1951 Airman's Handbook chapter on 1911
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    1951 Airman's Handbook chapter on 1911

    I found this Airman's handbook in an antique shop in South Dakota about a year ago and it's quite the interesting read. I thought I'd share this with you guys even though it's not Taurus specific. It's the section on the 1911.
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    As my father enlisted in the newly-created United States Air Force in 1951, this is surely the book he read in Basic. Thanks for posting this nice piece.

    Also, I notice that the AF instructed airmen to let the slide run home on a cartridge inserted by hand... I guess they weren't too concerned about damage to the extractors back then?

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    This was published in August of 1951 so it's likely that he had the previous edition. Probably just the same. Either way quite the piece of history here for just $4. This book was issued to a Pvt Hoffman.
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    Thanks for posting that! Interesting read!

    I don't quite agree with their description of the operation of the pistol in the first paragraph. It says "The gas generated in a cartridge fired in the pistol is used to extract and eject the empty cartridge case." Hmm. How does my 1911 manage to get unfired cartridges out of the chamber, then? Perhaps those parts called an "extractor" and "ejector" have something to do with it. The gas pressure (recoil impulse, newton's third law) moves the slide back, but the extractor pulls the case out and the ejector kicks it out of the slide.

    Rifleshooter, I'd say the question of whether the extractor would be damaged by the loading procedure they describe is open to debate. There's no question that loading from the magazine puts less stress on the extractor, but whether the extractor would need replacement for other reasons before hand loading into the chamber caused a problem is a question for metallurgists.
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    Different standard in extractor materials at the time, they may have never thought about it as an issue in the armory when periodically checked. Small parts (extractor, sear, disconnecter, recoil spring, main spring) were possibly changed out at certain times like a certain round count, no matter how ugly the slide and frame became.
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    As loose as some of those old GI issue 1911's were, I doubt it caused much of a problem.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigSkiff View Post
    As loose as some of those old GI issue 1911's were, I doubt it caused much of a problem.
    These guns were designed to be loose, because close tolerances would cause the gun's slide to jam if it got to much mud and or sand in these areas or in the recoil spring and around the barrel. These were fighting tools that were used in every environment you can think of and they were dropped in the mud and dirt, picked up and continued firing, the gun was even fired underwater. These old war horses were not made to have one inch or less groups at 25 yards and beyond, they were only required to hit a man size target (somewhere) out to 50 yards. I cannot speak of the failures of extractors on these guns as to percentages for what ever reason and there were no round count set for maintenance, the gun came into the armory when ever it broke or was returned for reissue, at which time it was gone over with a fine tooth comb and the majority of internal parts and barrel were replaced; then the gun was test fired and made ready for issue. .....This is how they were handled in my two armories I was in-charge of back in the day.
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    Thanks fo the look back.
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    Functionally, they were the AK of their day. Loose as a goose; as they should have been. Through rain, sleet, or snow. No, through sand, mud, and volcanic ash. That's better.
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    Great read…thanks for sharing


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