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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently purchased an STI Spartan 3. In my two trips to the range with it I have experience multiple failures to return to battery. This is with ammo from several manufacturers, all 230gr FMJ (remington UMC, Winchester white box, Federal, Magtech). Magazines I am using are wilson combat 47OX mags. No real rhyme or reason to it.

I had the gun lubed with Hoppes oil the first time, the second time I ran it with Tetra Gun Grease, didnt make any difference.

I'm banging my head against the wall trying to think what could be causing this. I really like this gun and want it to run reliably as I was planning on using it for concealed carry.

Anything else I should look at?

I tried to contact STI, but their website is moving slow as snail-poo right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
did you buy it new or used? might be as simple as a weak recoil spring. best bet is to call them. 512-819-0656
Was purchased new.

I will give them a call tomorrow, pretty sure they would be closed by now. Thanks for the contact number, since I'm not getting anywhere on the website right now. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I played with the gun a bit more, side by side with my full size SA Loaded, and I have a feeling you may have been on to something with the recoil spring. My understanding is that an officer size 1911 should have a slightly heavier recoil spring than a full size 1911 in the same caliber, yet it feels easier to retract the slide and like it has less force pulling it back forward on my STI officer vs my SA full size.

Guess I will give a new recoil spring a try before messing with sending the gun off.

What is the recommended recoil spring weight for this gun, seems to fall inbetween most of what is out there (3" and 3.5" guns, where as this is listed as a 3.24" barrel.

Thanks for any guidance, still not all that experienced with 1911 pistols.
 

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you would have to double check with sti, but i would imagine a 20-22# recoil spring. the loaded should have a 16# so the sti should be quite a bit harder to rack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
you would have to double check with sti, but i would imagine a 20-22# recoil spring. the loaded should have a 16# so the sti should be quite a bit harder to rack.
Then yeah. I'm guessing the gun somehow made it out the door with the wrong recoil spring. If my Loaded has a 16# spring I would guess that my Spartan has something around a 12-14# spring. It is noticeably easier to rack, almost reminds me of trying to rack my old Rock Island full size 9mm.

I went ahead and ordered a 22 and a 24 pound spring for it. I'll try running the 22 first and if that doesn't fix me I'll try the 24 before calling up STI and letting them take a whack at it.

Thanks for the help, n2oiroc!
 

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First, have someone else shoot your gun. Easiest way to tell of its a shooter or the gun. Limp-wrist will cause a jam easier in a smaller gun, than a full size. And if that's ruled out, then move onto diagnose the gun.

Could be an improper extractor tension.

Could be extractor clocking due to a loose fitting firing pin stop.

Tight chamber.

Improper timing of the barrel.

Bad recoil spring.
 

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Then yeah. I'm guessing the gun somehow made it out the door with the wrong recoil spring. If my Loaded has a 16# spring I would guess that my Spartan has something around a 12-14# spring. It is noticeably easier to rack, almost reminds me of trying to rack my old Rock Island full size 9mm.

I went ahead and ordered a 22 and a 24 pound spring for it. I'll try running the 22 first and if that doesn't fix me I'll try the 24 before calling up STI and letting them take a whack at it.

Thanks for the help, n2oiroc!
You should've called before buying new springs! If our Warranty guys thought that was what was going on, they might've sent a replacement on our dime ;)
Just because you call us doesn't mean you're automatically required to send it in- often times we can help over the phone
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Pretty sure it isn't limp wristing. I have a Kimber Ultra Carry II that I have zero problems shooting and that gun is slightly smaller and much lighter.

Checked extractor tension last night, and it seemed fine.

Chamber is fine, out of the gun rounds drop in easily and drop back out just as easily.

I'm still leaning toward a bad recoil spring.

Since I don't know how to properly check timing or the firing pin stop I'll try a new 22# recoil spring, then send it off to STI if that doesn't solve the problem.

Thanks for the advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You should've called before buying new springs! If our Warranty guys thought that was what was going on, they might've sent a replacement on our dime ;)
Just because you call us doesn't mean you're automatically required to send it in- often times we can help over the phone
Haha, I can be a little impatient sometimes, especially with something I might be able to fix myself. Not a big deal, a few bucks was a drop in the bucket for a new spring, if that doesn't fix it I'll send it in with the one it came with and have it as a spare for future maintenance.
 

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Not a 22# recoil spring, jeez, that's for like hot 10mm

It should run fine with a 16# for ball.

I run about 172PF with a 14# spring in my Trojan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Not a 22# recoil spring, jeez, that's for like hot 10mm

It should run fine with a 16# for ball.

I run about 172PF with a 14# spring in my Trojan.
Umm, you do realize we are talking about a compact gun, not a full-size, right?

Last I checked they don't make the Trojan in 3"
 

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If the firing pin stop can easily be removed from the slide, then changes are its loose. It should be relatively snug, not tight, to remove and install. This will hold the extractor in place and keep it from clocking in the slide. You can also check the clocking by trying to turn the extractor, from the rear of the slide, with pushing on either side of the extractor.
 

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There are a couple of other things to check that could contribute to a failure to return to battery condition.

The first thing is to use only the magazine which came with the gun as there can be subtle differences in feed lips which can cause a late release of the cartridge.

Take a look at the firing pin hole in the face of the slide. Does it feel rough? Is there any brass around it that might be from cartridge rims catching on it?

Look at the extractor and see if it has any sharp edges/rough areas that would cause drag when a cartridge is moving into place? Take an EMPTY case and see if the tension on the extractor seems excessive.

Take a look at a cartridge that did not fully chamber. Are there scratches on the case where it might have been in contact with a sharp edge in the chamber? Remove the barrel and feel for sharp edges at the mouth of the chamber. Does the ramp look or feel rough? Try dropping a round in the barrel while it is out of the gun. Does it seem overly tight?

While the barrel is out, I would make sure that the link at the underlug moves freely and then "paint" the forward surface of the underlug with marks a lot so that you can determine if there is contact at lockup or whether the link is bearing the load.
Er a
I do not know how many rounds you have fired, but it sometimes takes a few hundred rounds for machined surfaces to wear in.

What with the cost of ammo these days, if the problem persists, I would speak with the people at STI and let them work out what the problem might be. After all, they have a good supply of parts available to swap out if it comes down to that.

I do not recall whether your gun has a bushing or not (my Guardian does not), but, if so, see if the barrel moves easily in the bushing when reassembling the slide.

Good luck
 

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Probably just needs broke in, 3~500 rounds should do it. Those smaller 1911's can be a little finicky until you get them tuned in. If it's just a matter of going into battery by 1/16" or so keep shooting it. Let the top of the chamber polish up a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Probably just needs broke in, 3~500 rounds should do it. Those smaller 1911's can be a little finicky until you get them tuned in. If it's just a matter of going into battery by 1/16" or so keep shooting it. Let the top of the chamber polish up a bit.
That's actually right about it. Slide is just very slightly out of battery, a very small push forward with my thumb brings it into battery.

Would cycling the slide by hand a few hundred times help speed up the break in process at all? I was told by a guy at the range when I bought my first compact 1911 (RIA GI officer) that manually cycling the slide a few hundred times would help break in the gun without burning through a ton of ammo on the break-in process.
 

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That's the silliest thing I've ever heard. Straight from Kimbers Owners manual:
Quote
"Kimbers firearms are quality custom pieces. Our firearms are hand fitted to tight tolerances. For proper Break-in of the firearm shoot 400-500 rounds of Quality Factory Ball (230g. FMJ) Ammunition, cleaning and lubricating
the gun every 100-150 rounds"
Unquote

Kimber just happened to be the first one I Googled. Unless you are one of those Kimber haters that automatically dismiss anything Kimber how can you say that when the manufacturers recommend it? Now they are just a manufacturer, but if I am not mistaken even Les Baer's semi custom 1911s recommend a 500 break in process.
 
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