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Colt 38 Jams

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8eightring
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RodJ
Jon Eulette
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Post by messenger Sat Sep 16, 2023 2:10 pm

I have two Colt 38 Specials. One is the old blow back design and is pretty reliable. The other is a newer 1911 38 special that I am lucky to get through a magazine without a problem. The front of the round will be low of the chamber. If I pull the slide back about a 1/16 of an inch the round will lift up and slide right in. The slide will lock back after the last round. Any ideas?


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Post by DA/SA Sat Sep 16, 2023 2:35 pm

First question: Has it been running OK and this a new problem?

Perhaps the magazine spring is a bit weak, the recoil spring a bit heavy, or your load a tenth light.

It sounds like the slide is locking back, but may not necessarily be traveling back fully. The slide needs a small amount of dwell time for the round to pop up.
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Post by Dcforman Sat Sep 16, 2023 3:03 pm

Mag could also be releasing the round too late. 

Dave

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Post by messenger Sat Sep 16, 2023 3:56 pm

I have five magazines and it does it with all of them. I have run 2.7gr up to 3.1gr of WST. No difference.

Bill
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Post by jglenn21 Sat Sep 16, 2023 4:08 pm

Colt. Mag?
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Post by messenger Sat Sep 16, 2023 4:24 pm

jglenn21 wrote:Colt. Mag?

All Colt originals.

Bill
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Post by Jon Eulette Sat Sep 16, 2023 4:37 pm

Check the feed ramp from receiver to barrel ramp. Is it catching there? Should be a space approx 0.030”.
Also mags look like releasing early from the pics.
Jon
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Post by RodJ Sat Sep 16, 2023 5:31 pm

Dumb question, I’m uneducated on the 38 spl 1911, are these wadcutters and roll crimp?  

I’m guessing that the rim is under the extractor hook, but it’s hard to see how with that weird nose dive angle.  I’m intrigued that pulling the slide back 1/16” frees it up.  Magazine timing comes to mind. Wonder if you need to tune a mag to the gun?  One that works in the blowback may be okay with how the lips are set.

Gonna grab some popcorn and follow the educated gunsmiths’ diagnosis.

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Post by messenger Sat Sep 16, 2023 5:43 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:Check the feed ramp from receiver to barrel ramp. Is it catching there? Should be a space approx 0.030”.
Also mags look like releasing early from the pics.
Jon

Do I close the lips?

Bill
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Post by Jon Eulette Sat Sep 16, 2023 6:07 pm

Rear of case is released from feed lips at the rear lips. Those lips do not need adjusted. It’s more of a timing thing based on the length of the lips. 
Not easy to internet explain. 38 special has timing involved in several areas.

Has pistol worked reliably before?
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Post by messenger Sat Sep 16, 2023 6:13 pm

I bought it at a match. It has been unreliable from day one. I got a deal on it and now I know why.

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Post by messenger Sat Sep 16, 2023 6:14 pm

If I could find an FFL that would ship to Komifornia I'd love to send it to you.

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Post by troystaten Sun Sep 17, 2023 11:34 pm

Do you know who made it?

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Post by messenger Mon Sep 18, 2023 4:56 am

troystaten wrote:Do you know who made it?

No Clue.

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Post by whitel Mon Sep 18, 2023 12:08 pm

The feeding issue in your newer Colt 1911 38 Special may be due to a weak magazine spring or a misaligned feed ramp. Check and possibly replace the magazine spring, and have a gunsmith inspect the feed ramp for proper alignment and polishing.

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Post by jglenn21 Mon Sep 18, 2023 3:40 pm

Pictures of your feed ramp with barrel and a loaded mag may help
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Post by bls Mon Sep 18, 2023 6:33 pm

Might want to try some 38 AMU ammo and see if same thing happens.  The 38 Special ammo tends to tip forward in magazine due to the rim.  Same concept as using 38 Super Comp or 38 TJ brass in a pistol chambered in 38 Super.

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Post by 8eightring Mon Sep 18, 2023 8:18 pm

Have you checked your extractor for proper tension?
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Post by Jon Eulette Mon Sep 18, 2023 10:10 pm

8eightring wrote:Have you checked your extractor for proper tension?
Not an extractor issue, if too tight cartridge couldn’t slide past it as in the photos. To loose and ejection issues.
Jon
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Post by Rodger Barthlow Tue Sep 19, 2023 9:19 am

I've experienced the same thing happening with a .38 Super magazine modified for the .38 wad cutter. The magazine spring should be round like your recoil spring which allows the follower to hold the nose of the casing up to align with the feed ramp and chamber.
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Post by bls Tue Sep 19, 2023 12:12 pm

I personally find that the Colt 38 AMU magazine is far superior to the Colt 38 Special magazine but they are few and far between and when they come up for sale they are very pricey.

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Post by messenger Tue Sep 19, 2023 4:56 pm

Colt 38 Jams Img_3113
It's a little rougher than I thought.

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Post by Jon Eulette Tue Sep 19, 2023 5:31 pm

That’s the worst thirsting job I’ve ever seen on a pistol. That is most likely why you’re having issues. 38 special is most unforgiving cartridge to feed in 1911. Feed ramp must be perfect. That’s frightening!
Get a pic to me of that on your lower fully seated on receiver and to the rear. Angled pic showing both feed ramps; receiver and barrel.
Thanks
Jon
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Post by Olde Pilot Tue Sep 19, 2023 5:53 pm

Amazing this junk feeds and shoots at all!

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Post by randy86314 Tue Sep 19, 2023 11:06 pm

Yes, the throat is a bit rough.
This summer, I used many precious primers to wring out functioning problems with my Giles 38 Special, which works very well now.
I made a heavier magazine spring (and bought one from Alan A of Interarms). Just heavy enough to permit loading of five carts.
Loads of 2.7 and 3.0 of WW231 work well, with proper recoil spring. Hotter loads move the slide too fast, methinks.
My recoil spring is 0.037" X 5-3/4" long with variable winding. I don't know what it's pound rating is.
Perhaps TMI: This pistol has a 38Super slide. I noticed this summer that the fired cases tended to bulge to one side (one of those little items I notice after other problems disappear). I scraped and filed the left side of the breechface to permit the cartridge to center. Case expansion is now uniform all around.

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