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Rock Island 1911 failure to return to battery

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Fumbler, Nov 19, 2007.

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  1. Fumbler

    Fumbler Member

    Oct 28, 2004
    Rocky Mount, NC, USA
    Here's the scenario:
    Got a new Rock Island Armory 1911 Tactical (fullsized, 45ACP).
    Within the first 30 rounds or so it had two failures to return to battery that could easily be pushed into battery.
    Sounds like a tight extractor right? Well I reduced the tension and cleaned up the edges of the extractor.

    It went through the next 150 rounds without hiccups.

    I got new mags, a Kimber 8 round and Chip McCormick 10rd Powermag.
    Went to the range and the Novak mag had 1 FTRB and 1 3-point jam that I could not push into battery. The case mouth was in the chamber on the 3-point jam.
    The Powermag had 3 3-point jams exactly like the Novak mag, the Kimber had 1 3-point jam.

    I don't think it's the extractor, the extractor has barely enough tension to hold a cartridge.

    Some obervations:
    When the slide is rearward, the barrel rests on the frame above the feed ramp. The distance between the feed ramp and barrel is 1/16".
    However, with the slide back the barrel can cam upwards leaving approximately 1/32" of vertical space between the bottom of the barrel and the frame.

    I've read threads about the link being incorrect in length.
    It appears that the link isn't too long in batter nor too short out of battery.
    I guess my questions are:
    If the barrel doesn't sit on the frame when the gun chambers a cartridge, then does this vertical gap cause the 3-point jam?
    Should the barrel rest on the frame when the gun is out of battery and chambering a round?
    Why doesn't the barrel rest on the frame? Is it because the barrel hood/lugs are too shallow and allow the barrel to move upwards?
    Is this a manufacturing defect?

    I'll try to take and post pics tonight.
  2. xrockdawgx

    xrockdawgx Member

    Nov 21, 2007
    nomads have no home
    hello. I did a search and found your thread. I am also having the same problem with the power mags but in a Kimber. I have had 0.0 problems with the Kimber mags, the Wilson mags, and the Colt mags. It was so bad I lost count and quit using the power mags all together. Now, to add to the situation.... I have two Kimbers. One a fullsize, one an ultra. I have no problems at all with any make of mag with the full size. The problem is notably more with the ultra(somewhere around the 1 out of 4 range). I have had some issues with the full size, but very very few. For comparison, I took my dads Colt out and tried it. It is also a fullsize and has no problems with the power mags. So, is it a problem with the magazines or with the ultra?
  3. brentn

    brentn Member

    May 17, 2007
    pics would be great

    If you can post some of when its jammed, cycle some snap caps to try and re-create it.

    Extractor tension should have no impact on whether the slide will go into full battery or not. At first it sounded like a weak spring, but I must ask, what are you using for ammunition?

    FMJ is thee most reliable ammunition for any 1911, unless the ramp on the barrel and frame have been modified, most 1911's will not feed winclean or HP's reliably.

    Most HP's go into too much of an incline and slam into the inside cieling of the chamber causing jam with regular 1911's

    If your gun is however just barely going into battery, as in a couple mm's off in which the disconnector is still disconnected, its something else.
    Check your spring, make sure that it goes into battery in a very quick and aggressive fashion, without any rounds or a magazine in the gun, lock the slide back and release it, should be very quick. If it seems sluggish in the slightest, and is very very easy to lock back, I'd say its a worn spring.
    If it has quite a bit of tension, your problem could very well be related to the cam on the barrel or the locking lugs either on the slide or the barrel itself.
    Wouldn't hurt to try and polish up the cam and cam recession in the frame itself...

    Anyways, post some pics, and I'm sure tuner will fly in here with some answers as well :D
  4. U.S.SFC_RET

    U.S.SFC_RET Member

    Dec 5, 2005
    The Old Dominion State
    Make sure that your extractor is tuned and that the gap where the rim of the cartridge slides into place OK. You should radius the bottom edge of the extractor. Ill firring extractors will cause that gun to fail to go into battery. You will find yourself pushing the slide forward 1/4 inch or so because of it.
    1911 Tuner will be along shortly.
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