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FTF with Norinco Commander

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by MaxSE PT99, Mar 25, 2004.

  1. MaxSE PT99

    MaxSE PT99 Active Member

    Hi all.....

    Went shooting today with the new to me Norinco Commander, and had about 3 FTF's.

    It always happened on the last round, the cartridge would get stuck on the feed ramp, about half way up.... I was using 2 unnamed mags, so I think that may be the problem.

    Any suggestions as to what would be causing this particular type of malfunction? Any solutions?

    I think I am going to buy some Chip McCormick Shooting Star Mags, and try and polish the feed ramp, to see if this will alleviate the problem. Hopefully this will work, as the pistol shot to POA all the way out to 25 yds. I was actually quite surprised.

    Hope I haven't bored you all to tears yet. Any respones would be appreciated.

  2. Preacherman

    Preacherman Well-Known Member

    First place to look with any 1911 failure to feed - magazines. If that doesn't solve the problem - recoil spring. I think mags are 80% of the problem, and recoil spring (sometimes combined with bad mags) another 10%.
  3. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Last Round FTF

    Howdy Max,

    Don't polish the feed ramp. Look to the magazine, like Preacherman said.
    IMO, SHooting Stars' springs are too weak for reliable function in a
    Commander-sized pistol due to the lighter, faster slide. Powermags would be better, if you have to have 8 rounds.

    Is the FTF a nose down or nose up on the ramp?


  4. MaxSE PT99

    MaxSE PT99 Active Member

    Nocinco FTF

    1911Tuner and Preacerman.....

    Thank you for 1) Reading my post and 2) Replying.....:D

    In regards to 1911Tuner's ?.......ithe FTF was bullet nose up. Hope that'll help in the diagnosis.

    I hope to get this problem worked out. When the pistol did fire, it was shooting great groups! Only problem is i got marks, not blood or anything else mind you, on the web of my hand. Maybe a deburr of the safety is in order or maybe a beavertail?

    You folks happen to know where a decent pistolsmith in the Harrisburg, PA area is? I'd like to get some work done, cosmetic and otherwise to this gun......

    Once again, thank you for the replies....

  5. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Nose Up FTF

    Howdy again Max,

    That's a classic Bolt Over base..aka Rideover feed, and there's a
    99% chance that it's the magazine spring...Not strong enough to
    get that last round up to position in time to meet the slide. The breechface
    catches the round in the extractor groove and pushes the butt-end down, and the nose up.

    Wolff 11-pound magazine springs will likely cure it for a 7-round mag.
    +5% X-tra power Wolff springs for an 8-rounder. Both available from
    Brownells. I can supply a part number and a toll-free if you need it.


  6. MaxSE PT99

    MaxSE PT99 Active Member


    Greetings 1911Tuner....or should i call you Johnny.....if that is your real name......:D

    Thanks for the real quick replies today, i really appreciate your thoughts. You seem to be highly regarded. I've been reading THR for awhile now.....

    It all started with my Chuck Daly ECS 1911.....sold it like the idiot that i was for a Glock 19.

    Bad choice.

    Long story short, I've decided the 1911 is the style of handgun for me. I found this Norinco for a steal, and scooped it up.

    Then I get these FTF's and I get a little worried, as I have big plans for this gun. Beavertail, extended thumb safety, OD Green frame, night sights, the works.

    I'm kind of curious, and I'd like to pick your brain for a little if I can.

    Is there such a thing as a drop in beavertail for the Norinco Commander? If not, who is a good gunsmith in the Central PA area?

    Any advice on mags?

    Which coating for the frame?

    Any replies you have would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again.....

    BTW, my name is .....Jon:)
  7. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Brain Pickin'

    Howdy Jon. Yep...The name's Johnny.

    You asked:

    Is there such a thing as a drop in beavertail for the Norinco Commander? If not, who is a good gunsmith in the Central PA area?

    King's makes "drop-in" safeties that will fit any 1911-pattern pistol, and
    they will drop in and work MOST of the time. Some require a little light fitting, and some few are a little problematical. Just because a part is
    advertised as Drop-In, doesn't guarantee that it really will.

    The King's Drop-In grip safeties do prevent getting the web of your hand chewed up, but look awful. If all you want is shooting comfort without altering the frame, they'll work nicely. I use those on pistols that I want to shoot, but keep them in original condition...but like I said, they look bad.

    A fitted ducktail...(I call'em that 'cause that's what they look like. Go look at a beaver and look at a duck and see for yourself).... isn't that difficult to
    do with a jig. The jig does cost about 25 bucls, or so...(not sure, since I
    haven't bought one in years)...and the cost of buying one to fit one safety
    may not be worth it, unless the personal satisfaction of doin' it yourself is
    a factor. It is with as lotta guys.

    Sorry...I don't know of any good smiths in Pennsylvania, but somebody on THR probably does. Throw out the question on a new thread, and you'll
    probably get a dozen responses by suppertime.

    Any advice on mags?

    Oh yeah...and I can get a flame war started by not praising the offerings like Wilson 47D/McCormick Powermag/Tripp Research/Name your Favorite
    Brand magazine. I believe in stickin' close to original design parameters,
    which means a 7-round magazine with a flat, dimpled follower, and a good,
    strong spring. Contact Metalform Company...They've got a toll-free number.
    When the option menu starts, punch 4 on your touch-tone, and ask for Ginny. The prices on their website haven't been updated, so they may not be accurate. Can't recall the numerical designation, but the blue steel,
    7-round magazine with welded base is a good one to get...Also available in
    stainless for a little more money. Ask for the upgrade to Wolff springs.
    Money well-spent. A group buy on 50 magazines will get you the discount
    and bring the cost per mag down to about 12-13 bucks + shipping. You
    may be able to arrange a group buy right here.

    Is there such a thing as a drop in beavertail for the Norinco Commander? If not, who is a good gunsmith in the Central PA area?

    Which coating for the frame?

    If you mean which sprayed-on, baked-on coating...I don't. They look good
    when you take'em out of the oven, and hold up pretty well for a while if your metal prep and degreasing step is well-done, but they flake and peel pretty quickly. Bottom line is that it's still just a paint job. Have it
    blued. The prep is your option. You can have it bead-blasted for a matte finish, or polish it like a mirror for a deep blue. If you go with polished, you can do it yourself and save some bucks when the smith finishes it up.
    All it takes is time, a supply of wet or dry paper in varying grits, and a piece of glass to polish the flats. If the slide has some pitting, you may want to invest in a bastard-cut mill file, and learn to draw-cut. Follow up with a
    smooth-cut mill file, and start the polishing process.



    Edited for typos before Old Fuff gets a target to shoot at.:D
  8. Bainx

    Bainx member

    I saw a full sized 1911 Norinco at today's gunshow in Knoxville for $249.
    Looked darn good.
    Could just kick myself for not getting it!
  9. Brian D.

    Brian D. Well-Known Member


    If what you say is true, well, consider yourself cyberkicked by at least a few of us here...right after we got done slapping ourselves upside the noggins and going "D'oh!" after reading your post...:D
  10. M2HMGHB

    M2HMGHB Well-Known Member

    Tuner I got some of the cheap military surplus mags from Midway USA when they were on sale for 4-5 bucks a piece. Anyways they had some Wilson Combat spring and follower kits so I picked up 5 of them, any time a mag has a problem I just replace the follower and the spring. I haven't had 1 problem with my Springfield Armory full size Mil Spec after that.
  11. MaxSE PT99

    MaxSE PT99 Active Member

    Thanks to all who replied!!

    Hi all!

    Once again, you guys/girls come through with some great replies to my queries, and for that I appreciate you all!

    I think I'm gonna give metalform a call as you suggested, probably buy one or two 7rders, and then maybe a few 8 just for S & G's. I think I'm gonna be brave and try to fit a beavertail myself.....hope I don't mess anything up too bad. After that, extended thumb safety, black STI long trigger. Can't decide if I'd like to send my new baby off to Wilson Combat or just keep the color "blue"......decisions, decisons.

    Once again, thank you to all who replied.

    ;) :D
  12. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    M2 said:

    bucks a piece. Anyways they had some Wilson Combat spring and follower kits so I picked up 5 of them, any time a mag has a problem I just replace the follower and the spring.


    MOST feeding problems are mag related, especially on the top and last rounds...and most of those are caused by the spring for follower. Although
    I don't care much for the Wilson-Rogers followers, if they fix your problem,
    I ain't gonna argue with success.:cool:

    Max...You're mighty welcome. I think this is gonna squash your bug.


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