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Got a letter from Springfield today

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by iamhistory, May 20, 2004.

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  1. iamhistory

    iamhistory Member

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    I opened it up and read the following:

    Dear Springfield 1911 Owner,

    Our records indicate that you purchased a Springfield Model 1911-A1 pistol within the past several years. As part of Springfield Armory's continuing effort to promote firearm safety, we are writing to warn you of a potential hazard that may occur when the 1911 is loaded improperly.

    Specifically, we have learned that some Springfield 1911 owners occassionally load the pistol by manually inserting a single round of ammunition into the chamber. This method is incorrect. The proper method, as described in your 1911 owner's manual, is to allow each round to be automatically fed into the chamber from the magazine.

    Please be advised that improperly loading the 1911 by manually inserting a single round into the chamber may cause accidental discharge. Always load the pistol using the magazine. When loading the pistol, always point the muzzle in a safe direction.

    and a few more comments after that and is was signed by Dennis Reese, Co-chairman of the board.


    Wonder what sort of stupidity happened that made them have to write this letter?
     
  2. anapex

    anapex Member

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    We got the same thing here. Not quite sure why they did it, haven't heard about any specific event.
     
  3. Justin

    Justin Moderator Emeritus

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    THE CHAIR IS AGAINST THE WALL
    Putting a round in the chamber and letting the slide slam shut is also a swell way to get a chipped extractor.

    What sort of person mistreats a gun so badly? :(
     
  4. lee n. field

    lee n. field Member

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    Ruger owners.

    That method is recommended in the P series manual, at least in mine. Different gun, I know.
     
  5. Treylis

    Treylis Member

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    Hmm, I haven't gotten that myself in the mail, but it looks like I might.

    I think the manual for Beretta 92s mention that it's OK to do this in them as well.
     
  6. shep854

    shep854 Member

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    Loading the chamber in that manner is very hard on internal extractors, since they have to bend in an undesigned way to engage the cartridge. External extractors don't bend, but pivot around a hinge point, so they don't get the stress the internal ones get. This is one reason some 1911s have been redesigned with exteranl extractors.

    I have seen it done (and done it myself- it looked cool) by competitors, apparently because it was a faster way to top-up the pistol than replacing the one-down mag or replacing the round in the mag. I don't do it any more, due to the stress on the extractors.

    Good gun-handling or bad? To me, it's bad, but YMMV.
     
  7. dleong

    dleong Member

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    Yup, I got that letter in the mail too. I wonder what precipitated it.

    DL
     
  8. dsk

    dsk Member

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    Usually a manufacturer wouldn't spend $$$ on mailing out flyers like that unless a judge ordered them to. I suspect some doofus found a way to hurt themselves by doing something not mentioned in the manual, and naturally blamed SA.
     
  9. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Stress Test

    Shep said:

    External extractors don't bend, but pivot around a hinge point, so they don't get the stress the internal ones get. This is one reason some 1911s have been redesigned with exteranl extractors.

    Shep...you may have just put your finger on the real reason for retrofitting
    so many 1911s with external extractors. It's not because it's a better
    design...It was because it cuts down on the warranty repairs.

    I've seen so many threads on so many forums dealin' with the incorrect
    chamber loading procedure that it's pretty evident that there's a lotta
    people who do it. The manufacturers were swamped with so many
    warranty extractor issues that they decided to idiot-proof the thing by
    usin' an external.

    For what it's worth...A correctly fitted and tuned spring steel internal
    extractor will tolerate the practice much better and more reliably. I
    can't help but believe that this is one of the reasons that John Moses
    specified spring-tempered 1095 steel for the extractor. Hard to believe
    that he would design a weapon for the military and not provide a means
    for emergency single-loading...and to compensate for the conscripts who
    would drop a round in and hit the slide release.

    Cheers all!

    Tuner
     
  10. MaterDei

    MaterDei Member

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    :confused:

    OK, now I'm confused.

    I too used to load my Kimber the 'incorrect' way because it was faster and easier to have a topped off magazine doing it that way.

    Now, the guru of all things 1911, Mr. Tuner himself (he'll deny this but we all know it's true), seems to be saying that it is OK.

    Is my Kimber's extractor one of those straight from the pits of hell MIM parts that everybody seems to hate or is it good ole steel capable of the stress. Or perhaps this is one of those "it's ok to do in a pinch but not recommed for daily use" activities.

    Signed,

    Clueless in Houston :)
     
  11. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Guru?

    MaterDei said:

    Now, the guru of all things 1911, Mr. Tuner himself (he'll deny this but we all know it's true), seems to be saying that it is OK.

    No no! It's NOT okay. It's just that IMO, part of the reason for the spring
    tempered steel extractor in the original specs was to allow for single-loading in an emergency, such as a lost magazine. In situations like that,
    anything that will provide even a remote chance of survival is paramount,
    and any concern over extractor damage is a distant second.

    FWIW, even an external extractor can be damaged by single-loading into the chamber and dropping the slide on it. It just won't be damaged as quickly as doing it with a non-spring steel barstock or MIM internal extractor. I've seen a few P-35 extractors that have been damaged by making a habit of the practice. It's still a controlled-feed design, no matter what type extractor is used...and should be treated as such.

    Luck!

    Tuner
     
  12. MaterDei

    MaterDei Member

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    Thanks for the clarification, Swami. :) No slide dropping for me!

    fwiw, I did do this with my Kimber probably 200 - 300 times before I knew better. The extractor seems no worse for the wear.

    Michael
     
  13. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

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    Years agoâ„¢, before I knew better, I loaded the chamber of my old GI Colts the incorrect way. I did it thousands of times on several different pistols before I knew better. The real reason I stopped was when I started reloading and noticed I was chewing the hell out of the cartridge rims.
    Now that I know better I don't do it.

    Now dropping the slide on an empty chamber is someting I figured out was probably bad for the gun long before it was preached from the pulpits.
     
  14. M1911Owner

    M1911Owner Member

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    (Thread hijack moved to its own thread)
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2004
  15. gharsh

    gharsh Member

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    To start, I got two of these letters. I have two Springys so they must have mailed them for each serial number.

    Second, my first thought was someone must have shot their foot off or worse. Would it, could it, be possible to have the firing pin build enough inertia to hit the primer hard enought to ignite it? Maybe from a worn out spring or something. My other thought was that Springfield has run out of replacement extractors so they are reminding everyone how to correctly load their guns.
     
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