SA Milspec 1911 will not feed hollowpoints


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spiroxlii
August 1, 2008, 02:36 AM
*EDIT* Everything about my first post is still true; however, I realized after doing some research on SA's website that my "Mil-Spec" is actually a GI.45 model. They are very similar, but not identical.

Ok... for all of you rabid 1911 fans who seem to drip hate at those of us who say anything bad about your beloved 1911s, I just want to say that I do not have any bias against the platform.

I was really excited when I went to the gun shop today to buy my very first 1911. I wanted something as close to USGI/Milspec as possible. At first, I was drawn to a no-frills RIA model, but the guy at the shop redirected me to a new Springfield Milspec that was about $500, which was within my budget.

I was very excited to have a brand new SA Milspec. I thought it would surely be a nice gun right out of the box, plus it has a curved mainspring housing, which is more "authentic" for an M1911A1. I bought the gun, which came with one SA magazine, and I also bought one Kimber magazine to go with it. Then I bought a box of Remington 230gr JHP ammo for it. That's when things went bad.

Sequence of events:

1. Load magazine
2. Insert magazine into pistol
3. Pull slide to rear and release slide
4. Notice that slide barely travels forward at all... no round is chambered.

I looked into the ejection port, expecting perhaps to see a round jammed at an angle. Instead, I see that the top round in the magazine is jammed against the feed ramp almost horizontally. It's like the round is jammed straight forward, and as soon as the nose of the bullet hits the feed ramp, everything freezes. Instead of climbing up the ramp and sliding into the chamber, the round just sticks there, freezing the slide's forward progress.

If I gently move the slide back and forth, I can coax the bullet to climb the feed ramp and slide into the chamber, but I can't be playing with the slide after every shot to get JHP ammo to work. The same kind of jam happens if I lock the slide back and release it after I insert the magazine, so I know I'm not just racking the slide wrong somehow.

This is proof positive that not all 1911 pistols can function reliably with JHP ammo. Your "new in box" SA or Colt might. Your gritty, uncleaned WWI era 1911 might. My brand new SA Milspec does not. I haven't tried it will ball ammo yet, since I didn't discover that the thing won't feed hollowpoints until after the shops were closed. I will try it with ball ammo, and if it feeds those reliably, I will probably stick with those for now and try polishing the feed ramp before testing JHPs again.

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TAB
August 1, 2008, 02:40 AM
Give it 500 rounds.

spiroxlii
August 1, 2008, 02:42 AM
It's hard to put five hundred rounds through a gun that won't even feed the first round. :)

Or do you mean give it five hundred FMJ before I try JHP again? I still haven't had a chance to check and see if it will feed FMJ, since I don't have any ball ammo on hand.

TAB
August 1, 2008, 03:02 AM
generally speaking if you have a feeding issue with any auto, give it 500 rounds or so and see if it goes away.

VegasOPM
August 1, 2008, 03:03 AM
The "500 round" trick works- but only with hardball. The copper jacket will begin to polish and burnish the feed ramp. Keep in mind that mil-spec guns are designed to feed hardball- not necessarily hollow point. The enhanced guns usually have a finer polish on the feed ramp and a little more angle to them. Run your fingernail across the feed ramp and feel for tooling marks. If they are pronounced, the edges of hollow points will grab. Some non-invasive application of a Dremel with a rubber polishing tip will polish those tooling marks right out. Just make sure to avoid taking away material- that is a quick way to learn the definition and consequences of an unsupported barrel.:mad: (ask me how I know):banghead:

The 500 rounds of hardball will do the same thing, only it will cost more and be a lot more fun.;)

spiroxlii
August 1, 2008, 03:08 AM
generally speaking if you have a feeding issue with any auto, give it 500 rounds or so and see if it goes away.

I can see that being very sound and practical advice for somebody who gets occasional failures (one or two per mag), but mine jams while feeding the very first round, and even if I coax the first round in, it'd jam on the next one too. :)

I see now that you meant to try it with ball ammo, though. Hehe. I'm sure you guys are right. It's a milspec, and milspec ammo is FMJ, not JHP. I will try it with FMJ, and I am optimistic about FMJ feeding reliably.

MicrometerMike
August 1, 2008, 03:14 AM
keep er well lubed during the 500 rnd., break-in process she'll smooth out, if it don't , you have a good warranty thru Springfield
I have a new Champion that was tight and stiff initially, after 200 rnds. she's improving trigger pull, reliable feed, ect. I never realized how long it took to shoot 500rnds ! I'm gettin more wear than the gun is...:rolleyes:
Hopefully your's will smooth out sooner, some do.

spiroxlii
August 1, 2008, 04:09 AM
Ok... so I was looking on SA's website and comparing the guns pictured there with my new 1911. As it turns out, my gun is not a Mil-Spec. It is a GI.45 model. I noticed this when I realized that the Mil-Spec in the picture had high profile sights, a lowered and flared ejection port, and angled slide serrations. My 1911 has regular low profile sights, a standard ejection port, and vertical slide serrations.

This actually makes me happy in a way, since it means that my 1911 is more like the older style 1911A1 pistols. It also explains why my pistol may not feed hollowpoints right out of the box, since the GI.45 does not have some of the "features" of the Mil-Spec, such as a beveled magazine well, throated barrel, and polished feed ramp.

ClickClickD'oh
August 1, 2008, 04:14 AM
Honestly, I could have stopped reading at the title. Everything else was as expected. 1911s and JHP ammo are one of the most well known issues I can think of. The weapons simply was not designed for JHP ammunition, but has been shoe horned into using it. A true mil-spec 1911 will most likely not run JHPs right out of the box.

Working as intended.

spiroxlii
August 1, 2008, 04:19 AM
ClickClick, I agree with you. The "Mil-Spec" model is not actually as historically accurate as the "GI.45" model, which is what I've discovered that I have. A real SA "Mil-Spec" probably should run JHP right out of the box.

My GI.45 will need a little bit of work before it will run JHP, but I probably won't bother doing that, since I am perfectly content to run FMJ ammo in it. Then again, I am going to catch hell from the rabid 1911 fans who claim that their completely original WWI 1911 pistols have always and will always run JHP ammo without a single hiccough.

ClickClickD'oh
August 1, 2008, 04:26 AM
Then again, I am going to catch hell from the rabid 1911 fans who claim that their completely original WWI 1911 pistols have always and will always run JHP ammo without a single hiccough.

Meh.

Just ask them if they happen to have some of that imaginary WWI issue JHP ammunition laying around...

nelson133
August 1, 2008, 05:04 AM
I've got 2 Rock Island .45s and they both fed hollow points out of the box.

loop
August 1, 2008, 05:59 AM
First, there is no such thing as a new "mil spec" SA.

It may look like it. It may feel like it. But, it is not mil spec.

This comes down to little things like the diameter of the firing pin hole or the size of the ejector legs, but it is a fact. The list goes on.

So, to forgive the gun based on some vague reference to Browning's original design is a faux pas.

What you are describing would be something I would attribute to weak mag springs. The cartridge simply is not being placed in the proper position for the slide to push it into the chamber.

If springs were not the answer I'd try checking the feed lips. If they are to wide aft or too narrow forward that could cause your feed issue.

Do not polish your feed ramp. It won't help and could cost a bundle to fix.

The Kimber mags are generally first-rate so if it is happening with one of them I might consider the possibility that the mag catch is not placing the mag in the proper position.

As a relative newbie to 1911s I would send it back to the factory and ask them to fix it.

Because I enjoy fixing such issues I, personally, would buy new mag springs and followers to start. If that did not work I'd start tuning the mag feed lips.

OTOH, my philosophy regarding HPs in 1911s is that I put one in the chamber and a mag of ball under it. Expansion is great, but having a second shot is better. Even if the gun checks out 100 percent with HPs I'll still load it the same. A .45 pokes a big hole. It doesn't really need to expand.

BTW, only a couple of my .45s work reliably with the Remington cheap HPs. The WWB stuff works more reliably in almost all of my pistols. And, I have one gun that won't feed any hardball. It only feeds HPs or SWCs.

I admit that I can have more than one 1911 laid-up at a time and not miss it. But, if you only have one then you want it to work - been there, done that.

I would do two things. I'd buy a box of the cheapest hardball I could find. I'd also buy the best 1911 mag I could find. That combo may answer a lot of questions for you.

Ske1etor
August 1, 2008, 09:22 AM
Some 1911's just will not feed certain hollow points. This doesn't mean that your 1911 won't feed any JHP's, it just meanst that it wont feed the hollow points that you have tried.

My Kimber Custom II would gobble up any type of ammo... until I tried Hornady TAP ammo... It will not feed. The rounds nosedive into the ramp and it jams... every time...

Try some JHP's with a rounder profile. The rounder the profile, the more the ammo will behave like a FMJ, therefore giving you more reliable feeding. The Federal HST and Hydrashoks fit this bill...

alistaire
August 1, 2008, 10:20 AM
1) What ammo are you using?

2) What mag are you using?

3) Have you sent it back to be fixed by the manufacturer?

texagun
August 1, 2008, 10:30 AM
1) What ammo are you using?

2) What mag are you using?

3) Have you sent it back to be fixed by the manufacturer?

I believe all of that information was provided in the original post.

Z71
August 1, 2008, 10:35 AM
The Springfield mags that came with my Mil-Spec are not all that whoopie!

Get some better mags and try it.

spiroxlii
August 1, 2008, 10:44 AM
alistaire and Z71, the mags I'm using are the original SA mag and a Kimber mag. The shop had two Wilson mags in stock, but I didn't buy one. I thought the original and the Kimber would at least be semi-reliable. :)

The HP ammo I picked was cheap Remington UMC 230gr JHP ammo, but I didn't pick it because it was cheap. I picked it specifically because it had a smaller cavity and rounder nose than the Cor-bon all-copper stuff that the guy at the shop suggested. I'm going back there today to show them what the pistol is doing with the hollowpoints and to buy some ball ammo.

spiroxlii
August 1, 2008, 10:51 AM
btw... I think part of the problem may be that I chose 230gr hollowpoints. I know that a 230gr bullet isn't too heavy for a 1911; however, most of the JHP ammo I saw was lighter than 230gr because... well... it has a big cavity in it.

In order to weigh 230gr and still have a hollow cavity, the 230gr JHP projectile is usually longer than a 230gr FMJ projectile. I understand that this shouldn't affect the overall length of the cartridge from front to back if the bullet is seated to the right depth, but my experience with heavy 147gr 9mm JHP is that sometimes the cartridges actually are slightly longer than most other 9mm ammo. Perhaps the same is true of the heaviest hollowpoint .45acp?

To my eye, if the cartridge was just a tiny bit (like a millimeter) shorter, it would move far enough forward to climb the feed ramp and be released by the magazine's feed lips. Widening the forward part of the mag's feed lips might help too.

spiroxlii
August 1, 2008, 11:00 AM
First, there is no such thing as a new "mil spec" SA.

It may look like it. It may feel like it. But, it is not mil spec.

When I said "Mil-Spec," I did not mean that my 1911 is the same in every way as the pistols that the military used to issue. I meant that it was the model that SA calls "Mil-Spec."

Of course, when I actually compared the pistol's features to the ones listed on SA's website, it turns out that I have SA's "GI.45" model and not their "Mil-Spec" model. The Mil-Spec seems to have been tuned slightly to offer a pistol that will probably run with a wider variety of defensive ammo right out of the box (modified ejection port, beveled magazine well, throated barrel, and polished feed ramp). The GI.45 is closer to an actual early M1911A1; however, I understand that even the GI.45 is not identical to a military issue pistol from the 1940s. Still, it's closer to "original" than SA's "Mil-Spec" model, and it lacks the factory fluff/buff that would assist JHP functioning.

mnw42
August 1, 2008, 11:06 AM
Try different magazines. There are a few different feed-lip styles and different manufactures may have slightly different geometries.

Z-Michigan
August 1, 2008, 11:39 AM
1) Try Wilson Combat mags, or McCormick PowerMags.

2) Try different brands and sizes of HP's.

I have a Springfield mil-spec (model) and using the two mags I listed it will feed JHP's.

DWARREN123
August 1, 2008, 03:53 PM
A new handgun should feed any type of ammo unless it is stated plainly some where that it is not designed for certain types. Break in also, unless a really tight target target pistol should not have to be done. Sounds like the pistol is in need of some extra work that the factory did not do.
I had a SA loaded model that did not like JHP's either and eventually traded it off after not being able to get it to feed to my satisfaction.

Walkalong
August 1, 2008, 03:59 PM
generally speaking if you have a feeding issue with any auto, give it 500 rounds or so and see if it goes away.
The "500 round" trick works- but only with hardball. The copper jacket will begin to polish and burnish the feed rampHorse S***

Get some better mags and try itTry different magazines
Better advise.

Some of the things I read in this thread just slay me. :banghead:

Although loop did have some good points.

wingman
August 1, 2008, 04:24 PM
Try loading 5 or 6 rounds in mag and use slide stop as a release, seen this happen with many new autos, mag new and tight, perhaps no lube, sometimes when we purchase a new toy + anxious to try we make mistakes, I know I have, now when I purchase a new auto I disassemble, clean, lube and check over for burrs,etc, quality control overall in most manufacturing is not what it once was. Another point is I always start out with hardball ammo and when I feel pistol is ok I switch to swc's or HP.

everallm
August 1, 2008, 05:40 PM
Assuming you continue to reliability issues with JHP, but you still want that type of round for home defense etc you could try Federal's Expanding Full Metal Jacket (EFMJ). It has FMJ profile and feed with JHP expansion capability.

http://ammunitiontogo.com/catalog1/product_info.php?pName=50rds-45-acp-federal-le-tactical-efmj-200gr-p-ammo&manufacturers_id=36

Frog48
August 1, 2008, 05:57 PM
My Springfield GI feeds JHP's no problem.

Now that I think about it, coincidently, the first 1500 or so rounds I shot through it were 230 grain FMJ. Not on purpose, just happened that way... so the "500 round trick" that others have mentioned probably has some merit.

Cocked & Locked
August 1, 2008, 06:05 PM
As long as a 1911 will feed 230 ball, I don't have a problem with it. That is what they were designed for. Genuine Colt or Metalform mags are what usually works more reliably for me in 1911's.

RH822
August 2, 2008, 12:34 AM
The Springfield mags that came with my Mil-Spec are not all that whoopie!
Mine were junk, I had better luck with the $8 gun show G.I. magazines.

kcshooter
August 2, 2008, 01:03 AM
First, there is no such thing as a new "mil spec" SA.

It may look like it. It may feel like it. But, it is not mil spec.Yes there is. It is what Springfield Armory has named their pistol. So it exists.
1911s and JHP ammo are one of the most well known issues I can think of. The weapons simply was not designed for JHP ammunition,
I hope nobody tells any of mine that.


The Springfield mags that came with my Mil-Spec are not all that whoopie!Mine came with 7rd metalforms. They are hard to beat. My MilSpec won't feed right with Wilson's though, fmj or jhp. My extra's are all Checkmates now.

500 rounds won't change a thing. If it doesn't feed right now, it won't then. Something isn't quite right.



This is simple. You bought a Springfield, with some of the best customer service out there. CALL THEM. They will fix it.

steelyblue
August 2, 2008, 01:13 AM
I agree with kc, they have a lifetime warranty. They will make it right. From what I understand they have great service and do great work, even on 1911's that they don't make. It's a production gun that has a flaw. That even happens to Wilsons, Browns, and Baers.

camacho
August 2, 2008, 07:53 AM
spiroxlii, the gun just needs breaking in. I went through the same thing with my GI.45. Go through few hundred rounds of ball ammo and then will feed anything.


500 rounds won't change a thing. If it doesn't feed right now, it won't then. Something isn't quite right.

That's nonsense! While this might be true for the polymer guns, 1911s need break in, unless they are Willson Combat and few other high end brands. Go to the 1911 forums and read about this. The breaking in for the 1911 is the rule not the exception.

Eric F
August 2, 2008, 09:23 AM
Just from what I read here you may have a mag spring problem or a feed ramp problem. I would first try a diffrent hi quality mag or replace the mag spring by what ever means(buy one or return the mag) If this fails to fix it I would suggest a reliability package by what ever means(factory or gunsmith) 1911's can be funny with hollow points. Some will work better then others. My SA did good with Hydra-shoks but gold dots failed. I got a reliability package and all was well.

AtticusThraxx
August 2, 2008, 01:22 PM
There may be something wrong with the fit. Wouldn't hurt to get it checked out by a 1911 "smith".My Mil-Spec eats JHP just fine, always has right out of the box. In fact I've yet to come across a brand or type of ammo that it won't eat. Maybe I just got lucky.

1911Tuner
August 2, 2008, 02:10 PM
Some of the things I read in this thread just slay me.

Me too, WA...me too. I don't even know where to start...so I'll just take a pass.

Spiro...You're not too far away, and it's a straight shot north on 85.
Check your PMs.

Cheers! :)

PS

Real USGI "mil-specs" will feed hollowpoints and even lead semi-wadcutters. I've got about a dozen...original and un-tweaked...that'll prove it. Come see/Come say.

Bye now...

greenjeans
August 2, 2008, 06:03 PM
I have two GI Springfields, full size and Champion. I polished the feed ramps before I ever went out with them. I have the original mags, one Chip McCormick, and a handful of surplus 1945 military versions I ordered on line. The Champion will not always lock back after the last round with the McCormick, but other than that I have never had an issue with feeding or ejecting with various brands of FMJ and HPs. I don't carry either of mine, but tried HPs just to see what happens. I don't subscribe to the "don't polish the ramp" theory. A Dremel with jeweler's rouge on a felt buffing wheel works great and I'm not sure you could polish long enough to remove too much metal. Don't give up on it. You will like the SA.

1911Tuner
August 2, 2008, 06:14 PM
A Dremel with jeweler's rouge on a felt buffing wheel works great and I'm not sure you could polish long enough to remove too much metal.

Ya don't have to remove much in order to really screw up. All ya gotta do is remove a tiny bit at the wrong place...

...but hey! Carry on!

:cool:

mec
August 2, 2008, 07:11 PM
My Colt WWI reissue wont feed semi wadcutter lead bullets. I suspected that this would be the case before I bought it because unmodified 1911s and 11 A1s almost never work with anything but round profile bullets. It wouldn't surprise me if it wouldn't feed a lot of JHPs though I haven't tried them. I use ball and lead round nose handloads and it works like a top. If I just had to have bullet expansion with this, I suspect that corbon powerball or remington golden saber would function.

first thing to do would be see if that springfield armory will work with generic ball. I've owned two basic SAs-the old no frills model and a MilSpec with the light strike titanium california firing pin. Both worked with ball right up to 900 rounds at which point the way non-milspec extractors relaxed and they quit functioning. With the second one, I put in an Ed Brown extractor and standard firing pin (to eliminate light strike failures to fire.

1911Tuner
August 2, 2008, 07:34 PM
because unmodified 1911s and 11 A1s almost never work with anything but round profile bullets.

*sigh*

tsk...

Eric F
August 2, 2008, 08:00 PM
1911tuner you have more control than I do

littlelefty
August 2, 2008, 08:15 PM
Just to throw in my 2 cents and maybe some salt on any wounds....
My springer loaded had some FTE and a few FTF issues with any ammo from start all the way to approaching 1000 rounds. Sent it back to SA; they "modified" the breach, replaced the extractor, tested it, and pronounced it good. I got it home and was still having some issues. I went to the 1911.org and stated my issues when along came Tuner and suggested mag springs be replaced. (I had been using the factory mags, Chip McCormack, and Wilson Combat). So, I replaced the mag springs in the factory mags and have had zero issues since, using both FMJ and JHP; all 230 grain.

Now, that said, I just told you everything I know that worked for me. May not be the same for you, and I am the first to say I am no expert, just a rambling contributor to this post.....

I'd say get a bunch of FMJ, give that a whirl, and see what happens.

By the way, SA did offer to take mine back again and they paid shipping the first time and offered again the 2nd time - so I am pleased with their customer service.

mec
August 2, 2008, 08:37 PM
Otherwise, why was it SOP to modify the throats for target loads and why have the people who make them been ramping them for the last several decades????
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=82432&stc=1&d=1217720003

the colt copy of the 1911 has a feed path that is less rounded even than the originals.* It will not function with bullets that have pronounced shoulders- like many of the current commercial swc bullets.(*"Rounded" The lower part of the chamber on original 1911s/ 11 A1s has a round profile rather than the slightly ramped appearance of this factory stock WWI reproduction. Subsequent Obiter Dicta to the contrary, neither of the pictured chambers have been modified after leaving the Colt factory(left) and Les Baer (right). Ask any owner of the respective pistols.)
The Less Baer will function with just about any bullet shape.
Those of us who used to try shooting H&G SWCs and similar bullets in older, unmodified Colts/Reminton Rands, etc usually experienced stoppages. It may have been that we were just to stupid to know what we were doing. If so, the current premimum pistol makers have catered to us nicely

texagun
August 2, 2008, 09:21 PM
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y46/w5lx/images.jpg

1911Tuner
August 2, 2008, 10:54 PM
the colt copy of the 1911 has a feed path that is less rounded even than the originals. It will not function with bullets that have pronounced shoulders- like many of the current commercial swc bullets.

The current barrels that are used in the GI Springfields and all 1911-pattern pistols in the last 25 years or so have the ramps that are wadcutter friendly. It's nothing more than a widening of the ramp to clear the shoulder and provide a better chance of function...PROVIDED...the feed ramp and the barrel ramp geometries are within spec. Many aren't, and that's what has given rise to the myth that the 1911 pistol won't function with anything except hardball unless modified.

I'll tell ya what. Bring me a WW2 USGI pistol that has the original barrel and hasn't been hacked at by Bubba the Dremel Champ...like the one pictured above obviously has...and I'll have it feedin' hollowpoints and lead SWCs in about 15 minutes..without altering a thing.

Those of us who used to try shooting H&G SWCs and similar bullets in older, unmodified Colts/Reminton Rands, etc usually experienced stoppages.

Again...I've got several that'll lay waste to that misconception...some predating WW1...and a 1925 Colt commercial Government Model that can't tell the difference between ball and holoowpoints and lead SWC...even fed from the old "Hardball Only" GI magazines.

Most likely, the pistols that "everybody" has problems with have either been smiffed...or they're parts guns that an unscrupulous gunshow vendor slapped together and sold them as originals...and very likely with out of spec/government rejected parts.

It's a common misconception that just because the 1911 was designed around hardball, that hardball is the only thing that they'll function with. It just ain't so.

And, yes. If anybody would like a demonstration...I stand ready. Say when.

mec
August 2, 2008, 11:33 PM
hasn't been hacked at by Bubba the Dremel Champ...like the one pictured above obviously has..
the opperant word here would ber "Has Not" unless Bubba works for Colt or Les Baer. Both are exactly as they came from the factory.

Best bet with a 1911 that isn't working as you believe it should is to put it in the hands of a responsible pistolsmith. The best way to find one of those is to take a look at the specialties of member of the American Pistolsmith's Guild. They will avoid making diagnoses via telephone or e-mail but can take take care of business if they actually have the pistol in front of them.

TwitchALot
August 2, 2008, 11:49 PM
I'll have it feedin' hollowpoints and lead SWCs in about 15 minutes..without altering a thing.

Is that because that's how long it takes you to load 150 mags or so for "testing"? :neener:

CHEVELLE427
August 3, 2008, 12:44 AM
mine acts up sometimes with JSWC did the same thing m rack the slide and jam. funny thing is when i do get it to chamber the round it feed the rest with no problems.

hope it will eat the 1000 jhp i just ordered

spiroxlii
August 3, 2008, 03:32 AM
Ok. I've been to the range, and I have fired 200rds of FMJ (mix of Atlanta Arms & Ammo and Magtech) and 25rds of JHP (Remington Golden Sabers... the Remington UMC JHP still won't even feed the first round off the magazine).

Good news:
1. The pistol eats FMJ ammo fine, as expected.
2. This pistol is easier for me to shoot accurately than any of my other handguns. I don't think my other handguns are inaccurate. I just think the size, shape, and weight of this 1911 are a good fit for my hand.
3. The pistol seems to feed FMJ well from the original SA mag and from two new Kimber mags I bought with it.
4. The pistol functioned 95% with Remington Golden Saber JHP.

Bad news:

The pistol would, for the most part, feed Golden Sabers, but the UMC hollowpoints are still jamming their noses into the feed ramp and sticking there.

To my amateur eye, the recoil spring seems weak. I say this because sometimes when I rack the slide, it will strip a round off the top of the magazine and begin to load it into the chamber, but it will stop just slightly out of battery. It doesn't matter if I pull the slide back and release it myself or if I lock the slide back and use the slide release to send it forward. This phenomenon occurred once or twice with both JHP and FMJ ammo when loading the first round off the magazine. The weapon never stopped out of battery while feeding the rest of the magazine with FMJ ammo, but it did stop out of battery after only partially loading a Golden Saber JHP once on the third round of a magazine.

I have other semiauto handguns, so I know how to rack a slide. I know to pull it back all the way and just let it go forward under its own power instead of riding the slide forward with my hand, which could cause it to go too slowly. I noticed that I could make this problem pretty much go away on my 1911 if I paid extra special attention to racking the slide with a smart "snap," but I never have to baby my Bersas or my XD this much while racking their slides.

jaholder1971
August 3, 2008, 04:26 AM
I had similar troubles with mine. Hardball fed fine but JHP's were just catching and not going all the way into battery.I found at lot of parkerizing between the frame and slide rails that needed lapped out to make everything run smooth.

A couple drops of Remclean (the stuff with the DE in it) and some frame/slide working while watching Tv fixed it.

tomh1426
August 3, 2008, 04:49 AM
I bought a brand new SA GI a few years back and it wouldnt feed anything.
I thought it was the ammo or the mags or maybe it needed a break in but I tried everything and it still wouldnt run.
I ended up sending it back to SA, when I got it back it ran fine but only with ball ammo.
I ended up selling it.

Eric F
August 3, 2008, 08:03 AM
With these members of THR comming forth with these hollow point feed problems I feel compelled to point out that there are members here that will claim any 1911 will feed any ammo if the gun is in spec. Well ok yeah what spec? If a 1911 didnt have any problems then reliability packages from gun smiths would have never been invented. The simple truth is that machines get out of wack and quality control will always miss something. I prefer to take my gun to a local gunsmith and get it fixed there and pay the money to get it back in 2 or 3 days instead of weeks or months. Thats the trade off. 1911Tuner has many valid points alot of the time the problem is not the gun its a mag or maybe a spring but not always.

loop
August 3, 2008, 08:37 AM
To all the above -Tuner is right.

Also to all the above, it ain't that hard to make a 1911 work right. It is a very simple machine.

Lot of vitriol on this post, but little substance. Give me your 1911 and it will shoot anything in minutes. It ain't hard. If you want X ring accuracy that will take, um, maybe 15 or 20 minutes.

Finished two 1911 rebuilds today and took them to the range. My 6-year-old was amazed at the fact that the one-inch circle in the center of the targets was gone.

I was amazed that neither gun failed in any way.

I just do 1911s for my own entertainment, but if you have one that doesn't work the answer is to fix it. Compared to a Sturmey-Archer, three-speed bicycle hub they are incredibly simple machines.

On a personal level, I think a couple people ought to apologize to Tuner. He knows his stuff.

1911Tuner
August 3, 2008, 08:49 AM
First...Failure to feed and failure to go to/return to battery are two different malfunctions.

Failure to feed is most often a magazine problem. If I had a dime for every "Jam-o-Matic" that I've cured by using a good magazine, I'd be a happy guy...and a good bit richer. This, even after the pistol has been back to the manufacturer for repair. These are my favorites.

Failure to go to battery is usually an extractor problem. Remove the extractor and hand-feed a few rounds to see if it improves. Sometimes, the extractor needs to be modified a little...sometimes not.

The toughest one is the 3-Point Jam...and that's a gun problem. Most often caused by bad feed ramp and/or bad barrel ramp geometry. Sometimes it's fairly simple to correct...sometimes not.

I'll say it again, just in case somebody missed it.

If the feed and barrel ramp geometry is right, and if the extractor is right...and if proper magazines are used...the gun will feed and go to battery as slick as green grease thru a goose, and most of'em aren't picky about the ammo as long as it's not outright junk. No magic voodoo super-secret tricks or mirror polishing required.

camacho
August 3, 2008, 09:57 AM
Tuner, just a question. Do you subscribe to the break in theory? When I got my GI, I purchased 3 different (McCormick, Willson, and Metalform) mags precisely because I was told that it's a mag problem. Oddly, I had feed problems with all of them at the beginning. Once the gun went through 300+ rounds, they all started feeding without problem.

1911Tuner
August 3, 2008, 10:07 AM
Do you subscribe to the break in theory?

No. "Break-in" is to seat the lugs and knock off the sharp edges...not an attempt to let the gun's problems correct themselves...hopefully. While an overly tight gun can benefit from a break-in period, it means that the gun is essentially out of spec.

Whenever I hear of a gun owner contacting the manufacturer concerning a functional problem, and the response is to shoot it 500 or a thousnd times to let it "break in" I translate that to:
"Oh...Go play with your toy and stop bothering us."

Can you imagine the response had the US Government called Remington Rand or Colt or Ithaca with functional issues and they heard the rep telling them to burn up 500 rounds per pistol to "break them in"? There would have been a convoy of pistol-packed semis lined up at the receiving docks in less than 72 hours.

Note that this doesn't imply that the pistol should be sloppy loose, or that a tight gun can't be reliable. They can be. It's just a bit trickier to make it happen.

Once the gun went through 300+ rounds, they all started feeding without problem.

You're one of the more fortunate ones. Sometimes it does work. Sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes, even when it does, the issues will reappear.

Loop...No apologies required. I just want the readers to understand that just because it looks like a 1911 and it functions like a 1911...that isn't a guarantee that it was built to spec. So many manufacturers producing the pistol...and so many that make up the rules as they go...it's a solemn wonder that they run as well as they do. There are many aspects of the pistol that can be out of spec, and the gun will still function. There are a few that are critical, and without adhering to those critical specs...the gun will choke like a pukin' buzzard...even on top-quality hardball.

(With apologies to the 101st AIrborne.)

One thing to bear in mind is that it was designed to function. If it's correctly built, it will function. It's a machine. It doesn't have a choice in the matter.

Kevin108
August 3, 2008, 11:03 AM
My SA GI wouldn't feed anything reliably. 500 rounds didn't make one bit of difference. A thousand rounds didn't either. Could it have been fixed? Yes. Should I have had to? Absolutely not. I sold it, bought a laptop with the cash and went back to shooting my tactical tupperware. Will I buy another 1911? Someday, but not from Springfield.

camacho
August 3, 2008, 11:09 AM
Thanks Tuner. Just wanted to hear your thoughts on that. It seems like the break in theory is omnipresent, and because it worked for me, I thought of it to be true. However, the points you make about the specs are sound. Thanks again!

kcshooter
August 3, 2008, 11:29 AM
500 rounds won't change a thing. If it doesn't feed right now, it won't then. Something isn't quite right.

That's nonsense! While this might be true for the polymer guns, 1911s need break in, unless they are Willson Combat and few other high end brands. Nope. It's true. While you should throw downrange however many rounds it takes to make you comfortable with carrying that particular gun, if something isn't working, fighting thru 500 rounds isn't going to fix it.

I feel compelled to point out that there are members here that will claim any 1911 will feed any ammo if the gun is in spec. Well ok yeah what spec? It's not a claim, it's a true statement. The specs are the Colt 1911 gov't contract blueprints. They are readily available. All the specs are also in the Kuhnhasen book, a standard for the 1911.If a 1911 didnt have any problems then reliability packages from gun smiths would have never been invented. If they were all in spec there wouldn't be reliability packages. If you've ever spec'ed out a few 1911's you'll be suprised by how many subtle differences there are to the spec figures. While some differences are non-vital, it takes a lot less than you'd think to screw up a critical area. Spec also refers to internal tolerances of all parts. Don't underestimate this. The simple truth is that machines get out of wack and quality control will always miss something. OK, if quality control misses something, it was out of spec, yes?



My SA GI wouldn't feed anything reliably. 500 rounds didn't make one bit of difference. A thousand rounds didn't either. Could it have been fixed? Yes. Should I have had to? Absolutely not. I sold it, bought a laptop with the cash and went back to shooting my tactical tupperware. Will I buy another 1911? Someday, but not from Springfield.Not sure why you just didn't call Springfield up and have them pay to have it returned to them and then back to you funtioning properly. (The do have one of the best customer service reputations in the industry.) Or that you didn't make an attempt to fix it or have it fixed while trying to choke 1000 rounds thru it if it didn't run right.


As well-stated above, it works when it is built correctly because it is just a machine.

1911jock
August 3, 2008, 01:04 PM
Kcshooter
Quote:
I feel compelled to point out that there are members here that will claim any 1911 will feed any ammo if the gun is in spec. Well ok yeah what spec?

It's not a claim, it's a true statement. But what if the ammo is out of spec? I have a particular 1911 that I seat the bullets way out to make major powerfactor with 9mm. In this case my ammo will not work with other 9mm guns 1911 or not. Just a thought.

Quote:
If a 1911 didnt have any problems then reliability packages from gun smiths would have never been invented.

If they were all in spec there wouldn't be reliability packagesQuote:
The simple truth is that machines get out of wack and quality control will always miss something.

OK, if quality control misses something, it was out of spec, yes?

I think you guys are saying the same thing, arn't you?

1911Tuner and many others of varrious ability and popularity have stated over and over break in is not going to make a gun feed any better. I beleive this may be printed in the Kuhnhasen book aswell, but no matter I have never seen anything to prove otherwise in all my years of 1911's. I take the break in thing as hopeing things will fix themselves. Burrs and rough edges do not just go away, they need to be delt with properly and billy bob and his rotery tool just dont "cut" it for me. Factories are great for fixing these defects but also some one mentioned a time factor. If you cant live with the turn around time I am sure a 1911 mechanic is not too far away for most.

1911Tuner
August 3, 2008, 02:05 PM
But what if the ammo is out of spec?

During the original tests, after firing 6,000 consecutive rounds without a single failure...the final phase was to deform several rounds in various ways, including crushing the cases and bullets with pliers, and seating bullets a 10th inch or so deeper in the case than spec. The test guns fed and functioned with all those rounds...without issue.

1911Tuner
August 3, 2008, 02:10 PM
My SA GI wouldn't feed anything reliably. 500 rounds didn't make one bit of difference. A thousand rounds didn't either. Could it have been fixed? Yes. Should I have had to? Absolutely not. I sold it,

Shame. You might've ditched a decent pistol over a magazine problem. Seen it happen too many times. I've "fixed" too many pistols by doing nothing more than handing the owner a couple dozen of my magazines and tellin' him to go shoot.

mtngunr
August 3, 2008, 02:46 PM
That's nonsense! While this might be true for the polymer guns, 1911s need break in, unless they are Willson Combat and few other high end brands. Go to the 1911 forums and read about this. The breaking in for the 1911 is the rule not the exception.


No sir....if properly built, it should run right out of the box, plastic, steel, 1911, SIG, whatever...a properly built 1911 DOES run right out of the box...Colts, for instance....if it doesn't, send it back or fix it yourself, but it's got issues.

mtngunr
August 3, 2008, 03:11 PM
If a 1911 didnt have any problems then reliability packages from gun smiths would have never been invented.

I hate to tell you this, but 90% of all gunsmithing work has one aim in mind....to bring home a good paycheck for a smith...and it's written up so much in magazines to sell magazines and increase advertising rates/revenues....buzzwords like "upgrade", "reliablity package" only show lack of subject knowledge by those spouting them...when properly executed, the 1911 design needs no "upgrades" or "reliability packages", as successful military service in muddy trenches, deserts, jungles, and arctic conditions showed....the upgrades are a modern thing driven by games for the most parts, upgrades such as extended mag releases, slide-stops, bastard file checkering, ramped barrels, etc.....if they help in games, well, that's great....but if your mag inadvertantly punches out or your ambi safety comes apart while you're trying to save your life, you might rethink that upgrade part.

kcshooter
August 3, 2008, 03:14 PM
[But what if the ammo is out of spec? I have a particular 1911 that I seat the bullets way out to make major powerfactor with 9mm. In this case my ammo will not work with other 9mm guns 1911 or not. Just a thought.So what you're saying here is although you loaded some funky rounds, they still fed fine in the 1911 but not other guns? Goes to show how well a properly tuned 1911 can function, even in a non-standard caliber.

I think you guys are saying the same thing, arn't you?Yes, we are but I wanted to make the point that it's not the platform's fault when this happens, it's the builder's. It's an issue of the specifications of that particular gun, not these guns as a whole.



As stated, the most often causes of these issues are simple, either weak mags, or improperly tensioned extractors. While there are other problems that come in play from time to time, such as feed ramp angles and the most important step between ramp and barrel (which you shouldn't play with yourself), these are what I've seen the most of, probably 75% (or more) of the issues I've come across stem from these. Both of these can be fixed in almost no time by almost anyone. Doesn't make the gun unreliable. Doesn't make the platform flawed.

Bubby with his rotary tool has screwed up a lot of good guns. "Extended-", "Tactical-", "Combat-" drop-in parts from a plethora of parts sources have also done their share to cause unreliable 1911's, too. Everyone's need to "upgrade" a perfectly good weapon has caused so many different people to cash in on the market with sub-par parts it's obscene.

Some mfgrs hold a higher regard for the original specs than others. These are often the most reliable ones. That's why when you buy a gun, you are also buying the backing of the maker with it. If it doesn't have a strong history of taking care of issues efficiently, I think very hard about buying that particular brand.

19112XS
August 3, 2008, 06:07 PM
It always a good idea to take down a new (or new to you) pistol to examine, clean, de-burr, lube and familiarize yourself with it. More obvious problems will likely present themselves during this examination.

Most of the feed issues I’ve experienced with 1911s have been cured by using properly functioning magazines. Early on, after recognizing magazine related problems I purchased premium name brand (expensive) magazines from a coupla three different manufacturers and experienced the same failures. After I started using 7 round magazines with flat, dimpled followers and Wolff “+P” magazine springs (at “popular prices”) the feed issues (JHP, SWC, everything) have disappeared. And since all those popular, name brand (expensive) magazine tubes now have flat, dimpled followers and Wolff “+P” magazine springs in them, they are now 100% reliable too. This has been my personal experience.

I have never felt the need to reconfigure the feed lips on a magazine. I have seen certain pistols that preferred one type of lip over another but these are definitely in the minority.

Do NOT Dremel anything! It is extremely easy to make irreversible mistakes very fast. I’ve seen a “throated” barrel on an otherwise beautiful ‘60s redo of a USGI Surplus Colt that made consistent accuracy impossible. I’ve seen a slightly (almost unnoticeable) rolled top on a frame feed ramp that caused FTFeeds consistently until the problem was found and (quite strenuously) resolved. Tuner still cusses every time he sees that pistol. The moral of the story is that a misapplied Dremel can turn your pistol into a paperweight in less than 5 seconds.

I was at Tuner’s a while back and asked to see if his old USGI pistols would feed modern day hollow points. We looked for ammo, but realized we had shot all it all earlier. We did find empty .45 ACP brass and he loaded 3 of these empties into a magazine and hand cycled all three of the empty cases thru the old gun. I saw this in person, did not read about it on the Internet.

1911Tuner
August 3, 2008, 06:55 PM
We looked for ammo, but realized we had shot all it all earlier.

Psssst!

Ya forgot about the SWC.

:D

1911Tuner
August 4, 2008, 10:17 AM
A little background is probably in order here.

2XS first approached me about 5 years ago with some questions. He had many 1911 pistols...Colts and Kimbers...Norincos and Springfields. He also had many problems...mostly related to misfeeds and failures to go to battery. He eventually made the trip from Tennessee, and we became fast friends. He now makes the trip 3-4 times a year to come shoot and visit, and partake of the turbocoffee.

He spoke:

"John, I really like the 1911s, but I just don't seem to be able to find one that I can trust to work like it's supposed to."

Just recently, he thanked me for the "Gift of Reliability" because all his pistols run now, regardless of the ammunition or bullet profile. Cheap, bargain hardball ammo or high-end +P Hollowpoints. Remanufactured or new. Jacketed or lead. The guns just run.

If memory serves me, I actually had to do real work on two of them...if we discount the two that I rebarrelled...which didn't have reliability issues any more...so technically, those don't count.

There's also been the occasional extractor adjustment...not because of a problem...but just because I'm anal retentive, and I caught the odd one that didn't suit me...so I tweaked because that's what I do.

There were a few that I installed and fitted the EGW firing pin stops in...but not because of functional problems.

All the rest of his delinquent pistols...and there were more than a few...were made as reliable as an anvil...with a change in magazines. That's it. His brace of Jam-O-Matics...stopped jamming by me doing no more than handing him a few good magazines.

For feed and/or return to battery issues...suspect the magazine first! The next most likely cause is the extractor. You'll find the cure in one of those two things about 98% of the time. Forget polishing or waxing or altering the gun in any way until you've positively eliminated those two.

CHEVELLE427
August 4, 2008, 10:26 AM
I LOADED SOME 185 gr. JHP last night, have not shot them but did run them through the gun and as long as i did this fast they all Fed , rack the slid a little slow and one would hang up.
this was in my
SF1911-A1 AND THE PT1911

range day will tell the tell

1911Tuner
August 4, 2008, 11:23 AM
have not shot them but did run them through the gun and as long as i did this fast they all Fed

That's because the gun was designed to feed at full speed...not slow. When you try to feed it slow, you cause the slide to hesitate, whether you realize it or not.

A better hand-test is to remove the recoil spring plug...or the whole recoil system is even better...and push the slide to battery without hesitating.
My litmus test is to feed it by pushing on the rear of the slide with one finger.

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