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Thread: Springfield 1911 Mil-Spec - Feed issue (Help from 1911 Tuner)

  1. #1

    Springfield 1911 Mil-Spec - Feed issue (Help from 1911 Tuner)

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    Hello all.

    About a week ago I took my new to me Springfield Mil-Spec to the range. Several times it did not return to battery. It did it a couple times when putting in a new mag and slingshotting the slide, and it also did it a few times in the middle of a mag. I was using 230 gr PMC FMJ ammo.

    The photos are not from the range. I recreated the jam by easing the slide into battery. It looks exactly the way it did at the range though.

    I posted this info on a couple different forums and it was suggested that I try to contact 1911 Tuner as he is the man when it comes to 1911s. I sent him a PM and he was gracious enough to take a look at it for me today. Wow, he sure knows his 1911s!!

    Here is a pic of the problem. Below that I will list the steps Tuner took to help remedy the issue.

    The first thing he noticed was that the original owner had apparently swapped out the stock recoil spring with a heavier lb version. He had an extra stock spring and put that in.

    I am quoting Tuner here because this part is above my pay grade...

    I reduced the amount of extractor deflection by cutting the tensioning wall .003 inch deeper, and reduced the length of the claw from the wall to the tip a like amount.

    Then, I cut a light bevel on the bottom of the wall so the rim could cam the extractor open more gradually.

    I finished up by cutting a light radius on the bottom of the claw itself to prevent the sharp corner from contacting the angle on the front of the case extractor groove. Pretty much SOP with an extractor the camming bevel. Then, I broke the sharp corner at the top for more consistent ejection.

    He also noticed that the previous owner had tried polishing the feed ramp and had slightly broken the top edge in a small area. He said it was not bad and shouldn't cause an issue, but if I continued to have problems, he might have to re-cut the barrel ramp.


    So this afternoon I took it to the range. Before Tuner worked on it, it would feed jam about 1 out of 7 to 10 rounds. Today I ran 7+ mags through with only 1 hiccup. And I think that was because I didn't slingshot the slide putting the first round in. The pistol was also fairly dry as I hadn't lubed it since the last cleaning. I forgot to lube it before going to the range.

    Tuner told me that was 1 to many failures and I may want to try another mag and if that didn't help he would re-cut the barrel ramp.

    Hopefully 1911 Tuner will weigh in and clear up anything that I forgot to add or didn't explain well.

    I want to thank him again for taking the time to help me out and for the stock spring that he put in at no charge.

  2. #2
    Not Subscribed Pistoleer Classified Feedback: 1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Lexingon, NC...or thereabouts
    Starting around the time that the GI Mil Spec was introduced, Springfield was struggling with a run of bad extractors. The problems ranged from dimensional spec issues to poor heat treatment and not holding tension.

    One of the dimensional problems was in the front pad behind the claw causing the claw to sit too close to the breechface centerline, and placing too much of the tensioning wall into the breechface feedway...which increases the amount of extractor deflection as it picks up the rim.

    After a close look at BladeRunner's breechface, it appeared to have about .015 inch of deflection...which isn't as much as some I've seen...but just enough to cause an intermittent failure to go to battery. I like to see .010-.012 inch, err on the side of caution...I cut .003 inch out of the tensioning pad, and removed a like amount from the claw to address any possibility of the claw bottoming out in the case extractor groove, and cut a light camming bevel in order to let the rim to allow it to open the extractor more gradually.

    The correct deflection allows a good bit of tension on the extractor, and although the .003 inch cut did reduce the tension a bit, the expedient shake test indicated that there was enough.

    The other problem that I spotted was that the previous owner polished the feed ramp in the attempt to get the pistol to feed, and he rolled the top corner slightly. Fortunately, the damage was slight, and a few test feeds from the magazine with one finger pushing the slide and the recoil spring relaxed satisfied me that the bug was probably squashed. His one failure to go to full battery on the top round during a slidelock reload indicates that recutting and contouring the barrel ramp may be in order. After he shoots the gun a bit more, we'll make that call. It's also possible that a bit more cut out of the extractor tensioning wall will do the trick.

    What we've learned here is that sometimes the standard "Do this/Check that" troubleshooting doesn't always address the problem. Most feed-related issues can be traced straight back to the magazine. If the magazine proves good, the next thing to look at is the extractor.

    All too often, the advice is to reduce the tension, but if the deflection is can reduce tension until the case falls off the breechface and still have return to battery problems...and that's where a lot of the trouble starts.

    After adjusting tension without satisfactory results, our boy's next step is to grab a Dremel and have at the feed ramp...and we've already found out where that usually winds up. If the bullet nose enters the chamber at all, the feed ramp isn't even part of the equation any more.

    The lessons:

    1. Once that material has been removed, it can't be put back, so before you file, cut, grind, sand, or polish sure that all other possibilities have been eliminated.

    2. Learn to think outside the box. Very often, the "standard" advice doesn't apply.

    3. Leave the feed ramp alone. Mirror polishing isn't necessary as long as the angles are to spec, and Dremel Dan wrecks those angles more often than not.

    BladeRunner...You can cut and paste this post to the other forum if you want.
    Last edited by 1911Tuner; 08-05-2012 at 06:31 AM.

  3. #3
    I definitely will post your reply in the other forum. Thanks again sir!!

  4. #4
    Not Subscribed Pistoleer Classified Feedback: 1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Lexingon, NC...or thereabouts
    Guess nobody gots any questions...

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