SA 1911 problems.....Part II

November 28, 2006, 01:36 PM
I made a thread a few weeks ago about my new SA 1911 not going into full battery. After disassembling it and lubing the slide as Xavier had suggested I tried hand cycling rounds through it to see if it helped any. It didn't. Here's some pics of what it's doing. Sorry they're not of the highest quality, I'm no photographer.

I know it's hard to tell from the pic, but the bullet was pushed down into the brass and the brass was crushed down a little bit.

And this is what it looks like when the slide doesn't go forward all the way.

Edit: Ok, they're worse than they looked before I posted them :(

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Bullet Bob
November 28, 2006, 02:14 PM
It's hard to say from the picture, but it may be something wrong with your chamber. Since it's a new gun, I'd call the manufacturer, it may be time for a trip home. That's what warranties are for.

Please don't be offended, I just can't tell from the pictures - the round you have is what the gun is chambered for, isn't it?

November 28, 2006, 02:28 PM
The case mouth might be snagging on a burr on the chamber.

November 28, 2006, 04:35 PM
My first SA was very sensitve to crimp diameter, but if you're using factory rounds, that shouldn't be a problem. I like Bouis's thought. Have you checked the feed ramp and chamber for burrs? If you field strip the piece, will a factory round drop into the chamber? Did the damn thing ever work? Do you have a buddy with a spare 1911 barrel you can drop in your SA? If your rounds chamber fine in another barrel, and you can't drop a round into your chamber, then you may have as Bullet Bob suggests, a seriously out of spec chamber. Did SA sell you a .40 barrel in what is otherwise marked a .45 ACP? It's been known to happen.


November 28, 2006, 04:50 PM
I'd probably sell that jamomatic and get yourself a reliable weapon ;)

November 28, 2006, 05:45 PM
You do get a beautiful warranty....bummer it is going to take some time for you to get fixed. Also, what about the business you bought it from? Many of the gun shops around here give a lifetime warranty, in which case they may know what the problem is by looking at it...

On a side note, The poster above me obviously lives in a perfect world where even HK's are all PERFECT. Must be nice ;)

Jim Watson
November 28, 2006, 06:06 PM
Photos illustrate a stem bind or three point jam.
Tight or rough or sharp bottom edge extractor.
Narrow or rough breechface.
Undersize or sharp edged chamber.
Really bad magazines.

Look at a jammed round (from actual firing)... do not force it in and shoot it - and if there is a crescent shaped cut in the brass about 1/8" below the case mouth, then it is No 3 above. Readily fixable by a real gunsmith or maybe even the warranty clerk at the company.
Magazines are readily changed, an extractor is easy for a real gunsmith to fit (Tuner will tell you to replace the cheap SA factory part.) and a rough breechface can be polished. Only a narrow breechface in the slide will take a lot of work.

November 28, 2006, 06:37 PM
Gosh almighty!!! Before you try and fix your SA....maybe you should try and fix your camera.......

November 28, 2006, 06:55 PM
I'm no photographer
Pics look like the camera was too close to focus on pistol.
Back it up and I think you will find it gives a clear pic.
Attached 4 pics: same camera, same gun, different distances.

November 28, 2006, 07:53 PM
Field strip the gun and try to drop a round into the chamber. The round should have no problem seating in the chamber. Then try dumping the round out (using gravity). If it doesn't slip in and out without any problem--with any kind of 45 auto ammo, you have a problem with your barrel.

November 28, 2006, 11:19 PM
Is the mag(s) locking in all the way?

November 29, 2006, 12:15 AM
Loki, My Champ had the same problem, heres what fixed mine. Make sure its empty, and turn it to look at the barrel end. Slide it back a bit, until the end of the guide rod [Stem per JIM] is exposed. Slowly let it try to close and notice if the rod[stem] is hanging up on the tube. Some times the rod [stem] can get off center, and hang up and bind the action. CAREFULLY straighten it so centers in the tube upon closing. Mine loosens up some times, when tightening it back up, make sure the rod [stem] end is partially in the tube, with just enough sticking out to grab it and tighten it. Or, slide it back to the first little notch, take out the slide stop, and using a palm sander with 5000 grit, smooth the factory mill marks on the inside part of it and reassemble. I also used the 5000 wrapped around a small rod to smooth the feed ramp, and now mine eats ball and Hydra shocks all day long. Hope that helps. Don't know what term the stem/ guide rod is called, but Jim is probably right. Howdy Y'all. Should we use Locktite to keep the stem from loosening?

November 29, 2006, 08:59 AM
Should we use Locktite to keep the stem from loosening
One of the reasons some people want one piece rods or no rod at all!
December 17, 2006, 07:27 PM
Update for you guys.

Got it back from the factory a couple days ago and took it out today. Only planned on a couple mags going through. Still having same problem. Invoice from Springfield Armory says all they did was polish the frame ramp. Not a very happy person :(

December 17, 2006, 08:00 PM
I had a similar problem a couple weeks ago w/ my new commander style 1911. I narrowed it down to the 2 factory mags :banghead: I knew I only have Wilsons for my Colt for a reason!
I did go through ALOT of cleaning & light polishing & a light lubing here & there. Really, a little patience goes a long way. I just have to that 1000 rounds w/o a hiccup before I use that gun for carry.
Good luck figuring it out

Jim Watson
December 17, 2006, 08:32 PM
BAT1 - I try to call parts by their right name; a stem bind has nothing to do with the recoil spring guide rod. It is a condition where the cartridge coming up out of the magazine does not make the turn from the nose up angle out of the lips to the level axis of the chamber. I don't know where it got the name "stem bind" but that is the terminology I learned.

Sorry, loki, try to get Tuner's attention, he will tell you things to check to identify the actual cause and what you might be able to do for yourself without having to waste your time with the company warranty clerk. Worst comes to worst, you will have to get a real gunsmith to fix it. A lot of aggravation, but it can be corrected by somebody who knows his business.

December 17, 2006, 08:46 PM
I'm having EXACTLY the same problem with my Colt slide / Sistema frame 1911. Have tried three barrels as of this morning; chamber fit is right, new mags, no change. After examining the spent rounds, it looks to me as if the extractor is snagging the cartridge.

December 17, 2006, 09:01 PM
...I had to polish the c*** outta' my barrel hood to get rid of that...along with adjust my mags, extractor, and polish the stupid ramped barrel and frame surfaces, and breechface...covered with burrs and rough spots...good luck:scrutiny:

December 17, 2006, 09:05 PM
I would call Deb at Springfield and see what type of ammo they test fired your gun with after "fixing" it. Springfield used to give exemplary warranty service. It would be a shame if that were no longer the case. It is the main reason so many buy Springfields! Give deb a call and find out what went wrong on this last trip.
December 17, 2006, 11:58 PM
You happen to know what extension or number I should call to get her Xavier? Or just call and ask for Deb and everybody knows who it is?

December 18, 2006, 06:02 AM
Jim Watson pretty well covered the causes of a simple 3-Point Jam/Stem Bind. the man told me..."There are stem binds and then there are stem binds.

From the looks of your case mouth, you have a hard stem bind. Have you had bullet setback into the cases? Have you noticed a pronounced "Ka-Chunk" sound when loading the chamber from slidelock on the top round in a full mag?

If you have, you have a hard stem bind, and it's a little more difficult to cure than simple tweakin' can do.

What occurs is that the bullet nose strikes low the barrel ramp and the barrel is pushed forward as the slide moves. As the barrel moves forward, it also moves up. As it moves up, the lugs head for the slots in the slide that aren't in position yet. The front corners of the barrel lugs catch on the rear corners of the slide lugs...and the barrel is wedged in the slide. The slide isn't free to move...or is frozen in place if it's bad enough. The barrel is too high to allow the round to break over to horizontal...and the whole works comes to a halt.

The bullet nose shouldn't hit the barrel ramp at all, and only the ogive of the bullet should contact at the top corner of the barrel ramp, directing the round over the top so as to keep a downward force on the barrel. The barrel stays in bed until it's time for it to move...the round breaks over easily and chambers...and when the breechface strikes the barrel times into the slide and goes to battery nearly as smoothly as it would if it were cycled empty.

Several things can affect the feed/RTB phase. If the angle of the feed ramp in the frame is too shallow, it directs the round low onto the barrel ramp. If the barrel ramp's lower edge isn't set far enough forward in the frame...ditto. If the barrel ramp itself is too steep...ditto again.
If the barrel rides the link, this can be a factor in early barrel timing, and
contribute to a stem bind, but is only rarely the sole cause. If the barrel sits too high in the saddle when fully linked down, it can also be a player. If the dimensional tolerances and clearances between barrel and slide don't allow the barrel to go fully to bed...ditto.

The simple 3-Point Jam is generally simple to address. The hard 3-Point Jam can be a bit involved.

December 18, 2006, 06:29 AM
A quick search of the Springfield subforum ( at does not yeild her extension, but everyone knows who she is, I think. I have never had to send a Springer back, so I don't know her number.

You can PM her here on the forum (

December 18, 2006, 04:43 PM
Here is a message from Deb:

Have him contact me and I will see what I can do for him. Email ( or daytime phone (800-680-6866) work best.

December 18, 2006, 04:57 PM
I just spoke with Springfield this morning about a new pistol with a couple of problems. I spoke with Vicky who told me in a very friendly convincing voice:

" Don't worry, just send it to us, your pistol has a lifetime warranty and we will take care of it for you. "

Very nice lady. :)
December 19, 2006, 09:42 AM
1911Tuner- I haven't had a setback like it was originally doing since it was returned from SA. The bullet setback I was getting from it was like 1/16-1/8 of an inch. Very noticeable distance.

Xavier- Thank you, I didn't realize they were members of any forums. I'll end up most likely using email as I work nights and sleep during the day.

On my way home from work I was thinking about something. When I hand cycled when I had first gotten it back, I went through 2 mags and had no problems. It's just after firing the first round it acts as though there isn't enough behind it to go full battery. I manually rack the slide and it works fine on next round, then after firing it does it again. Then it finishes the last couple of rounds without any problems.

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