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Posted: 2/16/2006 11:15:16 AM EDT
Let me give a breif history of this pistol, a Light Weight Loaded Micro Compact from Springfield Armory.

In the first 125 rounds, I had one minor FTF. The round simply hung up on the steep ramp. The next 200 rds were flawless. This was the last time I used the factory mags, as I'd aquired 1 Wilson Combat 7 rd and 2 Kimber 7 rounders. All these were tested and worked fine at this point.

Next time at the range, in about 125 rounds, I experienced about 5 or 6 of the same type FTF as the initial one. These occurred with all three mags. Some were with FMJ, and some with Ranger T JHP.

Following this event, I purchased, tensioned and installed a WIlson Combat Bullet Proof extractor (also found the extractor socket to be very full of crud, as I'd neglected to clean this area of the pistol properly, a situation I now take care to get each cleaning). I also lightly polished the feed ramp and chamber with Flitz and a Dremmel.

Next out, in about 50 rounds I had the slide lock back prematurely 6 times. Again, occurred with all 3 7 round mags. I worked on the stock slide stop a bit, and next trip fired 21 rounds. Several premature locks again. I ordered a Wilson Combat Bullet Proof slide stop (which has a detent in it to prevent premature lock).

Today, I went back to the range. I fired 28 rounds, all WWB FMJ. I had 3 malfunctions. First up, the Wilson mag. Flawless. The first (only time I've ever seen this one) malfunction was the last round in one of the Kimber 7 rounders. It ended up protruding from the slide, nose up, rather than in the chamber! Next, the other Kimber mag. I again ended up with a FTF, same as I'd experienced hundreds of rounds ago, It just ran into the ramp ans stopped.

I figured "enough with the Kimber mags" and decided I'd stick to the Wilson. Ran one more mag, and got a premature slide lock! Fed up, I cut my range time way short. No sense wasting the ammo (I am trying to get through several hundred rounds malfunction free, so I can carry the gun and feel reasonably confident in it.

Now I know these things have a rep, but have also read they can be made to run correctly. My patience is running thin, but is not at an end.

So, plan of action? There is the question, Should I send it back to Springfield? (They will likely at least make me replace the slidestop I "worked on" -slightly dimpled at the plunger contact area, and took some material off the inside edge where it was catching the nose of the rounds). But maybe they can fix it? (I will put stock parts back in prior to doing this).

Or, do I find a local smith (we do have a very reputable one in Marianne Carniack, not sure what would be involved $ or wait wise to get her to work on this).

Is it possible my recoil spring needs replacement? Perhaps the plunhger tube spring? Should I just try a buch of different ammo??

Don't suggest selling it, as that is no option right now. Couldn't dump the problems on someone else. Besides, I'm stubborn as hell, and determined to see this sucker run right! (Hey, it went over 200 rounds without a hitch, so I know it's possible!).

So, what do you folks say?
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 1:03:10 PM EDT
To diagnose...one quick and easy way to see what the problem can be is to go and get some snap-caps. Stripping the handgun, removing it's recoil spring, and mostly re-assembling so you can hand-cycle the weapon will help a fair bit here. You can leave the spring in, but it might make holding it and slowly hand-cycling the weapon a bit more trying.

Load two snap-caps in a magazine. Slide the slide forward, watch how it starts to move the round forward..check to see what happens to it's nose; does it move downwards? Does it come out of the magazine straight, and start to guide up the feed ramp?

While this is happening, keep an eye on the rim of the snap cap...at the end of the magazine does it pop up under the extractor? Is the extractor just pushing it forward, not capturing it?

I'm guessing it's a 'standard' barrel and not a ramped barrel/frame?

It almost sounds like the geometry is a little off, the ramp's a little steep, and it's just bouncing rounds out of the extractor and all that...but, hand-cycling, slowly, will give you a good idea.

It shouldn't be overly difficult to strip and chamber a round. In fact, it should be pretty smooth.

I'm guessing since you tensioned the extractor, you're comfortable debugging the extraction/ejection process. You may want to radius the lower edge of the extractor if you're comfortable, but that isn't really germain to this..

The only warning light is the slide stop coming up prematurely. That just smells of a magazine or other tolerance problem. It sounds like you didn't have any problems with the factory mags. There's a possibility (however remote) that the Wilson/Kimber mags aren't really working out well...what happens if you go back to the factory mags? Have you tried some Mecgar mags? Some people poo-poo them, but I find them to be of very high quality, and would not hesisitate to trust them...my opinion only, of course. Just cause the mag says Kimber or Wilson, doesn't necessarily mean they'll be perfect

Link Posted: 2/16/2006 2:07:12 PM EDT
What ammo is causing the highest percentage of the problems? Hardball or hollow point? Did you polish the breech face of the slide? Have you actually recut the feed ramp or did you only polish it? Charles the Gunsmith.
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 2:50:12 PM EDT
WOW, ME TOO.

I just bought a S/A micro compact. Put the first hundred rounds through it today. I had 7 slide stops on a partially full mag. I tried several after market mags as well as the factory S/A mag. It really did not make a diffrence which mag was in it.


Is this a S/A problem???? What should I do????
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 3:28:56 PM EDT
Thanks guys, here's what I've got so far:

Evil Ed

I've tried the hand cycling now both with and without the spring installed. I'm using orange safety training rounds (had them on hand, purchased to use in diagnosing where the slide stop was getting bumped).

They go forward and up nicely. They are rounded, perhaps more so than the FMJ (Winchester white box) that I've been using.

They are popping up ahead of the extractor when hand cycling slowly without the spring (except the last round) but I'm not sure that's actually going on when cycling for real. I duplicated the same with my new Kimber Warrior which has been pretty good so far, and got the same result. I think that is due to the light weight of the training rounds. Though I hated to do it I loaded a few live rounds into the mag, and hand cycled (no spring, never getting to battery) and they did feed flawlessly, and entered the extracter from underneath just as they should.

It is a ramped barrel BTW. The frame never even contacts the nose of the round. The ramp is quite steep, but it certainly cycles fine by hand.

I looked at the bottom bevel edge of the extracter prior to installing it. Looked textbook (per Kunhausen) though I didn't actually measure the angle.

The slide stop issue actually concerns me more than the other. Yet any malfunction needs addressing. I suspect that is either being caused by inertia or it's getting hit by the nose of the bullet. Perhaps something is off here, but unless it's an easy fix it is beyond my limited knowledge and skillset. I'm thinking unless I come up with something quick and easy to fix it, it's time to let a proffessional take a crack at it. I should try more mag/ammo combinations first though (the initial FTF's did include one or two with the factory mags as well).

1911 Builder

Lately, it's been ball ammo (Winchester white box) because that's all I've shot. Yes, I am kicking myself now, as I had Ranger T and lots of other mags I could have experimented with today. I need to go back. Afterall, if it will function properly with the Ranger (or another suitable defensive load) that's all that really matter I suppose. I bought this for a carry and mostly BUG to begin with!

I definitely didn't recut the feed ramp. It was light polishing only. I was on it for for only a short time with the Dremel (lowest speed) and only went until I had a bit of shine and it smoothed to the touch a bit. Under the thought that I'm no 'smith and the theory of "less is more" in these matters, I did not polish the breech face. I was sort of tempted, but decided against.


Vatopa

Though I hate to quote this guy, "I feel your pain". I'm sure we'll get these sorted out eventually. I'm thinking mine may go back to Springfield. I'll shoot it a bit tomorrow with different mags and ammo, and if it still acts up, I'll call them. If it comes back from them not right, I'll probably get it to that local smith (well known for quality 1911 work I understand).
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 3:32:33 PM EDT
T Bone,

I emailed S/A today. Waiting on their reply. I will also send mine back if the issues continue.

Maybe they just need a little time to wear in? I will give it another 100 or so rounds.
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 3:38:43 PM EDT
I'd suggest a phone call if you don't hear back soon. I sent them an email right after I bought mine, and they never responded. I called them last week, and was very happy with their attitude and response (they looked up when mine was built for me, and sent me a couple of those little dissassembly spring retainers free of charge, as I see that thing getting lost easily).

And some more rounds to wear in is a great idea on yours. Mine is nearing 600 rounds, and any kinks should have worked their way out by now IMHO. Maybe not....
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