View Full Version : 1911 Problems

May 12, 2002, 07:01 PM
I just picked up a new Springfield Loaded model. The problem is: The last round of the magazine will feed, fire properly, and then it extracts really wimpy. Sometimes this last casing will go UNDER the lips of the magazine and cause a serious malfunction. If I load a single round into the mag and chamber it, when I rack the slide back to take it out the round will either barely eject or it will get caught in the ejection port. I don't think its the extractor because I tried putting more tension on it and the rounds would fly out with authority, but the last round will still hang up. Any suggestions?

Art Eatman
May 12, 2002, 09:35 PM
Is this with any and all magazines?

Could the follower be sticking up too high? The bottom edge of the case-head hanging up on it?



James K
May 12, 2002, 09:59 PM
Feed a loaded round from the magazine, then remove the magazine completely. Now retract the slide very slowly to extract the loaded round. The round should be held firmly by the extractor and not drop into the magazine well. If it is not, either the slide or extractor is defective, or the extractor is not "tuned" properly.

The extractor of the 1911 design should be made of the best spring steel. Alas, most of those in the new guns are made by casting or MIM; they seem to have very little flexibility and lose what they do have very rapidly.


Jim Watson
May 12, 2002, 11:33 PM
I have seen this same fault in a recent SA; cramming the last empty between the magazine lips. The gun was doing it with any magazine of more than one brand tried. Tweaking the extractor did not stop it. I took it to my gunsmith for the owner. He could not find anything obviously wrong, but said the extractor did not look quite right and replaced it with a real GI spring steel part.

He also noticed that the ejector was not positively retained; there was no ejector cross pin, no notch in the ejector leg for it and no hole in the frame. Its legs were only finger tight in their holes. He was unwilling to try to drill a 1/16" hole through the slide rails and through the edge of the ejector leg hole and so just stuck it down with Loctite.

The gun then shot all the ammo the owner sent to the shop with it and some of mine and the gunsmith's. Over a box of shells, fired two at a time so as to set up for a last round failure - which did not happen. I have not had a later report.

I have since seen another new SA with no ejector pin or place for one. They just don't think you need one.

May 13, 2002, 10:09 PM
Hmm...this really sucks. This is a weird malfunction that I've never really heard of before... What is so tough about building a quality factory 1911!? I swear manufacturers take all these shortcuts...I bet JMB is spinning in his grave!

Art- At first I thought it was just the factory mags then it happened with a Wilson #47D that I was using.

Jim Keenan- The last round drops out through the mag well :(

Jim Watson- I was thinking of tossing the stock extractor and replacing it with a better one. The Loctite trick worked...but we're not really sure if it'll work in the long run. But I was averaging about 1 failure/box so maybe that's a good sign. BTW- What Loctite did he use? Blue?



May 14, 2002, 06:24 AM
I bet JMB is spinning in his grave!

No, John Moses was from a different era, when good craftsmanship was an accepted thing. He did the right thing in selling the rights to the best manufacturer of the day, Colt who still makes 45s that work.

The other lookalike pistols they make nowadays do not even deserve to be mentioned as being JMB's children any more than a LLAMA or a STAR would be.

May 14, 2002, 11:46 AM
LOL...The other lookalike pistols they make nowadays do not even deserve to be mentioned as being JMB's children any more than a LLAMA or a STAR would be. ...you crack me up...

If you threw away every pistol that malfunctioned a few times, you'd have just as many Colts as anything else...Given the right circumstances, they'll ALL fail...they're just machines...;)

James K
May 14, 2002, 01:25 PM
Hi, gyp_c2,

YOU crack ME up. Yes, all machines fail. But some fail a lot more and sooner than others. And some of the most expensive fail the most.

The gun in question is a Springfield Loaded, not supposedly a cheap, and certainly not an inexpensive, gun, yet they can't even put in a decent extractor. Sorry, I don't buy that "they all fail" business. "Everyone does it" won't work with a traffic cop if I run a red light, and it should not work when trying to buy a decent pistol.

Junk is junk, no matter who you work for, and if your life depended on a pistol, you would not like to be told that it is failure-prone junk, but no worse than others.

Hi, Ronin308,

If the extractor will not hold a live round, it is defective. Replace it with a good one, not one made out of compressed chewing gum wrappers.


May 14, 2002, 09:37 PM
Jim Keenan- Only God and Springfield knows what they were thinking with their "budget-quality" extractor. I was going to send it back to the factory but figured they couldn't make it work properly the first time. So I just ordered a Wilson Bulletproof extractor. Right now I'm at about 400 rounds so we'll see if the new extractor and a case of ammo won't clear up the problem.


James K
May 14, 2002, 10:20 PM
Well, I don't know what God knows, not being privy to His thoughts, but I know why Springfield and others use cheap extractors (and other parts). It is called the bottom line and being competitive. In the current market, the bean counters would have blue horrors about an extractor that cost $.10 more than the one used by the competition.

A lot of people demand quality, but very few people will pay for it, they only want the least expensive. I have had some (I hope friendly) arguments on these forums with folks who claim they want to buy a defense pistol, presumably with the possibility that their lives could be on the line. Yet, they ask about the cheapest gun and the cheapest ammo.

When it's my skin, I want the best, not the cheapest. When I worked for the "gum mint", I had to take the low bid unless I could prove that outfit couldn't do the job. On my own, I want what I know works, which is why my home defense pistols are a 1941 Colt M1911A1 and a Norinco*, straight stock. Both have fired thousands of rounds without a bobble of any kind. When I carried, it was an S&W Chiefs Special, 3" square butt. Not super powerful, but it was unobtrusive and I knew it would go bang when I wanted it to.

*I said earlier that quality and reliability do not necessarily equate to cost.


May 14, 2002, 10:26 PM
Junk is as Junk does.
Regardless of price.