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Colt Delta Elite slide won't lock back

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by AKRover, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. AKRover

    AKRover 10MM Fanatic

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    I'm sure this subject has been covered multiple times so I apologize. I have been on many forums and none seem to have a search function that actually works well.

    I just bought my Colt Delta Elite less than a week ago. My first trip to the shooting range I was performing combat reloads (allowing the magazine to drop while reaching for another) like I always practice. I carry my pistol primarily for bear defense so I want to make sure I can reload quickly if necessary. When being charged by a bear is not the time to be fumbling with magazines.

    Prior to the combat reload drills everything worked perfectly. After the drills, the two magazines that were dropped will feed ammo with no problem but will not lock the slide open after the last round. The third magazine that was not dropped still works perfectly in all respects.

    Two of the magazines are the original Colt 8 round mags that came with the pistol. The third is a Wilson Combat 9 rounder. One of the Colt magazines and the Wilson are the ones giving me issues. Both Colt magazines drop free but the Wilson Combat will not after being dropped during the reload drill. (So far I'm not impressed at all with the Wilson Combat magazine.)

    Did I damage my magazines by dropping them? Is it possible to repair the damage? This is the first 1911 style pistol I have ever owned so I've got a lot of learning to do about it.

    My other carry pistol is a Glock 20. I have done the same combat reload drill countless time since I've owned it and it has never had an issue.
     
  2. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

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    Fire the gun some with a different grip - one handed, for example. You may think it is your magazines, when it is really your grip holding down the slide stop (or a broken slide stop - not a big deal). Dropping Colt and Wilson magazines a few times isn't going to hurt anything.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012

  3. AKRover

    AKRover 10MM Fanatic

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    Thanks for the input. I don't believe my grip is the issue. Even when I manually rack the slide those mags won't lock the slide back. I also shoot left handed so my hands are well clear of the slide stop when shooting.


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  4. JuneyBooney

    JuneyBooney

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    You may have bent the lips of the magazines. It happens sometimes. Left handed shooting may be the problem to a point. Can you hold the gun right handed?
     
  5. Travclem

    Travclem Badass Member Lifetime Member

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    The Colt mag that came with my Combat Elite is a POS an wont lock the slide back on it. The Wilsons, McCormicks, and metalform mags all work fine.


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  6. AKRover

    AKRover 10MM Fanatic

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    I am very left eye dominant which is the reason I shoot left handed. I can hold and shoot the weapon right handed but I have to bring it across my body to use my left eye to see the sights which puts my right wrist at an awkward angle. Please explain how left handed shooting could be the problem. I'm curious as to your train of thought on this. I've never owned or fired a 1911 prior to my Delta Elite so I'm open to all suggestions. I will say however that all the magazines functioned properly, even shooting left handed, prior to them being dropped during my combat reload drill.

    I don't claim to be an expert with a handgun and I know there is a lot I need to learn about shooting a handgun effectively which is part of my motivation for joining this forum. That being said, I have put thousands of rounds down range firing various handguns left handed and this is the first I've encountered this issue.
     
  7. AKRover

    AKRover 10MM Fanatic

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    Interesting. So far I'm not impressed with the Wilson I bought if it has problems after one drop. Not terribly surprised by the Colt mag having issues after being dropped but shocked the Wilson is.

    By comparison all four of my Glock magazines have been dropped multiple times, usually on concrete, and function as well today as when I bought the pistol 5 years ago.
     
  8. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    First of all, you can fix the left eye dominant thing by taping over your shooting glass's left lense. You will then have to use your right eye for aiming and eventually you will be conditioned to shoot with your right eye. I had to do the same.

    Secondly, I'm thinking that the dropped mags are somehow damaged. Occam's Razor and all that. They worked one moment, the next they don't and the one that hadn't been dropped still works. I'd say check the slide lock lever too just to be sure, but the mag that hadn't been dropped still locks the slide back.

    The other two mags may have chipped the follower in a way that doesn't allow it to move up and engage the slide lock any more. Or maybe the body got slightly dented enough to impede smooth spring travel.

    Buy or borrow some other mags and try them out to see if these other mags still lock the slide back.

    I've seen many a mags damaged from getting dropped; ranging from all types of pistols to rifles, so I try not to ditch the mags any more. Drop it in your spare hand that holds the reload doesn't slow you down any and you still have a mag that is spared from possible damages.

    PS I have about ten or twelve Wilson mags with most of them in .45ACP and I'm not impressed with the build either.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012
  9. AKRover

    AKRover 10MM Fanatic

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    My right eye is too far gone to train to do anything. With contacts it can only be corrected to 20/25 or so. If I lose the contact lens out of my right eye I don't even notice unless I try to see something in my peripheral vision to the right. I wore glasses for 30+ years and not going back to glasses unless I am forced to.

    As for the mags, I have disassembled them, cleaned and lubed them and still nothing. I agree there is damage of some sort to the magazine but I haven't found it yet. I checked to make sure the followers in the magazines would compress the spring completely without getting stuck or binding.
     
  10. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

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    Normally, not a lot of lubing to do on magazines. Oil-free is the standard recommendation. If you clean them with CLP, you wipe them dry. However, that's usually a feeding issue, not a slide locking issue.
     
  11. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    Time to look at the slide lock lever and see if maybe it had been chipped or something.
     
  12. AKRover

    AKRover 10MM Fanatic

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    I believe the problem has to do with the follower, at least for the Colt magazine. I swapped the followers between the two Colt magazines and left the rest of the parts and the problem followed the follower. Unfortunately I don't have access to a second Wilson magazine to test the same way. Is it possible to damage a follower by dropping an empty magazine?

    I really don't want to think that something like the slide lock lever could be the problem since the gun has less than 200 rounds fired from it. But I'm still new to the 1911 platform so I don't know how much or how little it would take to damage the pistol.

    Are there any good sources for parts for the Delta Elite or should I order directly from Colt? I live in a small town in Alaska that has a lot of gun shops for its size but not many have a good selection of parts. They are more interested in selling new guns.

    I really appreciate everyone's ideas and input. Slowly I'm learning about my new pistol with your help.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012
  13. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    If you drop it right (or wong, depending on how you look at it), yes, you can easily damage the follower.

    You can buy replacement followers, however. Tripp Research sells the whole guts for mags. You can also buy parts directly from Colt or from Brownells, or from Gun Parts Corp. Most of the Delta Elite's parts are interchangeable with other M1911 standard parts with the exception of the barrel and recoil sping, naturally.
     
  14. AKRover

    AKRover 10MM Fanatic

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    I ordered two complete magazines from Chip McCormick as well as replacement follower and spring for the damaged magazine. When I get home from work in a couple of weeks I am going to be spending some time in bear country and needed to have more than one magazine I trust to function properly.

    Needless to say the new magazines are not going to get dropped unless it's a life and death situation where I have no other choice. During my range sessions the magazines won't touch the ground.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
  15. JuneyBooney

    JuneyBooney

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    I am believing that the magazines were damaged during your combat training. When I took a couple of classes I ticked the instructors off by not dropping my magazines. :faint:I was not going to ruin my mags.

    The grip is probably ok if you are not keeping your hands in the way. Just buy some new mags and don't throw them down. I would also check and see if the mags can be repaired. Good luck.
     
  16. AKRover

    AKRover 10MM Fanatic

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    Update on this issue. I have replaced the followers in the problem magazines with followers from Tripp Research and they work great. Going to replace the followers in all my magazines with the same followers.

    A side note, I'm not impressed with the Tripp Research 9 round magazines I bought. They seem to be loose in the gun and don't feed the first round reliably. When the slide is locked back the first round runs into the feed ramp when I release the slide. I have to push the magazine further into the gun for it to feed the first round but they feed fine after that.
     
  17. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    Have you tried down loaded the Trip mag with one round less to see?

    I don't know what it is with the M1911 platforms but damn, they're sensitive with mags.