1911 hollow point problems...


March 30, 2010, 09:26 PM
I just bought a Springfield Mil Spec 1911 last saturday. I picked up a box of 230gr Speer Gold Dots, and a box of 230gr FMJ Winchester with it. I fired 3 mags of the Winchester Saturday without any issues. Two mags slow, and one rapid. I was pretty much just doing a quick function check.

Today I loaded up the empty mag with the hollow points and when I tried to chamber one it wouldn't chamber. What happens is when the slide comes forward to pick up a round, the round goes nose down. I can get one to chamber if I play with it enough. The feedramp on the barrel doesn't really seem to be the problem, since the round never gets that far.

So how do I fix this? If I used a more modern mag like a Wilson Combat would the round feed?

Or should I just give up on hollow points and run ball since its a 1911 and thats what it was designed to shoot?

If you enjoyed reading about "1911 hollow point problems..." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
March 30, 2010, 10:04 PM

Are these mags any good?

March 30, 2010, 10:14 PM
I have the same issue with my TRP Operator, but only with the top round off a full Chip McCormick mag. I have one 10 round Wilson, and it doesn't have the issue. I looked at the mags closely, and the rounds don't quite sit at the top of the feed lips, whereas they do on the Wilson. I was meaning to do a thread on it, but you beat me to it. I don't have issues feeding anything other than the top round in the mag. The mags work fine with FMJ's so I'm going to keep those for IDPA and get some Wilsons for CCL... I'll be watching to see what wisdom comes up here.

March 30, 2010, 10:18 PM
Or should I just give up on hollow points and run ball since its a 1911 and thats what it was designed to shoot?

No. It ought to run JHPs. Wilson makes a fine mag, but I prefer Checkmate. Never have any problems with JHPs. What is the mag follower doing when you have this problem?

ETA: If you want to see a pretty good write-up of some popular 1911 mags, you ought to look at this (http://how-i-did-it.org/magazines/).


March 30, 2010, 10:37 PM
It'll run hollow points, so don't worry about that. To me it sounds as if your magazine (or rounds) may be the problem. As Jason mentioned, what is the follower doing during the malfunction?

Many of us buy Wilson (I like the 47ds) or Chip McCormicks for our carry 1911s...and for the rest of them, I guess :)

Also, does this happen with ALL hollow points or just one brand? Some guns / magazines just don't like some rounds.

You have a very good gun. You may want to buy a couple of after-market magazines and see what happens. If all else fails call Springfield. They have great customer service, but I don't think it will get to that.

If you need to load it with FMJ in the meantime, so be it, they're very good at what they do.

March 30, 2010, 10:47 PM
Upon closer inspection I'm 99% sure its the Springfield mags that came with it. The feed ramp and barrel are very nicely polished. It looks like the rounds are not seating against the mag lips just right.

So for now I'll run FMJ until I can get a few Wilson mags. I'm pretty condifident that will fix the problem.

March 30, 2010, 10:55 PM
I think you are going to end up doing some experimenting. Not every magazine works with every pistol and not every hollow point profile feeds in every pistol.

Wilson, Tripp, Checkmate, and Chip McCormack are the big names in 1911 magazines. Cylinder & Slide also has a quality mag called the Extreme Tactical. I would stay away from the 10 rounders as mentioned by LRS_Ranger and stick with 7 (preferably) or 8 round magazines.

I'd just keep shooting primarily FMJ as you learn the pistol and periodically run some HP rounds through it. I'm sure your pistol will begin feeding HP rounds as the round count goes up and the pistol gets broken in.

Some sources (you've already found Wilson's site)

Tripp Research

Cylinder & Slide

Top Gun Supply


March 30, 2010, 10:56 PM
Your Springer has a lifetime warranty, they normally pay shipping both ways. Send it to them and let them fix it so it will run properly with any decent 1911 mag.

800-680-6866 (http://www.springfield-armory.com/contactus.php)

March 30, 2010, 11:15 PM
So the gun you bought doesn't work with the mag it came with when loaded with Gold Dots? I would call the manufacturer and have them fix it.

March 30, 2010, 11:49 PM
My dad's mil-spec runs JHP just fine. I would try some other mags.

March 31, 2010, 12:54 AM
Well the problem is I'm in CT so I'll have to pay a $40 FFL fee to get it back. A Wilson Combat mag is about that, so I'll try the mag first, I need to buy more mags anyway.

I had this exact same problem with my Sig rifle when I got it, the mags it came with and that Sig sells just wouldn't feed. With Pmags its 100%.

If it still does it with the better mags and after a few rounds for break in than I'll send it back. I only have 21 rounds through this pistol so its still very tight.

Steve C
March 31, 2010, 02:38 AM
Of all the .45 ACP hollow points out there I've had more problems with feeding using Speer Gold Dots and 200gr JHP's (old style) in 1911's than any other brand of HP's. The Speer bullets have a very large hollow cavity and a rather sharp edge to the bullet jacket at the cavity mouth. If anything will catch on the feed ramp it will be a Speer. That's not to say that it won't run fine in some guns but the Mill Spec pistol isn't tweaked to feed anything more than standard ball ammo like the military uses, hence the "mill spec" moniker. The Gold Dots function well in my 80 series Colt and 1991-a1 with their factory throated barrels but not so good in my 70 series Combat Commander. My Sig 220 and Ruger P90 feed them just fine.

I'd suggest looking for a different brand of ammunition. The Remington JHP's are probably the best feeding of the bunch, both regular Express JHP's and the Golden Sabers.

Full Metal Jacket
March 31, 2010, 02:41 AM
don't waste your money on wilson, or any other expensive mags. they have hit or miss reliability with springifeld 1911's.

besides, it could very well be caused by an issue with your extractor, or it might simply need a throat bevel/feed ramp polishing.

i only use springfield factory mags in my springfield champion operator (including an extended 10 rounder), and i've never had an issue with any ammo.

March 31, 2010, 04:54 AM
Some of those "MILSPEC" mags are not kind to JHPs with the shorter overall length.

First try taking your mag apart and cleaning some of the newness out of the inside of the mag tube. If your mags have a rough finish to them, you may want to smooth the insides of the mag tubes up a little with some 600 grit emory paper (don't use steel wool, it will rust). Make sure the metal follower doesn't have any sharp edges. Rub a little gun oil on the mag parts with your fingers then wipe off with your gun rag. Then, reassemble and try it out again.

If it still does it, your mag lips may need a little tuning to run JHPs through your pistol. If you can find a good 1911 pistol smith in your area, he can do it for you for a reasonable price.

March 31, 2010, 04:58 AM
Just to add, I bought 6 Wilson Combat 47D 8rd magazines for my brand new Kimber. I don't consider it a wasteful expense.

March 31, 2010, 05:25 AM
There gotta be someone with a 1911 close by that will let you try another mag. My Loaded Fullsize ran great on the SA mags, but every gun is different. I did buy some Tripp Research Super Seven follower kits, for the SA mags when I carried my S&W SC Commander, very good stuff.

March 31, 2010, 07:47 PM
Hatterasguy; keep the springfield mags and try using them in NORC 1911s or the RIA 1911s if you can find someone willing to let you shoot theirs. Just curious though, everyone else was suggesting on mag names.

Thanks and goodluck.

March 31, 2010, 08:34 PM
Checkmates have a HYBRID lip design - I think it presents the cartridge a bit HIGHER similar to the old GI mag, but hybrid with more control on the rear of the round.

I have a thread here:http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=514855

For SOME reason the more modern designs slam the round into the FRAME feed ramp LOWER than the old GI mags. I'm not sure as to the advantage of this. (I'm trying to find out why this is better - anyo0ne know?)

I would hold off on the expensive Wilson mags with plastic followers. I just think they are way more money than they are worth. Checkmates are much less, and are likely much better.

March 31, 2010, 09:02 PM
Did it come with 8-rnd mags? I now simply avoid 8-rnd mags, as any feed problems I've had with my 1911s was with 8 round mags. Now, I just stick with 7-rnd mags and have no problems. My mag box consists of checkmate, wilson (47c) and colt OEM mags (which may in fact be checkmate, since they do make mags for colt) and they feed fine in my Combat Commander.

Full Metal Jacket
March 31, 2010, 09:06 PM
Just to add, I bought 6 Wilson Combat 47D 8rd magazines for my brand new Kimber. I don't consider it a wasteful expense.

it's not.

kimber factory mags are notoriously bad quality, and the wilson mags work great with kimbers.

too bad people have to pay all that money for kimbers, then spend a bunch more on reliable mags though.....

March 31, 2010, 09:39 PM
too bad people have to pay all that money for kimbers

And only get 1 mag!

March 31, 2010, 10:11 PM
Did it come with 8-rnd mags? I now simply avoid 8-rnd mags, as any feed problems I've had with my 1911s was with 8 round mags. Now, I just stick with 7-rnd mags and have no problems.

Give the 8 round Checkmates (http://www.checkmatemagazines.com/cart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=12&idproduct=112) with the hybrid lips and the bull nose follower a chance. I've never had a problem, and I've been using them for quite a while now. As a matter of fact, they are my carry mags.


March 31, 2010, 10:18 PM
I agree with some of the other posts 7 rounds flat follower with the dimple. Metal Form, Checkmate and Colt OEM. Seem to work the best for me.

March 31, 2010, 10:23 PM
springfield OEM mags are good- Speer GD have a tough time feeding in any of my 1911s. Remington Golden Sabers, Winchester PP, Winchester Silvertips, and Federal Hydra-shocks all run fine in my springfield. Try a different hollowpoint.

The Lone Haranguer
March 31, 2010, 10:31 PM
Have you only tried 230-grain bullets? Sometimes these have a greater overall length than ball. (To keep the weight the same after hollowing out the nose, the bullet has to be longer.) Try a 185-grain with a round profile (e.g. Winchester Silvertip, Remington "green box") and see if those feed better. These aren't the "latest and greatest" loads, but that high-tech bullet will do you no good hung up on the feed ramp.

March 31, 2010, 10:40 PM
it's not.

kimber factory mags are notoriously bad quality, First I've heard of that. and the wilson mags work great with kimbers.

Yes, they do, as long as you replace the followers when worn!

too bad people have to pay all that money for kimbers, then spend a bunch more on reliable mags though.....

Had a reason, wanted 6 8rd magazines for USPSA Single Stack competition.

I guess I'm just a lucky guy, I've never had any problems with my Kimber. In fact, I've never actually seen a problem with a Kimber that could actually be blamed on the pistol. I always thought it was pretty rare, till I started reading this forum.

From my own experience, I fixed my problem, similiar to the OP's by freeing up the magazine follower a little bit and tuning the feed lips a bit.

Here's a great post on the issue from another forum:

Thanks goes to M1911Tuner at M1911.org:


Here's a good article on 1911 design as it relates to feeding:


March 31, 2010, 11:13 PM
Well the problem is I'm in CT so I'll have to pay a $40 FFL fee to get it back

it's your gun, legally transfered to you....

someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but any manufacturers customer service or any gun smith should be able to ship a gun that you sent to them, directly back to you.

I had a Win 1300 pump shotgun that had to go back for a cock-eyed vent rib, and the dealer who sold it to me via. my local FFL shipped it directly back to me after Winchester's contract customer service in Ogden proved that they were good for nothing.

April 1, 2010, 12:53 AM
No not in CT, can't ship any firearm direct unless its a C&R.

Rifle and or pistol has to be sent to an FFL. I can send it to them, but they can only ship to FFL's.

The more I read on this the more conflicting information I'm getting. But I'm pretty sure its not the gun, its probably the mag or the round. I'll break it in and try different mags and different HP's. Maybe Colt hybrid mags with hydra shoks will work.

In the mean time I'm not to worried, .45 FMJ has plenty of stopping power.

Full Metal Jacket
April 1, 2010, 01:44 AM
First I've heard of that.


April 1, 2010, 02:38 AM
I had nothing but excellent feeding from my 47D's and I must be another one of the lucky few, my kimber did nothing but eat anything I fed it with the factory mag and the 47D's and some Chip McCormick 8 rounders.

It would even completely cycle empties in all three magazines.

I'm going to second the idea to a) pick up a 47D or 3 and b) take a look at Golden Sabers, their profile on the 185g is nearly identical to ball, I've yet to see a .45 that won't feed them.

April 1, 2010, 03:07 AM
I've had bad luck with 47D's

Try Remington Golden Sabers which have a more feed friendly profile and Tripp's or CMC Powermags.

If that doesn't work stick with ball ammo (reliability is more important) or have a smith give it a reliability package.

April 1, 2010, 01:15 PM
Hey Hatterasguy:

Did you ever go to the range and actually try to shoot some of those GoldDots?

Have you tried any other JHPs in that pistol? I've heard that GoldDots are about the shortest OAL of any JHP.

April 1, 2010, 07:00 PM

Wilkersk yes I did go to the range, just got back. The problem if their was one is fixed!

First I traded my friend my box of Speers for his box of Remington Golden Sabers. He didn't care, his M&P will eat the Speers just fine. I than shot about 130 rounds of Winchester white box through the pistol to break it in. Than I gave the Goldern Sabers a try and it chambered and shot them no problem. I fired all 25 and didn't have an issue.

So it wasn't a mag problem. Either the gun doesn't like Speer Gold Dot's, or it was just tight and wouldn't chamber them.

Next time I go I'll try some of the Gold Dot's and see if they will work, if not I'll just stick to the Golden Sabers.

April 1, 2010, 08:43 PM
The problem if their was one is fixed!

Nice - great news!

Have fun!

April 1, 2010, 09:20 PM
Somw 1911s can be hit or miss with JHPs. Nothing wrong with some good ole 230GR FMJs IMO!

April 2, 2010, 01:20 AM
I had a COLT 70 Series GOVERNMENT model that would not feed HYDRO-SHOK. It would feed the WINCHESTER White Box hollow points. REMINGTON ammo should be the most reliable feeder.

When I first got into guns, the only .45ACP you would buy was a COLT and the first thing you did was take it to a gunsmith for a ramp job. REMINGTON jhp's would expand the least, but would almost always work. If they do, you could try the GOLDEN SABRE rounds. More stopping power with similar feed reliability.


April 2, 2010, 03:16 AM
some 1911 do have trouble with jhp i had a sa micro compac 1911 tried changing mags 3 or 4 ,then different ammo jhp with the same problems.i meet a old gun guy at a idpa shoot talk to him he cc a 1911 told him about it he said check out CORBON POWERBALLERS end of problems. this ammo will run all day just like fmj a little on the high side per.box but all self defense is


April 2, 2010, 11:23 PM
I still say it could be a combination of the short OAL on those Gold Dots, and magazine follower that is just a little to "NEW", or mag lips that release just slightly early (given the bullet OAL) causing the nose of the bullet to strike the ramp a little low and then catching the barrel ramp at a low angle causing it to cam slightly, resulting in a jam.

If you do still have problems with the GoldDots, trying a different magazine like the 47Ds may be an easy solution. I know there are guys here that say otherwise, but, there's several good shooters that I know personally and respect that say otherwise.

If you enjoyed reading about "1911 hollow point problems..." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!