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1911 Failure to eject

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Hotel_California, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. I have a Springfield 1911-A1 GI model. I have had this gun for several months, and have been continually plagued with FTE problems. These are either a true stovepipe, sticking up from the ejection port, or the spent case jammed between the slide and the barrel, with the 'business end' of the case crumpled by the top of the barrel.

    This happens between 10 and 30 times per 100 rounds.

    When I first got the gun, I replaced the recoil spring and guide rod with a Wilson Combat full-length rod, spring, and recoil buffer.

    Attempting to fix the problem, I have gone through various combinations including replacing both the ejector and extractor with extended versions, as well as putting the original, or a lighter, spring on the guide rod.

    My next attempts will be to put the original guide rod back in, and, failing that, to put the original ejector in.

    I also have put in a commander-style hammer and a beavertail safety, if there is any way those could be related.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated. 30% of rounds jamming is not pleasing to me.
  2. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus


    Sounds like the extractor is clocking. Case crunched on the last round usually? Ever had one to get stuffed back into tha magazine part-way with the slide locked?

    Extractor tension good? Check for clocking by chambering a round at full speed....slowly hand-cycle the slide to eject it...and repeat 3-4 times. Look to see if the flat side of the extractor is still straight up even with the slide. Look also to see if the flat side of the extractor is flush or nearly flush with the slide...or if it's sitting slightly to the right.

    HSMITH Well-Known Member

    Have you tried it without the buffer?
  4. This is irrespective of what round it is. This will happen several times per magazine. I will try handcycling tonight when I get home.

    as to the other question, yes, I have removed the buffer. The problem has not gone away.
  5. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    Tuner covered the obvious causes. The next one to suspect is a too-tight or out-of-round chamber. If no one in your area has a .45 service finishing reamer I would return the pistol to Springer and tell them too fix it. My bet is that they'll replace the barrel. (Or just ream the chamber). :(
  6. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Obvious Causes

    One that I forgot...Did you replace the recoil spring...and if so, what is the load rating in pounds?
  7. At first I used the spring that came with the Wilson guide rod, then I tried using the guide rod with the stock spring. The last trip to the range, when I had the 30% FTE rate, I was using a 16# spring made for smaller-cartridge 1911s.
  8. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    I thought of that too, but apparently he covered it. Maybe the ejector he replaced is loose?
  9. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus


    Ah! Okay. I see it now.

    Okay...Slide cycle smooth...or is there a tight spot?

    Extractor pass the tension test?

    Extractor hook depth .032-.036 inch?

    Oh! By the way...the 16-pound recoil spring is standard for 230 hardball.

    If it's an OEM extractor...there have been some problems with those off and on for a while now.
  10. Sheldon

    Sheldon Well-Known Member

    Sounds like the ectractor is not properly tensioned. The extractor should hold a loaded rounded under it with a 2-4 pounds of pressure. If there is no tension on the extractor the spent cases may fall off the hook during extraction. Take the slide off the frame and push a round so that it's extractor groove slides onto the extractor hook as it would when as a round were fed off the magazine. If it slides into place with no/too little pressure, you need to bend the extractor to get the proper tension.
  11. It slides into place with almost no effort at all. From your post, I assume this is a Bad Thing. Where and how would I bend it to get the proper tension? Do you have a diagram?

    Slide is smooth.
  12. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus


    I'll hafta call insufficient extractor tension on this one.

    Remove it and stick it into its channel butt-first with the hook facing the
    left side of the gun. Bend a LITTLE by placing your thumb against the inside of the extractor, close to the mid-point, and pull with your index and middle finger. Don't force it...quick bend and release...just kinda spring it. Try it in the channel. When it's a little tighter, check the tension like so:

    Load a dummy ball round...or a live round if you're REAL careful...from the magazine at full-speed from slidelock. Drop the mag and pull the slide rearward slowly just enough to pull the round out of the chamber, but not far enough for the ejector to touch the rim. The round should sag slightly, but it should stay on the slide. Shake the slide up and down a couple times. It should stay put. If the round falls through the magwell, the extractor needs more bend. If it stays put, reassemble and test-fire.

    If you get too much bend in the extractor stem, you'll get failures to go to/return to battery. Better to sneak up on the tension than have to straighten it and start over...so go slow until you develop a feel for it.

  13. Ok, I've bent the extractor as you described, and it does seem to hold the round a bit more firmly. I'm going to the range tomorrow, I'll see how it performs and post results. Thanks for the suggestions!
  14. Definitely different behavior. Its down to about 10% of rounds failing to eject. Most of these are actually from the extractor being too tight. I'm all out of ammo, so I will have to wait a bit before tinkering some more. But I will try and bend it back just a tad and see where that gets me. Thanks for the suggestions!
  15. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus


    If you're getting a failure to eject with more tension...check the depth of the claw. it may be too deep and not allowing the case to twist free when it hits the ejector. Depth should be about .035 inch, with a light radius at the bottom of the claw.
  16. I'm not home right now, so I can't check, but if that is that case, could I fix it by lightly grinding the hook to reduce the depth?
  17. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus


    You can do this at the range to save time.

    Determine the length/depth with a dial caliper to measure from the tip of the hook to the backside of the stem...then from the backside of the stem to the bottom of the slot behind the hook...and subtract.

    Shorten it by dragging the tip sideways across a medium India stone, or the
    equivalent. Check the dimensions often, and retest the function after every .001 inch. You want the hook to be as long/deep as possible while still allowing ejection.

    If the hook depth is good, and the bottom corner is square, swipe that corner
    across the stone so as to round it a little to form a light radius, and just break the top corner lightly....One light stroke should do it.
    Be careful to keep the extractor level when you drag it across the stone.

    If you do have to shorten the hook, the stoning will leave a sharp edge just on the inside. With the lightest touch, angle the extractor so as to
    just lightly dress that sharp edge.

    I'm assuming that the ejector isn't loose, and that the gun isn't experiencing short cycle due to being oversprung or other issues
    that would cause that.
  18. txgho1911

    txgho1911 Well-Known Member

    2500 rounds

    I have 2500 rounds through a SA loaded fte on last round magazine stuffer. Wasting the *-* brass on two sides. Relatively new and not as advanced as HCs. I noticed some slight clocking while messing with it but not on fast cycling.
    Tried the bend and spring to tighten it just a little and checked hook depth. .0303
    Are most Springers of late make fitting about the same?
    I have a new EB hardcore I ordered from reading Tuners words of wisdom. The new one as dropped in is wide open with absolutely no hold of any kind. Hook depth on the EB is .0423 so there is plenty to work with there.
    I don't quite trust myself on saving the stock ejector as it's SS with a B stamp on it. Made 2001-2002 built.
  19. Thanks. I'll give it a try and let you know what the result is.
  20. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus


    txgho quote:

    >Tried the bend and spring to tighten it just a little and checked hook depth. .0303 Are most Springers of late make fitting about the same?<

    Yup. Most of the ones I've been seeing run about .032 inch, which is the
    low end for reliable extraction in a given gun. There are some pistols out there that'll run without an extractor at all, and in those few, the short hook won't make a difference. For the ones that the brass has to be pulled from the chamber, the hook needs to be deeper in order to get a good bite on the rim.

    For overall performance in extraction and feeding, about .036-.037 inch seems to work best.

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