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Fail to eject LB 1911

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Froneck
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JHHolliday
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Fail to eject LB 1911 Empty Fail to eject LB 1911

Post by JHHolliday 3/23/2024, 10:39 am

I have about 3K rounds through the gun and until recently never a hiccup. The gun is stock (and new), purchased from Champion's choice.  Only use factory ammo - originally 230 ball but recently alternating with 185 factory "reman" ammo, which results in less felt recoil:

https://pnrammo.com/product/45-acp-185-gr-hbrn-500-rds/

I also rotate 7rd magazines (which I load with 5 rd), two Wilson combat and two that came with the gun (Tripp Research).

Several times recently the spent case stays in the chamber with the next round pressed against it and the slide out of battery. These jams occur whether the gun is clean or not. Since I alternate 230 and 185 I'm not sure if it is the ammo or the magazines, but the Tripp mags seem more prone to the problem.

Last session I shot the 185 and 230 separately and the only jam was with 185.

Is this a recoil spring issue? Should I use a softer spring with the lighter ammo? 

Thanks in advance
JHHolliday
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Post by PMcfall 3/23/2024, 11:25 am

Very likely.
Phil
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Post by Merick 3/23/2024, 11:27 am

JHHolliday wrote:
the spent case stays in the chamber with the next round pressed against it and the slide out of battery.

That sounds like an extractor issue.  Either the claw is damaged, was always the wrong profile, or spring tension has been lost or impeded from accumulated firing residue.

Two tests I use

-Load one round from the magazine, then remove the magazine and fire, case should eject. This is a test if the extractor function without aid from the magazine follower.

-One round with the magazine left installed should eject and lock back. This tests basically everything else.

And in my opinion brass need to be ejecting at least a yard or more at 3-5 o'clock. If it's dribbling out at your feet or getting pushed forward by the slide at 1-2 o'clock it's barely running and your asking for an alibi string.

.22s can sometimes run by blowback with no extractor, that may well be the case in your 1911, but as you have discovered it isn't consistent.

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Post by JHHolliday 3/23/2024, 1:10 pm

Thank you.  I will try those tests soon.

If anything the brass ejects forcefully, sometimes bouncing off the lane partition (indoor range) and beaning me.  This is one reason for my recent switch to better safety glasses.

JHH
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Post by Froneck 3/24/2024, 4:18 pm

Naturally lower power loads will require less recoil spring pressure so recoil spring should be checked. If the gun was made for 230gr Ball then lower recoil 185gr loads will need lower recoil spring weight but what I would do is load one round in the magazine and check to see if the slide locks back after test fire. If not decrease recoil spring weight until it does. I would do that to determine what loads the gun was made for. Another issue with reman ammo is brass quality. Too often a reloader will dump a pile of brass in a hopper that was returned in exchange for loaded rounds. There could be rim problems. If the extractor on a 1911 does not hold the case well the ejector can push it off and not eject the round. Might be noticeable if the "jammed" brass is still being held by the extractor indicating slide did not go far enough.

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Post by JHHolliday 3/27/2024, 8:27 pm

Merick wrote:

-Load one round from the magazine, then remove the magazine and fire, case should eject. This is a test if the extractor function without aid from the magazine follower.

-One round with the magazine left installed should eject and lock back. This tests basically everything else.
Today at the range I ran both of these tests, and it passed both (2x each).

Then I shot a frustrating session with 6 fail to ejects using the 185 ammo, and one with 230. Some were with the spent case still in the chamber, others with partial stove-pipes (spent case caught by the slide). I was hoping there would be no FTE with 230 - suggesting a lighter recoil spring.

Another oddity is the gun cycled perfectly for the first 2000 rd or so - with a combination of 230 and 185 - but now it has become unreliable.  I would think springs soften with use, and if anything FTEs would become less common over time if a lighter spring is needed.

I see now how essential equanimity is to precision pistol  Fail to eject LB 1911 1f634
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Post by spursnguns 3/28/2024, 11:58 am

Hello,

Textbook extractor issues.  If the claw is not damaged, increase the tension.  If that works (temporarily) you know that the extractor, which really is a spring, has lost its tension.  Replace the extractor (a fitted part) either way.  Don't worry, it eventually happens with all M1911s.

Jim
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Post by tomd999 3/28/2024, 11:22 pm

Hiya,

My first suspect is the store bought reman ammo, you just don't know what your getting for consistency as that ammo is commonly reloaded for maximum profit, not accuracy. Another aspect is that reloaded cases may not be resized fully to eliminate a bulge from being fired in a barrel with too much of the feed ramp hogged out or in a Webley Mk6 chambered in .455 Webley converted to use moon clips.

Unless you're checking each reloaded round with a go/no-go case check gauge, you don't know if they will chamber and run properly. Also, I have seen non-standard rim profiles on acp brass over the years, it is thicker and has a rounded face, it wasn't auto rim brass but it doesn't drop into a loaded round gauge nor does it fit in an extractor claw.

My suggestion is to get a box or 2 of new factory loaded 185 match rounds and see how things go before you start changing or bending things since the gun runs on 230 ball without issues. As far as Les Baer pistols and extractors, I have 3 Baer's, a Colt from when he was starting out in PA and 2 from when he was the Custom Shop manager at Springfield, I had to change the extractors on both the SA guns with a Wilson "bulletproof", no matter what I did to the originals, they were unreliable.

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Post by Froneck 3/29/2024, 7:50 am

You tested both 230gr and 185gr ammo, both locked back. To me that would indicate you have recoil spring weight for 185gr ammo. I would assume a lighter main spring too. When shooting 230gr the slide is hammering back at greater speed than with 185gr. Not good and probably why the gun worked great for 2000 rounds! You probably wore out the extractor, ejector might have issues too. I also suspect your lower barrel lug has been hammering the frame. Could be link issues too. It's not a good idea to put ball ammo (230gr factory) in a 1911 set-up for 185gr ammo without increasing recoil spring weight. As I mentioned above the fact that the 185gr ammo locked the slide back indicates you have at maximum 185gr spring weight but could be less making the problem worse. Continuing to shoot ball ammo in a gun with a light recoil spring might cause the lower lug to be pulled off the barrel. In addition you don't know what amount of powder was used in re-manufactured loads and they too can be too hot for the recoil spring in your gun.
 If you are not that familiar with 1911 function as I think you are not, take the gun to a gunsmith that knows how to handle Bullseye 1911s. No disrespect intended! Quite a few top shooters are not familiar with 1911 internal function but they do know how to shoot the 1911 accurately!

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Post by JHHolliday 3/29/2024, 11:12 am

Thanks guys

I spoke with Les B yesterday and he said the Premier II should cycle fine with 230 ball and 185 Federal Gold Match.  He emphasized need for a clean chamber, which I do periodically and will do again soon before retesting.  The gun comes with 18# recoil spring, but if it still jams with 185 Les said it is ok to try a lighter spring (but not below 13#).  I have some Federal Gold Match 185 (but don't shoot it because it's too precious), and after cleaning I will try a little to see if the problem persists.  I ordered new 18# and 16.5# from LB, and the new 18 would be the next thing to try, then the 16.5.

I thought this video on 1911 cleaning / maintenance by Bill Wilson was good, and he demonstrates how to clean the extractor channel as well as testing extractor function:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fW1pJvi5yIw
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Post by Froneck 3/29/2024, 12:37 pm

I would have ordered from Wolff spring 15 lb to 20lb less what you have. Load one round in the mag as before using the heaviest spring with ball ammo and lower the weight by 1lb (1/2lb if you want) until slide locks back, then try 185gr, if it don't lock back lower spring weight as done with ball until 185gr locks the slide back. That would be your spring pressure for each load. You can do the same with Gold Match 185gr. 185gr ammo you listed is 840fps, Federal 185gr Gold Match 770fps and Federal Ball 860fps. If a slide will lock back with 230gr at 860, LB claims it will work with 185 at 770fps??? That is a major difference! If it supposed to work with Federal 185gr Gold Match using ball will hammer the slide back! Even the 185gr bullet your using having a lighter bullet than 230gr is traveling slower than 860fps so recoil is less so spring should be selected for that ammo! I reload my 45acp NRA match ammo, I select spring as I suggested you do for your ammo. I use 200gr JHP for NRA matches. Ball is purchased ammo but used in a different 1911 but spring selected as mentioned. I have all the 1911 springs Wolff has from 5 to 22 pounds, I recently added the 5 to 9 pound springs because I wanted to try them in my home-made .22 conversion. When working on a 1911 I select the spring that works best with loads supplied then order a replacement.
 One thing to remember LB just wants to sell guns, naturally his gun will do everything! He may have started out as a good 1911 maker but he has fallen from being one of the best years ago and not so good now. Using one spring for both 185gr Federal Match and 230gr ball is a recipe for problems!

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Post by JHHolliday 3/29/2024, 1:47 pm

I had trouble understanding that too.  I will take it a step at a time and report back FWIW
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Post by Froneck 3/29/2024, 2:50 pm

I would put the 18lb in and see if it locks back with 230gr, if it does I would get heavier springs to see what is needed. You should also test the extractor after cleaning the extractor hole like shown in the video. If the brass (once fired) isn't held you will probably need a new extractor. You can also try your 185gr 840fps rounds with 18lb spring, if it locks back do not continue shooting 230gr until heavier spring is installed. Inspect the lower lug to see if there is any crack between it and the barrel. Look up information on 1911 Bow Tie and check your gun.

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Post by JHHolliday 3/29/2024, 3:02 pm

Thanks will do!  Smile
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Post by JHHolliday 3/31/2024, 9:47 am

I cleaned the gun but did not remove the extractor.  The claw is intact, and I did the test as in Bill Wilson's video (and elsewhere on the web).  A spent case (or round) is only loosely held by the extractor, as shown:

https://vimeo.com/929287928?share=copy

Is this test a fail?
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Post by L. Boscoe 3/31/2024, 9:58 am

I have two LB's shot a few hundred of hardball, then dropped
the recoil spring to a level where the brass goes about 5 ft.
I think it is 12#, may 10.  Les is adamant about the 13# min,
but he is no bullseye guy. Cajun Gun Works has a tutorial on their website about how to tailor recoil springs to what you are shooting

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Post by Froneck 3/31/2024, 10:24 am

The fit is a bit loose but I've seen worse. Was that case once fired factory? You now might want to try that test with the other remaned ammo. The ejector relies on the extractor to hold one side of the case so that it can flick out the empty case, if not held it can just be pushed forward.
 You did mention you had some 185gr Federal Gold match, load one round in a mag. then test fire it, did it lock the slide back?
 Checking how far the case is ejected is not a good way to select a recoil spring! Enough spring to allow the slide to travel enough to lock the slide back yet 1lb increase will not! As long as the cases are out of the gun who cares how far they travel! Accuracy depends on a closed slide, I want as much pressure on the slide when closed as possible but it's limited so that the gun will function so that should be the selection process. I also find that the long ejector will eject the empty case when the slide is headed rearward at greater speed rather than when it's nearly stopped.

Froneck

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Post by JHHolliday 3/31/2024, 3:34 pm

I adjusted the extractor tension and next range day I will test for function and lockback with Federal Gold 185, PNR 185, and 230 ball.

https://vimeo.com/929347633?share=copy
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Post by Froneck 3/31/2024, 4:35 pm

Start with 185gr Federal Match, continue with other ammo if there is no lock-back. You don't want to continue if lowest velocity/weight locks the slide back. Be sure your not shooting limp wristed and arm is locked at elbow. Accurate shooting and reliable function with 1911 requires it. I'm thinking 16lb recoil spring should be about correct for 185gr Federal match ammo, lighter springs usually are needed when adding scope to slide. Main spring and forward hammer and lower firing pin pin stop profile also adds to slide opening pressure but little in closing.
 Look good at the hook on the extractor, increasing extractor pressure can hold that brass firm against the other side of the recess in the slide yet wide or rounded hook will allow brass to pull-off. Magnifying glass will help! In addition too much extractor pressure can cause problems by preventing brass from magazine to easily slide-up in place.

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Post by JHHolliday 4/3/2024, 9:23 pm

Range test day:

First, thank you all who made suggestions (especially about extractor tension).  The gun's condition at test was cleaned and re-tensioning the extractor to hold casings / live rounds (as in the videos), no change in stock recoil spring.  Shot ~80 rd, with NO malfunctions.

Tested with different ammo: Federal Gold match 185, PNR 185 reloads, 230 ball.  All functioned normally and the slide locked back after the last round in the magazine in all cases.

Conclusions: Extractor tension increase solved the problem.  Slide locks back with different ammo energies, so not sure what that says about springs (though it is spring):

Spring has sprung
Fall has fell
Summer's here
And it's hotter than usual

Smile
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Post by Froneck 4/3/2024, 10:27 pm

That's good to hear! But you should still check your recoil spring! The fact it locks back with Federal Match 185gr means the spring is probably too light for 230 ball and you will he hammering the slide back. Over time you might rip off the lower lug on the barrel. Since you did order an 8lb spring I would try it. Get the correct recoil spring in the gun will save you problems later.

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Post by Rodger Barthlow 4/4/2024, 5:28 am

Talk about shearing off the bottom lugs on the barrel. I watched the whole top end with an Aim point go flying down range when the lugs sheared off a barrel during a match. I just happened to be standing beside the shooter who was a high master when it happened. The look on his face after wards was priceless.
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Post by Froneck 4/4/2024, 9:37 am

I've seen it quite a few times, especially during ball matches at Perry. If the shooter only has one gun he's out of competition and soon realizes the repair will cost quite a few hundreds of dollars! Yes the slide will lock back and gun function as the OP mentioned but if the spring is enough (possibly not enough) for 185gr Federal Match I'm sure it is definitely not enough for 230gr ball especially American Eagle at 890fps. not to mention some of that hotter stuff out there. A spring kit from Wolff or other's is good to have to determine correct recoil spring weight so as to avoid gun damage. Depending on how much and what ball ammo plus the kinda hot PNR reloads have been shot there might be some stress cracking in the OP barrel at this time. I didn't expect it to lock back with Federal Match 185gr but the fact it did should be a warning sign that the spring might be too light for the faster/heavier ammo.

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