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  #1  
Old 01-31-2020, 07:35 PM
Kelso Kelso is offline
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Not off to a good start with my DWs.

Hi all,

Recently went on a 1911 buying spree, and in the last few months have bought six 1911s. Two of them are a DW ECP .45 and a DW Guardian 9mm.

The ECP I broke in per owners manual, and had lots of FTRTBs. I knew to expect some, so I kept the gun clean and ran it well oiled. That issue went away mostly by 300 rounds.

So today I was at the range breaking in the 9mm Guardian and putting more rounds through the ECP. The ECP was getting smoother and had been blessed as my new EDC. As I was nearing the 450-500 round mark with it all of a sudden the magazine fell out onto the floor. I initially though maybe I had somehow inadvertently pressed the release, but upon further inspection found that the magazine release lock had broken and fell out into the spent brass at my feet, never to be seen again. I thought it had just come out at first, but when I got home to clean the gun I found the broken off tab from the lock still in the gun. I took the mag lock pin out of the Guardian and put it in the ECP. I did call DW and they are sending me another one, and I also ordered a few EGW hex head mag catch locks. Not a good look for my ECP reliability though.

Now, to the 9mm Guardian...today was the first range trip with it. It shoots great, soft, accurate. But dang it, the slide will rarely lock back on an empty magazine. I put over 300 rounds through it and I bet the slide locked back maybe 5 times total. 99% of the time it failed to lock back. This was with new Wilson Combat mags, new Ed Brown mags, and the new DW mags that came with the gun. Most of the lock backs that did happen were with the Wilson mags. I did try cycling the gun on an empty mag and it still doesnt lock back. Looks like Im gonna be shipping this one to DW.

So, my first two DWs have not started out very good.

Disheartening to say the least.
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  #2  
Old 01-31-2020, 08:23 PM
tc215 tc215 is offline
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The slide stop on the Guardian uses a very wide shelf. The reason it’s not locking back is more than likely because of your thumb hitting it. It’s an issue that pops up on this forum once every month or two. Next time you go to the range, try shooting it one-handed and see if the problem persists.

As for your other gun, contact DW, they’ll make it right.
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  #3  
Old 01-31-2020, 08:36 PM
jonh1373 jonh1373 is offline
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I caution you to put a bunch more rounds through the ECP or any new handgun before betting your life on it in your edc rotation. Just my .02 worth.
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  #4  
Old 02-01-2020, 05:38 AM
Kelso Kelso is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tc215 View Post
The slide stop on the Guardian uses a very wide shelf. The reason its not locking back is more than likely because of your thumb hitting it. Its an issue that pops up on this forum once every month or two. Next time you go to the range, try shooting it one-handed and see if the problem persists.
I took a breather at the range and did a quick Googling of the issue. I saw thumb interference as a suspected cause, so I did change my grip and was deliberately aware of the scenario while shooting. I feel confident that is not the issue since I purposely worked through that scenario.

I shot 300 or 350 rounds, so at minimum that is 33 magazine loads, and it stayed open approx. 5 times. I do not have this issue with any of my other 1911's, so with me being conscious of it while shooting and it still happening the way it is I can discount that being the issue.

I'm wary of the gun now, I won't trust it, so it will go back to DW, who I consider professionals, to be sorted out. Then I'll shoot it a bunch before trusting it. I had hoped to pass it along to my wife, it does shoot soft!
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  #5  
Old 02-01-2020, 06:26 AM
Kelso Kelso is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonh1373 View Post
I caution you to put a bunch more rounds through the ECP or any new handgun before betting your life on it in your edc rotation. Just my .02 worth.
I agree. By the time I have the opportunity to start really EDC'ing it I should have nearly 2000 rounds through it. Right now I'm working 7 days a week, 12 hour shifts with a day off every 14th day, so carrying is not an option (can't carry at work). I shoot on that one off day every two weeks. In March I'm taking a tac-defensive pistol class with it that requires 800 rounds, so after that it should be north of 2000 rounds through it. If all goes well it will then replace my Colt Defender as my go-to EDC.
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  #6  
Old 02-01-2020, 08:41 AM
earlyjune earlyjune is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelso View Post
I initially though maybe I had somehow inadvertently pressed the release, but upon further inspection found that the magazine release lock had broken and fell out into the spent brass at my feet, never to be seen again.
Interesting that it broke on you like that. Is the mag release lock a cast part?
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  #7  
Old 02-01-2020, 09:08 AM
tc215 tc215 is offline
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Originally Posted by earlyjune View Post
Interesting that it broke on you like that. Is the mag release lock a cast part?
No.
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  #8  
Old 02-01-2020, 10:09 AM
R600 R600 is offline
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I purchased a TCP in 9mm about 3 months ago. Had issues with the factory supplied magazines locking back. I also tried some Brownell copies of Metalforms (same as factory without DW logo). I was frustrated. I found success with Tripp Cobra mags. I now use the Brownell mags for training with Tripp followers and springs and they work as modified. I probably have at least 2500 to 3000 rounds through it now. Give Cobra mags a try for your 9mm needs. I use Wilson for my Vigil though.
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  #9  
Old 02-01-2020, 07:14 PM
K38 K38 is offline
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Never a problem with either my Guardian (9mm) or ECP (45 Auto). Sorry to hear of your problems. Shoot the Guardian with your left hand to make sure you're not riding the slide release, something I did with my Beretta/Wilson Brigadier that caused the same problem. Hope it works out for you.
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  #10  
Old 02-02-2020, 07:29 AM
Kelso Kelso is offline
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It's such a prevalent problem with all my different brand mags that I'm going to send it back and let the pro's at DW sort it out. I do not want to limit myself to certain mags, etc. That in itself would create a risk with the potential to one day grab the wrong backup mag if I were to ever EDC this gun. Just not something I want to add to the fray. Sending it back for correction will help with my confidence in the gun as well once I get it back and prove it's function.
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  #11  
Old 02-03-2020, 10:09 PM
Teufelhunde Teufelhunde is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelso View Post
today was the first range trip with it. It shoots great, soft, accurate. But dang it, the slide will rarely lock back on an empty magazine

Check your grip VERY closely. I was having the same issue with a 9mm Valkyrie CCO, and every once in a while on my ECO 9mm. I never had a failure to lock back with any of my 45's or my Kimber Ultra CDPII 9mm. One range trip, everything started to have the failure to lock back on last round problem, which got me looking at my grip.....I saw that my left(weak side) thumb was laying on the slide release close to it's pivot point......Apparently, just a little pressure is enough to slow the movement of the slide release down so that it doesn't engage the slide in time, because I adjusted my grip, and have not had it happen in close to 1000 rounds.

YMMV

Lon
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  #12  
Old 02-04-2020, 06:02 AM
Kelso Kelso is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teufelhunde View Post
Check your grip VERY closely. I was having the same issue with a 9mm Valkyrie CCO, and every once in a while on my ECO 9mm. I never had a failure to lock back with any of my 45's or my Kimber Ultra CDPII 9mm. One range trip, everything started to have the failure to lock back on last round problem, which got me looking at my grip.....I saw that my left(weak side) thumb was laying on the slide release close to it's pivot point......Apparently, just a little pressure is enough to slow the movement of the slide release down so that it doesn't engage the slide in time, because I adjusted my grip, and have not had it happen in close to 1000 rounds.

YMMV

Lon
I'm quite positive this is not the case since I did alter my grip and was conscious of finger placement after stepping away from the shooting bench and Googling the issue and seeing this mentioned. But, I will heed advice here and go back and shoot it again with laser focus on whats suggested here.

I have never had this issue with any of my other guns, but all my other 1911's are .45's. So this being my only 1911 in 9mm is what makes me want to be doubly sure it indeed isn't anything I'm doing. If it is me, and knowing I have already moved my grip around, I'll definitely get rid of this gun because it could absolutely never be enjoyable or reliable.

It happens almost every time, maybe every 8th magazine through I'll get lucky and it will lock open on empty. I have a hard time believing that I am all of a sudden so incompetent when I have been shooting 1911's for 20 years.
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  #13  
Old 02-04-2020, 08:04 AM
gun_fan111 gun_fan111 is online now
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I will not claim that the issue with Guardian is you, but if the gun is for your wife why dont you let her shoot it and see what happens .

I have limited experience with 9mm 1911s but I do have one I use all the time. When I ordered 10 Tripp magazines for it, three of those did not lock the slide back on empty consistently and required some minor tweaking of the locking tab. Are you sending all your magazines to DW too? If not, you are not guaranteed that they will work any different when the gun comes back...
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  #14  
Old 02-04-2020, 12:08 PM
Kelso Kelso is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gun_fan111 View Post
I will not claim that the issue with Guardian is you, but if the gun is for your wife why dont you let her shoot it and see what happens .

I have limited experience with 9mm 1911s but I do have one I use all the time. When I ordered 10 Tripp magazines for it, three of those did not lock the slide back on empty consistently and required some minor tweaking of the locking tab. Are you sending all your magazines to DW too? If not, you are not guaranteed that they will work any different when the gun comes back...
It's not "for" my wife, but I figured one day down the road if she were so inclined to actually start carrying that it would be a nice option for her vs. any of my .45's. She currently has a 9mm XD that she has never carried.

Great point about the magazines, I had not considered that. I will include them in the shipment. Thank you.
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  #15  
Old 02-04-2020, 04:17 PM
PM7-10 PM7-10 is offline
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My advice based on having DW work on a gun is:

Fix it yourself.

Since it is 3 different brands of magazines, my bet is on the slide stop.
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  #16  
Old 02-04-2020, 09:01 PM
gun_fan111 gun_fan111 is online now
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Originally Posted by Kelso View Post
Great point about the magazines, I had not considered that. I will include them in the shipment. Thank you.

Definitely send the OEM mags. Not sure they would be willing to work on others but if they are still an issue after the gun comes back you can adjust them comparing to the OEM mags.
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  #17  
Old 02-05-2020, 06:13 AM
Kelso Kelso is offline
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Originally Posted by gun_fan111 View Post
Definitely send the OEM mags. Not sure they would be willing to work on others but if they are still an issue after the gun comes back you can adjust them comparing to the OEM mags.
For sure, the gun did not lock open with the OEM mags at all.
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  #18  
Old 02-11-2020, 06:48 AM
Kelso Kelso is offline
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So my Guardian is now back at DW headquarters for the slide failure to lockback on empty issue.

I mentioned in my initial post that my ECP's magazine lock pin had broken the same day. While I awaited new parts to arrive I removed the mag lock pin from the Guardian and put it in the ECP, though I never made it back to the range in this configuration.

When it came time to package up the Guardian to be sent off I reinstalled the mag lock pin so it would be whole when it returned to DW, plus, my new mag lock pins were arriving the next day.

Once I got it back in the Guardian I put in a magazine and racked the slide, lo and behold it locked back. It didn't do this prior to the parts switcheroos. So now I'm wondering if me removing/reinstalling the mag realease to steal the lock pin fenagled something into place that made operation improve. I sent it off anyway so the pros could look it over.

Any thoughts? I know y'all are probably going to say I should have gone and shot it, but I've been working 14 hour days 7 days a week since early January and I just can't get to the range again right now. I also noticed the slide lock does not seat into the slide indent fully so I listed that to be checked out while its there.
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  #19  
Old 02-15-2020, 08:25 PM
liggett liggett is offline
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I have to change out the "shelf" slide stop on ALL my DW's to an ECO slide stop to keep my support thumb off it.
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  #20  
Old 02-29-2020, 10:54 AM
alamogunr alamogunr is offline
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This thread not a confidence builder. I've got a ECP .45 on order. I guess I'm hoping, that whatever the problem is, DW will have sorted it out by the time they built mine.
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  #21  
Old 02-29-2020, 11:35 AM
Thig Thig is offline
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Originally Posted by alamogunr View Post
This thread not a confidence builder. I've got a ECP .45 on order. I guess I'm hoping, that whatever the problem is, DW will have sorted it out by the time they built mine.
Don't worry, people always complain louder than they praise. I have two DWs, 45 Valor and a 9mm Guardian. I have had zero problems out of either one.
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  #22  
Old 02-29-2020, 12:08 PM
Thefielder Thefielder is offline
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My 9mm ECP has been to Dan Wesson twice, once for a replacement of a magazine release, and the second because the whole gun froze open...since Endre worked on it, it’s been 600 trouble free rounds, my 45 TCP, has been back once for a replacement rear sight, the original one, the blueing was rubbed off ..quality should have caught it....but it shoots 100%. Perfect.....these are tools, things happen, but the quality is inherent and sometimes a little tweaking at DW is needed....I think the team at DW....is top notch and will make it right.

Bob
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  #23  
Old 02-29-2020, 02:59 PM
Kelso Kelso is offline
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So I was going to let this thread drift off to the nethers...to the 2nd page and beyond at least until I got my Guardian back or had spoken with DW about my ECP, but since some folks have bumped it....

My Guardian is back at Dan Wesson, it's going on its 4th week there. I get a status update from them once a week just stating that it is still in the queue, as it is a 1st in 1st out process.

On to my ECP, I mentioned that my 2nd or 3rd range trip the mag release lock pin broke the little tab off. DW sent me another one free of charge and I put it in. The button was still gritty feeling when I pressed it, so last week I took it back out and flushed the mag release innards with oil and twisted a paper towel piece and ran in there to get any fragments of the broken tab out. When I put it back together it had improved.

I'm now 800 rounds into this ECP and while it is a joy to shoot, it still succumbs to failure to feeds and failures to return to battery at least 3 - 5 times every range trip (100-200 shots/trip). I think 800 rounds is enough vetting, thats about $300 worth of ammo. I'm going to call DW and discuss my experience/concerns with them to set a path forward, I was just hoping to get my Guardian back before sending this one in.

Now, let me explain what I have to contrast this with so you'll understand I'm not being sensitive or high maintenance. I have had Colt and Kimber 1911's for 20+ years, no issues. I also have a Sig, a Berretta, and an XD. Since November for some reason I fell down the 1911 rabbit hole and I have been on a 1911 buying frenzy.

I have bought, in this order:

- Twin (2) Springfield Govt. .45's Defenders Series.
- 1 custom spec'd Ed Brown .45 Kobra Carry.
- 1 DW .45 ECP,
- 1 Springfield LB Operator .45.
- 1 DW Guardian 9mm
- 1 Ed Brown EVO KC9 lightweight 9mm

Now, with the exception of the Ed Brown EVO (just picked it up last night, have not shot it yet), and the Guardian (300 rounds on initial break-in but slide never locked back), all those guns have 400+ rounds downrange. The two Dan Wessons are the only ones that have given me trouble.

The ECP I had chalked up to being finicky because it was a tight fit gun and just needed to be shot....until I started breaking in the Ed Brown Kobra Carry. That gun is as tight and likely much tighter than the DW's and it has run through its break-in/vetting flawlessly. I have never shot a gun so smooth. Knowing that it is tight fit I had come to expect to bump the slide into battery during break-in...then that didn't happen and the contrast between it and the DW's started dawning on me. The EB was so good out of the box I left the range and ordered the EB EVO when I got home. Also, the Springfields have never had a hiccup either, and the Long Beach Operator is a damn nice gun and all 3 of them are great shooters. It was upon this process that I started to look down upon my ECP, which, as I stated is still giving me intermittent issues at 800 rounds.

So, my point is...I just haven't had the best of luck. I'm going to give DW the benefit of the doubt and hope that they can work the kinks out, I mean, there's too many positive reviews out there for me to discount them as poor firearms.

Also to add... when I was cleaning the ECP after my range trip on Tuesday, the FTF's with ball ammo were fresh on my mind (had 2 FTF's, and 3 FTRB on Tuesday in 150 rounds), and I think when I was cleaning the feed ramp I may be able to detect a bump on it. I had nitrile gloves on and I meant to run a bare fingernail over it when I was done but I had two other guns in line to be cleaned behind it and I forgot about it at the time. So that is something I am going to confirm before calling DW.

My grand plan is to be able to alternate between the DW ECP, Guardian, and the EB EVO for carry duties. So my fingers are crossed that I can get these guns reliable.
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  #24  
Old 02-29-2020, 03:09 PM
alamogunr alamogunr is offline
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My anticipation is not improving with lessening confidence. All I can hope is that the above problems that Kelso is having are the exception. I'm afraid that Dan Wesson has become complacent because of past success and much praise.
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  #25  
Old 02-29-2020, 03:20 PM
Kelso Kelso is offline
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Originally Posted by alamogunr View Post
My anticipation is not improving with lessening confidence. All I can hope is that the above problems that Kelso is having are the exception. I'm afraid that Dan Wesson has become complacent because of past success and much praise.
I wouldn't get worked up over it, I've just had some bad luck I think. You must consider the numerous populace that has DW's but never mentions them because they do not have any issues. That's the majority, the silent majority. Don't fret until you have something to fret over, stay excited because in all likelihood you'll have a great gun and be a happy customer.
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