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Springfield 1911: Bad Feeding Problems with Reloads and Rainer Bullets

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Gnarkill, Jan 27, 2013.

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  1. Gnarkill

    Gnarkill Member

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    I have a Springfield Armory 1911 in .45 that has seen 5+ years of normal use. http://www.springfield-armory.com/armory.php?version=4 It's probably had ~4-6K rounds through it. Awhile ago I started having failure to feeds and extraction problems. Turns out the extractor had broken off. I replaced that and my extraction problem subsided. Factory ammo works flawlessly in the gun now, but I usually shoot reloads. I get between 20-90% failure to feeds / jams depending on exactly how I load the ammo (overall length and crimp wise). I usually start with the upper slide locked back and release it by pulling or hitting the slide release. The gun is usually 50-80% closed, but action won't close all the way. Sometimes if I hit the back of the slide a bit it closes and shoots fine. The ejected bullets have small gouges on both the brass and bullet from where it is hitting (I believe) the top of the barrel or the slide itself. This is really driving me nuts because I can't shoot the gun without constantly clearing jams. I need help.

    I used Rainer 200 or 230 in the gun with several kinds of brass for years, but something is wrong and I can't figure it out for the life of me :banghead:. I don't know if Rainer changed their bullet shape slightly or not, I don't have any of the older Rainer bullets because I shot them all. I've tried heavier (and lighter) recoil springs, lighter and softer loads, and adjusted crimps. My ammo works in my USP-T and my friend's 1911 (a different MFG), so I think it has to do with my gun. I tried 4 different Springfield mag & 2 S&W mags with my gun. No difference. It appears that the first few bullets in a magazine (under higher spring pressure) jam more. Here's some of the things I've tried and details about my loads.

    I use Titegroup poweder, mixed brass (that is the correct length), I've tried CCI and Winchester primers. I tried a 16lb, 20, & 24lb recoil springs. I have NOT tuned or adjusted the extractor. I don't know if it's possible that the new extractor is causing these jams. I was having these failures around the time the extractor broke, but I'm not sure if it is cause and effect, this happened over 2 years ago and I haven't seriously dealt with it since then.

    Yesterday I tried the following with a 22 or 24 lb recoil spring:
    1.215 OAL, 5 grain titegroup, normal crimp: 11/14 jams
    1.230 OAL, 5 grain titegroup, normal crimp: 8/14 jams
    1.245 OAL, 5 grain titegroup, normal crimp: 10/14 jams

    Here's some pics to show what's happening to the bullets as well as the gun itself. If you look closely you can see the gouges on the brass and the gouges on the tips of the bullets from where it's ramming into something.

    http://flic.kr/s/aHsjDLVAf9

    I need to get this to work with my Rainer rounds; I have a bunch and it previously worked with them. Any tips, ideas, or your experiences with an issue like this would be very helpful.
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. mdi

    mdi Member

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    Have you used this?
     

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  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    The new extractor hook is not properly fitted or polished and is biting into the rim and not allowing it to slide up the breech face.

    You need to take the extractor out and bevel & polish the bottom of the hook where it is catching on the rims.
    Needle files & a flat stone is the best way to accomplish this.

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...=wGIFUZi_GIiy8AS1wIGoAQ&ved=0CDUQ9QEwAg&dur=0

    BTW: Put the standard 16# recoil spring back in and leave it there.
    22 or 24 lb recoil springs are not needed with your loads, and will cause you no end of greif trying to get the gun to work.

    rc
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
  4. grumpy66

    grumpy66 Member

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    Looks like a polishing on your feed ramp is in order too.

    Every 1911 I have ever owned has gotten this treatment after the first 100 rounds.

    It also appears that you are not crimping enough.

    Give your die about 1/16 of a turn down to sqeeze a little more of the flair out of those case mouths.
     
  5. Gnarkill

    Gnarkill Member

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    I checked the tension. It was VERY tight. I made the mistake of buying from a shop rather than just midwayusa. The place said they had adjusted it "properly". I loosened it significantly and did the "shake test" with an empty case and a loaded bullet. That helped a lot. I dropped in a 18 lb spring I have, don't have a good 16 anymore.

    I also did my best to reshape the extractor. I'm getting 75-80% less jams now. I really appreciate the advise guys.

    I've lightly polished the feed ramp before, but never to a mirror finish. Do you know of any good products / articles to detail how to most effectively do this? I know some people use a polish of some kind.
     
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Nothing where it stopped feeding in the two photos have anything to do with the feed ramp.

    It isn't even touching it.
    Leave well enough alone.

    Still think it's an extractor hook bevel or polish issue.
    Make sure anything the case rim touches inside the hook is polished very smooth with no sharp edges.

    rc
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I agree with rcmodel. Not a ramp problem.

    If the ramp is in the right place, and at the correct angle, it will feed with good mags, even with light machine marks.

    They do look nice all polished up, but it is real easy to ruin the "ramp" angle and the top edge. The round should glance off the ramp, not ride up it.
     
  8. Gnarkill

    Gnarkill Member

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    I removed the extractor entirely and cycled it some more. I'm still getting jams, although they are less frequent and a little different. Before I could see the bullets hung up on the extractor. The jams are happening on the last 1 or 2 rounds, mainly the last one in a magazine. Pictures of these new extractor free jams are up.

    It looks like I had extractor AND reloading problems.

    I tried some bullets I had previously loaded with ~1/4 turn more crimp roughly 1.230 OAL. Same results. Pictures of those are up.
    I noticed damage to the nose of the round.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    What bullet weight?

    At any rate, they are seated too short to hit the top of the chamber and "break over" into a straight line into the chamber as intended.

    230 grain GI FMJ-RN is seated 1.266" - 1.271 OAL.

    Try that.

    Your taper crimp should measure .469" - .471" at the case mouth.
    More or less then that is not right.

    rc
     
  10. Gnarkill

    Gnarkill Member

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    I'm using 200 RN Rainer (plated). I used to load everything to 1.245-1.250 until all these issues arose. I only started loading shorter to try and get the gun to work. I will load some up tomorrow night or Tuesday and see if they cycle better. Hopefully I can isolate the issue without an extractor in the gun.
     
  11. edfardos

    edfardos Member

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    deja vu, I just went through this with my 1911 and plated reloads. Crimp to .4695, no bigger. The plated bullets are .452" unfourtunately. . I sent my 1911 back and they seriously filed down the extractor, put in a stiffer recoul spring, and I put a heavier spring in the mag. I haven't seen the jam you pictured since.. . Initially I tried various lengths, and 1.243" was the magic number for use with my xtreme plated bullets.

    extractor tension wa 16oz, and is now 22-26oz. The extractor also allows the case head to rest flush with the breach face (which is unusual, or so I hear.. That's how much of the tip was filed off).


    edfardos
     
  12. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    Sounds like a good way to ruin a nice 1911. I have seen more guns ruined by an at home guy polishing a feed ramp than anything else with 1911s. I have shot many guns that had parkerized unpolished ramps, they fed just find. That doesnt have to be a mirror finish to feed ball ammo, or hollow points for that matter.
     
  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I load the X-Treme 200 Gr RN at 1.260 to 1.265, and they feed 100% in my guns. I pretty much load all RN bullets to that OAL in .45 ACP.
     
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    You heard wrong.

    The extractor hook should have nothing at all to do with where the case head rests.

    That is controlled by proper case length, and proper headspace in the chamber.

    The hook has nothing to do with it if it is set up loose enough for the rounds to slide under it and chamber properly.

    rc
     
  15. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    Have you tried a Wilson ETM magazine? A few people don't realize that all magazines aren't designed the same when it comes presenting a round to the chamber, being that feed ramp angles vary. Wilson has done a lot of research in this area and the ETM is the result, a magazine that works super in most 1911's.

    I would try one before resorting to a "good 1911 gunsmith". $35 isn't much of an investment, in comparison. I won't carry my Kimber with Kimber magazines, period. My 8 round Wilsons put "flawless" in my Kimber's performance. They may work for you as well.
     
  16. edfardos

    edfardos Member

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    I probably didn't describe it well enough. If you remove your slide and slip a spent casing under the extractor, the extractor tip will not allow the case head to sit flush with the breach face unless you push on the case. That was the behavior with my stock GI extractor (but not the filed/tuned extractor).

    It's possible that this applies to the OP. I don't know which is "right".


    edfardos
     
  17. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    No, that can be normal, or not.

    It all depends on the brand of brass you have, the extractor you have, and whether the case rim groove is cut the same as others or not.

    It's not a problem with feeding either way.

    I thought you were going with the old "the 1911 headspaces on the extractor hook" myth.

    rc
     
  18. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    45 acp extractor problem

    1. The extractor can be adjusted so it will not contact the rim. This clearance lets the case head slide up the bolt face without interference . No delay on the case rim sliding under the extractor, no jams. 2. If the brass has been loaded many time, the rims diameter may have gotten wider. A tight bolt face will not let the large rim slide freely up the bolt face, when the round is pick up from the magazine. .480" Maximum rim diameter. [​IMG] (yes, i know not the common way to adjust an extractor)
     
  19. Gnarkill

    Gnarkill Member

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    WHoooo!

    Good News!:D
    Removing the extractor enabled more effective troubleshooting of the reloading issues. Amongst all the issues I had adjusted my expanding die up. Not the mandrel, but the die itself. It looks like the entire case wasn't getting properly re-sized. I also tried a longer COL, which may have helped. It was an extractor AND reloading problem. I would've isolated the extractor sooner, but the working factory ammo threw me off.

    Here's the winning combo.

    • 18lb recoil spring (didn't have a 16lb)
    • Extractor with significantly less tension
    • Extractor with rounded claw
    • Cleaned off the feed ramp
    • Lowered expanding die (not expansion depth)
    • Increased COL to 1.250-1.255"

    I got 14/14 to feed w/o the extractor. I popped it back in and 14/14 again. I'm going to make a larger lot and actually shoot them, rather than just manually ejecting them in my living room. I'm not sure if I'm completely out of the woods, but things are about 10x better than they were.

    I'll let you guys know what I find out at the range. Thank you very much to everyone who helped me out. I had shelved my 1911 for the most part, it's nice to have my first pistol working again.
     
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