1911 Fail to Feed?

1911 Fail to Feed?

This is a discussion on 1911 Fail to Feed? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've got a new Para 1911 GI Expert that I have taken to the range twice and run through 700 rounds. After the first range ...

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Thread: 1911 Fail to Feed?

  1. #1
    Member Array LibertyFreak's Avatar
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    1911 Fail to Feed?

    I've got a new Para 1911 GI Expert that I have taken to the range twice and run through 700 rounds. After the first range trip I did not tear down the magazines, but thoroughly cleaned and lubed up the gun only. On my second trip to the range, I experienced 4 failure to feeds during my 300 round practice.

    I was wondering, since this is my first experience with owning a 1911, is it more critical to tear down 1911 magazines than it seems to be for my XD .40SC? Should I just go ahead and buy some Wilson Combat 47D magazines (these are the correct mags for my government style Para 1911, right??)? And, would it also be beneficial to pick up some Wilson springs for my Para mags?

    Needless to say, I have cleaned up my Para mags now, but I am a bit uncomfortable with using the gun as my EDC until I get back out to the range (and now I'll have to find some more ammo, too ). What say ye wise men (and ladies)?
    Thanks for your help!


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    You didn't give a lot of detail. Did it feed at all, like jammed half way out of the magazine or did the slide just close on an empty chamber?
    Usually FTF's are traced to the magazine and their upkeep is just as important as the guns. I would clean them thoroughly and then try them again.
    Weak springs are a trademark of Para Ordnance and replacing them with Wolff springs couldn't hurt.
    Wilson mags are very dependable and all my 1911's run on them. They are a tad on the expensive side.
    I would try cleaning first, replacing springs next and as a last resort replacing the magazines. Any Wilson 7 or 8 shot mag should work in your gun.
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    Thanks Slim. Yes, the Federal ball round (not HP - which ironically fed fine) seemed to go about halfway out of the magazine. I was able to work the slide a tad and the round would seat and fire. Happened several times like that. No problem extracting at all. Thanks for the tips.

    How often do most people tear down their mags? I didn't think that it was as common as each time you field strip and clean a weapon but maybe I have been mistaken.

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    Wilson mags can only help.
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    I break down and clean my mags about every 4 or 5 times I clean the gun.

    I just bought some Wilson 47D mags. They work great, but I've found them to rattle a bit when full.
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    Quote Originally Posted by varob View Post
    I break down and clean my mags about every 4 or 5 times I clean the gun.

    I just bought some Wilson 47D mags. They work great, but I've found them to rattle a bit when full.
    If it's mechanical......it can have problems.

    I just had to return 4 Wilson mags...wouldn't work...it happen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    If it's mechanical......it can have problems.

    I just had to return 4 Wilson mags...wouldn't work...it happen.
    What did they do in your gun retsupt99?

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    Quote Originally Posted by varob View Post
    I break down and clean my mags about every 4 or 5 times I clean the gun.
    Thanks varob - that's about what I was thinking...but I wondered if some recommend breaking down brand new mags before use (like cleaning a new weapon before using for the first time)?

    Also, does it seem like the Wilsons just fit a little looser in the mag well and that results in the rattle or do the mags themselves actually rattle?

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    I wouldn't just arbitrarily run out and buy a bunch of any one magazine.

    If you are having a sporadic FTFeed related problem (which you believe could be magazine related) then you should probably buy and try a CobraMag from Tripp Research first. http://www.trippresearch.com/index.html
    The Cobra mags position the top round in the magazine very slightly higher and often that is all that is needed to get a new 1911 functioning 100%.

    USUALLY though...any spanky new 1911 pattern pistol that suffers from an occasional "failure to feed" issue can usually be traced to:

    1.) > A new extractor with a hook that is slightly overly sharp and factory tensioned a bit tight. This problem will often "fix itself" after the extractor "wear in" a bit. If not then it's a cheap and relatively inexpensive fix.

    2.) > Cheaper magazines with sharp feed lips that hold the top cartridge too tightly against the feed lips.
    The sharp mag lip edges create too much friction against the cartridge case and that eats up a portion of the slide energy that is needed to get the top round into the barrel chamber.
    This Failure To Feed usually happens when the magazine is fully stoked.

    3.) > A magazine with too WEAK of a magazine spring that does not keep the top cartridge positioned properly and with enough tension against the mag feed lips - This FTF usually happens on the last round (or next to the last round) AKA when the mag is almost empty.

    Pay attention to your failures to feed. Stop shooting and carefully look and see exactly what is going on and when.

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    +1 on the Cobramag recommendation from QK; I still have a couple of Virgil's prototype Cobramags he gave me to test for him back in 1994, I still use them with my carry gun. I also have bought 4 more over the years, and use them exclusively now for carry and/or competition.......
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    Quote Originally Posted by varob View Post
    I break down and clean my mags about every 4 or 5 times I clean the gun.
    Dang, now that makes me feel like a slacker. I usually just blast them with gun scrubber and then hit it with break free. When it starts feeling a little gritty. I suppose I take magazine function for granted.
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    It seems a lot of people consider factory mags that come with most 1911s to be range mags. Then when they don’t work, they go buy Wilson 47Ds or the like. Would you guys say that 85% of FTF issues are mag related? Good magazines are always good to have and you can always fix your Para mags later, but rebuilding factory mags and hoping for the best seems like a crapshoot. But I guess Wilson or Chip McCormick Power Mags might be the same crapshoot.

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    Would you guys say that 85% of FTF issues are mag related?

    Yep, that and/or an ill fit extractor. Maybe 90%


    Also with the slide off and the slide stop pin through the barrel link....move the barrel all the way to the rear and hold it down.

    The rear bottom edge of the barrel ramp should not be directly above the top edge of the frame ramp.

    And the barrel should NEVER hang over the frame feed ramp even the slightest bit or the pistol will never feed anything.

    The barrel needs to be resting flat on frame but the rear lower edge of the barrel ramp needs to be positioned forward of the frame ramp.

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    (above) can be MORE than 1/32" but, not less.

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    Single stack feed test.

    With the magazine full, and inserted and the muzzle pointed in a known safe direction...Ideally, you should be able to rack the slide and ease the slide forward SLOWLY and the top cartridge in the magazine should still feed from the magazine up into the barrel chamber.

    No matter how slowly you ease that slide forward your pistol still SHOULD chamber a cartridge.


    If you ease the slide forward slowly and the slide stops and you then tap the slide lightly on its rear face and then the round feeds...that is also acceptable.

    If not one or the other then your pistol needs to be tuned with a street reliability job.

  15. #15
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    QK is a vaulable source of info, thanks, I am still new to 1911 and learning all I can, this is great stuff to know! Kudos!

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