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  #1  
Old 08-08-2023, 9:04 AM
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Calif Hunter Calif Hunter is offline
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Default Commander failing to feed

I have a custom Commander, built by King's Gunworks back in the 70s. Lately it has started to have failures to feed on the third or fourth round. I have tried multiple mags and it happens consistently. Is this any easy fix or something I should take to a gunsmith? This handgun is very tight and accurate. It has worked well for years in competition. If a smith is needed, is there a good one in the IE or OC? I live in Apple Valley.
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  #2  
Old 08-08-2023, 9:26 AM
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Maybe it's time for new recoil and mainsprings.
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  #3  
Old 08-08-2023, 1:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
Maybe it's time for new recoil and mainsprings.
Mainspring perhaps. The recoil spring has less than 200 rounds on it.
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Old 08-08-2023, 1:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calif Hunter View Post
Mainspring perhaps. The recoil spring has less than 200 rounds on it.
Your problem appeared with the recent respring.
Do you see the correlation there?

What else changed recently?
Did you add a shock buff that shortens the slide travel and therefore does not give you enough slide velocity to strip rounds off the magazine?
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  #5  
Old 08-08-2023, 3:09 PM
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Like Randall has stated change your springs, IIRC commander can run 19-22lb recoil spring for 45. .Do you remember what Lb you purchased? I would replace the springs.

After you replace the springs. you could check/tune or replace the extractor.

Last edited by press press; 08-08-2023 at 3:17 PM.. Reason: Added 45 for spring weight
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  #6  
Old 08-08-2023, 4:04 PM
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It is a Wolff 18 lb recoil spring, like the many I have replaced before. (I haven't had this issue in the decades I have owned this pistol.) I will replace the main spring, as Wolff includes one with the recoil spring. I will also change the recoil spring as I have a few handy. I replace them early rather than late. I just haven't been doing much shooting in the last couple years due to some health issues but am getting active again.
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Old 08-08-2023, 6:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calif Hunter View Post
It is a Wolff 18 lb recoil spring, like the many I have replaced before. (I haven't had this issue in the decades I have owned this pistol.) I will replace the main spring, as Wolff includes one with the recoil spring. I will also change the recoil spring as I have a few handy. I replace them early rather than late. I just haven't been doing much shooting in the last couple years due to some health issues but am getting active again.
Sometime if it's not broken, don't fix it.

Maybe 18lb isn't strong enough. Try a 20lb.
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Old 08-08-2023, 8:23 PM
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Or... maybe 18# is too much. Have you changed ammo recently? Ammo manufacturers are always trying to cut corners and reduce costs, and in recent years there have been a number of questionable 'off' brands that have popped up to meet demand, so if you made a change, maybe the ammo isn't loaded as hot as your Commander prefers.
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  #9  
Old 08-08-2023, 11:53 PM
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How is the extractor fit on the case? Are your multiple mags also 50 years old and worn out? Using the same ammo as before? No offence...but I guessing your not a spring chicken and stated you are rusty and delt with health issues...do you think your hand and arm strength is the same? Have you had someone else shoot it?

Last edited by G-forceJunkie; 08-08-2023 at 11:55 PM..
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  #10  
Old 08-16-2023, 9:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-forceJunkie View Post
How is the extractor fit on the case? Are your multiple mags also 50 years old and worn out? Using the same ammo as before? No offence...but I guessing your not a spring chicken and stated you are rusty and delt with health issues...do you think your hand and arm strength is the same? Have you had someone else shoot it?
Perhaps a dumb question - would the extractor cause failure to feed?

I used brand new Wilson Combat and MecGar mags.

Health issues were pancreatitis. I kept using resistance bands and hand squeezers for hands, arms, ankles, etc. I will have someone else try it.
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  #11  
Old 08-17-2023, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calif Hunter View Post
Perhaps a dumb question - would the extractor cause failure to feed?
Yes.
The extractor has to lift off the slide as the case slides up to get under it.
If you have too much extractor lift-off or too much tension and not enough radius to get the extractor to lift-off the slide, you absolutely get failures of the slide to close on the cartridge.

Extractor fitting is an art and critical for the 1911 to function well.
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  #12  
Old 09-25-2023, 6:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
Yes.
The extractor has to lift off the slide as the case slides up to get under it.
If you have too much extractor lift-off or too much tension and not enough radius to get the extractor to lift-off the slide, you absolutely get failures of the slide to close on the cartridge.

Extractor fitting is an art and critical for the 1911 to function well.
^ I was going to post this when I saw the question. But I noticed you had previously replied to the thread and I knew you?d describe the issue better than I ever could.
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  #13  
Old 08-16-2023, 11:55 PM
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You didn't mention what kind of failure to feed your having...is the slide closing on an empty chamber? Or is the round getting bound up between the barrel/frame/sllide?
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  #14  
Old 09-25-2023, 3:52 PM
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My first suggestion would be a full and thorough cleaning before you start messing with anything else. Full 100% disassembly and clean, assemble, lube and test fire to see if the problem still exists.
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Old 09-30-2023, 4:33 PM
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Since you tried different mags already a I agree with a through cleaning and lube. Second and costs nothing but time is to check YouTube university regarding extractors. Some great videos on how to properly adjust them and test them. My last is throwing money out but springs maybe the issue too.

I recently purchased a brand new TRP and after numerous FTF a slight extractor adjustment was the trick. Hope this helps and good luck.
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Old 09-30-2023, 10:31 PM
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- Wolff sells the "Recoil springs Calibration Pack", one set of reduce power and one set of extra power are handy.
- Adjust the Extractor rod, watch YouTube.
Good luck.
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  #17  
Old 10-02-2023, 2:35 PM
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I was at the range this morning, teaching some basics to an older friend of my wife. She has a couple handguns she inherited from her father - a Ruger Service Six in .38 SPL and Walther PPKS .380. She cannot rack the slide on the Walther, which has been fired very little and is pretty stiff, and the Ruger is a bit heavy for her. Double action on either one is impossible for her unless she uses 2 fingers. She will be looking at selling the two handguns and getting one or two that work for her. I'll be going to a Tuners with her so she can look at different handguns. I will probably list the two handguns she has in the marketplace for her.

In any case, I brought the Commander and a box of Fiocchi FMJ ammo, along with a Wilson Combat 8 round mag. The same thing happened with the first couple magazines fired. I only had time for a couple more magazines after those, but there was no problem with jamming after the first two magazines. Maybe it just needed to be shot in after the recoil spring change....maybe after too much time off, I was limpwristing it. I will try it again when I have more time.
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Old 10-04-2023, 7:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calif Hunter View Post
She cannot rack the slide
I hear this so much from my first time women CCW students. Yet at the end of my class they're out there racking the slide without thinking about it like they've been doing it all their lives.

For starters, most recoil springs are < 20 lbs and most women can push 20 lbs with one hand so the real problem is that they're concerned they're not strong enough. They are. They just don't know it because no one has shown them that they are.

Second I teach them a technique to overcome the strength disadvantage between women and men. It works because it uses large muscle groups in opposing directions. Turn sideways so the muzzle is downrange and not pointing at any body part, bring the weapon in close to the diaphragm, non shooting hand on slide, shooting hand on grip, finger off the trigger, give a very quick push with both hands, release with non shooting hand to allow slide to go into battery.

Practice after verifying empty a few times to be sure they have the technique and aren't putting their finger where it doesn't belong or sweeping themselves with the muzzle. Most can do it while holding the weapon about a foot away from their body.

I teach the same basic technique for loading magazines although a lot of women have to bring the mag in closer and lift the feeding elbow higher. It works because it's large muscle groups instead of only finger/hand muscles. Yes it's hard on fingers, but it works.


For women who use plastic guns with teeny tiny slide releases I teach them to slingshot the slide after slidelock. Point downrange, pinch at rear of slide, pull, let go.



Teaching women to shoot and shoot safely is fun. The smiles and hugs afterward are the best part.
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  #19  
Old 10-03-2023, 8:57 PM
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I thought you are referring to the Russians ...my bad.
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  #20  
Old 10-05-2023, 10:47 AM
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rplaw - that is exactly what I did. (I used to teach quite a bit as an NRA Instructor and most of my students were women.) She still had problems. She is about 80 - I don't ask women their age. She had her two handguns that she wanted to use. We did not even get to loading magazines.... She pretty much decided that revolvers were better for her. I did tell her about some of the "EZ rack" options out there, and agreed to take her to a gun store in the future to check them out. She will probably sell both the Walther and the Ruger and buy something else.
I had meant to bring a .22 as I anticipated these issues, but I grabbed the wrong gun sock. We will go to the range again with a .22 so she can focus just on shooting and fundamentals without weight, recoil and muzzle blast issues.
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