View Full Version : Sudden failure to feed in 1911

September 10, 2006, 04:03 PM
After a thousand rounds or so my normally perfect functioning 1911 pistol yesterday started failing to feed. Failure is intermittant. The magazine is an 8 round Novak and the bullet is the 230 Federal Hydroshock. The bullet tip drives straight forward (almost) into the feed ramp instead of tipping up as I would expect. This load is normally feeding just fine in this pistol. Magazine looks OK. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks

Bill DeShivs
September 10, 2006, 04:27 PM
Get a new 7 round mag. The 8 rounders over-compress the spring, causing spring failure.
Your feed lips could also be bent, causing the bullet to feed low.

dale taylor
September 10, 2006, 05:53 PM
Bill has it. I only use 7 rounder because of short life to 8's. [email protected]

September 10, 2006, 11:17 PM
Replace the mag spring - http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=16584&title=1911+AUTO+EXTRA+POWER+MAGAZINE+SPRING and you'll be back in business.

sks forever
September 10, 2006, 11:48 PM
I had some stovepiping problems and when I switched to a Chip McCormick mag it didn't happen anymore. I now believe that the only way to go is Chip or Wilson mags for a sure fire.

Esquire M Busterbury
September 11, 2006, 02:18 AM
Don't lie SKS, they happened when you limpwristed like a sissy. :D Then I had to teach you how to hold it like a man.

Hunter Customs
September 11, 2006, 08:29 AM
It could be the mag spring but the most common failure to feed from a weak mag spring will be the last round.
If you are using several different mags number them so you can see if the gun fails with all the mags or just one of the mags.
Intermittent failure to feeds may be an extractor issue, keep in mind the 1911 style pistols are designed to be a control round feed system.
I've used 8 round Shooting Star mags for years shooting competition and I never experienced any premature spring failures because of the mag and spring design.
Continuous use is what wears out mag springs no matter how many rounds the mags are designed to hold.
Bob Hunter

September 11, 2006, 09:02 AM
Use one less round?

Check the status of the Mag lips?

Mark the magazine as range use only...

Check the spring strength of your slide...

September 11, 2006, 09:57 AM
Take it apart and clean the extractor tunnel really good and I bet it will be back to running 100% , I had the same problem and this fixed it .

Bill DeShivs
September 11, 2006, 12:59 PM
I'm the guy who always say "springs don't wear out" but if an improper design flexes a spring past it's normal elastic limit the spring will fail.
The other suggestions are good ones, too.

September 11, 2006, 01:17 PM
The spring is plenty strong, at least when full, as it takes some effort to load. The follower comes up evenly, and I can't get it to stick when pressing down either fore or aft. I did have the exrtactor out recently and q-tipped the tunnel, but wonder if I could have caused some problem too. Informative to know that it just fed several mags of ball ammo, slow and rapid fire. The failure came when I fed it my duty load of Fed 230 HS. They have alwasy done fine, but maybe this is another clue. Thanks for the interst and ideas. I didn't have a second mag at the range, but will try that. Now, it's feeding just fine feeding it by hand release, which it didn't want to do yesterday. Can these Novak mags be disassembled and cleaned. Does dirt in mags cause feed problems? I always thought that mag lips would have to be dented down to cause low feeds, and that wearing open would cause them to feed high. Guess that's why I ask you guys who know stuff. Sooooo many questions.

Esquire M Busterbury
September 11, 2006, 02:04 PM
So here's a question. The magazine in my 8-round sigp220 is about the exact same size as an 8-round 1911 magazine. Would it be prudent to only carry seven since it would stretch a 1911 mag? I gotta admit, carrying around 9 rounds of .45 feels pretty nice...

Hunter Customs
September 11, 2006, 09:12 PM
I agree that if a spring is loaded past it's intended use it will damage the spring.
That being said the springs and followers in good quality 8 round mags are intended to be loaded with 8 rounds. Loading an 8 round mag with 8 rounds will not damage the spring. However continuous use will weaken the spring in time, as it will any spring and this includes 7 round mags.

Yes mags can get dirty enough to cause feed problems,but they would have to be really dirty.
Again I would check the extractor for the proper tension, you may have changed the tension when you removed it.
The extractor may be clocking, intermittent feed problems and erratic ejection are signs of this.
Another thing that needs to be checked is the guns timing.
Look at the radial lugs on top of your barrel and inside your slide, they should be good and sharp. If they are starting to round off this is called shearing and it's the first sign of a gun that's not timed correctly. If the gun's out of time it needs to be corrected immediately.
Proper feed ramp depth and angle are very crictical especially when shooting the shorter hollow point bullets.
What weight recoil spring are you using? Make sure the recoil spring is not in backwards. The open end of the recoil spring goes to the muzzle, the closed end of the recoil spring goes to the recoil shield on the spring guide.
If all else fails and you have a good smith close by you might check and see what they would charge to look at your gun.
Bob Hunter

Harry Bonar
September 13, 2006, 11:13 AM
Dear Sir:
Stay away from all 8 rounders! I like the Wilson Rogers 7 rd!
Harry B. PS - your pistol may need a "reliability package."