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Old December 30, 2018, 02:45 PM   #1
TunnelRat
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Failure to Eject with SA Range Officer

Hi all,
I've had a Springfield Armory Range Officer in 45 ACP for just over two years. I bought it used and I don't shoot it that much. The pistol has been flawless until recently. At around the 1200 rd mark I started getting failures to eject. The case would extract, get held back by the extractor, and yet not get kicked out by the ejector. This has happened with S&B, Federal, and Fiocchi ammunition now (all 230 gr, brass cased, ball ammunition). The ejector looks fine to me, and I've cleaned out the extractor channel (internal extractor) and inspected the extractor. Nothing looks wrong to me visually, but I'm more of a novice when it comes to 1911s.

I like to try to fix things myself to gain some knowledge. Does anyone have some tips on what I can look at?

Thanks,
TR

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Old December 30, 2018, 04:42 PM   #2
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It's been my experience that this is going to be a problem associated with the tuning of the extractor or the spring of the extractor itself going out of tune and needing to be replaced. I've twice run in to this... both on Springfield 1911 pistols, one in .45 and one in 9mm.

With the 9mm, a little tuning did the trick and it didn't become a problem again, but I did end up selling the pistol. I know the buyer very well and he hasn't had an issue. With the .45, tuning always fixed the problem -- until it returned. Buying a new extractor and tuning it ended the problem.

It's funny, with 1911's and extractor design and the legions of "purists" who will go miles-deep in arguments of what makes a real 1911 and what is a departure that would sicken John M. Browning... but it's been my experience that the original extractor design is easier to tune AND replace but an external extractor seems to give less potential trouble.

For tuning a .45cal traditional 1911 extractor, honestly just do a search for instructions and watch a video of you enjoy a demonstration in that manner. I certainly can't explain it as well as other can. I do know what to look for, and I've always tuned mine right in the slide itself, no tools.
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Old December 30, 2018, 05:06 PM   #3
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What does your recoil spring look like? You bought it used--does it happen to
have a shok buff in it?

As long as the ejector isn't broken it's probably fine. Could be too little tension on the
extractor--as someone else said, youtube.

Does it still have that goofy Springfield lock in the mainspring housing? Might take a look there---John Browning didn't design that so it is probably prone to breakage.
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Old December 30, 2018, 05:28 PM   #4
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Actually it did have one of those Wilson Combat Shok Buffs in it, as well as a full length Wilson Combat guide rod. I put the original GI guide rod and recoil spring back in and took out the Shok Buff (they were in labeled bags). I don't know how many rounds the original spring has on it. Could that be the issue?

As for the ILS, while I don't care for it and would prefer not to have it and while I know the purists are annoyed by it and think John Moses Browning, hallowed be his name, rolls over in his grave over it, it hasn't given me issues before and I don't think it's the issue here. The pistol isn't locking up. Even when this happens I can move the slide freely and the hammer has cocked for the next shot.

Tuning could be another factor that I can look at. Thanks for the info so far!

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Old December 30, 2018, 09:33 PM   #5
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I'd leave your extractor alone. Extractor is a problem if the round has trouble feeding up the breech under the extractor or if the extractor is dropping the brass before it ejects.It seems your extractor is holding it to the breech face just fine.And the cartridge is feeding.

Your pistol probably came with the standard 1911 length ejector .Those rubber doohickeys cost you a little slide stroke.

Odds are good you solved it removing the doohickey.

Full length rods,I can take or leave. I generally get rid of them.


Spring? They don't cost much and they change easy. I'm less concerned about it being wore out than I am about the previous owner upping the spring rate to go with his shock buf and guide rod. (Plus P equipt?)

I'd go for the standard .45 spring. I forget,14 lb? 16 lb? 16,I think.My Randall was not always catching the slide last round,so I went 1 lb or two lighter. Fixed it.

There is a joke "A farmer gets a new quarter million dollar tractor and he HAS to weld a chunk of angle iron to it,someplace. For a cup holder,maybe."
A 1911 is sort of the same.

I'm a little concerned about what might be marks indicating the slide is dragging on the barrel.

Too complex to cover here/now,and I cant see the detail well enough.

It would be about "timing" See Kuhnhusen or maybe the reference material at the Schuemann barrel website.

At full linkdown there should be some barrel/slide clearance.Its not good if the slide lugs and the barrel lugs clash during slide travel.

Last edited by HiBC; December 30, 2018 at 09:45 PM.
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Old December 30, 2018, 10:08 PM   #6
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So the Shok Buff was removed when I first got it, at the beginning of the 1400 rds I have through it now. These failures to eject only started happening about 200 rds ago, and I didn't change anything about the pistol at that time. The only things I've changed about the pistol are some VZ grips and Wilson Combat magazines. I believe the recoil spring I have in there now was in the bag labeled stock, and hasn't been an issue until now. Springs are a cheap fix so I could certainly swap that out, but if the spring is worn wouldn't that increase the rearward slide velocity? I'd think that wouldn't hurt ejection.

I can take more pictures as well if people think that will help.

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Old December 30, 2018, 10:44 PM   #7
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OK.From what you have said having the shock buf out,I'm a little puzzled about the problem.

I'll assume you are good about cleaning/lubing.Does the slide stop work reliably last round? That's a reasonably good indication you are not short stroking.

Looks like that ammo,for that case,burns a little dirty.


We don't know what tinkering was done with this gun.I don't really suggest making changes to anything without some idea of what is wrong.

Maybe,just maybe,look close at that rubbing I see on top of the barrel.Field strip it. Look real careful at the locking lug edges ,both slide and barrel.Look for battering,mushrooming,upset metal.

Then look real close at the link.Look for a crack,or stretching,or egg shaped holes.
Don't change anything,just inspect.

My wild hair idea,if the link has "stretched" for any reason,your barrel is not being linked down as far. Its possible,then,that there is unwanted friction between the slide and barrel.Hand cycling does not tell you everything that happens during the dynamics of firing.That friction could slow the slide.Look for signs of friction on the guide rod,too.Everything might be fine.I does not hurt to look.No,we don't want to change the link "just because"


Remember,I'm just talking about LOOKING. Not changing anything.

Last edited by HiBC; December 30, 2018 at 10:50 PM.
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Old December 30, 2018, 11:00 PM   #8
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Slide stop works fine. I'll take a look at the locking surfaces tomorrow. I usually wipe down the slide and the interior of the frame every time I shoot it (I do the bore every 500 rds) and put drops of oil in the locking recesses and spread it using my fingers over the length of the barrel and locking lugs (Slip 2000). One thing to note is when it does fail to eject it seems like the extracted case is riding high enough to go over the ejector. Not sure how that happens. I will say last time I shot it I did pay attention to the ejection pattern and it was pretty scattered from 3 to 6 o'clock.

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Old December 30, 2018, 11:36 PM   #9
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The part about the case riding high could indicate the extractor. There are reasonably good you tube vids for checking extractor tension.

Dropping a loose round in the chamber then dropping the slide on it is not good for extractors(just something good to know)


You got new magazines.Magazine spring tension IS part of the dance.The upcoming new round pushes up on the expended brass IF its still on the breech face....but the ejector should have already knocked it clear.

When they are right the ejection is pretty consistent.


The extractor hook has to keep the brass on the breech face.

The slide has to travel back full stroke for the ejector to work.


The ejector has to be of the correct length to knock it out. A stock ejector should work fine.No,I'm not saying "Get an extended ejector" The ejector is something the tinker can file on,trying to "tune" it.I wonder if some "tuning" was done to yours.(Did he)File off too much?
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Old December 31, 2018, 01:07 AM   #10
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That's a factory round in the photo? The case looks awfully dirty -- like it might be a low-power round that doesn't have enough moxie to fully obturate the case and seal it to the chamber wall.

Try a lighter recoil spring.
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Old December 31, 2018, 01:11 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca View Post
That's a factory round in the photo? The case looks awfully dirty -- like it might be a low-power round that doesn't have enough moxie to fully obturate the case and seal it to the chamber wall.

Try a lighter recoil spring.
It has done this with 3 different manufacturers, like I said in the beginning, including with manufacturers that it never had a problem with in the past. These aren't low power loads.


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Old December 31, 2018, 08:20 AM   #12
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Check the extractor hold,should be about 1.75lb.
Shokbuffs are nothing but trouble anyway.
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Old December 31, 2018, 11:31 AM   #13
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Oh man. Sorry to hear.

I've been there with my old Colt Series 70.

It turned out to be the extractor on mine as well.

Pick one up on Brownells and send it out to someone you trust to tune it.

That's what I had to do. :/


I see the Wilson Combat 47D magazines, so we know it's not that.
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Old January 1, 2019, 03:26 PM   #14
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So I took some pictures of the locking surfaces, barrel, barrel link, extractor with cartridge in place, and ejector. I don't personally see anything wrong with the locking surfaces or linkage. The barrel does have scuff marks on the hood, but I don't know if the extent is unusual. I'll still have to check out a YouTube video for extractor tension.:






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Old January 1, 2019, 03:28 PM   #15
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Old January 1, 2019, 03:59 PM   #16
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Tunnel,the youtube videos on the subject of extractor adjustment are full of misinformation,many show it to be easily bent,it is not or it is defective,then there is the round hold test which tells you nothing other that it does or it doesn't.
The kind of stoppage you describe is most likely caused by a weak xtractor,like I prev wrote it should hold a 1.75lb weigh+/-,I use a very simple method to check and I've explained it here quite a few times,the last time some pharmacist got all bent over backwards because of some apothecary issue with weights so please do a search and let me know if you need assistance,in any case bending it is no easy matter but is done outside the pistol on a vise of some sort,if you can take it out with little of no effort,it's weak.
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Old January 1, 2019, 05:19 PM   #17
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You can spend a lot of money on 1911 tools. I have access to a Bridgeport.I made my own copy of this tool.

This sure is the tool for the job of tensioning extractors. After using mine,my 1911;s are reason enough to own one.

https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-t...prod16110.aspx


On the timing/linkdown lugs thing. From what I can see,yours is not damaged.

Nothing to freak out about. I think maybe the 1911 that is not quite tuned right is more common than the ones that are tuned right.The design is robust enough it runs anyway.


I do think the timing on yours could be better. I'll get you a link that explains it. The Kunhausen book explains it. FWIW,I don't end up with as much clearance slide to barrel as spec'd. But I get "some".Its a technical job...not recommended for everyone.

http://www.schuemann.com/Portals/0/D...911_Timing.pdf

I might see a bit more clearance breech to case head than I like..but that gets into fitting the firing pin stop to the extractor.You need some clearance to tilt up under the extractor in feeding...my eyeball is not calibrated !


Your ejector appears undamaged/unmodified. I do not think it has been goobered. I'm not going to tell you to goober it.The point of contact on the brass is as high as possible with that corner the way it is.That means the brass,held by the hook,tries to come out as low and flat as possible.There is a relationship between the extractor hook and the ejector that determines the trajectory of the brass. Your trajectory should be low,with that ejector.


Perhaps you have heard of a "lowered ejection port" The idea is to give the brass a path out of the slide.I,m not telling you to modify anything. If someone wants a little higher brass trajectory,it gets done sometimes to file a bit of a chamfer on the ejector to lower the contact point just a bit.With the ejector contact a touch lower relative to the hook,the brass gets tossed up a bit more.But if you don't know what you are doing,you can screw it up.

I do not suggest you monkey up your pistol.I'm telling you this for a conversation with a pistolsmith.

Last edited by HiBC; January 1, 2019 at 06:17 PM.
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Old January 1, 2019, 10:05 PM   #18
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Is your extractor clocking? I haven't seen a properly fitted firing pin stop on a new 1911 in a long time. Fit a new one that allows no movement of the extractor.

I would try a Wilson Combat extractor. They are prepped very well. Just put it in the gun and shoot some before any tensioning. Be very careful to not over tension.

A Colt Competition I recently bought Has a differently shaped ejector. And a lowered ejection port.
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Old January 2, 2019, 05:04 PM   #19
HiBC
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I just found an excellent new post on tuning 1911 extractors here

https://thefiringline.com/forums/sho...=1#post6681378
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Old January 3, 2019, 08:30 AM   #20
Don P
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I was having the same problem with my SA Range Officer. Extractor did not have enough tension on it and caused stove pipes, failure to extract/eject. The extractor would not hold a round to the breach face. Put a round in the slide and jiggle it and the round would fall out
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Old January 3, 2019, 10:44 PM   #21
TunnelRat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiBC View Post
I just found an excellent new post on tuning 1911 extractors here



https://thefiringline.com/forums/sho...=1#post6681378
Yeah I saw that one but thanks!

Out of curiosity, above you seem to be listing things that could be wrong, but at the end you say I should have a smith look at it rather than monkey it myself. What's the worst case if I screw up the tensioning? Wouldn't I at most be out an extractor?

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Old January 4, 2019, 02:14 AM   #22
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Tunnelrat: I hesitate to tell someone to start cutting steel on his handgun.
Its not that it takes a brain surgeon rocket scientist to work on a 1911.
In most cases,a few proper strokes of a file get it done.

It takes some study and experience to understand the choreography of the dance that goes on within a 1911. Just a little misguided tampering can make a tangled snarl.

Its an education to commit to.

You can learn it,same as I have..and I'm still learning. You might buy the same part three times,tear some hair out,ask questions,and take wrong paths.
Each job teaches you something.

IMO,folks who depend on a 1911 should probably be competent to maintain the extractor.
You'll buy the Kunhausen references.I bought the Wilson DVD;s.I've spent money on the tools.

I won't claim I'm a Master,but I build my stuff and its safe,and it runs.

I'm sure you can,too.That other thread is good.It will help/


A lot of folks can buy a new extractor and lose their minds when the firing pin stop won't fit anymore.I don't know your skills. Recommending you see a smith might be the straight line path to getting your gun running.


FWIW,I DO have an expensive 1911 part scrap heap.I shrug and call it tuition.

Last edited by HiBC; January 4, 2019 at 02:23 AM.
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Old January 4, 2019, 09:40 AM   #23
Steve in Allentown,
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TunnelRat View Post
What's the worst case if I screw up the tensioning? Wouldn't I at most be out an extractor?
Luckily, you can't screw up the tensioning. If you bend the extractor so much that you have failures-to-feed, all you have to do is unbend it bit by bit until you no longer have failures-to-feed.

FWIW, when I fit a new extractor I tend to bend it more than what is commonly accepted as the maximum. Then I head to the range for live fire testing. If there are any failures-to-feed caused by too much extractor tension, I simply unbend it until there are no more feeding problems.

However, that has only happened once maybe twice when I screwed up the deflection by filing away too much of the locating pad which resulted in too much deflection. As long as the deflection is set at 0.010" it's quite difficult to bend the extractor too much.

The fastest way to trash an extractor is by removing too much metal from certain places. Like HiBC I too have an expensive 1911 part scrap heap. My pile is composed mainly of extractors.
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Old January 4, 2019, 10:58 AM   #24
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After reading the comments and remembering my issues with the Colt Series 70 I had....It makes me regret selling my Smith and Wesson 1911 E- Series.


Would you consider ditching the conventional version for a more modernized one like the Smiths?
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Old January 4, 2019, 01:34 PM   #25
Steve in Allentown,
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Originally Posted by Tactical Jackalope View Post
After reading the comments and remembering my issues with the Colt Series 70 I had....It makes me regret selling my Smith and Wesson 1911 E- Series.

Would you consider ditching the conventional version for a more modernized one like the Smiths?
In my opinion, the internal extractor is easier for a kitchen table tinkerer like me to work on successfully. It's really not difficult once you understand the concepts and requires nothing more than a file and a piece of 320 grit sandpaper. Plus it can be tweaked in ways that an external can't. Once you set up an internal extractor correctly, the pistol is in-spec, and you use good magazines it won't need any attention other than occassional cleaning for tens of thousands of rounds; maybe never in the life of the pistol.

S&W first attempt at make a slide with an external extractor did not go well but they learned and came out with the Series E which does run fine. I've worked on a couple of SIG 1911s with external extractors and have not been impressed.

On the other hand, if I didn't want to have to monkey around learning how to fit an internal extractor, I'd get a S&W but I don't like the firing pin safety they use. I much prefer 1911s of the Series 70 style.
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