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I've been having problems with my slide failing to lock open on an empty mag. This occurs primarily when shooting and sometimes while hand cycling. I know the normal cause is a bad slide stop or weak mag springs, but I'm not sure that's my problem. The pistol is a SA Operator. The problem occurs with Wilson 47Ds, McCormick Power Mags, Cobra Mags, and even occasionally with the Springfield factory mags (although less with these). I shoot only full power ball ammo or hollow points. Factory 16lb recoil spring, no shok buffs. It seems to me that the problem is the slide stop doesn't move up easy enough. I don't know if the angle on the surface that engages the plunger is wrong, or if there's too much spring tension on the plungers, or if the plunger to slide stop engagement isn't polished enough, etc.

To add a little more info, when I acquired the gun and field stripped it for the first time I noticed that the slide stop plunger protruded from the plunger tube a pretty good distance, such that it had to be held in with a screwdriver in order to insert the slide stop. That was really irritating. Also, I noticed that there was a good deal of play within the plunger tube, such that the slide stop plunger could wiggle around in there quite a bit, as if either the tube was oversized or the plunger under sized. I believed the problem with the plunger sticking out of the tube too far was the result of the plunger tube bored too deep. So, to solve the problem, I ground the plunger shorter to the normal protrusion on my other 1911s, rounded the tip, and polished it to a nice shine. That made it much easier to insert the slide stop without tools.

So, all that being said, can anyone offer a suggestion as to how to proceed? I suppose I need to try a different slide stop first, and that's a pretty easy thing to do. Could the problem be the play in the plunger tube? Is it likely the result of the mating of the slide stop and plunger?

Any help is much appreciated ............
 

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First of all it sounds like someone installed the plungers inside the plunger tube backwards. You have two plungers of different lengths .......and if installed correctly the proper plunger will not exit the tube on the Slide stop side but an 1/8 inch.

It also sounds like you have completely changed the plungers dynamics by grinding on one of them. I would start by getting two more plungers AND a proper spring and install them. Remember the plunger spring will have a KINK in it ..............that is the way it is suppose to be, ........... it stops the plunger facing the thumb safety from shooting completely out when the safety is removed .....or it is suppose too.

Next remove the Slide from your pistol .............. and insert an empty magazine. You should be able to see if the mag follwer has enough force to push the Slide stop up....where it would engage the Slide notch if installed.
That will help you to diagnose the problem.

Good luck

JF.
 

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plungers

If the plungers are in the tube backwards the big end wont stick out of the tube at all and you probbably cant get the other end in far enough to get the thumb saftey in.
 

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I think you named all possible causes of slide lock problems. If you remove the slide, and put back the slide stop and check how the magazines followers are pushing the slide stop up I think you are going to have a better idea. You can try a different slide stop (try to get if from fellow shooter) to test, but by your description it looks like the plunger is making strong pressure to the slide stop preventing it from moving up.
 

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Failure to lock slide to rear on last shot

Are you sure the slide stop is being lifted by the magazine follower after the last shot?

When shooting, do you have your thumb on top of the slide stop? That will prevent the stop from functioning.

Is the slide stop or slide notch engagement worn?

Just some ideas.
 
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