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Interesting 1911 malfunctions today

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by jkittle99, Jan 25, 2013.

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  1. jkittle99

    jkittle99 Member

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    So I'll preface this by saying that I'm a total noob to the 1911 platform. I have a Smith and Wesson SW1911SC model, I've only put 12 rounds through it (all flaweless) until today. I went to the range after work planning to run a couple boxes of Winchester White Box - to make a long story short, I ran one box and went home. Here's what happened.

    I normally carry ZombieMax in the plastic-floorplate-equipped magazine. 8rds. No problem loading it. I tossed that mag aside today and grabbed the other factory mag (the one without the plastic floorplate extension) and noticed I was only able to load 7 rounds of WWB into it. Now I just wrote this off as 'gee, this must be a 7rd mag' and went on about my business. I loaded the mag, inserted it into the pistol, racked the slide and prepared to fire. When I was ready to fire, I couldn't pull the trigger. At all. So I removed the mag, cleared the loaded round, and dry fired the gun just fine. Suspecting something was just off, I tried again - same result, the trigger would not pull. So I cleared the weapon, removed one round (leaving 6 in the mag) and went back for another try. Everything worked fine. I went through about 50 rounds, mostly un-eventful, one double-feed, but otherwise situation normal. I did have one occurance of the 'can't pull the trigger' during a 6-round load, again, clearing the weapon and reloading resolved the issue. So here's my question - where in the world do I start to look to figure out whats going on here? It doesnt smell like an ammo or mag issue to me, I mean, the round is already in the chamber... but I could be wrong.

    I'm totally open to this being a 'dude, you're an idiot' sort of problem, but I don't see anything obvious I was missing. Yes, I'm sure the safety was in the 'fire' position.

    Thoughts? Suggestions?
     
  2. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    The only thing I can think of is you may not be fully compressing the grip safety which is preventing you from pulling the trigger. The fact it was those magazines specifically could just be coincidence to the way you gripped the pistol at that time.
     
  3. Max Gain

    Max Gain Member

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    The grip safety has goofed me more than once in 20 years also, though I would suggest locking the slide back and releasing it to load the 1st rd...You mentioned "racking the slide" and i've found that to be a not so reliable way to chamber a round. If you find this condition again, check that your slide is completely forward. The trigger will not engage if the slide is not 100% in place..
     
  4. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    My first thought also was that you were not completely depressing the grip safety...it is not uncommon when new shooters are trying to get a high grip on the gun.

    The slide not being in battery (fully forward) is another reasonable explanation and is easily corrected by pressing the rear of the slide forward. Check next time by looking at where the slide meets the rear of the barrel.

    Neither one of these situations should be impacted by the number of rounds in the magazine. If it should reoccur, it is important to see if it is being caused by the magazine by using the other one
     
  5. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Member

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    My first thought was a deformed mag that pinched the follower and bound the trigger bow. FWIW
     
  6. mec56

    mec56 Member

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    Didn't I read on here somewhere that bad magazines cause 90% or so of 1911 malfunctions?
     
  7. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    You carry a pistol with only 12 rounds through it, a totally unknown pistol in a totally unfamiliar platform?

    Scary.
     
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Yes, but just not that one right there.
    There is nothing in a 1911, or any 1911 magazine that would cause that.

    Grip it like you stole it and the grip safety will disengage.

    And that won't happen again!

    rc
     
  9. Patrick Gookin

    Patrick Gookin Member

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    Are you sure the slide was fully forward when you couldn't pull the trigger? If the slide isn't fully forward, the disconnect will be engaged, disconnecting the trigger from the sear. You will still be able to pull the trigger, but it'll feel like a lighter trigger pull and the gun won't go off.

    The reason I'm thinking this is because you said you could only load so many rounds into the magazine. It sounded like there was a lot of force holding that last round up. The top round of the magazine will stay in contact with the bottom of the slide. So, if you eased the slide forward, the pressure from that top round would slow down the forward movement of the slide. Maybe the slide wasn't fully forward when you tried to fire? It's probably just a coincidence that removing the top round of that magazine made the pistol function correctly, but I figured it was worth mentioning.

    However, if the trigger didn't budge at all (or very, very little), then I'd agree and say it's the grip safety not being depressed.
     
  10. jkittle99

    jkittle99 Member

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    It's new to me... It will earn my trust with time and rounds downrange. But to either carry nothing, or something that's in the process of earning my trust - I'll take the gamble on the new gun. But I don't disagree with your point.
     
  11. jkittle99

    jkittle99 Member

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    Based on the feedback above, I think the odds are in favor that I was not completely depressing the grip safety. I'm planning another trip to the range early in the week, I'll put another 50 to 100 rounds through it and pay close attention to my grip, and see if I get any different results. I appreciate all the feedback... and with time, this firearm will earn my trust. Right now, it's on probation :)
     
  12. Travismcgee

    Travismcgee Member

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    my guess is that it was a grip safety issue.

    I had a commander that was finicky that way

    With that in mind, give it a try again.
     
  13. rightside

    rightside Member

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    Like others have said, trying to get a high grip will sometimes keep you hand from engaging the grip safety.
     
  14. freq18hz

    freq18hz Member

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    Buy some Wilson Combat magazines, and throw the other ones away.

    -Freq
     
  15. farscott

    farscott Member

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    If the trigger did not move "at all", lack of depression of the grip safety is not the cause. Even with the grip safety not depressed, there is some small amount of trigger travel until the rear of the trigger bow strikes the blocking arm of the grip safety. At least there is on my carry SA and Colt guns.

    If the trigger is bound and not moving, the magazines, grip screws, the track in the frame for the trigger, and the trigger are all suspect. The trigger has to move within its track in the frame and a swelled magazine could bind it. I also once had a gun that bound the trigger as the grip screws on the left side were just long enough to force the magazine body into the trigger track area. The trigger bow itself may be the culprit if it has a burr. The trigger track in the frame is also suspect for the same reason.
     
  16. powder

    powder member

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  17. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    I would have tried the 8-round magazine while I was at the range.
     
  18. AJumbo

    AJumbo Member

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    Checkmate 7-round magazines with the hybrid feed lips and dimpled followers are manna from heaven. Even their increasingly scarce GI contract magazines are dead reliable in my RIA, regardless of the ammo I'm using.

    I try to stay true to Browning's original concept for the 1911, and it tends to keep mine running like a watch. As an aside, yesterday was JMB's birthday!
     
  19. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    Come on fella's, how does the "legendary reliability of Wilson Combat mags" or "CheckMate's hybrid feed lips and dimpled followers" have anything to do with the trigger not working?

    Certainly it is possible the OP left out some information so far, or perhaps something else is present that he hasn't noticed, but I'm willing to bet this is not a mag related issue.
     
  20. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    Before you do something that irrational, send them to me. I'll pay the postage and find a good use for them (and I bet they'll work just fine in my own 1911 pistols like they will in yours once you sort the real problem out).
     
  21. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    Unless they are the new Wilson ETM models, I'd rather have the factory Act-Mags than the Wilson 47Ds also
     
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