Small 1911’s and Reliability

Earlier this week I started a long-term review of a Dan Wesson ECO, which is a 3.5 inch Officer’s sized 1911.  Lest anyone think its reliability will be a gimme, I offer the following video from Rob Pincus.  I don’t know Rob, and I don’t agree with everything he writes, but based off my personal experience he is correct.

Yes, the gun in the video is a Kimber, but that is irrelevant.  Small 1911’s are generally finicky.  In fact, I fully expect the ECO will fail at some point.  And if it does, I have a couple of things in my bag of tricks that might help reliability.

Did you see the challenge at the end of the video?  I don’t know if Rob is still offering this, but if the ECO kicks ass, maybe I could take him up on the offer – not likely.

In the end, I hope the ECO stuns me with utter reliability, but if it fails, I will not be shocked in any way.  It is the nature of the beast.

So… do you have a small 1911 that has been flawless?  Let us know.  Please include the total cumulative round count, as well as the maximum round count you shot in one session.

And for those that care, I finally got around to buying some ammo so testing will start tomorrow!


  1. So far, the ONLY 1911 that I have owned that was “flawless” was. FS RIA .45!

  2. .45 Colt Defender, threw away the factory magazines and use only Wilson Combat magazines, a little polishing on feed ramp and it runs well on all ammo so far. Not one malfunction in the past three years.

  3. I am a long time 1911 fan, but the average stock 1911 is usually not very reliable. I recently purchased a Springfield Range Officer, 5″ barrel, in 9mm. Before I even had 50 rounds through it, I had to throw away the stock disconnector, the stock sear spring, the stock firing pin and both of the stock magazines. It runs great now, but in its stock configuration, it wasn’t very useful.

  4. Looking forward to this. I wrote up the 9mm ECO for Guns & Ammo a couple years back. Loved it so much I bought the test gun. The only problems I’ve ever had have been nose dives on the feed ramp that, ironically, ONLY happen with Wilson Combat mags. The factory mags (Checkmates?) feed flawlessly. Keep us posted!

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