Problem with an ejected case going back into the chamber, backwards.

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Post by mikemyers on 5/31/2019, 8:46 pm

I almost screwed up big time today, and I''m now trying to figure out what I did wrong, and more importantly, prevent it from ever happening again.

I went to the range to make sure my reloaded ammo was working well with my Caspian frame wad gun.  I was shooting two-handed at 25 yards, planning on shooting one handed on my next visit to the range.   The gun had a Marvel Custom Guns rail, with an Aimpoint H-1 micro sight mounted on the next to last slot on the rail.  Ammo was Magnus #801 bullets over 4.3 grains of Bullseye.  (Every second round was weighed during loading, as I was using up the powder in the powder hopper, so I can switch to WST).  I was shooting the way I typically do nowadays, meaning I'm a 9/10-ring guy at 25 yards.  The ammo seemed to be working fine - loaded OK, slide stayed back, but there was one new difference.  When the gun fired, sometimes I felt a "thud" coming from the slide, as if it was hitting something, which is impossible, as there's nothing for it to hit.  I felt it, and the gun seemed to "move" when it happened.  I checked it out as best as I can, knowing as much/little as I do, and everything seemed fine.  By then I had nine rounds left, so I continued to shoot, paying attention to what I felt, heard, and saw.

On the fifth round of a magazine, something strange happened - not sure what, but my subconscious was telling me there was a problem.  It's like ESP, when you think something is wrong - all I knew, with no reason as to why, is that something was wrong.  I'm looking at the gun on my table, and one thing I always do when I'm not sure about things, was to check the barrel - stuck in my ball point pen, and it hit something.  Strange....   So I get out my range rod, and push, and out pops a 45 shell, that I am 99% sure was in there backwards.  It came out and fell - had I stopped sooner, I'd have taken a photo, but I was totally startled!  This was impossible.


Having thought about it for several hours now, there are a few causes I can think of for what happened - or maybe it's something I still don't know about.

First, is the problem is me.  I grip the gun as Brian Zins describes, and grip with the same force "as if I was holding a hammer".  Having checked out the gun, I took a few more shots slowly and carefully, but now gripping the gun as if I was trying to crush the gun.  Big difference.  Cases flew out in pretty much the same trajectory, landing close together for the first time, and instead of shooting a 9-inch group, the holes were all in the 10 ring.  Not believing this, I shot my final four rounds, and did even better.  So the first possible problem I can think of is that I was "limp writing" the gun, which would explain why every so often a round would land in front of me, not behind - maybe.  


Second thought was that maybe my Aimpoint was mounted in a bad spot.  Maybe shells were hitting it.  That could explain the "thunk" sensation I experienced when I thought the slide was hitting something while it was traveling, but it could be the round hitting the Aimpoint.  Examining the gun closer, I noticed scratches on the Marvel rail, which was a new rail when I got the gun.  Maybe rounds were bouncing off the sight, and back into the gun, hitting the rail, where one of them somehow found a way back into the chamber??  I decided to move the Aimpoint back, as close as I could to the rear of the gun.  


Third thought, I think Jon Eulette's rail design is nicer than the Marvel, in that a large area where the round is ejected is opened up.  See the photo below.  Maybe this will help with ejection - maybe the Marvel rail was partly responsible for the ejected case not going flying over my shoulder.


Lessons learned so far:

  • next time anything feels "different", stop and figure out what it is - I tried to do this, but couldn't find anything.
  • consider where to mount my red dot sights on a 1911 - did I do this wrong?
  • remember to ALWAYS trust my instincts, even if I don't know why.  Some part of me "knew" there was a problem, and one thing when there's anything unusual for me is to check the barrel, so I grabbed my pen for a quick check.  The only way I can explain this is that since that last round never got ejected, maybe some part of me realized that, even though I was concentrating so hard on the sights.  That's the only explanation I can think of as to what might have caused me to know something might be wrong.
  • consider always using Jon Eulette's rail on any wad guns I get.  I like the way it is wide open allowing a round to escape even if it's not going in the exact trajectory as others.
  • from now on, grip the gun strongly, the same as what I did after this incident.  Bonus features from doing this:  The barrel didn't raise up much from the recoil, my fingers didn't slip on the gun, and the holes found a nice home inside the 10-ring.



I'll post the photos below, and can take new ones if that would help.  I'd appreciate any help others can give me.  I came SO close to blowing up my gun, and maybe hurting myself.  Maybe this post will help others, and maybe someone will post something that I'm not yet experienced enough to realize, and it will help me.


Photo 1 - the gun and the four targets - top two were before gripping so hard, bottom two were gripping as hard as I can, with both hands.  Notice where I put the Aimpoint - was this OK?
Problem with an ejected case going back into the chamber, backwards. Img_7011


Photo #2, showing the Aimpoint sight, and the "nicks" on the Marvel Custom Guns rail:
Problem with an ejected case going back into the chamber, backwards. Img_6210


Photo #3, showing the Marvel Custom Guns rail on top, and Jon Eulette's rail now mounted on the gun - notice the larger cut-away for ejection.
Problem with an ejected case going back into the chamber, backwards. Img_7612


Photo #4, where I relocated the Aimpoint sight:
Problem with an ejected case going back into the chamber, backwards. Img_1517


Last edited by mikemyers on 6/1/2019, 8:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by troystaten on 5/31/2019, 9:52 pm

I would not have mounted the sight like it is in frame 3, just does not look like a good idea.  I am not a pistol smith so I am just going by gut on this one.  Frame 4 looks like a much better position for the sight.  Good luck

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Post by mikemyers on 6/1/2019, 7:05 am

In retrospect, I completely agree.  Not sure if this contributed to the incident, but if so, the chances of it happening again are reduced with the sight further back.  One thing for sure, I will pay attention to ejected shells from now on.  Between that, and a firmer grip, I don't expect this to ever happen again.  Thanks.
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Post by 243winxb on 6/1/2019, 7:08 am

Aimpoint was mounted in a bad spot.


Looking at the SAAMI  drawings and the tolerances, sure looks like a fired case could chamber backwards.


Last edited by 243winxb on 6/1/2019, 7:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by mikemyers on 6/1/2019, 7:11 am

Thanks, it is already relocated.  My mistake.  Will never happen again!
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Post by 243winxb on 6/1/2019, 7:29 am

I Just put a fired case in the chamber backwards. It does go in.

But the next round is never going to chamber fully.  It the prime gets hit by something, it may be possible for a firing out of battery discharge.

A rare event. .   The internet has shown , almost any thing is possible.  KABOOM photos.
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Post by kc.crawford.7 on 6/1/2019, 7:50 am

There is nothing wrong with the location of the dot in pic #3.  Look at the inside of your ejection port and see if you have any or a lot of brass marks on the bevel.  Extractor tension could be another playing in this scenario.  If can identify the piece of brass see where the extractor marks are on the case rim and probably the bevel on the case above the rim.
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Post by mikemyers on 6/1/2019, 8:16 am

First, it's good to realize that the gun would not have fired the next round.  I jumped to that conclusion without thinking anything through.  To be honest, I didn't know what to think until I got home, looked at all the parts, and tried to put the pieces together.

KC, the only things that are changed are the rail and relocating the sight.  I'll load more ammo, and shoot it again on Monday.  I'm most interested in whether I will feel those "thuds" again.  I'm assuming they were from the round hitting the sight.   If I don't notice them again, that's still a concern.  If I do notice them again, I've got to look elsewhere.  Sorry, the brass is long gone.  I should have taken a photo, and brought it home with me.  Hindsight.

If I do feel those "thuds" again, I need to figure out what/why.  Never noticed them before, and all I did between back then and yesterday was clean the gun.  


This is a photo taken from the bottom of the Marvel rail, showing the ejection port.  I don't see any brass, but it looks to me like cases have been hitting it.  It was a new part when I got the gun from Dave.  Jon Eulette's rail has a larger opening, which should eliminate the problem.  

(Maybe the case hit the rail, and somehow got back into the port?  That would explain everything.  Is this possible?

Problem with an ejected case going back into the chamber, backwards. Mjm_6110


Problem with an ejected case going back into the chamber, backwards. Img_8310
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Post by mikemyers on 6/1/2019, 8:40 am

243winxb wrote:I Just put a fired case in the chamber backwards. It does go in...........But the next round is never going to chamber fully.........
I changed the title of this thread, after considering what you wrote.
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Post by kc.crawford.7 on 6/1/2019, 9:08 am

Mike, after seeing your pictures I would suggest lowering the ejection port and running the bevel all the way from front to rear.
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Post by mikemyers on 6/1/2019, 3:17 pm

kc.crawford.7 wrote:Mike, after seeing your pictures I would suggest lowering the ejection port and running the bevel all the way from front to rear.
Is this something you can do?  It's WAY over my skill level.   If you do it, do you need the complete gun, or just the slide, rail, and barrel?

If you have time, maybe you can explain how this will improve the gun, or maybe I should call you about it.  
Also, how many days/weeks/months/years would it take, and is now a good time to send parts to you?
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Post by jack41 on 6/25/2019, 6:48 am

Lower the ejection port to 1/2 inch, bevel the inside of the port to match the original bevel, install long ejector

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Post by Bob Fleming on 6/25/2019, 7:24 am

I think the extractor is not holding the fired case in place long enough for the case to hit the ejector the way it should.
Port lowering is a good mod but there have been plenty of GI pistols out there that work fine without it.

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Post by jack41 on 6/25/2019, 11:01 am

You are correct about the extractor. I thought of that just as I pushed the send button. Weigand makes a great tool for putting the correct bend in the extractor.

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Post by Bob Fleming on 6/25/2019, 12:37 pm

I use the Weigand tool. Easy to make very small predictable adjustments. Not hard to bend it by hand but you would bending it back and forth trying to get the tension just right.

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Post by mikemyers on 6/25/2019, 4:11 pm

The original rail is back on the gun, with an Aimpoint H-1 sight.  The "clunk" type sound that started all this turned out to be the front screw that holds the rail onto the barrel being about 0.000000000000000001" too long, so the barrel was hitting it when passed by it.  

Yesterday I remounted the Marvel rail, put that screw in a vice, and filed the bottom until it was "flat".  
Took the gun to the range today.  Problem solved.  Gun works.  I guess I stink at diagnosing problems.  Yuck.

Everything I was doing to "fix" the problem was wasted effort, as the real problem was the front screw.
Chuck, the President of my shooting club, is the one who first said it was impossible, and then found the problem.

Dave Salyer (who built the gun many years ago) told me to tighten the four rail screws with a small hand-held Allen wrench, turning them all in equally, little by little, and to tighten the Allen wrench as tight as I could.  No Loctite.  I still need to send Jon Eulette back the rail I got from him, to open the notch up big enough for the Kodiak mount.  In the meantime the Marvel will do fine.



As of this morning, the gun is back in operation, and I was amazed to find that after weeks of dry-firing my Model 41, not only can I hold the 45 with one hand without my hand tiring, I can now shoot it better one handed than two handed.  I would have said that was impossible.  I still think it's impossible.  

At least I can still take nice photos..........

Problem with an ejected case going back into the chamber, backwards. Img_0712
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Post by jmdavis on 6/26/2019, 9:28 am

Whether you think that you can or you think that you can't, you will.
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Post by mikemyers on 6/26/2019, 10:14 am

jmdavis wrote:Whether you think that you can or you think that you can't, you will.
I'm beginning to realize new things.....    You're right.  

The following is an email I sent to Dave Salyer an hour or so ago.  It is what I'm now thinking.  It's consistent with getting "the fundamentals" right, as if they're not right, nothing will work as expected/anticipated.  I read so much here in the forum about the fundamentals, but life seems more organized for me when I can find a way to individually test them, avoiding things that don't work, and following those things that do seem to work.   .....instead of just blindly follow them.  



Dave, interesting that you should write that.  I spent about two hours last night testing.  


Basically, I was dry firing, but deliberately NOT forcing the dot to be on top of the target.   I pushed my finger way to far into the trigger guard, and dry-fired.  As I fired, the dot moved one way, and as I removed my finger the dot moved the other way.  Then I tried this with my finger not going very far into the trigger guard, and the same thing happened, but reversed.  It was obvious to me that I was “pushing” the gun (trigger) one way or the other, something I never would have noticed if the gun actually fired.  For me, I found the right distance for my trigger finger, where I could relax my hand and apply/release pressure, with the dot staying put.  It ended up with the bone of my joint being right on top of the trigger.


I also was trying to move the “heel” of my hand to the right or left on the back of the gun.  This determined how much my other fingers would “wrap around” the gun, and also how my trigger finger fit into the gun.  I’d aim at my target, and then either close my eyes for a while, or watch my TV, then come back to the sight.  The dot moved right or left, depending on where my hand was placed around the gun.  I found one spot where the gun “stayed put”.  This allowed my fingers to wrap “more” around the front of the gun, and the “heel” of my hand was right up against the back of the gun, but offset to the right as Brian suggests.  I spent an hour or so watching TV, while following my dry-firing routine, and as long as I kept my hand and my trigger finger the way that I had found to be most stable, the gun naturally “stayed put”.


While visiting my brother, I did another test.  I would dry-fire the gun following my routine, and look away from the gun for a while.  When I came back to the sight, the dot had moved one way or another.  I kept re-positioning my body until my body found some kind of natural point, where the gun stayed where it was aimed.  That’s what I will try to do from now on.   I looked at different things to shoot at, and got to where I could position my feet based on where my eye was looking.  Eventually, that spot began to feel “natural”.   Because I was shifting my aiming point, the orientation of the room was irrelevant - I just wanted to position my body based on where the aiming point was.




My gun also sometimes wants to move “up” or “down”, as I see the red dot sometimes vanishing above or below the sight.  I don’t know, or haven’t yet thought of any way, to keep it stable, but the more I dry fire, the better this gets, so maybe it’s just a few zillion times of dry-fire, then going to the range and shooting 50 rounds, ten to warm up, then ten each at four targets which I will score.  I hope that eventually, after each shot, the gun will return right back to where it should be, without my having to think about this………..


One goal is to grip the gun in as natural a way as possible, so the gun tends to stay in place, not moving right or left as I’m firing it, and such that my trigger finger doesn’t pull/push the gun one way or another.  That, and return to the same orientation after the recoil from shooting.  If my trigger finger is in the “wrong” place, this doesn’t work!


(This is something I discovered long ago with revolvers - while dry firing, take the shot, hold the trigger in after firing, and suddenly release the trigger - check if the gun moves to the right or left as I’m releasing the trigger finger.  If so, I have proved I am pushing or pulling the gun one way or another with the trigger finger.   ……I posted this in the forum many years ago, and not one person understood the implication.  Oh well…..    I understand.)




Caspian - other than for the grips, it is identical to how it was when you sent it to me.  I didn’t realize the spring was 10#, but the original spring is still in place.  It now has the original rail back in place.  The screws are as tight as I could make them.  Will check again to verify they are staying that way.


The grip safety doesn’t work with my handS, but it works perfectly with one hand (no S).  Since I can shoot fairly well (for me) one handed, that’s all I will do from now on.  Heck, if it wasn’t for the two shots high to the right (and I saw that happening), I would be happy with that target.  My goal is to keep all my shots in the 9 ring or better.  I think I can accomplish that.  Whether I can keep them in the 10 ring is something I think I’m capable of, as long as I shoot at the range as well as I dry-fire at home.   Ammo is now 4.4 grains of WST, up 0.1 grains compared to yesterday.

I will test what I highlighted below.  That makes perfect sense.  I never thought of “pull towards the grip safety”.  Now that you wrote it, it seems obvious!!!

                -Mike


On Jun 26, 2019, at 07:10, Dave Salyer wrote:

........Since you saw the gun move up and to the right, I think you are causing what we in engineering call a “couple”. Pulling the trigger back up high while holding the gun with pressure on the heel of the hand down low.  Try to pull back into the apex between the thumb and trigger finger. Pull towards the grip safety.....
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