Vancouver IPSC incident.

M1911

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"Able to?" Was this an experimental sort of thing, or an error?
Gunsmith Drake Oldham did a rather exhaustive set of drop testing on Series 70 style 1911s. As Rob mentioned, he used a primed case in the chamber.

The net result is that if you drop a Series 70 1911 on a hard surface from enough height, it will discharge. The required height can be quite low. A lighter firing pin and a stiffer firing pin retaining spring will significantly improve this.
 

Rob Boudrie

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The net result is that if you drop a Series 70 1911 on a hard surface from enough height, it will discharge.
A series 80 can discharge if slammed against an MRI machine.

http://www.ajronline.org/doi/full/10.2214/ajr.178.5.1781092

The article mentions the gun was a Colt 1991A1 which is a series 80 gun, and the article mentions the presence of the firing pin block. The gun discharged with the hammer back and safety engaged.

I still have a 1911 carry holster I bought from one of the authors of that article 20+ years ago.
 

Supermoto

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Gunsmith Drake Oldham did a rather exhaustive set of drop testing on Series 70 style 1911s. As Rob mentioned, he used a primed case in the chamber.

The net result is that if you drop a Series 70 1911 on a hard surface from enough height, it will discharge. The required height can be quite low. A lighter firing pin and a stiffer firing pin retaining spring will significantly improve this.
One thing that I noticed when playing around with super light revolver triggers, a primer only case will light off easier than a complete round
 
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