Ramp and Throat Job


February 25, 2006, 10:04 PM
Here are a few pictures that are typical of a botched ramp job. Note the lost corner and the resulting barrel overhang into the magwell. Although it's apparent that most of the "work" was done with a grinding wheel, and followed with a buffing wheel, I've seen the same damage done with a buffing wheel and jeweler's rouge alone. It just takes longer to destroy the ramp.

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February 25, 2006, 10:05 PM
Here is a side view of the same gun.

February 25, 2006, 10:06 PM
Photo of the resulting hangup caused by the barrel overhang.

February 25, 2006, 10:13 PM
Here is another shot of the same gun that produced a typical 3-point jam
when the incoming round managed to get past the overhanging barrel.
Simple failures to go to/return to battery aren't stopped this early in the cycle. This stoppage likely won't go to battery by pushing on the rear of the slide. Looks to be jammed solidly against the top edge of the barrel throat.

The gun was modified by a "gunsmith" who had boasted of his ramp and throat skills...and a gun owner is out the cost of an expensive repair.
This one is non-salvageable, due largely to the alloy frame...and will require a steel ramp insert.

Photos courtesy of M1911.org

February 25, 2006, 10:42 PM
I'll go ahead and stick this one for all to reference and as an example of what NOT to do to a ramp. Beware of Dremel Dan. He's read all the articles and stands ready to slick up your feed ramp for ya.

February 27, 2006, 08:39 AM
Now open for comments.

February 27, 2006, 08:43 AM
Pretty pathetic...looks like an anodized frame and the alleged 'smith ground right through en route to ruining the barrel setback.

What was the motivation for the surgery in the first place? Or was it just one of those things "all 1911s should have?"

February 27, 2006, 08:50 AM
The owner had bought the gun from a friend after another friend had done
a ramp and throat job on the gun. Motivation? Don't know if it was done in an attempt to make the gun feed, or just done as part of a reliability package. The report was that the surgeon had worked as a gunsmith, and had bragged about his skills with ramp and throat work.

Old Fuff
February 27, 2006, 09:55 AM
Must say that you're posting some great photographs. As the say, one is worth a thousand words. :cool:

To add: The real problems is the B.S. that any and all feeding problems can be solved with a "ramp & throat job," and a little "fluff & buff." So the cry goes up, " polish, polish ,polish..."

Small-shop gunsmiths(?) often push this kind of work because it's easy, and puts bucks in their pockets.

February 27, 2006, 10:02 AM
Than yewwww. I think I've got an old junk barrel that I can hog out the barrel ramp on to illustrate the rest of the story...since the two generally go hand-in-hand.:rolleyes:

March 6, 2006, 12:42 PM
Thanks for the pics Tuner. I learn something here every day. That's obviously a what not to do.


April 10, 2006, 05:56 AM
As someone who is aspiring to just do anough smithing to work on some of his own guns in SOME area's (1911 triggers and most others will ALWAYS be left to a real smith, although I did follow a bit of stuff from a Beretta factory guy on improving the trigger of a U22 neos and I went very slowly and instead of removing material just did some light polishing and it worked, I wasn't aiming to really lighten the trigger, just smooth it up for a better feeling and lighten by maybe .2 ounce, and was successful, it's a completely different type of sear), this throat job is something I may consider doing some day if needed. So it brings me to a question about it.

In order to do such a job, the best idea in my opinion would be to carefully match the angle of the feed on the barrel as best as possible, and go extremely slowly and check fit often until you are close to eliminating the the discrepancy between the barrel and throat. Then take care of the feather of the edges on the left and right, then finish up by hand polishing very slowly and carefully until the throat lines up perfectly with the barrel. This would be my take, and I would like to know how correct I am in this? Also if the procedure is correct but the angle matching is not that would be beneficial as well.

I see this type of thing as only needing to be done if you need dead reliability of feeding of hollowpoint ammo. If you are having feed problems with ball ammo you may have other area's that need to be addressed. Also something comes to mind to check first if you are having feeding problems. Does the read of the barrel lift up creating a gap for the round to get caught on between the barrel ramp and the throat? Would this also be something more likely to cause feeding problems? The reason I bring this up is I had an old Tokarev 213 pistol that had some feeding and extraction problems caused by a heavily worn barrel. The extraction problem was obvious, the casings were getting blown out into a bowl shape, and hence getting stuck in the chamber(new barrel was being imported but got delayed so long by customs I gave up and got rid of the gun), and also with careful examination it was noticed the barrel lifted at the rear, causing the lip of a hollow opint round to occasionally get stuck on it, and deform the lip of the round with a nice little divot or slice depending upon your point of view.

Rev. Michael

April 10, 2006, 08:01 AM
Tinkering with ramp angles...barrel and throat...is a slippery slope without the right tools and measuring instruments. Eyeballing an angle doesn't work well.
I can't see the difference between 30.5 and 31 degrees, and I seriously doubt if anyone else can on anything approaching a consistent basis.

For one thing, the frame ramp angle and the barrel ramp angle aren't the same. Barrel ramp/throat angle is specified at 30 degrees, while the feed ramp is 31. Kuhnhausen specifies 35 degrees for a NM barrel ramp...likely to enhance feed reliability with wadcutter ammo.

For another, the bottom of the barrel ramp isn't supposed to match the top of the feed ramp...feathered or not. It should sit slightly forward...a minimum of .030-.035 inch. It can be a little more...but not less.

The problem with working on barrel ramps is that you can easily cut the top corner too deep into the chamber and undermine head support. Not a huge issue if the headspace is at or near minimum and downloaded ammo is used...or at least no hotter than factory hardball spec...but it often only takes a little too much to be way too much.

April 12, 2006, 10:26 PM
How about some comments on polishing up fully supported/ramped barrels like my Para P-14-45. Can you wreck one of them?


April 15, 2006, 12:35 PM
Ok kewl. As for the gap though I was referring to the ramop at the barrel being up away from the ramp on the frame, or it sticking back behind and not forward, but you reply does bring clarity and answers to what I was asking. TY.

Rev. Michael

June 18, 2006, 10:50 PM
I am not claiming to be a gunsmith by any means, but I have no fear of tuning my own guns to meet my own needs. My Auto-Ordinance 1911A-1 was having problems with FTF, upon looking for the problem, it was the feed ramp, barrel engagement. I field stripped the gun and placed the barrel on the frame like it would be in chambering position and polished both together using a dremel with a polishing sand wheel. Now my pistol will flawlessly feed FMJ's as well as JHP's. From what I have read, I'm glad my project turned out like a dream and not a nightmare!!!

June 18, 2006, 10:58 PM

>I field stripped the gun and placed the barrel on the frame like it would be in chambering position and polished both together using a dremel with a polishing sand wheel. Now my pistol will flawlessly feed FMJ's as well as JHP's.

You oughta go play the lottery...:D

Old Fuff
June 19, 2006, 01:37 AM
I field stripped the gun and placed the barrel on the frame like it would be in chambering position and polished both together using a dremel with a polishing sand wheel.

I've seen other jobs that were done that way... :eek: :eek: :eek:

The owners ended up having to buy new pistols... :( :(

Like Tuner says, go buy some tickets... :)

July 18, 2006, 11:29 PM
I have to admit, I've polished the ramps on every 1911 I own(17 to be exact) and they all run perfectly with anything I feed 'em.

I have to ask- Shall I also buy a ticket(or 19)?

I'm using 800->1200-> 2000 wet/dry paper to simply take out the mechine marks and glass 'em up. It sure takes me awhile, but they look like chrome when I'm finished.

Am I simply lucky, or not taking enough metal off to make any angle difference?

Old Fuff
July 19, 2006, 02:35 AM
Depending on how much metal you removed, and where your removed it from, you might or might not have damaged your pistols. Only an examination by an experienced gunsmith could tell.

The real point though is that if a 1911 pistol is correctly set up the feed and barrel ramps don't need to be polished. If this was the case we would have never been able to build enough pistols to get through World War Two (or for that matter, World War One). Prior to Korean War very few gun owners worried about polishing anything, and the guns ran fine - in fact the complaints were far fewer then they are today. If one's pistol needs a polished ramp to run reliably it's far from acceptable as a weapon.

It is noteworthy that most owners of Glock, SIG, H&K, Beretta, S&W, Ruger and other currently popular pistols don't seem to find the polishing to be necessary. Only some owners of 1911 platform guns are so obsessed. :scrutiny:

October 14, 2006, 11:40 PM
I haven't bought a pistol yet that hasn't gotten some attention to the feed ramp and barrel. I have always used Flitz polish and a buffing wheel on my Dremel. It removes very, very little material but polishes like glass. While a polished feed ramp isn't exactly necassary it does create a slicker, smoother surface that prevents the buildup of carbon on the surface and aids reliability with a larger variety of ammunition. My Keltec P11 was a little finicky when I bought it but has become very reliable since I polished things up.

December 10, 2006, 02:17 PM
Some people have the touch and others do not. Every mechanical profession everywhere has the same problem. I am the Team Leader in the Engineering Dept. ( read Maintenance Shop Superviser ) at a hospital where I live. I did Electric Mtr. Repair, Body Work, and Air Conditioning work before coming to work here 13 years ago. The Doctors are the same way. Some have that magic touch and others are butchers. It's in the hands and eyes my friends. Not just knowledge like Tuner and those guys have. They ( Tuner Etc. ) are also skilled with their hands and have a good eye. They can tell you what to do but doing it is a whole nother thing entirely. I posted how to do something in autoloaders forum and got blasted by Tuner indirectly and politely. He was right. I should have kept my mouth shut. Something I am willing to risk on my pistol is my buisness and I should not encourage people I don't even know with skills I do not know to touch their guns. Signed...semi-reformed know-it-all.:)

December 18, 2006, 07:44 PM
The 1911 semi-auto pistol has seen several war time uses and I seriously doubt if the men wanted their feed ramps polished prior to firing the weapon. The 1911 was an ingenious design and functioned as such.

In my opinion, revolvers are for the most part, much more reliable, but the 1911 semi-auto design comes real close.

I also think that the 1911 has been chambered in much more potent cartridges than the old 45 ACP. For example the 10MM Colt Delta Elite. I have one of these fine pistols and can testify to both it's potency and accuracy. I do not have a polished feed ramp, but I did equip it with a Ed Brown stainless match grade barrel and numerous other upgrades. It is my favorite gun to carry concealed or openly. It also is a good 100 yard hunting cartridge for deer or lesser game.

If you want to customize your 1911 with a polished feed ramp, I would suggest sending it to professionals like Gary Reeder or Wilson Combat.

December 18, 2006, 07:59 PM
rmgunsmith wrote:

>In my opinion, revolvers are for the most part, much more reliable, but the 1911 semi-auto design comes real close.<

I'll take that bet. Bring your wheelgun and play follow the leader with me for about 2500 rounds in a day. ;)

I'm in the camp that believes that mirror polishing of feed ramps can actually be detrimental to reliability...and I only rarely do any polishing there at all... beyond addressing any obvious deep tool marks...and then only with emery or crocus cloth on a fingertip.

December 18, 2006, 08:18 PM
1911 Tuner wrote:

'll take that bet. Bring your wheelgun and play follow the leader with me for about 2500 rounds in a day.

If I was Jerry Miculek, I would take you up on that one. I like both revolvers and semi auto-pistols. After years of shooting and working on both, the revolver is simpler and less prone to jams or stove piping, as such I have experienced in semi auto pistols.

One thing you might try on your feed ramp is Mother's Mag & Aluminum polish on the end of a Q tip swab. Lightly polish it with swab and wipe with clean cloth. This also works good to shine up stainless steel guns.

model 649
December 18, 2006, 08:45 PM
Tuner, thanks, again for the superb lessons. My hat is off to you.

Jim Watson
December 18, 2006, 09:15 PM
I agree that in the general definition, a revolver is "more reliable" than an automatic; but...
I have noticed over the years that while a mass produced automatic is occasionaly subject to "jams" requiring Immediate Action by the shooter, at a loss of 2 to 10 seconds in shooting; when a revolver quits, it is usually out of action until the right tools can be found and applied.

December 18, 2006, 10:10 PM
Awwww...You don't hafta be Jerry Miculek to find out what the gun will stand and keep functioning in an extended torture test. All it takes is ammo and a willingness to punish a piece of machinery.:cool:

January 6, 2007, 01:54 AM
Folks, you have no idea of what a botched ramp job will cost you, including a trip to the hospital...

IN the old IPSC days when there were a few great smiths.. and LONG waiting lists... a lot of guys just had to try...... and we watched people go through all kinds of nightmares including the fellow that had a bunch of brass and hot gass pass out of the back of the area where the barrel and slide meet.. and straight into his eyes....

People, not worth it, have someone seriously qualified do it!!

Go to an IPSC match or IDPA and ask around for advise on current gun smithes...

Or even pick up Handgunner magazine, although there are a few less then reputable smiths advertising in there... :/

January 10, 2007, 04:35 PM
Under cover of the general caveat that there is no such thing as a stupid question (I hope), I was wondering if you (or someone) would post some pix of same angles of a WELL DONE polishing job?

I have just gotten interested in handguns this last year, and I realize there is a lot to learn. I have purchased a SA Mil-Spec 1911 and read about all the customizing tricks that can be done to enhance reliability, etc. It would help me and maybe other newbies to be able to compare right and wrong-side by side. Not that I would attempt to do it myself, but so that I could begin to recognize the real thing if and when I see it.


January 10, 2007, 05:35 PM
Bri-Dog...Don't know where the picture is right now, but Chuck Rogers does some of the prettiest ramp and throat work I've seen. A PM to RogersPrecision here will probably turn it up.

97th Signalman
March 23, 2007, 09:54 AM
I have only been shooting 1911 pistols for about six months and I have been overwhelmed with all the advice that you see posted by so called experts on how to make them better. There are a few real experts like Tuner (Experience, skill, knowledge, with the right tools and gages) and a lot of hacks. The trouble is that if you are a new guy searching for knowledge it is hard to judge who to listen to. Sometimes it is even easy for the uninitiated to get suckered by a charlatan "gunsmith" face to face.

Now to what I want to say: I think that John Moses Browning set out to design a pistol that was powerful and reliable in all battlefield conditions. The 1911 was just such a pistol. He was also a tooling and manufacturing genius. He designed guns for a purpose that could be pratically and efficiently manufactured for that purpose. The 1911 pistol was designed for ease of manufacture without a lot of hand fitting and polishing. It was designed to tolerate mud, dust, water etc with only cursory attention. That required loose clearences (not Kalashnikov loose but loose nevertheless) with practcal tolerances.

Then a cult developed to turn his creation into a big bore target punching wonder. To achieve this all the tolerances were tightened and clearences were reduced. That tended to make the 1911 into something that JMB never envisioned. It also tended to make it a finicky wonder that became the subject of constant attention and fussing. The experts could make these refined toys run but the guy looking for the perfect blend of reliability and super tight groups fell prey to the heretics of basement gunsmithing. We have been struggling ever since as we polish, tune and tighten JMB's wonder into a prima donna pistol...Save us Tuner before we dremmel again. :banghead:

March 26, 2007, 05:47 AM
[B]I've got this range box, nice laminate, cool mounts and it holds 6 1911 style pistols. Needless to say I like to shoot them. All .45 cal.
Only one has a ramp job. Don't know who did it, but it sure is pretty. It was the first pistol in the 1911 style I bought.
It's selling point was the ramp job. The seller at the table in Pamona, Ca. showed it to me, then demonstrated it's ability to load 7 fired rounds of empty brass. They all chambered with out a hitch. Impressed I bought it. Since this purchase in 1982 it has continued to work flawlessly.[
Over the years as I see ones I like I buy and shoot them, some I keep, some are sold rather quickly, either I don't like them or a friend likes them $50.00 better than I. In our circle we have agreed to a $50.00 profit margin amongst us.
NONE of the other keepers I have, has had any ramp work done. Most will not feed empties........... So what.
The #6 slot was just filled with a Para Ord. 4.5" LTD with the super exctracter. In 3 sessions I have fired 1000 rounds through this weapon. Not a Single jam.
I buy bulk usgi magazines, and other than the sharp edges when loading them they work great.
The Para single stack handles and shoots well. The finish sucks, the part that sticks it to the metal must have been omitted, 'cuz it's just fallling off.
MY EXPERIENCE says leave the ramps alone, if they don't work sell 'em.

April 13, 2007, 01:41 PM
I'm in the camp that believes that mirror polishing of feed ramps can actually be detrimental to reliability...and I only rarely do any polishing there at all... beyond addressing any obvious deep tool marks...and then only with emery or crocus cloth on a fingertip.
Tuner, would you please explain why you believe this to be the case? I would have thought that a mirror-polish on a feedramp is a good thing :confused:

April 13, 2007, 03:23 PM
Sometimes it is...Sometimes it ain't. Due to a misunderstanding of the "Whys" and "Wheretofores"...the question was asked here:


And a fairly good explanation ensued. Most feed ramp polishing is unnecessary, and often done because it's expected. Correctly done, it won't hurt anything, and can enhance reliability...but incorrectly done, it can turn a reliable pistol into a pukin' buzzard in short order. If the frame ramp is to spec and proper magazines are used, it's not necessary, as the pistol will feed pretty much any reasonable ammunition that you can stuff into the magazine. A popular myth that's been around for years is that the old pistols...USGI and commercial Colts...won't function with anything except hardball unless they undergo a radical modification of the frame and barrel ramps...and it's just that. A myth. The pistols that refuse to do it are very likely either badly worn out, or are "Gunshow Specials" that have been thrown together from a gaggle of Who-Hit-John mismatched or out of spec parts...and many of those would have, had the "smith" refrained from doing a "Ramp and Throat" job because the 1911 pistol is a "Controlled Feed" design.

Controlled feed requires a certain amount of frictional resistance at several points on the cartridge. If things are too slick...and the frame ramp isn't dead on 31 degrees...that resistance is compromised...and so is controlled feed.

Going a little further:

Another common misconception is that the barrel ramp...commonly and incorrectly referred to as the "Throat"...is an extension of the feed ramp. It's not.

The barrel ramp isn't a bullet guide. It's a clearance. The bullet nose shouldn't touch it at any point below the top corner, where it becomes chamber. If the feed ramp is to spec...and proper magazines are used...and the barrel ramp is to spec...the bullet ogive skids across the corner and the cartridge places a downward force on the barrel as it breaks over to horizontal. This serves two purposes. It holds the barrel down on the frame bed, making the angle of entry into the chamber less acute, and it prevents the barrel from being pushed forward by the slide pushing on the cartridge.

When the barrel moves forward, it also moves UP-ward. If it moves upward too early, the lugs try to engage the lugs and slots in the slide. The lug corners are put into a bind...front barrel lug corners to rear slide lug corners...and everything usually comes to a halt because of the forward force on the slide and the upward force of the barrel causes a wedging action to occur. The cartridge is caught between the barrel ramp corner and the chamber roof. The slide keeps pushing, forcing the barrel harder upward, and our old friend, the "Three-Point Jam" is upon us, complete with the tell-tale mark on the side of the case.

May 18, 2007, 07:09 AM
That post is chocked full of info, I'm impressed. I printed it off so I can take it to my gun bench and staple it to the wall for refence as I work the action on my .45's. It gives a feller alot to ponder, and whatch the parts as a round chambers.
Thanx for that info, I may never alter any thing with the info, but I'll sure understand why alot of the guys in the pistol club have all the jamming problems and cussing fits during a shoot.

June 16, 2007, 02:18 AM
Any 3 point jam advice? I have a base model Witness 10mm that had the usual sharp chamber edges on it. I was getting occasional jams so I eased them a tiny bit. I also polished the integral feed ramp. I occasionally. 3 or 4 per hundred, get the 3 point jamming and it's about the only issue I have left. I moved up to 5% Wolff mag springs, I'm thinking I may want to order some 10% for they are a no touch "possible" fix. What say the gurus.

I moved down from 20 lb wolff spring to 18 pound spring and it improved, but I still get these three point jams enough not to carry this hunking thing. Man, 15+1 of 180s and 33oz pistol make it a workout weight? ;) It's my woods gun, BTW. Handloads are worse, but it happens on factory ammo too. I know, you are the 1911 tuner, but any advice is helpful. I'm not super attached to this gun and it's price point does not make me want to take it to a gunsmith. I didn't go crazy by any means and did not alter the feed ramp into the chamber as so feared in the 10mm case due to high pressure. Never had any bulging or what not FYI.

Anyhoo, any advice on where to start? I think it may still be hanging up at 12:00 on the top of the chamber, but is some more easing here best, or maybe a little off the chamber part of the ramp, which is essentially untouched beside some flitz polish and a few fleeting moments with a dremel, probably less. Less is more as they say, and I have been ultra careful not to overdo it. I wish I had a range in my back yard.

I have been very careful, but admittedly, I don't have any angle measuring equipment. That said, if pics will help, please ask. If you don't work on stinking witnesses, that's okay too. Just looking around for helpful hints. I know these pistols will run well, but I also know, like the 1911, they can have their woes. Thankfully, it's not a high dollar gun, so I'm willing to learn and not willing to overdo it. I like my face just the way it is, thank you. Safety first, reliability last. On this one at least. I have a compact 45 for CCW that gobbles up everything. It's not a 1911 unfortunately.

Less is more, as I stated. I'm just trying to fix the right problem first, not last. You understand tuner, I'm sure of that.


October 1, 2007, 10:08 PM
Sorry my response is a wee bit tardy :eek: but thank you, Tuner - I can just about see the movie in my mind's eye ;)

October 5, 2007, 07:30 PM
Well, I had someone bring me a bubbafied 1911 to fix today. It appears to have the same problem. Here are some pics. Is there anything I can do for it? Its a Springfield and I noticed the feed ramp is a part of the barrel.
When you try to load it, the rounds "nose down" and get stuck on the feed ramp. I tried it with my Colt mags and Wilson Combat, and the factory mags that came with it. Same problem. Its pretty well worn.

Is there anything I can do for him? He helped me meet my wife, so I kind of owe him one.

http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/1673/dsc01462mv1.th.jpg (http://img171.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc01462mv1.jpg)
http://img511.imageshack.us/img511/3342/dsc01464st1.th.jpg (http://img511.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc01464st1.jpg)
http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/898/dsc01465kk9.th.jpg (http://img171.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc01465kk9.jpg)
http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/4250/dsc01466up0.th.jpg (http://img171.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc01466up0.jpg)
http://img511.imageshack.us/img511/9150/dsc01460yw1.th.jpg (http://img511.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc01460yw1.jpg)

October 5, 2007, 07:55 PM
With any failure to feed...Always suspect the magazine first.

October 7, 2007, 09:51 PM
turner is right sometimes it may take in mag arms 0.05 inch - 0.12 inch to get a good feed i had to do that with some "Chicago typewriters" Thompson's but like my instructor told me don't fix something that is not broke

February 27, 2008, 02:04 PM
looks like either an ametur job or the guy just got a little too carried away,

also anytime you remove that much metal you can comprimise the intregrity of the chamber, this is just a job left to people who know what thier doing

whats that old saying "measure twice and cut once"

March 26, 2008, 09:47 AM
that is A-W-F-U-L! did he think he was working on a crack pipe? or just using it as one. geesh. i always kind of thought polishing was supposed to GENTLY smooth machining marks out, not remove a portion of the gun.

April 13, 2008, 06:23 PM
I think I might also be the victim of a poor polishing job as I keep getting the 3 point jam with otherwise very reliable S&B FMJ. Changed to a heavier spring, tried different ammo, Wilson mags...etc. How much space between the barrel and the feed ramp should exist? Im at about 1/16 with the barrel pushed back against the frame.

December 31, 2008, 03:17 PM
The point of this thread was to show how badly a ramp and/or throat job can be botched. My removing metal and changing shapes or angles you can quickly render a handgun into a heap of junk. although, there does seem to be a thread within a thread here. Simply polishing a ramp should never entail removing metal or changing physical aspects of the gun.

I have been polishing the ramps of every semi-auto I have ever owned, and those of the people who know me and have never had a problem. Almost every mass produced semi-auto will have machine marks and imperfections that can cause feeding issues. A case in point would be my latest Ruger LCP... The slide would not go into full battery when chambering the first round when using truncated cone or hollow point rounds. The cause was slight machining imperfections in the surface of the ramp. The solution was - like all my semi-autos -to polish the ramp and the result was perfect feeding and cycling.

Anyone who is not an experienced gun smith should never try to change physical aspects of a weapon, but I hardly think that "polishing" is regarded as "changing" a gun.

January 4, 2009, 01:15 PM
"For another, the bottom of the barrel ramp isn't supposed to match the top of the feed ramp...feathered or not. It should sit slightly forward...a minimum of .030-.035 inch. It can be a little more...but not less.

The problem with working on barrel ramps is that you can easily cut the top corner too deep into the chamber and undermine head support. Not a huge issue if the headspace is at or near minimum and downloaded ammo is used...or at least no hotter than factory hardball spec...but it often only takes a little too much to be way too much."

Thanks for that good information, Tuner. You obviously have a lot of hard earned experience with correcting ones that have been done badly.

What is the cure for this ? To cut the frame for a ramped barrel and buy an expensive barrel ? Or is there an equally effective correction that wouldn't cost that much ?

Jim Watson
January 4, 2009, 01:48 PM
IF the barrel was not boogered up to match, EGW can fix the frame. They make a ramp insert to fit a pocket milled into the wallowed out ramp. Works on steel, first choice on aluminum. $40, plus shipping and installation if you don't have local support. They will also weld up and remachine a steel frame's ramp area for $60 plus shipping.

If the barrel is ruined, you have the choice of replacing the barrel with standard and rebuilding the frame ramp as above or just going to an integral ramp barrel. Those can work pretty well IF you don't have the case support phobia and are willing to make it the same angle and depth as standard. I have a couple of Springfield 9mms that had to have that done to convert their integral ramps into feed ramps. They shoot fine and do not blow up.

August 11, 2009, 04:10 AM
Why do people think they NEED a rotary tool to do a ramp an throat job????? I was blessed with growing up with a excellent custom rifle an pistol builder who i shot an hunted with for many many years . He was a Korean combat vet so when it came to a 1911 i really paid close attention to what he said . As for the remarks about people not wanting ramp an throat jobs on pistols of 50-60-70's has more to do with the fact that most people only shot 230gr ball ammo in 1911s . Suprisingly that just happens to be what the GREAT JOHN BROWNING designed the pistol to feed an function with. The sport of Bullseye shoot was really big in the 50's an so people started to tighten up the frame slide fit along with bushing , slide an barrel fit . Jim Clark an some other smiths of the time actually made slide barrel sets that were in .38 special as with a 148 gr hollow base wadcutter was the most accurate bullet of the time due to it being able to expand at the base of the slug an grip the rifling extremely well . so bullseye shooting is actually what started most of the reliability thing as was the introduction of many new styles of bullets to enhance stopping power for law enforcement . i was taught to due this by hand an at a very slow pace . with the barrel in the full rear position there should be a gap .050 to .075 its going to be different as to the best gap for each individual gun an also the sharp edge of the chamber /throat crest should be de-burred with a hand held hook style de-burring tool just on the bottom 60 degrees or ramp width. NO ROTARY TOOLS HERE!!! the de-burr should be very slight as to much can cause case rupture with +p ammo !!!!! SO NOT TO MUCH!! Best advice is if you dont know DON'T TOUCH!!!! This information is for educational use only !!!! Last thing for polishing the ramp a piece of 7/16 hard wood dowel is very helpful to keep the the radius in the frame an please only use 600 grit wet sand paper to start 2000 grit to finish .

navyretired 1
December 27, 2009, 04:38 PM
I know this post is for attention on over polishing ramps and barrels but I'm surprised no one pointed out most feed problems are caused by; 1. magazine feed lip angles and release point, 2. slide stop angles and bevels (3 point jams), 3. extractor fit (number 1 cause of feed problems in my opinion.
The older I get the worse that factory barrel ramp machining marks get. I like polished ramps because done properly they can't hurt. Those darn machining marks can cause problems though. You must remove the cutting marks first then polish, if you just polish cutter marks you still have ridges they are just polished.

December 27, 2009, 05:36 PM
I'm surprised no one pointed out most feed problems are caused by;

It's been covered. Trust me... ;)

The older I get the worse that factory barrel ramp machining marks get.

I've noticed exactly the opposite in most modern pistols. They're actually quite smooth and don't need any polishing at all. The biggest thing that I've seen in regards to feed function is the ramp angles themselves...frame and barrel...are all wrong.

December 27, 2009, 10:48 PM
what I've always been told is that there should be at least 1/8" between the ramp and the barrel to feed correctly

March 28, 2010, 03:08 PM
I just double-checked, Kuhnausen recommends 1/32" (.030").

1/8" seems like a bit far...

March 28, 2010, 03:12 PM
1/8" is very excessive.
Don't even think about it!
1/32" is about right.

Just so you can run your fingernail over it without catching at full link-down.


May 12, 2010, 10:58 PM
In 1996 I had Jim Hoag in Canoga Park Ca.do his magic on a then new Colt Series 80 Enhanced Gov. When it went in would not feed ball. It worked good after that, with hard ball. Not hollow points, not even Win.Silvertips.
I bought Wilson mags because everyone said they were great! Didn't work.
Well long story short, the only thing that really made it dependable was a Check-Mate mag. 8 round extended hybrid mag. feeds everything smooth!
Samething with a new Kimber Ultra Raptor only the 7 rd. mag.
And yes the ramps were polished to remove tool marks that the factory didn't have the time to do.

December 8, 2011, 09:52 AM
Your example from post #4:
I know this is an old thread but I thought it interesting that one of the 9 failures that I had in my new Baer looks identical to the one you posted above - mine:
I sent the gun back to Baer for some "tuning" - I think it may need some work done in that ramp area and I don't do that. We'll see what the Baer folks think. 9 failures fairly evenly spread across 900+ rounds is too many to call "good."

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