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Colt 1911 Barrel Failure

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Colt 1911 Barrel Failure Empty Colt 1911 Barrel Failure

Post by BE Mike 1/5/2024, 10:31 am

Yesterday at the indoor range, a fellow I know well, showed me his Colt 1911 .45 ACP barrel. The lugs were about 3/4 separated from the rest of the barrel, where the lugs join it. I know that he shoots only factory loads and shoots just a few rounds per month, but I'm not sure how much he has shot this barrel. I told him that it looked like a defect in materials to me and that he should take a photo and contact Colt. Are those lugs welded onto the barrel? Has anyone else seen this and did I steer him right?
BE Mike
BE Mike

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Colt 1911 Barrel Failure Empty Re: Colt 1911 Barrel Failure

Post by Rodger Barthlow 1/5/2024, 11:43 am

I've seen one 1911 .45 that the bottom lugs sheared off of a barrel which sent both slide and barrel down range when the pistol was fired and the recoil spring launched the whole top in down range. 
This pistol was custom built and had seen lots of target loads.
A new barrel was fitted and the pistol was shot the next weekend in a match.
Rodger Barthlow
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Colt 1911 Barrel Failure Empty Re: Colt 1911 Barrel Failure

Post by Steve in Allentown 1/5/2024, 3:36 pm

Here are some examples of lower barrel lugs failing.  If you have a barrel link that is not pulling the barrel out of the top lugs at the right time and the lower barrel lugs hit the VIS that is a recipe for failure.  If the lugs shear off due to a bad fit, you will usually find peening on the upper lug corners.

This is not to say that there couldn't be other causes.

Colt 1911 Barrel Failure VS5F0kQ

Colt 1911 Barrel Failure NzO2FKt



Also, if the lower barrel lugs strike the VIS low on the lugs instead of high, this will eventually break the lower lugs off.  There are two possible fixes.  One is to relieve the lower area of the lugs so that contact with the VIS happens higher.  See the lug relief modification below.
Colt 1911 Barrel Failure KdNxB8b


The other possibility is to cut a bow tie in the VIS itself as shown below.  You can see the bow tie shaped area of the VIS above the circular cut.
Colt 1911 Barrel Failure Bl4C6Kj
Steve in Allentown
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Colt 1911 Barrel Failure Empty Re: Colt 1911 Barrel Failure

Post by BE Mike 1/6/2024, 10:11 am

Thanks. So if my buddy just gets a replacement barrel, it is likely that this will happen again? His looks like your first photo except worse. He needs to have the stock Colt 1911 worked on?
BE Mike
BE Mike

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Colt 1911 Barrel Failure Empty Re: Colt 1911 Barrel Failure

Post by Dulcmrman 1/6/2024, 10:37 am

Forgive me for being so dense this morning.  What does VIS stand for?

Dennis, aka Dulcmrman

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Colt 1911 Barrel Failure Empty Re: Colt 1911 Barrel Failure

Post by D.H. Grace 1/6/2024, 11:33 am

Dulcmrman wrote:Forgive me for being so dense this morning.  What does VIS stand for?

Dennis, aka Dulcmrman
Dennis,

VIS=vertical impact surface

Regards,

David Grace

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Colt 1911 Barrel Failure Empty Re: Colt 1911 Barrel Failure

Post by Steve in Allentown 1/6/2024, 12:06 pm

BE Mike wrote:Thanks. So if my buddy just gets a replacement barrel, it is likely that this will happen again? His looks like your first photo except worse. He needs to have the stock Colt 1911 worked on?
Not necessarily.  Fit the barrel first.  Then coat the lower lugs with Dykem and reassemble the pistol.  Put the pistol in battery.  Tap on the barrel muzzle with a rawhide or plastic hammer several times.  Remove the barrel and carefully examine the rear of the barrel lugs for evidence of contact with the VIS.  If there is contact, either relieve the rear of the lower barrel lugs or cut the circular relief at the front of the VIS as shown in the pics.

If using a file to relieve the lower barrel lugs be sure not to cut a 90 degree angle which will act as a stress riser.
Steve in Allentown
Steve in Allentown

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