It seems I possess a "problem child" 1911, a Les Baer TRS. Earlier I had posted about my difficulty upon reassembly of this weapon.
This difficulty turned out to be a burr on the barrel leg which prevented the link thingie from aligning properly. This was remedied a couple of weeks ago at Thunder Ranch. The weapon disassembles and reassembles as it should. As well the weapon functions perfectly.
However, now the weapon fails to lock back upon discharge of the last round of the magazine (I thought it might just be dirty, but is not the case). It fails to lock when I place an empty magazine in the weapon. Yesterday at the range I even had Dan Flory put pressure on the mag to see if it would activate the slide lock to no avail.
I tried all 18 of my training mags (Les Baer 7 rounders) in my problem child and none of them worked (in that they locked back on the last round). The mags work just fine in all my other TRSs. However, this is the goofy part, Dan's Colt mags worked perfectly, locking back the slide.
Any comments as to where the problem is?:confused: :banghead:
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July 4, 2004, 07:12 PM
Assuming that you aren't inadvertantly holding down the slide stop with your weak hand thumb, it sounds like the slide stop isn't extending far enough into the magwell to engage the follower. Try another slide stop (from another 1911 if you can find one.) If you don't want to change it yourself, then a trip back to Baer will get probably get you a new one.
July 4, 2004, 07:35 PM
Kruzr, I had Dan watch my hold. I'm nowhere near the slide stop on my grip/shooting). I've used the same grip for some time now, so I don't THINK that's the issue.
Thank you for your help. So, is the slide stop possibly warped or something? I cannot tell upon inspection.:confused:
July 4, 2004, 10:12 PM
Howdy EL T,
Since the slide locks with Dan's magazines, it sounds llike your magazines are the problem. Weak springs...Follower out of spec or angled wrong...
somethin' to do with your magazines.
Do the Baer magazines have a flat, sheet metal follower? I've heard
that he's been using Metalforms recently. If they've got the standard
flat Metalform followers, you can send one to me to set the follower
angle and a Wolff spring. If it works, you can pay me for the spring
and order some from Brownells. I'll make a template for setting the follower angle and send it in the package with the magazine.
If they've got the round topped Metalform followers, you'll have to contact Metalform for the Wolff springs since they're proprietary to those followers.
PM me and we'll arrange it.
July 4, 2004, 11:20 PM
Tuner, Baer magazines are similar to another of your favorites, Wilson 47's.. with a plastic follower w/concave top and shelf for the slide stop. They have a little stronger spring than the normal Wilson's (IMO) and have holes instead of slots in the sides. Considering it's doing it with 18 mags and even when hand racking it, I'm thinking gun. If it's new, let Les fix it so if he replaces the slide stop, you get another one with your serial number on it ;).
July 4, 2004, 11:38 PM
1. Field strip the pistol, and then put the slide stop back in place.
2. Insert a magazine loaded with one round.
3. Push the round out of the magazine with your thumb or finger while watching the magazine follower and see if and how the slide stop catches it, or doesn't as the case may be.
4. A little observation may provide an important clue as to what's going on. If the spring's the cause this may not provide the answer, but look anyway.
July 5, 2004, 07:32 AM
Tuner, Baer magazines are similar to another of your favorites, Wilson 47's.. with a plastic follower w/concave top and shelf for the slide stop.
ARRGHHHHH!!!! In that case...All bets are off! :rolleyes: :D
Considering it's doing it with 18 mags and even when hand racking it, I'm thinking gun.
Maybe...It would seem that at least one out that many would work, but it's not unheard of if he got a bad lot of out of spec followers. I know of a
Loaded Springfield that hasn't locked open with any 47 or 47D that's been
tried in it...but will work every time with a Colt or Metalform.
The fact that it workd on Dan's magazines is a clue...I'm still votin',
magazines...and likely the followers.
Hay EL T! See if you can temporarily glue a thin shim on one
of the magazine shelves...about .015 inch should do...You might need to trim it to match the shape pretty closely, and make sure it gets under the slidestop lug. Use a silicone sealant so you can peel it off. Try it and see what happens...
Meanwhile, me and Kruzr will work out the details on the terms of the
Hay Kruzer! You got a mustache? :D
July 5, 2004, 09:23 AM
Well, if it is the mags, the Les Baer mags work just fine in my other 3 TRSs. 8 of my training mags have been ridden fairly hard during training (work just fine though), but 10 of them are brand spanking new, received them this May.
Last night I tried my old training mags, Metalform, and they do not lock the slide back during hand racking as well.
I stripped all my TRSs and put the slide stop thingies side by side. I cannot detect any variations amongst the lot. However, I really don't know what to look for, but did not detect any warps or unusual wear.
Old, little confused over your description. So, when I'm doing as you suggest, I leave the slide off???
July 5, 2004, 09:44 AM
The Old Fuff is always confused ....
Yes, leave the slide off. That way you can look and see what the slide stop is doing when you thumb/finger push the last round out of the magazine. This trick doesn't always work, but you may see that the stop isn't picking up the ledge on the magazine follower for whatever reason.
If it works, fine. If it doesn't we go to Plan-B, and see if the slide stop is able to move to the left during firing, and away from being flush with the frame on the left hand side. This of course would move the stop away from the magazine and allow it to not be pushed upward by the follower after the last round is fed.
I am wondering if a Colt .38 Super slide stop might be the answer.
Last but not least, and as Tuner knows, nobody makes parts or guns within specification anymore.
July 5, 2004, 10:18 AM
Old Fuff mighta just nailed it...Thinkin' the angle on the top of the shelf is
pushin' the stop toward the left and puts the stop in a bind somewhere.
Proper followers hafe a raised edge on the shelf that tends to pull the
stop toward the center of the gun. If the followers are angled down at the outer edge, or even square...and the stop lug itself is out of spec...that may be the bug. Do Fuff's test and see if it moves...
El Tejon said:
Well, if it is the mags, the Les Baer mags work just fine in my other 3 TRSs
Hmmmm...Okay. It may be a tolerance stack issue between the location of the slidestop hole and the follower shelf. Shelf .010 short...Hole .010
high...Bingo. Maybe the other guns have the hole low enough to get the
push from the followrs...hard to say, and takin' shots in the dark.
Try that shim...If it stops the problem, you have your answer. If not,
send the gun and the mags back to Baer for inspection/correction...
and I'll go to Kruzr and beg for mercy.:D
July 5, 2004, 11:12 AM
One time someone brought me a gun with similar problems. I tried everything. Nothing worked. :cuss:
Turned out the holes for the plunger tube were off, causing the tube to be angled down. The result was what you'd expect, but it took me a long time to catch on to it. :mad:
July 5, 2004, 12:19 PM
If I may ask in order to learn gentleman.
Besides I haven't asked El Tejon a dumb question in 4 days now. :)
Using a blue pen or my bees wax and talc concoction, apply to mags and slide stop on a gun that works.
Repeat with the Gun that don't work. Repeat with one of Dan's mags.
Sounds to me [tm] Something is slightly out of spec on the gun itself, slide stop is first culprit.OR something is not finished out to spec. Because you had to have gun tweaked at gun school, makes me wonder if the tooling was a bit worn before re tooling affecting tolerances.
Second thing is, Something else is in need of smoothing, mag release , trigger bow...is slightly burred, oversize and not allowing mag to fit as well inside. If canted, binding or somesuch, the mag and slide stop can't do as designed.
Grip screw to long catches on these mags, not with Dan's. Body of mag itself a bit wide. Something small and piddly to drive one nuts.
I'm only suggesting, because I want to learn .
There is not a Bauer shown in Hallock's Book, nary a one - btw.
July 5, 2004, 12:36 PM
El Tejon, if you have more than one TRS, take the slide stop out of one and put it in the one causing trouble to see if it locks back when you hand rack it. I'm still having a hard time with all the mags not working if it's not something with the gun.
I'm planning on keepin' the 'stache but maybe I could use one of them gun testin' dousin' buckets :D
July 5, 2004, 12:48 PM
I'm planning on keepin' the 'stache but maybe I could use one of them gun testin' dousin' buckets...
I had somethin' more in mind of keepin' half the stache...choice
of which side...:evil:
July 5, 2004, 12:55 PM
We to the part where we drop kick it ?
July 5, 2004, 03:21 PM
Old, O.K., I thought you'd keep the slide off. Makes sense but since I'm clueless as to fixing guns (I start this study in a couple of years), I wanted to be certain. I own two gunsmithing tools: hammer and a bigger hammer.
Kruzr, I planned on that, but ran out of time last night (midnight by time I got to bed). Other pistols are still in pieces on shelf in one of my gun safes. I'll be back home in armory Friday night (I hope). Git 'er dun! :D
I'll do that and try Old's test. Still calling Les tomorrow to complain. Man, I give up on all that custom cool guy shlock for an "off the shelf, ready to go " gun and end up with the same old problems. At least first 3 run like scalded apes. Should have gone Glock!:D
July 5, 2004, 03:49 PM
El Tejon -
I'll repeat what Kruzr suggested - pull the slide stop out of one of your working TRSs and install it in the problem gun. If the problem goes away, then you've most likely got a bum slide stop (perhaps chipped, worn, crappy heat treat?)
If both your Les Baer and your Metalform magazines fail to lock back, then I don't think it is the mags.
July 5, 2004, 05:54 PM
>> I own two gunsmithing tools: hammer and a bigger hammer. <<
Well ya' started out right .... :neener:
July 8, 2004, 05:35 PM
Sent pistol off to Illinois at lunch today.
On the phone Les Baer advised it was probably a bum slide lock. Will report back when I have an answer.
Why does gear hate me?:banghead:
July 8, 2004, 05:49 PM
My fix would be a 38 Super slide stop and some CMC Power Magazines. I would check the slide stop with the top end off to see that it'e running free and call it good! Very simple, very easy.
July 8, 2004, 09:57 PM
2 comments of my opinions.
1-I like all my guns to work correctly. If I had a Les Baer like yours I would send it back.
One double stack I own is set up to never lock back. I am probably faster with it than I am with all the rest. It has a racker. It is just a mater of gun handling practice.
2- I try to count my shots and never be empty so the slide is never locked back.
July 9, 2004, 10:49 AM
New gun won't run properly with old/proven magazines.
New gun difficult to re-assemble due to burr on barrel lug.
New gun should have gone back upon discovery of initial problem.
Now that it is back at plant....please let em know about the barrel lug burr.
Seems you paid good money for a do-it-yourself kit.
Seems all too common lately.
For the sake of future buyers, make em make it right.
CNC doesn't make better parts; just makes em faster.
Quality of the machinist determines the dimensional accuracy of the part.
July 10, 2004, 09:03 AM
Hmm...I wonder what Les will say once he gets to inspect the pistol. My money is on an improperly constructed slide stop.
July 10, 2004, 09:15 AM
Another thought just ocured to me on this...
Run a quick check on the gun.
Lay the barrel in the bed and stick the slidestop pin through the
frame and link. Leave the slidestop arm hangin' vertically.
Push the barrel down and back and hold it lightly. About two pounds of force is enough. See if the slidestop will swing freely or if it's in a hard bind. If the barrel is stopping on the link instead of the impact surface, and puts the pin in a hard bind, it can stop the arm from movin' up and engaging the notch int he slide. Even if it's in a light bind, it can slow it down a little and let the slide's notch get past it before it can pop up.
Four things will cause that. The impact surface in the frame is cut too far
rearward. The lower barrel lug is set too far forward. The link is too long.
The forward radius of thelower lug is out of spec....related to the long link.
All of these things will cause the pin to bind to some degree. The slidestop
arm should swing freely with the barrel linked down.
July 10, 2004, 09:32 AM
I think ....... (something that I seldom do) ....... that if the link/barrel were binding the slide stop in the way Tuner described, none of the magazines would work, and as I understand it some lock back the slide and some don't.
But check it out anyway.
Checking beats thinking any day of the week. :D
July 10, 2004, 09:38 AM
I think ....... (something that I seldom do) ....... that if the link/barrel were binding the slide stop in the way Tuner described, none of the magazines would work, and as I understand it some lock back the slide and some
You're probably spot on there, but it's worth a check. The unknown
factor in the equation is the amount of binding, if any...and the magazine
spring tension. if some springs could overcome the bind, they might lock it...A mag with a weaker spring might not.
And you do your thinkin' quite well...:cool:
August 5, 2004, 05:01 PM
Got the pistol back from Illinois today at my office, 1:00 p.m. EST via FedEx.
Les sez that he replaced the slide stop and cleaned up the burrs along the barrel leg where Ray Coffman at TR had filed down. The slide stop definitely looks new, and different than my other TRS slide stops.
I have 90 minutes open on Friday, around noon. Giving up on a sushi lunch date, but I'll head over to the new indoor range here in my fair city, test it out and report back!:)
August 5, 2004, 07:15 PM
So I get to keep both halves of the 'stache now? Hope the dousin' bucket ain't got any holes in it.
Les got to change the slide stop on one of my TRS's also.
August 6, 2004, 09:16 AM
Geez, what's the story with that, Kruz? Does Les not make his own parts???:confused:
August 6, 2004, 01:13 PM
Geez, what's the story with that, Kruz? Does Les not make his own parts???
The original barrel in one of my TRS's was springing and broke one of the feet. I sent it back and they refit a new barrel but the slide stop pin was undersized (diameter) and the frame and barrel were showing signs of being battered. I sent it back again and they refit the barrel and replaced the slide stop with one that fit the link. No problems since.
August 6, 2004, 01:47 PM
Every time I see one of these threads about some semi custom maker's 1911 going craps, it makes me nervous about buying one. I know there's a lot of people who swear by them, but if I slapped down that much cash and ended up with issues, I don't know if I could stand the language coming out of my own mouth!
Art's Grammaw would be chasing me with a bar of Lava!
El T......quit eating the bait:neener:
August 6, 2004, 02:04 PM
I'm slow to learn, but my mis-adventures with my Colt/Tompkins Officers Model has taught me a thing or two.
If it doesn't function as advertised/implied, send it back. If it still don't work, send it back again. And so on...
When you start jackin' around with it and trying various fixes here and there, your warranty is voided and you may be in for a long expensive road to reliability.
The worst thing for me is that, no matter what happens now with my OM from Hell, I don't think that I will ever have a level of confidence that I would bet the farm and all of its occupants on.
August 6, 2004, 02:26 PM
salty, I'm with you there! Over the years I've had custom pistols of all sorts from various custom gunsmiths. None ran and I lost all confidence in them and sold or donated them away.
When the TRS came out, I jumped on them. At last a good gun that's "ready from the box"!
The first three were, this one:uhoh:. It will take a few classes before I carry this one, if I ever do, may never carry this one, just use it as skul gun.
August 6, 2004, 02:57 PM
We all live and learn.
One thing I've learned long before now is:
To be safe you must be sure. If you're not sure you aren't safe.
If you don't know, ask questions.
August 6, 2004, 03:38 PM
I read somewhere last night on one of these forums about the definition of a 'retrosexual'.
It was kinda interesting reading.
It would be nice if someone could/would make a 'retro' 1911. No one would have to re-design the thing. Thats allready been done. Just build one that works. With parts that work.
You would think with the added momentum of Clint Smiths endorsement, the Thunder Ranch logo, and a healthy price tag, that your pistol would work right out of the box without someone having to use a Leatherman Tool to get you through the day.
I don't think I will ever get rid of my Jim Clark guns or my Commander. Especially now. My OM from Hell might be a different matter though. Just as soon as it gets de-greminlized, we'll see.
Ahh well, I'll climb down off my soap-box now before someone gets offended and kicks it out from under me.
August 6, 2004, 04:00 PM
I knew Jimmie Clark, and shot with him a few times at Camp Perry. I don't believe anyone ever had cause to question his work - at least I never did. But the base guns he started with were a far cry from what we get now.
In my experience a Commander length gun is as short as you want to go and still have a reliable pistol. Of coure there are exceptions, but they are exactly that - exceptions.
Even before World War Two, Colt experimented with shortened Government Model pistols. After the war they did a lot more of it because the Army was interested. After a lot of prototype testing they settled on going down 3/4" and not more. If you MUST have something shorter you will be far better off with something that isn't based on the 1911 design.
Oh, and a big-name endorsement usually means a generous price tag, but as you learned - the name doesn't necessarily mean a reliable gun. Reliable guns are built by people like Tuner, and their name - as such - doesn't mean zip to anyone except those who know him.
August 6, 2004, 04:11 PM
salty, yeah, you would think!:D At least I thought that way. So much for thinking!:D
August 6, 2004, 04:31 PM
The last time I sat down for a real serious thinkin' session ( I have to sit to think), I beleive I detected the odor of a slipping clutch.
Or maybe, the odor was a by product of just where I was sittin' to do my thjinkin'.
August 6, 2004, 04:40 PM
You're right about what Jim had to work with. My wad gun is a 1935 'Argentine' Colt. I don't compete anymore, but I understand Jim Jr. and Kay maintain the same pride in their workmanship that their Daddy did.
August 6, 2004, 06:52 PM
Snuck out of the office early and put 250 rounds through her without any hiccups. No problems with any of the magazines! All locked back like they should.:cool:
August 7, 2004, 05:43 PM
I was out in Chino Valley the other day and a guy brought in a Colt 1911 with a last round failure to lock open. I tried it and indicated to Don that it was a broken COLT slide stop. Don pulled it out and replaced it with a new aftermarket one which won't break. They had a bad run of these some years ago. I have seen a dozen or more and used to send them back. Took about 6 to 8 weeks and one would show up in the mailbox. One time I send two. They sent one back. Now they aren't worth the postage. I just use them to fit barrels.
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