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Old January 6, 2013, 03:21 AM   #1
BlackwaterComDivers
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Springfield Armory .45 Auto Ultra Compact Feed Issues

Hello y'all.

I have been trying to find answers to an ongoing issue that is plaguing my S.A. .45 Auto Ultra Compact since I purchased it in 2001 which I purchased for my CCW.

The pistol is virtually new as it has had between 75-100 rounds through it since I purchased it new. (Maybe this is part of the problem as it is still not "broken-in" yet.)

The problem I am having is when I go to load the first round by pulling back on the slide, it tends to jam on the ramp and takes a little secondary pull back to get it in the chamber. Now this doesn't happen every time, but frequently enough to cause concern shall I ever need this pistol in an emergency situation.

It also has the same feed issue when firing it. Sometimes the initial round takes a little finesse to get it in and other times it goes right in, but the second or third round jams on the casing.

I have tried:

Eagle FMJ ammo for target practice.

Hydra-shock from Federal for my defense ammo.

Hornaday Zombie 185G Hollow Point ammo as a last ditch effort to stem the jams.

Every one of the makes catches on the casing when trying to feed.

I have sent this gun into Springfield twice to have the ramp polished and both times they have sent it back after polishing it and stated "it fired fine"...yet it jams even when loading the first round.

What am I missing here?

Does this gun just need to get another 2-300 rounds ripped through it to wear down what ever is biting on the casings?

The last attempt loading with the new "Zombie" ammunition, jammed and there were two markings "etched" into the bullet's casing where it caught on the ramp.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I will try to get some photos uploaded of the casing on the Hornaday that jammed and a Hydra-Shock, as well as a photo showing the jam issue if that would help the diagnosis.
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Old January 6, 2013, 11:07 AM   #2
BlackwaterComDivers
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Here are the images I promised.

The ammunition with the more rounded HP is the Hornaday Zombie ammo. The other as indicated in the Hydra-shock by Federal.









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Old January 6, 2013, 09:52 PM   #3
markallen
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Try another magazine. I personally like Kimber Pro Tac Mags. But you can't go wrong with Wilson, or McCormick Mag's.
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Old January 7, 2013, 01:27 AM   #4
BlackwaterComDivers
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Sounds good. I have thought about it possibly being a magazine problem as it isn't the easiest (fluid ease of) loading the rounds in as I would like it to be. The rounds should also be easily pushed out rapidly with a thumb where as in the current ones they are quite tough when the clip is loaded.

I will buy a new clip tomorrow online and as soon as I get it I will range test it to see what the result is.

Come to think about it, the 10 round clip may be the problem. It is the stock ones that came with the pistol, but they don't seem to cycle well. I am wondering if the simple fact that the Kimber is a 7 round clip will function better without the extra pressure of containing 3 extra rounds.

Last edited by BlackwaterComDivers; January 7, 2013 at 02:41 AM.
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Old January 7, 2013, 09:47 AM   #5
drail
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Bad magazine or magazine spring. The magazine is probably the most critical part in a semi auto pistol. If it is anything less than perfect the gun will puke. Look closely at the inside of the feed lips. If they are not smooth or you see any burrs it will induce drag on the cartridges. Try some 400 grit sandpaper wrapped around a dowel to clean them up. The extractor may also be rough or have sharp corners inside the hook. Clean it up. Or the extractor is simply set too tight. The dents in the case all point to a weak magazine spring and or an extractor that is letting go of the case during the feed cycle. If you do not want to mess with it send it back to SA.

Last edited by drail; January 7, 2013 at 09:52 AM.
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Old January 8, 2013, 12:11 AM   #6
Walter
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Quote:
drail .... Bad magazine or magazine spring. The magazine is probably the most critical part in a semi auto pistol. If it is anything less than perfect the gun will puke. Look closely at the inside of the feed lips. If they are not smooth or you see any burrs it will induce drag on the cartridges.
+1 on that! Bought a CZ 2075 several years ago that had loading problems. Polished the ramp, polished the slide rails, etc., but in the end the main problem turned out to be burrs on the inside of the magazine feed lips. After those were de-burred and polished, no more feeding problems.

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Old January 8, 2013, 12:54 AM   #7
aircorpnut
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i had the same problem with my springfield ultra compact (this was back around 2005). i sent mine back to springfield & they replaced the guiderod/spring setup with an updated version. havent had one issue since. does your have the two piece guiderod & a double spring?

try the mag change first. you mentioned yours was 10 rds, is it an extended mag?
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Old January 8, 2013, 02:40 AM   #8
BlackwaterComDivers
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It is the "staggered-stack" , high capacity mags that were shipped with the gun.

The recoil/slide spring is a single spring if that is what you are referencing.

I guess I will try polishing the mags out some...see if it will help any.

Also, would some white lithium grease or any other gun rated grease help any on the spring inside the mag? I just used some gun oil the last time I cleaned them.
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Old January 8, 2013, 04:58 AM   #9
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I had similar issues with a Para P10. I was told to replace the P10 magsprings with P13 magsprings which I did. But I also replaced the barrel with a Barsto barrel at the same time. So I cant tell you which action fixed the problem. But the problem is gone. Obviously I would try to replace the mags or magsprings first since they are much cheaper. But if all else fails and you really are determined to get this gun working. get a new barrel. The feedramp on my aftermarket barrel wan noticably more angled than the stock one.
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Old January 12, 2013, 06:57 PM   #10
BlackwaterComDivers
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Well the pistol is on its way to Springfield.

I have been talking with Robert at Springfield Armory about my pistol malfunctioning and he sent me a label to mail it in to them. I also spoke of how I think it may be an issue with their magazines. So he said to send everything in and a description of the issue at hand, so I wrote it all out and included the photos above as a visual aid as to what the problem is.

He said it can take 2-4 weeks, so I will post again with the results when I know more.

Thanks for the thoughts on this problem! They helped to narrow it down to that feeling that was always there of "could it be the mags?" that was always brewing inside my mind.
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Old January 25, 2013, 10:03 AM   #11
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UPDATE - 1/25/13

Well, the diagnosis isn't good.

Here is a snippet of the email I just received from my Springfield rep that is handling my case. (I sent him an email last night asking if there was any update on the RMA.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Springfield
Good morning Scott

I Have received your paper work and it looks like my repair technician recommends getting the pistol replaced. He recommended if you want to stay with a high capacity maybe an XD or XDm 45.
Well, now I am awaiting their phone call back as I left them a message this morning around 9:50-ish EST asking what the next step is as that pistol is virtually new. Honestly...it has had like 75 rounds through it since it's purchase....MAYBE...a big maybe...around 100. It has had feed issues since day one on the range and it has been sent back to Springfield at LEAST twice already for the same issues.

Guess we will see what happens.
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Old January 25, 2013, 10:35 AM   #12
Jim Watson
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If SA says replace it, then I would replace it. A double stack 3.5" 1911 mutant is at the edge of the functional range anyhow.

The question to the SA rep is, how do I go about having you replace my lifetime guaranteed gun with something of equal value?
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Old January 25, 2013, 10:36 AM   #13
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How about an Ultra Compact single stack? Mine, and others that I know of run without any problems. Good luck.
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Old January 25, 2013, 10:44 AM   #14
BlackwaterComDivers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Watson
The question to the SA rep is, how do I go about having you replace my lifetime guaranteed gun with something of equal value?
Exactly!

That's what I am waiting to hear when he calls me back. The 1911 Ultra Compact .45 wasn't an inexpensive firearm when I purchased it.
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Old January 25, 2013, 02:01 PM   #15
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Just spoke with my rep, they are willing to exchange it out for either another 1911 model or the new XD or XDm series. I have heard a lot of good comments about the newer XDm series so I am thinking about leaning towards that.

Any thoughts?

This is mainly for my CCW.
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Old January 25, 2013, 02:06 PM   #16
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I have the XDM 4.5. Great shooter and reliable.
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Old January 25, 2013, 06:47 PM   #17
polyphemus
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What would be extremely useful here is if you could find out from SA what
is wrong with your pistol and then post it.Appreciate the addition to the knowledge base.
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Old January 25, 2013, 07:52 PM   #18
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re:

Quote:
The problem I am having is when I go to load the first round by pulling back on the slide, it tends to jam on the ramp and takes a little secondary pull back to get it in the chamber.
This...along with the little gouge below the case mouth...means that you're having a Three-Point Jam. Basically, what happens is that the bullet nose hits the barrel ramp instead of gliding over the top. The barrel moves forward and up, and when it moves up into the slide too early, the front upper lug corners crash with the rear corners of the slide's lugs...and everything comes to a halt.

It's always worse on the first two or three rounds in the magazine, and when it does happen to go to full battery on the top round during a slidelocked reload...is always accompanied by a distinctive "ka-chunk" sound that can usually also be felt.

The problem most often starts with the feed ramp out of spec, but can also include the barrel ramp. What many don't understand is that the barrel ramp...incorrectly referred to as the "throat" is that the barrel ramp isn't a bullet guide or a feedway. It's a clearance. The bullet nose shouldn't touch it below the top corner, or...at most...lightly brush it as it moves forward and up.

Specs are important. Sad that many recent manufacturers seem to think of them as suggestions.
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Old January 25, 2013, 07:57 PM   #19
BlackwaterComDivers
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Poly, they would not say what the issue was. The tech only sent a message to my rep that he recommended that the firearm be replaced. I wanted to know, but he didn't have any information it.
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Old January 25, 2013, 08:02 PM   #20
BlackwaterComDivers
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1911Tuner, you are correct with the feed ramps. This pistol was plagued from day one with the initial feed and then getting slammed nose first into the barrel ramp as shown in the photos above. The barrel ramp seemed like it was out of wack with the feed as it seemed to always be like 1/16" out of spec. Must have been a serious manufacturing flaw for them to replace my pistol 12 years later after fighting this issue for this long.
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Old January 25, 2013, 08:26 PM   #21
polyphemus
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Thanks for trying man.
So every time they "polished" the ramp they aggravated the issue,stock had to
have been removed essentially killing the frame.Did they send it to Brazil to
be repaired?I wonder if a new barrel wouldn't have solved it.
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Old January 25, 2013, 08:26 PM   #22
1911Tuner
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Ramped

Quote:
The barrel ramp seemed like it was out of wack with the feed as it seemed to always be like 1/16" out of spec.
It was more likely the feed ramp. A proper feed ramp angle for a .45 is 31 degrees +30 minutes/-Zero, although some few pistols can be made to run with 32 degrees on the feed ramp...but that's pretty much the limit unless the barrel ramp is cut so radically that case head support is compromised. More acute than 31 degrees, and the bullet nose strikes the ramp and stops in what is often mistaken for a magazine induced nose-dive.

Incidentally, this is precisely where Dremel Dan turns reliably feeding pistols into Jammin' Jennies with his mirror-polished feed ramp. Roll that top corner just a little, and the whole ramp angle is wrong, and instead of the bullet nose glancing upward, it heads straight into the barrel ramp...and it doesn't have to be a radical rolling of the corner. I've seen'em misfeed with the ramp so gently touched that I had to roll it back and forth under a strong light to watch how the light reflected off of it. Those can usually be flogged into submission. When they're rolled like the one in the picture, about all that's left is to mill the section away and install an insert.

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Old January 25, 2013, 08:35 PM   #23
1911Tuner
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Ramped

This is a proper feed ramp...clean and sharp.

So, if you're tempted to have a go at a mirror polished feed ramp with one of those Dremel thingies...take it out in the street and hit it with a big hammer five or six times...and then come back to your pistol.

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Old January 25, 2013, 08:37 PM   #24
polyphemus
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Please don't ask me to try and understand that picture,I can't stop laughing.
Why bother to ban guns they should pass out free dremels.
There's one here,the old lady uses it to grind down the dogs' claws.

Last edited by polyphemus; January 25, 2013 at 08:45 PM. Reason: incomplete
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Old January 25, 2013, 08:46 PM   #25
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Laughter

Quote:
Please don't ask me to try and understand that picture,I can't stop laughing.
You'd be surprised at the things that have come across my bench. That wrecked ramp isn't as bad as it gets.

Many times, the phone has rung on a Saturday morning, and the exasperated voice on the other end...confused...speaks, and the conversation goes somethin' like this:

"I jus' don't unnerstand it! I done me a real good ramp and throat job, and the thing won't feed !"

"Why did you do the work? Was it not feeding?"

"Oh, naw! It fed fine. I just wanted it to feed better!"

*blink*



At that point, I start tossin' down Excedrin Migraine an hour before he gets here. Sometimes I can help. Sometimes I can't. I don't have access to a mill any more, so if he's taken it to the event horizon, I have to advise him to send it to somebody who can install an insert. Most of the time, our boy trades it off and lets it become somebody else's problem.
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