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Discussion Starter #1
I have a new 1911 I'm breaking in. It feeds and shoots ball, swc and hollow points with no problems (I throated and polished the barrel and ramp). The problem I'm having is the firing pin fails to ignite the primer on some rounds (one to two per mag). A second strike of the hammer will fire the round. It does this with both factory ammo and my reloads. I've tried a different firing pin and it still happens. I've put about 300 rounds though the pistol and have otherwise been very happy with the performance.
Could this be a spring problem (main / firing pin)?
 

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Change the mainspring and make sure none of the ignition components (hammer, firing pin, etc.) are binding.

Is this "new 1911" a Series II Kimber?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The pistol is a RIA. There is no binding of any ignition parts.
 

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I had the same problem with my 9MM 1911. A while back, I tried a Wilson Gripper two-piece rod/link out of my .45 to see it it made any difference in the 9MMs groupings. I noticed no difference in the accuracy, but I had several rounds fail to fire...light dimple on the primer. This pistol had never had any failure to fire problems up to this point. Upon closer inspection, I discovered the slide was not going completely into battery...enough for the disconnector to release the sear, but not enough for a full firing pin hit with the hammer.

I guess the lesser recoil from the 9MM coupled with a tight barrel bushing, slide lock-up, and additional resistance from the Wilson Gripper on the barrel link was too much for the recoil spring to overcome. I put the normal two-piece rod back in and no problems since.
 

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RIA's firing pin spring are made super strong to make it California compliant (drop test). I bet if you change to original/typical spring, the problem would go away. Keep us posted. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Did a search for the "pencil test" for an explaination of the test and then tried it out. With the barrel horizontal, the pencil travels just enough to clear the barrel and fall to the floor when struck by the firing pin. When the barrel is vertical, the pencil travels about half of it's length up the barrel and does not leave the barrel when struck by the firing pin. I have no other 1911's to compare to but my Sig P220 could put an eye out with a pencil. What kind of distance should the pencil travel?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've ordered new Wolff springs. Just for the hell of it I shortened the firing pin spring with my Dremel (I couldn't help myself) by a coil and a half. The pencil now comes out of the barrel a few inches and falls to the floor when when struck by the pin with the barrel in the vertical position. I might test the pistol with the shortened spring before my new springs come in just to see how it performs. I'll only use two rounds in the mag for the first few tests in case it wants to run away, but I still think the spring is to stiff.

I'll post my results with the shortened spring and new springs. Thanks for the input.
 
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