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Posted: 9/14/2003 8:08:46 PM EDT
I need some advice Gentlemen(I use that term loosely). I bought a Kahr arms 1911 several months ago, broke it in, all the while getting stovepipes every mag. I called Kahr, they were really good to me by the way, and they took it back and polished the feed ramp, and replaced the extractor. I took it to the range yesterday, and after two mags, it started stovepiping again, just not as often. What would you guys do? Sell it and cut my losses(I paid way too much for it)? Or should I give Kahr Arms another call? Or should I bite the bullet and go to a gunsmith and pay 250$ for a reliability job? I don't know anything about adjusting extractors, and don't have the tools, so that's kinda out. I paid too much for this gun and now it's a lemon and I'm not sure what to do. I sure as hell wouldn't trust it with my life, or the life of my pregnant wife. Any advice appreciated. I love this gun when it works though. 1911's are so nice to shoot.
Link Posted: 9/14/2003 8:53:38 PM EDT
What do you describe as a stove pipe?
Link Posted: 9/14/2003 10:10:36 PM EDT
First of all, it shouldn't cost you $250 to fix your gun. Chances are your extractor may need adjusting.

Failing that, then yes, I would send the gun back again & give them another shot at it.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 9/15/2003 2:56:02 AM EDT
Lots of unanswered questions here...what ammo were you using? Is the gun clean and well lubricated? What mags? etc. etc.

A "stovepipe"...assuming you are speaking of the classic empty case giving you "the finger", case mouth up in the ejection port...is a "failure to eject", but it can be caused by any of several things, of which an improperly adjusted extractor is only one.

I would try new, brass cased 230gr. hardball ammo with a Rogers/Wilson 7rd. mag after making certain that the gun was clean...pay particular attention to the chamber...and well lubed. If you still get malfunctions, send it back to Kahr and let them deal with it. No freaking way it should cost you $250 just to get it to feed new ball ammo! (If it does work, plan on replacing the mag anyway...the Wilson mags are the best!)
Link Posted: 9/15/2003 5:12:47 AM EDT
For about $15, you can rule out if it is a mag problem or not. (at least a spare mag is good to have anyway) Maybe rather than investing in a Wilson mag on a questionable weapon, get a CMC magazine and try it again, assuming factory ammo is being used.
I don't know who makes their magazines, but the Thompson .45 I had years ago NEVER choked.
If that fails, another call to Kahr would be in order.
I would also assume they would have checked extractor tension after replacment during the first visit.
Bearing in mind these may not be top of the line 1911s, but should still not be jammomatics.
Link Posted: 9/15/2003 11:44:40 AM EDT
Thanks for the replies. It is a stovepipe(failure to eject, round sticking out of the chamber giving me the finger). I have several mags, all fail. I have Chip McCormick mags mostly. I use new 230 gr. ball every time. I have tried several brands. I keep my gun well cleaned and lubed at all times.
Could the recoil spring be the culpret? I'll call Kahr Arms again today and see what they have to say. I really love the 1911 style pistol. Hopefully this problem gets resolved so I can get back to concentrating on my marksmanship instead of constantly fixing FTEs.
Link Posted: 9/15/2003 11:45:50 AM EDT
Try 230 grain hardball ammo.


I think you might be using "stovepipe" to explain the ammo not feeding into the chamber or the slide jamming out of battery about 1/8-1/4inch

If it FTF the throat is probably the problem.
OR THE AMMO (don't shoot the ugliest looking hollowpoint you can find- 1911's unless they are "throated for hollowpoints" don't like them)

If it fails to go completely into battery it might be the extractor tension is too high.

Link Posted: 9/15/2003 11:49:43 AM EDT
See your post now....


That is either an ectractor or ejector problem..

Does your frame have an ejector? (the thing that sticks up out of the frame left and forward of the hammer)

If it does it is an ejector problem replace with a Ed Brown extractor or SVI extractor. they make high quality NON-MIM extractors. They can probably send you one that is allready properly tensioned and will drop right in.
Link Posted: 9/15/2003 3:30:29 PM EDT
OK, just for more information, how far does it throw the brass when it does?
Link Posted: 9/15/2003 4:05:32 PM EDT
When I rack the slide it won't kick out a live round. It feeds just fine as long as I use the Kimber mags, hell even some of the cheaper mags feed just fine except for one cheap ten rounder that crapped out after about 400 rds. Does this mean ejector or extractor?
By the way you all have been a lot of help and I appreciate everyone taking time to help me figure this out. I think if I have all my ducks in a row when I call Kahr Arms, I can better inform them about what's wrong. They sem willing to help, I think they just need better info from me.
Link Posted: 9/15/2003 9:44:35 PM EDT
It's VERY unusual for the ejector to have problems, it's almost always the extractor.

I do not know if yours has the new style external extractor or the original internal style?

If it's external, I'd bet its spring is too weak. If it's internal, then it simply needs adjusting/tuning.

When you say it won't eject when hand cycling, does the rd come out of the chamber & then stay in the slide?
Link Posted: 9/15/2003 10:51:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/15/2003 10:52:57 PM EDT by 2IDdoc]
Yes the round comes out of the chamber and falls down the mag well. So I would suppose with my limited knowledge with 1911s that that rules out the extractor?
What spring do you mean?
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 4:43:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 2IDdoc:
Yes the round comes out of the chamber and falls down the mag well. So I would suppose with my limited knowledge with 1911s that that rules out the extractor?
What spring do you mean?



that does not rule out the extractor. I had a Llama that would cycle by hand all day, but didn't have enough tension when fired to reliably eject. Likely your extractor needs tuning. GOOD NEWS: You can try to do it yourself! Check out www.1911forum.com... lots of good info there. You can find the procedure for tuning the extractor there.

Link Posted: 9/16/2003 5:53:08 AM EDT
To check for proper extractor tension remove the slide and remove the barrel from the slide.

Place a round up against the breech face under the extractor just like it would be if the pistol was ready to fire.

The extractor should have just enough tension to hold the round in place.

If not remove the extractor and slowly and carefully bend it slightly untill it has enough tension to hold the round in place.

Fix this and your troubles will be over.

Also I have a question for the "experts" in this thread.

Just what does the mag have to do with a failure to eject?
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 8:38:17 AM EDT
Yes the round comes out of the chamber and falls down the mag well. So I would suppose with my limited knowledge with 1911s that that rules out the extractor?
What spring do you mean?

If you have an ejector you should be OK but check it (the rounds will never eject without an ejector.)

Take the slide off and look for a part extending upward just forward of the hammer on the frame.

If you have an ejector I would just buy a new QUALITY extractor and then it will function fine.
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 12:35:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/16/2003 12:38:38 PM EDT by cornbread2]
Even a "quality" extractor sometimes has to be fitted to your pistol.

There is no such thing as a drop in extractor that will fit ALL 1911 pistols correctly.

When he sent it back to the factory they most likely replaced the extractor but did not check to see if was fitted correctly.

There is such a huge varaition in the location of the holes in the slide where the extractor fits and varaitions in the breech face.

I have found that I could not bend an extractor enough to make them work without removing metal on the inside of the extractor to allow it to ride closer to the inside of the slide.

A lot of parts you replace on a 1911 requires fitting to your pistol.


If you want a pistol that will always accept drop in parts you have to buy a Glock.
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 2:54:04 PM EDT
Something inexpensive to try, and you should probably have anyway, is a Wolff 18.5# recoil spring. This is the spring under the barrel (the long one held in place by the plug at the front of the slide). The strength of this spring will affect the slide velocity. With stock 16# recoil springs, particularly after you fire 500 - 1000 rounds, they will weaken. This will increase slide velocity (less tension allows it to bang rearward faster). The slide can retract too quickly, rebound, and start forward catching the ejected brass in the ejection port.

The mag can be a culprit if the lips are too far apart and allow the top round to ride too high. This can knock the extracted case loose from the extractor as it strikes the top round in the mag (which is sticking up too far).

The extractor can be adjusted yourself if it's too loose. Use the before suggested method of putting a round under the extractor with the slidde removed. If it won't hold the round against the breechface, remove the extractor. Bend it slightly to the left (very slightly and gently). Reinstall and try again. Repeat this process until it will hold a loaded round against the breechface under it's own tension.

For my guess, I bet the recoil spring is the culprit.
Link Posted: 9/18/2003 4:18:03 AM EDT
If there is a 'shock buffer' on the guide rod, remove it.
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