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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a commander size S&W 1911 sc-e with about 550 rounds thru it. It came with eight and seven round mags. ImageUploadedByTapatalk1370194005.238353.jpg . Been having a number of failure to feed issues.

#1. The gun works flawlessly with the factory 7 rnd mag. With the 8 rnd mag it will occasionally fail to feed (it doesn't come out of the mag. Doesn't even start up the feed ramp) when there is 8 ends in the mag. It seems to occur randomly mid mag. Works ok when loaded with 7 instead of the 8 rnds. Brand/type of ammo doesn't seem to make a difference

#2. I purchased several chip McCormick power mag plus mags. [email protected] rnds and [email protected] rnds. They seem to work just fine withe Winchester white box ammo. The problem arises when I use federal premium p45hst2 ammo. Nearly one ftf in nearly every mag with the hst2 hollow points. All three mags exhibit the same problems. In addition, one of the ten rounders fails to lock back when empty on occasion.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1370194670.943492.jpg

The hst2 ammo works fine in the factory 7 rnd mags

One other question, the feed ramp has a fine grooving on it. Perhaps someone can explain its purpose. Pls forgive my hairy knees.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1370194938.132100.jpg

Any help would be appreciated. This is my first 1911 and I really like it but am getting discouraged by these issues. Thought I'd check here before calling S&W.

Thanks.




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The 8 round and 10 round mags are prone to this, has do with the mag springs not being as strong in these mags as in the 7 round mags. Quite a few mag manufacturers use weaker springs in the 8 round mags so they will have enough space for that eighth round.

The eight round mags that are reported to do OK are the ones with the hollow base pads. The hollow base pads provide the extra space for the eighth round AND the full strength spring.

This is why John Browning designed the mags to hold seven rounds.

Wolff extra power mag springs are a good idea in the 7 round mags, Tripp Research 7 round conversion kits help 8 round mags with their reliability.
 

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Magazines first, and extractor second, to check for what you describe.
 

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I use Wilson Combat 8 round mags exclusively and they feed everything flawless in my Combat Commander,from what I've ever heard 10 round mags aren't reliable and I've never tried any
 

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The 10-round mags are notorious for being functionally hit-or-miss with 1911s.

I've tried a number of different mags in my 1911s, and the only ones that have never let me down (save for worn-out springs) are the Wilsons. I currently use a mix of 47D and ETM; both are 8-rounders.

Glockman's advice is spot on: get some good mags first, and see if that clears things up. If not, then proceed to look at the extractor, then possibly the slide stop. Also, I'm unimpressed with the finish on the feed ramp; that should be smooth, if not a bright surface. I doubt it's the source of your feeding problem, but it's not helping, either.
 

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My Ed Brown and Dan Wesson...would load a 2x4 if I could get it in the mag, but those two guns have been flawless from day one.

My Springfield on the other hand, will nose dive the first round of a full loaded 8 round mag...EVERY...SINGLE...TIME! It doesn't matter what kind of ammo I use whether it's FMJ or not, it won't feed. I have Wilson 47D's, Chip McCormick, Tripp's, Kimber Pro mags, etc...and it doesn't matter. So I just gave up and only load 7 rounds for that gun and it works fine. I can try an 8 round mag in the Springer and it'll jam; take that mag out and pop it in my CBOB and it'll feed slicker than frog snot. So yeah...7 rounds for the Springer and it'll function.
 

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...One other question, the feed ramp has a fine grooving on it. Perhaps someone can explain its purpose...

View attachment 74060
Can't contribute much to the mag discussion, but the feed ramp question is easy.

The grooving on the feed ramp is to reduce friction. I'll likely get a lot of pushback on this, but a finely textured metal surface actually has LESS friction than a mirror-smooth one. I've seen countless posts where someone's complaining about feed issues with a semi-auto, and they say something like, "I polished the feed ramp to a mirror finish, but I still have this problem..." Gotta laugh, as their polishing job almost certainly made the problem worse! This is basic physics & metallurgy. Lots of folks will disagree, but they're wrong. It's particularly amusing when you see this on bazillion-dollar custom jobs! :yup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Can't contribute much to the mag discussion, but the feed ramp question is easy.

The grooving on the feed ramp is to reduce friction. I'll likely get a lot of pushback on this, but a finely textured metal surface actually has LESS friction than a mirror-smooth one. I've seen countless posts where someone's complaining about feed issues with a semi-auto, and they say something like, "I polished the feed ramp to a mirror finish, but I still have this problem..." Gotta laugh, as their polishing job almost certainly made the problem worse! This is basic physics & metallurgy. Lots of folks will disagree, but they're wrong. It's particularly amusing when you see this on bazillion-dollar custom jobs! :yup:
Makes sense I guess, less surface area on the feed ramp to create friction with the bullet.
 

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I had the same problem with my Kimber Raptor mainly with JHPs. First some JHPs for some reason are shorter. I reload all my practice and match ammo to 1.24. Shorter round like 1.16 which I tried did not load well. Wilson's have never given me a problem with roundnose. I replaced all my springs with Wolfe 2 years ago and have had no problems since with JHP. BTW I have a S&W 1911 "E" Bobtail and it functions flawlwssly with my hand loaded roundnose and JHPs and PDX defense rounds.

I would stay away from using any cheap mags supplied with your gun. My Kimber came with Kim Pro and they are only usefull to load "barney" rounds at a match.
 

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contented, you left out what type ammo you are shooting.
I have two Wilson Compacts. A X-TAC and an ULC.
They work flawlessly in American Federal 230 gr.
I had a failure about every 15 rounds with Speer Gold Dot Hollow Points. One out of every mag with Winchester White Box.
One about every 25 with my reloads.

I changed my reloads (230 gr) to an OAL from 1.260 to 1.250 and have not had any problems since.

The shorter OAL is better in feeding in my guns. Find one that works with yours and stay with it.
Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks to all for the help. I'm new to 1911's but not guns in general.

Just compared the hst2's to wwb fmj and the hollow points are indeed noticeably shorter.

Re: quality mags - from everything I'd read, I thought the Chip McCormick mags were quality mags. I've used them a month or so and I assume returning them is out of the question. Any suggestions to make them more reliable?

What is it about a longer mag in a 1911 that precludes it from working the same as say the 10 and 17 round mags that came with my ruger sr9c? In theory, its nothing but a tube with a spring. And why is it the stock 7 round mag works flawlessly with fmj and hp?

Again, thanks all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
contented, you left out what type ammo you are shooting.
I have two Wilson Compacts. A X-TAC and an ULC.
They work flawlessly in American Federal 230 gr.
I had a failure about every 15 rounds with Speer Gold Dot Hollow Points. One out of every mag with Winchester White Box.
One about every 25 with my reloads.

I changed my reloads (230 gr) to an OAL from 1.260 to 1.250 and have not had any problems since.

The shorter OAL is better in feeding in my guns. Find one that works with yours and stay with it.
Good Luck
WWB is 230 gr fmj. The Federal Premium Tactical p45hst2 is 230 gr hp.
 

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contented, The federal's I shoot are not the Hollow Points. Wilson for example recommends the OAL to be in the neighborhood of 1.2 and 1.25 for Hollow Points. This is for the 4" compact. Not sure about what you are shooting.

Another thing I forgot to mention was that the Wilson rep I e-mailed suggested putting in a 10 round spring in the 7 and 8 round mags. It shortens the number of bullets by one. I did that at the same time I shortened the OAL and have never had a problem since.

I have about 15 mags and all have the 10 round springs anf they work great.
 

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Probably the spring weight is wrong for the ammo you're using. The neat part about .45 1911-A1 is they're customizable. Get some new Wilson/Wolf springs...one for your normal weight and one weaker/heavier. Ran into this problem when hand-loading for them years ago. I put in a lighter spring for the lighter loads. Heavy bullets or more powder require a stronger spring to prevent it from slamming the stop too hard and cracking the frame (I also use Wilson shock-buffs...saves the gun and a pack is about $5). It would require a heavy spring to slam that ammo into the barrel as well. Up the feed ramp, hitting the top of the hood (check for burrs there), bouncing down hitting in bottom of barrel throat and chambering. Don't know on the micro grooves...maybe if they were staight up and down, but if they're left to right, gonna probably slow down the bullet or drag the nose of a SWC with the conical nose. All mine are mirror polished and that is the first one I've ever seen like that, but the explaination does make sense...if it has verticle lines. Also, a stiff magazine spring can cause this. Sometimes just leaving them fully loaded up for a while will compress it enough to prevent it from jamming the round into the top of the lips with so much force the slide cannot strip it off the top. Burrs on the feed lips (look on inside where bullet touches) and polish them good...dremel with jeweler's rouge works good. Don't forget to buff them good with the cotton one. Ammo that is OVERSIZE or bulged...like reloads that have not been full length resized...I always used a taper crimp die as final step after a friend told me of that secret...more accurate too. 200grn SWC with Federal Primer, about 4.2grn Bullseye, taper crimped makes some nice, fine holes at 25yards. I've seen factory ammo that was completely out of size in diameter and OAL or overall length...
 
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