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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So as seems per the norm for the micro sized guns (from Kimber, Colt and SA) mine was problematic with hollowpoints. Failure to feed. Golden Sabers and Rainier Ballistics, both 230GRs. 230 FMJ's fed pretty good from the get-go, but still more failures than there should be, 0. This gun probably has 750 rounds through it at this point, only the last 150 or so without real feedint problems.

Minor digression, I accidentally got the RB HP's, I wanted round nose. I'm not sure why they make them, I get no expansion whatsoever from them. Oh well, I'm not going to be using them to defend myself anyways.

I've got an SA Champion as well, which had no problem feeding any of these rounds.

I noticed when firing my "light" loads (4.7grs 231) that I could feel the slide moving through it's travel. Hard to describe, but since the pistol uses two recoil springs, and they are not full length nor identical, I could actually feel the slide velocity change as the second spring started to compress. I could similarly feel the slide as it was moving forward. It can only be described as two stage recoil. Obviously with a single recoil spring, (GI setup) as the spring compresses the spring pressure increases progressively, which is not the case with dual unequal rate springs. Edit: When using two unequal weight recoil springs like this, you can also make one spring "weaker", so that you can get momentum to rack the slide, which is perhaps one reason to run this type of recoil spring arrangement, not to mention more progressive recoil, instead of the slide fighting the spring as hard from the start of recoil.

Also, realize that a shorter slide requires a shorter spring (or springs) and that means that spring rate has to be higher to slow down the slide in a shorter distance than on a larger gun.

What would happen is a round would feed, but the slide would fail to go fully into battery. A tap from the back of the hand to the back of the slide would allow the round to fully chamber, and fire. Since you can't really see the round at this point, I'm assuming the nose was hanging up the round on the chamber wall, slide probably having too little momentum to overcome the drag.

After asking in the reloading forum, (no reloading data specifically for these bullets exists apparently) I found that I could shorten the rounds up a fair bit from what I was, likely without harm.

So, after multiple experiments, I have cured the problem. The solution was twofold: A)shortening the rounds up to around 1.225" OAL and B)running a minimum of 5GRS 231 in all loads. Obviously these are not figures you can just take and assume are safe, you would need to work up your own round in your own gun, being very careful.

With about 150 of these "improved" rounds, I had exactly one failure to feed, and on inspection, I noted that the bullet, a Rainier Ballistics (which are apparently soft) had a huge dent in it that caught on the feed ramp. Not sure when the bullet damage occured, but I doubt it was in feeding. Rotated the round 90* and it fed fine.

I can not get the pistol to misfire by intentionally limp wristing it.

Since I don't buy my ammo already assembled, I have no benchmark to test against. As different rounds/bullets are going to have different OAL, to figure this out without reloading, you would need a selection of factory rounds that have different OAL's, probably as far to the ends of the spectrum as you can find. Obviously bullet shape is going to affect feeding, so that needs to be taken into account as well.

I have to wonder how current ammo people use for plinking is constructed. It may be possible that the manufacturers have toned it down to save money or for recoil, without a chronograph and a few different loads, no way to know for sure I suppose.

In my case, I'm certain that the problem was slide velocity for the Rainiers, and OAL for the Golden Sabers. Golden Sabers were already running at 5.1 GRS.

I may go back and play around with OAL, see if the additional powder allows more OAL without problems, but since these shorter rounds (still within "normal" spec) function good and don't exhibit any pressure signs, it's probably not worth the time. I am going to shoot this gun without cleaning it for awhile, to see if that makes any problems apparent.

Anyways, I know this is long, and I know some people have problems that are NOT ammunition related. But in my case, knowing these rounds worked perfectly fine in another gun, albeit one with different specs, and there being nothing obviously mechanically wrong with this Micro, I had to believe it was the ammo itself, and it was. Hopefully others that have similar FTF problems can solve theirs as easily as selecting different ammunition.
 

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I to had the same problem in my compact. It would feed Golds dots, but not my hand loads..I shortened the OAL to 1.240 and the problem was gone. I have over 450 rounds without a problem....Shortone
 

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My feeding problems on my LW Operator were caused by the mag follower. The stock SA mags tip of the follower needed to be bent at an upward angle to help keep the round pointed at a steeper angle to the feed ramp. I also had to do this with my new Chip MCormick Mags.
 

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not to disagree, but to me altering the ammo doesnt seem to me like fixing the gun.

the gun should be capable of shooting over the counter rounds. certainly there are some maybe that dont run as well, but what your doing in affect is making a special round for that gun. ( keep in mind i dont know the lengths of the basic 230 grain fmj, but i would expect my gun to work with the standard length)

like i said, im not trying to knock you at all, i respect that you know more about handloading than i do, since i have never messed with it. but it seems to me that to alter the ammo to fit the gun isnt a fix, its a band aid.

theres got to be something different to do to the gun so that it will reliably feed 230 grain fmj from over the counter, and even some hollowpoints..

ive almost been considering getting a officers size springfield as a ccw weapon, but maybe not now. ( i had a defender years ago that wouldnt harldy eject right- rounds binding up- and i polished the chamber quite a bit and adjusted the extractor until it ran 100 percent, but i never really trusted the gun)

my two cents...

russel
SDMF
 

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My micro would digest anything for the first 500 rounds, then the FTEs started first HPs, then SWC, then Ball. I tried a wilson mag, that helped a lot, but not totally.

SA has it now, I hope they can bring her back, because this little hammer is dead on!!

When it gets back, if there are any problems I'll try this OAL fix and a bulletproof extractor.
 

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Actually I wouldn't say that feeding issues are the norm. I have over 4,000 rounds through my GI Micro and it eats everything I've ever fed it. My reloads are also 1.25 OAL and 230gr RNL's. It's also eaten multiple types of hollow points. I personally know many others with the platform who never experience what you're describing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
First off, I was probably a little misleading saying it was the norm. What I meant is that when these guns don't work, it's usually the same types of problems, thus "normal". :) Roundabout way of getting there.

I will say that the "small" 1911's seem to have a lot more problems than the larger guns. I suspect there are a whole hell of a lot less 3" 1911's sold than 4 or 5" guns, but the 3" ones seem to hold their own in complaints. Then again, I'm only looking at posts regarding them. :)

I didn't say I fixed the gun, I said I fixed the feeding issues. I haven't fired but a few rounds of factory ammo out of this thing, so my results are probably at the far end of the spectrum...however, it's the basics that I'm applying to the problems others have. Different rounds have different construction, if your gun shoots every round out there without a problem, you might hazard a guess to say that the guns tolerances are super sloppy. :) Not saying anyones here is, my Champion seems to digest anything, and is still quite accurate I might add.

All I'm really getting at is that these guns are a different breed than the full size guns, and there are a few things working against it in regards to operation that just aren't on the full size guns. If the ammo works with a full size, it doesn't mean it will with the smaller ones.

OAL I'm sure is as key as making sure the power of the round is up there, since a reduction in OAL means the slide has more time to accelerate before it has to rattle the round into the chamber. Not to mention increased pressure with the same load. It obviously doesn't take much, in my case it works out to a difference of .025"
 
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