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I know the obvious answer is zero.I have a Kimber that I shoot in IDPA.I use Wilson mags and shoot Winchester 185gr FMJ (flatnose) ammo. I experience 1 failure to feed approx. every 1000 rounds.It is always during a match and at the worst possible moment.Should I learn to live with it or get it worked on?
 

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You can check all your ammo to make sure its dimensions are within spec, use a quality brand (or reload) that is consistent and clean, check the brass and crimp, and make sure the bullet profile and OAL are OK for your ramp and throat. If your gun is clean and oiled, with appropriate spring rates for the power factor, polished ramp, adjusted extractor, good throat, good mags, etc., and if there are no "operator mistakes", then you should have more than 1000 rounds between malfunctions. I would say one in 2000 max (... hopefully much better).
Your reliability is quite good already, maybe you can try FMJ RN 230gr. ammo (preferably with the not so blunt bullet) or play with your spring rate (what is the power factor of this 185gr. load. It is going to take some time and ammo to find a better load or recheck all details.
 

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There are only so many things you can do to ensure mechanical reliability. Even if the gun is perfect and the mags are perfect, you can get a round with a burr on the rim, or some other anomaly that you cannot possibly avoid. How would you go about tracking-down the cause of a 1-in-1000 malfunction?
 

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Originally posted by RickB:
How would you go about tracking-down the cause of a 1-in-1000 malfunction?
Agreed. 1 in 1000 failure combined with frequent malf/clearance drills = pretty darn close to 100% reliability in my books. I can easily live with those odds.
 

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Sounds like my buddy Murphy


If you are getting consistent failures, then obviously, there's a problem that needs to be resolved.

At a 1 in 1000 rate, I wouldn't even begin worrying.

For Match purposes, you might want to Chamber check every round you plan to shoot for that Match before hand (Sitting in front of the TV a few nights before with a Barrel, and a couple boxes of Ammo goes by pretty fast).

Ensure that the weapon is clean & lubed and that the mags intended for use are in good working order.

You should get through the match with no problems. IF you do have a problem develop, try to make a mental note of the condition, but you probably won't get time to do an analysis until after you clear the Firing Line, so you hope that practicing your Drill's will get you through it.

Good Luck.
 

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IMO you should polish the slide face and the chamber opening. The rear of a cartridge can drag on the slide face as it tries to pop up out of the mag causing a failure to feed. I'd also use a heavier recoil spring to give it a little extra power to push rounds from the magazine.
 

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1 in 1000 converts to 99.9% reliable mathmaticly. That's respectable reliability IMO... Not perfect, but pretty damn close to it! Are the malfunctions consistant or varied? If random type malfs, I'd say it's probly due to shooting conditions rather than a problem with the pistol itself.

Shooting competitions put us in varied shooting positions/scenarios that can alter the way the pistol functions. I personally would trust my life to a weapon with those stats. I'd highly suspect shooting condition rather than a potential problem with the pistol. You do practice proper clearing techniques don't you? Everyone should IMO because Murphy lurks in the shadows waiting to bite you when you least expect it and at the most inopertune times.

Rick


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"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms ... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. ... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." -- Thomas Jefferson

[This message has been edited by Bandit (edited 10-25-2001).]
 

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If it's only 1 in a 1000, it may be something so minor that it will eventually work itself out. If it got worse, I'd worry about it, if not, I wouldn't.
 

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I have shot thousands and thousands of rounds through my P16-40 Para with no jams. I don't clean it much, I drop my mags in the dirt and I shoot in rain, sleet, hail, etc.. The gun has had no after-factory work other than a hard chrome job for durability. If Para left a tooling mark on the gun (and it hasn't worn off) it's still there.

I reload my own ammo in mixed brass. I can't remember the last time I checked OAL. I clean my brass before I reload it but I'm not terribly picky about brass. I use jacketed Montana Gold 180gr bullets.

On the other hand. I disassemble and deep clean my mags about 4 times as often as I clean the gun. I scrub the follower and feed lips and wipe every trace of grit from the inside and outside of the mag. Before reassembly I liberally fill the inside surfaces of the mags with dry graphite lube. (What a mess! go outside!) I try to reassemble the mag with as much graphite left in it as I can manage.

I have traced every serious jamming problem I ever had to magazines. "Wet" lube holds grit that will stop a mag cold. Rough feed lips will hang the top round sending it's nose into the feed ramp. "Wet" lube will not compensate for rough lips; particularly with extra power springs.

Put a good, slick mag into the roughest, dirtiest gun you can think of and it will function. Put a rough or gritty mag into a piece of ballistic art and you'll have a jam before the end of the day.

One man's opinons...
 

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This is my opinion only...but then you're asking for opinions here, right? If you're getting 1 ftf per 1K rds WITH NO CLEANING in between, you're in great shape. After 1K rds any gun is grungy enough to choke. If you're getting 1 ftf per 1K and you keep the gun clean, it's time to look harder at everything, because SOMETHING isn't right. 1911's, when set up and maintained correctly, WORK every time (disregarding parts failures and bad ammo) Next time you have a ftf, don't just clear it and go on (unless you're in a firefight, then just proceed), stop and analyize the failure, even in the middle of a match. You want to note the exact position of the round, has it cleared the mag? Is the nose of the bullet down below the barrel, hung up on the ramp, jammed against the barrel hood, has the bullet nose made it into the chamber but wedged there at an extreme angle, etc. Is it the same kind of failure, same position each time, etc. Is it your reloads, or a particular brand of factory ammo? Once you've got that info, you can really nail the problem and fix it. Once fixed, you'll gain tremendous confidence in the weapon platform you've chosen. Face it, for match use, in IPSC at least, you're looking at 1 bad jam every 6-8 club match's,and cost you 1st place, on the street that 1 jam will come when you've engaged 1 goblin and his partner is still coming at you and you'll really, REALLY want that next round to feed. The advice is worth what you've paid for it.
 

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I guess the question is, how many rounds do you expect to fire through the pistol without cleaning in a defensive situation?
Me, I shoot about 200 rounds a session, then I take the pistol home and clean it. Shooting any more than that makes my marksmanship deteriorate too quickly.

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Discussion Starter #12
I clean the pistol every time I shoot it.I usually fire between 100 and 200 rounds.It is used strictly for competition
 

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I had basically the same problem with a Kimber Gold Match. I was having a few more FTF's than you, but not many more. I cleaned the pistol after 2 hundred or so rounds and I also would detail strip the gun every 1000 to 1500 hundred rounds to clean and relube everything. I reload, using a 225 gr hard cast lead bullet with relatively new brass. To make a long story short, it turned out the pistol didn't like my crimp. I tightened up the crimp die on my dillion press a quarter turn and guess what.. no more FTF's. Might be something you could look at.

I'm currently breaking in a Kimber Super Match. And truthfully I wish I'd have just gone ahead an ordered a Rock River instead of getting the SM, but oh well. Besides having a faulty thumb safety that required sending the pistol back to Kimber twice to get fixed, the pistol has failed to feed in 2 of the three matches I've used it in so far.( btw, it hasn't had a single failure of any kind in slowfire or bullseye type shooting ) Granted it's still new, and I probably only have 5 or 6 hundred rounds through it so far, so maybe it's just a break in thing. I've looked carefully at the breechface, the feed ramp, and the barrel throat and they all look good. I'm using the stock 16 lb recoil spring with a handload that has a 168 power factor. And the extractor tension seems to be ok ( it'll hold a loaded round while I turn the slide upside down and back ) So I'm not sure what's going on. I'm using Wilson 47D 8 round mags. I've heard from several other IDPA shooters that they've had alot of trouble with Wilson mags, and that I should use factory Colt mags. I don't know, my other 1911's including 3 Kimbers don't seem to have a problem with the Wilson's.. go figure. Anyway, if I come across something related to FTF's that may be of interest, I'll be sure to post it. Good luck with your Kimber

mavrick

[This message has been edited by mavrick (edited 10-26-2001).]
 

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I too compete in IDPA and use to have the exact problem with my Kimber. The trick, if you want to stick with a 185gr. bullet, is to use one with steaper angles. This usually means using a JHP of some sorts. However, the is a bullet manufacture I believe by the name of Yates that makes a 185gr FMJ RN with a hollow base. Many of my shooting buddies have been have good luck with them. I just switched to E & E match grade 230gr. LRN and have never had a problem. At 45 velocities leading isn't a problem.
 

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Put it in perspective...if you could line up 1000 playboy bunnies and have your way with any one you pick, then someone told you one of them had herpes, would you still pick?
 

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P7: YES I'll take those odds!

<edit>Dammit, no HMTL
</edit>


[This message has been edited by Griz (edited 10-26-2001).]
 

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I would start shooting American made, factory, 230 grain "Hardball" ammo.
My favorites are: Speer Lawman, Federal American Eagle and Winchester White Box.

See if your failure rate doesn't go down to 0%.

By the way, are you using the 7-round or 8-round Wilson mags?

-Mk.IV
 

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Adding a bit to Griz's: The crimp on factory ammo is iffy, depending on the vendor. For example, UMC has no crimp and gave me grief when my guns were new.

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