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Old 05-06-2012, 10:14 AM
Mr Middle Class Mr Middle Class is offline
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 4
My First 1911 - Range Report

I just joined this forum today and I just bought my first 1911 yesterday after years of owning plastic semiautos and revolvers. I got a starter gun - an Iver Johnson M1911A. I liked the look of the gun and upon examination I could tell it was tight and solidly built. I had heard so many good things about the 1911 and the price didn't require a second mortgage on the house so I bought it and off to my informal gun range I went.

I put around eighty rounds through it. The gun felt good in my hand and had good balance, albeit it was a little heavier than most of the handguns I own. The wood checkered grips gave me plenty of grip. (on a warm day my other handguns tend to slip around a bit) Once I got used to the grip and thumb safties and the other features, I felt very comfortable shooting my 1911 and this could be why people have raved about these guns for so long.

My gun was a Plain Jane version of the 1911, iron sights and a black finish. The only embellishment was the checkered grips. The beavertail safety kept me from getting the 1911 bite I have heard so much about. The trigger pull was smooth with no stacking although it was a little stiff. The slide action was smooth and locked on cue after the last round with the magazine.

Now we come to the flies in the ointment with the Iver Johnson M1911A:
The factory magazine will probably end up in the trash. I had several failures to feed. The bullets were locked snuggly in the magazine and took quite a bit of effort to move. I switched magazines after a few choice words and my 1911 fired every time I pulled the trigger with no misfeeds or misfires.

At first, I was scattering shots all over the paper. I thought 1911s fired lightning bolts from heaven and I couldn't even keep all of my shots on the paper at first. I kept at it and I guess it must have been an adjustment period with the iron sights because the last two magazines I shot were grouping well with satisfying results.

The extractor also bounced two or three rounds off of the top of my head. I knew the 1911 was a combat pistol but I didn't expect to be dodging incoming fire. I suspect a new ejector spring may be in my future if this continues to occur.

To sum up my first time out with the Iver Johnson 1911, it has potential. I need to bench it and check the accuracy and buy a couple of magazines that work properly. I was happy with the way my 1911 felt in my hand and shot and I can see why so many people are in love with the 1911.

Last edited by Mr Middle Class; 05-06-2012 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:06 PM
skosh69 skosh69 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Bay Area, Ca.
Posts: 4,585
Thanks for the well written, in depth RR. Glad you like your new gun!
If you can list them, you don't have enough!
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Old 05-06-2012, 03:23 PM
Corrigun Corrigun is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: UTC/GMT -5 hours
Posts: 2,258
You will like it more and more as you shoot it. I also think it makes you a better shot overall no matter what gun you pick up. For now just enjoy it and put a bunch more rounds though it.
Only the dead have seen the end of war.
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:15 PM
43074 43074 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Ohio
Posts: 108
Sounds like your gun will break in nicely. Enjoy shooting it and congrats on joining the 1911 crowd.
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:18 AM
den888 den888 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Posts: 2,699
Thanks for the report!
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:25 PM
HarryO45 HarryO45 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Home of the Infantry
Posts: 2,502
Too bad the factory mag was bad...good idea to toss it. Glad it is working good now, keep shooting it. I think you will find that you will soon shoot that pistol better than any of your other plastic is all in the trigger!
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:27 AM
pete177 pete177 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 228
Iver Johnson Hawk

I bought a IJ Hawk (commander model) last week. I had the same issues though my gun was accurate right out of the box, first mag. The barrel fouled up by round 50 or so and it shot a bit wild after that. The tolerances on these guns seem very tight so I imagine as they break in some they won't fail to feed. I had a few like that as well. Making sure the rounds are seated well in the mag seemed to help. A new/better mag and or a wilson spring would probably solve the problem but I'd wait until you had 500 rounds through it first. My trigger pull was high, too high. I read a gun rag review saying the trigger pull was 8lb's. I don't doubt it. I was planning on a trigger job anyway. My grip safety got very mushy and stopped working so I'm taking the gun in to the gunsmith today. Since it's a matter of bending an arm on the main spring (or what ever it's called on a 1911) to fix both trigger pull and grip safety re-set I'll try to address both today. The parts are made in the US and then shipped to the PI for assembly. I think there are some assembly/fine tuning issues that need to be sorted out before they're as good as they should be, but all in all, for $575 they seem like a great deal for a servicable 1911. My sense is that once the trigger pull is addressed the gun will shoot better than I can. I'll post a more detailed review in the next few days with pics of gun and targets

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Old 06-27-2012, 02:27 PM
NJLaPrell NJLaPrell is offline
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Posts: 90
The mag spring might be just overly stiff. Give it a chance to wear in. A good aftermarket mag is always nice though. The extractor also sounds a bit tight. It might wear in a bit better after a few hundred more rounds, or you could reduce the tension a bit. I over tensioned my extractor once on accident and caught some brass square in the forhead with enough force to leave a small mark.

A lot of people say a 1911 needs to go through 500 rounds to break in properly. If it still doesn't run smoothly after that, start troubleshooting.
-- Nick
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:59 PM
BRETT C BRETT C is offline
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 276
welcome aboard .
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Old 06-27-2012, 04:46 PM
HAWKEYE50 HAWKEYE50 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Holly, Mich.
Age: 55
Posts: 141
Welcome, I would like to recommend you try the Wilson Combat, Elite Tactical Magazines. I order them straight from Wilson. They work flawlessly in my Springfield Loaded model. They are 8rnd., with a little bit of an exposure below the mag well. I find this to be helpfull with my Arthritic thumbs.
"FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS"-Charlton Heston
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