Colt 1911s bouncing brass off my forehead

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Post by Sa-tevp on 4/7/2020, 8:02 pm

I figure with things being a bit slow I'd ask about this topic for both educational and entertainment purposes. 

I have three 1911 platform 45 pistols. One is a Springfield Armory Range Officer that is a wadgun, a Clark Custom Heavy Slide on a Series 70 Colt, and a Colt Series 80 Gold Cup. The Range Officer has an extended ejector and is very consistent where it tosses the empty cartridges. The two Colt pistols have short ejectors and it often looks like I went to Ash Wednesday services after shooting them. All three pistols have tight fitting firing pin stops and tuned extractors.

I'd like the two Colts to park the brass nearer to the CMM brass catcher I have. Any suggestions on how to tune case ejection?
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Post by STEVE SAMELAK on 4/7/2020, 8:30 pm

Check extractor tension first
Ejector shape second....I think.
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Post by Sa-tevp on 4/7/2020, 8:46 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. Extractor tension measures the same on all three pistols using a spring scale and multiple measurements. (I got lucky a few years ago and Sgt. Dan Norwood gave me a lot of pointers on extractors.) The firing pin stops were fit snug to prevent extractor clocking. The extractors are EGW or Wilson for whatever was the shortest from the breech face and didn't hit the brass above the rim, using Jerry Keefer's extractor hook pictures as a guide.

I'm suspecting the short Colt ejectors.

Stephen
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Post by dronning on 4/7/2020, 9:09 pm

Sa-tevp wrote:
I'm suspecting the short Colt ejectors.

Stephen
Bingo

One of the better videos on the ejector.
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Post by kc.crawford.7 on 4/8/2020, 6:57 am

Check the inside bevel on both the Colts.  I'm going to bet there is a heavy brass mark.  Also would bet they are not lowered.  I open up an ejection port to at least .400 and have gone down to .375 in height.  Run the bevel on the inside of the port the full length of the ejection port and brass will just pop out.

An extended ejector will also help greatly.  I cut mine flat at 90 degrees and are just long enough to ensure the brass exits the gun.  Pull slide back to the point the hood on the barrel is flush with the front of the ejection port and scribe a line on the ejector.  Cut it to that point, again square 90 degree, and your forehead should be safe.
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Post by Sa-tevp on 4/8/2020, 5:44 pm

Good stuff KC. That was what I was looking for. Thanks and take care.

As an aside, I normally am very stoic about brass raining on me but I shot a match next to a member of the AMU a year ago and what was distracting was how his brass was hitting me. I was trying to make my shots while thinking of how I could hold my shirt pocket open to catch all the once-shot Starline brass. It was amazing the hard hold and finely tuned pistol.
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Post by Larry2520 on 4/8/2020, 7:00 pm

The extractor only needs to have enough tension to hold on to the brass to pull it out of the chamber. Has very little to do with where the empties fall. Personally I'd put extended ejectors in the colt and try to tune them. A lot depends on your loads. Loads have a lot to do with it. If you shoot different bullet weights for long and short line it'll throw them in different areas. If your powder weight isn't exactly the same every shot the same thing happens. How much powder, weight of bullet all affect the slide speed. Good luck!

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Post by Ed Hall on 4/9/2020, 8:21 am

Just to toss in one more thought:

Long ago, in a place not too far away, my hard ball gun, which was shooting full strength hard ball ammo at the time, would print little black semi-circles on my forehead.  I could actually see the brass come right straight back across my rear sight.  I tried all kinds of tension on the extractor, even to a point where it would barely allow me to insert it into the slide.  Nothing changed!

At some point, I discovered the reason was that no matter how much tension, the extractor never made it solidly against the case rim.  The case could slide right through the hook area without being grasped.  The fix, as explained by a gunsmith friend, was to remove some of the extractor where it was held against the inside of the tunnel, allowing the hook portion to reach the case rim.  After modifying the extractor in the described manner, all was well

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Post by Steve in Allentown on 5/2/2020, 11:08 pm

Ed Hall wrote:Long ago, in a place not too far away, my hard ball gun, which was shooting full strength hard ball ammo at the time, would print little black semi-circles on my forehead.
Ouch.

Getting bonked in the head with hot brass is very often associated with an extractor that needs some attention.  

What often happens is that the extractor loses control of the empty case before the ejector gets a good hit on it.  Instead of ejecting, the empty case floats upward just in time to get smacked by the front edge of the ejection port as the slide comes screaming back.  This causes the case to get batted straight back at the shooter's noggin like a line drive.

Other times the extractor doesn't lose control of the case but it gets ejected straight sideways into the slide area below the ejection port which causes the case to bounce up into the path of the onrushing slide which again bats it straight back at the shooter's head.  To diagnose this possibility, before cleaning the pistol carefully examine the area below the ejection port for brass smears.  If you find some, there's a clue.

If you're interested here's a link to fitting extractors that may be of some use to you: LINK
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Post by Ed Hall on 5/3/2020, 7:58 am

Excellent info, Steve!

Welcome, and thanks for posting the link.

At the time of my trouble, my limited knowledge allowed only for shaping the hook area (which was already done) and changing the tension, which as was pointed out, did nothing to address the real issue of deflection being nonexistent.

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Post by Sa-tevp on 5/3/2020, 9:26 am

Hi Steve in Allentown!

Do you know how many of your 1911 posts, images and illustrations I have printed out and put in notebooks? It rivals Ed's notebook on How To Have A Really Good Day.

About a week ago I was able to have an extended ejector installed on the Gold Cup and also checked extractor tension. Hand cycling the slide fast with 200 SWC dummy cartridges causes all to ejection to go sideways. I'm looking forward to slipping the leash and getting out to group therapy to test function.

As for extractors, I been surprised how much material needs to be removed to get rim tension, as well as how much crud builds up in the extractor channel in the slide.

Stephen
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Post by Steve in Allentown on 5/3/2020, 10:34 am

Sa-tevp wrote:Do you know how many of your 1911 posts, images and illustrations I have printed out and put in notebooks?.
I hope they've been helpful.  

All of my early 1911 experience was courtesy of Uncle Sam.  I could make it go bang and I could field strip it.  I thought I knew all there was to know about it.  Ah, the joy of being young, dumb, and arrogant.  After leaving the service I bought my first civilian .45 - a 1980's era beautifully blued, Series 70, collet bushing Colt Government Model.  It was a temperamental feeder and the brass flew all over the place.  That was my wake up call.

Years later I ran across a post on a forum in which the fellow was describing the complicated nature of fitting extractors.  I couldn't quite grasp the concepts and so began my quest for understanding.  Eventually, after too many hours studying, doing research, and spending too much money buying one extractor after another to practice on, I got it figured out.

With my newfound knowledge I was able to correctly fit a new extractor to that Colt.  A trip to a 1911 'smith fixed the lopsided, too shallow, and too steep frame feed ramp.  At that point the pistol began running like a sewing machine and has been ever since.
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Post by Aprilian on 5/4/2020, 7:50 am

Steve in Allentown wrote:


If you're interested here's a link to fitting extractors that may be of some use to you: LINK
For anyone who isn't over on 1911forum, Steve has a lot of experience and freely shares it.   His views on extractor deflection are very helpful.

Welcome Steve, I think you'll enjoy this corner of the internet!
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Post by Sa-tevp on 5/10/2020, 3:31 pm

K.C. and crew, I got to go to group therapy today and the new extended ejector was the way to go. Very pleasant to shoot and very consistent ejection at about 2-3 o'clock. Too funny that a good shot also parks the brass in the same spot of the net.

Thanks everyone,
Stephen
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Post by Jack H on 5/10/2020, 4:38 pm

Sa-tevp wrote:K.C. and crew, I got to go to group therapy today and the new extended ejector was the way to go. Very pleasant to shoot and very consistent ejection at about 2-3 o'clock. Too funny that a good shot also parks the brass in the same spot of the net.

Thanks everyone,
Stephen
There is a block wall next to our club Ransom mount.  I was scoping shots Roddy was firing from the Ransom.  There was a nice tight knot of shots and then one went a little out.  Not by much.  Roddy said that one was not in like the others.  And it wasn't.  How did you know?  I asked.  Roddy said the brass hit the wall in a different spot. 

Amazing
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Post by Steve in Allentown on 5/10/2020, 4:58 pm

Sa-tevp wrote:K.C. and crew, I got to go to group therapy today and the new extended ejector was the way to go.
Well done!
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