1911 Gets Down & Dirty in InRange TV’s MUD TEST!

InRangeTV’s mud tests have been an enlightening series. Conducted in a relatively scientific manner, the “test” is simple, coat gun in nasty desert mud and see if the weapon will function through its firing cycle.

Contrary to popular perception, this test took down the venerable Kalashnikov pattern rifle and showed the AR-15 is not the “unreliable” platform as the myth perpetuates. In fact, the AR is the better platform for a mud test (though stand-by for results of dust, water, and other environments) as it is a nearly sealed weapon system with the magazine installed.

Stepping up to the plate now is John Moses Browning’s venerable 1911, of the World War II variety with “loose” clearances and all. The weapon used is actually not a technical 1911, it is a derivative of it, specifically a Ballester Molina weapon of Argentine origin. Some may take issue with this, but the weapon is a near copy, omitting the grip safety (which should help the weapon in this test, not hurt it).

Going through the test, the weapon does reasonably well, especially considering its a 100 year old design. But, its not a complete success, with failures to go into battery and failures to load.

Enjoy the video and the inevitable internet dialogue to come.


Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • Anon

    FAL and HK 91 mud test, anyone?

  • Ben Loong

    Watching the test, I can’t help but wonder how well a pistol with a slide that rides inside frame rails like a CZ-75 would do in a mud test. For that matter, I wonder about polymer-frame pistols that have internal rails that have smaller contact areas than metal guns.

    Based on their test, mud getting in front of the firing pin is something I’d see being a major point of failure for most external hammer-fired pistols that are carried in condition one or two. Striker-fired pistols might have an easier time.

    • Bill

      Guns with interrupted rails are theoretically “self cleaning.”

  • M.M.D.C.

    I guess this is why these pistols were issued in this way:

    • tts

      Once drawn it could be dropped and the test is supposed to simulate what would happen if it was dropped in a muddy trench environment as a worst case scenario.

      Remember the Luger did just fine with this test. Shocked me a bit since I figured dirt would lock it up solid with all those exposed fitted parts but nope it ran like a champ.

  • Spencerhut

    I have this WWI Colt that was found very rusty and with a very old school stipple job I cleaned up and refinished. It’s honestly one of the most fun to shoot 1911 I own. Even though it’s a modified refinish, I still could not bring myself to dunk it in the mud.

  • Joshua Knott

    I figured the armalite rifle would perform better in mud as being a sealed system, now throw it in a bathtub , freeze it and see what happens then. Methinks m1a and AK pattern rifles will perform better than the Arma lite.

    • A bearded being from beyond ti

      uhh, okay

      • Joshua Knott

        you just gonna say “uhh okay” or support yourself with valid argument? or are you going to play bias towards the ar-15, please fill me in. When you “contain” moisture i.e see water, in a sealed system, then freeze it like an extreme cold weather test the gun will more than likely fail. an M1A with its self cleaning piston and looser tolerances around the bolt will help benefit it from freezing up like the ar would, m1a would just shatter the ice.

        • Joshua Knott

          and I’m not really saying “thow it in a bathtub” just spray her down with some water(not submerge) i guarantee you the ar will fail. And no Im not an ar hater, both of those platforms have their disadvantages and advantages.

          • Travis

            Tests have been done, the key with the ar in cold and ice is round in the chamber so the hot gasses cycling the action clean everything out, round not in chamber is about impossible to get the action open

          • Joshua Knott

            Your right, but what do they teach you on the platform when the M4A1 is completely submerged in water? Regardless there’s gonna be some issues.

          • Travis

            Not being military, my “training” is limited to my research (I was an ar-15 nay sayer in a former life lol) but I would imagine as with any small bore firearm sufficient time needs to be had for water to clear the bore, plus the gas tube and buffer tube on an ar. The rest should drain pretty quickly from the trigger hole I would think.

          • Zachary marrs

            You do know the M14 has an exposed action, yes?

            Letting the bolt, extractor, bolt raceway, and not to mention the gaping hole in the action when the bolt is forward get covered in ice, vs an action that is largely sealed?

          • Joshua Knott

            I really dont know if i should even have to add this.

            And yes i do know of operation procedure of a garand style action.
            answer me this as obviously you have some bias towards the ar….
            1. what happens when water freezes
            a.)it expands
            b.)it hardens
            c.) all of the above.
            so when you have a sealed system, the water will expand into gas ports (BCG) impingement line, chamber.

            Whereas with loser tolerances the expanding ice actually has somewhere to go and can easily be broken off without harming the weapon when fired.

          • Zachary marrs

            So how does an M14 do any better?

            If you are so familiar with the M14, you would know the M14 has its most sensitive parts exposed

            Tolerances? Sigh…

            You said, and i quote, “I knew I shouldve just said sprayed or misted”

            What is your idea of misted?

            Oh, and “you clearly have some bias towards the AR”

            And you don’t have some clear bias towards the M14?

          • Joshua Knott

            No, none at all honestly, like Ive constantly said before, each have their advantage disadvantage, but your too dense to even understand that… geez.

          • Zachary marrs

            me too dense? you somehow think a light sprinkle will jam an AR shut, but a M14 with a far more vulnerable action will do just fine.

            you need to stop, kid.

          • Anon

            You’re an absolute fool because you can’t seem to accept the fact that the only reasons the M14 won were because of politics and rigged tests, not any actual advantages of the gun.

            Looser tolerances don’t make a gun more reliable, because it’s better to keep stuff out of the gun than to have more open spaces for stuff to get in.

            The M14 is easy as hell to stop up with all of those exposed critical surfaces, and it sucks as a combat rifle, deal with it, the AR 15 and AR 10 always were better guns than the M14.

        • A bearded being from beyond ti

          u, k

    • Bal256

      I don’t see how any rifle fully encased in ice will fire regardless of the design.

      • Joshua Knott

        See below haha, I knew I shouldve just said sprayed or misted,a bathtub reference was a little dramatic I will attest, but if you do some research on early m14 testing in cold weather environments its a superb rifle, sand and mud..well you know.

        • Zachary marrs

          I think you need to do some more research on this “early m14 testing”

          Inrange TV has already done sand and mud tests on the AR and M14 (M1a)

          The AR out performed the M14

          • Joshua Knott

            did you not read what was said hahah, thats exactly what i was saying the M1a will do better in the cold, sand and mud, it wont, a sealed system will beat it any day. i probably shouldn’t have been so vague but figured most would understand what I was saying so in lamen terms.
            Ar=WILL WIN IN MUD, SAND


          • Zachary marrs

            No it won’t.

            Look into how the M14 won over the FAL.

          • Joshua Knott

            yeah we’re done here kid……

        • Anon

          The reason that the M14 did well in cold weather testing in the adoption trials is because the rifle got special preparation, the FAL didn’t. By all rights, the FAL should’ve won the trials, seeing how they fixed their cold weather problems by the next year IIRC. It won because of politics, not because it was better in any way.

          Why would the M14 be any better in cold weather with those ridiculously exposed locking surfaces and that horrible op rod track for crap to get into?

  • Joel

    My older brother and I have owned 3 M1911s. None of them needed any mud to jam. Thus did they prove Hackathorn’s quip “king of the feedway stoppages.”

  • J.M.B.

    Well that’s just a lie because everyone knows 1911 is the most reliable, compact, lightweight and functional gun out and there are no guns today that even come close to being better in any way, all thanks to John Moses Browning the man-genius. In fact my 1911 compact carry gun weighs just forty pounds more than my ex-wife and has a huge ammo capacity of 3 shots .45 ACP and I keep telling all my friends that they should get a 1911 too for the price of a heart transplant surgery. Haters can just keep on hating with their stupid plastic guns, they just jelly they don’t have a .45 ACP beast. The rounds itself is well known from the very day it was developed as the stopping machine that it is, including 100% true stories like B-17 gunners shooting down Bf-109 fighter with it when their Ma Deuces ran out of ammo, and or soldiers on the ground being able to penetrate the Tiger II front turret armor with it like a hot knife trough butter and so on.
    So keep the 1911 alive, also please don’t hesitate to donate to the American Society of Steam Powered Vehicles which many of us 1911 users are a part of, thank you and god bless America.

  • Bill

    JMHO, but these “adverse conditions tests’ would be a lot more reliable and valid if the shooter was also encased in mud, dust, manure, maple syrup, road gravel, golf balls or whatever media is being used. Pretty much any condition that will hamper a gun will be a lot more detrimental to the shooter.

  • Anon

    Did you even read my posts? Are you a troll? I told you that the trials were rigged, that’s how the M14 won the arctic trials, because it got special preparation, the FAL didn’t.

    Link to a video of an unmodified M14/M1A passing an ice test, or shut up. Also, you didn’t address how more open spaces make it easier to stop a gun up, period.

    I’m not an AR fanboy, I’m just a detractor of the M14 because of its many faults.

    I’m not the one who can’t accept the fact that their precious rifle had no right to be adopted.

    If there’s anyone who can’t comprehend posts because of fanboydom, it’s you, oh and it’s spelled “fanboydom”, not “fanboydoom”.

    • Joshua Knott

      No I meant fan boy doom because all of you have been doomed to believe that there’s nothing better than an a.r it’s like having a conversation with glockoholics I linked the video ,I’m done with you fools like I said before, I showed you the area jamming up and a grand style action performing flawlessly in an ice test. I never once said it would perform the same in dandy or mid. Get rest your brain is clouded with anger

      • Anon

        You didn’t link a video of the M14 passing an ice test, which is what I asked for, and I explained that the trials were rigged, so what was your point again?

        And I bet an “area” would fail an ice test. What’s a “grand style action”?
        Learn to spell.
        If anyone’s pissed off, it’s you, because I’ve stayed composed, you’ve accused me of being a fanboy, when you’re a fanboy yourself.

        • Joshua Knott

          I was typing from a new cell phone sorry it doesnt recognize the names of John Garand and his invention.Instead of area it was supposed to have been AR. but again my phone thinks it knows the language that i wanted to type. The mini 14 and M14 use the same proprietary Garand style action and WAIT theres more, the mini also has loser tolerances than the M14 so if it were to fail per say what you mentioned it would have…but WAIT theres more the rifle didnt. and like i have constantly and consistently said before it would not have performed the same given mud and sand. DUDE YOU NEVER COMPOSED YOUSELF ONCE go back and look at the video, its the same type there are little differences, i own and love both, you’re just a F*&^%ing clown man, a good one, I’ll give you that. You are the definition of failure.

          • Anon

            The only thing that I could find about the M14 in an ice test outside of those rigged adoption trials was some cold weather testing in Alaska by some police department IIRC, and both the M14 and the AR 15 failed the test.

            You used caps-lock, lose the passion, and you never gave me a video of a M14 passing an ice test. And saying that I’m the definition of failure only proves you have no leg to stand on, because when you have to resort to ad hominem, that’s a sign you should admit defeat while you’re still ahead.

            Come back to me when you have a video of the M14 passing an ice test, the AR 15’s performance in ice is irrelevant, and I’ve seen MAC have an AR 15 work well in ice, perhaps it’s the lubrication that causes it to sieze up? Either way, exposed locking surfaces don’t help a gun pass an ice test.

            Seriously, when you show me a video of you or anyone else with a M14 passing an ice test that the AR 15 or whatever didn’t, I’ll admit defeat, but you repeatedly failed to do so, so until then, I won’t listen to you or see you as anything more than a joke.

  • George

    That’s not an Ice Test. That’s a Dry Ice Test.