View Full Version : Failure to feed with Kimber 1911

May 2, 2001, 02:00 PM
My Kimber Gold Match has been performing flawlessly for some time, but yesterday when I went to the range, it began to have failure to feed problems.

Extraction of the spent round was fine, but the next round was getting "stuck" on the feed ramp. A quick pull-back on the slide and then releasing it would get me going again.

This was with Speer Gold Dot JHPs and also (but less often) with Speer Lawman 230 gr. FMJs.

Also, this was happening with all four magazines I have (2 Wilson 8 rounders, 1 Mec-Gar 7 rounder, and two Shooting Star 7 rounders) so I doubt that the magazine part of the equation is the problem.

So, what do you think? Recoil spring is needing replacement, perhaps? It's only got about 1500 rounds on it.

If the recoil spring should be replaced, should I go with the Kimber stock Wolf 16 lb. spring, or the extra power 18.5 lb. spring that Wilson recommends?

Any advice is gratefully received,


May 2, 2001, 05:57 PM
If the pistol is lubricated properly, I'd sure take a shot at replacing the recoil spring, seems like a likely suspect. Springs are so cheap that I'd get several in different weights and see which serves you best. One tip, make sure you keep them identified, I forgot that once, and I had three springs and no idea which was which! :)

Ken Cook
May 2, 2001, 05:59 PM
Assuming a clean gun,

Try removing the extractor and see if the failure to feed still occurs.
If it doesn't happen with the extractor out, your extractor is bad and needs either adjustment or replacement.

Kimber Extractors are MIMM (Metal Injection Molding M-something) parts, which makes for a MUCH less than ideal extractor, and IMHO, if you buy a Kimber, the first thing you need to do is throw away the stock extractor and buy a good quality part from Wilson, Brown, etc.

Try that, and you should be well on the road to recovery.

May 2, 2001, 08:02 PM
I'll take all of the orphaned new stainless Kimber extractors :) Let me know and I'll send my mailing address. The one in my Stainless Gold Match has over 6,000 rounds under it's belt and I'd like a free lifetime supply of spares.


May 2, 2001, 09:20 PM
Thanks for the suggestions, especially Johnwill's about keeping the springs labelled. That is exactly the kind of thing I would do is to forget which is which!

I just cleaned the pistol today and there were little tiny pieces of metal everywhere. There doesn't appear to be any wear on the gun itself, so I have to conclude that the tiny fragments are coming off the bullets, jackets, or cases.

I examined the cases at the range, and couldn't see any damage to them, so maybe the fragments are from the jackets or bullets?

Anyway the gun was exceptionally dirty and littered with all these tiny fragments. Maybe that was causing the problem.

Do JHPs have a tendency to abrade off tiny fragments like that, or is it poor ammo, or a problem with the gun? I haven't shot much JHPs, almost all ball ammo.

Anyway, this shooting stuff is fun and I'm glad you'all are here to ask questions of!

Master Blaster
May 3, 2001, 11:43 AM
What color were the fragments? They were probably from the cases (brass gold color, nickle silver) or from the bullets (lead silver).
It is common to see these when cleaning a gun.

May 3, 2001, 01:19 PM
My Kimber Ultra Carry will cycle anything I feed it except Speer Ammo????...I get 2 or 3 FTFs per box...Just a thought...

May 3, 2001, 05:14 PM
CJO, so your Kimber doesn't like Speer? Well, maybe that's the problem. I've been using the Speer ball ammo without problems, but the Speer Gold Dot JHPs were the new item in the equation the other day.

What JHPs work well for you?

Anybody else with a Kimber having Speer incompatibility problems?

May 3, 2001, 06:14 PM
Are those little tiny flecks a dark greyish color. Cause they COULD have been unburned powder. I get this knowledge from using a cheaper grade of powder when I reload my .45's. Then I use the cheap stuff as range fodder. Always clean my weapon after EVERY usage, regardless of what type of ammo I run through it.

Don't DO ANYTHING to your 1911 just yet. EXCEPT for a good solid cleaning. Once cleaned, go back to the range. IF you still have the FTF problem, then consider a new recoil spring, or another extractor, or... whatever. But first, clean that puppy throughly and then see what happens.

TO anyone who wants to flame me over the unburnt powder issue because he's using factory ammo, consider this. Even the factory OCCAISIONALLY gets a bad load of powder every once in a while. It does happen. Not that they rounds won't fire, they will. They will just leave 'little tiny specks'of what looks like metal, but is actually unburnt powder.

May 6, 2001, 08:07 PM
Hmmm.... My Kimber had two FTF's last time out with Speer GD's.

May 6, 2001, 08:33 PM
Wallew, I know what you mean, I get the same thing with cheap "factory" reloads. :(

May 6, 2001, 09:06 PM
I use Rem Golden Saber 185gr...Never had a FTF with them or any other HP Ammo....Other than Speer of course....

May 10, 2001, 07:23 AM
Just a thought-it might not be the extractor itself from what you describe. I have found that using 'dirty' powder over a period of time will lodge junk in the extractor tunnel (unburned powder, brass shavings, etc.), so I do make it a point to remove the extractor and run a .22 bore brush and solvent to make sure its completely clear. I've been loading Gold Dots for 3 years now, and they seem to work very well in my 1911's.

May 10, 2001, 08:04 AM
My Kimbers don't seem to like Speer ammo, including Speer TMJ. I've also found that changing from Wilson 8 round mags to Wilson 7 round mags significantly reduced my number of failures to feed.