View Full Version : 1911 changing habits

September 14, 2007, 11:27 AM
My trusty 1911 full size has just started throwing it's brass much farther than normal. I'm thinking of putting a target back there and shooting one with bullets and the other with brass. It's doing about 15 to 20 feet, when 6 to 8 has been the norm.
At the same time, it's begun jamming with my favorite load, the Fed 230 HS. The feeding jam is with the bullet mouth against the feed ramp. BTW, it was dirty when this occurred.
The cases are a bit scorched on one side only, from the mouth half way back or so.
My uneducated guess is that the recoil spring is worn out. Am I right?

The slide was replaced not long ago but it's fired hunderds of shots since then without incident, so I'm guessing it's not link timing problem. What do you 1911 gurus think.
Many thanks.

Bottom Gun
September 14, 2007, 11:45 AM
My guess would be the recoil spring.

The carbon marks sound like the cases aren't entirely sealing against the chamber walls.

My best guess.

September 14, 2007, 02:30 PM
I'll also vote for the recoil spring. That could also cause the action to unlock a bit early, which could explain the scorched cases.

Hunter Customs
September 15, 2007, 09:42 AM
The first thing I would do is safely disassemble the gun and look at the radial lugs of the barrel and slide. If you see flanging of the radial lugs you have a timing issue in the gun, this could be causing your problems.
If the radial lugs look good then replace your recoil spring to see if it helps.
Bob Hunter

September 18, 2007, 01:25 PM

Recoil springs for 1911 pistols are available and they are CHEAP. I routinely change recoil springs in a 1911 pistol after 2000 rounds, give or take. I shoot them in IPSC competition.

You might try the following. Take a new 16# recoil spring, and compare it for length against the spring in your pistol. 16# springs are standard in "hardball guns", though some opt for a heavier spring. If the spring in your pistol is noticeably shorter than a new spring, it's likely time to change springs.

September 18, 2007, 04:19 PM
I changed out the recoil spring yesterday, and shot two magazines of the duty ammo that had jammed. (Jam had been with rim forward of extractor claw, not captured by the extractor).
I did not clean the gun. Locking lugs and recesses looked normal.
That feed problem disappeared, the brass fell in it's normal area, but now out of two mags of ammo there were two occasions where the cartridge stopped about a quarter inch or so from being in battery, although it was well into the chamber. It looked straight and was properly hooked behind the extractor. I cleaned the gun, by now pretty dirty, and then three mags of the same ammo fed perfectly.
Is it common for a dirty chamber to prevent complete chambering?? When it happened it tapped in easily. Makes sense to me but I'd not heard of it.
PS, the spring I put in is a Wilson "bullet proof" spring. I don't have the package and forgot what poundage it is.
Thanks for all the advice and conversation. I do enjoy and benefit from it. Working on the things make them much more enjoyable to shoot, even if I don't get it right at first.

September 18, 2007, 04:34 PM
Yes that could be it and also the ammo brand used could aggravate that tendency depending on minute case size variations etc I suppose. I myself always take a clean gun to the range. Or at least clean the bore and chamber out.

September 19, 2007, 03:02 PM
Dirty chambers, depending how dirty they aree, can cause chambering/feeding, extraction problem, especiallyu if your chamber is anywhere near "minimum". Also, differences between Brand A and Brand B can cause problems, as with the following. Your chamber is near or at MINIMUM, whi;le the particular lot of ammunition you are using is near MAXIMUM dimensions. Throw in a "dirty chamber" and you have a problem just waiting to happen.

One thing you might try is the following, if/when the slide does not go to battery. Slap the bottom of the butt/magazine with the heel of your "off hand", finger outside the trigger guard. That will usually shake things enbough to allow the slide to go to battery.

I have nothing against Wilson parts, I understand they are very good. It's simply that I use Wolff Springs, and in a 1911 pistol (45ACP), I stick with the "Factory Standard", which is 16#. Works for me.

September 19, 2007, 05:16 PM
Is your gun properly lubed? If it's dry, it's probably also a bit sluggish, and that can hold things up. I clean my gun every 1000 rounds or so, and even then, it's not so dirty that an in-spec round won't chamber. If the gun is dirty, sufficient lube is even more important than when clean.

September 20, 2007, 09:57 AM
Yes, I suspect that's it all right. I had fitted a Kart match barrel, which I imagine is min spec in size. Also yes, after changing the spring, and the extractor picked up the rim just fine but occasionally would not go completely into battery, a light tap pushed it right in. Sometimes a quick shake would do it.
After a simple clean and lube it has worked fine so far, zero malfunctions. FYI the offending ammo is Federal Hydro Shok 230. It has nickel case and so I wonder if brass cases are a little slicker.

BTW, I don't normally let my guns get so dirty, but wanted to learn if that was a factor. My conclusion: This barrel is probably not appropriate for extended days in the battlefield. The only place I know to lube is light oil on the barrel and light grease on the rails, plus a drop of Remoil on the trigger assy rarely. Is there more I should know about that?

Off the topic, I just added the new CT lasergrip with the front activator, and my rapid fire groups shrunk immediately by more than 50%:).

September 20, 2007, 10:51 PM

Assuming that you have a fitted bushing to go with the Cart Barrel, I would suggest a little lube at the muzzle end of the barrel. Also a little lube on the pivoting link and a little, wipe with an oily patch, lube on the long pin part of slide release.

In addition to this, a little lube on the locking lugs won't hurt, at least it has never hurt anything I've shot. You mentioned grease on the rails, which I suppose is O.K. Personally, I lean toward a good quality, light lube. The one I've used for a while now is Break Free Lubricant/Preservative. It claims to be "for rapid fire automatic and stainless firearms". Have never had functional problems using this lube.

I shoot IPSC competition, and will usually shoot through the course twice, which generally amounts to 200 plus rounds in a days shooting. In 45 caliber, I shoot lead bullets, H & G 68 hard cast (a 200 grain SWCBB bullet). In 9mm Luger chambering I use lead bullets too, a 122 grain TC bullet, sized .356 or .357, depending on the pistol being used.

Re bullets, given the way cast bullet prices have soared, I might end up shooting jacketed or plated bullets, amazing as that might sound.