Slide often won't return to battery - SA 1911


Northslope Nimrod
December 2, 2012, 01:21 PM
I have a Full size SS Springfield 1911 Loaded 9mm.

Quite often when I fire, the slide return will return forward only to stop about 3/16 short before it is in full battery. At a recent trip to the range, it did this several times per mag.

When I work the slide manually, it generally goes into battery fine, EXCEPT if I only pull the slide back a short distance and then move it forward, or release it forward it will stop 3/16 short. With some force I can push it through and it acts as if there is metal on metal catching then it releases and snaps into full battery. It will do this with or without magazines.

What is the issue? How to remedy?

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December 2, 2012, 01:29 PM
Check to see if the base of the brass is sliding under the extractor. There could be a burr that is making it hang. I would also take a brush (40cal) on a drill and make sure the chamber is clear of any carbon buildup.

December 2, 2012, 01:32 PM
How old is the recoil spring? They should be changed every few thousand rounds.

If the gun is brand new the barrel-to-slide fit may simply be a hair too tight in the engagement areas. The remedy there may be putting a few thousand rounds through it to wear it in, or send it back to Springfield and they'll stone those contact surfaces until it doesn't hang.

Jolly Rogers
December 2, 2012, 01:56 PM
Same gun as the OP's and mine had a binding disconnector. Turns out that the sear spring tip that loads the disconnector up had a sharp edge that added resistance to the vertical movement. Also inspect the angled face on the disco to insure the sear spring hasn't caused a wear point allowing an easier snag in the smooth action. The tip of the sear spring should be stoned to provide a chamfer against the disco.

Northslope Nimrod
December 2, 2012, 02:22 PM
I have maybe put 600 rounds through it. Bought it new. Not a cleaning issue and as mentioned, it will do it when working it manually.

The Lone Haranguer
December 2, 2012, 02:47 PM
A few thousand rounds, Sam? :scrutiny:

December 2, 2012, 03:16 PM
Well, I do tend to think in terms of thousands, sure. A month or two's shooting?

But 600 rds is probably getting on toward "broken in" so maybe having Springfield look it over makes a lot of sense.

December 2, 2012, 07:05 PM
You have shot enough rounds to "smooth out" a rough spot. I would call Springfield and let them correct the problem.

December 2, 2012, 07:09 PM
Mine did that. Poorly fit barrel. Have Springfield fix it. I just had my gunsmith gut it and rebuild it.


December 2, 2012, 07:10 PM
Sounds like a disconnector problem, I had this same problem with a Ruger MK III pistol, sent it back and that was the problem got it back from Ruger and nary a problem since about 2000 rounds later.

December 2, 2012, 11:17 PM
Both times that this has happened to me (with different guns), a new factory recoil spring eliminated it.

December 3, 2012, 12:08 AM
Improperly sized 9mm ammo can also cause exactly this problem. Usually related to reloads.

December 3, 2012, 11:23 AM

Shouldn't need a new recoil spring to go to battery, that's a sign of an unidentified problem.

December 3, 2012, 11:39 AM
I've had this problem with a Kimber that had a tight chamber.

I would try disassembling the pistol and reassembling without the recoil spring and hand cycle the weapon slowly back and forth. That way you can manually feel where it is binding. Dummy rounds or snap caps will also help. Use of live rounds is NOT recommended .

Jim Watson
December 3, 2012, 01:45 PM
I have two Springfields, both had the flaw described by Jolly Rogers.
One was bad enough to cause hangups, the other just put a little more bump into the counterrecoil than norma. Both were fixed with new Colt or Nowlin sear springs and removal of the gouges in the disconnector bevel.

December 4, 2012, 01:55 AM
Sounds like a tight pistol maybe coupled with weak loads. You say when you pull the slide completely to the rear and release it it functions but does not when the slide isn't fully retracted and released which would be a way of simulating a weak load that would have the same effect on the slide.

What type of load are you shooting when the slide fails to go back into battery? Is it a handload? Maybe this pistol just needs a heavier recoiling round to properly function the slide. Try some +P loads. In any case SA will correct the problem. Their Customer service is excellent. ;)

Northslope Nimrod
December 4, 2012, 09:51 PM
I took it to a local gunsmith recommended by a friend. He thought he would fix it for $30. I told him to smooth out a trigger a bit while he is at it. I didn't want to send it in to Springfield if I could get it fixed for that cheap here. I will let you know how it goes. I told him of the theories mentioned.
Can't wait to return to the range and put my buddies to shame with it.

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