I was able to take both the standard 5” and the Rail version of the “E” Series guns out last weekend for a very nice few days of shooting.
The Gov model ate everything I fed it without issue and I ended up firing an additional 500 rounds of 230gr Ball. It is without a doubt one of the nicest factory triggers I have ever felt. I experienced no issues with either magazines or springs. The gun even ate up the 185gr Hi-Shok ammunition which is much shorter than the standard ball round which reinforced my belief that the 5” guns tend to be less ammo finicky. Since this model is an all stainless gun it was a pleasure to shoot and it made the +P loads completely manageable. Since there were no issues with this gun, I didn’t bother to shoot the control gun. The only nits that I really have are with the sights and the grip panels. Both of which will be remedied very soon. Otherwise I’ll make my standard changes and shoot the gun again to see if it makes any difference.
The TA, or “Tactical” version, I guess because it has a rail it is now “tactical” had no trouble with the 230gr ball or the 230gr Winchester Bonded loads. Feeding and function were flawless. This particular gun had problems with the shorter 200gr and 185gr ammunition; mostly with the factory magazines. The CMC and WC mags worked perfectly, but the others ended up being tossed to the side to preserve my sanity. The last 100 round of the CorBon and the last 120 rounds of the Federal fed reliably with the higher quality mags. This gun, like the other two, has a much rougher feed ramp than I would like to see including a few tool marks. There is a polishing in the future for all three guns. It is possible that the Nighthawk and S&W mags just don’t present the round at the proper angle to facilitate feeding, but that is my WAG. As I expected, the SIS had no issues at all with any of the ammunition from any of the magazines. There may be something to this thing about beating the gun into submission before you can trust it…
I can say that I have been having a few fits here and there when it comes to the actual trigger. I mean the part itself. It seems that the factory trigger bow is longer than that of the aftermarket short triggers and this presents a problem with the connector geometry. Essentially, the shorter bow length changes the angle of the connector just enough to cause a binding of the connector as it passes through the frame. I have not found a solution for this yet. What I can tell you is that I tried to fit 10-8 short triggers for these guns and they all bound up the connectors. When I replaced the factory trigger they all work perfectly. The only difference I can see is that the bow length is longer on the factory triggers. The rest of the dims and angles are the same. One of the local 1911 molesters tells me it is because manufacturers are now making their parts slightly different than those of the originals. Conspiracy theorists please feel free to run with that one in a new thread…
Overall, these are great guns out of the box. Broken connector aside, there really are no issues that would prevent them from being an excellent choice if you’re in the market for a 1911. There are some magazine sensitivities, but in my experience this is the norm with nearly all 1911 pistols.
I have replaced the trigger mechanism on the 4.25” gun with a Nowlin Pro Match Drop In Trigger Kit (http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=9578/Product/1911_AUTO_DROP_IN_TRIGGER_JOB
) because of the issue with the connector. It solved the connector problem and is a bit of an upgrade as well. I’ll be tossing the FL guide rods, grips, thumb-safeties and plunger spring assemblies on all three guns in favor of some VZ Grips (http://vzgrips.com/gun-grips/1911-pistol-grips-1
) and Gunsite Low Thumb Safety (http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=6677/Product/1911_AUTO_LOW_MOUNT_THUMB_SAFETY
). I’ll post some pics when I get them all done. These changes are for me and have nothing to do with the reliability of functionality of the guns. Noted issue aside, these guns worked great as they come out of the box with 230gr ammunition. The key part of that phrase being they, THEY WORK.”
All we need now is for some good 10-8 sights!
Ask away, I’ll try to answer your questions as best I can.