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Old June 3, 2012, 03:18 PM   #1
Sean B
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Auto Ordnance 1911PKZE Slide won't return forward

I have an Auto Ordnance 1911 .45 caliber. I bought it in July 2011, and so far I've had to send it back to Kahr Arms, the manufacturer, TWICE for this problem that their calling "failure to feed". I have yet to run it since I just received it back 2 days ago. What do you think could be the reason behind the slide not returning forward?

FYI- I have run Ferderal & Magtech ammo through it & it happens with both brands. FMJ 230gr

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Old June 3, 2012, 04:38 PM   #2
Sean B
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Oh yeah, the slide doesn't return ALL the way forward. It stops about a 1/2 inch shy of all the way.
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Old June 3, 2012, 05:19 PM   #3
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A little more info would help. Some of my guns will do that if I have been shooting a while and the gun is getting dirty.

If the gun is doing this from the get go, something is wrong.

From your letter, it indicates the gun runs fine up to a point. We need to know what that point is.

Can you elaborate a little?

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Old June 6, 2012, 06:02 PM   #4
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It is a $380 pistol, buy once buy right.
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Old June 6, 2012, 06:41 PM   #5
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"It is a $380 pistol, buy once buy right."

Gotta love the internet. Extremely helpful advice in this situation.

It has been awhile since I've seen Auto Ordnances selling for $380.00. More like $500 these days. Even Rock Island Armory is going for more then $380.00 these days.

Any number of things could be causing the problem you are describing, and they are not just endemic to this being a lower price point pistol and could be found in production 1911s from any manufacturer. We would certainly need more information. When the slide stops can you press it into battery with your thumb? If so I am thinking either weak recoil spring or excessive extractor tension. If you cannot, then it is possible you have a more serious issue, google "three point jam" or "stem bind". Your magazines may be a culprit also, especially if you are using the stock Auto Ord mags.

Hopefully someone more knowledgeable will come along but we need some more details.
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Old June 6, 2012, 06:49 PM   #6
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Is it a full size or short barrel? I ask because I had a similar issue with an RIA CS.

I would sometimes have to tap the slide into battery with my thumb. I traded it off rather than fixing it, but I would be curious as to the reason (possible reason, anyways) should I encounter it again in the future.
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Old June 6, 2012, 07:02 PM   #7
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If its not limp wristing,

It could be as simple as a break-in to smooth out the parts. Remove the magazine and with the gun empty, lube the rails and then rack the slide back and release. Do this (rack and release) a hundred or so times. Disassemble and look for shiny spots. The slide can be dragging on the frame's rails. Rails may also be bent or dented. Check the frame tunnel for drag marks too. Shiny spots indicate wearing surfaces.

Be sure to check that the link swings freely.

Also check the plunger for nicks, dents or bends.

Check the recoil strength. Compare it against a factory fresh one (length).

Also try it with GI or Colt factory magazines.
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Old June 6, 2012, 07:31 PM   #8
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Hanging up a half inch before lockup is an indication of an extractor issue.

The base of the cartridge case has to slide up the breach face and underneath the extractor hook as the cartridge is being pushed out of the magazine. If the extractor is improperly adjusted or clocked, the case rim cannot slide into place.

It would take some eyes-on troubleshooting, but I'd bet installing a quality extractor and over-sized firing pin stop (to prevent extractor clocking) would cure the feed issue.

Another thing to look for is a burr around the firing pin hole in the breach face. A rare possibility is the firing pin being stuck so that the tip sticks out of the bolt face.

Last edited by DnPRK; June 6, 2012 at 07:45 PM.
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Old June 6, 2012, 07:40 PM   #9
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I had the same issue with a Sig I own, turned out to be a damaged seer which Sig replaced for free. Just a thought.
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Old June 6, 2012, 07:41 PM   #10
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A good local smith could iron out the wrinkles on an AO 1911a1. Been there, done that. Seemed to turn out really well. Mine took some serious polishing and better springs and mags. Oh, and lower the ejection port. It runs sweet now.
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Old June 6, 2012, 08:12 PM   #11
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You're going to have to do a bit of troubleshooting.

From what you're saying, the pistol will not close fully on a loaded round. If this is correct, check the following:

Are you shooting factory ammunition, or reloads that have proven reliable in the past? If so, go to the next step.

1. First, slowly cycle an EMPTY gun (move the slide back and forth). Does it go into battery easily?

If it does not, and needs pressure to close, you might have a problem with the barrel hood or the fit of the barrel link and slide stop pin; or even the fit of the barrel lugs and the slide.

If it does close easily, proceed with the next check.

2. Can you cycle the slide VERY easily without too much effort? If so, your recoil spring might be weak. Another indicator is if (when fired) brass is ejecting into the next zip code.

If this is the case, install a Wolff recoil spring. Factory weight is 16 lb; I usually run an 18.5 lb spring.

If it passes the spring test, check the bottom of the extractor as described above. You'll be looking at the part that actually engages the rim of the cartridge. The bottom should be gently beveled. If it is not, you can do the job with a swiss-pattern file and a few careful strokes. Just barely break the bottom edge; clean and reassemble; then fire a magazine to prove the pistol.
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Old June 24, 2012, 09:24 PM   #12
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hello everyone,this is a response to Mr Sean B,
when your slide locks back please press down on the
slide stop if this releases the slide then you need to
relieve the inside tab.The rounds are pressing on it
not up but out and this is causing the slide to bind
and fail to return to battery.
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Old June 27, 2012, 06:04 PM   #13
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I had the same problem with my Auto Ordnance the OP is having. Replaced the factory mag and its been flawless ever since. More accurate than my Springfield Mil-spec!
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Old June 29, 2012, 09:56 PM   #14
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Factory magazines are wadcutter configured Metalform,
it would be instructive to know what make/config
gives flawless results.
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Old June 29, 2012, 11:20 PM   #15
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I have the same pistol and it exhibited the same problem for about 200 rounds. It has since settled down nicely and never fails in any way. Mine was clearly a break-in issue.
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Old June 30, 2012, 07:32 PM   #16
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Factory magazines are wadcutter configured Metalform,
it would be instructive to know what make/config
gives flawless results.
IMHO I think this perticular problem has more to do with the follower in the factory mag than the make of the mag. I've tried name brand all the way to some generic 7rd GI mags I bought at a gun show for $5 a piece. I have no issues with any of them but as soon as I use the factory mag that came with it, I start to have the same problem as OP. For me it wasn't the rounds because the same rounds worked fine in the other mags. So that's why I say it might be the follower in the Kahr mags. I'm not sure why the follower is different. My solution might not work for everyone. All I know is my problem disappeared after I stopped using the Kahr mag.
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Old July 1, 2012, 06:57 AM   #17
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Factory magazines have a convex style follower,as different from
standard flat.This and the guide edge geometry certainly affects
the rounds loading position and may cause them to fail to load.
But it is unlikely that the slide will freeze 1/2" from battery because
the magazine follower is somewhat incompatible with the pistol.
If the rounds are stuck in the chamber then it is a different issue
I think what we are discussing here is a sudden interruption in the
slide travel during what otherwise might have been a normal cycle.
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Old July 7, 2012, 06:28 PM   #18
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There are different follower configurations, but you generally run into problems related to those at one end of the ammo column or the other; the first rounds or the last rounds. The OP didn't make any distinction about where the rounds were in the magazine, so I'm not sure it's applicable here. If it is, the test is to load maybe 5 rounds in the magazine at a time and see if the first three always function.

I'd be looking at the cartridge dimensions, then at all the firearm related factors already mentioned.
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Old July 7, 2012, 08:57 PM   #19
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The ammunition reportedly used should be fine for all intents
and purposes,we have the effect but the cause is not obvious
the slide locks up on its way to battery and no other issues
are visible.Something is putting the brakes on it.
The extractor is engaged and the round is half way in.
Failure to feed? good catch all phrase.
The tell tale soft metal traces on the slide stop inside tab are
only further indication of the cause,many pistols show them
too and yet do not malfunction but if the slide binds or in extreme
cases stops and the copper deposits are there then the rounds are
most likely interfering with the action.
Investment casting can be extremely accurate but if the tolerances
are loose and they stack up there can be trouble,factory definitely
should not have returned the pistol without resolving the issue.
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