Latest SA G.I. update.


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Pythonman
July 4, 2004, 09:52 PM
I've had a chance to run about 700 rds through my G.I. so far and in the process I picked up a couple of spare mags, a new Kimber and a used stainless Colt. The Colt wouldn't feed the 7th round until I replaced the spring with a new Wolff spring and it's still not a reliable mag for some reason so I'm getting rid of it. The Kimber works nicely.
I've gone back to reloading and picked up a new RCBS RockChucker Supreme (nice press) and copped a new Lee Factory Crimp Die in .45 acp to finish the rounds off, and my 200 gr. SWC loads are feeding fine now. I was seating them at 1.270" and I'm now seating them at about 1.240 with better results. Only one jam in my good magazine with that load today, possibly because I was using fairly light charges of powder. Also, I picked up a box of 230gr RNL and I'm seating them to about 1.260" with no feeding problems whatsoever. Still feeding factory loads with no failures except when using the Colt magazine.

Last week one of the plungers popped out partially on the thumb safety when it was engaged, locking up the gun till I pushed the plunger back in with a screwdriver. Then I noticed the plunger tube had worked itself loose so, I took it to my local gunsmith and he popped it off (well, basically it fell off) cleaned and degreased the tube and the frame and put a drop of red Loctite on each of the prongs and re-staked the piece securely back in place. While I was there the smith also tried hard to sell me some Novak low mounts, a Wilson beavertail and hammer and a Kings National Match Bushing. (Might actually do the bushing). But when the price for all of this custom work is added up I might as well be buying a Gold Cup and have two 45s.

I really like this 1911 and after much thought I've decided to leave it as is, small sights and everything and for a more custom 45 I think I'll just buy one already factory tricked out and save a bundle. The G.I. piece is really nice, a great buy and loads of fun to shoot. But it do whet the appetite for Beavertails, Novaks, Bar Stos, Wilsons, Ed Browns etc. etc. so keep that in mind if this is yer first or only 1911.

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1911Tuner
July 4, 2004, 11:18 PM
Howdy Pythonman...

Describe the "jam", and what is the Colt mag doing that makes it
unreliable? It's likely an easy fix, so don't chuck it just yet.

Try seating the SWCs at about 1.225 inch and see what happens.

Standin' by...

Tuner

Old Fuff
July 5, 2004, 12:23 AM
Let’s see …..

They use a forged steel frame and slide, but a loose plunger tube jams the safety on. And I suspect that replacing the extractor, and maybe the ejector is called for. Then there are the magazines that don’t feed unless they’re tweaked and the springs are replaced.

I wonder if the maker is aware that some folks may stake their lives on this rather sub-par performance.

The Old Fuff is going to go back into his cave and reflect on better times when guns worked from git-go as soon as they came out of the box. Times have sure changed.

Pythonman
July 5, 2004, 02:36 AM
1911Tuner, the jam with the Colt clip is sort of a cross between a regular failure to feed and a stovepipe, where the cartridge is trying to come out of the clip almost vertically and jams. It's not even on the last round anymore with the new spring. One thing I noticed which may explain the problems I'm having with the clip is that the feed lips seem spread farther apart more than my other two clips. So, any suggestions on correcting that would be worth a try if that's whats causing the goof ups. Otherwise I'll trade it for another new Kimber clip and be done with it.
As for my reloads, with the 200gr SWC I'm using, the base of the bullet is basically flush with the top of the brass with the narrower *cone* of the bullet being the only thing sticking out past the brass. Thats at 1.241" so going deeper will not give me anything to crimp the top portion of my brass to.
As far as guns working from the git go, I agree with Old Fuff, times were better before. I still wouldn't stake my life on any firearm until I'd shot at least 500rds to get better acquainted with the piece. If something is gonna cause a catastrophic failure you should know about it by then and can take steps to correct the problem. I guess if I wanted better outta the box reliability in a .45 I could have gotten a Ruger, Glock, S&W, SIG P220, or what have you, but I like the way a 1911 fits my hand better, I like the trigger better, blah blah blah. What little minor problems I've had with this 1911 don't amount to nothing in my book, and if I wasn't satisfied fully with the reliability of the piece I would count on my SP101 or GP100 totally without worry until the 1911 problem could be straightened out. Truthfully, with hardball 230gr FMJ ammo, I'm comfortable enough already to carry the G.I. without reservation.

Pythonman
July 5, 2004, 02:46 AM
One other thing about my reloads, the powder measure I'm using is an ancient reconditioned Ideal no. 55 which tends to measure lighter and lighter after every 30rds or so. Taking that into account, plus the fact that I was using a minimal amount of Unique to begin with could explain what might have caused the single jam I had out of 200 reloads shot today. The round that jammed may have been up to .2 grams light. I'm saving up for a nice Redding powder measure as soon as I can get one. My scale is a newer RCBS 505.

1911Tuner
July 5, 2004, 08:49 AM
He said:

I wonder if the maker is aware that some folks may stake their lives on this rather sub-par performance.

Yeah...This thing's been around for nearly a hundred years...Looks
like the clone builders would have figgered out how to stake a
front sight and plunger tube by now. Wonder why they don't stop
cheapin' out on mag springs too...:confused: I mean...How much
could they be cuttin' cost of production with a cheapie over a really
good spring when they buy their magazines in bulk lots? Half a buck
maybe? Six bits? Come on people! Get with the program! We ain't
talkin' about hand-built pistols here...We're talkin a little attention to detail
and correct procedure. It'll save you a helluva lotta return traffic on the guns for the guys who don't know how to fix'em themselves. They could
do it right in the production rush in WW2.

And lose those junk extractors that I've been seein' for the past two years.
Here's your sign. The extractor is a big part of functional reliability. Jump
your vendor and tell'em that they've been sendin' scrap metal and not much else. I won't even use an OEM Springfield extractor for a range spare, if that tells ya anything...

If you're not gonna check the specs on your ejectors, at least don't glue'em
in. Use a little tiny cold-rolled(cheap) pin so the kitchen-table tweakers can get'em out and toss'em in the scrap box with the extractors.

Okay...Rant off.
___________________

Pythonman...check a couple of things for me.

Barrel in the frame....slidestop pin through the frame and link...
Push the barrel down and back and see if the bottom of the
barrel is sitting forward of the top of the feed ramp. If it's flush, it needs to
be forward by about a 32nd of an inch...about 32 thousandths. It can be a little more, but not less.

On the rounds that make it part-way into the chamber...Check those for
a little crescent-shaped mark on the side of the case just below the case mouth.

Last...Does the gun do okay with ball and JHP rounds? Some pistols just flat don't like SWC ammo. If you want to shoot lead, there are round-nose
profiles out there that are economical to shoot.

Standin' by...

wally
July 5, 2004, 09:14 AM
If you want to shoot lead, there are round-nose

I'd also suggest trying the truncated cone Flat Point cast lead bullets.
These have fed well for me and punch almost as nice clean hole as the SWC.

--wally.

1911Tuner
July 5, 2004, 09:19 AM
wally said:

I'd also suggest trying the truncated cone Flat Point cast lead bullets.

Oh yeah! I like those a lot! They're an accurate bullet if they're cast right.
I make a lot of'em whenever I'm in the mood to fire up the pots and clean off the molds. 1.220 OAL seems to work best in my guns. YMMV

Tuner

Shmackey
July 5, 2004, 10:48 AM
I think it'd be crazy to take a neat retro 1911 like that and slap on a beavertail, but that's just me. If you get the itch to have things done, I think it'd be good to do that bushing and see what kind of accuracy you can get. That plus a good extractor, a tuned ejector, and a trigger job with good parts should make a super pistol that still looks right--and it'll cost you enough that you know you did something. :)

Pythonman
July 5, 2004, 11:27 AM
Tuner, I just checked the barrel to frame fit and I've got at least 1/32" of blackness between the feed ramp and the barrel mouth with the barrel back as far as it can go with the slide stop installed. Haven't tried any JHP ammo yet as I wanted to make sure of it's reliability with hardball first. The gun, with the SA and Kimber mags, feeds them 100%. It feeds my 230RNL reloads 100% with those clips as well. One jam out of 200 with those 200gr SWC which for practice reliability is just fine in my book.

The Colt clip was purchased used for $12.00 and is stainless and looked almost new so I picked it up hoping it would be reliable and in any case, guys will usually pay more for anything with Colt on it these days so I figured it as a good investment. Turns out it's a turd! Either I'll get a pound of powder, a box of JHP ammo or another Kimber mag in trade tomorrow. Then I think I'll use my SA coupon before it expires and pick up a handful of the $9 magazines while the gettins good.

Ah the old days, they're gone! What was considered everyday average run of the mill production back then, for anything you can think of, is considered custom, state of the art high end technology now. People just hardly don't take pride in what they're doing for a lot of reasons and especially because a lot of the hand crafting from days gone by is done *better* by CAD machines, and whatnot.

Old Fuff
July 5, 2004, 11:41 AM
Yup, and people that know the facts still keep buying the guns, crap parts and all .... :cuss:

Which is the reason the gun makers won't change what they're doing, and will (for the most part) remain in business.

Maybe we get what we deserve .....

The Old Fuff will return to his cave again. :uhoh:

1911Tuner
July 5, 2004, 11:47 AM
Old Fuff said:

The Old Fuff will return to his cave again.

Move over Old Fuff. The New Fuff is movin' in...I'll bring
coffee and maybe that nickel .44 Smith hand ejector for ya to
drool on. Rarely shot, and only used once to pistol-whip a drunk
between Norton and Coeburn.

Uh...Need directions to that cave.

Tuner

Old Fuff
July 5, 2004, 11:49 AM
Pythonman:

Concerning your old Lyman powder mesure.

Once and awhile when you are using it, take it off the bench, shake it lightly to settle the powder, then put it back on the bench.

Drop several charges on the scale pan to check whatever weight charge it is throwing, and if all is right go back too work.

Old Fuff
July 5, 2004, 11:57 AM
Tuner:

Go straight west to Texas, drive through to El Paso, and then pick up highway 10. For gosh sakes, turn south before you get to Tucson and never, never get close to California. Ah is in the third hole in the cliff face to the left ….. :D

P.S. Bring the .44, and the .357 and .....

tc300mag1
July 5, 2004, 12:13 PM
It would be nice if they went back to old days when most guns were expertly fit and finished but wont happen again ..

But on the flip side ill say that just means ill have to learn all the tricks to tune a 1911 when i pick up another one. Which i have a feeling will be soon

Pythonman
July 5, 2004, 02:54 PM
Thank God we still have gunsmiths with top-notch old-style craftsmanship to smooth out the rough edges of these 1911s and other firearms! These smiths are worth their weight in silver. Twenty years down the road the number of qualified and highly skilled armorers is going to be a fraction of what it is today. If I knew it'd be hard or next to impossible to get my guns fixed better than new by a good smith, I'd probably suffer with Glocks or Sigs or Berrettas and just deal with them.
Fuff, as far as my Ideal measure goes, I'm retiring the old boy to my antique reload museum soon and would never disrespect it by shaking it or otherwise intimidating it to work correctly.

Old Fuff
July 5, 2004, 07:07 PM
>> Fuff, as far as my Ideal measure goes, I'm retiring the old boy to my antique reload museum soon and would never disrespect it by shaking it or otherwise intimidating it to work correctly. <<

But (sniff) if the powder measure is an antique ....

(sob) What does that make me ..... :uhoh:

GunGeek
July 6, 2004, 01:58 AM
1911Tuner, the jam with the Colt clip is sort of a cross between a regular failure to feed and a stovepipe, where the cartridge is trying to come out of the clip almost vertically and jams. It's not even on the last round anymore with the new spring. One thing I noticed which may explain the problems I'm having with the clip is that the feed lips seem spread farther apart more than my other two clips.

Up until your last sentence I was gonna say suggest checking if your feed lips are spread too far, bend them back in to match the other mags and it should work fine!

Karate
July 6, 2004, 03:51 AM
How many Mags does the SA GI come with...local dealer says he thinks that only one mag come with it...I hope for 2

Pythonman
July 6, 2004, 02:36 PM
Well, just so's not to goof the Colt mag up by guessing how far to bend the lips here is what I did: I inserted the mag into a cloth lined pocket of one of my shirts, lips down and took it back to the dealer that sold it to me and explained that it was jamming a round every other mag or so and that it might not be a good match for my Springfield. I then explained that a new Kimber mag with the flat 2 tier follower I also bought there worked flawlessly for me so he swapped me even Steven. Problem solved.
The G.I. comes with one mag brand new, but it's a good one.

R.H. Lee
July 6, 2004, 02:48 PM
1911 Tuner said

I'd also suggest trying the truncated cone Flat Point cast lead bullets

Would that be the Hensley & Gibbs 068? I have a 4 cavity Saeco mold for that one.

1911Tuner
July 6, 2004, 02:54 PM
Riley asked/said:

Would that be the Hensley & Gibbs 068? I have a 4 cavity Saeco mold for that one.

Dunno...The bullet has about the same profile as a Hornady 230 grain XTP, and close to the old Hydra-Shok. It's a dead ringer for the Hornady 230 grain FMJ Flat Point Bullet.

Pythonman
July 6, 2004, 02:57 PM
Fuff, as far as my *old* Ideal no.55 goes , let me just say that when I got it (12 years ago) as part of an entire reload kit which consisted of an RCBS Jr press, a useless worn out Redding scale, Lee powder dippers, and a whole bunch of dies, components and a couple of hand presses which looked like they were from the depression, the powder measure was non functional. This kit hadn't been used for nearly 25 years according to the Preacher that gave it to me. I'm talkin' primer boxes made outta wood old. The newest piece was made the same year as me, the RCBS press circa 1965!
Anyhow, for the first 8 years all my powder charges were individually weighed on a newer RCBS 505 scale. The no.55 sat bolted to a shelf in my shed with extension cords hanging off of it the whole time. Then I got the bright idea of e-mailing Lyman about the old Ideal not working properly and they had me send it in to them to see what they could do with it. Well, I got it back about a month later, packaged in a new box with all new guts and everything but with the cracked powder hopper and old frame. It's been fairly reliable but, it's a pain to use with the silly knocker, and it doesn't maintain consistency very well so I'm just gonna quit using it. It was purchased new sometime about 1955 so I'd say it's time for the old boy to cash in its chips and retire. Powder measure lifespan must be 2 years to every 1 of ours anyhow so yeah, it's old!

Old Fuff
July 6, 2004, 09:56 PM
Pythonman:

Young Wippersnapper! :D

I got my no. 55 measure around 1950 - maybe during the late 40's ... I forget exactly when. Anyway although I have others that are better I still occasionally use the old 55. Maybe it's the way I use it, but it usually drops uniform charges, especially with ball powder. IMR powders are something else again. It's also just the ticket if you are loading black powder and don't want to mess up a better measure.

Still use a Pacific single-station press too. Slow to go, but it delivers very accurate cartridges. One time I took a 10 inch plate off the stand at 80 yards off-hand to show some folks what a .45 could do. It was partly the gun, but my precision loaded ammunition made a difference too.

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