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Old 02-22-2015, 20:27   #1
craig_o
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premature lock-back

Having a strange problem with my Colt Series 80.

Went to the range to break in my new PM45 (awesome gun), and put about 50 rounds through my Colt 1911. I tried four different mags, 2 Colt factory and 2 Checkmate and every single time the slide lock would engage after the 6th round. Round #7 would be stripped and resting on top of the magazine follower, ready to be chambered. All I had to do was drop the slide and the round would chamber without issue. But for the life of me I don't know what the problem is or how to fix it.

Suggestions?
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Old 02-22-2015, 20:38   #2
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One guess could be the tip of that round touching and activating the slide stop, because the mag follower is pushing the round forward a bit. Based on it happening on the same round each time.
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Old 02-22-2015, 20:55   #3
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Whenever i have an issue i start with the basics, is firearm clean? Mags clean? Is your thumb or other part of your hand coming up and and engaging slide lock?

While apart to clean, look at slide lock mechanisms and make sure they are not worn, bent or otherwise broken.

Other thing to consider, how long have you had the 1911? Only ask to determine if this is a new problem with the gun or is this a new gun with a problem??

Hope it helps.
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Old 02-22-2015, 23:12   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig_o View Post
Having a strange problem with my Colt Series 80.

Went to the range to break in my new PM45 (awesome gun), and put about 50 rounds through my Colt 1911. I tried four different mags, 2 Colt factory and 2 Checkmate and every single time the slide lock would engage after the 6th round. Round #7 would be stripped and resting on top of the magazine follower, ready to be chambered. All I had to do was drop the slide and the round would chamber without issue. But for the life of me I don't know what the problem is or how to fix it.

Suggestions?
First, I am puzzled when you say the 7th round was stripped. The round shouldn't be stripped from the magazine if the slide locked back.

Second, what locks the slide back is the follower in the magazine pressing the slide lock up, after the last round had been fed on the previous shot. The other (faulty) ways the slide lock is activated is the nose of one of the rounds catches the inside of the slide lock and forces it up (similar to how the follower activates the lock). Another way is you riding the lock lever with your thumb during shooting. If indeed it always happened on the 6th round and only the 6th round, it would probably eliminate your riding the lock lever with your thumb, it would be pretty long odds it only happened on the 6th round due to your thumb.

Which brings us back to ammo. Did you use a brand and load of ammo you shoot regularly in the gun?
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Old 02-23-2015, 10:06   #5
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I had the EXACT same problem with a Colt XSE Lightweight Commander and the problem ended up being the magazine...... The spring weakens, less pressure on the last round.......add in the recoil from the previous shot and the last round would shake loose from the mag and the pistol would lock back with the round sitting unchambered. Got a new checkmate mag with the bump on the follower and the problem went away. Try a NEW Checkmate mag and see what happens. My Colt had gone 2,000 error free rounds using Wilson 47d magazines....
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Old 02-23-2015, 11:04   #6
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Originally Posted by WeeWilly View Post
First, I am puzzled when you say the 7th round was stripped. The round shouldn't be stripped from the magazine if the slide locked back.

Second, what locks the slide back is the follower in the magazine pressing the slide lock up, after the last round had been fed on the previous shot. The other (faulty) ways the slide lock is activated is the nose of one of the rounds catches the inside of the slide lock and forces it up (similar to how the follower activates the lock). Another way is you riding the lock lever with your thumb during shooting. If indeed it always happened on the 6th round and only the 6th round, it would probably eliminate your riding the lock lever with your thumb, it would be pretty long odds it only happened on the 6th round due to your thumb.

Which brings us back to ammo. Did you use a brand and load of ammo you shoot regularly in the gun?
Appreciate the input, but I'm thinking MLittle has the problem identified.

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Originally Posted by MLittle View Post
I had the EXACT same problem with a Colt XSE Lightweight Commander and the problem ended up being the magazine...... The spring weakens, less pressure on the last round.......add in the recoil from the previous shot and the last round would shake loose from the mag and the pistol would lock back with the round sitting unchambered. Got a new checkmate mag with the bump on the follower and the problem went away. Try a NEW Checkmate mag and see what happens. My Colt had gone 2,000 error free rounds using Wilson 47d magazines....
Thank you! It's a shame these mags are all 2+ years old, otherwise I might be able to exchange. I didn't have this problem with them initially, which makes me wonder about spring fatigue happening that fast. Perhaps I ought to go with Wilson mags and just cut to the chase?
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Old 02-23-2015, 11:31   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig_o View Post
Perhaps I ought to go with Wilson mags and just cut to the chase?
If you're going to go with Gucci mags then go with the real deal: Tripp Research Kobra mags.

Though I suspect that if it were really a mag problem, then a Mec-Gar mag will do just fine for half the price of a Wilson or Tripp Research mag.
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Old 02-23-2015, 12:40   #8
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If you suspect the springs, I think I would get a Tripp Research Super 7 upgrade kit for a try (spring and hybrid follower). This upgrade has worked on every single balky 1911 magazine I have ever had, makes them work as reliably as my other Tripp magazines. Whole lot less expensive that buying all new Wilson magazines.
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Old 02-23-2015, 15:07   #9
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If you suspect the springs, I think I would get a Tripp Research Super 7 upgrade kit for a try (spring and hybrid follower). This upgrade has worked on every single balky 1911 magazine I have ever had, makes them work as reliably as my other Tripp magazines. Whole lot less expensive that buying all new Wilson magazines.
Thanks! You probably just saved me a pile. I'll order a couple and see how it works out...
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Old 02-23-2015, 15:11   #10
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Originally Posted by craig_o View Post
Appreciate the input, but I'm thinking MLittle has the problem identified.



Thank you! It's a shame these mags are all 2+ years old, otherwise I might be able to exchange. I didn't have this problem with them initially, which makes me wonder about spring fatigue happening that fast. Perhaps I ought to go with Wilson mags and just cut to the chase?
I guess I should clarify my first comments... The magazine I replaced was a Wilson magazine and it didn't have a long life. I don't like the Wilson polymer follower and lack of a dimple on the follower. I actually have 5 brand new Wilson 47d mags that I have decided not to use. The Checkmate mag followers are steel, have a dimple and have a more aggressive angle to the chamber which I believe helps in positive chambering. I bought my mags from Ed Brown, then learned he was distributing for Checkmate. I also only stick with 7 round magazines...
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Old 02-23-2015, 18:13   #11
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It sounds like an inertia feed or something like it.

I have one gun that does it like crazy. The problem gets worse when you get away from GI magazines for me at least. The Wilson magazines being the worst of the lot. I didn't have much luck with the Tripp mag conversions myself. What seems to work the best for me is magazines that are 7 round, GI feed-lipped, and follower dimpled.

Your magazines need to be really clean and not at all lubed inside.
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Old 02-25-2015, 17:16   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valvestem View Post
One guess could be the tip of that round touching and activating the slide stop, because the mag follower is pushing the round forward a bit. Based on it happening on the same round each time.
The only time I had this issue, this was the cause. New slide stop and issue fixed. Had to do with how the end of slide stop was ground from factory, in my case, not quite enough. I could see copper from upcoming round just nicking the slide stop. Easy fix.


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Old 02-25-2015, 18:22   #13
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Originally Posted by MLittle View Post
I had the EXACT same problem with a Colt XSE Lightweight Commander and the problem ended up being the magazine...... The spring weakens, less pressure on the last round.......add in the recoil from the previous shot and the last round would shake loose from the mag and the pistol would lock back with the round sitting unchambered. Got a new checkmate mag with the bump on the follower and the problem went away. Try a NEW Checkmate mag and see what happens. My Colt had gone 2,000 error free rounds using Wilson 47d magazines....
Hit the nail on the head !!!! Install +10% springs.
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Old 02-25-2015, 19:39   #14
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It sounds like an inertia feed or something like it.

I have one gun that does it like crazy. The problem gets worse when you get away from GI magazines for me at least. The Wilson magazines being the worst of the lot. I didn't have much luck with the Tripp mag conversions myself. What seems to work the best for me is magazines that are 7 round, GI feed-lipped, and follower dimpled.

Your magazines need to be really clean and not at all lubed inside.
You lost me JD, and I know you're a 1911 pro. What're you saying the solution is?
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Old 02-26-2015, 16:06   #15
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You lost me JD, and I know you're a 1911 pro. What're you saying the solution is?
Not quite the expert I wish I were.

Your ammo is popping out of the magazine because there isn't enough tension to keep it in there. That is the major reason you will see magazines with the dimple in the center of the follower.

The 1911 is a controlled feed weapon. You will find some magazines with different feed lips to either hold the round longer, or release it sooner. With my gun. I want the magazine to hold the ammo for the longest period of time during recoil so I have to use nothing but magazines with the GI feed lips. I also use magazines with the dimple on the follower. It acts to slow and retain the round in the magazine until the rim can be picked up by the extractor.

Your gun could have had the bullet hit the slide stop and lock the gun open. When I have had that happen. The round was still retained in the magazine. What I think has happened, is that your round popped out of the magazine during the recoil cycle and the now empty magazine locked the slide to the rear.

First this to do is...

1. Make sure the magazines are fully cleaned with degreaser. Do not oil the inside of the magazine or the follower. Wiping down the outside is ok.

2. If your problem wasn't solved with the first one. Replacing springs would be the cheapest way to get the gun going. Springs are cheap and extra power springs are a good thing.

3. While highly unlikely. Replacing the follower to a lesser extent might help. I highly doubt you could wear one out.



With my problem gun I have found the expensive magazines to be near worthless. Wilson 47d'd will flip live ammo on the ground. Chip McCormick while slightly better for me in the reliability department, cause all sorts of interesting malfunctions. I have found Checkmate 7 round GI magazines with the dimples work the best. They have made an unreliable gun mostly reliable. I haven't shot it enough with them to get much data yet so I say mostly reliable.



For the longest time I thought my problems were failures to go into battery. For me what was happening was the round was popping out before the rim could be caught by the extractor. Hence the inertia feed. The ideal situation is to have the magazine hold the round long enough for the extractor to catch it. If the round pops out to soon. You get the inertia feed and sometimes the slide locking back prematurely.
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Old 02-28-2015, 08:29   #16
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Thanks for the explanation, JD that paints a clear picture. I'm going to try some spring changes and we'll see.
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Old 02-28-2015, 16:58   #17
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The last round is jumping the magazine when the slide hits the frame.

A proper magazine...dimple on the follower...good spring will squash the bug.

Overspringing the slide makes it worse...in case you've done that to "save" the frame.

Cheers!
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Old 02-28-2015, 17:30   #18
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NP

Good luck Craig.
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