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Ramp and Throat Job

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by 1911Tuner, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Here are a few pictures that are typical of a botched ramp job. Note the lost corner and the resulting barrel overhang into the magwell. Although it's apparent that most of the "work" was done with a grinding wheel, and followed with a buffing wheel, I've seen the same damage done with a buffing wheel and jeweler's rouge alone. It just takes longer to destroy the ramp.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 25, 2006
  2. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Picture #2

    Here is a side view of the same gun.

    Attached Files:

  3. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Picture #3

    Photo of the resulting hangup caused by the barrel overhang.

    Attached Files:

  4. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Stem Bind

    Here is another shot of the same gun that produced a typical 3-point jam
    when the incoming round managed to get past the overhanging barrel.
    Simple failures to go to/return to battery aren't stopped this early in the cycle. This stoppage likely won't go to battery by pushing on the rear of the slide. Looks to be jammed solidly against the top edge of the barrel throat.

    The gun was modified by a "gunsmith" who had boasted of his ramp and throat skills...and a gun owner is out the cost of an expensive repair.
    This one is non-salvageable, due largely to the alloy frame...and will require a steel ramp insert.

    Photos courtesy of M1911.org

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 25, 2006
  5. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus


    I'll go ahead and stick this one for all to reference and as an example of what NOT to do to a ramp. Beware of Dremel Dan. He's read all the articles and stands ready to slick up your feed ramp for ya.
  6. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus


    Now open for comments.
  7. Canuck-IL

    Canuck-IL Well-Known Member

    Pretty pathetic...looks like an anodized frame and the alleged 'smith ground right through en route to ruining the barrel setback.

    What was the motivation for the surgery in the first place? Or was it just one of those things "all 1911s should have?"
  8. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus


    The owner had bought the gun from a friend after another friend had done
    a ramp and throat job on the gun. Motivation? Don't know if it was done in an attempt to make the gun feed, or just done as part of a reliability package. The report was that the surgeon had worked as a gunsmith, and had bragged about his skills with ramp and throat work.
  9. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    Must say that you're posting some great photographs. As the say, one is worth a thousand words. :cool:

    To add: The real problems is the B.S. that any and all feeding problems can be solved with a "ramp & throat job," and a little "fluff & buff." So the cry goes up, " polish, polish ,polish..."

    Small-shop gunsmiths(?) often push this kind of work because it's easy, and puts bucks in their pockets.
  10. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus


    Than yewwww. I think I've got an old junk barrel that I can hog out the barrel ramp on to illustrate the rest of the story...since the two generally go hand-in-hand.:rolleyes:
  11. screwman

    screwman Active Member

    Thanks for the pics Tuner. I learn something here every day. That's obviously a what not to do.

  12. fantacmet

    fantacmet Well-Known Member

    As someone who is aspiring to just do anough smithing to work on some of his own guns in SOME area's (1911 triggers and most others will ALWAYS be left to a real smith, although I did follow a bit of stuff from a Beretta factory guy on improving the trigger of a U22 neos and I went very slowly and instead of removing material just did some light polishing and it worked, I wasn't aiming to really lighten the trigger, just smooth it up for a better feeling and lighten by maybe .2 ounce, and was successful, it's a completely different type of sear), this throat job is something I may consider doing some day if needed. So it brings me to a question about it.

    In order to do such a job, the best idea in my opinion would be to carefully match the angle of the feed on the barrel as best as possible, and go extremely slowly and check fit often until you are close to eliminating the the discrepancy between the barrel and throat. Then take care of the feather of the edges on the left and right, then finish up by hand polishing very slowly and carefully until the throat lines up perfectly with the barrel. This would be my take, and I would like to know how correct I am in this? Also if the procedure is correct but the angle matching is not that would be beneficial as well.

    I see this type of thing as only needing to be done if you need dead reliability of feeding of hollowpoint ammo. If you are having feed problems with ball ammo you may have other area's that need to be addressed. Also something comes to mind to check first if you are having feeding problems. Does the read of the barrel lift up creating a gap for the round to get caught on between the barrel ramp and the throat? Would this also be something more likely to cause feeding problems? The reason I bring this up is I had an old Tokarev 213 pistol that had some feeding and extraction problems caused by a heavily worn barrel. The extraction problem was obvious, the casings were getting blown out into a bowl shape, and hence getting stuck in the chamber(new barrel was being imported but got delayed so long by customs I gave up and got rid of the gun), and also with careful examination it was noticed the barrel lifted at the rear, causing the lip of a hollow opint round to occasionally get stuck on it, and deform the lip of the round with a nice little divot or slice depending upon your point of view.

    Rev. Michael
  13. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus


    Tinkering with ramp angles...barrel and throat...is a slippery slope without the right tools and measuring instruments. Eyeballing an angle doesn't work well.
    I can't see the difference between 30.5 and 31 degrees, and I seriously doubt if anyone else can on anything approaching a consistent basis.

    For one thing, the frame ramp angle and the barrel ramp angle aren't the same. Barrel ramp/throat angle is specified at 30 degrees, while the feed ramp is 31. Kuhnhausen specifies 35 degrees for a NM barrel ramp...likely to enhance feed reliability with wadcutter ammo.

    For another, the bottom of the barrel ramp isn't supposed to match the top of the feed ramp...feathered or not. It should sit slightly forward...a minimum of .030-.035 inch. It can be a little more...but not less.

    The problem with working on barrel ramps is that you can easily cut the top corner too deep into the chamber and undermine head support. Not a huge issue if the headspace is at or near minimum and downloaded ammo is used...or at least no hotter than factory hardball spec...but it often only takes a little too much to be way too much.
  14. Plainmark

    Plainmark Active Member

    Mr. 1911 Tuner...

    How about some comments on polishing up fully supported/ramped barrels like my Para P-14-45. Can you wreck one of them?

  15. fantacmet

    fantacmet Well-Known Member

    Ok kewl. As for the gap though I was referring to the ramop at the barrel being up away from the ramp on the frame, or it sticking back behind and not forward, but you reply does bring clarity and answers to what I was asking. TY.

    Rev. Michael
  16. Magnuumpwr

    Magnuumpwr Well-Known Member

    I am not claiming to be a gunsmith by any means, but I have no fear of tuning my own guns to meet my own needs. My Auto-Ordinance 1911A-1 was having problems with FTF, upon looking for the problem, it was the feed ramp, barrel engagement. I field stripped the gun and placed the barrel on the frame like it would be in chambering position and polished both together using a dremel with a polishing sand wheel. Now my pistol will flawlessly feed FMJ's as well as JHP's. From what I have read, I'm glad my project turned out like a dream and not a nightmare!!!
  17. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus



    >I field stripped the gun and placed the barrel on the frame like it would be in chambering position and polished both together using a dremel with a polishing sand wheel. Now my pistol will flawlessly feed FMJ's as well as JHP's.

    You oughta go play the lottery...:D
  18. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    I've seen other jobs that were done that way... :eek: :eek: :eek:

    The owners ended up having to buy new pistols... :( :(

    Like Tuner says, go buy some tickets... :)
  19. Wastemore

    Wastemore Well-Known Member

    I have to admit, I've polished the ramps on every 1911 I own(17 to be exact) and they all run perfectly with anything I feed 'em.

    I have to ask- Shall I also buy a ticket(or 19)?

    I'm using 800->1200-> 2000 wet/dry paper to simply take out the mechine marks and glass 'em up. It sure takes me awhile, but they look like chrome when I'm finished.

    Am I simply lucky, or not taking enough metal off to make any angle difference?
  20. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    Depending on how much metal you removed, and where your removed it from, you might or might not have damaged your pistols. Only an examination by an experienced gunsmith could tell.

    The real point though is that if a 1911 pistol is correctly set up the feed and barrel ramps don't need to be polished. If this was the case we would have never been able to build enough pistols to get through World War Two (or for that matter, World War One). Prior to Korean War very few gun owners worried about polishing anything, and the guns ran fine - in fact the complaints were far fewer then they are today. If one's pistol needs a polished ramp to run reliably it's far from acceptable as a weapon.

    It is noteworthy that most owners of Glock, SIG, H&K, Beretta, S&W, Ruger and other currently popular pistols don't seem to find the polishing to be necessary. Only some owners of 1911 platform guns are so obsessed. :scrutiny:

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