View Full Version : M1911 light primer strikes.Help.

August 15, 1999, 07:46 AM
Went to the range with my Colt Lightweight Commander the other day. This is a gun that hertofore had worked fine. This trip, I encountered an ignition problem. The firing pin was not hitting the primers hard enough to detonate them. I thought maybe the mainspring was weak, so I swapped in the spring and housing from my friends GM that was firing just fine. No change.
I detail stripped it and inspected every part. It all looked fine. Any suggestions?

George Stringer
August 15, 1999, 08:02 AM
NG, you've already determined that it wasn't the mainspring so there are five other possibilities that I can think of. Bent firing pin, obstruction or dirty firing pin hole, something dragging on the hammer slowing its travel, compare the rear diameter of the firing pin with another and see if it might have been peaned. I've seen them pean enough to actually get stuck in the firing pin stop. The last possibility would be excess headspace. One more; slide not returning fully to battery. George

August 15, 1999, 09:25 AM
The other last problem, if you're using reloads, could be high primers. More common on .38 Super than .45, and generally intermittent, not repeatable on demand.

August 15, 1999, 12:50 PM
I your Commander a series 80? if so it could be that the firing pin safety is not working correctly. The firing pin might still be locked at the moment the hammer is falling. Try this, make sure the gun is empty ,cock the hammer and push in the firing pin with the tip of a pen it shouldn`t move . Then pull the trigger and lower the hammer slowly the firing pin should release before the hammer is down.

James K
August 15, 1999, 07:37 PM
Hi, NGlock,

There may be a cleaning problem, but how about the ammo? I would clean the gun, then try another ammo type, preferable good, new U.S. factory. Remember that the primer indent in a dud primer is never as deep as it appears on a fired case. (The primer metal flowing back around the firing pin makes the indent appear deeper than it is.)

With the renewed demand for cheap ammo, importers are scrounging the world for ammo without caring about whether it is any good or not. WWII U.S. GI .45 ammo is being sold without the buyer being told that it is corrosive as all getout. I wonder how many barrels will be ruined.


August 17, 1999, 07:01 PM
NG, One thing that I would try first. Since you have detailed your pistol go out and try it again and see if it works as before. You may have cleaned some gruder out of a hidey hole that you did not notice and everthing may be fine in the world one again. I understand that these are very technical terms but please give it a try if nothing else seems to be wrong.
Good Shooting, Hank
I know you said detail stripped and ment detail cleaned.

[This message has been edited by HankL (edited August 17, 1999).]