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There has been some "online" beliefs that Officer 1911s are less reliable than other 1911.

So here's a quote from Ned Christiansen that I found really interesting and comforting.
I like the OACP and it can be reliable. Sorry to say though, that as it happens I have not customized one in quite a while. I have done several Defenders in the last four years but not one OACP.
 

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I have a RIA compact (Officer size), a Kimber UCII that I sold and another Kimber UCII that is my jacket weather EDC. Never had a single issue with any of them. I honestly think the "online" rumors of the smaller 1911s being unreliable stem mainly from their first introduction when they didn't have the springs or geometry down pact. I think there are many that try to use lighter weight ammo thinking the increased velocity is needed even though 230 is perfectly fine. I don't use anything but 230gr ammo in any one of my 1911s and have only had a single 1911 that had an issue, a PT1911. :frusty:

I tried some 165gr. +P Powerball ammo one time and it hung up on every single 1911 I tried it in. That poly ball is suppose to increase reliability but all it did was act like a rubber stopper on the feed ramps. I remember trying to chamber a round and while it hung up on the feed ramp it was slowly moving forward. I stared at this display as it took about 12 second for it to chamber. They sat for years unfired until I took them to the ranage just to get rid of them. Found out they had more kick than a 230gr. +P round and realized how worthless they really where.

There may be some who have issues with the smaller 1911s but in my experience, they are as reliable as their bigger brothers. Again this is my experience with them, yours may vary.
 

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I have had 5 or 6 OACP's over the years since they were first introduced in the late 80's (I think). All have been bone stock with the exception of a 1991A1 Compact that I sent to Dave Erickson at Condition One. None of the stock guns ever had malfunctions, none of the tabs on the recoil spring cap ever broke, they ran flawless. The ammo most commonly ran through them was 230 grain ball for practice and Federal 230g Hydra-Shok for defense.

The custom gun by Dave Erickson does have a Clark reverse plug. Dave suggested it and I went with it, no regrets, just a little add'l work during takedown, again no regrets for it. This gun runds flawlessly with anything I run through it from 230g ball, Federal HST, Speer Gold Dot and Remington Golden Saber.

A little gun porn, the blued 1991A1 in the pic was a gun show beater that I picked up and was sent to Dave:



The post-Condition One product:


 

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Mine is good to go. Only 250 rds so far but not a single hiccup of any kind. I was surprised at how good I shot it. My buddies Kimber didn't feel as good to me as the RIA.
 

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I really like my SA Ultra Compact too. And it has been flawless from day one. The only thing I had done was polished the feedramp for that "Chuck Rogers" shine.

 

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I've posted this one many times on one of those "other" forums and here it is again. Makeover by Ken Crawley down in Kemp, Tx................Bar-Sto, STI ignition guts, etc. Flawless reliability.........


 

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I have never had problems with any of the one's i have shot, but i have never owned one. I carry an EMP which is close, but no cigar
 

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I'll report tomorrow. Just had time to get some grippy grips on it. Did not want to run it with the stock ones, they seem lightly checkered and I just hate the look.
I am going to wear the slide some and then Ionbond it with a guy who advertises on my forum. He did my valor and I am in love with that stuff. It's addictive. Either way, here's a mint one and I am going to break it in and then follow up with a mag or 3 of powerballs. The best way to see is to try it at the range, much better than the dark parking lot >)
 

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Here's the little Baer! It took a while to get to know her as she has her own way of spitting out the lead and send it toward the bulls-eye. At the end of the day, she's smooth as accurate as the big boys.

 

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Mine runs just fine on 230gr hardball and hollow points...
 

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Quoting myself:
" I like the OACP and it can be reliable. Sorry to say though, that as it happens I have not customized one in quite a while. I have done several Defenders in the last four years but not one OACP."

"Can be reliable" are the key words here. Not necessarily "always is as at least as reliable as everything else".

Long story short, they will be more sensitive to ammo than a full-sized 1911-- as in, really hot stuff may have the slide cycling so fast that the mag spring can't get a round up in time for feeding.

And-- as hinted in the above-- mag springs have to be up to snuff. I used to think that there could be mag springs that were too stiff and cause too much drag on the slide. I now think that stiffer is pretty much always better. My OACP setup is a Metalform magazine with a Tripp spring and follower kit in it. Just about any magazine body will do (Colts are or have been made by Metalform), but the one with the floor plate held in place by mag body material formed over it is very strong. Absent that format, I like to TIG weld the floorplates as a little extra insurance against having good strong springs, since standard spot-welded floorplates do come off on occasion.

The other area that has traditionally required upkeep on the OACP is the recoil spring. What I am using currently is a flat wire spring from EGW. It's been a while since I checked, not sure they are offering something specifically for the OACP, they sure should as it simply gives you more spring for the same available fore-aft space. The spring wire is flat and wide, so the "more spring per length" comes from the fact that the guide rod has to be 1/4" instead of 5/16"..... which means special guide rod and plug. I made mine but I'm thinking they might have one by now..... and if they don't tell them they should and if I know EGW, they will!

Short version, good / fresh spings and reasonable ammo help the OACP reliability-wise.
 

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Nice to have you around here Ned! Thanks for your explanation, it means a lot when it comes from you.
Any advice on what springs to use with +p in 3" guns? I use a 21# one in a dual recoil assembly with my Kimber Ultra Eclipse 2. It is working, but I am interested to find a set-up I can use with both regular and +p ammo. Perhaps I am dreaming :smile:
 
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