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Mags binding in mag well...

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by tetchaje1, Jun 14, 2004.

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  1. tetchaje1

    tetchaje1 Member

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    Hello all. I took ownership of a NIB Trojan 5.0 that was made in 1999 that came with ramped bull barrels in both 40Super and 45ACP. I took her out to the range for her maiden voyage and she shot like a champ (though I did have to adjust the rear sight waaaaaay up to get her to shoot POA).

    My only question is about the mag well. I can only fit the factory supplied MecGar in the gun. All of the other mags that I have tried -- Shooting Stars, Wolffs, MecGars, Metalforms, factory Colt, and Dan Wesson OEM (like Kimber) all bind up in the mag well, leaving about 1/4" of the mag sticking out of the bottom of the gun. After shooting a couple of hundred rounds through the STI with the supplied mag (flawless, BTW), I could fit in the CDNN MecGars, but they still wouldn't engage the mag catch. All of the other mags still bind in the mag well and require a lot of force to pull them out after they bind up.

    I have compared all of the magazines and all of them look exactly the same as the MecGar supplied by STI. I would definitely like to have more than one magazine work in my rather expensive new gun, especially considering that it is a 1911, so I am wondering if any of you have any suggestions.
     
  2. HSMITH

    HSMITH Member

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    Loosen the top two grip screws, in fact take them out. Try to insert a problem mag and get back with us.
     
  3. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    re: In a Bind

    HSMITH said:

    Loosen the top two grip screws, in fact take them out. Try to insert a problem mag and get back with us.

    Yeppers. If that don't cure it, have a look-see into the magwell
    to see if the bushings are protruding.

    Color the mags with a felt-tipped marker and see if it's the trigger bow.
    If it is, take the triggre out and see if the bow is...bowed.

    Not likely all the magazines that you tried are out-of-spec.

    Standin' by...

    The Smith & Tuner Team:cool:
     
  4. tetchaje1

    tetchaje1 Member

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    Will do.

    I first thought that the mags were impacting the trigger bow, but the tops of all of the problem mags clear it. The odd thing is that the mag release button binds quite tightly when the mags get stuck, and the CDNN MecGars fit in the magwell, without binding the mag release, but don't fully seat.

    I honestly can't see any difference between the factory-supplied mag and all of the other mags that I have, though I haven't taken a caliper to them. I'll try loosening (or removing) the top screws to see if that is the problem.

    BTW, do I need a special tool to loosen/remove the bushings from the frame?
     
  5. lycanthrope

    lycanthrope Member

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    Color that mag with a blue sharpie!

    Insert.

    Insert again.

    Check rub marks.
     
  6. tetchaje1

    tetchaje1 Member

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    I removed the grip screws and tried again with the same results. The CDNN Mecgars still insert into the magwell without binding, but don't insert deeply enough to engage the mag catch, non-Mecgar mags bind in the magwell, and the factory supplied Mecgar inserts perfectly. Feeling around in the magwell did not reveal any protrusions into the frame by either the bushings or the screws.

    I think that the problem may be related to the trigger bow, though. It looks like it sits flush with the frame on one side, but looks like it sticks out past the bow-slot (for lack of a better term) in the frame by a hair's width. The distance is so small that I didn't think anything of it previously, but if the trigger bow has to bend out into the bow-slot to let a mag pass then it could be a cause for the resistance. It confuses me, though, because of the tighness of the bind of the mags in the magwell. I really have to pull to get them back out if I insert them far enough to bind. It would seem like the spring tension of the trigger bow would be a smaller force than what I have to use to pull the mags out.
     
  7. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Still Binding

    Sounds like somethin's outta spec...Let's eliminate one. Remove the
    mag catch and stick one in...If you don't know how , sing out.
    Easy to do.

    Standin' by...

    Tuner
     
  8. tetchaje1

    tetchaje1 Member

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    Tuner,
    I've never removed the mag catch. Can I find that information by doing a search here? I'm assuming that it is probably pretty simple (remove screw on right side of mag catch, do sommersault #1, twist #2, and it is done...).
     
  9. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Mag Catch

    Nope...That's not a screw. It's a cam lock that has a screwdriver slot.
    To remove the catch, push in on the button slowly as you put light,
    counter-clockwise pressure on the "screw". You may have to let the
    button move in and out a little...and work the screw back and forth before
    you find the takedown point...but when you do, the lock will make about
    a quarter turn, and the catch will slide out. Turning harder won't help.
    When it hits the sweet spot, it will turn easily. It may take you a few minutes to find it the first time...Keep tryin'.

    Luck!

    Tuner
     
  10. tetchaje1

    tetchaje1 Member

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    Tuner,
    Thanks. I was searching around here, but that was a quick and easy set of instructions. I'll give her a try when I get home later today.
    Best. :)
     
  11. Lochaber

    Lochaber Member

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    I have no idea if your problem is the same the one I had with my springfield and CMC mags, but I know it can be maddening. In my case I ended up stripping the gun down bare, taking the mag apart and using a blue magic marker. In my case it turned out that all my CMC Shooting stars had the feed lips a very small bit too far apart and they were binding on the frame above the trigger bow. A bit of pressure from my Leatherman cured that problem fast.

    Just something else to look out for.

    Loch
     
  12. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

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    Remove the slide. Will the magazine fit?

    Does it have an extended extractor? If so make sure the magazine isn't bumping against the extractor?
    I've come across more than a couple of Commander clones that needed the ejector relieved to clear magazines.
     
  13. tetchaje1

    tetchaje1 Member

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    OK. I had a chance today to play with the gun and here are the results.

    I removed the mag catch and the Shooting Star magazine will now fit in the mag well without binding. However, they do not fully seat in the magwell, leaving about 1/16" from the top of the mag to the ejector. The factory-supplied MecGar seats just a hair's width away from the ejector. I figure that the Shooting Star is not seating fully because the finger lip at the bottom front of the mag is also not fully engaging the slot at the bottom front of the grip -- again, by about 1/16". The mag slides in and out without any resistance, but feels like it is hitting something when it stops.

    The CDNN MecGars still do not seat fully in the magwell. They feel like they are still binding in the mag well. I am kind of suspecting that these MecGars may have feed lips that are too wide or something, but I don't know. I'll have to see if I can track down some calipers. I'm not at home, do I didn't try out any other mags so far.

    BTW, Tuner, thanks for the instructions. The mag catch removal was a snap. :)

    BluesBear,
    That was my first thought, but removing the slide has had no effect on how the mags insert into the mag well.
     
  14. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Mag Woes

    Okay...Now we've got it narrowed down a little...Sounds like the shelf on the mag catch is on the long side of tolerance. A different catch may fix it...or a little careful work with a scrape. Good news is, that if you kill it, they're only about 18 bucks from Brownells. Look at the front radius of the magazines near the rectangular hole for a scrape or a burr being kicked up. Dress it with a file if it's there. Smooth the underside and front of the catch shelf with 320-grit paper and see if it gets better. Go slow...

    The width at the top of the magazine, on the straight sides of the feed lips
    should be .530-.540 inch with a round in the magazine. Don't squeeze it in a vise if it's wide. Put a dummy round in the magazine, lay the mag flat on a concrete surface and rap it with a hammer. Be careful to hit flat with the hammer head. Alternate sides for each whack...and don't hit it too hard.

    The resistance that you feel on that last bit is probably the top round bearing against the slide...Remove the slide and see if it's still there.

    Also possible that the round is contacting the ejector. Check for that with the slide off. A little relieving on the ejector in the contact area may be necessary.

    Standin' by..

    Tuner
     
  15. tetchaje1

    tetchaje1 Member

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    Tuner,
    Thanks for the quick reply.

    I did all of this with empty mags and the slide assembly removed. It feels like the mag is contacting something in the frame. The back of the feed lip on the CMC Shooting Stars is what is 1/16 inch from the ejector. The mag supplied by the factory is much closer to the bottom of the ejector than this.
     
  16. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Hmmm

    You said:

    It feels like the mag is contacting something in the frame.

    Mag catch in or out? Catch in...it's probably the magazine camming the catch open to let it in. Catch out...Maybe the back of the magazine is dragging on the disconnector as it goes past it. Slide off...Look into
    the magwell with a good light and see you can see the corner of the disconnect protruding through the hole in the back of the well.

    If the shelf on the catch is too long, or incorrectly radiused, it will put excessive drag on the magazine. Check the mag for burrs or deep scratches on the front.

    Put a round in the magazine...slide off...push it home and see if the cartridge contacts the ejector.
     
  17. tetchaje1

    tetchaje1 Member

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    Tuner,
    Catch out, slide off. I'll have a look at the disconnector and try inserting a mag with a round in it tomorrow. Thanks again. :)
     
  18. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

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    Probably nothing but have you checked to make sure that the slot in the lower edge of the grip is wide enough to clear the front lip of the magazine floorplate? And that there are no burrs on the inside edge?
     
  19. sm

    sm member

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    Something is binding somewhere for sure.

    Have you tried other mags?

    Ok put down the blue sharpie. Go to a sewing/fabric store and buy some bees wax, then rub bees wax inside the magwell, and all inside. Dust with talc ( baby powder), blow excess talc away with light breath.

    Now insert mag - what is now marked by insertion of mag?

    I know it sounds nuts, but bees wax and babypowder is a great tool for a variety of things. I use this on stocks to know where to whittle, file and sand to make them fit a person's hand for instance. Another is to use a pointed stick to "scribe" a line when working with metal.

    Hopefully this "may" show where binding is and confirmed by residue left on clean mag inserted. :)
     
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