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Old January 20, 2014, 12:16 PM   #1
Zulu343
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Advice needed re malfunctioning 1911

I have a new Umarex/Regent R200s. It's a Turkish stainless 1911, very budget (ie around $430 in my hand). I read reviews online, which were mixed but mostly positive. Knowing that 1911-types tend to be more driven by machining, form, etc... and all I wanted was a good functioning 1911 to see if I liked the style, I went for it. Well, I shot 2 magazines through it and here's what happened:
1st 7 round magazine - all fired fine except once a round chambered but the pistol was not cocked.
2nd 7 round magazine - 2 times after firing, a round chambered properly but the gun was not cocked. Racking another round into the chamber fixed the problem temporarily. However, when I pulled the trigger on the 6th round, I got a rapid-fire double-tap, with only one trigger pull!

Also, the brass had some carbon blow-by, more than I am used to, and I handload lower velocity rounds sometimes (for other guns). All of them had the carbon, and I was using factory Winchester round nose, bullet weight in grains not known.

So now what? This is my first experience with a malfunctiong gun. Since it is new I have contacted Umarex. I am waiting to hear back. However, would it be a better option to send it to a gunsmith and have it gone over? Not very happy right now, maybe I should try different ammo or magazine first (it was the factory supplied mag).

What do you guys think?
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Old January 20, 2014, 12:31 PM   #2
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sear or disconnect.
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Old January 20, 2014, 12:57 PM   #3
Aguila Blanca
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Your handloads are too low-powered to properly cycle the pistol.

Proof is the excessive powder marks on the cases. Your loads are obturating enough to even seal the case mouth to the chamber walls.

What are the specifics of your load?

I load Berry's 230-grain plated lead round nose bullets in .45 Auto using Winchester primers are 5.4 grains of Winchester 231. There are no published data for the Berry's bullets but, for other 230-grain FMJ bullets, 5.4 grains is over the max. However, with the Berry's bullets my velocities are well below what the books suggest I should be getting, and I was getting a lot of unburned powder and blow-by such as you describe.
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Old January 20, 2014, 02:27 PM   #4
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Just one suggestion: Try factory loads before sending it in.
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Old January 20, 2014, 02:32 PM   #5
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Hammer follow can be a problem as simple as too little sear spring tension, or it can be a problem of damaged or improperly dimensioned lockwork components.
I've never had that problem with a dozen 1911s over a 40-year period, but it's a problem that can develop over time as parts are worn, and it can also be the result of damage to the gun's internals.
You should definitely stop shooting the gun until it's fixed.
A gunsmith who knows what they're doing might be able to fix it in five minutes with a spring tweak, or you might need a new hammer or sear.
If the gun is brand new, give the manufacturer a chance to fix it (if at no cost to you). Since it can cost almost $100 to ship a gun, if they won't send you a shipping tag, spend a few bucks to have a competent gunsmith look at it. Find out who does the smithing for local USPA and/or IDPA competition shooters; they'll probably know their way around 1911s.
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Old January 20, 2014, 04:09 PM   #6
Zulu343
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Thanks for all the replies. I wasn't clear enough in the first post. Here's the deal on the rounds I was firing: I bought an M&P .45 about a year ago and it came with about 150 rounds of .45 in the deal. I've shot it flawlessly out of the M&P.
That's the same ammo I'm shooting in the 1911. I'm as sure as I can be that's it factory ammo without actually buying it myself, but it was given to me. No blow-by in the M&P.

However, if it's a weak load that's not cocking the 1911, would it cause the double-fire? If the double-fire is a seperate problem, that's what's got me spooked. What if I have a full 7+1 rounds in and it just goes into auto-fire mode? 2 rounds was no problem keeping down range, but don't really want to run that test with a full mag.

If I go back to the range with this gun, I guess I could buy some fresh factory 45 ammo, and only load 2-3 rounds per mag, and see if I get a repeat? or does the group think that's unsafe?
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Old January 20, 2014, 04:15 PM   #7
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Here's where I kick over the apple cart, yet once again....

STOP FIRING THAT PISTOL. IMMEDIATELY. DO NOT LOAD OR FIRE THE PISTOL AGAIN UNTIL THE FUNCTION IS PROVEN BY A COMPETENT GUNSMITH.

If the pistol is cycling enough to feed and chamber a round, it is cycling enough to function normally. You see, as soon as the hammer is all the way to the rear--which it is long before the slide is back far enough to feed--the hammer hooks have passed the sear, and will (or should) stop the hammer when the slide goes forward.

Your problem is indicative of any of the following:

Worn, broken or mis-fitted hammer hooks;
Worn, broken or mis-fitted sear
Improperly fitted sear spring
Improperly fitted or faulty disconnector.

Once again, do NOT load or fire the pistol until it is checked out thoroughly.
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Old January 20, 2014, 06:30 PM   #8
Aguila Blanca
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As a counterpoint to Powderman's post, I would simply point out that the pistol is NOT cycling enough to feed and chamber a round, and thus it is not cycling enough to function normally. Not all the time. There is basically only one reason why a stock, unmodified 1911 won't cock when fired: the ammo is too weak to push the slide. Getting a lot of blow-by on the brass confirms this.

If this were happening with factory ammo that is known to be of standard power, then I would absolutely agree with Powderman that the gun needs to be looked at. In this case, the OP has no idea what the ammo is. I have handled and shot a couple of Regent pistols and I found them to be well-made, reliable, and within spec. For that reason, I suspect that the ammunition is the culprit here and I would carefully test out the gun using quality, factory ammo before diving off the deep end. If it malfunctions using known-good ammo then absolutely send it in for repair.
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Old January 20, 2014, 06:58 PM   #9
Zulu343
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The thing is, it IS chambering a round after firing the previous round:
1st 7 round magazine - all fired fine except once a round chambered but the pistol was not cocked.
2nd 7 round magazine - 2 times after firing, a round chambered properly but the gun was not cocked. Racking another round into the chamber fixed the problem temporarily. However, when I pulled the trigger on the 6th round, I got a rapid-fire double-tap, with only one trigger pull!

After firing, the next round would chamber, but then I'd pull the trigger again and nothing would happen, because it wasn't cocked.

I think what powderman is saying makes sense, here's my interpretation: the slide is functioning properly with recoil, and the gun is chambering the next round. The slide is fully pressing the hammer all the way to the rear, but the hammer is not staying there. Some of the time the hammer is following the slide forward. Once, the hammer hit the firing pin with enough force to cause a rapid-fire situation. Is that a possibility?
Basically, the powder blow-by may be a red herring. Also maybe it's indicative of a poor fitting chamber??
Anyways, I'm now not comfortable shooting this thing. I'll see what Umarex says about warranty repair.

Thanks for all the thoughts. I'll let you know what they say.

Last edited by Zulu343; January 20, 2014 at 07:02 PM. Reason: changed font
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Old January 20, 2014, 07:01 PM   #10
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Correct me if I'm wrong here, but the sear spring not having enough strength would also cause hammer follow as described.

Easy enough to correct.
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Old January 20, 2014, 07:10 PM   #11
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zulu343
The thing is, it IS chambering a round after firing the previous round:
1st 7 round magazine - all fired fine except once a round chambered but the pistol was not cocked.
2nd 7 round magazine - 2 times after firing, a round chambered properly but the gun was not cocked. Racking another round into the chamber fixed the problem temporarily. However, when I pulled the trigger on the 6th round, I got a rapid-fire double-tap, with only one trigger pull!

After firing, the next round would chamber, but then I'd pull the trigger again and nothing would happen, because it wasn't cocked.
The 1911 is designed to cock the hammer when it cycles. If the hammer doesn't cock, the pistol did not cycle fully.

I've played with a 1911 on the bench, seeing how light I could go with reloads before encountering malfunctions. I did it deliberately, backing off on the powder charge progressively in pursuit of a project. The behavior you have described is characteristic of shooting under-powered ammo with a standard recoil spring.

Try different ammunition before you push the panic button.
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Old January 20, 2014, 07:13 PM   #12
RX-79G
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The 1911 is designed to cock the hammer when it cycles. If the hammer doesn't cock, the pistol did not cycle fully.
You need to think about this statement. If the slide traveled far enough back to chamber a new round from the mag, then it went more than far enough to cock the hammer.

If a fresh round is getting chambered, then the only thing that could be happening is that the hammer is failing to STAY cocked.
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Old January 21, 2014, 05:07 AM   #13
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Powderman covered the issue quite well, have someone knowledgeable in 1911's repair it. Situation corrected. I do not mean to belittle you but when you buy bargain items you run the risk of it not working and Customer Service less than helpful (I do not know the Turkish company), I know that happens with quality firearms too but less frequently.
Good luck, 1911's are very fun to shoot and normally function properly unless we start "fixing" or "up dating" them.
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Old January 21, 2014, 06:09 AM   #14
Aguila Blanca
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The Regent is imported and distributed by Umarex USA and warranty is through the Umarex headquarters in Alabama.
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Old February 2, 2014, 10:04 AM   #15
Zulu343
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Update on situation:
I called Umarex, they issued a RMA. They were nice on the phone, gave me no hassles whatsoever. $86 later, the gun is shipped back to them. $86 was the shipping cost for next-day with tracking and insurance for $500. Seems steep to me, but Fex Ed required next day for all handguns.
Umarex sent me an email right away that they received it, Stated that the average repair time is 5-7 business days, and they will contact me if any further info is needed.
So far, everything is going smoothly. I'm not thrilled about the shipping expense, but I didn't try to push them to pay for it. I don't know if they would have or not.
Obviously, the ultimate test of customer happiness here is a smooth running gun upon return. We shall see...

I understand that this is a cheap 1911. It is not a gun I expect to trust my life to, I have other handguns for that category. I don't expect it to be silky-smooth, i'd tolerate 1-in-200 malfunctions. All I want is a fun range-gun to see if I want to invest lots of $$ into a premium 1911 in the future. I do expect it to shoot out a magazine without going into full-auto!

I'll let you know what comes out of this, so far Umarex return/service is treating me fine.
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Old February 2, 2014, 11:14 AM   #16
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so far Umarex return/service is treating me fine.
I'd disagree with that statement, personally. Having to pay nearly a quarter of the cost of the gun to ship it to them to fix their mistake isn't what I call being treated "fine".

You bought a new, foreign made budget grade 1911 knock off.

in the first two magazines (14 shots), the hammer "followed" three times, and the gun machinegunned the last two rounds.

This is a serious problem in any gun, but in a new gun can only be the fault of the factory, or someone tampering with the gun between the time it left the factory floor and when it got into your hands. While the latter has happened, it is incredibly rare. Odds on it being a factory screw up are over 99%.

That being the case, I think they should not only fix the gun without cost, but they should have paid for the shipping, BOTH WAYS!

Sadly, thanks to US laws, shipping a gun, especially a handgun, is crazy expensive, compared to any other piece of machinery. Even so, when its new, under warranty (and even if there is no written warranty, they should do it anyway) they should have covered ALL your shipping costs. Other gunmakers do that (although not all).

The reason your gun didn't stay cocked is that the hammer "followed" the slide closed. Normally this does not fire the gun. Your gun went full auto (fortunately on the last two rounds) because the hammer did stay cocked, but only just long enough for the slide to close and then it fell, firing the gun.

These malfunctions are always a result of some problem with the fire control parts (hammer, sear, disconnector, trigger, springs,...) It may be a combination of bad part(s) and/or bad fit between certain parts.

The "carbon blow by" is the result of pressures being too low for the brass to fully obdurate (seal to the chamber walls) properly. However, that does not mean that the ammo is too low pressure to work properly.

Winchester "white box" ammo is their budget grade, and is well known for being a bit smokey on the brass, more in some guns, than in others, due to the fit of the individual chambers.

You might also consider sending your experiences to the folks who wrote those online reviews you mention. One bad gun, here and there are flukes, they happen, even to the best makers, BUT when a pattern begins to show up, that is proof of a serious problem.

I hope they fix your gun. I hope they fix your gun on the first try. Sometimes, guns have to go back more than once before they it everything right. One foreign maker has been bashed on line for years over the number of times guns have had to be sent back more than once before they were finally fixed. (they usually got it right by the 3rd time...usually) One fellow had pics, before he sent it back, and after it came back to him, and it was actually worse after factory "repair"!

I really hope this doesn't happen to you. I don't know the specific gun you have or its maker, I can't say what the odds are. BUT if its not right when you get it back, you really shouldn't have to pay any more (including all shipping costs) to get it fixed.
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Old February 19, 2014, 08:00 AM   #17
Zulu343
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Well, just an update on the situation:
I got a gun back on the 7th business day - fast turn-around considering that 4 of those days were shipping. What I wasn't expecting is an entierly new gun. New serial # and everything.

I wasn't so sure whether that was a good or bad thing. But figured a range trip would sort that out.

Unfortunatly time at the range was limited. I only was able to run 30 rounds through it, 3 different makes of ammo. Not exactally a full test but better than nothing. Anyways, the gun ran flawlessly, and the carbon blow-by was within normal limits - ie no definate patterns showing possible problems. I plan on getting some more range time and will probably only report back if there's any significant problems.

The gun is definatly not a high-end or semi-custom 1911, but if it continues to operate properly I will be satisfied with my purchase and maybe be interested in moving up in the future. You really can't beat the price for an all-stainless 1911... as long as it works...
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Old February 19, 2014, 08:23 AM   #18
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Old February 19, 2014, 12:12 PM   #19
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$86 was the shipping cost for next-day with tracking and insurance for $500
Dang.How far away from them are you?

I sent my Ruger 1911 to Novak's two weeks ago.FedEx overnight delivered by 3:00pm with $800 insurance for only $45.But then I am only about 4 hours or so as the crow flies from them.
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Old February 19, 2014, 07:13 PM   #20
Zulu343
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That was Florida to Arkansas. I was also shocked at the shipping cost. If I had known the amount, I would have insited they pay. Whether that would have worked or not is another question I don't know.
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Old February 19, 2014, 09:43 PM   #21
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That was Florida to Arkansas. I was also shocked at the shipping cost. If I had known the amount, I would have insited they pay

Ah, that is the problem right there, many on the east coast seem to think that Arkansas is a foreign country, so FedEx charged you international rates

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Old February 19, 2014, 10:17 PM   #22
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My experience with a new Regent R100 discovered an improperly made disconnector which caused several problems, crude hand fitting of internal parts, and a sear that was unorthodox in its shape, to say the least. The sear/trigger spring was also somewhat weak and hand fitted. I also discovered that the frame opening was not big enough to allow a replacement trigger, so I was stuck with the factory installed trigger that is apparently a little smaller than a "normal" trigger.

I purchased this pistol based on the "glowing" reviews given it by the American Rifleman.

I learned two things from this experience: (1) I will never trust any write-up in American Rifleman again and (2) I will never buy another gun made n Turkey.

YMMV.
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Old February 20, 2014, 12:16 AM   #23
Aguila Blanca
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Originally Posted by gyvel
I also discovered that the frame opening was not big enough to allow a replacement trigger, so I was stuck with the factory installed trigger that is apparently a little smaller than a "normal" trigger.
In the ten +/- years I've been tinkering with 1911s, I have not yet found a replacement trigger that wasn't slightly oversize (in height) for the frame slot. They are made that way intentionally, so the trigger can be fitted to slide without vertical slop.
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Old February 20, 2014, 12:21 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca View Post
In the ten +/- years I've been tinkering with 1911s, I have not yet found a replacement trigger that wasn't slightly oversize (in height) for the frame slot. They are made that way intentionally, so the trigger can be fitted to slide without vertical slop.
That's been my experience as well. I've fitted short triggers to all my 1911s (about 20), and I had to "take a little off the top" on every one to fit the trigger.
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Old February 20, 2014, 01:38 PM   #25
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In the ten +/- years I've been tinkering with 1911s, I have not yet found a replacement trigger that wasn't slightly oversize (in height) for the frame slot. They are made that way intentionally, so the trigger can be fitted to slide without vertical slop.
Wouldn't even accept a GI trigger. The actual trigger slot in the frame itself would have had to have been opened up, both top and bottom.

It's obvious that this particular gun was a lemon, but it still made me wary of Turkish guns. I was never overly impressed with the old PP copy, the MKE Kirrikale pistol, either. Mine never fed a whole magazine without at least one stopage.

I won't even start with the troubles I had with a POS Sarsilmaz autoloader shotgun...

Last edited by gyvel; February 22, 2014 at 07:00 AM.
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