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Discussion Starter #1
Always wanted a colt 1911 and finally found one. She ain’t perfect or the prettiest but it’s mine and should look great alongside it’s German counterpart.

The Colt appears to have gone through RIA and AA during its life.

Took a while to clean out all the grit/gunk but it’s done. Dang thing is super hard to rack with a round in the chamber but hopefully she cycles with live ammo.

Just wanted to share. :)
598794
 

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''Hard to rack slide with round in chamber''?

Inspect the locking lugs on the top of the barrel and inside slide for any abnormal looking wear. Check the barrel link too for egg-shaped holes.
 

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Playing around with a live round is not safe. You should use dummy rounds made from actual components for the proper size and weight. Then, to test how the pistol can extract and eject a whole round, which is not in the least important, first cock the hammer. The pistol could have most any combination of springs in it which could make drawing back the slide difficult, especially against the mainspring.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Playing around with a live round is not safe. You should use dummy rounds made from actual components for the proper size and weight. Then, to test how the pistol can extract and eject a whole round, which is not in the least important, first cock the hammer. The pistol could have most any combination of springs in it which could make drawing back the slide difficult, especially against the mainspring.
Never said it was a live round. I have snap caps in all my calibers and yes it was a purple colored snap cap. I don’t want to stress the firing pins when dry firing also. Guess I could have spelled it out more. Appreciate you being concerned for my safety though.
 

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As usual in these cases I suggest to replace the recoil spring with a new fresh 16lbs one, install a shock buffer on the recoil spring rod and avoid heavy loads.
 

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What barrel is in it? I used to have a 1918 Colt with a WW2-era barrel, and there was some interference between the barrel and inside of the slide that caused the locking lugs to "stick" when cycling the slide. It eventually resulted in badly peened lugs and I had to stop shooting it. There was still a lot of hand-fitting going on in the early years of 1911 production, and replacing components wasn't always a perfect drop-in fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
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What barrel is in it? I used to have a 1918 Colt with a WW2-era barrel, and there was some interference between the barrel and inside of the slide that caused the locking lugs to "stick" when cycling the slide. It eventually resulted in badly peened lugs and I had to stop shooting it. There was still a lot of hand-fitting going on in the early years of 1911 production, and replacing components wasn't always a perfect drop-in fit.
HS barrel probably from one of the rebuilds. I’ll check it out.
 

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WW1-era barrels had less material on the bottom half of the chamber area. On mine that's where it interfered with the lower surface of the slide, causing the barrel to be pushed up into the lugs prematurely. Maybe today if I have time I'll try to take a picture or two to show what I'm talking about.
 

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It could also be friction on the breech face from a barrel chamber and/or ammo problem. Barrel chamber is not cut deep enough, corroded, damaged, etc so the round won't chamber properly. Or the brass casings are longer than the barrel likes, which pushes the case head back against the breech face. I have also seen slightly high primers cause that friction. Initial solutions are try a different barrel and ammo.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It could also be friction on the breech face from a barrel chamber and/or ammo problem. Barrel chamber is not cut deep enough, corroded, damaged, etc so the round won't chamber properly. Or the brass casings are longer than the barrel likes, which pushes the case head back against the breech face. I have also seen slightly high primers cause that friction. Initial solutions are try a different barrel and ammo.
Good info. Need to try it at the range and see how she cycles.
 

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Better to figure out what is going on at the bench first than at the range. You wouldn't want to fire a round that damages either the pistol or your hand.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Better to figure out what is going on at the bench first than at the range. You wouldn't want to fire a round that damages either the pistol or your hand.
True. Racks an removes the round fine with the hammer back but when it is down I can rack it just a bit to half cock and then it takes a ton of force to get the rest of the way. I’ve owned a few WWII models and don’t recal it being anywhere near this hard to eject a round with the hammer down. I’ll tear it apart this week and really check everything out in detail.
 

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Thats a totally different problem not described at first. That stiffness is due to the hammer spring, and to a lesser extent slide/frame friction. A newer/lighter hammer spring may help with racking, with a side effect of a slightly less trigger pull as well.
 
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