FTFs in Remington 1911...typical break-in or sign of trouble?


PDA






Mitlov
February 1, 2014, 03:43 PM
I bought a nearly-new 1911 from a friend a little while back. He'd bought it and then only shot it once because he has several other 1911s and prefers his Kimber. I bought it with perhaps 100 rounds through the gun. At that point, I field stripped it and cleaned it, and have put 200 more rounds through it since that cleaning (in two 100-round mornings of shooting). The first morning, I had no failures to feed or other malfunctions. Today, I had four failures to feed.

The gun is dirty from the 200 rounds and could use a cleaning. I've shot a mixture of Winchester White Box, Remington, Fiocchi, and one box of Blazer (either steel or aluminum cased, but not brass). All have been 230 grain FMJ. The FTFs were with Fiocchi and Remington.

I'm going to give it another cleaning. But should I be worried, or is this just typical during break-in? If the latter, how many rounds should I go before I consider break-in over?

If you enjoyed reading about "FTFs in Remington 1911...typical break-in or sign of trouble?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
MagnunJoe
February 1, 2014, 04:51 PM
I had the same problem (5 FTFs in the first 200 rounds) with my Talo R-1 1911 until I decided to purchase 2 MetalForm 7 round flushed bottom welded mags, ditching the cheap and over sized 8 round clunkers she came with.... and since then, not a single stoppage with 200 rounds of Winchester cheap ammo. By the way, the exact same thing happened with my Ruger 1911, no issues with the new mags.

bdb benzino
February 1, 2014, 05:18 PM
I wouldn't be too concerned, especially because the only malfunctions you had were when you shot the second 100 rounds when the gun was already dirty. It could be break in or it could just be tight tolerances in the fit. Good luck!

MikeJackmin
February 1, 2014, 07:05 PM
FTFs are usually magazine related. Get a good quality replacement magazine and see if the problem doesn't go away.

jmr40
February 1, 2014, 08:28 PM
Guns shouldn't need to be broken in. Why should anyone pay $500-$1,000 for a gun and be told they have to put $200 worth of ammo through it for it to be reliable. Chances are if it ain't reliable out of the box it may never be. I certainly would never trust one with my life that were not reliable out of the box.

It would already be for sale if it were mine. I played that game a few times when I was younger. I finally figured out it was better to cut my losses quickly rather than continue to throw good money after bad. I've ended up paying gunsmiths and paying out more for ammo than guns were worth trying to get them to run. No more for me.

PabloJ
February 1, 2014, 08:50 PM
Quality firearm should not require beak in period. This nonsense must have been invented by someone who has interest in ammo company.

Mitlov
February 1, 2014, 09:59 PM
I'm definitely not going to sell it--I love the gun, how it shoots, and it's history--but if the FTFs don't go away with a cleaning and a new magazine, I'm going to declare it a recreational gun for the range and not a practical defensive weapon.

mgmorden
February 1, 2014, 10:17 PM
I'm definitely not going to sell it--I love the gun, how it shoots, and it's history--but if the FTFs don't go away with a cleaning and a new magazine, I'm going to declare it a recreational gun for the range and not a practical defensive weapon.

Or, perhaps, call Remington and have them look at it. 1911's aren't made to work by magic. If yours is giving you trouble SOMETHING is out of spec. They should be able to fix the issue.

RussB
February 1, 2014, 10:30 PM
Or, perhaps, call Remington and have them look at it. 1911's aren't made to work by magic. If yours is giving you trouble SOMETHING is out of spec. They should be able to fix the issue.
OP says he bought the gun used

mgmorden
February 1, 2014, 10:47 PM
OP says he bought the gun used

Still worth calling them. I don't know about Remington specifically, but the vast majority of firearms manufacturers will fix a defective gun - sometimes even those that state that the warranty is only for the original owner.

BSA1
February 2, 2014, 12:35 AM
jmr40 and PabloJ,

What makes you so sure the problem is with the gun? The O.P. states it functions fine with Winchester and Blazer ammo.

I always consider breaking in a new (and new to me) as getting familiar with how the piece works and practice.

It could be the ammo, magazines or the shooters grip...but we will never know since you already got rid of it.

Mitlov
February 3, 2014, 06:04 PM
I'm hesitant to mail it off to Remington because (1) it's the only handgun I own right now and I'd hate for them to sit on it for months, (2) I don't think for a second that they'll cover mailing for someone who isn't the original owner (I actually suspect they wouldn't cover anything at all that isn't a safety issue), (3) I could likely buy a couple of nicer magazines for the cost of mailing, and (4) I'd be taking it to a local gunsmith in the near future anyway to get an ambidextrous safety added.

I was going to give the gun a thorough cleaning to see if that did it, but if not, is there anything else I should try besides different magazines? I've heard people in other threads mention polishing the feed ramp...is that something I should look into as long as it's going into a gunsmith for the ambi safety? Any other potential culprits for FTFs that I should be aware of?

Also, any recommendations for quality 1911 magazines? Wilson Combat 47D? Anyone else? (edit: I see MetalForm was recommended above)

Oldman1151
February 3, 2014, 06:16 PM
I would start with a good cleaning and lube before spending any money on anything.

Rule3
February 3, 2014, 06:22 PM
Step 1) Clean the gun.

Step2) only use one kind of quality ammo (cheap under powered ammo may not cycle the gun correctly) It's a Remington gun so I figure they make it run with their ammo so use that.

3) Try a Wilson Combat Mag

I have not seen a Rem mag so can not say good or bad but I use Wilson Combat in my 1911's They always works and no failures due to them.

As mention many failure to feeds in 1911's are magazine related. they also can be caused by recoil springs and numerous other things.

moxie
February 3, 2014, 06:40 PM
Agree on the clean and lube.

The gun should be able to fire any type of name brand ammo, including Fiocci and Remington.

I like Checkmate mags. Skirted, hybrid, high performance spring. Decent price. See here:
http://www.topgunsupply.com/check-mate-.45acp-7rd-ss-hybrid-cmf-full-size-1911-magazine.html

Rule 3, Have you some specific examples of "cheap under powered ammo?" Has this been determined by chrono tests? I buy all the cheap stuff at Walmart and it goes bang all the time in all my guns, .45acp and 9mm for that matter. I need to do a chrono test of .45acp but just did finish one on 9mm. See post to thread on Underpowered Winchester ammo in General Handgun Discussion.

Mitlov
February 3, 2014, 07:58 PM
I'll give it a thorough cleaning this week.

I have not seen a Rem mag so can not say good or bad but I use Wilson Combat in my 1911's They always works and no failures due to them.

The Remington mags don't strike me as particularly high-quality, though I don't have a lot of frame of reference. Since I've only got two mags at the current time, buying a Wilson Combat 47D is a pretty low-risk experiment. If the problem isn't mag-related...well, now I've got three mags instead of two, which isn't a bad deal at all.

I won't do anything else until having another chance to put a few boxes of ammo through the gun and seeing if the cleaning (and likely a new mag) cure the FTF issue.

Fred_G
February 3, 2014, 10:03 PM
How does the feed ramp look?

I bought one new, and it was rough as heck. I called Remington, and they offered to send me a couple of new mags to try. I explained that I had tried the gun with several mags.

They sent me a bag, I shipped it to them, had it back in like 10 days. Painless. And the gun now works with aftermarket and stock mags.

Hey, it is worth a phone call or email. I think big green is lacking a little on qc, but they have great customer service. Give them a shot to fix it.

StrutStopper
February 3, 2014, 10:38 PM
I know you're talking about a Remington 1911, but this past Saturday my friend was shooting his Ruger SR1911 in the lane next to me. He was having FTF trouble with both of his factory magazines, he was thinking it was the gun. I handed him a Wilson Combat ETM and told him to give it a try. No more FTFs. He went home and ordered two Wilson Combat mags.

Drail
February 4, 2014, 10:51 AM
90% of feed problems in any semi auto pistol are caused by an out spec magazine/magazine spring or a magcatch that is not holding the magazine at the correct height, a roughly finished and/or improperly tensioned extractor (probably the most common problem), or ammo that is out of spec. Check your extractor first. Then try a different magazine. The last possibility is a feed ramp that was cut at the wrong angle or too far forward or back. A barrel ramp can also be miscut or shaped wrong and hang up rounds. A good smith should be able to diagnose and fix the problem. Sending the gun back to the manufacturer will only work if they have your magazines and ammo to test with. They might find the problem or they might send it back with a note saying the gun is in spec.

SC Shooter
February 4, 2014, 04:24 PM
I have a Remington R1911s and had one F.T.E. in the first 50 rounds fired, and it was the last round in the magazine. So far I have put several hundred rounds through it since then with a variety of range ammo, and reloads, and all is well. I have read that some Remingtons need a bit of a breakin period. Apparently mine didn't.

340PD
February 4, 2014, 06:38 PM
"Breaking in" is a term that some understand but most don't. As BSA1 said, it is you and your new gun working together.

I once has a Les Baer that I could hardly draw back the slide when it was new. Shoot the **** out of it they said. The slide and frame melted into a thing of beauty after a few boxes of ammo.

New shooters come into our range and they literally cannot jamb more than 6 rounds into their new M&P Shield mags. Leave one fully loaded overnight and end of problem.

Triggers, slides, extractors, sears, and rifling, all get smoother after use. To
me, that is "break in"

I would lube the heck out of your gun, borrow or pick up a pair of Wilson mags, and give it another go.

gc70
February 4, 2014, 07:17 PM
I'm going to give it another cleaning. But should I be worried, or is this just typical during break-in? If the latter, how many rounds should I go before I consider break-in over?

Clean your gun, but remember that it is not a Glock that runs on 4 drops of oil; 1911s run better when a bit wetter.

The much-discussed break-in period is either a confidence-building phase if your gun is working right or an observation and diagnosis period if your gun has problems.

If you continue to have problems, make careful note of exactly what is wrong. What type of ammo, which mag, round number in the mag, how the round is positioned when it does not feed, etc., are all valuable pieces of information to determine what is causing a problem.

Mitlov
February 4, 2014, 11:20 PM
Clean your gun, but remember that it is not a Glock that runs on 4 drops of oil; 1911s run better when a bit wetter.


Thanks for the advice. I definitely leave it very heavily lubricated. Though right now I'm just using a spray-on gun oil...do I need to use some sort of grease or thicker lubricant as well? I found a great video by Hickok45 on how to field-strip it, but he doesn't describe what he uses to clean and lubricate (I use copious amounts of gun oil, plus shotgun patches, plus Q-tips).

ColtPythonElite
February 4, 2014, 11:25 PM
Quality firearm should not require beak in period. This nonsense must have been invented by someone who has interest in ammo company.
Amen, brother.

domyalex
February 5, 2014, 01:52 AM
I'd avoid spray on oils. I had lots of issues when using Rem dry lube in my 1911. Switched to Hoppes oil and it has been reliable to thousand of rounds since.

gc70
February 5, 2014, 08:06 AM
Though right now I'm just using a spray-on gun oil...do I need to use some sort of grease or thicker lubricant as well?

There is no magic product; 1911s just have a lot more frame-to-slide contact area that needs lubrication than the average polymer gun.

Mitlov
March 10, 2014, 06:18 PM
After a thorough cleaning (copious amounts of Remington light gun oil, patches, and scrubbing all the interior surfaces clean), I took it back to the range last weekend. Shot a hundred rounds through it; mix of Blazer aluminum, Winchester White Box, and some sort of cheap Remington ammo (forget what variety, but it was 230 FMJ, just like the other two). Zero malfunctions. This is with the stock Remington mags; I hadn't gotten around to ordering a Wilson Combat mag and may not unless the issues return.

moxie
March 10, 2014, 06:41 PM
There you go, again. Just keep it clean and lubed. The only time you had a problem was when you first had it, before you cleaned and lubed it. Q.E.D.

BSA1
March 10, 2014, 08:04 PM
Your gun is only as good as it's magazines. Do yourself a favor and buy some good quality magazines.

agtman
March 10, 2014, 09:53 PM
* * * The gun is dirty from the 200 rounds and could use a cleaning. I've shot a mixture of Winchester White Box, Remington, Fiocchi, and one box of Blazer (either steel or aluminum cased, but not brass).
All have been 230 grain FMJ. The FTFs were with Fiocchi and Remington.
I'm going to give it another cleaning. But should I be worried, or is this just typical during break-in?
If the latter, how many rounds should I go before I consider break-in over?

Wouldn't know. But I wouldn't break the bank trying.

1911s are finicky group generally and a lot of the recent johnny-come-lately variants are junk.
Check out Hilton Yam's recent & somewhat controversial piece on the 1911's reliability (many links to it on-line), in which he states, essentially, that he's thrown in the towel on dealing with them. :scrutiny:

All the ammo you name and many others I've shot through my S&W 4566 without cleaning, and it's never had one failure to feed, extract, eject, jam-in-the-ham, or other malf so common to the 1911-design. It's been 100% reliable.

I don't often carry a .45acp pistol, but when I do, it's my S&W 4566.

http://i372.photobucket.com/albums/oo166/agtman/SW-5.jpg (http://s372.photobucket.com/user/agtman/media/SW-5.jpg.html)

Just sayin' ... :rolleyes:

EDITED TO ADD LINK: Yam's piece is here:

http://modernserviceweapons.com/?p=6631

Here's Yam's concluding take-away on 1911s:

There has been an industry wide move away from the 1911 in serious training circles. At the last three classes I attended, none of the students were shooting 1911s. While I have attended more than my share of classes with a 1911 and finished without issue, I have seen plenty of shooters struggling with poorly set up guns. Those shooters would probably have had a more enjoyable time if they had brought a less troublesome pistol. When most shooters with modern pistols went to the line with 2-3 magazines of 15+ rounds, it could get really tiresome juggling 4-6 8rd magazines just to keep up with the drills.

It is easy to get caught up in the mystique and history of the 1911, but the design is over 100 years old, and we have learned a few things about designing and manufacturing since then. If you enjoy the craftsmanship of a finely built 1911 or you enjoy tinkering on your own, by all means continue to enjoy them. However, if training, shooting, and performance is your primary goal and you lack the resources, time, patience, or knowledge to keep after a 1911, then be realistic and choose something more modern. These days I spend much less time at the workbench fixing my training guns or having to wonder if the latest build or mod will work. I no longer need the 1911 as a crutch, and can now just concentrate on the performance.

:cool:

1911Tuner
March 11, 2014, 04:37 AM
Failure to feed or failure to return to battery?

A failure to feed means that the round never gets into the chamber. If it starts into the chamber...even just...it's a failure to go to battery.

In any feed or RTB issue, the magazine is always the first suspect. Always. For failures to go to battery in which the slide can be pushed or bumped into battery...the extractor is the next place to look. While excessive tension can be a contributor, it's rarely the sole cause unless it's really heavy. Deflection of the extractor...how much of the tensioning wall is showing through the guide block that it passes through...is the usual culprit.

The picture below shows an extractor that has about twice as much deflection as it should have. This one caused some problems. When it was corrected, the gun ran like a Timex watch.

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e243/1911Tuner/ZDeflection_zps7ba1f5b6.jpg

If you enjoyed reading about "FTFs in Remington 1911...typical break-in or sign of trouble?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!