View Full Version : Help w/1911.frame battering?photos

kart racer
July 8, 2005, 05:58 PM
How much out of normal is this and what's causing it?There's no battering showing on the barrel or lugs..
http://img281.imageshack.us/img281/8796/mvc001f3nj.th.jpg (http://img281.imageshack.us/my.php?image=mvc001f3nj.jpg)
http://img281.imageshack.us/img281/1738/mvc002f7nq.th.jpg (http://img281.imageshack.us/my.php?image=mvc002f7nq.jpg)
http://img281.imageshack.us/img281/2002/mvc003f3yj.th.jpg (http://img281.imageshack.us/my.php?image=mvc003f3yj.jpg)
http://img281.imageshack.us/img281/760/mvc004f8qd.th.jpg (http://img281.imageshack.us/my.php?image=mvc004f8qd.jpg)
the pistol has around 2000rds thru it.

July 8, 2005, 06:04 PM
Did you happen to have put in a lighter mainspring? Any other mods?

What brand of 1911?

kart racer
July 8, 2005, 06:06 PM
factory springs and it is a loaded springer

Dean Taylor
July 8, 2005, 07:12 PM
Kart Racer,

Interesting photos. I have multiple 1911s - a couple with well over 100,000 rounds and a couple with 35 and 40 k rounds - None have lass than 2,000 rounds None of them look like your pictures not even my 1914 Colt.

I look forward to what the pistolsmiths say. Have you called SA? What does your dealer say.

Kart Racer - I love the name. Your photos are great.


Dave Sample
July 8, 2005, 07:49 PM
Looks like a bad guide rod to me. Also a heavy recoil spring may be doing this. Nasty looking, huh? Now you know why I build Custom Guns.

kart racer
July 8, 2005, 07:50 PM
Dean,I sent an email to s/a custom shop today,but I'm sure they were all ready closed.The gun has been 100% RELIABLE w/any ammo and shoots decent but not what I think it should.The barrel bushing appears in spec but I think a tighter fitting one would help.This is my first 1911 and I love them.I want to sell my other pistols and have only 1911's. Joe

kart racer
July 8, 2005, 07:53 PM
Dave,it has the flgr-yeah I know,what can I do to correct it?I think s/a should make it right-what do ya think?

Dave Sample
July 8, 2005, 08:19 PM
If the FLGR came with the 1911, I think they should clean it up for you. The end of the slide where it's hitting the guide rod was not even when they built it. A Shok Buff might have prevented this but we willl never know now. I am the last big fan of FLGR's and Shok-Buffs but I am used to flying high and alone. That is what it's like being Captain Eagle..........................

I smoke these areas up when building a custom gun and relieve the white spots to prevent this from happening. I also use quality parts which don't seem to batter. They are very hard and true.

Send it back. Let it be a Brazilian Problem.

BTW: They are trying to ban guns there as we speak.

kart racer
July 8, 2005, 08:43 PM
Just out of curiosity,what would fix it?do they work on the slide or the frame?obviously now the frame would have to be worked on, but was it the slide that caused this in the first place or the frame being out of dimension?Forget part of what i asked,you already answered about the slide being the culprit.

Dave Sample
July 9, 2005, 02:56 PM
If I were them, I would simply replace the gun with one built on Wednesday. I have no idea of how they would try to fix it since it is out of spec, in my opinion. These things happen but I have heard that they back up the bad ones. Let us hope they will.

Capt Charlie
July 9, 2005, 04:26 PM
I'm a little genuinely corn-fused here. Will a heavier recoil spring cause a battered frame? Reason I'm asking is that I bought a Charles Daly 1911 EMS (Commander clone) a while back. Initially, there were a few problems in that it didn't want to go completely into battery while chambering a round (FMJ). I did some reading on it, and on the advice of others dumped the factory mags in favor of Chip McCormick match grade mags, and swapped out the factory 16 pound recoil spring for a Wilson 18 pounder. It seems to have solved the problem, but I don't want it battering up the frame over time, either. Advice?

James K
July 13, 2005, 07:37 PM
A heavier recoil spring won't batter the frame that way. In fact, it will slow the rearward motion of the slide and reduce impact on the frame/spring guide. The downside is that it will cause greater battering on the barrel feet and the slide stop pin where the barrel stops when going forward into battery. A lighter spring has the opposite effect. There is no such thing as a free lunch; "solving" one problem will create another.

That kind of battering should not occur, since the slide should never directly contact the frame at that point. As designed, the recoil spring guide takes the main force of the slide, not the frame directly, and there should be plenty of surface area to distribute the force so no battering takes place.

That frame almost looks like there was no recoil spring guide at all, and the slide was directly hitting the frame, a bad idea. FWIW, I am of the opposite opinion from Dave; I think FLGR's are an expensive and useless fad and best consigned to the nearest trash can. I further think that buffers are generally useless and can cause malfunctions by reducing the slide's forward "bounce" which is designed to ensure good feeding.


Dave Sample
July 13, 2005, 09:04 PM
People who install heavier than necessary recoil springs batter everything in that gun with heavy loads and Jim is right about the heavier spring should not cause this but who knows? Something caused it.

I love full length guide rods in my Toy Guns. I also love CP Shok Buffs in my Toy Guns. Why? I hate cracked frames and metal to metal contact every time I shoot it. I also don't like to feel that recoil spring crunch around in that spring tunnel. That is not to say I am right, however. I just like to bulld them and then have them run forever. I know ,I know, it is the year 2005 and if it ain't broke, fix it!

I have some guesses here but I do not wish to be critical of the Good Old Brazilian Steel that everyone loves except me.

Metric guns? Phooey!

July 14, 2005, 04:50 AM
How about posting a pic of what the guide rod head looks like.

Hunter Customs
July 14, 2005, 09:03 AM
You might want to check the recoil spring to see if it's coil binding before the slide goes to full compression cycle. Also check the length of the spring tunnel on the slide.
Bob Hunter

Dave Sample
July 14, 2005, 03:37 PM
Good advice from Bob. That could be it. If the recoiul spring coils are all compressed and make a solid thingy, it could make those marks!

kart racer
July 14, 2005, 07:53 PM
I'll post a picture of the guide rod tomorrow-don't have the camera available right now.How long is the tunnel supposed to be and what is the most accurate way to measure it?I sent s/a an email and they said they would send an auth. #.It doesn't feel like the spring is binding-what's the best way to check to make sure?THANKS for the help..

James K
July 14, 2005, 09:01 PM
I don't think even the recoil spring going solid would cause that problem, but it is easy to find out. With the gun all together, pull the slide back as far as possible, and use a pencil to make a line on the slide and frame to show how far back the slide comes.

Then, remove the recoil spring, putting everything else back as it was, and do the same thing. If the slide comes back further without the spring, the spring is going solid and the gun needs a new spring with fewer coils or thinner wire.

Dave, the reason I don't care for buffers in a serious purpose gun is because they absorb all or part of the energy picked up by the slide in its rearward travel. That means no energy is returned to the slide to help it in its forward travel to pick up and chamber the next round. The design is such that forward slide movement is not due just to the recoil spring, but to that energy returned to the slide when it bounces off the frame. That is why a slide (in a normal gun) moves forward faster in firing than it does when it is simply released from the locked back position.

Again, no free lunch - if you save the frame, you sacrifice some reliability.


kart racer
July 14, 2005, 09:26 PM
Jim,I just did that test and it goes to the exact same place either way-what next?I have another guide rod to compare the factory one to and the factory goes a good bit further up the frame-would that make any difference.When I say that,I mean it's taller.There is no battering on the face of the guide rod.Kinda makes me wonder if the metal is soft. :rolleyes:or the rails out of spec.There is no battering on the slide,barrel or lugs,so what's up with it?

Double Naught Spy
July 14, 2005, 10:02 PM
Looks like a bad guide rod to me. Also a heavy recoil spring may be doing this. Nasty looking, huh? Now you know why I build Custom Guns.


If the FLGR came with the 1911, I think they should clean it up for you. The end of the slide where it's hitting the guide rod was not even when they built it. A Shok Buff might have prevented this but we willl never know now. I am the last big fan of FLGR's and Shok-Buffs but I am used to flying high and alone.


People who install heavier than necessary recoil springs batter everything in that gun with heavy loads and Jim is right about the heavier spring should not cause this but who knows? Something caused it.

Dave, I sort of thought you might know about whether or not a heavy recoil spring would be the cause of this. Since the recoil spring slows the rearward motion of the slide in a gradual manner before the slide reaches full rearward movement, then too heavy of a spring would preclude battering as the cause for this. The slowed rearward travel of the slide won't be putting enough pressure on the frame via the guide rod to produce this problem.

A shock buff is just another slide slowing mechanism. It slows the rearward movement of the slide such that some energy is bled off before the slide reaches it full rearward movement. If a shock buff might have helped this problem, then so too would have a heavier spring.

Too light of a spring will allow a slide to reach for rearward position with more energy than a heavier spring.

So who knows? I am not sure, but the basic physics suggests that the problem won't be the spring being too heavy.

You mentioned potential inferior metal. This sounds like a good possibility. The only 1911 I have seen with such battering was an old AMT Hardballer. The stainless frame was just too soft. To combat the problem of battering from rearward movement, a heavier recoil spring was put in and it eventually caused the slide stop holes to become slightly oval as the heavier spring sent the slide forward with enough power to pull the barrel link, hence the slide stop pin, and essentially produce battering in the forward direction. There was no winning in either direction.

July 15, 2005, 10:23 AM
I have a Gold Cup frame with similiar "impact" marks.

The local gunsmith told me "too hot loads" and/or "too soft a spring".

And he "smiled" when he said it. ;)

Dave Sample
July 15, 2005, 01:41 PM
One thing you need to know is that heavier springs are thicker. This could cause what Bob pointed out but I am thinking now that the lower end may have missed the heat treatment room or failed to pass some other hardness test. Without having this gun here, it is very difficult to tell.

There is not Shok Buff or FLGR in my 1954 LW Carry Commander. I think that I stated clearly that I used them in my Toy Guns so we are not that far apart. I am open minded enough to think that there are various applications for these kind of parts. I think they extend recoil spring life when used in a gun that is shot in matches . Ed Head at Gunsite disagrees with me and simp[ly said "A $5.00 spring is not a problem to me!" I also think they save finger tips by eliminating "Pinch Checking." He said "We don't teach that any more." He did not say why or who's finger got shot . I value his opinion , but I build these guns, he just shoots them.

Most Pistolsmiths are Hard Headed, Arrogant, Opinionated, and very good at what they do. We all have different ideas and styles of work so we are all right, or we are all wrong. I prefer to think that their way works for them, and my way works for me. This is called "Free Enterprise" and is part of being an American. I do not use heavy recoil springs in 1911's . I use what the factory calls for in recoil springs ( I use a 16 1/2 lb VP in 45 ACP's) but make adjustments on the other springs such as the heavy duty firing pin spring, step down mainspring and magazine catch spring. I use a stock sear spring from Wolff and tweak it to suit my needs. My guns are not fussy about ammo and will generaly shoot any kind of ammo including 175,000 IPSC semi wad cutters. Thsi is what I like and tell my clients to use. I like to achive a well balanced gun. They are more fun to shoot!

Harry Bonar
July 19, 2005, 10:04 AM
Dear Shooter:
I had the same thing happen on a 1911! However, the slide actully "stuck-back" after firing.
I got rid of the guide-rod - fixed immediately.
At Novaks we NEVER use a guide-rod in a combat 45! Many do, but not me; my guns MUST go "bang" everytime!
Harry B.

Dave Sample
July 19, 2005, 11:12 AM
Most FLGR's need to be fitted and that is why problems occur in some 1911's. I have been using them since they came out in my Toy Guns and I just ordered three pacs of CP Shock Buffs for my guns. They do not affect function in any way that I know of and I have never had a problem with one in 20 years. I have never had most of the problems that come up on forums because my guns run. 100%. Guide rod or not.

I do not care about Internet fads that start on these forums. I go by what I know to be true from my own experience.