help with feeding issues on S&W 1911


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jason1173
November 18, 2007, 11:33 PM
I just got a new SW1911PD Tactical Rail Series this week. I finally got the chance to try it out today and put 50 rounds through it. Out of that 50 I had about 15 feed failures resulting in jamming. This was normally on the first round out of the (factory)mag and then a couple of times half way through it. Has anyone else had this happen? If so, what did you do to alleviate the problem? I'm hoping there's something I can do without sending the gun back to S&W. Any and all help will be appreciated.

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XavierBreath
November 18, 2007, 11:52 PM
Try another magazine. You might have just gotten a bad mag, or it might not be seating properly. If that doesn't get it, I'd advise warranty service. 15 out of 50 is a lot.

Mainsail
November 19, 2007, 12:37 AM
15 out of 50 is a lot.
Even if it's the first 50?

XavierBreath
November 19, 2007, 01:27 AM
On a SW1911, properly lubricated and sprung, I would think so.

There's nothing wrong with continuing to shoot the gun to see if it will iron itself out. That's probably what I would do, along with a mag change.

Is the round failing to seat? Nosediving? How many rounds are you placing in the magazine? Is the extractor hook clean?

Gordon
November 19, 2007, 01:30 AM
Try a new Wilson 7D mag and see if it does it.

Old Fuff
November 19, 2007, 08:05 AM
I just got a new SW1911PD Tactical Rail Series

Gee... mine just says "Government Model" in small letters on the side of the slide. Got it back in '52. Shot fine out of the box without a bobble using factory magazines - because there weren't any other kind except USGI surplus left over from World War Two. It still has the same magazines, and it still shoots fine, although now it's had plenty of breaking in... :evil:

But then it doesn't have a tactical rail nowhere... :D

Like X-Breath said, it comes with a warantee, and they pay for the postage both ways. So use it, and let them fix their own mess. If you start fooling with it and make the wrong "adjustment," you may void the warantee.

As for the cause... I suspect the extractor. :scrutiny:

jason1173
November 19, 2007, 09:21 AM
There's nothing wrong with continuing to shoot the gun to see if it will iron itself out. That's probably what I would do, along with a mag change.

Is the round failing to seat? Nosediving? How many rounds are you placing in the magazine? Is the extractor hook clean?

X-Breath, its failing to seat. The bullet is trying to enter the chamber and the back of the casing doesn't seem to be coming up high enough before the slide returns. I started off putting 8 rounds in the mag and then went to 7 and then 6 with no better luck. I won't have time during the week but this weekend I think I will try some differnt ammo and a mag change to see if that helps.



If you start fooling with it and make the wrong "adjustment," you may void the warantee.


Excellent point Old Fluff. If the ammo and new mag doesn't help I am going to send it back to S&W.

This is really disappointing. I'd been eyeing this pistol for a couple of months and finally decided that it would make a great bday/christmas present to myself(:D). Its just frustrating. I do appreciate all the responses and advice.

Ala Dan
November 19, 2007, 09:54 AM
I think the change to Wilson magazines will solve this problem~! ;) :D

Jim Watson
November 19, 2007, 10:22 AM
Might do, Dan, but it seems reasonable to expect a gun to work with the magazine furnished by the factory.

The problem has been discussed many times. It might be a rough breech face or bad extractor fit; then it might be an undersized chamber or a sharp edge on the chamber mouth. It might be the magazine after all and you would come out ahead to try another before going to the trouble of returning it to Smith.

S&W has good customer service in the modern definition. That is, they are willing to sell you a defective product and then make you think they are doing you a favor by fixing it. They will, of course, add the cost of the Fedups ripoff and the warranty clerk's time to next year's gun prices.

Walkalong
November 19, 2007, 10:24 AM
Try a new mag. If that does not work, it's broke. Send it back to S&W. They should run right out of the box.

Spartacus451
November 19, 2007, 10:27 AM
S&W has good customer service in the modern definition. That is, they are willing to sell you a defective product and then make you think they are doing you a favor by fixing it. They will, of course, add the cost of the Fedups ripoff and the warranty clerk's time to next year's gun prices.
This. Except I think it is already included in the existing price. S&W is doing quite well as a publicly traded company.

They pay overnight shipping both ways no questions asked and the turn around time is usually two weeks. Call them up and ask for a shipping label.

10X
November 19, 2007, 11:30 AM
You were given some good advice by XavierBreath.

There are three things that commonly cause feeding problems in a 1911, magazines, too much extractor tension and bad ammo. There are other things that could cause it all the way from rough feed ramps, rough breech faces to out of spec frames. Start with the easiest first.

With all the various specifications or lack of specification with new 1911 production, magazines can be a real problem. There are two things I suggest you do, first get a heavier spring for the magazine from Wolff Gun Springs and, if that doesn't help, find a magazine that has hybrid feed lips. The hybrid feed lips are tapered and then have a more gradual flair. Genuine Colt 7 round (not 8 round) mags do this and Check Mate Industries has both 7 and 8 rounders that have hybrid lips. From recent personal experience I have had 1911s that would not feed well at all, but completely changed into reliable guns by lessening the extractor tension and using the hybrid feed lip mags.

I believe the S&Ws use an external extractor so it is a bit of a different animal than a Colt or GI 1911 to adjust. If the spring or mag change doesn't help send it back to S&W.

Old Fuff
November 19, 2007, 12:01 PM
First you buy a new gun... :)

But the new gun doesn't work... :(

So you come to The High Road seeking advise.... :scrutiny:

And folks say, "You should try this," or "You should buy that..."

Why should you have to buy anything? You are made of money, already???? :cuss:

Smith & Wesson are the one's who messed up, not you. When you buy most guns you have a reasonable expectation that they'll work, and do so out-of-the-box.

If other companies can make other pistols that work - out of the box - then shouldn't yours work too? :uhoh:

And if anyone is going to spend any money to make this gun work it should be S&W, not you.

Right??? ;) :banghead:

Spartacus451
November 19, 2007, 12:56 PM
If other companies can make other pistols that work - out of the box - then shouldn't yours work too?
I don't think any company makes guns that work out of the box for a decent round count with any sort of regularity but has just been my experience.

10X
November 19, 2007, 01:36 PM
Old Fuff, the message here is that there are a lot of manufacturers that don't build 1911s to proper spec. There are way too many defective guns leaving the factory. Until consumers refuse to buy them, the companies will continue to build them.

mpmarty
November 19, 2007, 01:57 PM
Had a SA 1911A1 GI and it was perfect out of the box. Didn't like (couldn't see) the sights however and unloaded it in a trade.

Now for the weird part. My SA XD45 is 99.999% reliable and of course the old Glocks were also. The most reliable out of the box pistol I have ever owned? Are ya ready? My Taurus PT145 Pro with the single action/double action trigger. I have done drills with it from the hip one handed and loosely gripped, on its side, on its other side, upside down, cast lead wad cutter handloads, all sorts of flying ash tray hollow points, CorBon, Hornady TAP, Taurus / Barnes solid copper hollow points etc. Absolutely will not fail, couldn't induce a failure of any kind. I am so damn impressed with this little gem I'm tempted to buy another Taurus and tempt fate.:evil:

Master Blaster
November 19, 2007, 02:04 PM
put 50 rounds through it. Out of that 50 I had about 15 feed failures resulting in jamming

What ammo were you using? One eyed jacks gunshow baggie reloads?
AMERICAN Ammunition Amerc?,

Or was it a major brand, its just possible its an ammo problem, so what brand of ammo was it??

mikec
November 19, 2007, 02:08 PM
Are you shooting ball or JHP's? Use ball and if you are using one brand, try another. There are some brands best left on the shelves.

A different mag or two is also recommended. I still have a mag that will not feed any JHP's but ball is 99%. (it is marked and used ONLY as a range mag.)

jason1173
November 19, 2007, 03:04 PM
I was using Blazer Brass FMJs. I picked up a box of Remington and a box of Winchesters a few minutes ago(only things to be found locally). If there's enough light when I get home I'm gonna try them.

Old Fuff
November 19, 2007, 04:40 PM
Old Fuff, the message here is that there are a lot of manufacturers that don't build 1911s to proper spec. There are way too many defective guns leaving the factory. Until consumers refuse to buy them, the companies will continue to build them.

Well I am shocked!!!

I mean, who would have thought.... :rolleyes:

And you are right. So long as people will buy, this is what they'll get. :cuss: :banghead:

XavierBreath
November 19, 2007, 08:24 PM
Jason,
Before you go shooting again, clean and lubricate the pistol (http://xavierthoughts.blogspot.com/2006/02/lubricating-handguns.html) well. Examine the breech face and extractor hook. If you have a chamber brush, use it to clean the chamber.

Try another magazine (http://xavierthoughts.blogspot.com/2006/02/1911-magazines.html). Try to borrow a Wilson Combat magazine. While some folks do not like it, the Wilson magazine changes the alignment of the cartridge to the chamber and improves feeding on some pistols. Your gun sure isn't a M1911A1, so why not try a Wilson mag and see.

Get another brand of ammo. The specs could have been off on the previous ammo just enough to prevent feeding of the round with enough pressure from below. Weak loads will also cause feeding problems.

Finally, if it occurs again, see if a firm smack to the rear of the slide with the palm of your weak hand will assist in feeding. If so, you may have a weak recoil spring, or a rough surface slowing up chambering the round. I do not like to go to a heavier recoil spring myself. I prefer to slick up the pistol. Most folks think the heavier spring will help seat the round, and it sometimes does. It also gives more resistance to the slide going back in recoil. If you are going to swap out the spring, take a look at Nowlin's variable rate springs. If you order one from Brownells, you may as well get a GI guide rod and plug as well.

If these quick checks don't isolate the problem, then I would send the pistol to S&W to be given a free reliability job. It's a shame to have to do that, but with the warranty, it's the most cost effective option.

Let us know how it sorts out.

Gordon
November 19, 2007, 09:05 PM
S&W has the best warranty out there, no expense to you and quickly fixed! My S&W 1911PD has 6000 rounds with 0 malfs - after I got rid of the crappy S&W mags supplied that didn't lock up like they should at all with 8 rounds and were looser than a goose with 7 rounds. They sent me a couple others that work, but I use Wilson 7Ds and they ALLWAYS WORK 100%, so I bet my life on them!

camacho
November 19, 2007, 09:38 PM
I'd been eyeing this pistol for a couple of months and finally decided that it would make a great bday/christmas present to myself.

Funny, that's what I have had in mind for my X-mas present and were waiting for the SW1911 SS with rail to appear on Bud's (they are out of stock at this time). I hope this is an isolated case. Let us know when and how you resolve this.

As other posters here noted, this should not happen with any gun, let alone one that costs $800. My $300+ Taurus PT111, has not had single jam since I've had it, and I must have put close to 1000 rounds.

Lonestar49
November 19, 2007, 10:02 PM
...

Not the same gun, but..

When I got my Colt Defender 3" 45, it starting jamming, feed wise only, after some 50 rounds.. It averaged on jam, after the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd shot, each mag, each load there on..

The range officer said: get 2 of those Wilson Combat mags off the wall, and your problem is solved, as the factory mags are not that good..

I did, and the worked for the next 100 rounds, then the same pattern of feed jams..

I sent a PM to 1911Tuner, who told me it was a "timing problem" and to make sure, both the mag interiors were clean and the follower smooth, along with the rails and guides were clean and "WET".. well-lubed.

So, I did this, took her apart, cleaned her good, and the same with both the Wilson mags, and the 2 factory mags, with EEZOX (synthetic drying lubricant for bonding to metal, it's on the directions of the can) Put her back together, and for extra measure, when I went to the range the following week, I added some more oil via the vertical method, just before I packed them up for the drive..

Well, she has shot at 100% since, and "both Wilson mags, and the Factory mags work 100%.

Try giving her and the mags a good cleaning, and see if you can use a Wilson mag, if possible, otherwise, hey, buy 2 of them, they're good mags and you'll have 4 total, can't hurt ya.. I'm real happy having 4 mags for her, that work.

See what happens, then report back..

Best of luck,


Ls

Mainsail
November 19, 2007, 11:07 PM
Oh wait, I forgot to ask, did you clean it well before your first range visit? The packing grease isn’t there for lubrication.

gudel
November 19, 2007, 11:10 PM
If other companies can make other pistols that work - out of the box - then shouldn't yours work too?

It's a 1911 thing, doesn't seem to care who makes it, it will jam :-)
Send the thing back, they'll send you a mailing label.

mnw42
November 19, 2007, 11:30 PM
The number one cause for malfunctions on new guns, that I see, is poor lubrication. You'd be surprised how many people never disassemble and lubricate a gun (or read the manual for that matter) before brining it to the range. Some people have a hard time realizing that not all oils are lubricants.

+1 on the hybrid feed lips. I have two Colt 7rd mags with those lips and a dimpled follower. If used them to "solve" many a persons feeding issues. Here (http://how-i-did-it.org/magazines/index.html)is a guy who tested a few different magazines and compared the feed geometry amongst them.

George Hill
November 19, 2007, 11:42 PM
This is probably a tight extractor. I've seen this on another new SW 1911.
No worries though. S&W is backing up these 1911's with an unwritten, but defacto lifetime warranty. They really want to make a name for themselves in the 1911 Game, so they will do whatever it takes to make your 1911 run.
I like the S&W 1911 magazines. They are very good and I like them just as much as I like Wilson mags.
Go ahead and call S&W.

Old Fuff
November 20, 2007, 08:06 AM
Guys...

The ORIGINAL 1911 pistol was a military service weapon. Lubrication was a moot point. Shove in an ordinary mil-spec magazine, rack the slide, and when you pulled the trigger it went BANG! without any problems.

So why can't they do that now??

If the manufacturers that are making these poor corrupted pistols today had been World War Two contractors they would have been canned. USGI .45's did not need special lubrication nor magazines. Their extractors were fine. Fussy was out. Real reliability was in.

Today's makers have done something I would have never thought possible. They have convinced a generation of buyers that they shouldn't expect their new pistol to work, and that it's O.K. if it doesn't.

It doesn't matter if only a small percentage don't work (and I'm not so sure that percentage is that small). If it's represented and sold as a weapon, each and every one is supposed to function reliably.

And for the price these big-boy-toys cost, each and every one should work.

A real weapon is not defined by the size of its accessory rail. It is defined by the way it works - from git-go.

jason1173
November 20, 2007, 10:02 AM
When I first got the pistol I field stripped, cleaned, and oiled it before I shot it and again after, thinking I may have done something wrong when I reassembled it the first time. Everything checked out.

When I got home last night it was too dark to shoot. I did load up 8 rounds of the remington ammo. It jammed as I tried to chamber the first one.

I think what I'm going to do is get a wilson mag and try that. Even if that does fix the problem, I think I will still send it back to S&W and let them explain it.

camacho, when its not jamming, it shoots great and its accurate. But it jams, way too much. That outweighs everything else. Judging by the other S&Ws I own(revolvers), I expected a great shooting, accurate, reliable gun right out of the box. What I got was a headache. Its very possible that this is an isolated lemon, but I would honestly recommend looking at something else.

Again, everyone, I appreciate the responses and advice. This is the best and most helpful forum I have ever joined!

BigO01
November 20, 2007, 10:24 AM
How are you chambering the first round ?

You should lock the slide back , insert the magazine and hit the slide release to chamber 1st rounds as in doing it by hand you may be slowing the slide down and causing the jam yourself .

XavierBreath
November 20, 2007, 05:58 PM
USGI .45's did not need special lubrication nor magazines. Their extractors were fine. Fussy was out. Real reliability was in.This is true Old Fuff. Still, a little lube, whether machine oil, graphite, or the grease off the side of your nose helps reduce friction and make mechanical devices with moving parts work longer and with more efficiency.

A new SW1911PD with a rail has a MRSP of $1,169.00. I suspect they are on the market for $800-900. Well negotiated prices are likely around $750. It has a scandium frame, making it lighter in weight, and ironically, easier to shoot over time. At least that is what I have found at the range with my SW1911PD. For some purposes, it will be preferable to a M1911A1. Try mounting a light to your GI gun so you can illuminate a target at night from your pistol. Never mind the argument of tactics, if you want to do this with a GI gun, you had better break out the drill and screwdrivers.

By contrast, the M1911A1 starts at $500 for a battered mix master of unknown origin and shootability, to around $100-$1500 for a Remington Rand that is original in reasonable condition. Other M1911A1s are higher, especially in like new condition. Of course the reason is not that they are so shootable, the reason is collectors want them. Still, if the same pistol was being produced today new, the price would most certainly be higher than the SW1911PD. How well does a M1911A1 with a standard GI magazine handle modern defensive ammunition? It's not the bang that stops the threat you know, assuming the gun will feed JHP.

Comparing the two pistols is ludicrous. One was produced in wartime from several companies with a well defined purpose, to equip soldiers and Marines with a last ditch weapon of utmost reliability. The other was produced by a single company with a well defined purpose as well. That purpose is profit for the company. Produce a product that will sell and then sell it. Of course this is what Colt, Remington Rand US&S and Ithaca were doing as well, right? The difference was they had contracts previous to production, and only had to meet the specs set forth in the contract. They did not have to sell a product to a wide range of customers in a competitive market.

If the original poster had wanted a pistol like a M1911A1, he would not have bought a beavertailed scandium framed gun with a light rail. Let's stick to the guy's problem. The "my gun is better than your gun" stuff isn't helping.

Walkalong
November 20, 2007, 06:12 PM
:uhoh:

As I posted in post #10. If a new good mag doesn't fix it, send it to Smith and Wesson. It may not be built to the same purpose as a wartime 1911, but it should still run right out of the box and if it doesn't, they should fix it at their expense, not yours.

I like the Smith 1911's, even with the external extractor, and by everyones accounts they are fine pistols. I had the chance to pick up a like new, if not new, full sized SS S&W for $600 walking away money about 3 or 4 years ago. I regret not doing so. :)

jonboynumba1
November 20, 2007, 07:13 PM
We have a few S&W 1911 guys at the club...I've seen several have finnicky performance. It gets picky on seating and camfer (or lack there-of)..then again so do many. If seen several get better and usually changing to a quallity magazine (wilson) will solve the problem or help as the gun breaks in. I have the same model in the case right now out for sale...it's a nice gun. I just can't get used to the ugly external extractor. They (S&W 1911's) originally shipped with wilson mags for a reason...if you shoot a 1911 you need 2-3 of them.

I like the steel low-profile basepad model 8 round myself. The 7 or 8 round is pretty much the same mag with a different spring/follower kit (you can swap it either-way later with the $5 kit...actually I'm prety sure the spring is the same to) The 8 rounders work well (only one I'll say that about) Eventually you may find it week feeding or FTF the last round when it's REALLY old. (the only one I've seen old enough was bought well used 5 years ago!) You pop in a new follower and spring....good to go. My newer ones have been loaded full time every day shot and carried (4K+ rounds worth) over the last 18 months and never had an issue yet...I'll probably swap out the springs and followers sometime this year though as part of regular maintenance and keep the old ones fopr spare.

I don't care what anyone else says on the internet. Nobody who is a serious professional that uses a 1911 at work is going to be running anything but wilson mags on duty. We all have range mags and every third guy has "well these here ones work just as well" NOBODY that is a serious knowledagable professional reguardless of make and model of gun runs anything else. That should tell people something about the quallity. Their guns are too dang $$$ but their mags are worth EVERY penny! If you carry it for duty or deffense go buy 2-3 wilson mags from midway or wherevere immediately if not sooner. You can't judge anything else until you have decent mags and ammo. win/rem/magtech ect 230gr ball and those mags after a couple boxes break in ought to run 100% in any maintained gun...if not send it back...you probably have an extractor issue. (which still happens even with external extractors...which is why the fad died the first time in the 70's I'd wager.

My money is on break-in with good mags= runs fine though. Most of them do...which is about all you can say for most out of the box 1911's. Anyone can have one sneak out with an issue...most are not hard to resolve by someone who knows what they are doing. Don't let anyone monkey with it that doesn't know what they are doing or you'll end up with more problems.

Waldo Pepper
November 20, 2007, 11:16 PM
Most failures I have ever seen on the commercial tight 1911's have been operator error with failure to properly clean & lube to damaged magazines from dropping. I own a CS45 because some nut didn't clean and oil it when he bought the pistol and it developed a stiff trigger that would even make noise and magazines that were almost impossible to load or unload. After cleaning and oiling with a excellent synthetic oil it is slick as snot, no trigger funk or magazine problems and shoots like a dream. I have about $450 in the gun an my guess is the guy never shot more then a couple of magazines through the pistol. All my pistols are oiled with a synthetic oil and nothing else, Mobil 1 if you must know.

camacho
November 21, 2007, 03:48 PM
camacho, when its not jamming, it shoots great and its accurate. But it jams, way too much. That outweighs everything else. Judging by the other S&Ws I own(revolvers), I expected a great shooting, accurate, reliable gun right out of the box. What I got was a headache. Its very possible that this is an isolated lemon, but I would honestly recommend looking at something else.

Thanks jason! I guess I will keep my options open. Maybe I will go with M1911-A1 version per Xavier suggestion. This brings the question which gun you guys would recommend?

XavierBreath
November 21, 2007, 04:57 PM
This brings the question which gun you guys would recommend?Best thing to do is start a whole 'nuther thread...... It all depends on the purpose you have for the pistol, and your own preferences.

jason1173
January 9, 2008, 05:23 PM
Well, after looking for another clip to try locally and not finding one, I sent the pistol back to S&W. It came back in yesterday after a month(with the holiday's I thought that was pretty good).

What the short letter said they did was "adjust slide to bbl fit" and "barrel modification". I guess I'll have to call them to find out exactlly what that means. Anyway, when I got home last night I put 50 rounds through it without a single problem. I will test it out some more this weekend and see how it does after a couple of hundred go through it.

berkbw
January 9, 2008, 05:50 PM
Well - this isn't " piling on", But the 2 usual "suspects" are MAG, and extractor tension. Followed by 1/2 a hord of other things. If you can do without your new baby for a little while, DO use the free warranty service provided. Make sure that you include the mag. Also be sure you send NO live rounds, eh?

So - when are you going to buy more mags? You KNOW that one is not enough. :)
Take the easy [high?] road. Give the mfg. a chance to clean it up. And PLEASE let the forum know how things go. Silence doesn't work after a complaint. It is either unfair to the mfg. or to perspective users.

Good fortune to you,

b-HMM NOW I find your latest post. Good-O. I hope that it has a happy home now.

351 WINCHESTER
January 9, 2008, 07:00 PM
I had a gm that was made in 1951. It had been worked on by a real pro. I shot that gun thousands of time with zero malfunctions. Mostly reloads. It was the most accurate .45 I've ever owned or shot, more accurate than a gold cup. It would feed and eject empty cases about 90% of the time when hand cycled with fired ctgs. from the gun. Like a fool I was hurting for money and sold it to someone who sold it to a Greek ship captain and later found out it was stolen in Israel.

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