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1911 feed problems-- mags, ammo, or gun?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Alec, Sep 20, 2010.

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  1. Alec

    Alec Member

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    I bought this Springfield 1911 brand new. It had no feed problems even during break-in. Then I had some jams at an informal competition-- I chalked them up to poor quality magazines that I bought just for the event. I have since junked them, but I am still seeing an alarming number of jams even with the factory mags.

    It seems the rounds are not making it up the feed ramp for one reason or another (see attached picture).

    This also happens with a Chip McCormick mag that I have. Should I spend money on different high-quality magazines to see if that resolves the problem, or should I focus on broadening my ammo choices? It seems to me the factory mags should work, especially with ball ammo.

    I've seen this happen with 3 brands of ammo so far (American Eagle, Remington Golden Saber HPs, BVAC), and reloads.

    At what point should I call Springfield and have them take a look at it?

    Approx. 750 rounds through the gun.
     

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  2. TXHORNS

    TXHORNS Member

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    My Springers have always worked with factory mags. I assume you have tried cleaning/lubing the gun AND mags?
     
  3. ChuckB

    ChuckB Member

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    Don't buy any more mags yet. It's time to call Springfield. They're a good company, and will take good care of you.

    Chuck
     
  4. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    Is the slide stop engaged? Your pic looks like the slide is locked back, with rounds in the mag.
     
  5. Jolly Rogers

    Jolly Rogers Member

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    The photo shows a round positioned forward in the mag but the slide rail that kicks the round out of the mag isn't close to the round... what mag is in the gun in this pic?
    It looks like an inertial feed with a weak mag spring or a over lubed mag. Possible over sprung wrt the recoil spring causing the slide to jerk the round out of place.
    Joe
     
  6. Alec

    Alec Member

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    I cannot remember if I locked it back as a safety concern before taking the picture. However the ammo wedged itself against the feed ramp in that position in the mag.

    Edit: mag in the pic is the Chip McCormick. Next range trip will be with only factory mags. I fully expect the next jam to be < 50 rnds in as it's happened before, but I didn't take a pic.

    I'll contact Springfield to see what the service procedure is.
     
  7. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer member

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    Was the slide behind the round (in the proper position), or was it over the round?
     
  8. David E

    David E Member

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    take a pic of the ACTUAL jam for the sake of clarity.\

    It's odd that the gun used to work just fine, and now suddenly doesn't.
     
  9. boostedxt

    boostedxt Member

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    it almost looks like a mag spring problem but I would call springfield...

    joe
     
  10. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    Don't send it to Springy yet! This is a great time to learn about 1911 TS'ing. As long as you have other weapons available, of course.

    I actually call that a fail to return to battery, its trying to feed, it just didn't get all the way into battery. Usually I call a FTF, what happens when there is no round in the chamber, slide closed.


    Check extractor tension. Load a round, rack into camber, drop mag, lock slide back. Shake gun gently, deos the round stay or just falls off? Deos it stay on too well? Extactor tension can cause FTRTB. Be careful, use a dud If you have one.

    -Watch your grip, are you hitting the slide stop lever and causeing friction?
    -Polished ramps are allways a good thing, no harm in trying that.
    -Going to need Tripp/Wilson mags in your collection eventually.....
    -18 lb Wolff recoil spring time? Stock Springy/Kimber R springs die an early death sometimes.
    -How wet? Time to lube?
    -mag spring
    -polish the mag feed lips
     
  11. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Any time there's a feed or return to battery problem, the magazine is always the first suspect. Always.

    Going to an overly strong recoil spring is never the answer. Never.

    Since the gun started out okay, and started choking later on, we know that the gun is okay.

    Something has changed, and that something is most likely the magazine spring. For your 7-round OEM magazines, order Wolff 11-pound/7-round springs. Be sure to get the right ones. The +5%/8-round springs won't work in the 7-round magazines.

    Remove the extractor and clean it and its channel thoroughly...just for giggles. Be careful of the firing pin spring. You can put your eye out with that thing.
     
  12. Alec

    Alec Member

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    Thank you to all who have commented so far.

    I suppose I had already decided to troubleshoot (rather than send it back) the moment I thought to ask for advice on THR-- I anticipated the knowledgeable advice I would receive.

    I am more inclined to agree with those leaning toward a mag spring issue. The McC magazine is an 8 round and the follower requires less force to push down than the OEM mags. The jam happened on the 5th or 6th round, and the first few rounds are very easy to load. This would account for the inertial feed and the slide locking back.

    Several posters described other jams I have experienced. I know I haven't seen the slide lock back on the factory mags, but I have seen several failures to return to battery-- some by only a few mm. Could that be the extractor failing to hook on the newly loaded cartridge?

    I had a few stovepipes, factory mags. I believe the failures to eject were caused by limp-wristing. I have never had a failure to extract. My recoil spring is factory.

    My error so far was failing to isolate single variables. I plan to run another 100-150 rounds using only factory magazines with one brand of ammo.
     
  13. Jolly Rogers

    Jolly Rogers Member

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    That ain't the way it works Alec. The round is slid forward by the slide rail. It hits the release point (determined by the mag dynamics, good or bad) and slides up behind the extractor. The extractor is not supposed to snap over the case rim. The process is supposed to be controlled feed. The round is not released until the next phase of movement has control, mag lips,dimple on the follower, frame ramp, all maintain contact until the next control point takes over. This allows the round to glide up under the extractor and tip up into the chamber. Tuner is much more eloquent than me but if the round escapes control you have push feed which is hard on the hardware.
    Joe
     
  14. vikz

    vikz Member

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    Hello 1911tuner! where have you been?? I would listen to 1911tuner,He know all about 1911 and I mean every thing, he helped me one time a couple of years ago when i was starting the addiction to1911, he is a nice guy too..
     
  15. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Been kinda layin' low, vik. Keepin' up with the dogs has me busier'n a cross-eyed cat at a rat killin'.
     
  16. fastbolt

    fastbolt Member

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    Well, the shooter and magazine variables can raise their heads at the most inopportune moments. ;)

    If you first experienced this issue when you were engaged in an informal competition, would you consider it possible the slightly increased stress of the moment might have adversely influenced your skills and handling? Not exactly unheard of, you know. Standing comfortably and shooting at a slow pace can be a bit different than trying to meet the demands of remaining within time limits and changing body positioning and balance. Sometimes it may have an influence on grip techniques which may not be recognized at the time.

    Also, magazines are at the very heart of a pistols optimal functioning, and especially so with the 1911 platform.

    If it were me, I'd inspect the magazines to make sure they're clean, dry and in proper condition (springs, feed lips, etc), clean and lubricate the gun and then use one brand of ammo to establish a baseline for feeding, moving on to another brand/style of load as the first one demonstrates proper feeding & functioning in the gun.
     
  17. TXHORNS

    TXHORNS Member

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    Well more knowledgeable guys than I have responded now but magazines or more specifically magazine springs would have been my guess. Makes it much easier to trouble shoot when you have multiple mags laying around. Thats a nice gun though, if it were me I'd buy some Wilson mags as well as new mag springs for the oem mags.
     
  18. stork

    stork Member

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    +1 with 1911 tuner.
    "Something has changed, and that something is most likely the magazine spring. For your 8-round OEM magazines, order Wolff 11-pound/7-round springs. Be sure to get the right ones. The +5%/8-round springs won't work in the 7-round magazines."

    I had similar malfunctions with a couple of 8 round Kimber mags. I replaced the original springs with Wolff 7 round replacement springs and the problem never resurfaced.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2010
  19. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    With the OEM followers?

    :scrutiny:

    Interesting...
     
  20. Alec

    Alec Member

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    What purpose does the dimple on the follower serve? I notice some mags do not have it.
     
  21. DocHoliday

    DocHoliday Member

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    Call Springfield. They will take care of you on their dime and in a timely manner. I was very satisfied with their CS.
     
  22. FullEffect1911

    FullEffect1911 Member

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    I have a strong preference for colt's hybrid magazines, you can read about them here---> http://how-i-did-it.org/magazines/gross-anatomy.html

    In a previous springfield 1911 I owned the OEM mags felt rough feeding and then switching to the Hybrid lip mags it felt as smooth as could be. There was just no longer any feeling of hesitation during the feeding process. That made me a believer.

    Also check out to see if you extractor is on the tight side for tension.

    http://www.m1911.org/technic2.htm

    All credit of course goes to the authors of those articles.
     
  23. razorback2003

    razorback2003 Member

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    I've had the same thing happen with a SA 1911 Mil Spec when I tried to shoot hollowpoints. I had a failure to feed at least once or twice every fifty. The gun had 300 rounds. I bought it new. It didnt matter what brand of hollowpoints. I only shot 230 grain hollowpoints. I bought an 8 round Wilson mag that my local gun store had in stock for about thirty bucks and ran 50 rounds of cheap winchester hollowpoints 230 grain and 20 rounds of Winchester PDX hollowpoints 230 grain. Problem fixed with the Wilson mag I'm assuming.
     
  24. stork

    stork Member

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    1911Tuner,
    Yes, I used the original followers. After 25,000+ rounds through these 2 mags the problem never resurfaced.

    For Bullseye shooting I use 2 blued mags for slow fire at 50 yds, and the 8 rounders I mentioned for all my 50' indoor and outdoor 25 yd sustained fire. I have put over 38,000 rounds through my wad gun at last count and most of my shooting is indoors over the winter.

    I think the 8 rd springs were just too light for reliable feeding. Just my opinion, but it sure has worked for me.

    FWIW
     
  25. Alec

    Alec Member

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    After shooting the gun some more with only OEM mags, the malfunctions I've been seeing look like this.

    The round gets chambered, but the gun doesn't fall into battery. If I pull the slide back, the round stays in the chamber. The extractor is not hooked to the rim and there appears to be some damage to the rim of the cartridge (no deformation, just a slight ding).
     

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