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63 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,
I have been having an ejection problem with my Colt Sistema. The brass ejects straight back toward my head, and the last round gets the case head stuck under the feed lips or gets pinched between the ejection port and the barrel. The case mouth is always chewed up.

I have changed recoil springs, adjusted the extractor to several different ranges of tensions from very light to very heavy. I have even tried another tuned extractor to no avail. The gun just keeps throwing brass straight back and hanging up on the last round. I am using UMC 230gr. FMJ. I have also used a variety of different mags. I have come to believe it is my ejector. This post further varifies that suspicion. http://www.1911forum.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/000254.html

In comparing the Sistema ejector to my Springfield Loaded ejector, I noticed the Sistima one is a lot shorter and angled toward the rear of the slide. Is this normal? I believe what is happening is the last round doesn't have the support of another round below it and therefore has more downward droop. When it hits the angled ejector, it is ejected downward instead of upward somehow.

Would a longer ejector fix this problem? Would an extended ejector work even better? Maybe it is the angle of the ejector. I believe filing the angle off would make the ejector too short.

I must say this pistol has given me quite a bit of frustration. I cannot stand having a gun that malfunctions. Not only is it unreliable, it has an 11 pound trigger pull, extremely loose slide to frame fit, cheap plastic grips,tiny sights,shoots a foot high at 25 yds, has pitting in the metal, and generally looks like it has had the crap shot out of it on the inside.

I would really appreciate some help or advice in this matter. Besides adjusting extractors and detail stripping, I have never done any work on 1911's.Almost everything I know comes from reading this forum. If I can get this thing reliable, I am plannng on installing a new trigger and sights.

I think you should be able to see the pic of the ejector in the link below.


Finally got a pic posted. I first tried Webshots.com, but that didn't work. I recommend imagestation.com. Its free and works great.

[This message has been edited by Bocefus (edited 11-04-2001).]

2,529 Posts
Have you tried different magazines? The thought being if the mag spring isn't getting the next round up in time, the slide could be coming back over the next round, maybe even catching the extractor groove in the case and popping the round up.

As for the ejected cases back to the head, the ejector in the picture looks like it has quite an angle cut on it. The face of the ejector should be more perpendicular to the frame with maybe a slight rearward tilt. I have to admit though that ejector shaping falls under the "black-magic" category to me. You could also benefit from an extended ejector.

63 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your response.
I have used different mags, all high quality, 7 round mags. I am sure they had adequate spring tension. I also used some of my factory handloads with the same results as the factory UMC stuff. I am almost sure it has something to do with the ejector since I pretty well rule out all other variables, but I would like to know if that short of an ejector and/or the radical angle is common place with GI 1911s. Is anyone else having problems with this type of ejector?

Just a thought....
My Sistema ejects in to a neat little circle about six feet to the right of where I stand.

I have noticed that this particular pistol is less forgiving if I don't maintain a firm consistant grip. Every now and again if I let up a little it pops me right in th forehead. No insult intended but I suggest you practice and pay particular atrtention to your grip and follow through.
I have a custom Officer's ACP that I really have to bear down on. At the same time I have other 5"ers that have never popped me.

Just an idea to ponder and maybe try out.
The long hammer on this thing biting me is another motivator to maintain a good grip.

Guns don't kill people,
People kill people!

[This message has been edited by AC's & 45's (edited 11-05-2001).]

417 Posts
Erratic ejection is common to the 1911. My Colt M70 Mk IV did it new out of the box, as does my Systema. The problem has a few possible causes, one of which is extractor clocking.

The extractor will slightly rotate in its channel during firing, because the firing pin stop fits loosely in the extractor groove. As the gun is fired, the extractor can "wobble," or rotate from shot to shot. The result is that sometimes a case is ejected straight back.

The cure is an oversize firing pin stop that you hand fit to the gun and that extractor. That done, all your cases will go the same way.

The ejector face should be angled, and the amount of angle can affect where the ejected brass goes. If done wrong, ejected brass can miss the ejection port and get hung up in the gun.

I have a few articles I downloaded from an old web site that covers this. I'll try to find it and post it.

417 Posts
This is an exerpt from one of a series of articles I found a few
years ago that talks about erratic ejection.
It's not accessable on the web any more, but you might be able to find the past issues of the magazine, and get them all that way.

-begin exerpt-

"How to Build up a 1911 - Part 5 of Layne Simpson's Series"
that appeared in THE SHOOTING TIMES, Dec. 1996

The firing pin stop is the little part at the rear of the slide
that retains the firing pin and extractor. If the stop fits too
loosely, it can allow the extractor to slightly rotate from shot
to shot. In pistolsmith language, this is called "clocking" of
the extractor. If you have ever shot a pistol that randomly
ejects cases in several different directions, and maybe the cases
land at various distances from the gun, it either has a loose-
fitting firing pin stop, its extractor has lost much of its
tension, or both.

Installing an oversize firing pin stop will prevent the extractor
from rotating, or clocking. Simply described, this type of stop
is oversized in both width and thickness and will require a bit
of careful filing before it will slip into place. But go easy
with this operation as only a few light strokes of the file will
usually do the job. When fitting a couple of EGW stops in my two
Springfield slides, I left them tight enough so that their
installation and removal requires light taps with a brass punch.

I prefer an extremely tight-fitting firing pin stop for two
reasons. For one, it eliminates extractor clocking as I have just
described. More importantly, in the event that a weak firing pin
spring allows the firing pin to momentarily hang forward, the
tight-fitting stop won't slide down out of position to render the
gun inoperative. And believe me, I've seen this happen; the
bottom of the stop catches on the frame, and you're out of

In order for the extractor to do its job properly, its tension
must be light enough to allow the rim of a cartridge to slip
beneath its hook during feeding and yet heavy enough to hold the
head of a chambered cartridge firmly against the breechface.
Adjusting extractor tension is a trial and error procedure, and
while it might sound difficult, it is actually easily done.

To increase tension, the front section of the extractor must be
bent ever so slightly inward toward the center of the slide. As
you might expect, bending the front of the extractor outward
decreases its tension on the cartridge. To adjust the extractor,
simply place its front section just forward of the middle support
hump) into the extractor tunnel of the slide and lightly bend it
in the desired direction. If after bending the front of the
extractor inward you find that tension is still insufficient, a
few light strokes with a file on the forward support hump (the
one just back of the cartridge rim recess) will allow the hook to
move further inward, thereby increasing tension.

Don't get carried away with the file in this area as the removal
of more than just a slight amount of metal can ruin the
extractor. In fact, this rule applies to all the extractor
modifications I have described.

To check for correct extractor tension, first remove the barrel
and recoil spring from the slide. Then insert a dummy cartridge
(no powder or primer) in from the bottom of the slide and slip
its rim between the breechface and extractor hook. If the
cartridge slides home smoothly and with only slight resistance,
extractor tension is not excessive. If the cartridge remains in
position while the slide is rotated 180 degrees and does not fall
out of the slide, extractor tension is adequate. In other words,
if the cartridge slides home smoothly and easily and then stays
put, extractor tension is just right.

Colt introduced the extended or extra-length ejector in its
Commander in 1949, and pistolsmiths eventually discovered that it
is an equally good idea for the Government Model. This holds
especially true when firing heavy, light-bullet loads that cause
the gun to cycle faster than standard-velocity 230-grain hardball
loads. By causing a spent case to exit the pistol a bit quicker
during its firing cycle, an extended ejector (when combined with
a properly tuned extractor) will eliminate smokestack jams.

The factory ejector is removed by first driving out its
transverse retaining pin (from left to right) with a 1/16-inch
punch. If after the pin is removed the ejector refuses to budge,
a good long soaking with an all-purpose penetrating oil such as
WD4O should loosen it enough for easy removal with pliers. Easy
does it with this operation, otherwise you might break off the
mounting studs of the extractor, leaving them stuck in the frame.
If that happens, their removal can be terribly expensive.

Brownells sells extended ejectors from Nowlin, Wilson, Brown,
McCormick, EGW, Masen, and others. Since they vary in actual
length, some will need to be carefully shortened a bit prior to
installation. Determining the correct length is important and
easily accomplished. Prior to pinning the new ejector into
position on the frame, completely assemble the gun, load a dummy
230-grain hardball cartridge into the magazine, and manually
cycle the round into the chamber. Overall length of the round
should be 1.275 inches.) Then try ejecting the dummy round.

If the nose of its bullet hangs up on the front edge of the
ejection port and prevents the cartridge from being ejected from
the gun, the ejector is too long. If this happens, remove the
ejector, place it in a padded vise, and file its nose shorter
with a few strokes of the file, being careful to retain the
original shape and angle of the nose. Install the ejector back
into the frame, try the dummy round, and continue on with this
file-and-try procedure until the round ejects cleanly.

All aftermarket ejectors I have tried came with their noses
shaped correctly for the clean ejection of cases from an open-
sighted gun. A couple that had a tendency to send cases straight
up and then down into the front of my shirt were cured by filing
a small bevel on the inside corner of the extractor nose.

A gun built for Unlimited-class competition may require even more
attention since its low-mounted electronic sight requires ejected
cases to travel to the side in a lower trajectory arc. Various
pistolsmiths have their own secret recipes for this, but the
change in spent case trajectory is often accomplished by filing
even more of a bevel on the inner corner of the ejector nose. As
a rule, open-sighted pistols are not quite so temperamental, but
smooth and bobble-free ejection with a dot-sighted gun can be
tough to achieve and for that reason it is probably best left to
an accomplished pistolsmith who specializes in the building of
race guns. Once the ejection of this type of gun is properly
tuned, it will usually fire many thousands of rounds of ammo
without needing attention.

The bottom of the new ejector should fit tight against the top of
the frame. If it doesn't, shortening the two mounting studs of
the ejector ever so slightly will correct the problem. When
removing the factory ejector, you might have noticed that the
retaining pin engaged a notch in the front of its forward
mounting stud. The replacement ejector will have to be modified
in the same manner.

With the ejector mounted on the frame, push the 1/16-inch pin
punch through the retaining pin hole in the slide and then twist
several times to mark the side of the ejector's front mounting
stud. Remove the ejector from the frame, place it in a padded
vise, and cut the retaining pin groove in its front mounting stud
with a 3/32-inch parallel round file, using the mark as a guide
when cutting.

Prior to pinning the new ejector in place, make sure there is no
contact between its top and side surfaces and the slide. When
pointing the muzzle of an assembled gun at a bright light source,
you will usually be able to see narrow slivers of light between
the slide and both sides as well as the top of a properly fitted
ejector. One of the two I installed in the project gun was too
tall and rubbed hard against the bottom of the slide. A few
strokes of the file took care of that. Driving in the ejector
retaining pin from the right-hand side of the frame completes the

I must mention that ejectors are caliber-specific and for that
reason their top blades come in two different thicknesses.
Remember this and you'll keep them straight: The thick-blade
ejector is made for the .45 ACP; the thin-blade ejector is made
for the 9 x 19 mm Luger, .38 Super, 9 x 23 mm Winchester, .40
S&W, and 10 mm Auto. So when ordering an extended ejector for
your gun, be sure to specify the correct size.

-end of exerpt-

63 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That arcticle excerpt is really informative. I'll save it to my hard drive.

I am pretty sure it is not the extractor "clocking" since the extractor is in the slide to tight it is dificult to remove, much less rotate. The empties actually seem to be fairly consistent except for the last round which always hangs up.

What I plan to do is install an extended ejector, polish the rails, breachface, and feedramp, tune the extractor, and lower the ejection port if necessary. I believe those steps should take care of the problem. I also slightly beveled the front part of the barrel locking lugs, and it really seemed to make it smoother. I got that tip at http://www.sightm1911.com/lib/tech/reliability_secrets.htm I will post the results within a week or so. I also duplicated this post in the Colt forum, and got some really helpful suggestions. http://www.1911forum.com/ubb/Forum16/HTML/001307 Please let me know if anyone else has any suggestions.


2,476 Posts
Your ejector is a standard military-type. If you install an extended one, and lower the ejection port to .450 it will solve your problem. You can change the angle of ejection by moving the contact spot on the extended ejector with a file (after providing substantial protection for the frame). High contact spot moves the angle to a more flat angle, lower contact spot makes the case eject on a more vertical angle. A little dab'll do ya with that file.
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