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View Full Version : Help diagnois ejection issues with a Colt 9mm 1911


NeoWeird
07-06-2008, 5:31 PM
OK, so this has been a problem gun from the start. It's an old series 70 Colt Combat Commander in 9mm. I love the little gun, but it has never functioned properly. I recently went through and did a complete overhaul to it and replaced all the wear and tear parts (except the barrel which was shot very little and the extractor which seemed to be worn very little). In all honesty, it seems like it's been handled a lot, but not mishandled, and shot very little so I was mostly replacing all the parts that had grown tired with improper storage. So I replaced/upgraded all the springs and did a good cleaning, especially of all surface rust, and gave it a good oiling.

Now here's the problem.

Even before I did this I couldn't get the gun to eject properly. It has no problem extracting cases from the barrel, but it likes to just drop them ontop of the magazine which causes the slide to jam on them (not stovepipe though - they jam parallel to the bore). Here are some key points to help diagnois the problem:

1. If I take the slide off and place a round onto the slide the extractor holds onto it tightly. I can turn, roll, shake, etc and the round stays in place. Tension is good and it's is functioning exactly as it should. All of this was done placing the round over the rub marks from firing so the case was in the same place as when in the barrel - not offset.

2. With the ejector out of the slide it looks like the hook gets good and deep in the rim. There are no rolled or soft edges on the ejector. My only concern here is that the extractor is softly bent to the point that I need to push the chamber end outward in order to remove it. I think this was factory done as it's the original extractor and was a way of tensioning on the small rim, but I could be mistaken.

3. With the barrel and recoil spring removed, I can place a cartridge on the slide, place the slide on the gun, point the gun up and let the slide fall ejecting the round as it should. It does it EVERY time and ejects exactly as it should under normal firing.

4. When the gun is loaded it feeds and extracts live rounds fine, but does NOT eject them. Instead it just drops them ontop of the magazine like it does during normal firing. If I load the gun completely (9+1) the first 7 rounds drop on the magazine, rounds 8 and 9 eject EVERY time, then the last round drops on the magazine. Sometimes the cartridge will get in a bind where it doesn't fully remove from the extractor but the ejector pushes it out of the way and the slide binds with it as the case rest against the ejector and the nose hits the rearward moving slide - I think this is more from me manipulating the slide too slowly or with not enough force to actually eject the round than an actual malfunction.

5. The ejector is still sharp and has no rolled edges and seems to be fitted properly for the gun. When rounds do eject the ejection is a good solid ejection and not weak, or should I say as weak, as would be expected from a gun that was having ejector issues.

Because of all this I am thinking it might be magazine related. Perhaps too much tension and as the slide comes back the cartrige in the magazine pushes the case up and out of the top of the ejector before it hits the ejector. Othat than that, I'm not sure. I am half tempted to get a replacement magazine and test it out, but I'm not sure if I am jumping to conclusions as it is a factory Colt magazine with a new Wolff extra power spring in it.

Any ideas from you 1911 gurus out there?

eaglemike
07-06-2008, 5:41 PM
It looks like you've been thorough. The slide should hold down the next round in the magazine until it gets nearly all the way back, so I don't think that the next round is the issue.

Have you tried several types of ammo? I have seen low powered ammo do something similar to this. What weight recoil spring are you using? Down about a 12lb spring? maybe less? I have re-shaped the ejector in the past on some guns. You do have the 9mm ejector,right?

all the best,

Mike

ojisan
07-06-2008, 5:55 PM
ref your #s above
1. Maybe a little too tight. Can't let go?
2. this is correct as is...unless bent in too much... see #1
3. Good info!
4. I'm thinking #1 possible but...usually out of the extractor or still in it?
5. OK
Is there a full length recoil spring guide? What weight recoil spring? Are there any shock buffers in it? If extractor is OK you may not be getting enough slide travel to the rear when gun is fully assembled...so empty case does not hit the ejector every time hard enough. See # 3, frame / slide/ ejector seem good.

eaglemike
07-06-2008, 6:01 PM
Yupper, a shock buff, if swollen, can also cause problems due to drag. Some guns have seemed to have issues with new shock buffers, due to short travel.

Sometimes in the past a full length guide rid has caused issues.

all the best,

Mike

NeoWeird
07-06-2008, 6:04 PM
Have you tried several types of ammo? I have seen low powered ammo do something similar to this. What weight recoil spring are you using? Down about a 12lb spring? maybe less? I have re-shaped the ejector in the past on some guns. You do have the 9mm ejector,right?

all the best,

Mike

If I remember right I went 1 or 2 lbs higher than factory and if I remember right it was a 14lbs. I may be off by one or two, but it wasn't anything very high.

Also the ammo used has been WWB. I don't think ammo is the problem though, because the problem would go away under hand cycling which it doesn't.


ref your #s above
1. Maybe a little too tight. Can't let go?
2. this is correct as is...unless bent in too much... see #1
3. Good info!
4. I'm thinking #1 possible but...usually out of the extractor or still in it?
5. OK
Is there a full length recoil spring guide? What weight recoil spring? Are there any shock buffers in it? If extractor is OK you may not be getting enough slide travel to the rear when gun is fully assembled...so empty case does not hit the ejector every time hard enough. See # 3, frame / slide/ ejector seem good.

To respond to what you suggest:
1. It's loose enough that a soft snap would free it. I honestly believe the extractor is functioning flawlessly which is why I didn't replace it (and so the finish on the slide would still match with that high polish hot blued that Colt does/did).

2. Prior to this I've only handled .45 extractors so it's hard to judge, but if I handed to the average joe they probably wouldn't even notice it was bent unless they rolled it along a solid surface. That's why I said it was softly bent, and the bend seems intentionally put so the extractor bends inward and not at a tweaked angle.

4. The cartridges get dropped onto the magazine. They don't stay in the extractor. It's like they never reach the ejector to be ejected. I originally thought it was the extractor for this problem but I can't find any evidence to support this. The cartridge gets extracted EVERY time, and then they get dropped on the magazine. Also, like said, the 2nd to last, 3rd the last, and frequently 4th to last rounds extract adn eject properly but the rest do not and that happens EVERY time. So for some reason when there are only 2-4 rounds in the magazine the gun is functioning properly but the rest of the time it is not.


I'm still looking at it and running cartridges through it and I just can't seem to see anything happening wrong. I just had a thought though. I am going to load a magazine and rack the slide slowly and try to see EXACTLY where and why the rounds are coming out of the extractor before hitting the ejector, because I think that is the problem - premature extractor release.

ojisan
07-06-2008, 6:07 PM
Commander has less rearward slide travel than a Govt model. Shock-buffs in a Commander / Officers can keep the slide from going back far enought to pick up rounds or hit the fired case on the ejector. They are a no-no in these IMHO. Or the wrong spring guide, a binding & over length recoil spring. I like the over length ejectors myself, but then I always trim 'em back just a little too. Waaaay too many hours at the workbench...:D

NeoWeird
07-06-2008, 6:14 PM
Ok, now I am even more confussed.

While operating the slide slowly I can see that the cartridge DOES come back and hit the ejector and the cartridge below it is NOT the problem.

Here's the confussing part...

I loaded 5 rounds in the magazine. First round chambers fine, extracts fine, starts to eject proper by having the bullet nose out but then at the last second the nose hooks back in and the case rim trys to eject out first negating each other's movement and stopping the case right where it is dropping it on the magazine. The second round nose dives VERY softly and jams requiring me to rack the slide to get it to feed and chamber. Same thing happens as the first round. The last three rounds all eject properly when the slide is manipulated slowly - bullet noses out first, stays out, then case ejects and cartridge ejects from gun. This exact scenario happened about 4 times in a row.

So why are different cartridges responding differently with the ejector?..

NeoWeird
07-06-2008, 6:15 PM
Commander has less rearward slide travel than a Govt model. Shock-buffs in a Commander / Officers can keep the slide from going back far enought to pick up rounds or hit the fired case on the ejector. They are a no-no in these IMHO. Or the wrong spring guide, a binding & over length recoil spring. I like the over length ejectors myself, but then I always trim 'em back just a little too. Waaaay too many hours at the workbench...:D

Forgot to respond to this originaly, sorry.

No shock buffer and is suing the factory original old style spring guide which is the old short model that JMB designed. It is a new Wolff recoild spring though, again, if I remember right, rated at 14 lbs.

ojisan
07-06-2008, 6:30 PM
Dive! Dive! Nose dive! Your pistol is fine, your mags are not. Sounds like the follower is tipping down at the front allowing the butt of rising rounds to rise too high too early and jamming the exit. So now we are off into mag woes. But...how are the mags? Old and weak springs inside? Off brand? "Competition" mags?

NeoWeird
07-06-2008, 7:26 PM
Nope. Colt factory mag with Colt factory follower. The spring was replaced with a Wolff spring, but that's it. It's one of the earlier ones that has the welded on floor plate.

I'll have to go pick up a new magazine. I think someone was saying the CM magazines were good and they seem cheap enough.

It's a shame if that's the case. I was hoping to keep it as original as possible.

ojisan
07-06-2008, 7:48 PM
Follower nose dive usually is caused by not enough tension at the front top end of the follower. I had no choice but to fix my factory Para Ord mags that had this problem. I bought a early CM mag for my 1911 DeltaElite 10mm it jammed endlessly. I gave up on it. Wilson Mag for my .45 single stack is xlnt and well worth the extra bucks! works perfect every time. Good luck!
Never give a sword to a man who cannot dance. ; )

eaglemike
07-06-2008, 8:48 PM
A heavier recoil spring will slow slide travel. I'd suggest going back to your old spring (or a new and lighter spring) and trying that. Hand cycling can show some things but isn't the same as firing with ammunition. The gun is recoil operated, the recoil being generated by the fired cartridge. Hand cycling is much different. I've a fair amount of experience in this area, including building full race pistols.

Some loads will cycle certain pistols and not others. The 1911 is a fairly robust design, and easily tolerates "hotter" ammo.

It would be fairly cheap to try some different ammo and magazines. If you were closer I'd be glad to share.

As noted the Commander and Officer models can present a special set of problems.

all the best,

Mike