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Discussion Starter #1
Just to say Hi to every one of you. I am new to ahndguns and shooting and I find that the construction and operation of the hand gun very interesting. I am also amazed by your in depth knowledge in these areas.
I have a Series 70 with a Briley barrel and I use Wilson 8 round magazines, The feeding would become a problem if I load the mag to capacity. The first couple of rounds would hit the feed ramp on the barrel at almost right angle and jammed. The 3rd and subsequent rounds would then feed properly.
I polished the barrel feed ramp to a mirror finish, checked OAL and set to 1.140 with 200 grain SWC, taper crimped to spec, still FTF the 1st or 2nd round.
When I tried to visually confirm the problem by releasing the slide slowly by hand with a loaded mag, I noticed that as the slide picked up the 1st round and fed it forward, the cartridge would tip down as it traveled towards the ramp and hit the ramp at such an awkward angle that it jammed. This would only happen with the 1st two rounds, other rounds would tilt up and feed nicely into the chamber.
Would appreciate any suggestion and advice.
 

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Welcome Sammy! Always nice to have more Canadians on board!

First, I would reconsider your overall length. It may be a bit too short. Try 1.200" to start. Secondly, feeding a round slowly by hand is not a true indication of the way the cartridge will feed when fired. Don't base anything on what you see when you slowly chamber a cartridge. The only way to confirm proper feeding is by shooting it.

Do you have another magazine you could try to see if you are getting the same problems?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hello Shane:
I tried 5 other Wilson mags I got, same thing. These mags worked OK in my frien'd,s 1911. But he said he had to work on the feed ramp when he first had the gun. He had to contour the ramp to give it a small round dished area where the bullet first hit the ramp. What kind of rework on the ramp can I do?
I can see what you were saying about hand feeding!! the round with the slide, but it was almost identical to what I got when I fired the gun. The round would jam head long into the ramp!!!
I supected that the spring was too strong but I was told that there is no such thing as too strong a mag spring. Is that true, Shane?
then again these mags worked fine in my friend's gun!
 

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Sammy, I'm generally opposed to changing any angles of the feed ramp unless a knowledgable gunsmith advises you to (I'm not a 'smith however).

A good strong mag spring will not cause the problem you are describing - a weak one could.

Do you know what weight recoil spring is in your gun? How old is the spring?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't know the weight and how old the spring is. It is my first gun I bought 2 months ago.
I do have access to a spring tester, if you can tell me what length to compress the spring to when measuring.
Are you thinking that the spring may be on the weak side? How about the breech face? What effect would it have on feeding?
 

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Spring tester!!??
Good Lord man, I should have known by your profile that you were gonna pull that crap on us!


For about $7.00 bucks (that's about $195.00 Canadian
), simply buy a new one and be on the safe side. What model is your gun? Is it a full size (ie, 5" model)? For full size, generally a 16 - 18 1/2 lb. spring will do. If it's Commander length (4 1/4") 18 - 20 lbs. should do the trick. If you are not already familiar with Brownell's, you soon will be! www.brownells.com

Yes, the breach face should be nice and smooth. Also, do you know how to check your extractor tension? It may be a too tight.


[This message has been edited by shane45-1911 (edited 08-19-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Shane, Though I am an engineer by trade, I am still facinated by the intricate workings of a firearm. I am learning new things all the time.
My gun is Series 70 National Match, 5" barrel with trigger job done and Bomar sight fitted. No problem with the trigger except some other small hick ups which I want to bring up later. Meantime the FTF is my headache.
I'll try another recoil spring and let you know. No, I don't know how to check extractor tension.
 

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You know I was just razzin' you about the engineer thing, right? I think most of us like knowing WHY our guns work.

Anyway, definitely get a new recoil spring. I would still go a bit longer on your OAL of your reloads as well.

The quickest way to check extractor tension is to remove the slide. Slide a loaded round up the breach face, under the extractor until the cartridge rim is centered under the extractor hook. It should be about 4 lbs. of pressure to slide the cartridge under the extractor. Any more than that, and it has too much tension. Without shaking the slide, rotate it 360 degrees. The cartridge should not fall out of the slide. If it does, the extractor is too loose.

Let me know what you think, and we can get into details of how to adjust it later.
I'd still stick to the simpler things first, like cartridge OAL, and recoil spring.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Changed OAL to 1.200, 1.210 and 1.220 and shot 150 rounds last week end. Still FTF the 1st round 60% of the time. Bullets would still get stuck at the feed ramp.
Checked extractor tension as suggested, casing fits quite loosely under the extractor but would not fall out if turned 180*
Trying to locate different recoil springs to see if they help.
 

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Most Ball ammo is at least 1.250-1.265 and that is the range I'd try FIRST! Start there. The National Match pistols I think had two different springs. One a 16 and I'm not sure of the lighter one. Try a 16 first. Wolff actually makes a kit to determine the proper weight for your pistol. I think it comes with the 16, and a 14 and 12, also a 17, 18, 19 or something similar. You can get anything you need from Brownells.
I would love to have that pistol if you get tired of the old dog

Try the springs first with some good ball ammo. No reloads or cheap ammo. GOOD AMMO!
Then we'll have some new info to work with!
Good Luck and welcome to the fray!!!



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Most of my feeding problems with 1911s were based on three things:
1. reloads that were out of spec (too long, too short or not crimped enough)
2. bullets or bullet styles that the gun just didn't like
3. extractor tension that was too tight (for feeding) or too loose (for extraction).

If you don't hear "kerplunk" when you drop the bullet in the barrel (after it's removed from the gun) and the bullet is not sitting slightly under the barrel hood you will have problems. I learned the expensive way to not fiddle with the mechanics of the gun until I ruled out the simplest things: ammo and mags.

Gyp's right. Buy a box of GOOD 230 RN ammo and then see what happens.
 

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If the recoil spring is the problem, it should happen to all his rounds, I think...

Why don't you just skip the 1st and 2nd round if that's your problem.


vega
 

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Would you describe the method you are using to place the pistol in battery? Tell us exactly the method you use to get that first round in the chamber...or in your case, how do you get it to misfeed or FTF...From the point that you've already loaded and inserted the magazine fully into the pistol...Thanks

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Tried racking the slide back and released. First thought that I might not have released cleanly enough, then tried depressing the slide lock and let the slide fly forward. I made sure that hands were not slowing the slide down. But neither method would feed consistently.
Will try the other suggested OAL and get back to you guys. Thanks for the input.
 

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I had'have the exact same FTF problem with my Kimber and reloads. I use Flat nosed and tapered Hornady Combat target rounds that have different angles than a standard ball bullet. I reloaded the Hornady CTs to the same OAL of Factory EFMJs and reload XTP hollow points at 1.24. Negative ghost rider! The bullets would hang up on the ramp even when I chambered a round! I measured my Fed ball ammo and made my CTs the same 1.260 length. They now feed really nice. Any shorter (like 1.255) and they FTF 1 in about 40 rds when the gun gets dirty with Wilson mags.
I have found that Wilson Mags get a little light as they reach the last few rounds. My Kimber issued mags do not and I have no recolection of them haging up except for the issue of the too short of OAL.
I am going to order some Power mags tomorrow and see if they will give me the same grace as the Kimber mags do with my reloads.
 

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Please be careful about adjusting OAL without checking the resulting fit in the chamber. LSWC rounds come in several different shapes depending on manufacturer or mold. SWC have a distinct shoulder which will engage the end of the chamber before the cartridge case does in my experience. If the shoulder projects too far beyond the cartridge, your bullets will either stick too far out of the back of the chamber or will be set back when they are run into the chamber by the slide. Personally, I pay more attention to how much of that shoulder is projecting beyond the end of the cartridge case than I do to OAL. With my gun (a Series 70 Gold Cup National Match), it prefers about 1/16" or less, and feeds LSWC faultlessly. If I switch from 200 gr LSWC to 185 gr LSWC, there is NO WAY my OAL would be the same, since the reduction in bullet weight occurs almost entirely in the nose of the bullet projecting past the shoulder--it is much shorter.

To get an idea of what I'm talking about, try dropping a resized but unloaded cartridge case into the chamber with the barrel removed and see how far it fits into the chamber. Then try the same with one of your reloads. They don't have to be the same from my understanding--although theoretically the .45 ACP headspaces on the mouth rim of the case (as it will when you drop the case in the chamber), in LSWC reloads it commonly headspaces on that shoulder.

My two cents. Mind you, if your bullets stick back way TOO far from the chamber, the gun won't shoot! Gotta love John Moses Browning's designs.
 

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Originally posted by Sammy Fan:
When I tried to visually confirm the problem by releasing the slide slowly by hand with a loaded mag, I noticed that as the slide picked up the 1st round and fed it forward, the cartridge would tip down as it traveled towards the ramp and hit the ramp at such an awkward angle that it jammed.
Sammy Fan,

Maybe you also release the slide a bit too slowly by guiding it with your hands when at the range? Try pulling the slide back and just letting it slam back on its own for the first round.


I bought my first pistol last June and being a newbie I wanted to be extra careful with my new pistol. I had FTFs when I was "too careful" about releasing the slide to chamber the first round.


[This message has been edited by malmon (edited 08-23-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Replaced recoil spring with new 16.5 lb. Tried some 230 gr RN, no feeding problems. Also tried 200 gr jacketed SWC and if I set the OAL to 1.160, no problems. The gun just doesn't seem to like LSWC especially the 1st round in a fully loaded mag.
Now I know what diet the gun likes.
Since I am paying more attention to OAL, I noticed that after a round is chambered, no matter RN, Jacketed SWC or LSWC, the OAL is at least .01-.03 shorter. Could it be from impacting the ramp? Is this normal? Is my taper crimp not enough?
 

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Originally posted by Sammy Fan:

Since I am paying more attention to OAL, I noticed that after a round is chambered, no matter RN, Jacketed SWC or LSWC, the OAL is at least .01-.03 shorter. Could it be from impacting the ramp? Is this normal? Is my taper crimp not enough?
This is called "set-back" and it is a result of impacting the feed ramp, or the barrel hood when chambering.

Taper crimp is only part of the solution. Full length sizing of your brass does just as much to prevent it. All the taper in the world won't stop set-back if your brass is not sized correctly.

.01 - .03 is not that much, however, there should be NONE. You should be able to take a loaded round and push it down (bullet first) on a desk with about 80 lbs. force, and not have the bullet move. (Use a bathroom scale if you don't know how hard 80 lbs. is).

Set back is a problem because it reduces internal case volumn, therefore elevating pressures.
 
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