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View Full Version : SA 1911 - Feedramp issues/Send it back??


Nate74
06-21-2010, 12:43 PM
I got to the range with my new SA Mil-Spec yesterday and had some issues with it feeding the first round. I tried the stock magazines as well as a Wilson Combat magazine. All had a similar issues where the round would not hit the feed ramp, but instead it looked like it was hitting just below the ramp.

As a result, the round would not chamber.

Strangely though, once a round was chambered (usually manually) it would cycle through 7/8 rounds no problem as I fired it.

This is my first 1911 so I wasnít sure what to expect but from some web research, this seems to be somewhat common. Some suggest a trip to a gunsmith, others seem to say that if the pistol is new, SA will take it back on their dime and make it right.

So Iím looking for thoughts on how to proceed. Send it back for some (hopefully) warranty work, or is there a home remedy for this issue?

cmace22
06-21-2010, 12:51 PM
How are you cambering the first round?

Do you use the slide catch or do you pull the slide back by hand and let it go?

Nate74
06-21-2010, 1:05 PM
How are you cambering the first round?

Do you use the slide catch or do you pull the slide back by hand and let it go?

I tried it both ways. I also tried variations on pulling the slide back. I'd try to do it gently and then also pretty agressively. Also tried the slide catch. Tried the catch with the pistol level, angled up slightly and angled down slightly. All with very similar results.

To get the round to chamber I'd use a small flat head screwdriver and just live the bullet up slightly and then let it go into the chamber...

Black Majik
06-21-2010, 1:09 PM
Field strip the gun.

With the barrel, bushing, spring and guide rod out, slip a round under the extractor. It should hold the round with the extractor tension. Now shake the slide up and down, does the round jiggle. If it doesn't, or barely jiggles, my suspiscion is too much tension on the extractor.

Nate74
06-21-2010, 1:18 PM
Field strip the gun.

With the barrel, bushing, spring and guide rod out, slip a round under the extractor. It should hold the round with the extractor tension. Now shake the slide up and down, does the round jiggle. If it doesn't, or barely jiggles, my suspiscion is too much tension on the extractor.

I'll have to wait until I'm home and have it in my hands to try this. I'm having trouble visualizing this though.

Capt_Communist
06-21-2010, 1:24 PM
Good advise from Black Majik...

when I got my SA, I also had some issues. I fixed it with a metal file and basically just polished the ramp a little and it worked fine.



Good luck

Shawn L
06-21-2010, 1:34 PM
I would just send it back and have them fix it.

Nate74
06-21-2010, 1:36 PM
I would just send it back and have them fix it.

If it's 20 minutes in my garage I'm more than willing to tackle it, but yeah; sending it back might be the way I end up going.

Stay tuned for my upcoming "how do you legally ship a firearm" thread.

Shawn L
06-21-2010, 1:53 PM
Just call S.A. and they'll send you a prepaid package.

dfletcher
06-21-2010, 2:11 PM
I got to the range with my new SA Mil-Spec yesterday and had some issues with it feeding the first round. I tried the stock magazines as well as a Wilson Combat magazine. All had a similar issues where the round would not hit the feed ramp, but instead it looked like it was hitting just below the ramp.

As a result, the round would not chamber.

Strangely though, once a round was chambered (usually manually) it would cycle through 7/8 rounds no problem as I fired it.

This is my first 1911 so I wasnít sure what to expect but from some web research, this seems to be somewhat common. Some suggest a trip to a gunsmith, others seem to say that if the pistol is new, SA will take it back on their dime and make it right.

So Iím looking for thoughts on how to proceed. Send it back for some (hopefully) warranty work, or is there a home remedy for this issue?

What kind of ammo are you using? Hopefully it's 230 FMJ - I realize the gun should probably work with a variety of ammo but for the first 200 or so rounds I'd go with what is most likely to function best.

Regarding how you let the slide go for the first round, I'll admit to my 40 year or so habit just thumbing down the slide stop but being told pulling the slide to the rear is the way it should be done.

Mute
06-21-2010, 2:52 PM
Try what Black Majik suggested first. Also sounds like too much extractor tension. That's a five minute fix, it that is indeed the problem.

Martin_B
06-21-2010, 2:55 PM
Were you using hollow points or flat nose? My SA loaded has digested anything I put in it from it's first round; however, my dad's SA loaded match has issues with some hollow points and flat noses. I'd say put 500 rounds through it before doing anything; the 1911 actually has a break in period from what I've noticed. If that doesn't do the trick, send it back to SA for them to fix it.

Crazed_SS
06-21-2010, 4:31 PM
Send it in. No sense in wasting time and money on something youve already paid hundreds of dollars for and should be working anyway. One of my M1As had a problem extracting when I first got it. I spent one box of ammo trying to troubleshoot it, then promptly sent it back to SA. Turn around was two weeks and the gun has been flawless ever since. Ammo is expensive. Id rather SA burn through their stash to get the gun running right.

Im sure the SA lifetime warranty factors into the price of their guns.. might as well use it.

Nate74
06-21-2010, 4:48 PM
Thanks all for your thoughts and advice!

I was using 230gr ball. Dirty range reloads, but 230 nonetheless. Hollow Points would have been worse I fear.

I'll do the test Black Majik suggested but am planning on calling SA in the morning one way or the other.

Notblake
06-21-2010, 5:38 PM
I know it's new, I know you don't want to wait for warranty repair, none the less my vote is to send it in, let SA take care of you, they are very good about it.

BryanB
06-21-2010, 7:29 PM
Nate,

I'd try seeing if it does the same thing with factory loads first. My reason being I have had more issues with guns going down due to reloads. The last batch of reloads I bought from a store did not crimp them properly and the bullet would recess into the casing when loaded. I agree with the other posters though, if it still has issues send it to Springfield they will make it right.

high_lander
06-21-2010, 8:08 PM
I had this same issue with my RIA. After I got a few rounds off, everything started to click as it should. After about 2 or 3 mags worth of shooting it started to strip the first round no problem. Sounds like a rough feed ramp. It should polish up a bit with more rounds.

I was using WWB 230 gr ball ammo.

Nate74
06-21-2010, 8:32 PM
Nate,

I'd try seeing if it does the same thing with factory loads first. My reason being I have had more issues with guns going down due to reloads. The last batch of reloads I bought from a store did not crimp them properly and the bullet would recess into the casing when loaded. I agree with the other posters though, if it still has issues send it to Springfield they will make it right.

Holy crap... I just cycled a couple dozen PMC round through it with zero problems. Tried three or four magazines worth of Magtech rounds too with the same result. Every single one fed beautifully. I tried using the slide release button, I tried racking the slide, hell, I even held it pointing straight into the air and hit the slide release and every single time it chambered the round.

Is it possible the range reloads had bullets that were further into the casing?

Or even worse, they weren't actually 230gr and were 185? Would that matter?

robert101
06-21-2010, 9:24 PM
It could be the bullet taper, crimp dimension, bullet seat depth. I'm glad to hear that factory rounds do feed. Good news. If you start to reload your own bullets you will have to deal with all of those issues in getting that right round to feed reliably in your gun. A little polishing of the feed ramp could very well be in order. I got some great advice just today on how to make my SA Loaded feed hollow points very reliably.

BryanB
06-21-2010, 9:27 PM
What you were experiencing Nate was bad QA on whoever made the reloads. Since you were saying that it looked like the round was hitting below the feed ramp I will assume this was due to the individual improperly seating the bullet. I don't believe this would have made a difference if it were a 185 Gr. round.

If I was you I would make sure you inform the range politely and immediately that their rounds are causing malfunctions.

tiko
06-21-2010, 9:42 PM
230, 200 or 185 ball should have the same Over All Lenght, varies between 2.30" to 2.75". My SA like 2.5" for 200 gr LSWC.

tzahoy
06-21-2010, 10:49 PM
I'm pretty sure 230 gr ball doesn't vary in OAL length by almost 1/2". 2.75"-2.30"=.45" Be careful what you read on the intarweb, it's not always true... :-)

230, 200 or 185 ball should have the same Over All Lenght, varies between 2.30" to 2.75". My SA like 2.5" for 200 gr LSWC.

Hatchet
06-22-2010, 5:13 AM
Dude, just call SA and send it back. They have great customer service and will take care of you. If you're new to 1911's, I would advise against doing anything yourself...

Nate74
06-22-2010, 5:55 AM
Dude, just call SA and send it back. They have great customer service and will take care of you. If you're new to 1911's, I would advise against doing anything yourself...

Since there's a lot of evidence now that the range reloads were the problem, I'm not inclined to put SA through their paces on this. I'm going to get a chance to shoot again next weekend and I'll use some of my PMC and see how it does. If there's any issues at all, then SA will hear from me.

Ninja45
06-22-2010, 11:04 AM
There is nothing with your pistol. It is your reloaded ammo. I never trust ammo reloaded by another. I do my own reloads or shoot factory.
I agree with you, I will not send a perfectly working pistol back for repairs when the problem lies elsewhere either!

Nate74
06-22-2010, 12:30 PM
There is nothing with your pistol. It is your reloaded ammo. I never trust ammo reloaded by another. I do my own reloads or shoot factory.
I agree with you, I will not send a perfectly working pistol back for repairs when the problem lies elsewhere either!

I also think the problem was compounded by the fact that I'm not that familiar with the 45ACP round. I'm wondering if somebody who has shot that round for years would have instantly known they were short.

The good news is I really like my 1911, despite the issues. Felt very Sands of Iwa Jima...

NavDoc
06-22-2010, 2:27 PM
230, 200 or 185 ball should have the same Over All Lenght, varies between 2.30" to 2.75". My SA like 2.5" for 200 gr LSWC.

Dude, get a ruler and look at just how long 2.3-2.75 INCHES really is. :eek: Are you referring to .45 LC? I think you mean 1.3-1.75 inches. :D And that is still pretty long. My ball ammo is 1.2-1.25" COL.

Hatchet
06-22-2010, 4:39 PM
Oops...I must have missed the part about reload ammo, or else I wouldn't have advised returning it for service...

Nate74
06-22-2010, 6:59 PM
One more bit of info. I tried cycling some Hornady defensive rounds through it today. With 6 or fewer rounds in the magazine, it handled them fine. With 7 rounds in the mag (full) I got the same malfunction.

I used calipers and sure enough, these Hornady rounds are short (in overall length) than the PMC and Magtech ammo.

Was the 1911 just not designed for non ball ammo?

Hatchet
06-22-2010, 7:14 PM
Well, no, they were designed for ball. However, most will feed HP ammo reliably if they've been throated (my Brown eats everything). I believe, could be wrong here, that the milspec is supposed to be throated for HP use. My best advice would be, honestly, that if it doesn't work right contact SA and have them correct it. In my experience (with other manufacturers...), if you have to return a weapon for warranty, they don't just fix the problem, but go over the rest of the weapon as well, so I wouldn't hesitate to do that....

Nate74
06-22-2010, 8:14 PM
Yeah, I think I'd like it to at least handle the HP stuff. Range Reloads would also be nice I guess. I guess I'll contact SA in the morning and get the ball rolling.

Thanks all for your input and thoughts!

BryanB
06-22-2010, 8:53 PM
Nate,

Yes the 1911 was designed to handle ball ammo, from my experience when you get into Springfield's Loaded models you will start to see the ability for it to take HP ammo. Springfield's custom shop also offers a "Defense Package" that may give you what you need. http://www.springfield-armory.com/custom.php

Trendkill
06-22-2010, 9:37 PM
100 bucks says its your extractor.

Nate74
06-23-2010, 11:38 AM
100 bucks says its your extractor.

Hmmm... I did the test that Black Majik suggested above and the bullet seemed fairly loose. If I understand this correctly, this should say that the extractor is OK.

Also, as I watch the slide come forward and how the bullet impacts just below the feedramp, it appears that the extract isn't even in contact with the back of the bullet.

I'm also very curious as to why this only happens on the first bullet to come out of a full magazine, but the rest cycle OK. To much spring tension?

Strange.

Sinixstar
06-23-2010, 12:34 PM
Holy crap... I just cycled a couple dozen PMC round through it with zero problems. Tried three or four magazines worth of Magtech rounds too with the same result. Every single one fed beautifully. I tried using the slide release button, I tried racking the slide, hell, I even held it pointing straight into the air and hit the slide release and every single time it chambered the round.

Is it possible the range reloads had bullets that were further into the casing?

Or even worse, they weren't actually 230gr and were 185? Would that matter?

It is entirely possible that the reloads were slightly out of spec, or at least out of spec enough to cause a problem. OAL being off could certainly cause the problem you were having.

Generally speaking - I've always found it's a good idea to start firing a gun with factory ammo. Even if it's just a box or two to get started. Gives you a more solid point of reference about how the gun functions/performs as factory tends to be more of a known quantity. The fact that you're questioning the quality of the reloads should explain why this is important...

sd joe
06-23-2010, 8:55 PM
I didn't read the entire thred, but if you do send it back they have a great turnaround. A couple weeks ago I shot my Trophy Match on a Friday and the front sight snapped off. I called SA and had a return tag and Fed Ex label in less than 5 minutes. I shipped it on Monday and had it back and repaired in exactly two weeks to the day with no hastle.

Joe

Hatchet
06-23-2010, 9:14 PM
Hmmm... I did the test that Black Majik suggested above and the bullet seemed fairly loose. If I understand this correctly, this should say that the extractor is OK.

Also, as I watch the slide come forward and how the bullet impacts just below the feedramp, it appears that the extract isn't even in contact with the back of the bullet.

I'm also very curious as to why this only happens on the first bullet to come out of a full magazine, but the rest cycle OK. To much spring tension?

Strange.

It should basically push the cartridge up under the extractor as the slide travels forward.

Just to clarify something, and you probably already know this, but NEVER drop a 1911 slide on a chambered round. Even though the extractor looks like it was designed to slide over the cartridge rim, it isn't. Doing it even one time can spring the extractor. If I'm telling you something obvious, I mean no offense.

I still stand by what I said earlier, and that is if it's new weapon under warranty I'd take advantage of that and send it back. They may find a problem that you would have missed and you will basically receive back a hand QC'd weapon.

bruce381
06-24-2010, 12:34 AM
""Is it possible the range reloads had bullets that were further into the casing?""

Never base any ammo feeding problems on "reloads" that you did not make and know are correct I would get some real factory and shoot them for a while to break in.

I had same problem when I started to reload 45's and getting a dillion die set and case gage solved my problem in that my first relaod were too long and not sized correctly.