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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
Got to put about 50 rounds through the gun this weekend. The good: the gun shoots pretty soft, as expected from an all steel 9mm. The main thing I was checking (other than would the thing just blow up) was the front sight height. It seems like it is the correct height, as all the rounds were impacting where I wanted vertically. I could not shoot for groups though because the sight was moving around in the dovetail side to side. I'll pin it later.

The bad: experienced failure to feed probably about 1/3 of the time. Suffice to say, some more work needs to be done.

Based on some other posts here on the forum, I did some work on the magazines prior to shooting the gun, getting the feed lips to about .3625 apart. Not sure if that helped or hurt anything.

Basically, the rounds are held in the mag pointed right at the chamber but as the slide moves forward, the rounds dip down and impact the ramp, and the rounds get caught between 1/2 and 2/3 chambered. A moderate blow on the back of the slide will fully chamber the rounds.

I know it's probably hard to diagnose something like this through a computer, but any help is appreciated. I have fit several non-ramped barrels and only one other ramped barrel prior to this gun so I'm not very wise to any voodoo that has to be done to these barrels to make them work. The other ramped barrel I fit was a .40 for my competition STI. It was having some intermittent failures. I didn't really do anything to the barrel to fix it. I just ordered Dawson's mag forming kit and since then, the gun runs like a sewing machine. I don't know that I could use the kit in this case since it's made for widebody STI mags.

Anyway, here's some pics sort of showing what's going on if that might help. Thanks.

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Did you ever figure out what spring you need for the 9x23 slide?
 

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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
Did you ever figure out what spring you need for the 9x23 slide?
Kinda?

I got a 16 lb for 9mm and a 20 lb for 9x23.

16 seems to be working (jams aside since that's a barrel ramp issue I think) for 9mm but I'm not sure on the 9x23. I got the 20 because that's what my hazy memory tells me I did last time. I'm going to be waiting a few weeks for a 9x23 chamber reamer I ordered to come in to find out about that.
 

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Kinda?

I got a 16 lb for 9mm and a 20 lb for 9x23.

16 seems to be working (jams aside since that's a barrel ramp issue I think) for 9mm but I'm not sure on the 9x23. I got the 20 because that's what my hazy memory tells me I did last time. I'm going to be waiting a few weeks for a 9x23 chamber reamer I ordered to come in to find out about that.
Have you ever heard of using a stiffer hammer spring for 9x23? A Springfield custom shop CCO in 9x23 seemed to have a really stiff hammer. That Winchester white box is hot!
and thanks for sharing your build process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
I do not recall using other than a standard hammer spring in the previous 9x23 commander I built.

I also recall being SHOCKED at how soft shooting it was with that Winchester ammo. Made a really big fireball though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #67 ·
FWIW I measured the ramp angle of the 9mm barrel with a digital protractor and I got 27.1 degrees or right thereabouts.

What SHOULD that be for a 9mm? (9x19)

I measured the ramp on the 9x23 barrel as well, and I got 31.4 deg. 9mm barrel is Fusion, 9x23 is Bar-Sto. I'm getting similar stoppages with the 9x23 barrel in hand cycling. However, with the 9x23 barrel, after fitting it, the case bottom is protruding about .012 past the end of the hood, so my assumption is I need to take care of that first. I've ordered a 9x23 chamber reamer but it won't be here for several weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #68 ·
So I polished the feed ramp on the 9mm barrel and was still experiencing feeding issues. Long story short, I don't think the feed ramp has anything to do with the problem at this point.

Even when a round is past the ramp and basically chambered and in the position shown in this pic, the round will bind in the chamber. In this pic, "something" is binding and keeping the round from chambering. The binding is enough to overcome the force exerted by the recoil spring and can hold the slide open in this position. I can get the round to fully chamber by pushing on the back of the slide but there is resistance and an audible "click" before the round will chamber.

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I can fully chamber a round and pull back on the slide a little bit, maybe about 1/2" and it will hang up and have to snap past that resistance each time I do this.

I'm using an Aftec extractor, and what I discovered is that if I take the springs out of the extractor and reinstall it in the slide, and go through the same process as above, the rounds no longer bind up at a point most of the way to fully chambered.

So the problem seems to be "too much extractor tension", but that's the whole reason I use Aftec extractors. I've never had this issue before and my understanding is that using springs instead of relaying on the extractor itself flexing was done to eliminate this issue. I've never had to "adjust" an Aftec extractor.

Any suggestions are welcome.
 

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Never used the Aeftec extractor but it gets a lot of good reviews. That said, your issue does certainly appear to be your extractor. Maybe the hook needs to be looked at?

I've used "Steve in Allentown's" guide to check and properly file the hooks on my extractors. Maybe check it out and compare the hook on your Aeftec to the pics in his guide? The guide is in the stickies and has been a terrific reference for me.
 

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Never used the Aeftec extractor but it gets a lot of good reviews. That said, your issue does certainly appear to be your extractor. Maybe the hook needs to be looked at?

I've used "Steve in Allentown's" guide to check and properly file the hooks on my extractors. Maybe check it out and compare the hook on your Aeftec to the pics in his guide? The guide is in the stickies and has been a terrific reference for me.
Agreed.
Does it fee w/out the extractor in place?


Larry
 

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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
Agreed.
Does it fee w/out the extractor in place?


Larry
YES, without the extractor the rounds almost seem like they are getting sucked into the chamber, very smoothly in contrast to the "ka-thunky" way they chamber with the extractor installed. I have also just confirmed that this is the case with both the 9x19 and 9x23 barrel.

Based on the "Steve in Allentown's" instructions cited above by Lowlander, I think that the efforts I've made to fix this have ruined the extractor.

According to those instructions, when viewed from the bottom of the slide, something like the top drawing is the ideal way for the extractor to fit the case.

The bottom drawing is how my extractor currently fits.

Rectangle Line Parallel Font Slope


Being the dummy I am, I removed material from the part of the extractor at the red arrow, thinking that this was putting too much tension on the case. All the while it was the tip of the hook and now there is not enough material left to engage the case rim, and the tip of the hook is the only thing that IS putting any tension on the case.

Chock this up to a "$100 lesson", and I guess I'll be ordering another extractor.

Thanks for the responses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #72 ·
Dumbass status...confirmed.

Because I figured the extractor was FUBAR anyway, I went ahead and filed the nose of the hook down a bit.

For the first time, I got through two mags of both 9mm and 2x23 hand cycling without a problem.

Clearly, the tip of the extractor WAS the thing putting too much tension on the case.
 

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Happens to everyone, learning experiences are expensive up front but cheaper in the long run :) Looks really good!
 

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Don't consider yourself too much of a dummy. There are two schools of thought on 9mm extractors. There are reputable gun builders that fit 9mm extractors to contact the extractor groove with the hook. I have thousands of rounds through a gun built (by S/A) that way without a problem. After fitting an extractor both ways, I found it easier to fit so that the hook hits the rim. Based on the tunnel and extractor, the fitting pad was basically gone. I am not saying it is the best way to do it, just the easier way. I am not disputing the wisdom of the extractor contacting the case rim, the 9mm I built is currently set up that way. I just can't deny the success I have had with my other gun.
 

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It happens to the best of us. I look forward to hearing how it does next range trip. Hopefully you'll be ok and your new piece will run. Extractors have a learning curve but once you understand what needs to happen it is valuable knowledge to have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #77 ·
I'm just about ready to send this thing off for hard chrome but wanted to get to the range one more time just to make sure no changes needed to be made on any parts that are getting finished.

Put 54 rounds of 9mm through it with no issues. Feeds nice and smooth like it should. Apparently, what I did to extractor seems to be working. My pattern of being "lucky rather than good" seems to be holding.

Extraction/ejection was really consistent. I was at an indoor range, so I'm not sure how far the cases would have gone because they hit the lane divider, but they basically hit the same place every time at about my 4 o'clock and I'd guess they would have landed about 5-6 feet away.

Interestingly, since I was just checking function, I didn't have any sights installed but it was still easy to keep the rounds in about a hand sized area at about 7 yards just using the sides and top of the slide to kind of sight down. Obviously, sights on a gun are a good and necessary thing, but was just a bit surprised at how well it's possible to shoot (at close range) without them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #78 · (Edited)
Done!

Got the gun back from Jar-Tex (Armoloy) in Ft. Worth. As I understand it, their TDC finish is similar to hard chrome but it's definitely different from other HC finishes I've had done. I had some guns done by Tripp back in the day and those finishes had a slick feel to them, and oil would more or less bead up on the surface. With this TDC finish, wherever there is oil, it will sort of soak in and darken that area. The finish is not as smooth. I'm not sure if this is how it's "supposed" to be so if anyone has had a TDC coating done by Armoloy and you had a different result please let me know. Little bit different look than I'm used to, but as long as it prevents rust I'm good with it.

I have the 9x23 barrel installed now, but have only put 9x19 through the gun so far. I should get a chance to try it with 9x23 on Friday.

Much thanks to everyone who helped with this, especially Evolution Armory for all the good info, Lowlander for the extractor info, and of course Pistowrench for taking the time out of his busy schedule to do the excellent machining on the slide.
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I just went through this thread. Wow. This forum has some very talented people!

Very nice result, sir.
 

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Very nice! I cannot speak to the Armoloy finish, but hard chrome does not prevent rust. I does resist it ver well, but given the right (or wrong if you prefer) circumstances HC guns will rust. Ran into that with a couple guns I built that I had plated by for a friend. Started digging to find out if I got a bad HC job or what. Nope. Combination of certain things can lead to some rust. Same with stailess. Just be aware and do the normal care that you would with a blued gun and you will be good to go.
 
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