View Full Version : Why do the spent shells of my 1911 hit me in the nose?
October 9, 1998, 09:15 PM
Occassionally on my 70 series Colt the spent shells will come back and hit me in the nose, and its real annoying and painful'
I have a Commander thats notorious for this, and was recently fixed again by someone else. I haven't had the time to test it though and frankly I'm afraid of shooting the gun because I'm tired of getting wacked by it.
October 9, 1998, 11:02 PM
It could be a few different things
1)incorrect extractor tension/ejector length
2)Incorrect recoil spring weight
Is the port lowered?
October 9, 1998, 11:12 PM
The port has been lowered I believe, the other mechanisms were fooled with as well, but you bring out a good point with the spring. What is the golden rule on springs?
October 10, 1998, 05:12 PM
It depends on ammo but
for a standard .45 ACP (Im assuming)
stock Colt Government is 17 pounds.
An upgrade to 18.5 may help.
A Commander uses a heavier spring because the slide has less mass.
My Commander uses a 22 or 24 pound spring depending on the load.
Stock is 20# I believe.
Go to a range where you can watch your brass
eject. With a standard velocity load, brass should be shucked pretty close together somewhere from 3-6 feet away from you, IMHO.
Test your gun after installing any new spring.
Try WCWolff (not sure of website) stay away from variable power springs unless you have a compensator attached to your barrel.
Sounds like your spring is weak.
A semi-extended ejector may also alleviate the problem.
October 15, 1998, 12:24 AM
Make sure extractor is properly tensioned, if empty is not held securely, it may hit top shell in mag and be flipped to rear. If you are not able to be sure if the work being done on your 1911 pattern guns is good, get a copy of Jerry Kuhnhausen's The Colt .45 Automatic. Brownells has then --Ph 515 623 4000.
October 30, 1998, 09:09 PM
Hi Donna, I'm new to this forum, so if your problem's been fixed ignore this. From your other posts it seems that you just need a good gunsmith that knows 1911s. An extended ejector "should" cure your problem.An improperly tensioned extractor should give you other problems, like stovepipe jams.My .02 worth, I'm not a gunsmith, I don't play one on TV, but I put a lot of .45s downrange every month.
November 2, 1998, 09:33 AM
I noticed you said that the shells were striking your nose occasionally. Is it possible that you aren't gripping the firearm firmly enough?
Have some stalwart fellow (with riot helmet or motorcycle helmet with face shield lowered) try your firearm. Stand about six feet behind your soon-to-be former friend and observe the trajectory of the ejected cases while (s)he empties the magazine. A good working gun in the hands of a proficient shooter should eject the cases along the same trajectory all the time. If your gun does this, it isn't the gun. Just a thought.
[This message has been edited by 4V50 Gary (edited 11-02-98).]
December 18, 2005, 02:00 AM
yeah, this is why I like revolvers.
December 18, 2005, 04:58 AM
donna, just a bit of advice, wear a baseball cap when you shoot and leave the boy magnet shirts at home.
My daughter was shooting her Para Ord and a empty hit the divider at the range and a piece of brass dropped down her shirt front. Because she was hoping to see a friends son at that range, she had worn what she calls a boy magnet shirt, ( I have told her I do not care for those shirts but she choses not to listen to me) anyway for a good while she had TZZ 88 branded on some tender tissue.
As far as that issue happening,
Change a recoil spring.
Remove the slide and look at the ejector. Peened or worn might warrant a replacement. Adding a longer one can help but may make other issues show up.
Remove and clean the rim groove on the extractor. something gets built up in there and you can have troubles too. If you have another 1911 you can try and use it's extractor to see if it hold the case differently and fixes the problem.
if you can get dummy rounds try cycling the gun real slow and watching the action of the case as it leaves the barrel. Doing this without the recoil spring sometimes lets you see what is going on and see something that is catching or rubbing.
ejectors are cheap too and you can buy a surplus one from CDNN for 5 bucks and a colt officer aka extended for 10 bucks and a colt series 70 extractor for 15 bucks. this a few different wieghts of recoils springs are a good thing to have anyway for parts. just try and see, a lot of the fun is seeing if you can fix it yourself. that said, never try to remove any metal (file, sand, or dremel) from any part you are not willing to replace.
It is onething to grind a bit of metal off a 9 dollar ejector to get the right angle than to try to open a ejection port in a slide. experiment on the new parts too. then you have the originals as guides.
December 18, 2005, 12:05 PM
The recoil spring will not have much influence on the direction the brass is ejected. It does influence the distance the brass is thrown from the gun.
The two key parts you need to concentrate on are the ejector and extractor.
If both of those parts are tuned correctly brass should not be hitting you. There are other elements that can be effecting the extraction and ejection of your brass, such as timing and the position of the rounds in the magazine.
Keep in mind that a 1911 45 torques to the left so with a loose or weak grip the ejection port will be turned in a more upward position.
December 18, 2005, 06:51 PM
I doubt Donna's listening. Note her post date: 10/09/98. ;)
December 18, 2005, 09:33 PM
It's easy. Stop limp-wristing and it won't happen.
December 19, 2005, 06:52 PM
Extractor, and ejector and grip - grip tight but not to tremble - use the Weaver stance.
December 23, 2005, 02:50 PM
Donna, what it sounds like is that your ejector is not properly tuned.
If you don't feel comfortable doing this or if you have little experience working with hand tools on metal you should take your gun to a professional. Tuning an ejector is a simple procedure, but in gunsmithing mistakes can result in injury or death. Anyone who alters a firearm does so at their own risk. Besides, for all you know I may just be full of hot air.
*Ahem, now that I have that out of the way...
If you know how to play pool you can tune an ejector. If you have an extended ejector it can be tuned with a fine hand file and 400 grit sandpaper. Just imagine the spent case rolling off of the front surface of the ejector ejector at high speed and file the angle, being careful not to damage the frame or other parts, and not to remove more material than neccesary from the ejector, Keep in mind that a slightly curved lower surface will roll the case and will result in a more consistent ejection.
The upper angle is the surface which dictates the angle of ejection, the lower surface rolls the case and softens it's blow.
When you cut it to where you think you want it, deburr it and take it to the range to try it out, you may have to further tune the ejector but if it sends brass where you want it to all you have to do is lightly polish the surfaces you cut with sandpaper (wrap the sandpaper around something flat and square and be careful to keep square to the angles on the ejector. do not remove too much material and slightly round-off any sharp corners)
If this doesnt work you may need to install an extended ejector, which should be done by an experienced pistolsmith, or it may indicate other problems with the gun.
***Oh yeah, and remember to keep your grip tight and lock your wrist when shooting***
December 23, 2005, 03:16 PM
Like the man said, I don't think Donna is checking her posting after 7 years. I assume it is fixed by now!:(
December 25, 2005, 05:32 AM
Ah!! That good old 'Gangsta Grip' - another victim?
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