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Troubleshoot This-3

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by 1911Tuner, Jul 15, 2004.

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  1. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Okay...last one. This one also came under my notice about 2 years or so ago...A stainless Colt XSE Combat Commander. One of the better ones that I've seen. So much so, that I eventually bought the gun.

    For the first 1000 rounds or so, it was flawless, and the owner had a happy
    face everywhere he went. The problem started suddenly, and had me stumped for a week.

    Evidence of short-cycle malfunctions on with an occasional stovepipe
    failure to eject. Bolt-Over Base feeds on the last round on nearly every magazine. Occasionally one the next-to-last round. Wolff springs had no effect. A lighter recoil spring had no effect. An 18-pound recoil spring made it worse. The gun passed the gravity test with flying colors, and would nearly chamber a round under gravity alone. Feeding was flawless, except for the Bolt-Over stoppages. There was never a failure to extract,
    and no other malfunctions were evident. On the occasions that the gun fed the last round, the magazine locked the slide on empty with only one failure to lock.

    The slide to frame fit was excellent, with a tiny bit of side play and none
    in the vertical plane when the rails had a little oil in them.

    Extractor tension was perfect, and the ejector was tight and undamaged.

    The recoil spring was OEM, and tested at 16 pounds even. There was no
    coil bind in the spring. There was no interference between the barrel bushing and front lug. There was no interference between spring plug
    and guide rod...on the side or the head.

    All magazines tested good in other guns, and were flawless in the XSE
    prior to the onset of the problem.

    Once it started, the problem never got worse, with any stoppages
    occurring at about the same rate of frequency.

    I never saw what the problem was...and If Kelie hadn't come down to the shop to ask me for money to go to the grocery store, I probably would never have seen it, even though I had examined the gun under a strong light with a loupe for any hint of what the problem could be. She spotted it, and I couldn't fix it. It was returned to Colt for the repair under warranty.

    Hint: It's the little things that getcha... :neener: <--This is what the gun was doin' to me...

    Ready...Set...GO!
     
  2. Kaylee

    Kaylee Moderator

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    Well.... Kelie spotted it, so I'm guessing it's an external problem.
    You couldn't fix it, so I'm presuming it was a pretty big defect.

    My guess -- the mag release was broached a bit off, thus keeping the magazine in the wrong position -- I'm guessing not quite in far enough.

    Kelie noticed the mag wasn't fitting flush, which your examination didn't reveal because you were examining it unloaded without a mag.

    How's that? :)
     
  3. sm

    sm member

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    What Kaylee said.

    1) A boy from the South opens doors for a lady and says "ma'am".
    2) I have no idea myself; what she said sounds good.
    :D
     
  4. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

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    Slide stop hole a hair low in the frame ?

    Sam
     
  5. Black Snowman

    Black Snowman Member

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    I'm going to have to agree with Kaylee that is sound's like a magazine catch issue. But if you couldn't fix it by just replacing parts then maybe something in the frame wore out of spec making the magazines ride low or put the mag release at an angle?
     
  6. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Big Defect

    Kaylee said:

    Well.... Kelie spotted it, so I'm guessing it's an external problem.
    You couldn't fix it, so I'm presuming it was a pretty big defect.
    _________________________-

    And now you've given rise to a little riddle...:cool:

    The defect was a major one...but it was small in size, and thus hidden from my searching, prying eyes.
    (A "Little Big" defect.)


    It was an internal defect that was only visible from the outside.
    Take the gun apart, and it was hidden from view...no matter how hard I tried.

    The defect was visible only from certain angles. If Kelie
    had been standing 6 inches on either side of where she WAS
    standing, she wouldn't have seen it.

    It didn't have anything to do with the magazine...magazine catch...or the slidestop or its location.

    Good answer on the mag not fitting flush though...Seen that one cause a
    similar problem on occasion.

    Remember that the problem started suddenly after the gun had functioned perfectly for 1000 rounds. I was :confused: and :fire:

    Luck!

    Tuner
     
  7. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Member

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    That's it. I ain't touchin' this one. Waaaayyyy to ZEN for me.:confused:
     
  8. sm

    sm member

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    I was going to say plunger tube spring broken , perhaps cracked when that little crimp was put in , 1k rds later it broke . Noticed because the protrusion to slide stop not showing and Kelie saw this.

    You said had to be returned to mfg. argghh

    Still say Plunger tube area, hairline crack, enlarged hole where staked and not staying in place,...plunger tube is bugging me on this one for some reason. To factory for new frame because of cracks, out of spec...I'm trying!:)
     
  9. 45auto

    45auto Member

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    Wow, this is a good one.

    Since I did so well on the first test :rolleyes: , I'll try again.

    Something with the bbl hood fit to the slide. Since you couldn't fix it , it wasn't the bbl...the slide and or port warped slightly...off somehow.

    Oh well.
     
  10. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Buggin' Steve

    He said:

    Still say Plunger tube area, hairline crack, enlarged hole where staked and not staying in place,...plunger tube is bugging me on this one for some reason.

    Warm Steve....Barely warm.

    I'll say this without further adieu...
    Somewhere in his statment, there is a ...CLOOOOOO :D
     
  11. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    .45 Auto

    He sez:

    Since you couldn't fix , so it wasn't the bbl...the slide and or port warped slightly...off somehow.

    Hark! Warmer...:cool:
     
  12. sm

    sm member

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    Great. Does Steve keep the free gift for getting "warm" or does Steve open his big mouth and lose both the free gift and the big cookie he will win if he guesses it? :D
    tic...tock...tic...tock...

    Oh why not?

    Plunger tube "appears" correct when gun apart. In spec and all that. When assembled the plunger tube is actually too high [ out of spec]. Now somewhere there is correct term for the gun wearing in and problem not ocurring until 1k rds. This has caused a more out of spec problem that when bbl is about to lock up it can't.

    Don't know the technical jargon, I'm winging it here.
    I guess you noticed that - huh? :p
     
  13. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Cold

    Steve said:

    Plunger tube "appears" correct when gun apart. In spec and all that.

    Steve, Steve...ya gotta get past this "tube" obsession and look toward the horizon. <----------CLUE! CLUE!

    Cheers!

    Tuner
     
  14. Kaylee

    Kaylee Moderator

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    Hrmm.. I'm guessing now the ejector's off somehow. She saw how it was lining up wrong in the slide, which wasn't visible with the slide off.

    Um... perhaps it in at a slight angle, causing drag on the slide so it doesn't have enough oomph to go into battery on the last round?
     
  15. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Ejector Off?

    Hrmm.. I'm guessing now the ejector's off somehow.

    brrrrrrr...:p

    Okay. One last clue. The pistol had to be completely assembled
    and the slide held fully to the rear before it showed its ugly old self.
    When the slide went to battery, it ran and hid again.

    :D
     
  16. sm

    sm member

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    I don't know - IF this XSE has the narrow hood like a Pre 70's Gold Cup, and has the softer metals used in these guns - the softer metals caused the hood to wear down and hang up on bbl lug?

    You posted as I did.

    So I add the bbl bushing cuts were off , not noticed when slide closed , shown when retracted and viewed from the right angle.
     
  17. Black Snowman

    Black Snowman Member

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    It's no fair. We can't LOOK at the gun. Makes this even harder. I'd think you'd have noticed the barrel not pivoting back and into position correctly but if the barrel link hole was just a little off it could cause the barrel to torque or bind perhaps and not let it feed correctly? But what would have caused that an why wouldn't it show up right away? Man this is rough.

    Only thing I can think of that would HAVE to go back to the factory would be a frame defect. Like a cut that was nearly out of spec and stacked when it was broken in for the issue to appear.
     
  18. 45auto

    45auto Member

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    Hmm,
    Worked fine for a thousand rounds, then a "defect" occurred .

    Hairline crack on the slide from the port to the slide stop notch. Noticable only under pressure from the spring and slide stop engaged.

    :banghead:
     
  19. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Have a Look

    The Snowman said:

    It's no fair. We can't LOOK at the gun.

    ROFL...I looked at it 'til I went blind and didn't see it.

    Imagine how humbled was I when my other half walked in
    and spotted it in three seconds...:rolleyes:

    Nope...Not a spec issue, and not the frame.
     
  20. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Crackin' Up

    .45auto said:

    Hairline crack on the slide
    ___________________

    BINGO! Not in the port, though...Details at 6

    YOU RULE!
     
  21. Dave Sample

    Dave Sample member

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    She spotted the Evil Mojo in that Stainless Steel 1911!
     
  22. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Member

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    A Colt with a cracked slide???

    According to WildifitsnotacoltitsjustacopyAlaska, that is a Springer defect!!
     
  23. JeffC

    JeffC Member

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    Evil Mojo :evil: .... I remember that phrase from a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.....


    Dang Tuner, I didn't know you were running a class here.... I missed the 2nd and 3rd tests..... Kinda reminds me of my highschool days :D <missing class>.
     
  24. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Details At 6

    Aight...I know yer curiosity is killin' ya'll. :cool:

    The crack was in the front part of the bushing's lug recess. I was wrackin' by pea-sized brain and rackin' that Evil Stainless slide, when Kelie walked in. About the third cycle, she said: "Is that supposed to do that?"
    "Is what supposed to do what? "Lemme see it" "Okay"

    I handed her the gun and she pulled the slide back. I saw the front of the
    bushing move sideways ever-so-slightly. I took the gun and started rackin'
    the slide and on the fourth or fifth try...I saw the slide flex. Less than a half-inch forward of full travel, it sprung back and looked normal.

    I took the gun apart and used a Mini-Maglight and a loupe...Couldn't
    see a thing wrong. The recess wasn't damaged. The bushing lug wasn't damaged. The slide looked fine. The bushing looked fine.

    I looked hard at the barrel. No sign of binding with the bushing. No sign of
    the bushing ID binding with the barrel. The slide flexed less than .040 inch..about the thickness of 8 sheets of typing paper...but it was enough to cause a short-stroke in recoil, no doubt due to the springing action of the steel.

    The slide was picking up every round except the last round in the magazine...so evidentally it was just barely making it past the rims.

    Now...as to exactly what broke the slide.

    Careful measuring revealed that the recoil spring was a little less than one coil too long...about .040 inch. There was no APPARENT indication of coil bind because during the check, the crack would open up and let the slide hit the guide rod head...so there was NO coil bind during the examination, but there HAD been before I saw the gun. I figure that the
    slide cracked early on...probably within the first 25 or 30 rounds...or possibly even on the very first round, which explains why there was no damage to the bushing lug or its recess. As the gun was fired, the crack
    slowly progressed until it was long enough to start opening...but not enough to completely break the slide. There was enough spring in the steel to completely close it as soon as the tension from the recoil spring
    was off the bushing...and since it was hiding behind the corner of the lug
    recess...there was no way to see it. I sat there racking the slide, watching it happen...and the corner right in front of the recess let go. It probably would have broken clean off if he had fired the gun another 5 rounds.

    I boxed up the slide and sent it to Colt. One phone call and 10 days later, I had a new slide back...complete a new barrel and all internals...and a new
    bushing. It fit perfectly. The back of the slide aligned with the frame, and all was well, except for one little nit-pick issue...The bushing was GM-length. I stuck it on a mandrel, faced it off to length and called the owner. About a month later, the gun was for sale or trade. Seems that he
    just didn't trust it. I knocked a home run on that one, and it now resides in
    my safe...and sometimes my holster. Function has been perfect, and accuracy is better than I can prove from offhand. Happy!

    Yep...I upgraded the MIM sear and disconnect.

    It's the dagnabbed LITTLE things that getcha! :cuss: :D
     
  25. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Member

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    Especially of the "noseeum" variety.
     
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