1911 mags vomiting bullets


April 2, 2012, 10:02 PM
Mr friend's Gold Cup jams a lot. I got a good look at the jams, today. It's like the bullet is leaving the magazine by itself. The breechface picks up the next round underneath it, and there's a doublefeed jam. And sometimes the slide locks back on the second to last round, so there's a live cartridge halfway in the chamber but the slide is locked. The weirdest one, the gun even jammed once when the slide was racked after inserting a fresh mag - and when I removed the mag, 3 bullets dropped out!

Best I can tell, it's happening with all of the mags. The 2 SS original mags (for sure), the 2 Colt additional blued mags purchased new (I think), and 4 blued Mecgars (for sure). They haven't seen any hard use or drops. Gun has only seen 4-500 rds, or so, and it's been jamming like this from the beginning. It's happening with all ammo, including jacketed, SWC, and RNFP cast bullets, but it seems to happen more often with the SWC's.

So it looks to me like maybe you sometimes need to tweak 1911 mags? Is this a common occurrence? Maybe squeeze the lips tighter together? Just wanting some reassurance before I stick 'em in a vice.

All the same ammo is flawless through my G21, except for the SWCs. (They can't extract. The empty case sometimes gets caught on the shoulder of the next round in the mag and stays in the chamber.)

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April 2, 2012, 10:12 PM
Weird. What do the stamps on the baseplates of the mags say? Line them up and upload a photo, that will definitely help baseline the diagnosis.

April 2, 2012, 10:37 PM

Sorry, got the numbers wrong. 2 SS mags (came with the gun), 1 blue Colt mag, and 3 Mecgars, 1 of them being a 10-rd. It seems to happen more with the blued mags, but then, there are more of them. :). Also, the locking on the second to last round I think has only happened with blued mags. But the double feed (with a live round halfway in the chamber) happens on the SS ones, too.

I've seen doublefeeds before where the empty doesn't extract. I find it odd that a live round is deciding to jump into the chamber by itself, allowing the breechface to jam on the rim of the following round.

The rounds don't seem to fall out too easy when the mags aren't in the gun. (Not as bad as a Ruger MkIII mag, or anything). But the half length feed lips on these 1911 mags don't seem to do it any favors, here.

April 2, 2012, 11:00 PM
Likely needs more extractor tension and better magazine springs. Are the Colt mags. 8 round?

April 2, 2012, 11:05 PM
One of the SS Colt mags is a 7 rd. All the others are 8 rd. I actually don't know which specific mags are experiencing this problem (or if it's the gun). I just know that it happens with at least one of the stainless mags, at least one of the blued 8 rd mags, and with the 10 rd mag. So I figure it might be happening with them all. The gun was purchased new, 6 months ago, and all the mags were purchased new.

Thanks for your sugggestions. So you don't think it would be a good idea to try to get more feed lip tension?

April 2, 2012, 11:45 PM
On all of them? relatively new? Do they do it EVERY round, full mag or just one left in the mag? Check the slide surface carefully where the bullet nose rides for a burr or imperfection that might cause it to drag the cartridge out of the mag..
If it's NOT EVERY mag and BEFORE you make any changes: If you can find one that works, compare it with one of the same that don't.
Swap springs and retry.
Measure feed lips and compare.
Just a WAG.

April 3, 2012, 05:03 AM
I looked at the inside of the slide. There's nothing unusual about it. I don't see how the top of the slide could be dragging the bullet forward, anyways. The ejection port is over the next cartridge when the slide is back. I also don't see how the extractor could cause this. If the extractor was losing rounds while chambering, uh ok. But I don't see how the round underneath it would also get picked up in the same go.

That all points to a mag problem. Bad factory mags. Bad Mec Gar mags. ?? Are modern 8 (and 10) rd 1911 mags not worth the trouble, maybe? (I wonder if the Colt 7 rd mag is also malfunctioning.)

This looks like bad luck, is all. At least the gun is ok. From all accounts I've been able to google, this type of doublefeed is caused by the magazine.

April 3, 2012, 05:50 AM
And I thought this was another Kimber thread. :)

April 3, 2012, 09:47 AM
Try a fresh new Tripp 7rd Cobra mag and let us know.

April 3, 2012, 10:19 AM
Number the mags and figure out if it's all of them doing it or not.

April 3, 2012, 03:47 PM
You didn't say if the ammo in question was 'softball' match ammo or full power. Check the recoil spring. If you have a 'softball' recoil spring the extra rearward slide velocity could be 'inertia pulling' the top round out of the mag and when the slide comes forward it's picking up the next round. The first thing I'd try is a new hardball spring.

April 3, 2012, 04:54 PM
The SWC and RNFP are max cast loads of HP38. The cases are thrown maybe 4 feet. The jacketed HP and plated HP bullets are both +P loadings of Unique @ 1.23-1.24", which throw the cases a little farther, but nothing dramatic; still a tidy pile of brass. These latter loads appear to be malfunctioning slightly less frequently. I think it's possible they're working better due to slightly longer OAL than the cast loads, keeping them more to the back of the mags. Come to think of it, IIRC Rainier's 230 gr FMJ (plated) loaded to 1.26" functioned the best, but I ran out of those awhile ago.

This is a recent manufacture Colt Gold Cup Trophy series 80. If it came with a second spring, either my friend did not mention it or I forgot. I'll be sure to ask.

The mags are left loaded all the time, but the one in the gun is always -1 (not topped off), and the 8 rd mec gars are finally able to seat when fully loaded. They couldn't, at first, and if anything the malfunction rate is going up, so I think new mag springs are definitely a good idea. It sucks that at least one of the Colt factory mags is also experiencing the same jams. It's always been a double feed with a live round. Man these are annoying. Lock slide back, drop mag, and retrieve the good bullet(s) that come out. Never a jam on the ramp or a failure to eject. I will number the mags on our next range trip.

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