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Old August 3, 2012, 09:07 PM   #1
Shootest
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1911 question?

I got a question to run past you guys. First I’ll start by saying I have never had this problem before, but I have never used this bullet before either. I’m loading 230g cast RN with 4.5g Bullseye, 1.250 OAL, in my Colt Gold Cup 45ACP. It shoots GREAT I can keep 1 and 1/2 inch groups at 25 yards. However the last round in every clip I have will not feed. The slide locks open and the round is just sitting on top of the clip. Not in the clip just sitting on top. The gun works just fine with 185g and 200g SWCs. I will figure out the problem eventually but I was hoping one of you had a similar problem and could point me in the right direction. Thanks.
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Old August 3, 2012, 09:46 PM   #2
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Never heard of that before. What happens if you hand cycle the last 2 rounds of the magazine? Sounds like the magazine lips. How many mags have you tried?
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Old August 3, 2012, 10:00 PM   #3
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I tried all 6 of my mags, 2 original Colt one 7 round and one 8 round, 3 military surplus 7 round clips and an off brand extended 12 round mag.
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Old August 3, 2012, 10:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
I tried all 6 of my mags, 2 original Colt one 7 round and one 8 round, 3 military surplus 7 round clips and an off brand extended 12 round mag.
Fascinating. Can you duplicate this failure by hand? If it happens only with this particular loading, in any mag, in this particular gun... then all that's left is the gun, or the load itself.

I still can't see the timing of how a round gets out of the mag, but not in the chamber, before the mag follower can push the slide stop up and lock the slide back. And only the last round.

I've taken one of my 1911s, and duplicated what you see. The slide is locked back because the mag follower pushes the slide stop up and locks the slide back... but the round that should have held the slide stop down until the slide stop notch was forward of stop, and preventing the slide from locking back... has not chambered. And it's not jammed in there either.

I'm sorry... my head hurts trying to visualize the timing of how this happens.

I hope someone else can see this, 'cause I'm not... and I'm not as stupid as my wife tells me I am.

Cheers,
C
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Old August 4, 2012, 09:53 AM   #5
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Maybe the round nose bullet loads require a higher, taller follower in the mag.
Those with either a dimple or domed shape.
Without another round under the last one, to raise it up some, it might be sitting too low in the mag, for that particular bullet design.
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Old August 4, 2012, 12:21 PM   #6
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Why the last round only, one thing I noticed is your charge is low.
My Number 10 Speer book shows for the 230 lead RN for Bullseye 4.7 min and 5.1 max.
It could be that the last round sliding against the mag follower could increase the drag or the slide release starting to get engaged.
For me you’re just too light on your load.
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Old August 4, 2012, 12:48 PM   #7
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This happens when the mags springs get weak on the last round. As the slide goes back, it drags on the top round which causes it to rotate in the mag and pops out the ejection port. New mag springs should fix every time.
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Old August 4, 2012, 12:55 PM   #8
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Ozzieman, I suspect that if the load is too light, the slide would not cycle back as far as the lock position.

Creeper, I, too, would like to know if this condition can be recreated by hand.

Does this happen with these magazines in another gun?

Try this: load two rounds in the magazine. Fire them. Does it still happen?

Does it still happen if the round on the bottom is one that has not exhibited this failure? Then I would suspect the power level as Ozzieman suggested.

Does it still happen if the round on the top is a round that has not exhibited this failure? Then I would suspect the shape of the round or your magazine (either the feed lips or the follower.

Isn't the standard length for the 230 grain round nose 1.275 in? Is is possible for that to make a difference? (Grasping at straws here)

Last, least likely straw to grasp: The slide lock or its spring/cam surface.

It is not normal for the last round to come out of the magazine without its being stripped by the slide. Since the slide is locked back, what you describe is supposed to be impossible. I would suspect your magazine feed lips have opened up too far or that your magazine spring is weak (allowing the cartridge to be shaken out of the lips instead of forcibly stripped). Neither of those are likely to happen to all you magazines at the same time, though.

(edit: Nathan posted while I was examining my 1911 and composing this answer.)

Let us know what happens when you try to duplicate the events with manual cycling of the slide, please.

Lost Sheep.

Last edited by Lost Sheep; August 4, 2012 at 01:00 PM.
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Old August 4, 2012, 01:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Isn't the standard length for the 230 grain round nose 1.275 in? Is is possible for that to make a difference? (Grasping at straws here)
1.275" is max OAL for the mag. Many 1911's, mine included(Kart EZ Fit) will not pass the plunk test at this OAL. I see 1911 45 ACP OAL's from ~1.200" - 1.275" in load data or other's loads. Mine run 1.220" with 230gr LRN cast bullets.
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Old August 4, 2012, 02:00 PM   #10
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Lost Sheep
I agree that it doesn’t make a lot of sense the way its failing but since he doesn’t have the same problem with other rounds using the same mags, Fix the first thing that appears to be wrong. That load is light and well below book number on all the manuals that I have.
Fix the round before going after possible gun problems.
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Old August 4, 2012, 04:13 PM   #11
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I can only get it to happen by hand if I go quickly enough and even then only occasionally. I tried it so many times my fingers can’t grasp the slide anymore.
I thought of the load being too light, but Lyman lists 4.0g starting and 5.0 as max for 228g cast RN. So my 4.5g should be about in the mid range as should the 1.250 OAL. In spite of that I just loaded 21 rounds each at 4.7g and 4.9g, for testing next trip to the range.
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Old August 4, 2012, 04:24 PM   #12
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Shootest, keep us in the loop on this one please. If you can figure it out... I'd love to try and duplicate it, just because I have yet to envision how it happens.

Cheers,
C
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Old August 4, 2012, 11:44 PM   #13
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It is likely a case of spring balance. If it happens with multiple magazines, it pretty much has to be the recoil spring.
Treat your gun to a fresh 16 lb spring.
4.5 gr Bull and a 230 gr bullet is not all that light for .45 ACP

Note that 1.275" OAL is the MAXIMUM for .45 ACP and depends on using the elliptical nosed hardball bullet. The usual cast bullet has a hemispherical nose and must be loaded shorter to chamber freely.
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Old August 5, 2012, 10:57 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozzieman
Why the last round only, one thing I noticed is your charge is low. My Number 10 Speer book shows for the 230 lead RN for Bullseye 4.7 min and 5.1 max.
Respectfully, my standard target load for a 230 grain lead bullet is 3.8 grains of Bullseye. I've been using that load for a while and it was recommended to me by some very knowledgeable shooters. On the other hand, my standard jacketed load for the 230 grain bullet is 4.5 grains of Bullseye. I also use that 4.5 grain load as a mid-range cast bullet load. They both work great in my pistols.

However, the OP's problem is interesting. I'd be intriqued to find the answer. I've never had that particular malfunction in either of my 1911's, but I'd bet that it traces back to the magazine.
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Old August 5, 2012, 11:17 AM   #15
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Might be worth making a dummy round, no powder or primer and seat the bullet deeper. Then see if you can still replicate it by hand. How old are the mag springs? You have any new ones around? I don't see how it could be the recoil spring. Another suggestion, go to the 1911 forum and post it, there are a lot of gunsmiths there they may have some ideas.
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Old August 5, 2012, 12:07 PM   #16
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Shoot the dummy round.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stmar
Might be worth making a dummy round, no powder or primer and seat the bullet deeper. Then see if you can still replicate it by hand. How old are the mag springs? You have any new ones around? I don't see how it could be the recoil spring. Another suggestion, go to the 1911 forum and post it, there are a lot of gunsmiths there they may have some ideas.
Not necessary to replicate by hand. The dummy round will feed or not feed. Firing the chambered final round is not part of the problem.

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Old August 5, 2012, 02:12 PM   #17
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The reason I suggested a dummy round was to reduce the oal progressively to see if it has an impact, with a dummy round you can do it safely.
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Old August 5, 2012, 08:12 PM   #18
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Your load is exactly where you want to be, don’t let anyone influence you to bump it up.

Here is my chrono data with three different lots of Bullseye, all the loads are just about 800 fps, which is where I want to be, and that is the velocity of the original 1910 load (with a 230 FMJ).

As for your failure to feed, sounds like the slide follower is locking the slide back. Why, heck if I know.

Code:
Kimber Custom Classic



230 gr LRN Valiant 4.5 grs Bullseye lot BE532 (80's mfgr)  Mixed Brass WLP (brass)  OAL 1.250"	taper crimp .469"

16-May-09	 high 83  °F
		
Ave Vel =	782.7				
Std Dev =	13.41				
ES =	52.05				
High = 	815.5				
Low =	763.4				
N =	28				
					
230 gr LRN Valiant 4.5 grs Bullseye 99' & 2005 mixed lot Mixed Brass WLP (brass) OAL 1.250"	taper crimp .469"

16-May-09	 high 83  °F



Ave Vel =	805.2				
Std Dev =	38.07				
ES =	136.9				
High = 	912.4				
Low =	775.5				
N =	24				
					
230 gr LRN Valiant 4.5 grs Bullseye lot 827 (60's/70's powder) Mixed Brass WLP (brass)  OAL 1.250"	taper crimp .469"

16-May-09	 high 83  °F
					
Ave Vel =	822.9				
Std Dev =	14.14				
ES =	55.24				
High = 	853.7				
Low =	798.4				
N =	26				
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Old August 5, 2012, 09:44 PM   #19
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Two other thoughts

Have you ensured all the rounds are as far back in the magazine as possible (usually fully rearward is best)

Have you obtained a couple of different magazines (borrow from someone else at the range or buy one or two)?

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Old August 6, 2012, 09:24 AM   #20
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Same Issue

I've had the same thing happen in my kimber 1911. I bought the gun used so I wondered if there might be a flaw with it. I haven't had lots of time to take it shooting but the first box I shot was round nose bullets. It did the exact same thing were it locked back on the last round and just left the bullet on top of the mag. I posted the same question and had others tell me to try a new mag and a new slide spring. I haven't had a chance to shoot the round nose bullets again with the new equipment, but I didn't have that particular problem with some reloaded 185 xtp bullets.

I'm not sure if this is the right analysis, but its like the mag (on the last round) locks the slide. I wonder if the slide might make enough contact (or there is enough recoil force) to the last round to pop it out of the mag. This happened with a Kimber and Colt mag. I bought a Chip McCormick but haven't had a chance to try it with the round nose bullets.

I also bought a new slide release with the extension so I could reach with my thumb, but I couldn't get it to fit because the gun grip came to far up. It prevented the release from going in all the way. I didn't want to try and modify the grip so I just kept the old one in.
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Old August 6, 2012, 10:24 AM   #21
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The slide lock is not the confusing part, it's the round on top of the mag. The round should not leave the mag until the slide begins it forward travel and pushes it forward from the mag. Since the slide is locked to the rear, it seems inexplicable that the round has left the mag.

When you hand cycle and force this to happen, can you see what is causing the round to leave the mag during the rearward travel of the slide?

I'm wondering of the last round is not situated correctly in the mag (nose dive) and therefore the rim is sticking up higher then it should, as a result the slide hits the rim on the way back and pops the round out of the mag. If that's the case I would be looking at the magazine follows and mag springs. I don't see how this could be a recoil spring problem.
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Old August 6, 2012, 10:52 AM   #22
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What I suspect is happening is the slide is slapping back into counter-battery hard enough to cause the cartridge to bounce the magazine follower momentarily creating some free space around it inside the magazine. Because the gun is pivoting up and back, the cartridge is tipped up and the rearward motion of the gun puts it nose up at the front of the magazine so the follower's return from the bounce simply boosts it fairly straight up and out, setting the slide stop and leaving the round lying there when all the action halts.

Several things should address that. First, because the Goldcup is designed for 185 grain JSWC match ammo over the equivalent of about 4.2 grains of Bullseye, it has a 14 lb recoil spring rather than the usual 16 lb government model spring that's intended for hardball. Take Jim's suggestion to put a 16 lb spring in its place or even an 18 lb spring for hardball. It'll reduce the bounce by slowing the slide more before it meets the frame and thus reducing how sharply it slams back; the act that bounces the cartridge and follower. Even if it doesn't cure the problem, it'll save your gun some battering. Sprinco makes good springs. He has a 17 lb spring that might be a nice compromise to try. I've used 20 lb springs with 200 grain cast bullets over 4.5 grains of Bullseye with no function issues, so this won't be a problem in terms of reliability with your bullet weight.

Seating bullets out longer may prevent them having enough room to flip up in the momentary magazine space, but if you seat them out further, use your barrel as a guage to be sure the round still fits the chamber and the case head does not extend beyond the barrel extension (hood) when a round is dropped in. Up to that point the length is OK as long as it still fits in the magazine. As Jim pointed out, many cast RN bullets are hemispherical at the nose, but some are elliptical or have a small hemisphere at the end of a conical section to lengthen them. Without seeing what you've got, I don't know whether this will work for you or not.

Gripping the gun more firmly to limit muzzle flip may prevent it. Try a Weaver stance.

Installing the original Browning design square bottom firing pin stop will likely help. This makes it harder to rack the slide (complaints about this by soldiers is why the army started rounding the bottom with the A1 design) because the square bottom meets the hammer at a point of lower mechanical advantage in cocking it. But that added cocking effort also slightly delays unlocking during firing, so it reduces muzzle flip and slide velocity. That's a plus for target shooting and rapid fire; it's just a negative on clearing exercises. EGW makes and sell the square bottom firing pin stops, but they do come oversize and have to be hand fitted by filing or stoning (this is not their drop-in GI design which appears to be rounded).

Installing a recoil buffer of the type that decelerates the slide more gradually may help. Here again, Sprinco has a design that comes to mind as a possibility. It's just a more expensive solution that the previous items.
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Old August 7, 2012, 04:34 AM   #23
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Just curious. Could the length or angle of one of those extended ejectors not cause the rims to hook each other as they pass? In my mind, I can picture that causing the 'nose up' situation Unclenick spoke of.

I bought a SA GI that some youtube hero "fixed" until it was broke. Amongst a couple things was an extended ejector that caused all sorts of problems- but I don't think a loose round on a mag was one of them.
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Old August 17, 2012, 03:36 PM   #24
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Well it took me a while to get back to the range. I still don’t know for sure how the last round was getting striped from the clip but, I believe Unclenick is correct when he said this.

Quote:
What I suspect is happening is the slide is slapping back into counter-battery hard enough to cause the cartridge to bounce the magazine follower momentarily creating some free space around it inside the magazine. Because the gun is pivoting up and back, the cartridge is tipped up and the rearward motion of the gun puts it nose up at the front of the magazine so the follower's return from the bounce simply boosts it fairly straight up and out, setting the slide stop and leaving the round lying there when all the action halts.
I replaced the recoil spring and the problem went away. I tested all mags with no more trouble. Tried 4.7gr and 4.9gr loads, and decided I like the 4.5gr load the best. I can hold 1.5 to 2 inch groups at 25 yards if I do my part. Now it’s off to the man cave and the Dillon XL650 to load 2K.

Thanks much guys
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Old August 17, 2012, 04:27 PM   #25
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How manylb spring did you go to?
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