This was originally posted over at www.pistolsmith.com
(http://www.pistolsmith.com./viewtopic.php?topic=1202&forum=5&7), but I would like to hear your opinion. Do I have a lemon here?
I’d like to know what the general consensus is on some of the problems I’ve been having with my Wilson Combat 1996A2. I purchased it NIB in 1996. I also got 3 Wilson 47D mags and a Wilson Bureacrat 10 round mag, all with the “old style” feedlips.
I don’t know if you’d call this normal reliability, fair or poor. But here are some notes taken from my maintenance log. The gun had been cleaned at about 100-200 round intervals, or roughly after each range session.
- Rounds 1-200: 1 Failure to Feed from Slide Lock (FTF/SL) – round hung up on feed ramp.
- Rounds 201-400: 2 FTF/SL.
- Gun sent back to Wilson Combat for new Nite-Eyes as bad finish on originals. They test fired and sighted it in prior to return.
- Rounds 401-550: 1 FTF/SL.
- Rounds 551-650: 1 FTF/SL – note: slide cycles noticeably slower on second round from each mag than on rounds 3-8.
- Received 3 new Wilson 47D mags with the “new” feedlips. Had previously discussed FTF’s with Wilson Combat and they said new mags need to be broken in (left loaded for a few days and cycled), which should take care of the problem. I had always left the mags loaded, but nevertheless tried to break the new ones in per their recommendations.
- Received 500 rounds of Georgia Arms “Canned Heat” 230 grain FMJ. Later determined the OAL of the rounds varied and about 10% were as short as 1.22”.
- Gun went back to Wilson Combat for installation of an ambi safety. They also checked the feedramp at my request due to the FTF’s and gave it a clean bill of health.
- Rounds 651-1,150: 10-15 FTF/SL (Georgia Arms ammo)
- Changed Shok Buff at 1,000 rounds.
- In the process of trying to diagnose the constant FTF’s with the GA ammo, I sent all my “old style” feedlip 47D’s and Bureacrat mags in to Wilson to be exchanged for the new style. They sent me back 1 “new style” 47D and Bureacrat, but 2 “old style” 47D’s. I later put a dial caliber to the GA rounds and found that probably 10% of them were way too short (1.22” OAL).
- Rounds 1,151-2,000: No problems (shooting cheap production FMJ’s and S&B FMJ).
- Changed Shok Buff and recoil spring at 2,000 rounds.
- Rounds 2,001-2,250: 1 Failure to Eject (stovepipe, attributed to my friend limpwristing the gun) and 1 FTF the last round in 47D – note: my friend was also breaking in his new Kimber Custom Classic and had 1 FTF the last round in the Kimber using one of my 47D’s, though I did not isolate the two mags that it happened with.
I have since numbered my mags and will keep track of any problems. I suspect my gun doesn’t like the “old style” 47D feedlips or there are a problem with some of my mags? None of the mags have been abused and all are like new. I have not cleaned the mags since purchase and would like to isolate the problem mag before cleaning them as, with the exception of a bit of carbon fouling, they’re not dirty.
So, in 2,250 rounds, this well cared for gun has had about 20 malfunctions. The 10-15 that I had with the GA ammo could be attributed to bad ammo, but they happened all the same. All but the stovepipe were FTF hang-ups on the feedramp. And I can live with the stovepipe as my friend is a new .45 shooter. But then I recently had a FTF the last round in a 47D (never had that happen before) on a gun with only about 100 rounds since the last cleaning. My friend also had the exact same things happen in his new Kimber.
I was really starting to gain confidence in this gun the last 1,000 rounds. I also have a SIG P226 that won’t jam if I tried to induce one. I guess I wish my “flagship” 1911 would be as reliable. Or maybe I just need to work at getting the bugs out of this a bit more. I can’t believe that one gun would be so sensitive to magazines, especially when I’m using all 47D’s. Maybe I’m just being reactionary.
Anyone have any thoughts? I’ve been kicking around the possibility that I need new mag springs, although the folks at 1911Forum thought these were low mileage mags. If they’re kept loaded, do you recommend changing them every year? That seems excessive when the mag guru at AR15.com says that keeping a mag loaded doesn’t fatigue the spring (it’s the cycling of the spring, not constant force). Even Wilson advertises that you can keep them loaded for long periods. Could this be a feedramp, breech face or ejector issue? Maybe the last FTF was just a fluke and I shouldn’t worry about it? Arrrrrrgh!!