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SA Mil Spec suddenly can't feed anything

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by 0to60, Nov 4, 2011.

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  1. 0to60

    0to60 Member

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    It was fine for the first 2500 rounds or so. In fact, there was a 1500 round stretch in there where I had zero malfunctions and I was only shooting SWCs. At around 2500 rounds, I started getting FTFs every few magazines. I replaced the recoil spring, but to no avail. It even struggles with LRNs, maybe one FTF every 100 rounds. I haven't changed anything with my loads, the gun is choking on the exact same ammo that it used to digest with no problems.

    These FTFs look like the bullet isn't turning the corner to head fully into the chamber; its stuck at a 45 degree angle with the barrel. To clear, I drop the magazine, lock the slide back and push the round into the chamber with my finger. Only then can I hold the gun vertical and shake the round out. When its lodged in the 45 degree position, shaking won't dislodge it.

    Any clues?
     
  2. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    Sounds like you're describing a three-point jam - the round is jammed at three points of contact (nose into barrel hood, front of brass into the barrel ramp, and the rim up against the breech face). It's been my experience that three-point jams are caused by the rim of the cartridge not raising up fast enough to allow the round to 'turn the corner' and enter the chamber.

    For most of my pistols that have seen this, it's started from Day 1 and was caused by out of spec elements (edge on the barrel throat, etc.). If your failures recently started, then something had to change that would keep the round from feeding properly.

    Did you change magazines? When was the last time that you cleaned under the extractor hook? When you replaced the recoil spring, did you move to a higher-rated spring or stick with a 16lb/in spring?
     
  3. 0to60

    0to60 Member

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    I'm using Chip McCormick Shooting Star mags. I've had four of them all along and they were working fine before.

    I detail strip the gun every 250 rounds or so. The extractor (and most the other parts) soak in a bath of solvent for 5 min or so before a complete scrub down.

    Recoil spring is a 16# Wolff.

    Feed ramp was polished by Springfield on a warranty work trip to the factory (bad rear sight). That was at around 500 rounds into its life. Barrel throat looks very clean, no burs or anything.
     
  4. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Still, try some different magazines. Are the mag springs the originals?

    2500 rounds might be time for a new recoil spring too. I replace mine every 2000 or so. That's probably aggressive but I want to avoid problems and they are cheap.
     
  5. JustSomeDude

    JustSomeDude Member

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    Try this. Worn out magazine springs could cause the bullets to not come up fast enough to load properly.
     
  6. 0to60

    0to60 Member

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    Seriously?? These mags are a few months old. They're stored unloaded. There's no possible way the springs can be worn out already.
     
  7. average_shooter

    average_shooter Member

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    The question isn't really how they're stored, it's how many times they're cycled (as in loaded and unloaded) because that's what wears them down. If bought new and left to sit without use, they'd be good indefinitely. If they've been used a lot in a short period of time they'll wear out quicker.

    That's another reason people like to have many more than just four magazines, so you don't use and thus wear out the same ones. Also, a couple can be left in reserve unused in case malfunctions show up in the others. Easier to trouble shoot when you can compare against a control group.
     
  8. schmeky

    schmeky Member

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    You have an extractor problem.
     
  9. Robert101

    Robert101 Member

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    You mentioned 2,500 rounds. Have you changed your recoil spring. If not, try a new one.

    I would also check to see if the round is seated correctly under the ejector when the FTF happens. Sometimes it turns and needs to be reset perpendicular to the bullet. Just a thought.

    EDIT: Sorry I see that you already replaced the recoil spring.
     
  10. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Could be that too.

    That's why it's best to start with the easy things and work your way up.
    Troubleshooting, for me, with 230gr ball ammo to remove as much of the ammo from the equation as possible:

    1) Different magazines, traditional 7 rounders with strong springs.
    2) New recoil spring
    3) Check for loose or worn FP stop that may be allowing the extractor to move/rotate.

    Then onto more complicated stuff if necessary but, at least for me, I rarely have to move beyond these 3 things with a 1911.
     
  11. JustSomeDude

    JustSomeDude Member

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    It sounded to me like you were saying the mags were original to the gun and had 2500 rounds on them. Sorry.
     
  12. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    Every Springer that I've ever owned had a clocking issue, but it was usually evident right from the get-go. If the extractor is removed frequently, check to make sure that you didn't overtension it.
     
  13. schmeky

    schmeky Member

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    I have seen a rash of extractor problems lately, 3 point jams from pistols that had been running good. Clocking worsens with the round count. A small burr could have kept the extractor working well, burr or whatever works itself out, problem surfaces.

    Cycle the pistol by hand (with FP removed) to duplicate the jam, remove extractor, see if it occurs again.
     
  14. 0to60

    0to60 Member

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    What is "clocking"? Is that the extractor rotating slightly? I can take a look at that next jam to see if its in there correctly.

    Overtension? I remove the extractor and clean in there every 250 rounds or so. But it just slides in and out. What is under tension?
     
  15. Lonestar49

    Lonestar49 Member

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    ...

    SA has lifetime warranties, no questions asked, on all their guns..

    Option 2


    Ls
     
  16. Greg528iT

    Greg528iT Member

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    [​IMG][/IMG]

    I believe this is what to look for.
     
  17. 0to60

    0to60 Member

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    Ok, I'll look at the extractor's position next time I get a jam. As far as extractor tension goes, it will hold onto a bullet when the slide is off the gun. I can turn it this way and that and it holds just fine, but if I shake it around it will come loose.

    But this FTF is called a 3 point jam and we're pretty sure its an extractor issue?

    Is 2500 rounds a bit premature for a firing pin stop or extractor to wear down or is this expected? It seems very soon to me.
     
  18. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Clew alert!

    I'm assuming cast bullets. If I'm right, you probably need to take the extractor out and clean it and the tunnel. Cast bullet lube, oil, and powder fouling cause a pretty nasty cack around the breechface and in the tunnel. If it impedes the extractor cam-open, it'll cause failure to go to full battery.
     
  19. rcjohnson

    rcjohnson Member

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    I'm betting extractor.

    If new magazines don't help and it happens with different bullet profiles, and you've replaced the recoil spring... then there's very little else that can be going on that affects the cartridge chambering.

    Let's face it. It's sudden. Ubiquitous. And you detail strip every 250 rounds. Even if you hadn't replaced the recoil spring, or hadn't tried new mags, I'd say the problem is right in front of you.
     
  20. Shmackey

    Shmackey Member

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    1911 problems: extractors 90% of the time and magazines 80% of the time. :)
     
  21. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Before making any adjustments...clean it.
     
  22. 0to60

    0to60 Member

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    So if my extractor is clocking, what's the fix?
     
  23. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Easiest is to fit a tighter firing pin stop. If the extractor itself is worn or not fitting right, might need one of those as well.

    But it seems that poorly fitted fp stops are often the problem.
     
  24. 0to60

    0to60 Member

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    How much play should there be in a firing pin stop? I can wiggle mine around a bit with my finger. Is that normal?
     
  25. 918v

    918v Member

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    If your extractor wasnt cocking before, it prolly isnt cocking now. Like 1911tuner said, clean the tunnel first. It could be the extractor lost tension too. Guns nowadays have crappy small parts.
     
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