Friday, January 13, 2006

Boomsticks: Token controversial post.

One annoying comment occasionally stumbled across on Errornet gun boards: "I like my Glock 'cause it's simple. I hate fussy, complicated guns like 1911's."

All this tells me is that the person who typed it has never actually detail-stripped both guns. Don't get me wrong; the Glock is a breeze to detail strip and is fairly simple mechanically. A 1911, however, is barely more internally complex than a stone axe, and is refreshingly free of "toaster parts" (a local gunsmith's term for little sheet-metal levers and teeny coil springs.) I mean, I am about as non-mechanically-inclined as it is possible to be and still operate a light switch, and even I understand how the four parts that make a 1911 go *bang!* interact.

16 comments:

Josh said...

I like my Glock cuz it was free.

I'll continue to like it until it kB's. 21's...

But my 1911 is still my true love. Thank JMB.

Xavier said...

Toaster parts.......I like that. It's fitting.

Yep, if you are going to give a reason why you prefer one over the other, it would behoove you to make sure your facts are facts.

Chris said...

Working gunsmith here.

The 1911 is quite a bit more internally complex than the Glock. The Glock is MUCH easier to work on, in terms of fitting barrels, trigger work, etc.

The trigger mechanism of the 1911 is simple to understand, as long as it doesn't have any Series-80 or Schwartz add-ons. But whatever the 1911 gains in the trigger mechanism, it loses in the feedway. For instance, fitting a new match barrel to a 1911 and getting it to function reliably takes patience, a few special tools, and a lot of lampblack. Fitting a match barrel to a Glock takes a #2-cut Swiss pillar file and a fine India stone.

BobG said...

Personally, I prefer the balance and feel of the 1911, not to mention the trigger pull; Glocks have never felt as comfortable in my hand.
Of course, you have to remember that I have been shooting 1911's since 1962...

Tam said...

"Working gunsmith here."

Well, I can't say that, although I have been working in places with "we fix busted guns" signs hanging out front for the last 13 years or so.

But I can look at the insides of both, and I can count. ;)

But yes, toaster parts, even if they are more numerous and complec, can be set up for "plug & play" easier than tool steel widgets.

It's a lot easier to swap video cards in a PC than it is to grind a knife blade from bar stock, but I wouldn't call a PC "simpler" than a pocket knife. ;)

Chris said...

"But I can look at the insides of both, and I can count." Fair enough. Let's count. Trigger mechanism, moving parts only, right?

1911:
Trigger
Sear
Disconnecter
Hammer
Firing pin

Glock:
Trigger/cruciform (This is arguably two parts, but it comes preassembled from the factory and you can't take it apart without drilling out a pin.)
Firing pin safety plunger
Striker

By my count, the Glock takes the simplicity cup, three moving parts to five. The Glock does have an extra spring in the mechanism, that's still only four...

Oleg said...

If it has to work, make mine a Glock. I own a 1911 I prize because it came from Uncle Randy. I even carry it sometimes. But, out of the box, there's a greater chance that a Glock or a Makarov would work than almost any 1911. I find it amusing that Norinco 1911s tend to work reliably but many of the high-dollar models require lengthy trouble-shooting before they would function reliably with ball.

Then again, I like the feel of HK P7M8 (which I'll probably never have for my own)...and that thing is a bit of a Rube Goldberg device.

mauser*girl said...

Mabye they're just saying that because they've tried to take apart an M1911 and ended up with a large round "dot" on their forehead that you usually get when you don't keep your thumb securely in place when disassembling. :P

Tam said...

"I find it amusing that Norinco 1911s tend to work reliably but many of the high-dollar models require lengthy trouble-shooting before they would function reliably with ball."

Hmm.

That hasn't been my experience at all.

What sample size are you basing this on, Oleg?

Tam said...

"Trigger/cruciform (This is arguably two parts, but it comes preassembled from the factory and you can't take it apart without drilling out a pin.)"

I make it out to be six. (Trigger, trigger bar, trigger safety, and three pins.)

Of course, Glock calls it one part, which helps them make their "Only 35 Parts!" claim. ;)

By that advertising logic, the Glock should only have two parts (gun and magazine) since it comes pre-assemled. :D

Chris said...

"I make it out to be six. (Trigger, trigger bar, trigger safety, and three pins.)"

Do you consider the trigger of a 1911 to consist of two parts, because the trigger shoe is swaged and/or pinned onto the trigger bow I don't.

If it can't be disassembled without a drill, it's one part. Sorry.

Tam said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tam said...

"Do you consider the trigger of a 1911 to consist of two parts, because the trigger shoe is swaged and/or pinned onto the trigger bow"

I could agree with two, three, or even four parts. (depending on the presence or absence of a pin and/or an overtravel stop.)

If it can be taken apart without a saw or a gas axe, it ain't one part. For instance, a Glock rear sight (if Glock wanted to be honest in its parts count) would be a Glock rear sight assembly, and not one part. :)

(PS: I've owned nine Glocks over the last 13 years and think they're some of the most reliable out-of-the-box handguns on the market, but makin' stuff up about 'em doesn't make 'em any better...)

Elmo's aphasiatic twin said...

Glocks are great because one doesn't have to remove the wood grips before cleaning it in the dishwasher.

I've never seen the need to take a Glock to a gunsmith. On the other hand, 1911s keep many gunsmiths in work. That boosts the U.S. economy.

There are far more aftermarket parts for 1911s. One can spend more time browsing catalogs when owning one.

Glocks don't cost as much.

A Colt .45: a pistol with S-O-U-L. No wonder they once named a malt liquor after it.

DirtCrashr said...

It's like the debate between four-strokes with all their up-top weight and fiddly spinning camshaft crap, and piston-port stinkwheel two-strokes. I've got a 1911 and a New Service Colt wheelgun, I don't have any plastic guns though...I also don't have any guns more recent than 1968 so that may explain it.

Oleg said...

"What sample size are you basing this on, Oleg?"

Two Norinkos, countless 1911s of other makes, of which some (often cheap/simple models) seem to work and others did not. Not saying that all costly 1911s were defenctive, just that enough of them were for me to notice. I don't see Sigs that fail out of the box. My sample size is smaller than yours, but it isn't small in absolute terms. I think that it may be an issue of QC at the particular companies more than the issue of the design, but I wonder why that particular segment is so afflicted (Kel-tec, Kahr and such are also afflicted).