Click?!?! Guns ARE NOT supposed to go click!!!


March 3, 2004, 06:41 PM
So, went to the range today with my wife, and my new Charles Daly 1911. Stopped at Wal-Mart, and picked up 2 boxes of the Winchester .45 Value Pack. Figured 200 rounds would be enough to get a feel for the gun.

Out of the 200 rounds, I had 9 Failure to Fires.

That is pretty close to a 5% problem rate. I did a quick search, and it didn't seem like anyone else around here has had problems with the Winchester Value Packs. Which leads me to suspect it must me my new gun:(

I looked at the primers on the misfires, and they looked just like the primers on the rounds which did fire. I asked the range officer for his opinion, and he said it looked to him like the hammer strikes were a bit light. Not being as experienced as this nice gentleman, and not having another .45 around to compare the hammer strikes with, I am left without an opinion.

So, as I grasp at straws, has anyone else had any problems with the WWB .45?

And...if it is a firing pin issue with my gun, is it something that will go away as the gun gets broken in, or am I already having the sort of bad 1911 experince which will sour on me on an otherwise nice shooting piece?



This also means my wife's Firestorm .380 has to stay in the nightstand for now...

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March 3, 2004, 06:52 PM
If its a brand new gun the firing pin return spring might be a little strong and not letting the firing pin hit the primer with full force. Push the firing pin through the breach face and make sure that it is not dragging. If it is, either the pin or the frame will need to be filed down a little. The problem might go away with a couple of hundred more rounds to break in the springs. Wose case, try a lighter firing pin return spring or a stronger main spring.

On a side note, winnie value pack ammo does not like to feed in my Charles Daly 1911. It seems to prefer Blazer.


March 3, 2004, 06:59 PM
Could be a weak mainspring.
Could be hardened lube and dirt in the firing pin tunnel.
Could be a short firing pin.
Could be excessive headspacing.
Could be a short hammer strut.

March 3, 2004, 07:03 PM
Could be it was Wednesday LOL

March 3, 2004, 07:04 PM
I have shot literally thousands of WWB and Value Packs through different .45's. I have never had a problem of any kind.


Old Fuff
March 3, 2004, 07:04 PM
Daly has been using a super-heavy firing pin spring lately, suposedly to get by someones' drop test (maybe California?) Anyway, the solution is to swap out the spring and put in a standard Colt or Wolff heavy-duty one.

I have inspected three recent guns and the all had the same problem.

March 3, 2004, 07:08 PM
Out of thousands upon thousands of rounds I have never had a misfire with Winchester ammo in any caliber in any gun. The Winchester primers are definately not hard. It could be the gun, but then there's always the off chance that you got a bad lot of ammo, can't rule that out.

March 3, 2004, 07:13 PM
Looks like Old Fuff is right. If you go over to the 1911 forum and look in the CD section this problem with the CA legal spring has been well documented. Buy a new wolff or wilson spring and call it good.


March 3, 2004, 07:34 PM
I once bought a box of Winchester rifle primers for reloading, 97 out of 100 primers had anvils in them, but NO priming compound!

I wrote a letter to Winchester and included the box of primers. Three days later I got a call from the CEO at Winchester saying the primers slipped past the QC. Two days later UPS dropped off a case of Winchester large rifle primers that included a letter from Winchester's CEO guaranteeing each and every primer!

Do you know how long it takes to use up 10,000 primers?

The point to all this is ammo makers are not perfect!

I would try another brand of ammo before I messed with the gun.

Sean Smith
March 3, 2004, 08:05 PM
Well, it is a Chucky D. ;)

March 3, 2004, 09:36 PM
T'was said:

"make sure that it is not dragging. If it is, either the pin or the frame will need to be filed down a little."


Uh...Might wanna leave the files in the drawer and try a standard
firin' pin spring first...

March 4, 2004, 10:41 AM
Did you second strike them?
Did you try any in a different gun?

I hope you saved the box.

If you try them in a different gun and they still don't fire, call Winchester. They'll make it right.

Or pack them up along with the lot numbers from the box and send them back to Winchester.

March 4, 2004, 11:17 AM
Never had a problem with WW box.

You should make another trip to the range with a different brand.

Might be Chucky.

"Don't worry Jack, Chucky's back. " :D

March 4, 2004, 10:10 PM
Thanks for all the help. I really didn't suspect the bullets as being bad...

Did you second strike them?

Did you try any in a different gun? The only time I have had misfires other than this were using some old .22 ammo. All I did was keep the gun pointed down range for a few seconds, than I removed the shell, looked at the primer, and put the bullets in a 'Live Rounds' bin that my range has. I must admit I never thought of putting them back in the gun and trying again.

Based on what I've read here, and on 1911forum, I guess I will buy a few other boxes of different types of ammo, and if that doesn't work, I need to replace the firing pin spring.

Is that the sort of thing I can do myself, or should I get some help from my neighborhood gunsmith?


March 4, 2004, 10:37 PM

From my readings on the 1911 forum regarding CD, I would say that there is a 90% chance that it is the firing pin return spring. That spring is something that you can swap out yourself. I recommend that you pick up a copy of the '1911 Maintenance Manual' by Bill Wilson, it has all the info that you need including pics on disassembly and re-assembly of a 1911. Even if you do not replace the spring yourself, it is still a good book to have.


March 4, 2004, 10:52 PM
Thanks! And since my 'Chucky D' didn't come with an owners manual, I would like to know how to take my gun apart...


March 4, 2004, 11:51 PM
Before you spend any money on instructions hit this link and do yourself a favor. (

March 4, 2004, 11:55 PM
I never had a problem with ignition with my Rock Island but can't figure out why I didn't - the firing pin spring was strong enough to hold the hammer back from the fp stop and could launch the firing pin across the room and embed it in the sheetrock - I'm guessing 500 fps :evil:

Traded it out for a Wolff "extra power" which I would estimate was 10% of the original. The original spring looks like something off an EMD road diesel. I noticed that the RIA was Cali approved and has no firing pin block or titanium firing pin - it must have made it through the test based solely on that gawdawful spring.

I believe I heard that the RIA, Chuck Daly and Armscor were all related in some manner (not sure on this) if so, yours may share the seismic isolation ballistic firing pin return spring that my RIA had. I've no clue how the fp could even make it to the primer face without a center punch and claw hammer. How ignition occured at all remains a mystery to me. If you change it out, I'd suggest eye protection, carbide drifts and kevlar gloves. Don't listen to anybody that suggests pushing the firing pin with a hammer strut to free the firing pin stop - you'll bend the strut.

Did I mention the firing pin spring a touch over-strong?

March 5, 2004, 12:50 AM
If your firing pin spring is pushing the hammer away from the FP stop then it's as strong or stronger than your mainspring.

I don't think John Moses designed it that way.

March 5, 2004, 07:40 AM
No, JMB did not design it that way! If the firing pin spring is holding the hammer back, that is likely to be the problem with ignition. I have never seen a firing pin spring capable of holding back the hammer of a 1911, but there is a gunshow this weekend, so I will keep my eyes open for a CD or RIA and see if the firing pin springs are that strong.

March 5, 2004, 10:44 AM
In 100 rounds of Winchester White Box in my G30, I had about 9 FTFs. Hard primers, even a perfectly-functioning 1911 didn't make 4 of them go bang. You could see the strike but nothing happened.

On the other hand, my G30 then ate 800 rounds of Remington UMC without a hiccup, and 200 rounds of CCI Blazer just for variety.

W Turner
March 5, 2004, 11:03 AM
I have owned a RIA for over a year and have had zero problems with it. That being said, the RIA's/CD's/Armscor are all made by the same company in the Phillipines and probably use the same internal compnents.

When my gunsmith disassembled my RIA he commented on the strength of the FP spring and said that if I had any light strike problems to change that part first. Sounds like they may have increased the FP spring rate even more and that is probably the cause of your problems.

FWIW- I have mostly used Blazer in mine, but used a box of the WWB at my last IDPA match with no problems.


March 5, 2004, 02:47 PM
I have been using the White box ammo from W/M for quite some time I have never had 1 failure. I buy both .45 and 9mm same white box..:)

March 6, 2004, 06:11 PM
Alright, back from the gunshow. Saw two Charles Daly's and one RIA. The RIA and one of the CD's exhibited normal spring pressures. The other CD did indeed have a firing pin spring that held the firing pin back with enough force that it did push back the hammer. Such firing pin springs are grossly too heavy and will need to be replaced or replace the mainspring with the heaviest spring you can find. I expect this was done so that it would pass a drop test. Any gun with a firing pin spring this heavy should pass such tests.:uhoh:

March 6, 2004, 08:41 PM
My previous post did have a degree of <ahem> hyperbole. :D

But the part about the the firing pin spring holding the hammer back was for real.

Weird that it would only be on some though - I wonder if it's only the Cali models (?).

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