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  #1  
Old 02-29-2020, 04:08 PM
smitty_bs smitty_bs is offline
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Inconsistent Failure to Feed

I bought a used Colt 1911 Level One, Series 70. Accurate enough, but is frustrating at the range. It came with two Colt seven-round mags and they both had inconsistent ftf, and often those were on the second to the last round.

Sometimes the whole mag will feed flawlessly. Then I'll load them up and there will be a hangup. Both mags. So I came home and compared them closely to Colt mags that I've never had trouble with. I looked at everything, lips, angles, etc. They look exactly alike.

I've never had a gun that didn't feed reliably. Any thoughts or suggestions? I've always heard 90% of feeding problems are with the mag.
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  #2  
Old 02-29-2020, 04:14 PM
TRSOtto TRSOtto is offline
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Assuming you are using factory ammo....that this isn't your first 1911 etc....

First thing I'm doing is trying different mags. Colt mags are made by Checkmate, and they're okay. But I'd be trying some other mags and see if it's mag dependant. Wilson's, Tripp, etc....

If you don't have any other mags available, load your existing mags full and let them sit until your next range session. Sometimes new mags need to take a spring set before they'll run reliably.

EDIT: After rereading your thread I see these aren't new mags. I'd still leave them loaded till your next range trip as you don't know how many rds are through them.

Last edited by TRSOtto; 02-29-2020 at 04:17 PM.
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  #3  
Old 02-29-2020, 04:43 PM
filthy phil filthy phil is offline
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mags.
new tripps is what you need
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  #4  
Old 02-29-2020, 04:51 PM
Steve in Allentown Steve in Allentown is offline
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On your failures-to-feed did the nose of the cartridge make it into the chamber before things stopped?

As Otto and Phil said, it's probably a mag problem but if it turns out not to be a mag problem, you should take a close look at the extractor. Excessive extractor deflection can result in intermittent, random failures-to-return-to-battery. If deflection is .010" - .015" then check for excessive tension.

One other thing you can check for is if the followers are sticking inside the mags. Disassemble the mags, put just the follower back in, and slowly push it up and down the mag tube to see if there's any hesitation anywhere in its travel. If it does hesitate, sand that spot with some 320 grit sandpaper until the hesitation is gone.

Last edited by Steve in Allentown; 02-29-2020 at 04:55 PM.
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  #5  
Old 02-29-2020, 06:45 PM
smitty_bs smitty_bs is offline
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Thanks for all the advice. I will try all of those tips. And I also have some MecGar mags that have run flawless and will try those in the gun to make sure it isn't the pistol.
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  #6  
Old 03-01-2020, 04:25 AM
Totally Tactical Totally Tactical is offline
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Check Extractor tension.
Colt gets that wrong alot.
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  #7  
Old 03-07-2020, 04:07 PM
smitty_bs smitty_bs is offline
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So I cleaned the mags inside and out. One of them had dried grease or something near the lip, but otherwise they were all ok. I cleaned both ones that worked flawlessly in my Series 80 as well as the ones for this Level I Series 70; four mags total. Loaded them up and let them sit for six days.

Was off to a good start. Fired them all through the Series 70 and all went well. Then shot them through the Series 80 - which I've NEVER had trouble with. 100% reliability with that pistol. But 3 of 4 failed to go into battery. What the heck. So I went back to the Series 70 and after about 75 rounds or so, the mags, or the pistol starting acting up again. Almost always on the second to the last round, but once or twice on the last round. And once the 70 seemed jammed and I had trouble getting the magazine out. Very frustrating since I've never had trouble before! Maybe buy all new mags? Maybe have a 'smith check the extractor tension? Another thing, once in a while I'd take a casing in the forehead.
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  #8  
Old 03-07-2020, 06:48 PM
JamieC JamieC is offline
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What ammo are you shooting?
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  #9  
Old 03-07-2020, 07:40 PM
smitty_bs smitty_bs is offline
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American Eagle, 230gr.
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  #10  
Old 03-07-2020, 07:49 PM
Totally Tactical Totally Tactical is offline
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Take the mags from your flawless series 80 and try them in your series 70.
Have you checked Extractor tension? There are about a dozen You tube videos that can show you how.
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Old 03-07-2020, 07:55 PM
smitty_bs smitty_bs is offline
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Thanks Tactical. Will check out the youtubes.
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Old 03-07-2020, 08:36 PM
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Grandpas50AE Grandpas50AE is offline
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Another possibility - mag springs are weak or defective; replace them, they are a maintenance item.
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  #13  
Old 03-07-2020, 08:47 PM
Steve in Allentown Steve in Allentown is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty_bs View Post
But 3 of 4 failed to go into battery. Almost always on the second to the last round, but once or twice on the last round.
Load two rounds into each magazine, remove the extractor, attempt to chamber the top round. If it always feeds then the extractor is the problem.

-----------

Next. Disassemble all the mags. Place two cartridges in the bottom of each mag. Put the recoil springs and followers back into the mags on top of the two cartridges. This will increase the power of the magazine springs.

Load two more rounds into each magazine. Install the extractor. Attempt to chamber the top round. If there are no failures then your mag springs need to be replaced with stronger/new ones.

Quote:
Maybe buy all new mags?
Once anyone's frustration level reaches a certain point they will just throw money at the problem in the hope of fixing the problem. Perfectly understandable. I've gotten to the point where I view these feeding problems as a puzzle to be solved by finding the specific thing that is the underlying cause. Yeah, it's a sickness.

Quote:
Maybe have a 'smith check the extractor tension?
Listen to me. The 'smith needs to measure the actual deflection of the extractor first then adjust as needed to get .010" of deflection on it. Once that task is accomplished he can adjust the tension.

Quote:
Another thing, once in a while I'd take a casing in the forehead.
This is very often a symptom of a sick extractor that is losing control of the fired case. The case ends up floating in space until it gets smacked by the forward edge of the ejection port as the slide comes screaming to the rear. This bats the empty case straight back into your noggin'.
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  #14  
Old 03-08-2020, 06:38 AM
Rwehavinfunyet Rwehavinfunyet is offline
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FTF issues.....

It may not be a mag issue.....

When a mag gets down to the last few rounds, there is less tension pushing the rounds up, and sometimes, the ammo may not feed in a straight line due to recoil during a previously fired fast follow up shot.....

I would double check the slide stop on the inner lug inside the frame. Remove the slide, and insert the slide stop pin in the frame.....then load two or three rounds of the ammo you most often use in one of your mags, and insert this into the frame without the slide.

Gently push the top round in the mag forward with a tool or your fingers, and look to see how close the FMJ bullet is in relation to the inner slide stop lug. If it is very close, then the problem may be the last few rounds when feeding may hit the inner slide top ledge during recoil and not allow the round to feed properly in a straight line to hit the feed ramp and bounce up into the chamber.....

This may or may not be the issue, but it is worth a try to see if more clearance is needed on the inner slide stop lug.....
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Old 03-08-2020, 12:41 PM
smitty_bs smitty_bs is offline
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So I pretty much did all of these suggestions. 1) Tested the extractor, it held an empty case just like the Youtube vids demonstrated. So I figured that was ok. 2) Removed the extractor, rounds always chambered from the mag with two cartridges. Hmmm ok. Well maybe it is the extractor. 3) Inserted two rounds into the bottom of the mags. Rounds chambered fine. So, maybe it is the mag springs. 4) Then I checked the slide stop. The inner lug is close, but I couldn't get anything to bump it. But during recoil - maybe?

So I'm thinking because the occasional case to my forehead is likely an extractor issue, this whole issue is related and it is an extraction issue. In the meantime I will likely order some mag springs just to be sure, and I can always use those in the future. At least low cost up front. I know from the Youtubers I can adjust the tension on the extractor, but if the occasional case is coming straight back is that something else? Perhaps replace that or is it something a layman like me could do?
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Old 03-08-2020, 03:47 PM
BBBBill BBBBill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty_bs View Post
So I pretty much did all of these suggestions. 1) Tested the extractor... So I figured that was ok.
2) Removed the extractor, rounds always chambered from the mag with two cartridges...
3) Inserted two rounds into the bottom of the mags...
4) Then I checked the slide stop. The inner lug is close, but I couldn't get anything to bump it. But during recoil - maybe?

So I'm thinking because the occasional case to my forehead is likely an extractor issue, this whole issue is related and it is an extraction issue... I know from the Youtubers I can adjust the tension on the extractor, but if the occasional case is coming straight back is that something else? Perhaps replace that or is it something a layman like me could do?
Are there any brass/copper marks on the slide stop lobe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve in Allentown View Post
Listen to me. The 'smith needs to measure the actual deflection of the extractor first then adjust as needed to get .010" of deflection on it. Once that task is accomplished he can adjust the tension…
^^^ If you didn't follow Steve's directions and set deflection you are half stepping.
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Old 03-08-2020, 04:19 PM
Steve in Allentown Steve in Allentown is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty_bs View Post
1) Tested the extractor, it held an empty case just like the Youtube vids demonstrated. So I figured that was ok.
You know what they say about assuming things. What you did was a field expedient extractor test. It is not a definitive test.

The test I like the best is the one I learned from Hilton Yam. I'm pretty sure it's described in the extractor fitting sticky above.

Quote:
3) Inserted two rounds into the bottom of the mags. Rounds chambered fine.
Just to verify. Was the extractor installed when you did this?

It certainly could be both a bad extractor and bad mag springs but change just one thing at a time and test fire the pistol. If it's still not fixed, change another thing and test fire the pistol again.

Quote:
So I'm thinking because the occasional case to my forehead is likely an extractor issue, this whole issue is related and it is an extraction issue.
It is an extractor issue but it's not technically and extraction issue. The empty is getting pulled out of the chamber but the extractor is losing control of it before the ejector can put a good smack on the case.

The extractor is not all about tension. First it's about deflection, then it's about geometry, and dead last comes tension. I think you'll find the sticky "Steve in Allentown Extractor fitting" very educational.

Quote:
I can adjust the tension on the extractor, but if the occasional case is coming straight back is that something else?
Read the sticky.

You're going in the right direction. You just need to slow down a little and do a little reading so you're better able to understand what's going on.
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  #18  
Old 03-08-2020, 04:45 PM
smitty_bs smitty_bs is offline
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I'll follow Steve's advice as several have mentioned. Thanks for all your assistance!!!

Also, no there are no brass marks on the slide stop lobe, so that issue is ruled out, for now anyway, There are brass marks directly behind the ejection port - not to the side, but directly on top and behind. Guessing those are the buggers that are popping me in the head on occasion.
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Old 03-08-2020, 05:19 PM
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Describe/photo the failure in greater detail for us.
Is the round half in the chamber?
Stopped on the feed ramp?
Etc.
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Old 03-08-2020, 05:47 PM
smitty_bs smitty_bs is offline
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About half in the chamber, often angled slightly downward into the chamber. So I drop the mag with one cartridge in out. Then just flip the cartridge that was on its way into the chamber out.
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Old 03-08-2020, 05:49 PM
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Not clear.
Can you show some pics?
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Old 03-08-2020, 05:49 PM
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Lots of great information posted.
This is why I hesitate to purchase a preowned 1911. You never know what issues it had with the previous owner, or what tinkering they may have done.
Hope you got a good deal.
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Old 03-08-2020, 06:01 PM
smitty_bs smitty_bs is offline
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I got a screaming deal. And it is the first "pre-owned" 1911 I've owned. And the first I've had an issue with. But it doesn't seem insurmountable. I've just had work and family obligations get in the way of my pistol sleuthing time.

No I don't have any pictures. I should have taken some at the range yesterday. At the time, I was thinking more in the way that this was a magazine issue. I'm reading through Steve in Allentown's sticky on the subject. But not sure when I'll actually be able to work on it.
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  #24  
Old 04-11-2020, 11:27 AM
smitty_bs smitty_bs is offline
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UPDATE: So I couldn't get it totally correct on the extractor, or at least not that I had confidence in. So a quick visit to the 'smith fixed the problem. He noticed right away the feed ramp wasn't very well polished and not mated up with the barrel as well as it should have been. Remember this is a limited edition Level I which was supposedly hand fitted etc. Not sure if was from the Custom Shop or not. Anyway, he polished the ramp mated it up, and tweaked the extractor. Test fired many times now an no problems. He only charged me $40 so I feel good about it. For extra insurance I'm going to order some new mag springs and call it a day.
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Old 04-11-2020, 12:08 PM
Steve in Allentown Steve in Allentown is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty_bs View Post
. . . the feed ramp wasn't . . . mated up with the barrel as well as it should have been.
Just out of curiosity, when you push the barrel as far down and to the rear as possible on the frame, is there a small gap between the bottom of the barrel ramp and the top of the frame ramp? (Remove the slide before doing this).

You want a gap as shown in the third picture from the top in this post: https://forums.1911forum.com/showpos...69&postcount=9


.

Last edited by Steve in Allentown; 04-11-2020 at 12:18 PM.
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