S&W 1911 Fouling Issue?


March 7, 2010, 07:32 PM
I bought a new S&W full size SS 1911 a few months ago, this is my 1st 1911 so I am not all that familiar with them.

I now have 700 rounds through the gun and noticed the same thing each time shooting it. The gun is flawless for the 1st. 100 rounds or so, and then the 1st round of a full mag., as I sling shot the slide gets hung up on the ramp probably 4-5 times over the next 100 rounds.

I have been shooting 230 gr. WWB ammo. I can tell you that after 100 rounds the gun is really dirty especially the feed ramp, filty black.

I have many 9mm's that I sometimes shoot 500 rounds of WWB without cleaning and don't have cycling issues.

When the round hangs up on the ramp all I do is slap the back of the slide and the round chambers. That is the only issue I've had with the gun, no round has ever hung up on the ramp once the 1st is chambered.

Suggestions welcome.


If you enjoyed reading about "S&W 1911 Fouling Issue?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
March 8, 2010, 01:52 AM
I would ask what you are oiling it with.

Secondly, perhaps replace the recoil spring and make sure it's a stock 16lb one. Shouldn't be an issue with a new gun, but it could be.

March 8, 2010, 01:55 AM
like oro said but sometimes a flitz polish job on the upper chamber helps

March 8, 2010, 02:10 AM
I have the same 1911 (most likely) and it has not done that to me. I've shot WWB fmj and hollowpoint thru it and it has not exhibited that symptom. It's never really been that dirty after a few hundred rounds. You may just need to find some different lubricant to try to keep residue from sticking so badly. Your recoil spring should be ok but if all else fails you can replace it and see if your problem gets better. Use some good silicone slide lube as well. I'm having the same problem with my little Taurus TCP. For some reason, it gets filthy after about 50 rounds and the slide won't go fully forward on the first round of a magazine after that. I've learned to take some spray cleaner to the range with me for such occasions. Are you in a particularly humid environment?

March 8, 2010, 04:57 AM
I have been using Militec-1 synthetic on all my guns for years without issue.


March 8, 2010, 05:18 AM
Maybe or maybe not relavent, but my SC Commander had the stiffest recoil spring in it that I had ever seen. You could barely pull back the slide without your fingers slipping on the fine serations. I believe it was factory installed, and it never missed a beat. IICR, I think it was a 20# spring.

March 8, 2010, 05:31 AM
Its a Smith. They have great customer service and warranty. If you are having a problem you cant figure out, send it back in.

March 8, 2010, 06:03 AM
Suggestions welcome.

Clean your weapons when you use them. Amazing things happen when you do. They work reliably. Some need cleaning more than other weapons. It is NOT a reflection on their combat ability or reliability.

Go figure.


March 8, 2010, 09:03 AM
FWIW--I'd particularly go with Oro's and Fred's advice--change the lube(s) and clean it frequently.

Jim H.

March 8, 2010, 09:35 AM
I have a couple S&W 1911's and have not seen this issue. I would second the comments above, a good cleaning, Flitz polish the feed ramp and try some grease on the rails. I use Militech on mine and it runs like a champ. It appears to be slide speed that is causing the problem. Does it still jam when you use the slide stop to release the slide? I had one 1911 that required a stronger recoil spring and lapping the rails and slide a bit. There was just too much friction to strip off a round and chamber it. That sounds like your problem as well. If these easy tips don't fix it, call S&W and they will take care of you.

March 8, 2010, 10:19 AM
Is it only having trouble when you manually rack the slide, or is it having feed problems during firing and cycling while the gun is in use?

March 8, 2010, 04:10 PM
The only time the bullett hangs up on the ramp is when racking the slid after the gun has been fired more than 100 rounds of WWB never when cycling or firing.


March 8, 2010, 06:56 PM
I would say you have a non issue. The gun is not hanging up when you fire. I would not polish the feed ramp.

March 8, 2010, 09:46 PM

Something seems to be either fouling the extractor and tightening it up just a touch, or something else is slowing down the slide a bit after that much powder residue builds up - or both. I'm not experienced with Militec-1 but looked up some opinions of it at GlockTalk and some other forums. The opinions were average overall and not real positive from what I sampled. Ok as a protectant and cleaner.

I'd grease the rails. If you are very loyal to Militec, I see they offer a white lithium "Militec-1 grease" for this purpose. I use a similar product, Tetra Gun Grease, on the rails of all my 1911-style guns. They do not show the sensitivity to powder residue you are describing. 1911-types are a little different than Glocks, Sigs, etc. when it comes to how they like their rails lubed. Things I can get away with on a Beretta, Glock, or HK, I cannot on a 1911-type.

I'm not a fan of oil on the rails of 1911-type guns. It doesn't adhere well enough and migrates away over time. It provides OK oxidation protection but not the lubrication necessary after lots of firing. This may or may not be your problem, but it would be the first (cheap) thing I would switch before trying something else, e.g., suspecting the extractor, etc.

Good luck.

March 8, 2010, 10:39 PM
Some trouble shooting thoughts...

1. Maintenance. Clean after every session. It doesn't take much time to run a patch through the barrel, wipe off all the crud, and re-lube. Frequent maintenance lets you get familiar with your parts so that you can identify potential issues, before they become a problem.

2. Magazines. Wilson's and CMC power mags WORK. Make sure you are using good mags.

3. Technique. You say that you are sling shotting the slide to chamber a round, however, are you doing it properly? Your particular technique of sling shotting the slide may not be providing the momentum to reliably chamber a round.

4. Extractor tension. If your extractor is not tuned right, it could be too tight, which leads to a failure to feed very similar to what you are describing. This is probably not the case as your gun cycles fine while firing, but there is the chance that it could be an issue.

IMO, one, or the combination of the above, should resolve the issue, or at least lead you to a solution.

Good luck.

If you enjoyed reading about "S&W 1911 Fouling Issue?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!