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How difficult to "adjust" barrel throat?

2087 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  waldopepper303
I have a Combat Commander that has problems feeding hollow points. I also had one round hang up on the case (lead reloads). It functions flawlessly with FMJ. I am quite certain that the gap between the feed ramp and barrel is inadequate. Taking @ 1/32" off the edge and contouring sounds like it would be rather easy. Is this within the realm of someone with relative competence or would you recommend I send it off to a smith or the factory?
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Sorry, I may not have explained well. I'm not referring to the "edge" of the feedramp (on the frame) but the bottom edge of the barrel. The round hangs up on the barrel itself. I do not think the gap, or what I believe you're referring to as the "edge" is large enough. I understand that there should be a space of about 1/32" between the top of the feedramp and the throat of the barrel. What I'm talking about is taking some material off the barrel itself to INCREASE the distance. When the barrel is pushed to the rear, there is virtually no discernable gap between the ramp and barrel. I have researched the procedure to do this and it seems like it would be rather simple and am pretty sure I can handle it. Just wanted some opinions.
Your best method of repair is to have a competent 'smith weld up the feed ramp, remachine it and refinish the frame. If your barrel ramp / frame ramp interface is anywhere between flush and overhanging, you will have to file a minimum of 1/32" from the bottom edge of the barrel's feed ramp to gain any of the top of the frame bed showing. You will get the barrel's feed ramp angle very steep by doing this and may give you a feeding problem of a different kind. Remember, you shouldn't move the top of the barrel's feed ramp forward, as you loose support for the case wall. Don't feel bad, I have had to do this repair to brand new pistols before. I can recommend George Smith at EGW to do it, or I can help if you'd like.
Best Regards,
John Harrison
Precision Gunworks
Canton, GA
I bought it new a few years back and have had nothing done to it. It's only had a few hundred rounds through it but never handled hollow points reliably. It would be pretty crappy if a new firearm from the venerable Colt needed this kind of work from the factory. Perhaps I'll send it to them. I've heard they cover a lot of repairs.
BTW thanks for the info/offer. Exploring my options at this point.

[This message has been edited by ChrisS (edited 06-15-2001).]
I suspect it may very well be a simple task for a gunsmith to re-profile the barrel entryway to allow reliable feeding with JHP ammo. But I strongly counsel against you doing it if you have never attempted that sort of thing before. You could easily ruin a good barrel, or worse yet remove too much support for the case and end up with a case rupture. I honestly doubt it's as bad as Precision Gunworks says it might be. Just hand it to a decent 1911 'smith and they can make it right for around $50 or so. Most 1911 'smiths usually group such work along with tuning the extractor and slide stop for a complete "reliability package".
It is possible that the feed ramp is just fine and that the barrel only needs some work to feed hollowpoints. The bottom of the barrel is the key here. You have a couple of options, try to open it up yourself or get a current Commander barrel and install it. I lke the second idea best. If you do try it yourself I would sugget looking at a current production gun to see what you need to do. Your Commander may not have been set up to feed hollowpoints in the first place if its very old. Best of Luck

[This message has been edited by Ken Neal (edited 06-16-2001).]
Thanks for all the info guys.
I like to do lots of things myself (partially cause I'm a cheap SOB)

But I do like to tinker and have considered getting into the gunsmithing thing.
I'm aware of the dangers of removing too much from the chamber etc...
The pistol was purchased new in '93 and is an "enhanced" model which is why it's kind of surprising that it has this problem. I do believe I'll have a smith look at it. Thanks again!
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On the issue of the 1/32 of an inch jump I've always wondered if this should be measured with the barrel pushed to the rear against the frame or with all the slack pulled out towards the front. Most of my 45's have a little barrel float and I wondered about this. Opinions?

JJ, The 1/32" is measured with the barrel fully to the rear.
If you draw the outline of a hardball bullet on a piece of paper and lay one of your hollowpoint rounds over the outline, the forward radius on the hp should contact the ogive outline. If it does not, you have a very poorly designed hp round that will require some magazine shifting to feed.
Note what the man said about the "entryway" problem. A "throat" is the bullet diameter cylindrical portion AHEAD of the chamber, before the rifling.
It surely won't hurt anything to grind a small amount from the lower lip of the barrel with an India stone. Then polish the feed ramp to a high finish. Then polish the pistol feedramp if it has roughened from feeding poorly designed hollowpoints. Some of these on the market are frame and barrel ramp scorers.
Welding on a pistol frame or barrel ramp is a very last ditch effort. Usually, the whole problem goes away when a good quality barrel is introduced into the equasion. Quite often, welding and grinding, etc. makes the piece a non-standard setup that will not work properly with standard parts. Make certain that you are using the very latest variation of the hollowpoint round; many makers have modified their bullet shapes several times to attain function and reliability. No use butchering a gun to work with a discontinued bullet shape.
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