OK I'm stumped


June 16, 2003, 10:43 PM
I have a Springfield .45. Its matt finish real plane jane that shoots Xs all day at 50 yards. I love this gun but I recently noticed a problem with it. I dont really know if it did this all along or not. I've had the gun probably 10 years or so.

With a loaded round in the chamber if you hold the gun up and tilt it muzzle down you can hear the round fall in the chamber. When I discovered this I turned the gun around in my hand muzzle straight up and shook the gun up and down and you can hear the round going up and down in the chamber. Excessive headspace you say?? Let me continue...

I took my gold cup and switched the barrels and loaded it up and yup--still did it. Pretty weird huh. So I got to thinking maybe it was the extractor even though it works perfectly I took it out and bent it slightly and man it ejects even better BUT, still the rattle.

I really like this gun but I'm afraid its gotta go unless somebody can help me figure this out. TIA......

If you enjoyed reading about "OK I'm stumped" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
June 16, 2003, 11:02 PM
Maybe it's not the round that rattles...if I shake my beloved SA milspec empty, I hear funny little noises...I dunno, the trigger maybe, the disconnector perhaps? It bobs like a cork on water after all...

Badger Arms
June 16, 2003, 11:13 PM
This is not only normal, it's essential to the function of the gun. The barrel tilts up at the last moment to lock into the lugs. In order to do this, the chamber must be deep enough to allow clearance for the round. Most guns will exhibit some form of this slop. Many semi-auto rifles have a plunger/extractor system that imparts constant pressure on the round as it sits in the chamber. You won't have any play in these.

A tight barrel would be quite unreliable unless you personally trimmed and reloaded each round to high tolerance. Even then, you still wouldn't have anything that approaches reliability. Don't sweat it a bit. Revolver shooters have a multitude of rounds sliding back and forth and they deal with it.

June 17, 2003, 12:04 AM
Well, in answer to the first post no it dosnt do it empty. The second post=I have 2 other colt 1911s and a browning hp and none of them do this, their tight as a drum. :confused:

June 17, 2003, 03:57 AM
Was the magazine in or out and/or loaded or empty? In my 1911's I can hear a slight rattle that sounds a lot like what you describe when there is no "top" cartridge putting pressure on the mag.

Even if not mag related the extractor should be holding it firm enough that the cartridge does not rattle back and forth. Take the slide off and slip a round in the extractor - it should not just slip out until you shake the slide pretty good. While your at it, drop a round into the barrel and listen for the "thunk" as round drops into the chamber. At this point the case should be just a hair or two lower than the back or the barrel hood.


June 17, 2003, 08:23 AM
I really like this gun but I'm afraid its gotta go unless somebody can help me figure this out. TIA......
Man, get over it. Its just a little rattle. You say the gun functions flawlessly, right? So what's the problem? Do you get rid of your car after it starts rattling after 30,000 miles?


June 17, 2003, 09:48 AM
It will do it if the magazine is in or out of the gun, loaded or unloaded. With the slide off the extractor holds the round tight. Also, the hood and base are just about even so the base is resting on the breachface, barely. And the sound it makes is exactly like when you drop a round into the chamber. Yes it functions great, I dont ever remember a failure in all the years I have owned it. Its just making me nuts cause I cant figure out whats doin it. Its probably nothing I just want to know. Did you ever have one of those things in life that you asked "why"? Other than that maybe a new RZ would cure my curiosity :eek:

June 17, 2003, 12:19 PM
I don't remember on the 1911--does the extractor come close enough to the chamber that it could be pushed a tiny bit out of engagement with the round when fully in battery?

This could then let the round loose in the chamber, as far as the side tension from the extractor is concerned.

I've seen this is other firearms, and have trimmed the inside front edge of extractors so they don't hit the rear of the barrel. The hook remains untouched.

June 17, 2003, 03:13 PM
OK, my last guess, maybe a loose firing pin (weak/broken spring) sliding back and forth. I did not say this was a good guess.


AZ Jeff
June 17, 2003, 04:25 PM
Most M1911 pistols have long headspace, in that the chamber is longer than the max. length of the cartidge case. What you are hearing is the case sliding back and forth between the breech face and the step where the mouth of the case headspaces.

This is quite normal, and not of concern. It also reinforces why trimming .45ACP cases to minimum SAAMI length when reloading is a waste of time--you are actually increasing headspace on an already sloppy chamber by doing so.

June 17, 2003, 05:00 PM
But remember it does this with my gold cup barrel installed and the gold cup barrel dosnt do it on the gold cup frame. Also, the firing pin and spring are good. Good ideas though. Dosnt everybody just love a mystery?????

AZ Jeff
June 17, 2003, 05:02 PM
I don't get your point with the Gold Cup barrel. To the best of my knowledge, GC barrels are cut (internal chamber/rifling dimensions) identically to regular barrels. They only differ in hood dimensions, and maybe in muzzle diameter.

June 17, 2003, 07:27 PM
Well, I was trying to figure out by process of elimanation what was wrong, barrel, frame, whatever. That elimanated the barrel because it does it with whatever barrel you put in it and that same barrel dosnt do it in its regular frame.

June 17, 2003, 11:44 PM
could be your barrel fit itself is getting loose in the slide and that is mavign around a bit. just a guess.

June 19, 2003, 04:56 PM
You're going to drive me nuts if you don't smoke the extractor and see if it's rubbing the back of the barrel.:p

July 4, 2003, 05:35 PM
Who Was It That Said : " IF IT AIN'T BROKE - DON'T FIX IT ":D

Old Fuff
July 4, 2003, 06:55 PM
This is unlikely, but it could be the link is loose enough to rattle.

To investigate: Get some dummy rounds. Playing with loaded ammunition can be dangerous. Then take the gun apart and detail strip it. Reassemble the stripped frame, stripped slide, barrel (with and without the link), barrel bushing and slide stop. Drop a (dummy) round in the chamber, push the slide into battery, and shake the pistol. See if it rattles. I don't think the rattle is anything serious, but if you don't find the rerason it's going too drive you nuts.

Bob Brown
July 5, 2003, 07:18 PM
On the first part of the extractor (aft of the claw) there's a little hump that usually rests against the tunnel for the extractor. If that hump is a tad too high, it'll keep the claw from keeping pressure on the rim and will allow the round to move forward to the ledge and rearward to the bolt face. No matter how much pressure you put on the extractor, it will not stop this. You have to reduce the height of that hump.
I believe you said that if you remove the slide with a round in the chamber (a dummy, I hope) you can hear the sound when you shake it. This is typical of the problem I described...and easy to fix. Check it out!!


July 6, 2003, 02:40 AM
"...that shoots Xs all day at 50..." Rule number one. It works, don't fix it.

July 6, 2003, 12:07 PM
Yeah it dosnt seem to effect shootability any just took it to the range and it spit em out just fine and all the brass was in a small area. Its just driving me crazy cause I dont know whats doin it (I'm sure all the tinkerers out there can relate). But, I'm narrowing it down to the extractor. After bending it slightly it slowed it down some but if u shake it hard enough it will still do it so thats what I'm looking at now. When I get alittle more time I'll take it to the bench and work on that "hump". Thanks for all the help guys...V

If you enjoyed reading about "OK I'm stumped" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!