1911 Failures... Any advice?


November 14, 2006, 08:32 AM
I've put 400-500 rounds through my full-size Springfield Loaded Black Stainless 1911 using the two 7 rd factory mags. I never had a failure of any kind.

I recently picked up a pair of Wilson Combat mags (47D and 47DC low-profile) as I've heard many good reviews and thought that 8th round would be nice while carrying.

Anyway, I've had several failures with both mags. When they first arrived, I let them sit fully loaded for a couple of days. The failures have occured with WWB 230 gr FMJ, Rem UMC 230 gr JHP, and Speer Gold Dot 230 gr JHP... so it doesn't seem to be ammo specific. It seemed to be occuring more with the Gold Dots, but that could just be my imagination. I know the GDs are a little shorter than the other two. However, my calipers and Speer reloading manual tell me the overall case length is within spec. So I ruled out the fact it could be the ammo.

The failures I have is that while stripping the last (8th) round, the gun appears to go into full battery but won't fire. I drop the mag, open the slide, and the round falls out the empty mag well.

I've noticed that the 7th and 8th rounds in the mags don't seem to sit flush against each other. It looks like there's a tiny bit of daylight between them.

Any help would be appreciated in diagnosing the problem and what (if anything) I can do to correct it. I'm bummed as I wanted the 8 rd mags solely for carry. That extra round doesn't do me a bit of good if I don't have confidence in how the gun functions with them!


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November 14, 2006, 08:35 AM
I have nothing constructive other than to say that my wilson mags also have a space between the 7th/8th rounds and that they work.

Zach S
November 14, 2006, 08:43 AM
All of my wilsons have a little daylight between the 6th and 7th rounds, so I'd assume its normal. I guess the follower isnt the same angle as the feed lips.

I had a simular experance with wilson 47Ds. They ran great in most of my 1911s, however one didnt like them, so I stick with 47s. Even my AMT would eat anything all the time with the seven rounders. I traded or sold all of my eight rounders.

November 14, 2006, 08:47 AM
Thanks, guys. The "daylight" info is reassuring.

Zach, was it the same type of failure I described?

Anyone have any solution for fixing it? People swear by the 47Ds, so I'm not ready to give up yet. Maybe I just got lemons (but two at the same time seems improbable).

Would break-in or anything be a factor?

1911 guy
November 14, 2006, 08:54 AM
I have some CMC mags that work fine in two pistols, won't work in a third. Sometimes a particular gun just says "Nope, not gonna do it." Unusual, yes. Unheard of, no.

Master Blaster
November 14, 2006, 09:20 AM
Call Wilsons, and tell them your problem, they will most likely offer 7 round springs and followers, or new 8 round ones for free. I have a bunch of these mags and had a problem in one 1911, so I dont use them in that 1911, but they did send me new springs and followers to try. They worked perfectly in the finicky gun with the 7 round followers and springs.


November 14, 2006, 11:59 AM
Have you taken your Wilson mags apart and checked for cleanliness?

Tried them in another gun?

You might want to call Wilson and see if they have another spring/follower combination they suggest.

Good Luck...


November 14, 2006, 12:52 PM
"The failures I have is that while stripping the last (8th) round, the gun appears to go into full battery but won't fire. I drop the mag, open the slide, and the round falls out the empty mag well."

From what you are saying here is it possible the follower is stopping the slide from fully going into batter? Or is it possible the follower is interfering with the disconnect in some way? Is the hammer falling when you pull the trigger on the 8th round? Maybe is don't understand the malfunction.:confused:

November 14, 2006, 01:12 PM
I tried a Wilson Stainless 8rnd in my Combat Commander several years ago, and it flat refused to pickup the last round. If I load 7, there are no problems, but that 8th rnd will not (I assume), lift fast enough to chamber. The gun always closes on an empty chamber, so why won't it do it on the last rnd if I only load 7??? This gun in throated, and even gobbles up hard cast .45 L.C. 250 grainers without a problem.

November 14, 2006, 05:31 PM
Seems like whenever I hear something bad about Wilson 1911 mags, they're with 8 rounders. I have one 8 rounder and 5 other 7 rounders (I traded with my father for the 8 rounder as his Kimber Gold Medal Match wouldn't function with it). I use it as a range mag, using my 7 rounders for carry. Sometimes the 8 rounder works, sometime it gives me grief.

November 14, 2006, 06:18 PM
I have two suggestions:

1. Call Wilson and talk with them about the magazine related problems.

2. Change the thread title to "Apparent Magazine Failures".

November 14, 2006, 06:41 PM
Won't fire...As in, hammer won't fall, or hammer falls and doesn't light the primer?

November 14, 2006, 09:00 PM
Try shooting them each with seven rounds for awhile. If they function well that way, it might just be a matter of breaking them in. After a few sessions if they work well, try loading them up with eight again.

November 15, 2006, 03:12 AM
Find a GOOD 1911 gunsmith (NOT a general,all brands, knows some about 1911's gunplumber) and have him(her(PC)) tune your 1911/mags/ammo. Usually, FT/Feed is some little out of spec problem that needs to be sorted out. Just needs someone who knows 1911's.

Master Blaster
November 15, 2006, 09:05 AM
The spring on the 8 rounders is shorter weaker and has fewer coils than the 7 round spring, the follower is also shorter top to bottom to accomodate that extra round. As a result there is less spring force on the 8th and final round, this works ok in some guns and not so good in others. What weight recoil spring do you have in the gun?? If you have an 18.5 lb extra power recoil spring try a 16 lb standard one, or go to the 7 round spring and follower.

November 15, 2006, 09:09 AM
What weight recoil spring do you have in the gun??

It's still the factory recoil spring from Springfield Armory.

November 15, 2006, 10:29 AM
Shoot until the failure to fire occurs. Bump the slide firmly with the heel of your hand and try again.

Phil DeGraves
November 15, 2006, 04:40 PM
I have Colt and Kimber 8 rounders that work all the time.

November 15, 2006, 09:04 PM
I have had the same problme with my makarov magazine. THe first six fed fine, but the 7th and 8th round would get stuck. I check it out over and over again but still did the same thing. So I took my other magazine and put them side by side. THe one had a little indenture that stopped the follower. I took a pair of pliers and bent it back straight and it worked fine without a glitch. No misfeeds after that. I don't know if this will help you with your problem but good luck.

November 16, 2006, 05:41 AM
I know its probably not any help but.....Im in the mood to blabber.

I have a Kimber Pro Carry. I shot it a bit with the factory 7 rounders, many people dont think the Kimber factory mags are very good but they functioned fine. That aside I have an aluminum frame gun and really like the bit of assurance the Wilsons give me with the polymer follower.....the metal followers can mark up the bottom of the feed ramp.

So I ordered up some Wilson 7 rounders, figuring the factory is 7 rounds....thats what I should stick to.

Wilson mags have been flawless - have around 500 rounds of WWB FMJ, Hornady TAP HP, MagTech HP and recently some Winchester HPs thru them with zero failures.

A while back I was making a CDNN order and on a lark tossed some Chip McCormick shooting star 8 rounders on my order. I was wanting to leave some extra loaded magazines in the glovebox of my vehicles should the need arise for a hollywood shoot-out - I would certainly want more ammo on hand. Being the cheap gun collector I am I did NOT want to pay $25+ for magazines to set in my glovebox and probably not get used. These mags were $10ish, much cheaper.

So Im at the range with my McCormick mags.....shooting WWB FMJ and it didnt take long before I had my first failure to feed (dont remember the exact failure).

Went back to my Wilson 7 rounders for the rest of the shooting and a little more the next day.....no problems.

I think Chip McCormick makes a good product....however they didnt do me any good. They are still in my cars....even a pistol that jams occasionally is better than one thats out of ammo......

November 16, 2006, 09:39 AM
Thanks for all the great replies, guys.

I'm going to hit up the range on Saturday and if they're still not working I'll check out some of the things in here and call Wilson as a last resort. Keep any advice coming!

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