1911 Feed Problems

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by RunningOnMT, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

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    I just installed some recoil buffers on each of my two 1911 pistols. Today I took one of them to the range. My daughter was going with me and as she is an inexperienced shooter I stopped at her house first to go over some basics of the 1911 and semi auto pistols in general.

    After going over the various parts of the 1911 and their function I showed her how to load the magazines, then the pistol, chambering the round, then ejecting the round...emptying the magazine by repeatedly racking the slide.

    Well...that's when the problem started. The rounds wouldn't chamber, rather they would lodge up against the top edge of the ejection port. I tried this repeatedly with the same result. Finally I field stripped the pistol and removed the recoil buffer. I couldn't understand how it caused a problem but it was the only recent change I have made in the gun and I never had this problem before. So, I assumed that I had fixed the problem and we headed off to the range.

    The very first time my daughter racked the slide, the round again lodged. I cleared the jam and she emptied the magazine. This continued to be an intermittant problem for the rest of the outing. I failed to determine if this happened with one particular magazine...I realize i should have. I have four; two Para mags that came with the pistol and two Wilson Combat. I was using Winchester white box 230 gr FMJ ammo. I have fired hundreds of rounds of this in the past with no problems.

    I have two questions: 1. Is there any reason why the recoil buffer would cause such a problem? If not I'll reinstall it. 2. Since I removed the buffer and continued to have a problem what could be wrong? I realize I should have analyzed this better re. which mags were inserted when problem occured etc, but this was to primarily give my daughter some more range time. I only fired about 2 or 3 mags myself. I also experienced the problem once or twice. In thinking about it, I "think"(?) that this occured mostly on the first round. After it was cleared I would go on to shoot the remaining 7 rounds. Could there be a problem where this will only occur with a full mag? Any help in figuring this out will be appreciated.
  2. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    i am by no means an expert with 1911's but i have a small amount of knowledge on them.

    my first thought is that the ammo you were using this time was a new brand or new style.

    i doubt it is a magazine problem since it only happened on the first round. although isolating your magazines is a good idea.

    if the extractor has too much tension it i can cause problems like this. also if there is a burr around the firing pin hole or if the edges of the hole are very sharp it can catch the head of the case.

    if the barrel hood is not smooth it could cause malfunctions or if the top edge of the barrel hood is sharp it can catch on the nose of the round

    if the barrel feed ramp is not rounded enough it can cause problems.

    i know enough to be dangerous but not enough to really help
  3. hogger129

    hogger129 Active Member

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    I wouldn't say I'm an expert on 1911s either, but it doesn't sound like a feed ramp problem. Are you racking the slide back all the way on the first round? I know my Springfield was doing the same thing with Speer Gold Dot 185 JHP. I would go to rack the slide and it wouldn't want to feed the first round. But once I racked it a couple times and got the round to chamber, I would go to shoot and I could shoot the entire magazine without a jam. I never figured out what was to blame for it. I was thinking the bullet shape. But whenever I use the Remington UMC 230 JHP or Winchester 230 FMJ, I never have any problems. I would think the 230 FMJ would feed the best in any 1911. Personally, I would try some different ammo. Then try a different magazine. Maybe your magazine spring is screwy. Who knows? I am no expert at all, but that's what I would try. Sometimes you just have to fiddle with it a little.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
  4. glocknut

    glocknut New Member

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    i NEVER load an 8 round mag up with a full 8 rounds. Doing so with a 1911 is just asking for trouble...especially with hollow points!

    1911s are very fussy about magazines to say the least.

    mike
    gn
  5. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member

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    Need more info. Brand 1911 ?
    Clean and lubed ?
    Which mag were you using ?
    Was the problem with ALL mags ?
    Was the chamber clean ?
    Were you riding the slide forward ?
    Were you using the slide release ?

    I had a pistol lock up during a match due to a Shok Buff ( recoil buffer) and never used them again.
  6. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

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    This was a Para entry level GI Expert. It was clean and lubed with Breakfree CLP. In previous range sessions I had used a gun grease on the slide rails but not this time. I'm not sure which mag(s) caused the problem. I will tell you that the Wilson Combat mags unlike the Para mags take a little force to fully insert, but they had worked fine in the past. I was pulling the slide all the way back in a slingshot method then letting go. I did not ride the slide home.
  7. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member

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    Can you shoot it tomorrow with the Wilson mags to see if the problem goes away ? Para mags seem cheap to me but my Para was a P-16. If the chamber was clean, I'd suspect the Para mags.

    We can fix the problem step by step. Guess work only costs money and prolongs the problem. As for the Shok Buffs, you don't need them in your pistol if you are using the proper recoil spring. All they do is fix a non existent problem much like a full length guide rod. Sort of like the fishing lure designed to catch fishermen. :)

    "if the barrel hood is not smooth it could cause malfunctions or if the top edge of the barrel hood is sharp it can catch on the nose of the round "

    John, I really don't understand the barrel hood comment. How can the round catch on the barrel hood ????????



    "
  8. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    the nose of the bullet goes from the feed ramp to the top of the chamber.. and if the barrel hood has a sharp edge on its underside, depending on the mags used and the bullet type, sometimes bullets can snag on the sharp edge.

    least this is my understanding, perhaps i've been misinformed since i've never had this problem with the few 1911s i've owned
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
  9. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

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    I can't shoot it tomorrow, however I can load all the mags, load the pistol then rack the slide to eject all the rounds. Would that be good enough?
  10. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    well you said that it only was happening on the first round that you were racking in right? i think it would be good enough
  11. hogger129

    hogger129 Active Member

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    I think it's just the recoil buffer that is causing the problem. All my friends who shoot 1911s say they are troublesome.
  12. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

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    OK, I just loaded up all 4 mags, loaded and chambered the pistol, then racked the slide to chamber then eject every round. I will say that there is one problem that bothers me: the magazines seem to resist being fully inserted and locked. Sometimes you have to smack the bottom of the mag with the heel of your hand to get them to click into place. There is a feeling like something is obstructing the mag. On this particular pistol when you smack it like that that the slide releases and chambers a round. I recall this happening when I was taking my CCW class and the instructor said that wasn't a problem..that they'll do that. I've never had it happen on any other pistol. Is that ok, or does it indicate a problem?

    As far as my problem goes, I noticed that it was easy to get a round lodged in the way it did if I didn't rack the slide smoothly and quickly. There just doesn't seem to be be much clearance there. But I think I'm going to have to head back to the range to analyze the feed problem more. I hope it was an anomaly.

    One note re the quality of the Para mags; comparing these with the Wilson Combat you can hardly see a difference. The Paras are every bit as heavy as the Wilsons and appear to be constructed of approx. the same gage steel. The feed lips are the same. The only difference is the Wilsons have vertical slots on the sides, the Paras have holes.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2010
  13. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    you shouldnt have to hit the mags to get them to seat with an open slide. they should slide in and click in place easily. the slide going home on a gun when smacking the mag in is normal for some guns, 1911's included.
  14. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

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    Thanks John. After reading this I went back and used a little lube on the mag release and tried again. With the slide back all the mags loaded easily without binding. However when the slide was closed only the Para mags would load. The Wilson Combat will go in almost all the way then bind. I think what may have happened with my original FTF problem is that the Wilson mags were inserted but not fully locked in with the slide closed. It can be hard to tell because they will look like they are in all the way when they aren't.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2010
  15. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member

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    The eight round Wilson Combat use a strong spring. The mag follower contacts the slide release when loading and then hold the slide open after firing the last round. Loaded with eight in the mag and one in the pipe, mine have to be bumped in pretty hard to seat. No problem during a match but a different story at the range unless doing drills.

    It sounds like you have solved the problem with a little lube and seating the mag firmly. Keep us posted.
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