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Old June 17, 2013, 02:10 AM   #1
Ifishsum
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1911 ejects into forehead

I picked up a lightly used Springfield 1911A1 last year (GI milspec model) and it does feed and eject reliably but softly arcs the brass directly up and back at my head - they often land on top of my head and sometimes into my forehead. Kind of takes away from the shooting experience...I'll admit to being an amateur but I have successfully fit a new extractor to another 1911A1 before, and I tried adjusting this one similarly but so far with no improvement. ..what else should I be looking into? Thanks.
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Old June 17, 2013, 05:32 AM   #2
Dixie Gunsmithing
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It's got to do with where the ejector hits the spent cartridge, in what direction it will come out. You may need to replace it. It sits on top of the frame, just behind the magazine well. A hull should come out high to the right.
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Old June 17, 2013, 05:57 AM   #3
polyphemus
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Quote:
and I tried adjusting this one similarly but so far with no improvement. ..
What kind of "adjustment" did you do to this one? Too low pressure on the rim
will cause this type ejection pattern.What did you set it at?
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Old June 17, 2013, 06:11 AM   #4
rebs
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is your wrist flexing ?
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Old June 17, 2013, 06:28 AM   #5
teeroux
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Extractor tention. The case can sometimes be bumped up by the next round in the magazine causing the ejector to strike it low. It could also be the magaines. Too much tension on the nose of the round by the magazine could cause it. Once the mag springs wear a little it could go away.
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Old June 17, 2013, 09:08 AM   #6
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I've seen shooters themselves cause or add to this problem ( more so with right handed shooters), keep in mind the 1911 torques to the left.

As for the mechanical issues that may need to be address, they are, the ejector, extractor, ejection port and mags.

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Old June 17, 2013, 09:56 AM   #7
Slamfire
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Always were a hat and shooting glasses.

I had this problem with a 308 Garand, it would eject cases into my forehead. I would come back from rifle matches with half moon cuts on my forehead.

Your problem is a combination of ejector height and extractor tension.
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Old June 17, 2013, 10:26 AM   #8
Ifishsum
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Quote:
What kind of "adjustment" did you do to this one? Too low pressure on the rim
will cause this type ejection pattern.What did you set it at?
It was a while ago, I don't remember whether I felt it was too much or too little but I can place a loaded round in the slide and it will hold up to a light shaking. I pretty much tried to match the tension side-by-side with the WW2 Colt that I was successful with. I didn't actually measure anything though.

Quote:
is your wrist flexing?
Can't rule that out, but I haven't had this problem with other 1911s and others who have fired this one have also taken brass on the head. I also have a WW2 Colt and it doesn't do this to me.

Replacing the ejector is easy enough, so it probably makes sense to go there next. It does seem to be shaped a bit different than the Colt. I saw a post here yesterday on extractor adjustment with some good info, in fact that's what got me thinking about this again. I'll give that another try as well. Thanks!
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Old June 17, 2013, 10:38 AM   #9
polyphemus
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Quote:
It was a while ago, I don't remember whether I felt it was too much or too little but I can place a loaded round in the slide and it will hold up to a light shaking
No man,the loaded cartridge method doesn't tell you anything you gotta measure things to know what you have.I posted a very simple method that
doesn't involve you buying anything on another related thread that will indicate
within reason what the rim pressure is,the ejector unless loose is likely to be
fine if original,aftermarket ejectors all too often don't work well and need some
tweaking,I'm a big fan of stock parts unless factory ones are definitely not
doing the job.
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Old June 17, 2013, 02:18 PM   #10
Double Naught Spy
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Quote:
Wear a helmet?
LOL, I usually suggest people move their heads. But seriously, more often than not when I have dealt with shooters with this problem, the problem is wrist flexing, or more correctly, gun torque whereby the gun torques in the wrist during firing and it rotates the ejection port just enough that a sideways ejection is now an ejection to the head.

Instead of replacing parts and adjusting tension, both of which may not need to be done, first see if this is a problem with an experienced shooter. There is no need to fix what isn't broken, if it isn't broken or out of adjustment.
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Old June 17, 2013, 03:05 PM   #11
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I had a similar problem with a 1911 years ago, proper extractor hook profile and dropping the port solved the issue. If the case mouths are dented, dropping the port would solve it, the real issue is too much radius on the extractor hook.
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Old June 17, 2013, 08:34 PM   #12
polyphemus
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Quote:
the problem is wrist flexing, or more correctly, gun torque whereby the gun torques in the wrist during firing and it rotates the ejection port just enough that a sideways ejection is now an ejection to the head.
Let me get this straight,for a normal three o'clock ejection to turn into a six o'clock and hit you on the forehead the gun has not only rotated ninety degrees to the right but also moved to the left and flipped sideways and down
so the brass doesn't miss you.The limp wrist theory should nowadays be called
the limp wrists theory,I don't buy it anyway there's no stovepipe that a half
decent armorer can't take care of in fifteen minutes or less.
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Old June 18, 2013, 03:00 PM   #13
g.willikers
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Well, you can mess around with the gun and risk turning a good shooter into a not so good shooter, or......
Use this as a training asset.
Like practicing the very important defensive technique of moving off the X.
The case can't hit you if you're not there any more.
Just a thought.
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Old June 18, 2013, 05:35 PM   #14
Double Naught Spy
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Quote:
Use this as a training asset.
Like practicing the very important defensive technique of moving off the X.
The case can't hit you if you're not there any more.
This sounds like a remarkably bad idea, unsafe on several levels as well as training-in a flinch.
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Old June 18, 2013, 05:46 PM   #15
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Are you using a heavier-than-normal recoil spring, to "reduce battering"? If so, try a standard spring. Or, if you are using light handloads, a reduced-power spring.
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Old June 18, 2013, 06:07 PM   #16
NoSecondBest
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Quote:
I had a similar problem with a 1911 years ago, proper extractor hook profile and dropping the port solved the issue. If the case mouths are dented, dropping the port would solve it, the real issue is too much radius on the extractor hook.
Scorch is right on with this one. Listen to the man.
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Old June 18, 2013, 08:27 PM   #17
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1911 ejects into forehead

I agree with the extractor hook , but I'd REALLY like to see a video of this to be sure
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Old June 19, 2013, 06:21 AM   #18
polyphemus
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Quote:
If the case mouths are dented, dropping the port would solve it, the real issue is too much radius on the extractor hook.
Dented case mouths are a sign of insufficient extractor pressure,they go away
as soon as it is correctly set.I don't think that enlarging the port solves anything
the original dimensions work fine in countless numbers of guns.
What radius is this you refer to?Could you give the blueprint figure and subsequent modification and how it caused the issue in the first place?
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Old June 19, 2013, 06:57 AM   #19
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I agree with Bob Hunter. Before any work is done, take the cheap route and let an experienced shooter try it. If said experienced shooter is struck by brass, then some adjustments are in order.
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Old June 19, 2013, 07:15 AM   #20
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Just change ammo or adjust your powder a bit.
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Old June 19, 2013, 09:41 AM   #21
Ifishsum
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Thanks for the input, I'll update when I can shoot it again.
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Old June 19, 2013, 11:31 AM   #22
g.willikers
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On a recent Guntalk show, a listener called in with the same complaint - getting hit in the head with brass.
The show host, Tom, answered it like this:
He said it was a non issue.
Just stay focused on shooting and ignore it.
And wear a hat, in addition to safety glasses and ear protection, of course.
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Old June 20, 2013, 01:17 PM   #23
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Bad advice, IMHO. The rearward toss of the brass is not a precision event, so the brass can't be counted on to always go where it's harmless. I got a burn above my right eyebrow one time when a hot case from the guy to the left of me landed between the frame of my shooting glasses and my head and stayed there until I could get my glasses off. I've also had them fall inside my shirt collar at matches, go into pockets, and otherwise cause mayhem. I don't need a hot brass shower.

The limp wrist theory is for real. I once watched a woman at her first (and probably last) bullseye match (offhand grip; no two-handing) get her head pinged by her boyfriend's 1911 repeatedly. Black marks all over her forehead. When her boyfriend tried the gun, no problem. Cases went where they were supposed to. What happens is that recoiling rotation of the gun up and back lets the rearward movement of the frame help the hand absorb some of the recoil energy the recoil spring is supposed to deplete first, so ejection is very weak. I suspect the ejector barely gets the case out of the extractor, so the right side of the ejection port smacks the case from below, sending it up and back. That's why lowering an ejection port can sometimes clear it up.

Some solutions have been mentioned. I'll add that installing a Commander style ejector will get the case moving out even when slide recoil is weak. Adding a square bottom firing pin stop will reduce muzzle flip, so the rearward momentum is no longer there to be imparted in a serious degree. Otherwise, you just need to tune extractor and perhaps change recoil springs and be firmly behind the gun.
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Old June 20, 2013, 05:33 PM   #24
g.willikers
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Were you wearing your hat?
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Old June 20, 2013, 06:08 PM   #25
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I had one that would do that with two or three cases out of every mag. I changed extractors and fixed it.
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