View Full Version : Do I need to polish my 1911's feed ramp?

04-30-2011, 7:49 PM
Hey all,

I thought I'd pose this question to all of you experts out there.

I have a Para Ordnance 1911 (SX1445 Limited). It comes with a "match barrel" in case that helps.

This is my only handgun as I am relatively new to pistols.

Here's what I've noticed:

After about 50 or so rounds, I notice that a lot of carbon builds up on the feed ramp. And I mean... a LOT. When I look into the open chamber, the metal surface of the ramp is no longer visible (except for a small spot where the bullet contacts the ramp itself - that is still visible).

Is this normal? Is it maybe the cheap range reloads that I'm using? I don't think I've ever shot any "high quality" rounds... mostly just range reloads and Winchester White Box when I can get it at Walmart.

The reason I ask is because it seems like after 100-150 rounds, I start to get feeding problems. For example, after I insert a fresh mag and close the slide, it will sometimes get stuck. When I look into the chamber, the round is pressed up against the feed ramp, but rather than "sliding up" into the barrel, its just jammed up into the ramp.

I think its pretty obvious that its due to the carbon build-up... but my question is.... is that carbon build up normal?

Will it go away if I get the feed ramp polished? I've posted some pics of the feed ramp after I took the gun apart and cleaned it.

I would love to get some advice from you guys. Thanks a ton!




04-30-2011, 8:16 PM
No, change your magazines.

Yes, carbon building up is normal, moreso if you use cheap ammo.

04-30-2011, 8:55 PM
Thanks for input.

I've already upgraded from the cheap OEM mags to Mecgars... and this only happens after I've shot a lot of rounds. Other than that.. the gun feeds just fine.

Could it be another problem?

04-30-2011, 9:27 PM
For what it's worth. I have the exact same model with the same problem. I polished the ramp and also the inside of the chamber. If you don't want to tackle the job yourself give Para a call and they'll take care of it. I've got 6 Paras and three have had a problem of one sort or another. The other 3 have been good to go. It's the 3 newest ones (last 3-4 years) that have given me grief. The older ones haven't had the problems.

05-01-2011, 9:23 AM
Your main issue is powder residue from cheap ammo, with magazines being a minor secondary issue (after 150-200 rds). My opinion is polishing is not necessary or really helping the primary issue. Your ramp looks like mine, and after better mags with adjusted feed lips, LSWC reloads feed fine all day.

05-02-2011, 6:40 AM
Magazines are the #1 problem when it comes to 1911 feeding problems your 1911 should be able to run thousands of rounds without cleaning with proper magazines.

This guy explains 1911 magazines better than me

05-02-2011, 6:57 AM
Get some good mags and after hundreds of rounds I usually run a boresnake through once or twice. Then its good to go again. The build up is normal.

05-02-2011, 8:57 AM
The 1911 was really designed to fire ball ammo, hence the steep feedramp. Good magazines and good ammo will minimize the issues you describe.

Jonathan Doe
05-02-2011, 10:10 AM
You can polish the feed ramp, but make sure you do not over do it. Use the feed ramp gauge when you do it.

Mickey D
05-02-2011, 11:25 AM
As stated, a lot of function problems in 1911 design pistols are from the magazine. Not only is the follower design important, but the feed lip design as well.
Feed lip design affects timing, as in when the cartridge releases from the magazine.
I recommend reading the information in the attached link to learn more about better matching your magazine feedlip design with your chosen bullet design.


05-02-2011, 3:39 PM
I had a Para LTC a little while back. Polished the ramp and used Chip power mags and never had a problem.

05-02-2011, 5:23 PM
If I get a new semi-auto of any kind, I take my little Dremel tool, one of the hard felt cones, some white polishing compound from the hardware store, and lightly polish the feedramp on the barrel, and a short ways extending into the barrel chamber and either side of the entrance to the chamber. I go very lightly, maybe just 5-10 seconds or so to start, just to start to see some mirror finish, and leave it at that. I also give the feedramp a little light swipe of moly lube. I haven't had a jam in many semi-autos that I've done this to, ever. YMMV, of course.

05-02-2011, 5:28 PM
Oh, and a little tiny bit of this same treatment to the inside of the magazine lips can be helplful too.