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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I'm shooting a full size SF.

I have tried a few mags, Wilsons, ACTs, some CMC Shooting Stars, and Power Mag all eight rounders. Well I had my first jam last week and then one again this week both with the Power Mag. The round had started into the chamber, but only made it half way. ( I don't know what that jam is called.)

In the past I had a jam when I hand cycled with full ACTs however not while shooting. I know the ACTs use strong springs, and I would think the Power mag does too. With the ACT mags they have a small gap between the base plate and the bottom of the gun (about an 1/8"). When the Power mag jamed I slaped the bottom of the mag and the round chambered, this would also work on the ACTs. This makes me think that the springs in these mags are pushing the mags down in the mag well and causing the lock up. Does this make sense? Would it help if I changed the recoil spring from the factory 18# to a 20#?

~Q~
 

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QFM,

I am going to have to ask a few questions since I can't recall if you told what these were. You say this stoppage only happens with CMC mags? Let me ask a few questions.

1. How old are these mags?
2. How many rounds do you have through the weapon in total?
3. How many rounds into shooting did these two stoppages happen?
4. Is your chamber as clean as it possibility could be
5. What ammo?
6. Handloads?
7. The two stoppages you had, was the round horizontal to the frame/ground or was the round tipped up at an angle?

In summary...the power of the spring between the CMC and the ACTs mags (new ones anyway) is very large in my opinion. And the design of the mag is very different also.

If you are running a full-sized weapon, and your have luck with ACT mags, if it were me, I would just keep the ACT mags. What is what I do. I only look at a CMC mag should I want a flush-fit for the Kobra Carry. In my opinion, the CMC mag springs are underpowered, the follower can rock forward and cause the mag to not drop freely (you should rip it out anyway), and my biggest complaint with CMC mags is the welded baseplate. After just moderate use, one might see cracks in the four spot-welds. Which means the mag can dump out of the bottom should the rest of the welds fail.

As for 20# springs. I run 20#s in all of my Browns. The Commanders come with them, and I up the 5" to them. This is my choice. I found that a 20# spring will make a 1911 run dirty forever. It used to be my 1911s would get sluggish in the 400-600 round range of constant shooting. I would notice this at gun schools. With 20#s, my 1911s would run for three days, no cleaning, without a stoppage.

I also like it when I pick up a commander the feel of working the slide is the same weight. I am big on stuff like that. :)

It also needs to be noted that 1911s shot at Camp Perry were very frequently built with a 20# spring. It also needs to be noted that these pistols would compete with Military Match 230 ball from Olin. Surprise, surprise, that target ammo is freaking hot when compared to say WWB.

In short, if your pistol is getting run hard and put away wet, I am a big proponent of 20# springs.

Regards,
Greyson
 

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I also like it when I pick up a commander the feel of working the slide is the same weight. I am big on stuff like that. :)
Regards,
Greyson
Greyson, could you elaborate a little on this statement, I'm not sure I understand what your saying? I use CMC 8 rounders in my KC and I appreciate the heads up about the weld at the bottom...I'll keep an eye out for that, thanks.
 

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If the round is half-way into the chamber, then it's not really a feed issue, as the round has fed. I'd suspect extractor (over) tension. Was the jam on the first round in the mag, or last? Neither? When you say "one last week and one this week", is that two in 100 rounds, or two in 1000 rounds? I'm no fan of heavy recoil springs. Feeding in a 1911 takes very little force - they'll often feed with a 10# spring - so upping the rating just forces an issue that is more about timing than force. I use 14# in my full-size .45s, for what it's worth. Of course, it's possible that your mag release is allowing the mag to sit too low in the frame, and that will certainly adversely affect feeding.
 

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+1 for checking extractor tension. What you have described is called a failure to go into battery, most often caused by excessive tension in the extractor.
 

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I use the standard (for Ed Brown) 18# spring in my 5" Special Forces. I've yet to have a problem with it. As has already been mentioned, the culprit is most likely the extractor tension.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sorry if I was vauge on the info.

Lets answer these questions...

Greysons first

1. The CMC Power Mag has 432 rounds through it and at most it's three months old.

2. Aprox 1500-1800 rounds through the gun

3. The first stoppage was about round 70. The next week the stoppage was about round 50.

4. The chamber is NOT as clean as it could be. I shoot 50-100 rounds a range visit, and clean the gun about every third or fourth range visit.

5. Both stoppages were with WWB. This is what I predominatly shoot. Through this mags 432 rounds, 348 of them were WWB (a handfull being WWB HP's)

6. No handloads.

7. They were both horizontal.

RickB, guysmith, and Emerson...I hadn't thought about the extractor tension. I know some people had issues with their extractors. But since my EB has been running like a Swiss watch I hadn't even thought about the problem being there. I'll find the link to adjusting / checking the tension and check mine out.

RickB, If the mag release is the culprit, is there a way I could fix it or would this be something for EB to look at?

L-2, About the ACT mags. I have four of them and they all ran fine while shooting. The problem I had with them was when I would finish shooting at the range. I would load the ACT mag with Speer Gold Dots and hand cycle the slide to chamber a round for carry. What would happen is the Gold Dot would lodge into the feed ramp. It did this with all four mags and with the HP ammo. I wasn't comfortable using these as my carry mags because if I had to reload and hand cycled the locked back slide (which is how I train) then the gun would jam up. Any way to answer your question when the ACT mags wouldn't hand cycle, I would hit the base and the would feed.

Thanks

~Q~
 

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I would load the ACT mag with Speer Gold Dots and hand cycle the slide to chamber a round for carry. What would happen is the Gold Dot would lodge into the feed ramp.
Thanks

~Q~
OK, so this is happening with your carry rounds that you feed back into your pistol, correct?

I had the exact same problem with some HP's that were in my carry rotation and it was entirely my fault. Magazine and extractor were fine.

Check the overall height of the ammo in question (the exact same round(s) that caused the FTF) by standing them all on a level surface and use a ruler, pencil, or other straight object to lay across the top of the ammo. Compare the overall height of the problem rounds with new ( & never chambered) ammo of the same type. You may find, as I did, that the problem rounds are shorter.


This can happen when the same rounds are chambered multiple times. As the round is chambered, the bullet becomes seated just a tiny bit deeper in the casing. If a particular round is chambered over and over, sooner or later the overall height (length) of the round may/will shrink, thus causing the round to dive right into the ramp causing the FTF when you attempt to chamber as you've described.

This was my problem and it may be something you want to check.

Now, I don't chamber any of my carry ammo more than once unless I'm at the range, and then it will only be chambered a maximum of two times before going downrage. This may be overkill but in my case, it's solved the problem you describe.

Good luck!!
 

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Why does EB, and other members here suggest heavy recoil springs. Isn't the 1911 designed to run with a 16 lb spring in a 5 inch? Just a question here. I run 16 lb springs in all my 5 inch 1911s. No problems. I run a 20 lb in my delta 10mm.
 

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Greysons first

1. The CMC Power Mag has 432 rounds through it and at most it's three months old.

2. Aprox 1500-1800 rounds through the gun

3. The first stoppage was about round 70. The next week the stoppage was about round 50.

4. The chamber is NOT as clean as it could be. I shoot 50-100 rounds a range visit, and clean the gun about every third or fourth range visit.

5. Both stoppages were with WWB. This is what I predominatly shoot. Through this mags 432 rounds, 348 of them were WWB (a handfull being WWB HP's)

6. No handloads.

7. They were both horizontal.


~Q~
So if both of the rounds were horizontal then they were free of the mag lips, correct? The general rule I have seen about FTRB (failure to return to battery) is a dirty gun or chamber that is dragging.

Could extractor tension be a factor? In some ways yes. But...that would be something likely to show up constantly. Which is why I am leaning towards mags and dirt. Especially since we are looking at a FTRB malfunction. At that point, the feed / hook under the extractor function is already a done deal for the most part.

If I had one or two FTRBs in a few thousand rounds, that isn't a reason to mess with the extractor in my mind. But we each have our own base-level of standard. For me, my 100% rule is, my 1911 has to run with WWB and ACT mags. If I were to shoot until death by dirt, the first malfunction I would see is as FRTB.

Also, are you cleaning in the extractor channel? If not, the gunk in there can cause a "simulated" tension issue from time to time.

I say get slicker lube, run ACT mags and don't touch the extractor. It has been my experience that ACT mags handle questionable ammo and timing issues better than other mags.

Regards,
Greyson
 

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Now, I don't chamber any of my carry ammo more than once unless I'm at the range, and then it will only be chambered a maximum of two times before going downrage. !!
It is my experience that Federal is the worst offender of this.

Also...hand cycling isn't the same as function under fire. Unless you are pulling the slide all the way back and letter it go. Don't ride the slide home. It causes unnatural problems that don't happen in the real firing cycle.

Regards,
Greyson
 

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Why does EB, and other members here suggest heavy recoil springs. Isn't the 1911 designed to run with a 16 lb spring in a 5 inch? Just a question here. I run 16 lb springs in all my 5 inch 1911s. No problems. I run a 20 lb in my delta 10mm.
I guess it all depends on your perspective about 1911s. If you are a traditionalist you run what JMB did and nothing else. Ever. But different bullet weights, different powder charges, different calibers all might require different timing and spring power for optimal function.

As much as it is human nature to find an "answer" and stick with it, the realities of life get in the way. And I am just as guilty as others. In this very thread, my personal standard is ACT mags and WWB ammo. If the gun won't run that, time to make changes to the gun. For me anyway.

Incidentally I would bet a majority of 1911 makers use 18# springs in their 5" 45ACP pistols. Not all, but more than half.

Regards,
Greyson
 

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Greyson, could you elaborate a little on this statement, I'm not sure I understand what your saying? I use CMC 8 rounders in my KC and I appreciate the heads up about the weld at the bottom...I'll keep an eye out for that, thanks.
When I was running a 16# spring in a 1911 (other than Ed Brown) a 18# spring seemed strong to me. And a 20# seemed way strong. Now...if cycle a 1911 with anything less than a 20# spring, I feel as if I am about to rip the slide off the weapon! :biglaugh:

It's all a matter of what you are used to.

Incidentally, and I have addressed this before, the theory for combat weapons is run as heavy a spring as you can. The thought being it will run dirtier, longer in a protracted firefight with experiencing dirt-drag, FTRB stuff.

Obviously this axiom has a ceiling of reality crashing into it. One doesn't want to run a stupid spring in their 1911. However...a buddy of mine did successfully run a #24 spring in his 5" just to see what happened! :biglaugh: And it had target sites on it too! Talk about racking a meat-grinder!:biglaugh:

And on the other side of this axiom is the competition reality. A competition shooter wants a pistol's site to move as little as possible. A heavier spring moving back and forth tends to push the front of the pistol down a bit.

No free lunch. No one way. No "right" way. Or said another way, "I drink way too much caffeine to be a world-class rifle shot. But I am awake at the gate to MAKE the shot".

Regards,
Greyson
 

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Greyson, thank you for your reply! I'm a bit clearer now what you were saying. I have a lot of experimenting to go with both the commanders and the new 5" govt. Ammo, springs, mags, reloads...good grief! I'm glad that I have the time to do these various experiments. Finding what runs best with my preferrence of ammo will take some time...thats all part of it though. Then when I start my reloads for these 1911's, that will take a good bit of time in itself. I'm just about complete with all my 9mm's so far except the EMP, it's extremely sensitive to OAL's and my preferrence to powders...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
O K fellas, this is what I plan to do. Im going to find a good chamber brush and make sure the chamber gets cleaned out real good. I've been running a brush down the barrel with some patches with break free on them followed by a brush and then dry patches. However I have made no effort to focus on the chamber itself.

On the extractor, I'm going to see if these two jams are a fluke or a problem. Since my gun has been reliable I'll wait till I handle the chamber cleaning first.

I also ordered two of the EB 8-pack mags. I have been looking at them anyway. I would just stick with the shooting stars, but I want something thats not a welded base. Since my pistol just dosen't like the ACTs I'm going with the EBs.

As for the 20# spring, I'm undecided. I shouldn't have to change the old one out for a bit, and since I haven't heard anything that would make me believe it would have prevented these two jams, if I do change it would'nt be to address this issue. I may go with a 20 but it would be for the reasons Greyson mentioned.

Thanks for the input. I probly would have overlooked the chamber for a while and it may be the easy solution.

~Q~
 

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Greyson, thank you for your reply! I'm a bit clearer now what you were saying. I have a lot of experimenting to go with both the commanders and the new 5" govt. Ammo, springs, mags, reloads...good grief! I'm glad that I have the time to do these various experiments. Finding what runs best with my preferrence of ammo will take some time...thats all part of it though. Then when I start my reloads for these 1911's, that will take a good bit of time in itself. I'm just about complete with all my 9mm's so far except the EMP, it's extremely sensitive to OAL's and my preferrence to powders...
No problem. And let us not forget ammo.

I used to shoot a whole bunch of WWB ammo. Cases and cases. It is still my standard ammo to this day.

But I have access to some military 230 ball ammo that is marked and used as their match ammo.

You would think it would be underpowered weeine stuff. Not even close. That stuff is very hot when compared to WWB and whew it is some dirty stuff.

I see why those DCM guys at Perry use 20# springs in their 1911s. :biglaugh:

Regards,
Greyson
 

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Thanks for the input. I probly would have overlooked the chamber for a while and it may be the easy solution.

~Q~
You have a fiduciary responsibility to try your best to keep your chamber clean on a weapon. Especially on a weapon that you use for SD. If you are in a world of hurt and somehow the war gods come down and give you 30 seconds of peace to clean your weapon. Skip taking it apart. Run a boresnake through it and hose it with lube and have 25 seconds left to plot and plan with. :biglaugh:

Regards,
Greyson
 
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