Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by Insulation Tim, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. Insulation Tim

    Insulation Tim Well-Known Member

    Oct 29, 2008
    I purchased a Rock Island 1911 a couple of weeks ago and find it to be very accurate and easy to handle.

    The problem I have is a "Failure to Feed", which is sporadic. Primarily it fails to feed on the first round coming out of the magazine. I've fed it Blazer, Speer Lawman and Winchester White Box, all 45 ACP FMJ.

    Is this something that will correct itself after breaking it in? So far, I've probably run about 200 rounds through it.

    Am I doing something wrong? I typically lock the slide open to insert the magazine. I have loaded it by manually pulling back on the slide and letting it fly or simply flicking the slide stop off and letting it release itself.

    Is there an adjustment that I need a gunsmith to look at?

    The magazines are the RI that came with the gun and 2 Kimber 1911 magazines that the sales guy suggested that I buy.

    I really like this pistol and the price point was the attention grabber. I would like to see it feed properly.

    Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
  2. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

    Jun 24, 2008
    dont give up just yet. it may need a few more rounds to get broken in right. but if the problem sontinues try different magazines. wilson mags have a very good repuation. you can also try cleaning up the feed ramp. there are some myself included that does this right from the start. remove the slide and the magazine and use crocus cloth to slick up the feed ramp.

  3. The first round in the magazine sometimes hits the bottom of the feed ramp and stops right? Like on the image?

    Attached Files:

  4. Insulation Tim

    Insulation Tim Well-Known Member

    Oct 29, 2008
    Yes, that seems to be where the hang up is.
  5. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    My son-in-law and I each have RI 45ACP guns. Both feed perfectly using the original mags and extras mags of the same exact manufacturer. My dealer, who has sold several of these guns, says he has found that the original manufacuter mags work best with these guns. Maybe you are doing something wrong????

    When you insert the magazine give it a bump against your palm of the other hand to be sure its all the way in and seated and the mag latch clicked close.

    Look at your gun as shown in the picture in the above post. A gun with a correctly done feeding ramp will have the portion in the frame positioned such that there is a verically downward and forward jump the nose of the bullet has to make to enter the barrel. In fact, there should be a horizontal flat spot between the two pieces of the feed ramp about 1/32 inch long. Feeding can also be helped if the ramp in both the frame and the barrel are highly polished. Remove NO metal, only polish the ramps with a good metal polish like Flitz and a Dremel tool with a felt bob running at slow speeds.

    Ammo choices can make big differences in feeding, too. Original 1911 were meant to feed only round nose Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) ammo and this gun is not all that different from an original 1911.

    If all the above is correct or corrected and it still doesn't feed then RI service is pretty good. At one point we had an extraction problem with my son-in-laws guns and a phone call to the service guy got good info back as to exactly what the problem was (he agreed with my analysis) so I "adjusted" the extractor for my son-in-law and the problem went away. But RI would have fixed the gun for free but it would have meant returning it to them. A bump with a small hammer to the extractor was easier than sending the gun back.

    These are good inexpensive version of the 1911. I bought mine just for the frame to use with my Marvel 22LR Conversion Unit #1. I replaced all the innards with after market match quality stuff. I then took the slide and added a Bomar sight rib (like a 1950's style bullseye gun), a fitted barrel bushing and a Dwyer Group Gripper. The group size in 45 ACP is phenominally small for such an inexpensive gun. My son-in-law's gun is completely stock and performs well and is accurate too. These are Good guns, especially for the money.

    Neither of our guns had any feeding problems, ever, when using FMJ round nose bullets.

    Last edited: Feb 3, 2009
  6. Good info in the posts above.

    I've seen more than a few new 1911's that do the same thing with FMJ. My Springfield did that occasionally in the first 500 rounds then smoothed out. I intentionally held off getting the ramp polished until it stopped to see how long it might persist.

    Getting a polish job from a gunsmish should be simple and cheap; If you'd rather do it yourself there's guys here who can tell you some simple techniques too. Either way...like LD said...DO NOT remove any metal. Some guys are tempted to remove that flat spot between the barrel/ramp...that would be a costly error.

    I'm willing to bet the weapon smooths out once it has some mileage. Either way a polish job is a good idea, especially if you may ever fire some cast lead or JHP.

    In the meantime, try this when it fails to feed. Slap up on the mag with weak palm, then sharply tap the back of the slide with the heel of the weak palm.
  7. Insulation Tim

    Insulation Tim Well-Known Member

    Oct 29, 2008
    Thanks to everyone for suggestions. I did put a little bit of Crocus Cloth to it very lightly last evening. I also think that one of my problems was not getting the magazine seated properly. I just returned from the range and put about 75 rounds through it with no problems. I did slap the bottom of the mag with my weak palm. The range RSO took a look at it and his suggestion was when letting the slide come forward to chamber the first round, to release it by pushing down the slide release lever rather than racking the slide back and letting it fly.

    Whatever, it all seemed to make it work and I sure like the way this pistol shoots.

    Thanks again.
  8. When I first got my S.A.M. 1911, before I ever shot it, I took a ceramic rod I use for polishing the edges on knife blades and ran it up through the mag well, with the slide locked back, and polished the barrel ramp TO the frame feed ramp. Once the two were polished to the point there were no high or low spots between the ramps I shot it. I've never had a bullet hang up - even when feeding ball and semi-wadcutters together.
  9. Dirtypacman

    Dirtypacman New Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Merrimac Valley, MA
    I have been eyeing the R.I. 1911 at a local shop. I still can't get myself to commit to the purchase but I found this thread helpful. thanks
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