samples, 12 Jan 2011
c. MIL-STD-1913 – Dimensioning of Accessory Mounting Rail for Small Arms Weapons,
3 Feb 1995
d. Army TOP 3-2-045 – Automatic Weapons, Machineguns, Hand and Shoulder Weapons,
17 Sep 2007
e. Colt’s Model O Armorer’s Manual


a. Due to cracks which developed in the pistol slides during Reliability Testing, that test
was not able to be completed as planned. Testing was planned for 15,000 rounds per
pistol, but stopped early at 12,000 rounds.
b. The available UID reader during Indoctrination could not read the UID labels.
c. Time and resource constraints required us to utilize E-Labs in Fredericksburg, VA, for
the sand/dust chamber needed for the Blowing Sand/Dust Test. Due to ammunition
regulations and safety concerns, ammunition was not placed in the sand/dust chamber as
originally planned.
d. Some of the chemical substances for the Chemical Compatibility testing were not
available to use.
a. Trigger pulls at 3,000 rounds during Reliability Testing were not measured.
b. Instead of using spare magazines during Dispersion Testing, magazines labeled #1 for
each pistol were used.
c. Due to repetitive failures of the trigger to reset during firing, one pistol only fired 28
rounds instead of the planned 120 rounds for the Salt Fog Test.
d. Pistols were immersed in the salt water solution during the Salt Water Test in Condition 3
instead of Condition 2
e. The pistols placed in the sand/dust chamber for the Blowing Sand/Dust Test were not
loaded, and no ammunition was exposed to the sand/dust environment. After the pistols
and magazines were taken to the range, they were then loaded with ammunition.
f. Decontaminating agents DS2 and STB were not available, so they were not used in the
Chemical Compatibility test. Instead of submersing the non-metallic components in
RSDL and Insect Repellant, these chemicals were liberally applied to the exterior of the
non-metallic components.

Ten new pistols were received by Colt for the Phase II test effort. These new pistols were
assigned Unit Under Test (UUT) designations of 11B11 through 11B20. The new pistols were
used for the majority of Phase II testing, however some of the original pistols (11B01 through
11B10) were used in specific test events (identified in individual test sections).
5.1.1 Indoctrination and Initial Inspection
The Indoctrination and Initial Inspections for the original 10 UUTs was conducted during Phase
I CQBP testing. The results are recorded in TR/11/OTF/002, Test Report for the Close Quarters
Battle Pistol (CQBP), Proposal “B” Bid Samples. Indoctrination and Initial Inspections for the
updated 10 UUTs is recorded here. Procedure
The new UUTs were inspected for any physical changes from the original UUTs. Results
The new UUTs that Colt provided were mostly the same as the original UUTs, but they
incorporated the following changes:
· Plunger tube. This was modified in order to ensure the plunger tubes would remain
securely attached for a longer duration.
· Accessory rail profile. This was changed in order to meet the dimensions from

The new accessory rail profile met MIL-STD-1913 specifications for the dimensions that we
were able to measure with calipers, except for the .617-.010 dimension (see Figure 2). All
the UUTs measured between .618 and .620 for that dimension. This may have been due to
the coating Colt used on their pistols. The AN/PEQ-6As that we mounted were initially tight
and difficult to slide on the rail. After multiple times on and off, the coating appeared to wear
enough that the AN/PEQ-6As would then slide easier.

5.1.2 System Characteristics
This inspection was conducted to verify system characteristics of the new UUTs. Procedure
The UUTs were function checked in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. The
UUTs were also inspected for the presence and/or functioning of the following components:
· Magazine
· Thumb and grip safeties
· Magazine release
· Slide catch
· Iron sights
· Lanyard loop
· Magazine well beveling
· Ridged surface on hammer
· Texturing on slide Results
All UUTs passed the function checks. All inspected components were included and operated the
same as the original UUTs. See TR/11/OTF/002 for more detailed information.

5.1.3 Weight
This inspection was conducted to verify the weight of the new UUTs. Procedure
All of the new UUTs were weighed with an empty magazine. Results
The UUTs weighed 2.5 pounds.
5.1.4 Weapon Identification / Marking
This inspection was conducted to verify UUT markings. Procedure
The UUTs were inspected for the presence and location of UID markings, manufacturer
identification, nomenclature, serial numbers, “U.S.” marking, and proof markings. We
attempted to read the UID markings and verify it matched the serial number on the UUT. Results
The UUTs contained all of the required markings. The UID markings, serial numbers,
and “U.S.” marking were located on the receiver. The manufacturer’s name and UUT
nomenclature were located on the side of the slide. We were not able to read the UID marking
with our UID reader. This could be a problem with the reader as it is an older version.
5.2.1 Magazine Compatibility
This test was conducted to determine the compatibility of the UUTs with the current M45
magazine (NSN: 1005-01-373-2774). This test was conducted on UUTs 11B16, 11B17, and
11B18. A total of 1,500 rounds (500 per UUT) were fired for this test. Test Procedure
One shooter was assigned to each UUT and fired 500 rounds at a rate of 2-3 magazines per
minute. Six M45 magazines were used with each UUT. All UUTs were cleaned after firing 300
rounds. Results
The UUTs functioned with the current M45 magazine. All rounds were fired from each UUT
with the following malfunctions:
· 11B16 – Five Failures to Feed (Class I)
· 11B17 – Three Failures to Feed (Class I) and one Double Feed (Class I)
· 11B18 – One Slide Locked to the Rear (Class I)
Overall, the Mean Rounds Between Class I Failures was 150 with the current M45 magazines

5.2.2 Orientation
This test was conducted to determine the reliable functioning of the UUTs when fired from the
following orientations: top-down, right-side up, and left-side up. This test was conducted on
UUTs 11B16, 11B17, and 11B18. A total of 315 rounds (105 per UUT) were fired for this test. Test Procedure
One shooter fired 35 rounds through each UUT in each of the following orientations: top-down,
right-side up, and left-side up. Results
All rounds were fired in each orientation with no issues or malfunctions experienced.
5.2.3 IUID Inspection
This test was performed after all environmental tests were completed to determine the continued
readability of the 2D Data Matrix. This test was conducted on UUTs 11B16, 11B17, 11B18,
11B19, and 11B20. Test Procedure
After all of the environmental tests had been completed, we attempted to read the UID markings
on the UUTs with a UID reader. Results
Except for some labels that were damaged when removing ice during the icing/freezing rain test
(see, the UID labels still appeared in good condition.

5.3.1 System Reliability
This test was conducted to determine the reliability of the UUTs at standard ambient temperature
(77 ± 18°F), as well as cold (-25°F) and hot (120°F). New bid samples were used for this
test. This test was conducted on UUTs 11B11, 11B12, 11B14, and 11B15. Originally, 11B13
started this test, but it experienced an unusual failure early on which led to the pistol being
unserviceable (see below for more details). It was removed from this test, and 11B15 took its
place. A total of 48,000 rounds (12,000 per UUT) were fired for this test for record. This test
was scheduled for 60,000 rounds total, but cracked slides led to an early finish to the test. See
results in for more information. Test Procedure
Three shooters rotated through the UUTs firing the following:
· 5,000 rounds at standard ambient (77 ± 18°F)
· 1,000 rounds at -25°F
· 3,000 rounds at 120°F, and
· 3,000 additional rounds at standard ambient (77 ± 18°F)
Shooting was conducted at a rate of 2-3 magazines per minute, and cleaning of the UUTs was
performed every 300 rounds. Each UUT was assigned 22 magazines for this test, and the 22
magazines were loaded twice during each 300 round firing cycle. UUTs were conditioned at
the hot and cold temperatures for a minimum of 3 hours prior to firing, and then reconditioned
if removed from the environment (e.g. for cleaning during cold firing). AN/PEQ-6A Integrated
Laser Light Pointers were mounted to the UUTs 50% of the time. They were mounted/removed
at every cleaning cycle. Trigger pull and dispersion were measured every 3,000 rounds (see
5.3.2 and 5.3.3), and Non-Destructive Testing was performed prior to firing and after 6,000
rounds fired (see 5.3.4). Results
UUT 11B13 only fired 600 rounds before it became unserviceable due to its recoil spring
binding with something internally and not allowing the slide to cycle. The spring binding during
operation of the UUT caused the recoil spring to receive a significant permanent bend in it (see
Figure 3). This also caused the recoil spring guide to become damaged to the point of being
unusable (see Figure 4). No spare recoil spring guides were provided by Colt, so a decision was
made to remove 11B13 from this test and to replace it with 11B15. The rounds fired from UUT
11B13 are not included in the results of this test.

UUTs 11B11, 11B12, 11B14, and 11B15 each fired 12,000 rounds before being deadlined due to
visible safety-critical cracks found in the slides (see Figure 5 through Figure 9). Each slide had
cracks in the same location, but they varied in size. 

The reliability results presented here are preliminary and subject to failure scoring conducted
by the source selection evaluation board. Detailed information on all reliability failures and
preliminary scoring by the test activity is provided in Appendix A: Reliability Test Data. The
numbers presented in the tables below are based on this preliminary scoring.
Table 1. Total Failures
Class I Class II Class III
84 2 18
Table 2. Class I Failures by Type
15 1 60 8
SLR = Slide Locked to the Rear
FEJ = Failure to Eject
FFD = Failure to Feed
FTC = Failure to Chamber
Table 3. Class I Failures by UUT
11B11 11B12 11B14 11B15
3 15 26 40
Below is a summary of broken or cracked components produced as a result of this reliability test:
· 6 broken slide stops
· 5 broken ejectors (legs sheared)
· 4 cracked slides
· 3 broken thumb safeties
· 2 broken front sights
· 1 cracked frame at the accessory rail
· 1 broken extractor
· 1 broken plunger tube (legs sheared) Test Observations
The following are some test observations made during the reliability test effort.
1) Roughly 10 times more Class I failures were experienced when no accessory was
mounted to the UUTs vs. when the AN/PEQ-6As were mounted.
2) Operators noted that the recoil from the UUTs was noticeably sharper and/or heavier than
the recoil from the current MEU(SOC) .45 pistol. Most attributed this to a weak recoil
3) There were a few instances of UUTs with high Class I failure rates that were corrected by
replacing the recoil spring with a new one (UUTs 11B14 and 11B15).
4) After firing 150 rounds, the recoil springs reduced in length from 7.32 inches to 6.46
inches. After 450 rounds, the recoil springs measured approximately 6.38 inches in
length. After 4,500 rounds, the recoil springs measured approximately 5.94 inches in
5) On multiple occasions when replacing the recoil spring with a new one, the new recoil
spring would kink and bind the slide so that it would not cycle (similar to what occurred
with UUT 11B13). Pulling out the new spring would reveal that it had received a
permanent bend as a result of this binding (see Figure 10). Depending on the severity
of the set in the spring, some of the “new” recoil springs had to be replaced again
without ever firing a round so that the slide could move without binding. The assembly
procedure used by the personnel replacing the recoil springs was verified to be as
specified in Colt’s provided Armorer’s manual, so this was not attributed to operator
6) After a few thousand rounds through each UUT, grip screws began to loosen regularly
and required retightening. In addition, three grip screw bushings had stripped out
completely from the receiver frame by the time the UUTs had completed their 12,000
rounds fired.
7) Eighteen AN/PEQ-6As broke during this test. The UUTs with the highest Class I failure
rates also tended to have the highest rates for breaking AN/PEQ-6As.
8) The UUTs with the highest Class I failure rates had the most severe slide cracks.
9) UUT 11B12 had a crack which developed in the receiver at the accessory rail (see Figure
11). This crack was discovered after firing 9,000 rounds. The crack was determined not
to be safety critical at its current length, so firing continued with this UUT.
10) Recoil spring plugs on three of the UUTs were cracked by 12,000 rounds (see Figure 12
through Figure 14). The cracks had no apparent effect on the performance of the UUTs
to this point.
11) Magazines were filled 80 times each during this test, and none were replaced due to

5.3.2 Trigger Pull
Trigger pull testing was conducted periodically during system reliability testing in order to
ensure proper trigger operation. Test Procedure
Three trigger pull measurements were taken for each UUT at initial inspection, at 6,000 rounds,
and at 9,000 rounds into the System Reliability test. Trigger pull measurements were planned to
be taken at 3,000 rounds as well, but those measurements were missed. Results
Each trigger pull measured was within the specification of 5 ± 1 lbs. Trigger pull measurements
are recorded in Appendix B: Trigger Pull Measurements.
5.3.3 Dispersion
Dispersion was tested every 3,000 rounds during system reliability testing in order to gage the
life of the barrels in relation to accuracy. Test Procedure
Five 5-shot groups were fired at targets located 25 yards out. The vertical and horizontal
extreme spreads of the shot groups were measured and recorded. Results
The average vertical and horizontal extreme spreads during this test are shown in Table 4 below.

Table 4. Average Vertical and Horizontal Spreads
Initial 3.2 2.5
3,000 3.0 2.9
6,000 3.0 3.4
9,000 2.7 4.0
Complete vertical and horizontal extreme spread measurements are shown in Appendix C:
Dispersion Measurements.
5.3.4 Non-Destructive Testing/Inspection
Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) was performed prior to conducting endurance firing and after all
UUTs had fired 6,000 rounds. This test was performed in order to monitor for cracks in critical
pistol components. Test Procedure
All UUTs were cleaned, and the barrels, slides and receivers were inspected with a Magnaflux
machine. All components were visually inspected for cracks and other visible problems. Results
At 0 and 6,000 rounds, no cracks were discovered when performing NDT on the endurance
UUTs. However, cracks were visibly discovered after more rounds had been fired (see
5.4.1 Rain
This test was conducted to determine the effects of heavy rainfall on UUT performance. This
test was conducted on UUTs 11B16, 11B17, and 11B18. Test Procedure
Three UUTs were fired in a rain (water spray) environment, with the water spray falling at a
rate of approximately 4.0 in/hr. Fourteen magazines were filled with A475 ammunition and
subjected to the water spray during firing of each UUT. The sequence of water spray exposure
and firing is shown in Table 5. The UUTs were wiped down between firing cycles, and they
were cleaned after the second firing cycle (196 rounds fired per UUT).

Table 5. Water Spray Test Sequence
Test Condition Exposure
UUT Horizontal (top facing up) in
Condition 3
Fire 14 fully filled magazines 6
UUT Horizontal in Condition 3 12
Fire 14 fully filled magazines 6
UUT Muzzle-Down in Condition 3 12
Turn UUT Horizontal (top facing up),
and fire 14 fully filled magazines
UUT Muzzle-Down in Condition 3 12
Turn UUT Horizontal, and fire 14
fully filled magazines
6 Results
All rounds were fired from each UUT with the following malfunctions:
· 11B16 – One Failure to Feed (Class I)
· 11B17 – No failures
· 11B18 – One Failure to Chamber (Class I)
5.4.2 Salt Water
This test was conducted to determine the effects of immersion of the UUTs in salt water on
subsequent firing. This test was conducted on UUTs 11B16, 11B17, and 11B18. Test Procedure
Three UUTs were loaded with a full magazine and immersed in a salt water solution (5% salt by
weight) for one minute. They were then drained for 5 seconds, the slide was racked in order to
chamber a round, and all rounds from the magazine were fired. Results
All rounds were fired from each UUT with no issues or malfunctions.
5.4.3 Icing/Freezing Rain
This test was conducted to determine the operability of the UUTs after exposure to icing
produced by freezing rain. This test was conducted on UUTs 11B03, 11B06, and 11B07. Test Procedure
Three UUTs had their muzzles and ejection ports taped to prevent ice accumulation inside
the barrel. They were loaded with one completely filled magazine and then placed in a 0°F
environment for 4 hours. Then the air temperature was raised to 20°F, and the UUTs were
sprayed with a light water spray until approximately 3mm of ice had accumulated on the top

surface. The muzzle tape was removed, and ice was removed from the UUTs enough to allow a
round to be chambered and the remaining rounds fired from each UUT. Results
All pistols required the use of a combat knife to remove sufficient ice to free the slide from
the receiver and allow the hammer to move. After sufficient ice was removed, the UUTs were
functioned with the following issues:
· 11B03 – Three Class I failures were experienced during firing (Failures to Chamber).
· 11B06 – The UUT would not fire because it had been incorrectly assembled without
the Trigger Bar Lever (a series 80 part) during a previous cleaning. The Test Director
believed the UUT would have fired had it been assembled properly.
· 11B07 – All rounds fired. No issues.
During ice removal with the combat knife, the UID labels on the UUTs were damaged (see
Figure 15). This UID damage was not directly attributable to the icing environment.

5.4.4 Blowing Sand/Dust
This test was conducted to determine the effects of blowing sand and dust on weapon
performance. This test was conducted on UUTs 11B16, 11B17, and 11B18. Test Procedure
Three UUTs along with 4 magazines each were subjected to a blowing sand/dust environment
as described in Army TOP 3-2-045, paragraph 4.5.4.b(4). The UUTs and magazines were not
loaded during sand/dust exposure. After exposure, the UUTs and magazines were transported to
the firing range, the magazines were filled, and the UUTs fired all of the rounds (28 rounds per
UUT). Results
All rounds were fired from each UUT with the following issues:
· 11B16 – One Failure to Feed (Class I) and eleven Failures to Chamber (Class I)
· 11B17 – One Failure to Chamber (Class I)

5.4.5 Mud
This test was conducted to determine the effects of mud on UUT performance. This test was
conducted on UUTs 11B03, 11B06, and 11B07. Test Procedure
A mud mixture was created in accordance with Army TOP 3-2-045, paragraph 4.5.5.b(1). Three
UUTs were loaded with one full magazine, and their muzzles were taped. The UUTs were
then immersed in the mud mixture for 60 seconds, removed from the mixture, and wiped with
bare hands to remove excess mud. The UUTs then fired all of the rounds from the magazine (7
rounds). After thoroughly cleaning the UUTs, this process was repeated, except that the UUTs
were allowed to dry for 4 hours after being immersed in the mud mixture. They then fired a full
magazine of rounds (7 rounds). Results
All rounds were fired from each UUT with no issues or failures.
5.4.6 Salt Fog
This test was conducted to determine the effects of salt fog on UUT performance. This test was
conducted on UUTs 11B10, 11B19, and 11B20. Test Procedure
Three UUTs were conditioned to a temperature of 95°F for 2 hours. They were loaded with an
empty magazine, and the slide was placed in the forward position. The UUTs were placed in
the salt fog chamber with one UUT on its right side, one on its left side, and one in the upright
position. The salt fog chamber was operated in accordance with MIL-STD-810G, Method 509.4,
and the UUTs exposed to the salt fog for 24 hours. The UUTs were then removed from the salt
fog environment for 24 hours and stored at ambient temperature. The UUTs then were subjected
to another 24 hour salt fog environment followed by 24 hours outside of the salt fog chamber.
The UUTs were taken to the firing range, and they fired 120 rounds each. Results
After completing the salt fog exposures, the UUTs only showed significant amounts of corrosion
on the iron sights and on the exposed portion of the magazines. The rest of the UUTs showed
little to no corrosion.
All rounds were fired from each UUT with no issues or malfunctions, except for UUT 11B10.
This UUT experienced a failure of the trigger to reset with every round fired. The shooter had to
hit the bottom of the magazine in order to get the trigger to reset for the next round. Because of
this consistent failure, firing of UUT 11B10 was stopped after 28 rounds had been fired.
5.4.7 Unpackaged Drop
This test was conducted to determine the safe functioning of the UUTs after being dropped in
multiple orientations from a 1.7 meter height onto a smooth concrete surface at temperatures
ranging from -25º Fahrenheit (F) to 120º F. This test was conducted on UUTs 11B10, 11B19

and 11B20. Test Procedure
Three UUTs were loaded with a primed .45 cartridge (that was otherwise empty), and then
conditioned at standard ambient temperature (77 ± 18°F) for 4 hours. They were then dropped
from the following orientations:
· Standard firing orientation
· Muzzle up
· Muzzle down
· Muzzle up – 45° angle
· Muzzle down – 45° angle
The UUTs then fired the chambered primed round.
This drop procedure was repeated after conditioning the UUTs to 125°F and -25°F. After all
drops were complete, the UUTs each fired one magazine full of ammunition (7 rounds) to ensure
continued functionality Results
The primed rounds did not fire during any drops of this test. After all drops had been completed,
the primed rounds were fired and 7 live rounds were fired from each UUT with no issues. There
was a common jam that occurred in many of the drop orientations. The left side thumb safety
would pull out just enough for the slide to come out of battery and jam on the thumb safety (see
Figure 16). This jam was operator correctable, and the UUTs remained functional.

5.4.8 Chemical Resistance
This test was conducted to determine the effects of common battlefield chemicals on nonmetallic
components of the UUTs. This test was conducted on UUTs 11B11-11B20. Test Procedure
The pistol grips were identified as the only non-metallic components of the UUTs. The
dimensions and weights of the grips were recorded, and then one set of grips (left and right side)
from each UUT were submersed in the following chemical solutions for 8 hours:
1) Reactive Skin Decontamination Lotion (RSDL)
2) Cleaning compound, solvent; MIL-L-372B Bore cleaner
3) Dry cleaning solvent; P-D-680, type I or equivalent (naphtha solvent)
4) Lubricant, semi-fluid, automatic weapons; MIL-L-46000B (LSA)
5) Lubricant, cleaner, and preservative; MIL-L-63460A (CLP)
6) Lubricating oil, weapons; MIL-L-14107 (LAW)
7) Turbine fuel (JP-8); MIL-T-83133
8) Insect repellent; 0-I-503E
9) Decontaminating agent