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Posted: 12/31/2005 2:19:52 PM EDT
I have a Springfield Mil-Spec 1911-A1. I bought it new several years ago, and have run approx. 1500 rounds through. Throughout the time that I have owned it, I have experienced quite a few problems with failure to feed.
I thought at first it didn't like hollow points, and tried just shooting ball ammo. It would still jam, basically it will ram the top of the bullet in the top of the chamber, and it sticks and stops the slide (I think it is called a 3 point jam, but not 100% sure)
I tried different ammo, to no avail. Finally, I read that the extractor would cause this (round hanging up when the rim tries to slide under the extractor) When I checked my extractor with empty casings, it did appear to be too tight. I loosened the extractor some, and after that it fed perfectly the next several times I took it out to shoot.
I thought that the issue was solved until I took it out and ran 100 rounds through it at the range today, and it jammed on me about 5 or 6 times with my reloaded fmj rounds
(BTW, my reloads are with 230 grain fmj, 4.8 grains of Bullseye, overall length 1.265" with a very light crimp)

I finally isolated it to one of my mags, and when I quit using that mag, I had no more failures to feed today. But I have really gotten rattled about the reliability issues with this pistol!!
I owned a Taurus PT-92 that I never had the first jam in all the crap ammo I fed it, and I sold it because I had gotten bit by the 1911 bug. Now I regret getting rid of that pistol.
I am not bashing Springfield or the 1911 in any way, but I am beginning to loose confidence in it as a self defence pistol. I love the gun, and would hate to get rid of it. When it does shoot, it is extremely accurate and very comfortable for me. But I am afraid that if the time comes that I do have to use it to defend myself or my family it's going to choke on me.
I ordered two Chip McCormick SS mags today from the Sportsman's Guide, and I guess I will try them. I thought about some Wilson Combat mags, but they are like $30 each!!
Does anyone else have any other ideas on what might be causing this?
I am open to suggestions.
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 2:23:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/31/2005 2:24:14 PM EDT by cajunboy]
I had the same problem with my GI 45. I polished the extractor claw and it disappeared for about 20 rounds or so. I finally replaced the extractor and no more problems for about 300 rounds so far.

I was thinking mags at first but I used a friends Wilson's and they caused the same problem.
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 2:48:27 PM EDT
Buy the Kuhnhausen books and read the extractor section. He tells how to check/adjust for proper tension, how to relieve the extractor, etc.

Also, the crimp on your loads may be not be enough. Using dial calipers, compare it to that of the factory ammo. Mine are crimped to .468" (.45 230 grn FMJ ball 1.250 oal, mixed brass).

Quick test:

Remove the firing pin stop, f pin, f pin spring, and extrator (this can be done with the slide locked back on an assembled 1911).

Using factory ball ammo good quality mags, charge a magazine and seat in in the pistol. Rack the slide and see if the top round feeds. Do this test several times.

If it will feed, you likely have an extractor issue.

If it won't, you likely have a mag issue, an ammo issue, a burr in the chamber or on the breechface, etc.

If you diagnose an extractor issue, adjust the tension - too much and the cartridge won't feed becuase as the rim slides up the breechface, the too-tight extractor won't let the rim slide up the breechface. Too little tension and you get FTEs. Bend the front 1/2 of the extractor by putting it in the firing pin hole in the slide and bending.

Another thing to check: with the assembled pistol, look at the back of the slide and locate the rear of the extractor. If you can rotate it with your fingers (we call that "clocking"), I'd buy a new firing pin stop (oversize, forged, machined) and a new extractor (non MIM, get a EGW, Brown, Wilson)and either fit them or have them fitted.

Link Posted: 12/31/2005 3:16:50 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 8:18:41 PM EDT
Ahh Crap!!!

Just got the dreaded "Out of Stock" message from sportsman's guide. It looks like they will not be carrying those mags anymore, and my order got flushed.

Well, back to the drawing board, after reading the advice given here, I think I might try to find a good extractor and replace mine. I had adjusted it before, but if it is a MIM unit as I suspect, then that might be where my problems are coming from.

Thanks!!
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 10:31:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By chevyrulez1:
Ahh Crap!!!

Just got the dreaded "Out of Stock" message from sportsman's guide. It looks like they will not be carrying those mags anymore, and my order got flushed.

Well, back to the drawing board, after reading the advice given here, I think I might try to find a good extractor and replace mine. I had adjusted it before, but if it is a MIM unit as I suspect, then that might be where my problems are coming from.

Thanks!!



It's MIM, guaranted. Put a good one in, set it and go shooting. Also you might want to change the recoil spring out, and put in a Wolff.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 12:47:01 AM EDT
Don't forget that Springfield has a lifetime warranty. Call them and make them fix it.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 2:51:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By chevyrulez1:
Ahh Crap!!!

Just got the dreaded "Out of Stock" message from sportsman's guide. It looks like they will not be carrying those mags anymore, and my order got flushed.

Well, back to the drawing board, after reading the advice given here, I think I might try to find a good extractor and replace mine. I had adjusted it before, but if it is a MIM unit as I suspect, then that might be where my problems are coming from.

Thanks!!



know how that feels, check the EE, there are some dealers there that have ok prices on wilsons and CMC mags

thanks for the helpful advice a38337!
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 8:47:34 AM EDT
know how that feels, check the EE, there are some dealers there that have ok prices on wilsons and CMC mags

thanks for the helpful advice a38337!


No prob. I learned this stuff from people smarter than I.

MIM extractors aren't necessarily bad (although I replace them on my guns if so equipped originally - I don't want any chance of a problem with this critical part), but seem to loose tension easier, IMO. Hilton Yam is of the same opinion.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 9:51:02 AM EDT
I can speak from experience that the extractor info you have been given is priceless. buy a Wilson extractor and have it fitted or buy the Kuhnhausen book and do it yourself, alot of the extractors that come in guns are cast, not spring steel, they are crap..

Ive seen about 8 different 1911 problem guns brought up to almost 100% reliability. I have a good friend that is a 1911 guru.

I had completely lost faith in 1911's Ive owned 3 and none were reliable, I spent hundreds of bucks buying differents mags and parts trying to get them to work..

Come to find out all it needed was a $20 Wilson extractor and a needle file.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 10:29:50 AM EDT
Don't send it to Springfield, they will just put in a new MIM extractor. Springfield's extractors, at least in the basic guns, stink. Replace it with a Wilson, and a lot of your problems will probably go away.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 11:00:32 AM EDT
Thanks guys, one Wilson Combat bullet proof extractor on the way!!
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 2:22:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/1/2006 2:26:35 PM EDT by fxntime]

Originally Posted By chevyrulez1:
Thanks guys, one Wilson Combat bullet proof extractor on the way!!



Smart man. I bought about 15 USGI extractors a while back [new] and have used several in SAs 1911s. Hid the rest away for my GI guns as I've bought 2 that had broken extractor hooks and I bought them CHEAP because they did not work right. They are not the nicest looking things but the steel is pretty darn good.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 3:11:52 PM EDT


I had some similar issues during one range session. It turns out that I needed just a bit more lube, problem went away.

I mention it since you did not specifically mention lube in your original post (I assume you do but I wanted to bring it up just in case).
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 6:22:07 PM EDT
when I got my GI my extractor was tuned completly wrong, I tuned it and polished the chamber and ramps and it's 100%
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 8:59:34 PM EDT
I have a 1911 rookie question. I have a Kimber TLE / RL II with an External Extractor. I am having FTE problems. Can this Wilson combat extractor be fitted to my weapon?
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 9:00:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/1/2006 9:13:26 PM EDT by fxntime]

Originally Posted By PROFICIENT:
I have a 1911 rookie question. I have a Kimber TLE / RL II with an External Extractor. I am having FTE problems. Can this Wilson combat extractor be fitted to my weapon?



No. You are not the only one with that problem. From what I have read, they have redesigned it somewhat to be more reliable. If it is pretty new I'd send it back to them and make them fix it and get a paper trail going if it [the problem] goes over their warrenty period. Make sure you are using factory ammo when you have problems and not "Joes" ammo and hot dogs specials. Make sure to document to K the ammo used and exactly what is happening. That can help a lot. It could be something as simple as it's dirty. [field strip it and hose it out with brake cleaner then relube] or something like a chipped hook, some flash or swarf, or a bad spring.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 10:10:41 AM EDT
I will be picking up my S/A G.I. tomorrow and will shoot sometime this week. I will post a range report and if there are any problems, ie. FTE. This gun is going to be completely rebuilt later on anyway. However, if there are any issues I will definately hold S/A's warranty to the letter.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 10:36:17 AM EDT
I had that same problem with my Mil-Spec, I bought the Wilson Combat Bulletproof Extractor (either 70 or 80 series works, though, 80 is ideal), and it's far better now. Used to jam every few mags, now it'll jam every few hundred rounds. Sure, it's not perfect, but it's a lot better than it was. I'm still not entirely impressed, but I don't know what else I can do. Either way, new extractor is a good purchase.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 12:37:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By danpass:

I had some similar issues during one range session. It turns out that I needed just a bit more lube, problem went away.

I mention it since you did not specifically mention lube in your original post (I assume you do but I wanted to bring it up just in case).



Mine is cleaned and lubed with CLP. I make sure to get a little in the grooves where the slide contacts to keep it slick.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 6:58:38 PM EDT
It might not be just your extractor. Check and see if there is brass marks on you slide release. 9 times out of 10 this will cause a failure to feed. If the mag release is out of spec it can cause the problem.

If it is failure to extract then extarctor, ejector and even a tight chamber are likely culprets. Regardless, it's an S/A. If you are still having problems once you have replaced the extractor send it to S/A and have them do a reliability job for free under their Lifetime Guarantee.
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 4:06:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ColtGunner1911:
Don't forget that Springfield has a lifetime warranty. Call them and make them fix it.



They won't. He'll have to send it back ten or twelve times......and it STILL won't get fixed.
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 4:19:33 PM EDT
If you send it back take of ANY part you replaced and put the original part back in. Nothing like them taking a REAL extractor and putting one of their junk one's back in. I guarantee the real one will go home with someone.
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 5:20:32 PM EDT
For CMC mags, try CDNN Investments. They will get you on shipping if you aren't ordering much, but the prices on parts/mags are decent.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 4:45:50 AM EDT
...........mags can be had from many sources.....one good one is midway......the shooting star mags have always worked good for me......some colt mags have the same follower.....cdnn..good....midway had wilsons on sale not too long ago....finnally got some for my gold cup.....i had a couple triple k mags that worked great....some people swear at them though.....depends on the gun i guess.....you can order factury direct also....but pay fullretail that way.......search the vendors....lots of mags out there..........
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 4:50:31 PM EDT
Still waiting on my Wilson extractor, but while I was waiting I have been reading up on some of the troubleshooting articles on the m1911.org website and I have developed a few new ideas as to what may be causing my feeding problems. I will post my findings here in the hopes that it may help someone else here.

I think that the 3 point jam may be attributed to excessive stem bind. It appears that my barrel may be "riding the link" when returning to battery. When I removed my barrel, and put the slide stop pin through the barrel link, I could rotate it around simulating the motion of barrel lock and unlock. I noticed that the barrel lugs don't contact the pin at certain parts of the swing. I took some sandpaper and removed just a couple of thousandths of material from the top of the barrel link hole (Carefull not to remove too much), and now it looks like the barrel lugs do ride on the pin. According to the article I read, they say that 95% of the time that will fix the "3 point jam". I also just for kicks tweaked on a couple of other areas, like deburring the firing pin hole, etc.

Another thing that I learned from studying on 1911 troubleshooting is that the recoil spring may be ready for replacement. I noticed that my pistol is throwing my brass about 10-12 feet away when I shoot. I have heard that it should only be throwing the brass about 6 feet away, any more and the spring is too weak. I have found out from several sources that you should replace your recoil spring every 1500-2000 rounds, and that is about how much I have through my pistol. While the pistol has been jamming on and off every since I got it, I don't think that this is the source of the jams, but I don't think it is helping it either.

Anyway, now along with the Wilson Bulletproof extractor, I have coming an 18.5 lb wolff recoil spring also. People are pretty much split on the spring, since 16.5 lb is standard, some people think that the 18.5 lb spring is too much. However, I only shoot 230 gr bullets out of my pistol, so I will try the heavier spring and see how it does.

Once all this stuff comes in, I will change out the parts, check my extractor tension, and then I will take a trip to the range to run through a bunch of ammo (I plan to use the same magazine I had problems with before also) I will provide an update to let everyone know if this has fixed the problem
Link Posted: 1/16/2006 1:33:30 PM EDT
Well, after all the work that I have already mentioned, It appears that my problem has been solved. I don't know whether it was the weak spring, excessive stem bind, bad extractor, or a combination of the bunch.
I took the springfield to the range today, and ran almost 200 rounds through it, a combination of Wolf, Winchester white box hollow points, and my own hardball reloads. All rounds went downrange without a hitch. No jams, hesitations, nothing. It also looked like my brass was all ejected about 6 feet to my right. I ran ammo through all my mags, even the one I was having problems with before and didn't experience any problems at all.

I can say now that I have regained confidence in my 1911, and It moves back to the main secondary weapon status again.

Link Posted: 1/17/2006 12:55:25 AM EDT
glad to hear that, i planonbuying a milspec soon and it willbe my first 1911 and hope it runs smooth.
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