Colt N.M. 1911 38Spl problems

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Colt N.M. 1911 38Spl problems Empty Colt N.M. 1911 38Spl problems

Post by Ogre on 6/25/2019, 8:09 am

I recently acquired a Colt National Match 1911 in 38Special. It appeared to have never been fired. I took it apart, cleaned/lubed it, then started loading ammunition for it. Information is scarce so I started loading 147gr HBWC's with 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9 and 3.0gr of Bullseye. For accuracy it likes the 2.8gr the best but there are a LOT of jams. Seems the slide isn't going all the way to the rear and this seems to be allowing more than one round in the chamber at a time. Many times the round I just fired is jammed with the next one to be loaded. Another reason I am considering a heavier load is when the last round is fired, the slide does NOT stay back, indicating that the slide is not traveling all the way to the rear. Information on this firearm is rare and hard to locate. Anyone have anything like this happen to them? Or are the loads I have made just too light of a charge and not allowing the 1911 to function properly? Thanks for any information provided.

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Post by jglenn21 on 6/25/2019, 8:24 am

2.8 of BE or  WST is fine.  You can run into  serious issues going higher. Check your extrator tension. If the gun has been sitting for a number of years it's probably too loose although the specials don't need much


Does the slide lock back on the last round
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Post by cdrt on 6/25/2019, 11:17 am

And try some different recoil springs.  Not quite the same, but my Clark Heavy Slide needs a 7 pound spring to run with 2.7 of Bullseye.  Loads seem okay, but I found 3.0 of BE to be a little to hot depending on the bullet.
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Post by Wobbley on 6/25/2019, 11:25 am

I agree with CDRT. It is very likely that someone put in a standard 1911 16 pound spring. The factory were 14 pound, but 12 might work just a bit better. Mine runs fine with factory or 2.7 BE.

Colt N.M. 1911 38Spl problems 30e07610
The above snapshot was of the Speer #9 manual, which is/was the only time somebody published specific loads for autoloaders. Enjoy your pistol.
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Post by fc60 on 6/25/2019, 12:25 pm

Greetings,

I also have a Colt 38 National Match Mark III.

It functions very well with ammo loaded to 730 FPS.

Federal 148 Commercial is about this velocity.

Cheers,

Dave
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Post by Jon Eulette on 6/25/2019, 1:01 pm

Double feed is magazine issue. Sounds like feed lips are not squeezing hard enough to retain cartridges. If slide was not going back enough you would have no feeding at all becsuse the breechface has to go behind the case rim/base to feed it.
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Post by Ogre on 6/25/2019, 2:11 pm

jglenn21 wrote:2.8 of BE or  WST is fine.  You can run into  serious issues going higher. Check your extrator tension. If the gun has been sitting for a number of years it's probably too loose although the specials don't need much


Does the slide lock back on the last round
If I manually draw the slide back, yes it stays open, not none of the loads I've run through it does that, that's why I was thinking my loads are too light?

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Post by Ogre on 6/25/2019, 2:12 pm

cdrt wrote:And try some different recoil springs.  Not quite the same, but my Clark Heavy Slide needs a 7 pound spring to run with 2.7 of Bullseye.  Loads seem okay, but I found 3.0 of BE to be a little to hot depending on the bullet.
The lightest spring I've seen so far is from Brownells, and it's a 10lb. Any suggestions?

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Post by Ogre on 6/25/2019, 2:16 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:Double feed is magazine issue. Sounds like feed lips are not squeezing hard enough to retain cartridges. If slide was not going back enough you would have no feeding at all becsuse the breechface has to go behind the case rim/base to feed it.
Jon
I received 3 magazines with the N.M. They had some residue in them so I completely disassmbled them ALL (all 6 pieces of each) and ran them through the ultrasonic sink for about 30min. They are now completely clean and NO WEAR marks on them at all, that's why I think this has never been fired. The magazines are essentially new from the factory back in the late 60's early 70's/

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Post by Ogre on 6/25/2019, 2:17 pm

fc60 wrote:Greetings,

I also have a Colt 38 National Match Mark III.

It functions very well with ammo loaded to 730 FPS.

Federal 148 Commercial is about this velocity.

Cheers,

Dave
The only commercial ammunition I've been able to find is Remington and it says 720fps, but I've been a reloader for decades and am leary of spending $30/box for it.

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Post by fc60 on 6/25/2019, 5:52 pm

Greetings,

The last box of current Remington I tested would not hold the repair center at 50 yards.

The new Federal Gold Medal appears to be loaded with the Speer 148 bullet and the two lots I tested held ten ring at 50 yards.

2.8 WST is a good load to duplicate commercial ammo.

My 38NM has a 14# recoil spring. My gun is stock. (Iron Sights)

Bullseye varies too much these days to quote a useful load. You need a chronograph.

For some reason, WST has been very consistent with the lots I have purchased.

Next time you cruise the Gun Show, watch for some old Federal 148 commercial in the red and white box. It generally shoots well at about 730 FPS.

Best solution is to find a Pal with a chronograph. Seek out the ammo that clocks at 730 FPS and then start swapping recoil springs.

WST would be my first choice of powder.

Cheers,

Dave
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Post by jglenn21 on 6/25/2019, 5:54 pm

recoil springs from Brownells.com

https://www.brownells.com/handgun-parts/recoil-parts/recoil-springs/type-a-recoil-spring-for-target-softball-loads-prod24873.aspx?avs%7cMake_3=1911

all the way down to a 7lb
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Post by cdrt on 6/25/2019, 7:16 pm

You can also get them directly from Wolff:
https://www.gunsprings.com/COLT/1911%20GOV'T%20PISTOL/cID1/mID1/dID1#3
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