1911 A-1 no jam ammunition


December 29, 2006, 09:37 AM
Over Christmas a buddy and I exchanged gifts. He and I regularly shoot at an indoor range and so a box of .45 fmj ammo was neatly wrapped up. Yesterday, at the range I tried it out since it was not the usual American Eagle brand 45acp stuff I run through my pistol. To make a long story short, about every third round would not eject properly, with the brass sticking in between the slide and the barrel. The brand was labeled as 230 grain fmj just the same as American Eagle, but something was different. It certainly looked the same from the exterior. The box did say "practice ammunition" but I have no idea what that warning is supposed to mean. Perhaps if I used it on a BG he would only practice falling down.

Does this mean the spring in my A-1 is too strong? Once I switched to the box of American Eagle, I went through all 50 without a jam.


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December 29, 2006, 10:09 AM
I'd like to know what the fix is this as well..

My girlfriend shoots a Beretta Neos .22LR every time we go to the range, and she consistently has the same problem with the empty shell getting caught. It is not neccessarily a specific round number in the magazine though..

1911 guy
December 29, 2006, 10:21 AM
When in doubt, run a 16 Lb. spring in a 1911. I assume you're reffering to a 1911 A-1. If you haven't changed it, it'll be a 16# from the factory.

One batch of questionable ammo isn't cause to swap springs. It is, however, cause to not shoot that ammo again. If you can shoot most ammo without a problem and one brand hangs up, you're good to go. When the reverse is true, you've got a problem.

Both problems sound like underpowered ammo. With the .22 auto, try going to a 40gr bullet, the stuff you're shooting now is probably 36gr. More and more of the light stuff is showing up, it costs less to make. Every nine rounds they save enough lead for one more bullet. With corner cutting like that, you know they're skimping on powder, too.

With the .45, try some known brand stuff, Winchester, Remington, etc. Not fancy, just cheap FMJ. If it cycles, great, it's just one box of cheap stuff that gave you fits. If you have problems and you've got more than 2,000 rounds through your 1911, change the spring. If less than that, have a 'smith look at it. The extractor or ejector may be out of whack. Not likely, though. The AE stuff worked for you.

December 29, 2006, 10:25 AM
Actually the 22 is 40gr FMJ Federal ammo.... I originally thought it was due to her not knowing how to clean the action properly, so I broke it down and did find a spot where there was some stickiness to the motion... After cleaning it really well the problem still happens...

We also tried 40gr Remington lead ball - same thing...

December 29, 2006, 10:46 AM
My A-1 recently went through the gunsmiths shop since the little hangy down piece ( technical speak) on the original barrel broke. He replaced the barrel and the new hangy down piece is molded to the barrel. At any rate, it works fine with AE ammunition, but sure didn't like the Lawman brand practice ammo. After the second magazine jamed I stopped using it and gave the remainder to the rangemaster. I was just curious if the gunsmith hadn't put too strong a spring in or overstretched the one that was there.


1911 guy
December 29, 2006, 11:09 AM
The only thing that hangs down from a 1911 barrel is the barrel link. It should pivot, not be "molded" to the barrel. I think the only exception is some of the Para Ordnance mutations. If the gunsmith put in another spring, there shoud be some notation on the work order he gave you when you got it back. And no 'smith worth anything would ever stretch a spring to extend it's life. Exercise in futility.

I just re-read your post and noticed that the 'smith replaced your barrel. Sounds like he may have installed a ramped barrel in place of a standard. That's beyond my abilities to attempt to diagnose it. It might be bad ammo, it might be rotten gunsmithing. Unless something else was wrong, there was no need for him to replace the barre just because of the link. Links are less than ten bucks and swaging another pin to hold it in place is a quick job. If he replaced the barrel for the heck of it, we don't know if he fit it correctly.

December 29, 2006, 11:26 AM
Yup he did indeed replace the whole barrel. In the original barrel, the barrel link was held on by two small extensions that looked to be tacked on. (I must apologize for not being more technically accurate, I just don't know the vocabulary) The new barrel has these pieces molded in place as part of the barrel itself and the link that is pinned hangs down just like the link of old. I cannot recall what tuning he did since this was several months ago. I just know the barrel and barrel link looked much improved over what was there before. I fired it all summer long, and had absolutely no problems(300 rounds at least), BUT, I was only using the American Eagle brand ammo. This "Lawman" Practice ammo that I got as a Christmas present was the first time I ever had the A-1 jam and I wondered if there was some significance to the term practice, ie lightly loaded. but 230 grain ought to mean 230 grain... unless there's practice grain... Needless to say, I won't be purchasing that brand.


1911 guy
December 29, 2006, 11:37 AM
The 230 mentioned on the box of ammo is the weight of the bullet itself. The powder charge determines how "high" or "low" powered the ammo is or isn't. The CCI Lawman stuff may be loaded down. I don't use it, so I have no idea. If it is, that may explain your ejection problems.

Jim Watson
December 29, 2006, 11:44 AM
It has been three or four years, but a local store reordered generic hardball .45ACP and Lawman was the least expensive at the time. The store got complaints and the gunsmith got business to "fix" guns that had not before given trouble. It all went away when the next batch of "practice" ammo was a different brand.
Variable ammunition quality seems to be a particular problem in .45, I don't hear as much about sorry 9mm or .40.

December 29, 2006, 11:50 AM
I've been buying different brands of 45 ammunition for my 1911 just trying to see what it will and what it won't shoot well (I'm also trying to replenish my 45 brass for reloading) . I'm going to have to get some Lawman. So far I haven't found anything it doesn't like. :)

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