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Aluminum feed ramp is toast

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Control, Mar 5, 2010.

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  1. Control

    Control Member

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    The aluminum feed ramp in my Springfield 1911 compact is toast. I really don't shoot it that much but it does get a hollow point cleared and chambered once a day and it has finally had enough. It’s a custom gun so it’s worth fixing for sure. It needs a steel feed ramp.

    I searched the threads here and found that Roger’s Precision does steel feed ramps and he is highly recommended. I would go with him But his website says he is not taking new work.

    Cylinder and Slide apparently also offer the service. Evolution Gun works appears to not be offering the service anymore.


    Can anybody recommend a smith our outfit to that can install a steel feed ramp along with do a nice refinish?


    Thanks.


    (BTW: This has been mentioned before, but new aluminum guns should just come with a steel feed ramp or even a ramped barrel out of the box given that everyone uses hollowpoints these days. I would look for either if I were purchasing a new aluminium frame 1911.)
     
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Sorry to hear. My L/W Commander has a gazillion rounds down range, probably 10% ish HP's, with no real damage. You may have feed issues as well. Something else to think about is all it takes is a little sanding to go through the hard part of an aluminum ramp.

    Many aluminum framed guns come stock with barrels with an integral feed ramp these days. Not a bad idea at all.
     
  3. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    Generally it is not a problem caused by hollow point bullets.

    The typical cause is from using magazines with the Devel follower, such as Chip McCormack PowerMags. The follower tips forward after the last round and gouges the feed ramp.
     
  4. tank mechanic

    tank mechanic Member

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    Do you know how the damage occurs? Is it the lip of the cavity on a JHP that is tearing into the aluminum feed ramp? Just curious.

    Why do you do that?
     
  5. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Is it custom as in custom gunsmithing or custom as in Springfield Custom Shop? If it is the latter you may have better luck with Springfields warranty dept.
     
  6. gwnorth

    gwnorth Member

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    Too true. There are posts over at the m1911.org forums of the damage these mag followers can do to an aluminum frame. The consensus seems to be that for aluminum framed 1911's, it is best to stick with polymer followers in your magazines.
     
  7. dom1104

    dom1104 Member

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    wow. I had no idea 1911s were so delicate.

    If I buy a 1911 am I going to be running into issues like this all the time that take custom gunsmithing? if so, maybe I will stick with CZs. sheesh.

    For a gun thats not shot " that much" to have a problem with a feed ramp of all things just blows my mind.
     
  8. Control

    Control Member

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    JTQ: I use Wilson Combat mags in the gun exclusively so its not the follower chewing up the feedramp. The previous owner used a Springfield mag with a steel follower so that might have started the problem but I doubt it as the gun had a very low round count when I bought it.

    tank mechanic: Regardless, the hollow points are now doing the damage. When the gun does jam now it is because a hollow point has embedded itself in the feed ramp. The hollow point I use (Winchester Ranger Ts) have a fairly sharp front edge.

    http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/P220ammo_files/image022.jpg

    Also, as I said, I clear the gun, lower the hammer on an empty chamber, and reinsert the mag every day before it goes in the safe. I do this as a safety margin in case I forget myself and accidentally leaving the safe open and my kids forget all of their training and start handling my guns without my consent or knowledge.

    earlthegoat2: Mark Hendricks, formerly of Hendricks Gun Works, did the custom work. The last I checked, Mark is now a Master Gunsmith and Tech engineer for Brownells so he is no longer taking new work from the public.


    Anybody have a recommendation on who can do the work?
     
  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Yep. I don't use those with my Commander. Sounded like the OP thought it was the HP's doing it on his gun. I could be wrong of course.
     
  10. Control

    Control Member

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    dom1104: When Colt introduced the 1911 LW commander there were no hollowpoints to chew up the feedramp. Now that hollowpoints are common we should have a design upgrade. But, if you are somehow trying to use a buggered up aluminum feedramp on a Springfiled compact to justify CZ design superiority over the 1911 you are far off the mark. But, lets stay on topic here OK. ;)
     
  11. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    I believe any 1911 gunsmith can cut to install a ramped barrel. Very common on race guns, and should easily solve your problem, and improve feeding and potential pressure problems.
     
  12. RogersPrecision

    RogersPrecision Member

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    Actually a ramped barrel is rarely a long term cure.
    The integral ramp only extends south to .315".
    Rounds can and will contact the frame feed ramp at .415" below deck height.
     
  13. Oro

    Oro Member

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    They aren't. You're just cherry picking a mis-matched usage issue to be a fan-boy for another platform. Ugly, ignorant, and unattractive behavior on the forum.
     
  14. DBR

    DBR Member

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    There are two (at least) alloys used for aluminum frames these days: 6061 T6 (the original Colt LW frames) and 7075 T6 (Kimber LW frames). The 7075 is about 50% harder and stronger than the older 6061. I have no idea what other mfg use.

    I have had good success with my Kimber CDP 7075 frame gun using Gold Dot plated HP Ammo. The jacket, being pure copper, is relatively soft compared to gilding metal jackets and the mouth of the HP is a bit rounded without a sharp edge.

    I suggest you call George at EGW (Evolution Gun Works) and ask him if he will fit your frame with a steel feed ramp. No matter what he is advertising, he is a pretty accommodating guy in my experience and if he won't do it he might be able to refer you to someone who would.

    In future I also suggest you use only Metalform radiused follower mags or Tripp Research radiused follower mags. Even though the Devel follower has been blamed for aluminum feed ramp damage (and did do it) regular GI spec mags can also launch the follower forward after the last round and scar the feed ramp on an aluminum frame. Also, Tripp follower/spring conversion kits can solve the problem with otherwise good mags. Just don't use 8rd mags. the follower is not adequately supported and will go forward and scar the ramp.

    I suggest you use a trigger lock or other security means instead of unloading to reduce the cycling of the action. Aluminum frame guns are IMHO carry a lot cycle a little - just MHO.
     
  15. Oro

    Oro Member

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    Checkmate has a new follower design that is bull-nosed, too. They have patented it; I have no personal experience with it yet but it is also worth considering.

    Wilson magazines with their skirted follower will also prevent this issue. There are a number of more-stable follower designs for use with alloy frames these days.
     
  16. DBR

    DBR Member

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    Oro:

    You are right. I only have personal experience with the ones I mentioned.
     
  17. tank mechanic

    tank mechanic Member

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    What you talkin 'bout willis? Give me one example of another firearm that this thread could possibly be talking about and I will let off. Any takers? I think not. There are a myriad of problems that only a 1911 could produce.
     
  18. david58

    david58 Member

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    The 7075 is better than the 6061, but I had a feed ramp issue with my Kimber. K said it was the ramp angle, so they buggered it up worse "fixing" it. I am now a steel frame adherant, and will probably be a while before am confident in Al frame 1911.

    Only problem I had with a 1911 was that pistol. It was a lemon. K ended up taking it back and reimbursing the dealer after he took it back from me. I carry a K, but it is full-sized steel framed.
     
  19. CWL

    CWL Member

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    If Mark Hendricks built the gun, you may still try and contact him to see if he'll help you out. Old time gunsmiths tend to stand behind their work.

    Maybe you can get Springfield Custom Shop to take a look at it also.

    Are you using JHPs that are brass plated like Remington Golden Sabers? A JHP with a large flat nose may be contributing to your feeding issues. If it can still feed FMJs, then maybe you can change to a different JHP with a more rounded nose that will help in reliable feeding. Maybe even go to EFMJs or the PowrBall design.
     
  20. TG13

    TG13 Member

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    have Springfield's shop look at it.. to keep warranty on it.. they can install a steel ramp and not have it cancel the warranty..
     
  21. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    OK

    ...so there I was shooting my regular cast semi-wadcutter reloads through my new Glock and next thing I know "kaboom".

    I'm pretty sure that's what Oro was referring to by "cherry picking" mis-matched usage.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2010
  22. Control

    Control Member

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    RogersPrecision: Interesting fact on the ramped barrel. I wasn't planning to go with that solution but it’s good to know that a ramped barrel might not solve the issue. Are you sure you are not taking new work? Steel ramp + new Novak night sights (current ones are getting dim) + slight barrel throat + new finish? Nothing fancy. Easy work. Good pay. :) I had to try…

    DBR: Thanks for the information on the aluminum types. Interesting. For either type though, now that sharp hollow points are in style manufacturers might want to consider putting in a steel insert regardless. I wonder how the S&W scandium frames are holding up.

    I could cycle the gun less but the ramp is now chewed up and needs a repair either way. And, once the steel ramp is in I am bound to go back to my old way of doing things because constant cycling will no longer be an issue.

    CWL: I don't really know Mr. Hendricks as the gun's previous owner had the work done. I tried searching around on Brownell’s site but I couldn't find an address for him. I might call Brownells but I would not ask Mr. Hendricks to correct the issue for free as he clearly did not have wide mouth hollow points in mind when he did the work and it appears that he did not touch the feed ramp or barrel at all when he did his work.

    I doubt Springfield would honor warranty work after the amount of custom work that has been done to this gun. Even if they would, that does not sound fair to me. Again, the gun was not designed to feed the newer big mouth rough hollow points so I don’t feel that they are to blame for the issue.


    Given that RogersPrecision is booked I'm going to give EGW a call followed by C&S. Thanks for the help and information.
     
  23. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    The steel follower doesnt damage the feed ramp, it damages the area immediately below the feed ramp. This is below the area where the bullet must feed, and really more on the frame of the gun. At least that is what they did to my LW Commander.
     
  24. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    As pointed out above, the mag follower hits below a ramped barrel, but feeding of the round would most likely be handled on the additonal ramp area of a ramped barrel. Wouldn't that fix the problem, RogersPrecison?
     
  25. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    I'm superstitious about deviating too far from original spec. I like full-size, all-steel 1911s using 230 gr jacketed normal pressure ammo. If someone asks me what I'm afraid of, this would be an example.

    No, this isn't an issue of 1911s failing to perform as designed, it's an example of someone MESSING WITH the design.
     
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