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Failures to feed

2873 Views 29 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  ClarkK
My Series 70 .45 was throated and had ramp polished years ago before I bought it. Never failed to feed anything, including flying ashtrays. First failure was a couple weeks ago with CorBon DPX 185 gr. I figured that was because the copper bullets protruded a tad further than usual.

Today I tried some Double Tap 230 gr Gold Dots. Right frisky rounds, they, with advertised velocity of 1010 fps. First 10 rounds worked perfectly. Accurate, too. Then they stopped feeding.

At home, I tried feeding Black Talons and Quik Shoks, with same result. Only Blazer roundnoses would feed. I disassembled, and everything looked fine. There's play between the chamber and ramp, but I never looked at that before, so I don't know if it's looser than before.

I'm thinking the bbl/slide linkage maybe has loosened up a tad, creating enuf of a gap between the chamber and ramp to hang up all but the roundnose bullets.

Any ideas? I love this old gun. Just had a set of Big Dot night sights installed. It belonged to a good friend who passed away about five years ago. He used it in competition in the '70s to good effect. He called her Esmeralda. I do, too, when we're alone.
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Please be more specific. Are you having failures to feed or failures to extract? Are the rounds hanging up on the feed ramp or are they hanging up partially in the chamber? If your gun was running fine before, you may need to replace the recoil spring, or the magazine springs. Do your malfunctions happen with different magazines or only with one magazine? That could mean you have a bad magazine or a weak magazine spring. I have seen well built and fitted 1911s that have gone tens of thousands of rounds without appreciable barrel link wear so I doubt that's the problem. Without knowing more I'd bet that's it's most likely caused by a bad magazine or weak magazine spring or if not that, then a weak recoil spring.
Before assuming or spending significant $$ on any tuning, borrow some other mags and/or try fresh springs in yours...and be sure to clean out the tubes.
Failure to feed, i.e. hanging up between ramp and chamber. All new Chip McCormick mags. Stopped dead after 10 rounds of Double Tap 230 grs.
Bent extractor perhaps, or a piece of crud inside it hanging things up???

Or maybe your recoil spring decided to go south?

Dunno... Might as well pull the extractor and clean it, and the hole it rides in, won't cost anything and can't hurt.
Did you clean the barrel throat and ramp? I know this sounds like a pretty stupid thing to miss but when I ever my dad brings his 1911 to me saying that it won't feed, the barrel throat and ramp are dirty. I don't know why he sometimes forgets to clean this but he does. I strip down the pistol, clean the area, reassemble and then it works perfectly. Hopefully your problem is something this easy to fix.

Guns from other friends are some of the best to own. I have a K-frame .357 that belonged to my best friend in high school. He was killed by a drunk driver about a month after graduation, in his will he left me the gun. I ownly shoot it twice a year, once to sight it in and on the first day of deer season if I happen to find a likely candidate. That gun brings back alot of memories...I sure do miss him. Even if you can't get the problem solved, don't sell the gun. You will regret it the rest of your life.
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Sikhed -- What would the extractor have to do with feeding?

Redneckdan -- I keep all my guns clean as the proverbial whistle. These bullets are definitely hanging up between the ramp and the chamber, which is why I think there might be too much play in the linkage, perhaps from the peppy loads. Double Tap advertises their loads as the fastest .45s that aren't +P. They truly zip along, and I'm thinking the recoil loosened the linkage up a tad.
ClarkK said:
.... All new Chip McCormick mags. ....
How new? Was it feeding properly before the change to these mags? Do you still have the old mags? Sometimes a particular gun/mag combo don't work well together at least without some tuning/setup. I've never used the McCormick mags, but have heard some swear by them and some swear at them.
Check the overall length of your ammunition. It is possible that the bullets are moving forward in the case due to the greater recoil of the Double Tap ammunition. Chances of a few rounds of hot ammo stretching the 'linkage' of your pistol ... 0 to none. The rim of the case slides under the extractor hook as the round leaves the magazine enroute the chamber. FTF can be caused by a damaged, clocking or improperly tensioned extractor. Magazines often have to be tuned to a particular gun or even to a particular ammo.
BBBBill -- I've put a couple hundred rounds through each of the McCormicks without a blip.

sevenL4 -- I'm thinking it's the bullet ogives, as all but the roundnose ogives fail to feed. If it was the extractor, wouldn't they all hang up?
What kind of condition is the frame feed ramp? It is polished as well? With the slight difference in bullet shape and possibly 'sticky' ramp, that can be enough to stop a particular bullet from feeding. Polish the frame feed ramp

If it is, it might be getting roughed up up again and may need a good cleaning or polish touch up.
Those hot rounds may be too much for the recoil/magazine spring combination. If your mainspring is stock...like about 22#, and the recoil spring is at least an 18 1/2#, then I'd suspect you need stronger mag springs so the mag can get the round up in front of the slide face in time to be struck and forced forward into the frame's feed ramp. And I'm assuming that ramp is about .400 long and at the proper angle (about 31 degrees).
Take a look at the failed round. Does the slide strike it about halfway up the case from the base, or is it striking properly at the base?
You might also check to see if the mags are timed right for your particular pistol. If the rounds are releasing too late, this will also cause an FTF with the nose jammed against the roof of the chamber and the base either still in the mag lips or just in front of them.
Also, take Canuck's advice and clean the mag bodies if they have lots of rounds through them.

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Shorts -- Ramp's polished. No sign of roughening up.

Bob -- I thought of the springs, but the non-ball bullets won't feed even manually, whereas the balls slide right up the ramp and into chamber. I suspect there's more gap between barrel throat and ramp than before. I think the linkage is looser. I just ordered a new Bar-Sto barrel -- been thinking about getting one anyway, as the stock bbl's seen a lot of rounds thru her over the years. If the problem persists with the new bbl, I'll cry, then ship her off to a smith.

Thanks all for the suggestions.
If the gap you're speaking of is between the bottom of the barrel ramp and the top of the frame ramp, it needs to be .030 when the barrel is flush against the recoil surface and resting on the cradle. More clearance than .030 is much better than less.
Unless your link is cracked, or something else weird, I don't think any loose linkage is relevant here. Especially if, as you say, those ash trays won't even feed on the bench.
I just don't think your barrel itself has anything to do with the FTF problem, and a new barrel probably will have zero effect...unless in fitting it, you run across something associated that's causing the problem.

If the gap you're speaking of is between the bottom of the barrel ramp and the top of the frame ramp, it needs to be .030 when the barrel is flush against the recoil surface and resting on the cradle. More clearance than .030 is much better than less.
Unless your link is cracked, or something else weird, I don't think any loose linkage is relevant here.
I wanted to echo similar input.

And, if this "loose linkage" is actually a problem, then I was going to suggest you just install a new link and pin. Spec out your slide stop and see that is it up to snuff.

I don't really suspect this "loose linkage" as the problem. Sounds as though your pistol's feed ramp just doesn't like JHPs (has your pistol ever been finicky with JHPs?). I also think springs would be something to look at.
Had zero problems until I ran 10 rounds of Double Taps thru the gun. I did replace the slide stop about the same time I switched to the McCormick mags. Couple hundred or so rounds since then with no failures -- until after the 10 rounds of DT.
Installed the Bar-Sto bbl -- went in without a hitch -- and put in a 24 lb recoil spring. This solved the feeding problem, except for the last round or two in each magazine. Now I'm gonna replace the mag springs with Wolff +5s.

I really like the Double Tap round. Zippy as a bee in a pansy patch, and, with the Bar-Sto, I was punching two-inch groups off hand at 50 feet.

If I can solve the reliability issue I've got the perfect round for this 1911.
I'd think you'd be getting closer to solving your feed problem by going to a 16# recoil spring, than a 24. That is WAY oversprung, for any .45 ACP load.
Looks like Rick and I have a difference of opinion here. While I don't like using a heavy recoil spring because it'll egg-shape the slide stop pin hole (and occasionally break pins), I suspect that his pistol needs one to overcome that DT ammo, which I'm told is pretty stiff. Much moreso than the 1911 was designed to absorb.
If he uses a lighter spring, the slide will move too fast for the mag spring to be able to raise the next round up far enough for the slide to catch and chamber it. It's okay for the first few rounds, but that last round or two will be problematic.
With that ammo, I'd also use a strong mainspring (24#) and a recoil buffer (C-P brand).
And lastly, if it were me, I wouldn't even use that DT ammo because obviously your pistol doesn't like it. Some of these bucket-mouth bullets are just too wide at the mouth (and too short overall) to feed properly in a properly specke'd 1911 feed ramp. A CobraTripp magazine will usually help a lot (or an STI mag release), but even those have trouble with some bullet shapes.

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I should have another update tomorrow. I'm also taking four factory mags with standard springs, to see if maybe the McCormick's are part of the problem.

Bob -- I've got some Wilson buffs, and have used them on and off, but started getting a little nervous that they could break up and jam the works. I don't plan to shoot the DTs much after -- if -- I can get them to feed consistently, so I don't expect the extra recoil to do much if any harm.

I'm looking for the best SD load for this gun. I tried CorBon's DPX 185gr load, which works fine in my Star PD and SIG 220, but wouldn't feed in the 1911. CorBon reportedly has since shortened the bullet a tad, which probably would solve my feeding problem. The DPX would my next preferable load for the 1911 if she simply won't take to the DTs.

Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions.
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