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FTFs in Remington 1911...typical break-in or sign of trouble?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Mitlov, Feb 1, 2014.

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  1. Mitlov

    Mitlov Member

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    I bought a nearly-new 1911 from a friend a little while back. He'd bought it and then only shot it once because he has several other 1911s and prefers his Kimber. I bought it with perhaps 100 rounds through the gun. At that point, I field stripped it and cleaned it, and have put 200 more rounds through it since that cleaning (in two 100-round mornings of shooting). The first morning, I had no failures to feed or other malfunctions. Today, I had four failures to feed.

    The gun is dirty from the 200 rounds and could use a cleaning. I've shot a mixture of Winchester White Box, Remington, Fiocchi, and one box of Blazer (either steel or aluminum cased, but not brass). All have been 230 grain FMJ. The FTFs were with Fiocchi and Remington.

    I'm going to give it another cleaning. But should I be worried, or is this just typical during break-in? If the latter, how many rounds should I go before I consider break-in over?
     
  2. MagnunJoe

    MagnunJoe Member

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    I had the same problem (5 FTFs in the first 200 rounds) with my Talo R-1 1911 until I decided to purchase 2 MetalForm 7 round flushed bottom welded mags, ditching the cheap and over sized 8 round clunkers she came with.... and since then, not a single stoppage with 200 rounds of Winchester cheap ammo. By the way, the exact same thing happened with my Ruger 1911, no issues with the new mags.
     
  3. bdb benzino

    bdb benzino Member

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    I wouldn't be too concerned, especially because the only malfunctions you had were when you shot the second 100 rounds when the gun was already dirty. It could be break in or it could just be tight tolerances in the fit. Good luck!
     
  4. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Member

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    FTFs are usually magazine related. Get a good quality replacement magazine and see if the problem doesn't go away.
     
  5. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Guns shouldn't need to be broken in. Why should anyone pay $500-$1,000 for a gun and be told they have to put $200 worth of ammo through it for it to be reliable. Chances are if it ain't reliable out of the box it may never be. I certainly would never trust one with my life that were not reliable out of the box.

    It would already be for sale if it were mine. I played that game a few times when I was younger. I finally figured out it was better to cut my losses quickly rather than continue to throw good money after bad. I've ended up paying gunsmiths and paying out more for ammo than guns were worth trying to get them to run. No more for me.
     
  6. PabloJ

    PabloJ Member

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    Quality firearm should not require beak in period. This nonsense must have been invented by someone who has interest in ammo company.
     
  7. Mitlov

    Mitlov Member

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    I'm definitely not going to sell it--I love the gun, how it shoots, and it's history--but if the FTFs don't go away with a cleaning and a new magazine, I'm going to declare it a recreational gun for the range and not a practical defensive weapon.
     
  8. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    Or, perhaps, call Remington and have them look at it. 1911's aren't made to work by magic. If yours is giving you trouble SOMETHING is out of spec. They should be able to fix the issue.
     
  9. RussB

    RussB Member

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    OP says he bought the gun used
     
  10. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    Still worth calling them. I don't know about Remington specifically, but the vast majority of firearms manufacturers will fix a defective gun - sometimes even those that state that the warranty is only for the original owner.
     
  11. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    jmr40 and PabloJ,

    What makes you so sure the problem is with the gun? The O.P. states it functions fine with Winchester and Blazer ammo.

    I always consider breaking in a new (and new to me) as getting familiar with how the piece works and practice.

    It could be the ammo, magazines or the shooters grip...but we will never know since you already got rid of it.
     
  12. Mitlov

    Mitlov Member

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    I'm hesitant to mail it off to Remington because (1) it's the only handgun I own right now and I'd hate for them to sit on it for months, (2) I don't think for a second that they'll cover mailing for someone who isn't the original owner (I actually suspect they wouldn't cover anything at all that isn't a safety issue), (3) I could likely buy a couple of nicer magazines for the cost of mailing, and (4) I'd be taking it to a local gunsmith in the near future anyway to get an ambidextrous safety added.

    I was going to give the gun a thorough cleaning to see if that did it, but if not, is there anything else I should try besides different magazines? I've heard people in other threads mention polishing the feed ramp...is that something I should look into as long as it's going into a gunsmith for the ambi safety? Any other potential culprits for FTFs that I should be aware of?

    Also, any recommendations for quality 1911 magazines? Wilson Combat 47D? Anyone else? (edit: I see MetalForm was recommended above)
     
  13. Oldman1151

    Oldman1151 Member

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    I would start with a good cleaning and lube before spending any money on anything.
     
  14. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    Step 1) Clean the gun.

    Step2) only use one kind of quality ammo (cheap under powered ammo may not cycle the gun correctly) It's a Remington gun so I figure they make it run with their ammo so use that.

    3) Try a Wilson Combat Mag

    I have not seen a Rem mag so can not say good or bad but I use Wilson Combat in my 1911's They always works and no failures due to them.

    As mention many failure to feeds in 1911's are magazine related. they also can be caused by recoil springs and numerous other things.
     
  15. moxie

    moxie Member

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    Agree on the clean and lube.

    The gun should be able to fire any type of name brand ammo, including Fiocci and Remington.

    I like Checkmate mags. Skirted, hybrid, high performance spring. Decent price. See here:
    http://www.topgunsupply.com/check-mate-.45acp-7rd-ss-hybrid-cmf-full-size-1911-magazine.html

    Rule 3, Have you some specific examples of "cheap under powered ammo?" Has this been determined by chrono tests? I buy all the cheap stuff at Walmart and it goes bang all the time in all my guns, .45acp and 9mm for that matter. I need to do a chrono test of .45acp but just did finish one on 9mm. See post to thread on Underpowered Winchester ammo in General Handgun Discussion.
     
  16. Mitlov

    Mitlov Member

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    I'll give it a thorough cleaning this week.

    The Remington mags don't strike me as particularly high-quality, though I don't have a lot of frame of reference. Since I've only got two mags at the current time, buying a Wilson Combat 47D is a pretty low-risk experiment. If the problem isn't mag-related...well, now I've got three mags instead of two, which isn't a bad deal at all.

    I won't do anything else until having another chance to put a few boxes of ammo through the gun and seeing if the cleaning (and likely a new mag) cure the FTF issue.
     
  17. Fred_G

    Fred_G Member

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    How does the feed ramp look?

    I bought one new, and it was rough as heck. I called Remington, and they offered to send me a couple of new mags to try. I explained that I had tried the gun with several mags.

    They sent me a bag, I shipped it to them, had it back in like 10 days. Painless. And the gun now works with aftermarket and stock mags.

    Hey, it is worth a phone call or email. I think big green is lacking a little on qc, but they have great customer service. Give them a shot to fix it.
     
  18. StrutStopper

    StrutStopper Member

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    I know you're talking about a Remington 1911, but this past Saturday my friend was shooting his Ruger SR1911 in the lane next to me. He was having FTF trouble with both of his factory magazines, he was thinking it was the gun. I handed him a Wilson Combat ETM and told him to give it a try. No more FTFs. He went home and ordered two Wilson Combat mags.
     
  19. Drail

    Drail Member

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    90% of feed problems in any semi auto pistol are caused by an out spec magazine/magazine spring or a magcatch that is not holding the magazine at the correct height, a roughly finished and/or improperly tensioned extractor (probably the most common problem), or ammo that is out of spec. Check your extractor first. Then try a different magazine. The last possibility is a feed ramp that was cut at the wrong angle or too far forward or back. A barrel ramp can also be miscut or shaped wrong and hang up rounds. A good smith should be able to diagnose and fix the problem. Sending the gun back to the manufacturer will only work if they have your magazines and ammo to test with. They might find the problem or they might send it back with a note saying the gun is in spec.
     
  20. SC Shooter

    SC Shooter Member

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    I have a Remington R1911s and had one F.T.E. in the first 50 rounds fired, and it was the last round in the magazine. So far I have put several hundred rounds through it since then with a variety of range ammo, and reloads, and all is well. I have read that some Remingtons need a bit of a breakin period. Apparently mine didn't.
     
  21. 340PD

    340PD Member

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    "Breaking in" is a term that some understand but most don't. As BSA1 said, it is you and your new gun working together.

    I once has a Les Baer that I could hardly draw back the slide when it was new. Shoot the **** out of it they said. The slide and frame melted into a thing of beauty after a few boxes of ammo.

    New shooters come into our range and they literally cannot jamb more than 6 rounds into their new M&P Shield mags. Leave one fully loaded overnight and end of problem.

    Triggers, slides, extractors, sears, and rifling, all get smoother after use. To
    me, that is "break in"

    I would lube the heck out of your gun, borrow or pick up a pair of Wilson mags, and give it another go.
     
  22. gc70

    gc70 Member

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    Clean your gun, but remember that it is not a Glock that runs on 4 drops of oil; 1911s run better when a bit wetter.

    The much-discussed break-in period is either a confidence-building phase if your gun is working right or an observation and diagnosis period if your gun has problems.

    If you continue to have problems, make careful note of exactly what is wrong. What type of ammo, which mag, round number in the mag, how the round is positioned when it does not feed, etc., are all valuable pieces of information to determine what is causing a problem.
     
  23. Mitlov

    Mitlov Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I definitely leave it very heavily lubricated. Though right now I'm just using a spray-on gun oil...do I need to use some sort of grease or thicker lubricant as well? I found a great video by Hickok45 on how to field-strip it, but he doesn't describe what he uses to clean and lubricate (I use copious amounts of gun oil, plus shotgun patches, plus Q-tips).
     
  24. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    Amen, brother.
     
  25. domyalex

    domyalex Member

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    I'd avoid spray on oils. I had lots of issues when using Rem dry lube in my 1911. Switched to Hoppes oil and it has been reliable to thousand of rounds since.
     
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