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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a long time owner of 1911's. (Gold Cup, Custom Gunshop 1911, Commander and a few plain old 1911's). I say this because I'm not a 1911 rookie. I've been owning and shooting 1911's for 35+ years and loving them. I've reloaded for them and have shot.45 ACP matches.

But . . . I'm stumped with a recently acquired pistol and I need some help/advice from the experts.

I acquired an almost NIB Colt Defender, Series 90 "Lightweight". Beautiful pistol, satin nickel, nice wood grips. It might be one of the prettiest guns I've ever owned. I'm almost sure the previous owner may have fired one magazine and then put it away. (When I got it had a box of rounds with 7 rounds missing.)

I use Wilson Custom Combat Magazines in it. It came with one and I bought 3 more (Officer size). I always though Wilson were the best but I'm starting to have my doubts.

I've made three trip to the range with the pistol and have had failure to feeds on multiple occasions.

I'm shooting factory 230 grain FMJ rounds. All different brands.

It seems like on the last round of the magazine (sometimes the second to last) the round almost "stovepipes" (I'm not talking about stovepipe ejecting), I'm talking about almost standing straight up off the top of the magazine and jamming the pistol.

The pistol's ramp is clean and smooth.

I had 3 other experienced shooters shoot the pistol. Each shooter had the same problem with the FTF on the last round.

I'm not limp wrist'ing it and I figure if it can't feed 230 grain FMJ's it is almost not worth having.

I've shot multiple JHP's out of it and I have the same problem with the last or second to last round.

The gun is fully stripped and clean after each shooting.

Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?

I'm thinking of changing magazine brands (I'm going to call Wilson tomorrow and see what they have to say). - If you have some magazine suggestions, please tell me. I'd like to stick with the Officers size magazines.

I used some full size magazines (various brands) today and only had one FTF (on the last round in the magazine).

I'm open to any and all suggestions.

I have some old Colt magazines that have the rounded Pachmeyer followers in them. I didn't have them at the range with me today but I'm thinking about changing the followers in the Wilson magazines but I don't think if I'm just chasing my own tail.

I'm truly stumped on this one.

Thanks.
 

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If it were just one mag that causes failure then I'd call it a mag issue. Multiple mags? It's a gun issue.

If the cartridge already striped from the mag but jammed vertically, then it must have bounced back from the feed ramp. The feed ramp maybe polished but perhaps the angle of the feed ramp is too steep? Something screwed up with the frame and maybe causes the mag to sit too low?

Wilson mags aren't "the best" but they aren't that bad either. Nonetheless break the mags in the way Wilson Combat recommended: load'em up full and leave'em loaded for several days.

I had feeding issues with four 9mm Officer's ACP/Defender Wilson mags. Contacted them and they asked if I had "broke in" the mags and I asked what the heck does that mean. They explained to me about loading up the mags full capacity and leave them for a few days. Fixed two mags but the other two had to go back for replacement.

However, the gun worked just fine with mags from other brands and with the replacement Wilson mags.

I really think that it's a gun issue with you and not a mag issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If it were just one mag that causes failure then I'd call it a mag issue. Multiple mags? It's a gun issue.

If the cartridge already striped from the mag but jammed vertically, then it must have bounced back from the feed ramp. The feed ramp maybe polished but perhaps the angle of the feed ramp is too steep? Something screwed up with the frame and maybe causes the mag to sit too low?

Wilson mags aren't "the best" but they aren't that bad either. Nonetheless break the mags in the way Wilson Combat recommended: load'em up full and leave'em loaded for several days.

I had feeding issues with four 9mm Officer's ACP/Defender Wilson mags. Contacted them and they asked if I had "broke in" the mags and I asked what the heck does that mean. They explained to me about loading up the mags full capacity and leave them for a few days. Fixed two mags but the other two had to go back for replacement.

However, the gun worked just fine with mags from other brands and with the replacement Wilson mags.

I really think that it's a gun issue with you and not a mag issue.

Somewhere I must have missed the break in instructions for the mags.

I can't recall if I had them loaded or not..

Well, I'll give it a try.

Thanks for your comments. - What I don't get is why is it on the last round? This thing feeds fine with the first couple of rounds, so I'm guessing the angle of the feed ramp is okay but I'll have a look at that also.
 

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NIB, does that mean it has not been fired? If it does then the gun needs to break in. Lock the slide back, and leave it locked back for at least a week. Load the magazines and leave them loaded. Then put a couple hundred rounds through it. Short barrel 1911 design usually take a longer break in.
 

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Something I have observed with Wilson and Chip McCormick magazines, is that there are just some guns that will not function with either.

To be fair to the magazine brands. I admit I have a problem gun. This gun is a full sized Government model that is so temperamental, that I had to go through a half dozen magazines to find something that worked.

There is this malfunction that is referred to as in inertia feed. I mention this because you say it's the last round in the magazine.

What happens during that malfunction, is that at some point during recoil. The very last round pops free from the magazine. In some cases it will feed into the chamber, but the rim is ahead of the extractor. This makes it look like a failure to go into battery. In another instance, it can pop the round out and leave it sitting on top of the feed lips. The slide will be locked back. In the third instance I have observed, it will flop live rounds outside the gun.

Light weight guns have been known to do this. Though my gun is not a light weight model. What I had to do is buy magazines with the GI feed lips, and the dimple on the follower.

The GI feed lips releases the round slightly later in the recoil cycle, and the dimple helps the magazine retain the round and avoid the inertial feed.


The first thing I would try is to locate a Checkmate magazine that fits it. You want the one with the GI feed lips and dimple. I assume they offer something for the smaller than Government sized guns.

If that works for you. Buy some more.
If the problem lessens, but does not stop it. You could try a Wilson buffer in the gun. The point is to cushion on recoil. Hopefully your gun only needs a magazine change.

In my case. I went though Wilson, CMC, Tripp, Metalform, Mecgar, Brownells, and a couple other magazine before I arrived at Checkmate.
My gun has run a couple hundred rounds now without a malfunction. It averaged about 1 in 49 before.
 

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They have been around for decades.
If you buy a Kimber, Colt, or Springfield gun. There is a good chance it came with a Checkmate magazine.
 

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Somewhere I must have missed the break in instructions for the mags.
I don't think that it's ever listed on the piece of paper that comes in each of those Wilson Mag. Or like you, I just chucked them and kept the Ziploc bag. Anyway, I contacted Wilson when I had issues with feeding from the mags and that's what they told me - the break in, that is.

Thanks for your comments. - What I don't get is why is it on the last round? This thing feeds fine with the first couple of rounds, so I'm guessing the angle of the feed ramp is okay but I'll have a look at that also.
You said it happened with either last or second to the last round. Maybe you can look at the slide lock lever and see if there might be a dimensional issue that causes it to interfere with feeding.
 

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In addition to the 9mm Defender, I also have a .45 Defender. The extractor was looser than a $2 whore, but once that extractor was swapped out for a Wilson (fitted, of course), it ran like a champ. Though I must say that it's a slightly used gun that only came with the factory Colt mag (that means it's either a Checkmate or Metalform mag) and I immediately bought some Tripp Research mags for it.

Anyway, here's a source for cheap GI mag. I've had good luck using GI mags too, even when coupled with JHP bullets. The springs do wear out quickly but springs are cheap.

http://www.cdnnsports.com/magazines...lued-stamped-bottom-o-e-mag.html#.VaO_X03bIeg
 

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It's a magazine problem...specifically a magazine spring problem. The malfunction is called Bolt Over Base Misfeed, and what happens is that the slide runs forward before the round is in position, and the bottom of the slide center rail catches it in the extractor groove instead of pushing on the rim from behind.

Essentially, the slide is outrunning the magazine.

Too much recoil spring can be a player, but a stronger mag spring generally clears it up.
 

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Sounds like it might be an extractor issue. You might look at threads or utubes about checking it. Generally little 45s are more sensitive to everything. I have had my Defender since 2002 and it has been great. I think in the first 100 rounds or so I had a few FTF when it was new.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It's a magazine problem...specifically a magazine spring problem. The malfunction is called Bolt Over Base Misfeed, and what happens is that the slide runs forward before the round is in position, and the bottom of the slide center rail catches it in the extractor groove instead of pushing on the rim from behind.

Essentially, the slide is outrunning the magazine.

Too much recoil spring can be a player, but a stronger mag spring generally clears it up.
Do you have a magazine brand recommendation?

I thought I had good ones with Wilson.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sounds like it might be an extractor issue. You might look at threads or utubes about checking it. Generally little 45s are more sensitive to everything. I have had my Defender since 2002 and it has been great. I think in the first 100 rounds or so I had a few FTF when it was new.
Never thought of an extractor problem causing this.

Change the extractor? I'm not opposed to this. Do you have a recommendation on a specific brand and where to buy it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
In addition to the 9mm Defender, I also have a .45 Defender. The extractor was looser than a $2 whore, but once that extractor was swapped out for a Wilson (fitted, of course), it ran like a champ. Though I must say that it's a slightly used gun that only came with the factory Colt mag (that means it's either a Checkmate or Metalform mag) and I immediately bought some Tripp Research mags for it.

Anyway, here's a source for cheap GI mag. I've had good luck using GI mags too, even when coupled with JHP bullets. The springs do wear out quickly but springs are cheap.

http://www.cdnnsports.com/magazines...lued-stamped-bottom-o-e-mag.html#.VaO_X03bIeg
Thanks.

Tripp Research? Another brand I must have missed. Can you tell me about them?

You'd recommend a fitted extractor? How much fitting? How tough is this to do?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
My Defender works 100% keep the slide and frame rails well oiled, wet as I call it.
Thanks, I really want this pistol to be my EDC but I've got to get it 100%.

This is to all above posters - I sincerely appreciate all the hints and suggestions. Nice to come to a thread where no one screams "Get a Glock" (I have these and love them but I want this pistol to work).
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Update:

I ordered some Tripp Research Mags.

I ordered some Checkmate Mags.

On the Tripp Research Mag site I saw that these mags were made in 6 round and 7 round. The 6 round were all sold out (Darn).

I'm wondering if anyone has found a difference in the 6 round vs. 7 round Officer's Model Magazines.

The Wilson's I have are 7 round. I've dutifully loaded the Wilson magazines and put them away (per the instructions listed above) - I don't want to sound like a "doubter" but I sort of am on this theory.

I also was told by Wilson (and you're going to find this is hard to believe) that Wilson has had a problem with some of its magazines being shipped with the magazine spring being installed incorrectly. I was told to check how the springs in my magazines were and "makes sure they were in right". I'm not kidding.

The Wilson magazines I have all came from Wilson (except the one that came with the gun). I checked them all and the springs were installed correctly. (The nice guy at Wilson directed me to Youtube for Wilson's online "Cleaning the Magazines Video).

Seems that Wilson outsources its magazine parts to be made one place and assembled another place. Not trying to hijack my own thread but I almost couldn't believe this.

When all my magazines come in and I've loaded them up and let them "cook" for a couple of weeks, I'll head to the range and check them out.

I might have a whole bunch of Officer Model Magazines to sell or give away.

Thanks again for all your help and comments and if anyone reading this has any more, I'm happy to listen.
 
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