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Posted: 5/3/2001 7:17:47 PM EDT
I had a very unusual failure to extract today on my low mileage (a bit under 2,000 rounds) Wilson Combat 1996A2. I understand that I'm at the point where Wilson recommends getting a new spring, but that doesn't seem to be the logical source of the problem here. Maybe you can give me some help here. My friend, registered here as ThomasMagnum, was firing the gun with Wilson 47D mags and S&B ammo. The ammo came from Cheaper Than Dirt today in the same 1,000 round box that I believe CTD received it in. The gun was cleaned (actually detail stripped and cleaned) only a few weeks ago and this was the first firing since cleaning. It was lubed appropriately, with maybe an err to the excess. I was picking up trash (doing my good deeds for the range) while he was shooting down range. He brought the FTE my attention. An empty case was stuck with the base of the case at the top of the breech and the mouth of the case at the rear of the chamber hood. It was stuck there forward facing with the slide closed on it. It looked like this (recreated later with the same case and dummy ammo): [IMG]http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=1600140&a=12195031&p=47829699[/IMG] [IMG]http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=1600140&a=12195031&p=47829693[/IMG] The offending case: [IMG]http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=1600140&a=12195031&p=47829695[/IMG] [IMG]http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=1600140&a=12195031&p=47829701[/IMG] There's nothing unusual about the case as I see it. The normal marks from the extractor are present on the rim. The rim is still fully intact. I've heard of stove pipe FTE's before, but never this. What causes stove pipes? Is it the same cause on this FTE? Any chance this was just a random case that bounced back into the chamber? (We were NOT shooting around any obstacles, so it could not have bounced off anything other than the slide.) And what *really* steams me here is that I brought my SIG P226 to the range to let ThomasMagnum shoot them back to back and convince him that he should get a 1911. Well, that SIG of mine was purchased back in '92 or '93, spent some time before that on a cops hip, and has been generally abused and neglected (I baby my 1911 a heck of a lot more than my SIG) by me for the better part of 8 years. In that time it has probably digested 1,000+ rounds. It has done it in the rain, sand, with little and lots of lube, mostly dirty (not that 9mm's get that dirty), crappy ammo and the good stuff. And not so much as blink. It's just sat there, shut up and shot the rounds, loading the next one before exclaiming vigorously, "MORE PT DRILL SERGEANT, MORE PT!!" And it's damn accurate. Why the heck do I have to deal with this kind of crap from a $1,400 1911? Before this, the only problems that I've had with it were traced to improper break-in of the mags (i.e., new stiff springs) and bad out of spec ammo (Georgia Arms loosely packd Canned Heat). My 1911 let me down today and I'm not sure how I'm going to take it. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Maybe I should just sell the darn thing and get a SIG P210.... [:(] PS I am very fond of the 1911 and have spent a lot of time and money finding one that would not let me down. I thought I found it. Maybe I'll feel better about it in the morning.
Link Posted: 5/3/2001 7:50:14 PM EDT
BTT Don't let this drop off. There's got to be some 1911 experts online tonight. TIA
Link Posted: 5/3/2001 7:57:49 PM EDT
Perhaps the ammo??? I also have a 1996 A2 Stainless with the NS. I only shot mine abou 200 rds and never had a FTE . In Fact I can remember ever having a FTE was with a crappy AMT Back up .380 ACP. After that I cut it up and threw it in the bin. ( For real )
Link Posted: 5/3/2001 8:03:07 PM EDT
Common causes of stove pipes are: Light extractor tension. You can bend these or replace them if there is a real problem. Loss of slide velocity possibly due to the shooters thumb rubbing on the slide, dry rails, recoil spring bind.(I assume you have a full length guide anyhow) Using too heavy a recoil spring for the power of ammo used. Limp wristing recoil operated pistols. It only takes one limp wristed shot to cause a stovepipe.
Link Posted: 5/3/2001 8:05:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/3/2001 8:07:16 PM EDT by gardenWeasel]
One more thing. NEVER drop the slide of a 1911 onto a chambered round. The extractor will spring out of position.
Link Posted: 5/3/2001 8:16:09 PM EDT
ok I know some about the 1911s and I have never seen anything like that, but I would say bad rnd. this dosent aply but my tommy guns do the same thing when I use week ammo. how tight is your grip? this is definatly a recoil problem. is your spring jaming up? how smoth is the slide? is it posible that something is in the rails? hopefuly Ive gave you some ideas and if its none of those email me and send the pics I have a friend that bulds 1911 race guns and Im sure he would have some Ideas. hope this helped
Link Posted: 5/3/2001 8:21:43 PM EDT
Your recoil spring seems to be too heavy go to a lighter spring maybe 16lb. you got an extractor grove in your fired case so tension (seems) ok. try to fire one round and see if your slide locks back, try that about five times, if your slide locks back all five times your recoil is most likely ok. you are shooting factory loads right? if it still does'nt work I'd polish my chamber, post back. good luck!
Link Posted: 5/3/2001 9:25:24 PM EDT
Garden Weasel has given you good advice. Your extractor tension may be set improperly, and coupled with an incorrect weight recoil spring, it can display the same characteristics you saw. Check your extractor tension first and see if that may be the problem. Another resource is [url]www.1911forum.com[/url]
Link Posted: 5/4/2001 6:37:54 PM EDT
I am heartened to read that even Glocks are susceptible to "limp wristing." [urlhttp://glocktalk.com/docs/gtubb/Forum7/HTML/001701.html[/url] But now how do I break the news to ThomasMagnum? PS I feel better now! Think I'll go clean my .45 and drink a beer!!
Link Posted: 5/4/2001 6:54:32 PM EDT
The most likely cause is a "short" round, often found in less consistent ammo.....otherwise, it is only a symptom of dirt or a "non" broken in handgun, which is not your condition. i would keep using until it is proven that a possible defect exists, where i believe that Bill Wilson would make the gun right for you....[pistol]
Link Posted: 5/4/2001 7:01:14 PM EDT
Wilson recommends S&B as practice/IDPA ammo, so I think I'm using good stuff. And I NEVER had any doubt about Wilson making things right. The quality of their products is exceeded only by their truly superior customer service.
Link Posted: 5/4/2001 7:27:40 PM EDT
looks to be a combination of too heavy of recoil spring, probably more suited for heavy loads, and limp wristing the pistol. Limp wristing can cause some strange failures including stovepiping and ones like you had here due to your hand and arm absorbing the recoil instead of the action of the pistol. And depending on how you allow the move in your hand affects the type of failure you are likely to encounter. Either get some heavier loads and try those or try a lighter spring, and hold the pistol firmer. That'll most likely solve the problem.
Link Posted: 5/4/2001 7:36:55 PM EDT
I have several 1911's and shoot service pistol as well as IPSC. I shoot for a Navy team. Every time I change to my REAL light target loads and forget to change recoil springs I get the EXACT same jam. My loads crono at 200fps slower and my spring is a variable two pounds lighter than stock. 16 pounds in my Commander. I do not shoot these loads in the others. Hope this helps. Bob
Link Posted: 5/4/2001 7:44:32 PM EDT
That`s exactly why the gold cups (of "better times") came with 2 different recoil springs and 2 different magazines.....anyone who loves and uses 1911`s can deal with "minor" difficulties. as bad as some can rant on colt, "the original is still the best"...[pistol]
Link Posted: 5/4/2001 8:04:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/4/2001 8:18:43 PM EDT by DJbump]
I can be of no help on the FTE problem. Might I suggest the following, though? Buy a Heckler & Koch USP and be done with weapon-related problems. While some will drop 1K+ on a designer 1911 and become well-versed in failure skills, and others prefer Gaston's Claymation/Playskool my first handgun, other do not compromise. Buy a H&K USP and never look back. Only thing you ever have to worry about with a H&K is which H&K to buy next or trying to keep enough ammo to feed them. Edited because I am a graduate of the Don King School of spelling.
Link Posted: 5/4/2001 8:14:22 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DJbump: I can be of no help on the FTE problem. Might I suggest the following, though? Buy a Heckler & Kock USP and be done with weapon-related problems. While some will drop 1K+ on a designer 1911 and become well-versed in failure skills, and others prefer Gaston's Claymation/Playskool my first handgun, other do not compromise. Buy a H&K USP and never look back. Only thing you ever have to worry about with a H&K is which H&K to buy next or trying to keep enough ammo to feed them.
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Have a number of colt 1911`s......am begining to think like you.....not that they`re bad, just go with today`s technology!....B&G
Link Posted: 5/4/2001 8:24:26 PM EDT
Arggggh! B&G, don't say that!! Why can't someone finally take the "finicky" out of 1911's? Someone's been trying to make the "modern" 1911 equivolent and no one's done it yet. Well, I just realized tonight that my Shok Buff was torn apart after about 250 rounds. They're rated for 1,000. Apparently, they get chewed up on hot loads, so I don't think the FTE is light load related. More like limp wristing by my friend. And I've DX'd the Shok Buff. Tonight I'm putting the pistol away sans Shok Buff for the first time. I'll likely never look back. It's back to basics for this .45. So is this becoming a "bitch about 1911's" thread? I thought I was feeling better til I cracked the thing apart and found the WC Shok Buff shredded. Maybe I'll sleep with my SIG tonight.... Tomorrow I start designing a brand new all steel SA cocked and lockable single stack .45 to market to SIG. :)
Link Posted: 5/4/2001 8:46:32 PM EDT
Originally Posted By JacRyan: Arggggh! B&G, don't say that!! Why can't someone finally take the "finicky" out of 1911's? Someone's been trying to make the "modern" 1911 equivolent and no one's done it yet. Well, I just realized tonight that my Shok Buff was torn apart after about 250 rounds. They're rated for 1,000. Apparently, they get chewed up on hot loads, so I don't think the FTE is light load related. More like limp wristing by my friend. And I've DX'd the Shok Buff. Tonight I'm putting the pistol away sans Shok Buff for the first time. I'll likely never look back. It's back to basics for this .45. So is this becoming a "bitch about 1911's" thread? I thought I was feeling better til I cracked the thing apart and found the WC Shok Buff shredded. Maybe I'll sleep with my SIG tonight.... Tomorrow I start designing a brand new all steel SA cocked and lockable single stack .45 to market to SIG. :)
View Quote
J R.....here`s my "take" on 1911`s......i currently own three....along with other autoloaders....have shot glock, and sig, did not see any reason to own anything else, since my 1911`s function perfectly, and are as pleasant to shoot as the others, as well as my leo nephews beretta, BUT....to move up, what do i do?...the only thing i hav`nt done, is get into h&k, and it looks like state of the art to me at this time.....however....i MAY simply stay with 1911`s, since i know how to "wring the bugs out" and enjoy doing it.....there is no set number to how long shock buffs will last in your gun, it is up to the gun itself....you have to get to "know" your gun. if you do not care to do this, as many do not, then you must "find" what works for you.....then i would say, h&k...sig...glock...but if you like to "play" 1911 is the only way to fly....and it is VERY rewarding to make a totally reliable and accurate handgun, with just a little bit of "work" (i call it attention).....[smoke]
Link Posted: 5/5/2001 6:26:17 AM EDT
B&G: Yup, I'm wringing the bugs out of mine. It is satisfying when you get it right, but frustrating at times. I may have more miles on that Shok Buff than I thought. I have to update my maintenance log after Friday's shoot. But for out of the box, plug and play, you can't beat a SIG. And, FWIW, my WC 1996A2 has been pretty good to me. Never jammed on me in a shooting string. Just lots of stuff you have to stay on top of. Having a 1911 is kind of like having an Airedale Terrier over a more mellow dog. More rewarding (for those that like high strung intelligent dogs), but you also have to work with them more. Well, I have a 1911. And an Airedale. [:)]
Link Posted: 5/5/2001 7:24:22 AM EDT
the 1911 is a great pistol but 1400 bucks ?man i feel a stock colt or springfeild 5-6 hundred is all a 1911 should cost iv had 3 still do colt 1991s cheap garden verity and never have i had a single problem.i thing all those race gun mods are a waste of money and ruin reliability IMHO
Link Posted: 5/5/2001 8:58:12 AM EDT
jac: It's that kind of stuff that made change to glocks!
Link Posted: 5/5/2001 9:04:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/5/2001 9:06:20 PM EDT by DJbump]
My recommendation still stands. Have no first-hand experience with the Colts, Kimbers, or Springfields other than fondling them in various gun shops (which I enjoyed). I paid $587 shipped for my USP in the ever menacing .45. I'm the crazy sort, tho, because I want weapons that work, and work everytime not some prissy debutantes that need to be ego-stroked to perform. Something about a weapon that I can stake my life on kinda thing. While i do enjoy weapons, I NEVER forget why I own and use them, so I will not buy "projects". Maybe it's just me. "Fifty men have run America, and that's a high figure." Joseph Kennedy, father of JFK, in the July 26th, l936 issue of The New York Times. "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident." (Arthur Schopenhauer)
Link Posted: 5/5/2001 10:24:26 PM EDT
For that kind of money, you should have gotten a Les Baer- waaaaayyyyyy better pistol. You've basically got a Kimber with some Wilson parts in it for twice the money. The shok-buff might be part of the problem, you're smart to dump it. They don't really save your frame, they just make it crack in a different way when it finally does go. Try it with a 16-lb spring and an 18-lb spring, make sure your thumb isn't slowing down the slide if you are riding the thumb safety. If that doesn't do it, send it to Wilson and tell him to fix the darn thing. For $1400 you should get a gun that works! Not to make you feel bad, but Wilson guns are overrated. He buys all his parts from vendors and throws them together. His slides and frames are from Kimber, the other parts from different vendors. I don't know who makes his barrels, but they are excellent. You can get just as much gun in a stock Kimber for about half the price- even their CDP line with aluminum frames, stainless slides and night sights run about $950. If Wilson can't or won't fix it, sell it and get a Kimber or Les Baer. Don't let one gun ruin you for 1911's, they are a great gun! You just have to be careful which one you buy. I had three Colts that wouldn't work before I got my Les Baer, and now I wish I'd bought it first.
Link Posted: 5/7/2001 7:15:34 AM EDT
I've had this happen once or twice in both my Wilson CQB and my Kimber and so have several other guys on our shooting team. Both times were with S&B ammo as well as with the other guys, so I'm thinking that some bad rounds slip in on occassion. Possibly underpowered?
Link Posted: 5/7/2001 7:40:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/7/2001 7:46:55 AM EDT by AR_Rifle]
8531Sgt is quite correct. I had something similar to this happened to me with my Beretta 92FS. The ammo I used is the SA 9mm Blue Box. Back then everyone, including our famous Troy, suggested that I use a heavier grain bullet 124gr 9mm instead the usual 115gr. What happened is that the ammo I used are underload and failled to push my slide all the way back to properly eject the spent shell. I got my empty shell stuck between the slide and the breech with the new cartridge underneat of it. When I switcht ammo (fully loaded ones) the problem disappeared. Many months later, using the same SA ammo (blue box) with a different 9mm pistol, I didn't have any problem. It can be the combination of both the spring of your gun and the underload cartridge. Got to try different type of ammo (preferrably the heavier ones) to see which one your Wilson likes .
Link Posted: 5/8/2001 9:49:33 AM EDT
Thanks for the replies. In retrospect I was fuming over nothing. I am *very* concerned when a firearms of mine has a malfunction and immediately try to determine the source of the malfunction. I realize my initial post was reactionary and unfair to Wilson Combat. I certainly did not mean to undermine the quality of their products or their customer service (which is superb). I believe that the source of this problem was limpwristing by my friend. He's just started shooting this spring. I've never had a jam like this when firing the gun. I also think that it's time for a new recoil spring. I don't believe that the recoild spring was a contributing factor in this FTE, but it is time. The FTE occurred on about round number 1,950-1,975. At the end of the range session, the gun had 2,041 rounds through it. It's time for a new recoil spring. I'll order a new 18.5 pound spring and a few spares today. The gun has gone through 2 Shok Buffs. The first was the original that was changed at 1,096 rounds. It still looked like it was in very good shape. The second was taken out at 2,041 rounds. It was cut, but still intact. I'm sure that it was in worse condition than the first because the recoil spring was not as strong. The problems that I've had with the gun came mainly from a Wilson 47T 10 round Bureacrat magazine (old style feed lips) and a stiff 47D 8 round magazine (old style feed lips as well). The first round would not always feed from slide lock with a fully loaded magazine. Wilson swapped the offending "old style" feed lip magazines for new ones at no charge. I have not had a single magazine related problem since. I also had FTF's with Georgia Arms "Canned Heat" loosely packed newly manufactured 230 grain FMJ. I finally bought a micrometer and determined that about 5-10% of the rounds were 1.22" OAL. The mouth of the case was pronounced over the shoulder of the bullet and the first round from 8 rounds mags was getting hung up from slide lock. Wilson said that the OAL on FMJ's should ideally be 1.25", and no shorter than 1.24" for reliable feeding. Solution? Switched to Sellior & Bellot FMJ (recommended by Wilson) and if I ever *need* to shoot questionable ammo I'll only load 7 rounds in my 8 round mags. In all fairness, these two problems were resolved before the 1,000 round mark and this FTE was the only malfunction in about 1,000 rounds. In the future I'll monitor the condition and length of my recoil spring better, checking it against the spares I'll keep on hand. I should not have posted anything until the next day, and then asked questions instead of ranting. Ranting rarely gets anything useful accomplished. Asking questions frequently does. I've had a 1911 of one type or another for 6 years, but have put more rounds through my 1996A2 and AR15's since September of 2000 than I had the preceeding 5 years. I'm just now getting to know the 1911 intimately. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!
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