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Old September 16, 2021, 07:45 PM   #1
Retired Squid
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Orig Wildey Survivor feed problem

A couple of months back I acquired an original Wildey Survivor in .45 WinMag. Original Bill of Sale was dated 12/2/1988. I purchased the pistol from the son of the original owner. It is a one-of-a-kind pistol with the serial number Wolfgang 1. The son stated that they had fired the pistol but very little.

I have the "cheat sheet" from the original manual that discusses how to adjust the gas port based on the problem encountered. However, the issue I am encountering is feeding the first round from the magazine. The 230gr FMJ Round Nose bullets jam 100% of the time - nose up and on the top of the chamber. This happens whether I try using Winchester 230gr FMJ, or my reloads using 230gr FMJ.

I have tried adjusting the OAL of the bullets from the SAAMI posted min to max OAL with no change in the issue.

The feed ramp has been polished without changing the angle with no change in the problem.

I know it could be the magazine follower. Not sure if the follower angle need to be changed or if the magazine lips are too tight or too lose and need to be tweaked a little. I have only one magazine that came with the pistol and I am reluctant to make any changes to it. Looking for a 2nd mag or aftermarket mag that I can tweak....

Anyone have any ideas on what else to try would be appreciated. OK to PM me with you thoughts besides posting here.
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Old September 16, 2021, 10:54 PM   #2
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Your pistol is probably doing it for the same reason(s) other semis do it, some issue with the magazine.

Does it only do it with the first round when the mag is fully loaded?? Or does it happen with the first round with the magazine downloaded? Only the first round, doesn't happen with any of the others??

With any other gun, I'd say replace the magazine and see what happens. Wildey magazines are tough to find, and more than just a bit expensive, but keep looking, you do need at least one more (that works).

As far as I know, no one has ever made aftermarket Wildey magazines.

At this time I would not recommend "adjusting" the mag you have, as sometimes a "Fix" results in just the opposite.

I have a Wildey in .45 Win Mag. Not certain the exact age, but it dates from the time before they began calling that model the Survivor, it was just the Wildey.

Try putting in only 6 or five rounds and see if that changes anything. Might not, but you never know...

I've never had any issues with mine, shooting either factory 230 FMJ or 260 JHPs or reloads.

I also have an LAR Grizzly in .45 Win Mag. Have 3 mags for it. One of them likes to let the very last round in the mag pop free. The other two work fine.

Good Luck, I hope you can find another magazine, but expect it to take some time. You might also check with Wolff Springs, to see if they have any springs for the Wildey. I have no idea what they have now, but a few years ago they had springs for the Auto Mag, they might still have something gathering dust on a shelf that you might be able to use, its worth asking.

Sorry I can't be of more help right now.
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Old September 18, 2021, 01:00 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advise 44AMP. It does it on all rounds. If I hand feed the first round and put the magazine in and fire, the bolt extracts and ejects the fired case, strips the next round from the magazine and attempts to chamber it. 100% of the time it jams nose up at the top of the chamber. Even adjusting the gas port per the trouble shooting steps does not solve the problem.

Still looking for another magazine. I have also bought some mold making products and resin. Going to try and make my own follower and see what adjusting the angle does for the problem.....
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Old September 19, 2021, 03:19 AM   #4
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If the bolt comes back on firing enough to pick up the next round, the gas system adjustment isn't the problem.

The problem is the magazine. There are two possibilities I can think of. First, and least likely is that something is really "off" with the magazine follower and the entire column of rounds is being presented at too high a nose up angle.

This isn't very common and when it does happen, often results in the case base being too low and the bolt riding over it. Not likely the follower is the problem but not to be entirely ruled out, at this point.

What is most likely, is that the magazine body's feed lips have spread apart a bit at the front, allowing the nose of the round to rise up too high (and too soon) when pushed forward by the closing bolt.

Remember that the inertia of the gun in recoil has the effect of driving the rounds down in the magazine, and the timing may be just right so that the bolt it back when the magazine spring "snaps" the rounds back up, and if the feed lips aren't just right the rising top round goes up a little too far and as the bolt moves forward pushing the round the "too open" feed lips lose their grip on the round (which is already mispositioned) and the round keeps going forward and up, striking the top of the chamber at the wrong angle to slide in. Of course, if it jams when chambering a round to load the gun, then the recoil isn't a factor.

if I understand you right, you cannot feed a round from the magazine at all?? Bolt forward, loaded mag inserted, pull the bolt all the way back and release, and it jams? Bolt locked back, loaded mag inserted, bolt released, it jams, and closing the bolt on a hand chambered round, loaded mag in place, gun fires then jams trying to feed the next round.

All jams the same,? bullet nose strikes too high to chamber. Is this correct??


To me, that says magazine feed lips. But, I'm no expert on the Wildey, so I won't say with certainty, only that its my best guess.

Keep looking for another magazine, and consider if you want to try (or have someone try) adjusting the feed lips of the mag you have.

please keep us informed, and if I can be of further help just ask.
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Old September 24, 2021, 07:50 PM   #5
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You understood me correctly - jams all the time. Going to try tweaking the lips a little at a time to see if it gets to the point of correct functioning.
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Old September 26, 2021, 11:10 AM   #6
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Good luck bending the lips in a bit, I expect it to be a trial and error process. I suggest you make up some dummy rounds (hardball bullets) to use during your testing, so you don't batter live ammo.

Once you get the dummies feeding properly (by hand), then try some live ammo and see if it works.

Good Luck, I really hope you can get it running right.

(and you do know, Murphy being Murphy) you probably won't find a spare magazine until AFTER you get yours working!
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Old September 30, 2021, 09:11 PM   #7
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My thoughts were that of 44 AMP, the rounds catching on the magazine body feed lip, at the case edge where it meets the bullet. Did you attempt to gently push a round forward to verify? Had that issue with an aftermarket mag for my 1911.
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Old October 1, 2021, 08:01 PM   #8
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Tried method you suggested. If I remove the recoil springs and control the slide going forward slow, it will function ok. bought 2 sets of original springs and will try those to see if there is a difference. I can also cut a couple of coils off to reduce the amount of force on chambering a bullet.
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Old October 2, 2021, 09:14 AM   #9
Ricklin
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Print

You could get a mag follower 3d printed in ABS. 3d printing services can scan your old follower or draw up a modified one.
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