Need help with 1911-A1 FTRB
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Thread: Need help with 1911-A1 FTRB

  1. #1
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    Default Need help with 1911-A1 FTRB

    I have a friend's 25 yr. old Springfield armory 1911-A1 which has become unreliable of late. It will occasionally fail to return to battery. This happens most often with a full or mostly full magazine.

    To try and eliminate some possibilities, we have used both the factory magazine and a brand new Kimber Kim-pro magazine...same results. We have only used FMJ ball 230 grain ammo, but from several different manufacturers (Winchester, Federal, Remington)...same results.

    It definitely feels like there is some hang up, or friction as the slide closes on a round...kind of a "ka-chunk" that is noticeable. I have used 7 rounds to cycle through for testing by manually working the slide, and they have all had the projectile shoved further into the case by about .070" for some reason.

    I have attached pictures of what it looks like when this happens, the round seems to enter the chamber about halfway and then hang up. I have looked into the chamber for roughness or burrs...appears smooth to me. If I push lightly on the back of the slide, she goes home just fine.

    I'm hoping someone will have some suggestions on what to look for. Thank you!

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    "This hand, hostile to tyrants, seeks with the sword a quiet peace under liberty", -Algernon Sidney, 1659

  2. #2
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    Does NO-ONE ever replace recoil springs?

    Beyond that,, the extractor needs to be undamaged, and not excessively tight to the case. The case MUST slide up under the hook (but not be loose).

    The rear of the chamber cutaway must never extend rearward past the frame part of the feed ramp, absolute minimum, 1/32" fwd of the frame ramp edge.

    .45 Auto needs a taper crimp on it, crimp the very edge case mouth to .468" to .470" and it will stop pushing back.
    I don't always venture out into the sub-freezing darkness, but when I do, it is hunting season, and I carry a Browning. Stay hungry my friends.

  3. #3
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    Most common causes:
    Dirty chamber, ammo over specifications, bullet seated out too much, chamber too tight, chamber too shallow. Check for leading! Someone may have used cast bullets and it can be tough to see.

    If the recoil spring is worn out you will usually get too violent an ejection first, with the cases tossed back well beyond 6 feet. (less than 3 feet means the spring is too heavy) Springs have a limited life but will usually last 2000 rounds even in competition pistols and 2x that or more for just hacking around.

    By all means get the proper spring weight, Colt spec. http://www.m1911.org/technic1.htm Except I'm not a big fan of Shok-buffs as I've had a couple come apart early and they can cause a jam.

    Usually ejector or drag problems show up with extraction jams.
    211 BC: I swear by Jupiter Optimus Maximus .... in the army of the consul Gnaeus Fulvius Centumalus Maximus and for 10 miles around it I will not steal anything worth more than a denarius in any one day.

    2016 AD: To enhance our community's aggregate through multi-platform metrics of media synergy catalyzing integrated outcomes of macro-disciplines toward inclusive methodology paradigms generating positive algorithms of unwavering commitment to our children, the flag, and God.

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  5. #4
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    I replace Shok-Buffs every 500 rounds, never had one come apart.
    I don't always venture out into the sub-freezing darkness, but when I do, it is hunting season, and I carry a Browning. Stay hungry my friends.

  6. #5
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    Steel wool your chamber with gun cleaner .especially the leading edge rim. Throat.,
    Steel wool your ramp with gun cleaner....
    Molybidium dimsufate you rails slide two frame.
    Use another mag. Compair results.

    Get rid of buffers when not target shooting. They can change timing.
    Last edited by DK PHILLIPS; 02-14-2017 at 05:36 PM.

  7. #6
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    Follow-up:

    Thanks all for the suggestions. I completely stripped the pistol and cleaned it well...it didn't look as if the extractor had ever been removed and cleaned. I'm not using shok-buffs. I bought a new 16lb. recoil spring (which ended up being about 1" longer than the spring that was in there) and installed it. I took a brush and wrapped copper wool around it, soaked it in bore cleaner and worked it heavily through the entire chamber and barrel repeatedly. The chamber and bore look pristine under a magnifier. Cleaned everything, applied a light lube and tested.

    First mag...no failures. Second mag...one FTRB. Third mag...would not return to battery at all, even cycling the action by hand. Again using factory Winchester ammo.

    I am leaning towards a new extractor; opinions?
    "This hand, hostile to tyrants, seeks with the sword a quiet peace under liberty", -Algernon Sidney, 1659

  8. #7
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    Maybe its the extractor if it has brass marks on the tip from trying to push the back of the cartridge into the chamber. That'd be improper extractor fitting and it may have worn loose so it moves after a mag or 2, . It's called inertial feed and usually starts happening on the last round or 2 in a mag. The bullet slips forward too far for the extractor to pick up the groove. Another cause of inertial feed is a weak mag spring.
    211 BC: I swear by Jupiter Optimus Maximus .... in the army of the consul Gnaeus Fulvius Centumalus Maximus and for 10 miles around it I will not steal anything worth more than a denarius in any one day.

    2016 AD: To enhance our community's aggregate through multi-platform metrics of media synergy catalyzing integrated outcomes of macro-disciplines toward inclusive methodology paradigms generating positive algorithms of unwavering commitment to our children, the flag, and God.

  9. #8
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    Molybidium along the rails and any high spots showing ware....
    Extractor as jjk said.
    can be a combination of both friction and improper fitting.
    Clean mag. Well top to bottom and release button inside area for debrtrash!

  10. #9
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    Ya'll come around trying to get the guy to throw the kitchen sink at it with all sorts of crud advice like you can't resort to simple things before you start in trying to get him to rip in to the thing.

    So recoil spring didn't help, I would try another brand of ammo from this point. Too a 17 or 18# recoil spring if you don't trace it to the ammo. Being it's a "new" problem this should be easy...

  11. #10
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    Lube.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by VinnAY View Post
    Ya'll come around trying to get the guy to throw the kitchen sink at it with all sorts of crud advice like you can't resort to simple things before you start in trying to get him to rip in to the thing.

    So recoil spring didn't help, I would try another brand of ammo from this point. Too a 17 or 18# recoil spring if you don't trace it to the ammo. Being it's a "new" problem this should be easy...
    he stated he tried 3 brands of the common ammo,


    ammo may not be the problem,


    wondering, how many rounds are thru this gun,
    if the recoil spring(s) did not fix, how tight it the barrel?
    lots of movement when in battery and pushed from the top??

    maybe the link and or pin is worn?
    what's so funny about peace love and understanding?

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyman1903 View Post
    he stated he tried 3 brands of the common ammo,


    ammo may not be the problem,


    wondering, how many rounds are thru this gun,
    if the recoil spring(s) did not fix, how tight it the barrel?
    lots of movement when in battery and pushed from the top??

    maybe the link and or pin is worn?
    Lyman, thank you for the reasonable reply. I appreciate the time for you others who did reply...So many of your suggestions I had already stated that I had done (lube?!?).

    Being a 25 year old pistol that is not mine, I cannot be sure of how many rounds have been through it. As far as barrel tightness, there is virtually no movement in the barrel when pushed from the top while in battery. Something is telling me that the clue to this problem is centered around the problem not showing itself until 3 magazines in...maybe heat is making it worse?

    Again, here is what I KNOW:

    Using multiple types of factory ammo.
    Gun is CLEAN.
    Gun is lubed.
    Using 2 different mfg. magazines
    New 16 lb. recoil spring.


    How would I determine if the link/pin are worn?
    "This hand, hostile to tyrants, seeks with the sword a quiet peace under liberty", -Algernon Sidney, 1659

  14. #13
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    Have you taken the barrel out and dropped a cartridge in the chamber? Does it go in smoothly?

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by srv1 View Post
    Have you taken the barrel out and dropped a cartridge in the chamber? Does it go in smoothly?
    Yup, drops in like butter.
    "This hand, hostile to tyrants, seeks with the sword a quiet peace under liberty", -Algernon Sidney, 1659

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by chunkymunkey View Post
    Lyman, thank you for the reasonable reply. I appreciate the time for you others who did reply...So many of your suggestions I had already stated that I had done (lube?!?).

    Being a 25 year old pistol that is not mine, I cannot be sure of how many rounds have been through it. As far as barrel tightness, there is virtually no movement in the barrel when pushed from the top while in battery. Something is telling me that the clue to this problem is centered around the problem not showing itself until 3 magazines in...maybe heat is making it worse?

    Again, here is what I KNOW:

    Using multiple types of factory ammo.
    Gun is CLEAN.
    Gun is lubed.
    Using 2 different mfg. magazines
    New 16 lb. recoil spring.


    How would I determine if the link/pin are worn?
    pushing down on the barrel will show some wear,
    take the barrel out, does the link wobble or seem loose (as in move around not just swing like it should)?
    what's so funny about peace love and understanding?

  17. #16
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    Sounds like you may have an extractor issue

  18. #17
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    Thank you all for your suggestions...thought I would follow up with my progress.

    Fired about 125 rounds yesterday, and until the last 20...things went pretty well. The abnormalities were; 2 stovepipes on ejection, and when my son was in the driver's seat I noticed that the spent brass was either hitting his head or just missing.

    The last 20 or so rounds began to show the same issue I was having before, FTRB and just a rough feeling slide in general.

    Brought it home and slept on it. (not the pistol, the problem) Today, got it back out and it was still showing the issue very consistently cycling by hand. With some closer inspection it was more apparent that the slide would stop right at the point when the case came into contact with the extractor. It was feeding in the right spot on the brass, but the bottom edge of the extractor seemed to have a sharp point on it. I knew that had to be the only option, so I took some tension out of the extractor and very gently took a stone and slightly softened the bottom point.

    Wa-lah, now everything is right again and smooth as can be. jjk and SRV1 you called it. More testing tomorrow, but I am confident this was the cause of the problem.

    Thanks again, Jerry
    "This hand, hostile to tyrants, seeks with the sword a quiet peace under liberty", -Algernon Sidney, 1659

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