1911 extracting nasty brass

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by 312shooter, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. 312shooter

    312shooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    Las Vegas NV
    A recent trip to the range to develop some pet loads for a SA 1911 milspec turned up this nasty little habit. Only the last round in the mag gets chewed up on extraction, this occurred with factory Springfield and MCcormick magazines, 9 different load variations that were tested, which included three different powders and charges as well as three different brass manufacturers under 230gr Hornady XTP's. I nearly eliminated ammo/load issues as the cause but admittedly I am a newb in the 1911 world; I am thinking extractor or recoild spring. Is this a common 1911 trait? Any input is appreciated>

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    Last edited: Jul 27, 2010
  2. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

    Apr 28, 2008
    good lord that is horrible looking brass. i've never seen anything like it. it looks as though you have tried to cycle the empty brass through the gun . i cannot think of any thing that happens in extraction that would cause such damage.

  3. pkcgbifaid

    pkcgbifaid Member

    Nov 12, 2003
    Charleston, WV
    The only time I see cartridge cases that chewed up is when they fail to eject and the slide moving forward smashes them in the action. Is this happening?

    I would check your ejector. If the ejector is damaged or missing, the loaded cartridges in the magazine can give enough of an upward "push" to help eject all the previous fired cartridge cases, but on the last shot there is nothing there to provide that extra push so the last shot fails to eject.
  4. Jay

    Jay Active Member

    Mar 26, 2003
    Put a spent case in the chamber, with an empty mag in place. Slowly draw the slide back, and see if the mag follower is knocking the case out of the extractor before the case can eject....
  5. SmokyBaer

    SmokyBaer New Member

    Apr 6, 2010
    If ejector is not broke, you may have a light load not stroking slide all the way back and crunching the brass real ugly on the forward cycle. Need lighter recoil spring if that's the case.

    Could also get an extended ejector put in.
  6. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR Active Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Imperial, MO
    Seen this problem before. It seems like a extractor tension problem but its not. What is happening is that on extraction, the brass drops along with the barrel movement (its supposed to), the rim of the brass catches the top of the mag lips and the extractor looses control of the brass and drop it. The slide closes on the empty brass and does what you see there. I chased this same problem with a colt gold cup. Had several different mags but the all did this with the last round. Prognosis, recoil spring is to light. The gold cup I had, had a 14lb spring in it. Way to light so the slide was way to fast to open. Switched to a 18lb spring and problem when away. I don't know what weight spring you have but it may be wore out or lighter than you need. Extended ejector will also fix the issue but this can also cause the extractor to break if the recoil spring is not addressed first.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2010
  7. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    Most standard pressure loads will cycle a 20# spring. i would recommend you purchase a 20 pounder form wolff and trim it if necessary. I have a 20 pounder in my mutt taurus and it cycles perfect all but the weakest of handloads... Tradeoff is, if your trigger is light and crisp (mine is) dropping the slide on an empty gun will cause the hammer to follow the slide when you upgrade to a heavy recoil spring. It shouldnt do it when loading from the magazine, but will do it nearly everytime when dropping on an empty chamber.
  8. glocknut

    glocknut Active Member

    I've never seen a Glock do that to brass.... :D

  9. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR Active Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Imperial, MO
    True that, they just explode and blow out through the mag well:p. Kidding, don't go starting treads about exploding glocks. We all know that they are made to do that:eek::p
  10. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    coolest thing about glocks is you dont have to take them outta your pants when you do your laundry, the gun and the jeans come out clean and ready to wear again:D
  11. mesinge2

    mesinge2 Active Member

    Dec 4, 2009
    Central Florida
    I asked your question to someone very knowledgeable in all things 1911:

    Last edited: Aug 7, 2010
  12. lawdawg

    lawdawg Member

    Jun 21, 2010
    South Alabama
    I took my Springfield 1911 to the range today because I haven't shot it in a while and I had some factory ammo (Hornady & Speer) that I wanted to shoot. Mine did the exact same thing! The last shell extracted looked exactly like yours and one got caught with the rim stuck in the lips of the mag and had to be forced out. I recall having this problem before, but I was shooting some very old military ammo (circa 1960) and attributed it to weak ammo. Today I was shooting fairly new factory ammo.
  13. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2001
    Here at TFF
    How hot were the loads?? What lb recoil spring were you using ? When was the last time it was changed ?

    It almost looks like a timing issue but without more info, it's all a guess.
  14. 312shooter

    312shooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    Las Vegas NV
    Helix nailed it, went to a 18lb recoil spring and all is good, I purchased this 1911 from a fellow worker, I know it was not shot more than 500 rds, it was in fact a safe queen. A call to Springfield Armory and I found the production year was 1994. My gut tells me that recoil springs not only wear out but wear in. Sitting in the action closed position for so many years this recoil spring must have lost its memory. Either way a great learning experience.............Thanks everyone for your input.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2010
  15. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

    Apr 28, 2008
    a full size 1911 should have a 16 pound spring from the factory, although an 18 pound will work well, i still prefer to use 16 pounds in any full size i get.
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