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Reliable feed, SWC in a 1911

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by agony, Jan 1, 2003.

  1. agony

    agony Well-Known Member

    My Kimber series I stainless target pistol, .45acp, will not feed 185gr JSWC. Even when trying to chamber from an open slide by hand. This pistol has had some ramp polishing and triggerwork, and feeds FMJ rounds fine. I use Shooting Star and Wilson 7 and 8 round mags. None work with this bullet config.

    I hear there's either a floorplate or a modification to the actual magazine that tips the bullet a bit higher in order to clear the ramp. Is this true? Any suggestions? Thanks!
  2. Wildalaska

    Wildalaska member

    Can you describe how it is not feeding?
  3. agony

    agony Well-Known Member

    For starters, the loads I use are carefully crafted handloads that work in every other .45acp I own. Also, they do fit the Kimber's chamber properly, and are headspaced properly.

    However, when I insert a mag into the pistol with the slide locked open, and slingshot the slide, the cartridge doesn't chamber. It seems to have a difficult time getting the bullet up the ramp....due to the SWC profile, I'm assuming.

    When I do get a round chambered (usually by hand), the round fires and the next round in the mag may or may not feed. 90% failure to feed from the mag....have to drop the mag, the top round is partially out of the mag lips, and usually falls out when I pull the mag with the slide locked. Ejection of the spent case is normal....no stovepiping or double feeds. I tried new stronger mag springs...no go.

    So, rather than change my favorite target load to different bullet shape ( I stock up on several thousand bullets at a time every couple months as I enjoy the reloading process), I'd like to go to bed knowing that my ammo works in this pistol.

    I read somewhere that there is a modification to the mag or the follower itself....cannot remember where I saw it, as the search on TFL proved fruitless.
  4. Wildalaska

    Wildalaska member

    First of all sounds like you need to have your ramp checked again...next...what weight spring are you using? Sounds like perhaps the spring is too heavy...lighten it a bit (whats the velocity of the load also?)

    And are you using a shock buff?
  5. martin

    martin Well-Known Member

    I would tweak the OAL of the round before I started to play with the firearm. What OAL and who's bullet are you using?

    With 200 grain SWCs I always use 1.250" as a standard OAL. Feeds in everything.
  6. stans

    stans Well-Known Member

    Most likely a problem with the overall length of the cartridge. My experience has been that the 185 grain semi-wadcutters can be very difficult to feed reliably. I prefer the 200 grain semi-wadcutter due to its longer length.
  7. George Stringer

    George Stringer Active Member

    It's likely that this could be cured by setting the release point on the mag feed lips back a little. That would allow the shorter round to 'pop up' sooner. George
  8. agony

    agony Well-Known Member

    I have been using both the Remington 185gr JSWC match bullets and Hornady 185gr JSWC-ENC bullets atop 4.5 to 5.0 gr of Bullseye, OAL=1.165", WIN or CCI primers.

    Looks like it's time to go to the 200gr lead bullets. :(
    Or stick with 230gr.

    No shok buffs.

    use the stock springs usually, though I tried with a 1 and 3 pound lighter springs.

    How do I go about doing this, George?

    Thanks for the replies so far. :)
  9. George Stringer

    George Stringer Active Member

    You can either experiment with careful bending of the mag lips or take them to your local smith. He, like me and many others, may have a forming tool that is made just for this. George
  10. Bob C

    Bob C Well-Known Member

    I had good results with the Berry 200 grain FP in my Kimber.

    By the way, the better cast SWC's bullets, such as H&G 68, are very accurate in any .45 I've tried them in , and usually feed well, but give me 1 or 2 out of a 100 hang ups in the Kimber.
  11. Penman

    Penman Well-Known Member

    The 185 JSWC's are notorious for failures to feed. If you want to shhot SWC's, go with the 200 grain versions. The Hensley and Gibbs #68 is a classic and usually feeds well. Does Hornady still make their 200 grain JSWC's? That might be a good choice if you want to shoot jacketed rounds.
  12. agony

    agony Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all of the wonderful info. Time to do a little research.
  13. WESHOOT2

    WESHOOT2 Well-Known Member


    It must be reliable; gun, ammo, gear.

    The sad truth? The 185g may never work.

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