A READER WRITES . . .
As long as we are on the subject of shooting people . . . I know you talk about the Model 1911. In the 70's I had one once, it was my Uncle's from WWII. I think it was a Colt; it jammed a lot - probably operator error. The Man took it away from me because I was too young and they didn't think I should have it . . . I think I was 12. Back then we were called plinkers. Today I would probably be arrested and put on military tribunal for terrorism. Times sure have changed a lot since then.
In the 80's I had a Smith 4516 and I really liked it. The Smith was built very well but didn't fit me well, seemed awkward in my hand.
Recently I bought a Beretta PX4 9mm Sub because it really felt like it fit me and I could actually hit something with it; I actually tried out some different guns at the local gun shop / range.
The problem is I have some mechanical issues with the thing. For one thing the trigger mechanism gets confused if you are cocking and dry firing it. It happens when you manually cock the hammer back to half-cock. Anyway that is one issue that apparently is not a concern when you have it loaded and you are actually pumpin' caps into someone's cranium. But it does tell you something about the engineering of the thing.
My main concern comes after one night I stuffed the thing in my belt (ghetto style, in back, no holster) and went to the beach late at night. Normally I don't carry it around but I do if it is dark. When I got back to my car and pulled it out the slide was jacked back about a half inch and hung there. After playing with it for awhile I realized it can get pulled back and sticks when a round is chambered. It cannot get stuck if empty chamber. I have tried lubricant, changing bullet type, and just plain jamming it back and forth to loosen it up.
So my question to you is why? Do you think it is a defect? My Smith never did this. I believe the main slide springs may have been stronger on the Smith, but I not sure. Maybe it is a problem with the shorter spring since the frame was originally designed for longer barrel. Maybe just another case of operator error? I am certainly no firearms expert . . . maybe I know a little more than the GANGSTA down the street, but not much more.
Keepin' It Real,
Dear Jaeger -
First of all, while I know a lot about handguns - 1911's and Beretta 92FS / M9 pistol's in particular, I do not consider myself an expert. In fact, the way it was explained to my is there aren't ANY experts in ANYTHING - only serious students. Anybody who calls himself is an expert, well . . .
Beretta makes good guns, I cannot fault them. They are the oldest firearms manufacturing company in the world and I owe my life to them, so I can't think of any better endorsement than that for their products.
The Italians do three things right:
. . . their guns . . .
. . . their cars . . .
. . . and their women . . .
. . . and not necessarily in that order.
The problems you seem to be experiencing may be due to a couple of conditions. I have experienced the half-cock situation with the 92FS (a.k.a. the M9) and it is not advertised as a design safety feature - it appears to be somehow related to the double-action. Because the pistol is double-action, you don't need a safety - any more than you need a safety on a double-action revolver; think about it. We were trained to carry the Beretta loaded, hammer down, off-safe. All the safety served for was a de-cocking lever.
The problem with the slide pushing back is a symptom of your pistol being constrained between your too-tight waistband and your dunlap luv handles. The solution is two-fold: A) invest in a nice, polymer pancake concealment holster, and B) lose weight because you are what we in the Airborne call a Heavy Drop.
Let me know how it goes, my friend . . . Cheers!
- Sean Linnane