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1911 conversion infuriating

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Jwhelan939
Rla442
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Post by Jwhelan939 3/27/2024, 6:49 pm

Recently grabbed a Marvel Steel Unit 1. I usually shoot a Pardini. Unfortunately, I just could not get my 45 scores to match my 22 scores. Figured it was time to try the conversion. The conversion is pretty good when it comes to accuracy, but man the reliability is awful. Light hits galore. Feed reliably after tuning the Colt mags to Mr Marvels specs. Just tons of failure to fire. I’ve tried mainsprings from 17# up 22# and all three recoil springs that came with the unit. Green recoil and 19# mainspring are the best, but I still get at least 3 failure to fires every 50 rds. Driving me nuts. Is this typical? The ammo works fine in my Pardini.

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Post by DA/SA 3/27/2024, 7:43 pm

Mine is 100% reliable with the exception of an occasional CCI SV bad round. I was just commenting to another friend that shoots one how amazingly reliable they are. I use the plastic mags from Brownell's and CCI SV.
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Post by DA/SA 3/27/2024, 7:49 pm

I will add that I have another friend with a steel slide lock back model with Colt mags that won't run. Mine is a unit 1 aluminum slide non lock back, as is my other two friends thaymt are 100% reliable.
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Post by Rla442 3/27/2024, 7:53 pm

When my marvel started misfiring with light hits it was a broken firing pin. If you haven’t pulled out the firing pin yet, that would be worth checking. On mine, a piece broke off and was floating around in the slide. Depended on where that little metal piece landed was whether it got a light hit or not.

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Post by Jwhelan939 3/27/2024, 7:56 pm

Rla442 wrote:When my marvel started misfiring with light hits it was a broken firing pin. If you  haven’t pulled out the firing pin yet, that would be worth checking. On mine, a piece broke off and was floating around in the slide. Depended on where that little metal piece landed was whether it got a light hit or not.
This is a brand new unit that has been doing it since day one. But anything’s possible. I’ll definitely check the pin and see if anything looks off. Maybe I’ll order one just so I can compare them. Ty.

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Post by STEVE SAMELAK 3/27/2024, 9:43 pm

Jwhelan939 wrote:
Rla442 wrote:When my marvel started misfiring with light hits it was a broken firing pin. If you  haven’t pulled out the firing pin yet, that would be worth checking. On mine, a piece broke off and was floating around in the slide. Depended on where that little metal piece landed was whether it got a light hit or not.
This is a brand new unit that has been doing it since day one. But anything’s possible. I’ll definitely check the pin and see if anything looks off. Maybe I’ll order one just so I can compare them. Ty.
be cautious with that tiny torx screw that has to come out first.
it has thread locking compound and requires a fair amount of heat to release.
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Post by Dave-Cooper 3/28/2024, 7:27 am

My experience is that magazines are by far the biggest issue. FWIW, I recently purchased the latest version of the Marvel magazine from Frerking Custom and they've worked perfectly for me. My Nelson mags also work flawlessly in the Marvel conversion. All the other magazine I've used (and I have a pile of them) were problematic. As I understand it, Frerking bought the Marvel business from Bob.

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Post by Jwhelan939 3/28/2024, 7:33 am

Dave-Cooper wrote:My experience is that magazines are by far the biggest issue. FWIW, I recently purchased the latest version of the Marvel magazine from Frerking Custom and they've worked perfectly for me. My Nelson mags also work flawlessly in the Marvel conversion. All the other magazine I've used (and I have a pile of them) were problematic. As I understand it, Frerking bought the Marvel business from Bob.
Ty. I have one of the frerking mags I can play with. You think the mag could cause failure to feed even though it’s reliable with feeding?

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Post by Dave-Cooper 3/28/2024, 7:51 am

If it's feeding reliably and the firing pin is good, my next thought is that having a too heavy mainspring may be preventing the slide from fully compressing the recoil spring. The slide goes just far enough to strip the next round out of the mag bu not much farther. The result is the round isn't fully seated in the chamber, the firing pin strike pushes the round the rest of the way, the round moving forward results in a light hit. I've always run a little lighter mainspring typically 15#. I'm sure there will be a variety of opinions about this, I'm just sharing my experience.

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Post by DA/SA 3/28/2024, 8:25 am

I don't recall if it is Marvel, Nelson, or both, that offer the option of a tighter chamber. I believe that there have been other threads discussing similar issues with that option.

Did you by chance go with that option on yours?
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Post by Jwhelan939 3/28/2024, 10:27 am

DA/SA wrote:I don't recall if it is Marvel, Nelson, or both, that offer the option of a tighter chamber. I believe that there have been other threads discussing similar issues with that option.

Did you by chance go with that option on yours?
I know Nelson offers the “target” chamber. The unit one is meant to be a target pistol, so it very well may have a tighter chamber to begin with.

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Post by Jwhelan939 3/28/2024, 10:28 am

update:
Just went out to the range and now am completely confused. 

Last night: 50 rds of Eley bullseye x no less than 6 failure to fire. Has been happening the entire time I’ve had it (1470rds).

Just now: Figured I’d try different ammo for the hell of it. 160 rds Sk standard. Zero failures to fire. 

That Eley has zero issues in my Pardini. I’ve shot many bricks and still have a case and a half. Need to shoot a lot more before I’ll trust it in comp, but maybe it just doesn’t like the Eley? Still weird to me that it feeds without issue though.

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Post by Dcforman 3/28/2024, 10:39 am

SK has a slightly thicker rim. My guess is the slide is staying ever so slightly out of battery, causing misfires where the firing pin pushes the round fully into the chamber. 

Try swapping to a heavier recoil spring, and lighter mainspring.

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Post by Jwhelan939 3/28/2024, 10:50 am

Dcforman wrote:SK has a slightly thicker rim. My guess is the slide is staying ever so slightly out of battery, causing misfires where the firing pin pushes the round fully into the chamber. 

Try swapping to a heavier recoil spring, and lighter mainspring.

Dave
I’ve tried every combo of recoil and mainspring that involves 16-22# mainspring and the white, green, and orange recoil spring.

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Post by Froneck 3/28/2024, 10:57 am

Me and Adam both have a Marvel conversion. When I got mine from Adam it was a few years ago but didn't take it out of the box for a few years. Adam got another one a bit later. I had light hits when tried. I noticed that firing pin hit on the case after 2 hits was quite a bit longer and wider than any of my other .22s (AW-93, MatchGun2, didn't check others since these 2 were in my gun box) Pin hit extended toward center near 1/3 of the .22 case rim diameter. Was also quite a bit wider. I removed the firing pin (not easy task) it's about .090" in diameter and angled to .050" wide. Pin will be cut by fine needle file so I filed both angled sides to match width of strike by the other .22s (.035"), then filed an angle on the bottom of the firing pin to shorten the vertical length to .050" also the same as the other .22s since there is no reason to strike the case more that the width of the rim! (However strike now and on the other .22s is more than the rim width) When first tried it was on my ball gun frame with heavy main spring! Being I like as heavy recoil spring on my guns as possible I purchased main springs springs from EGW from lightest they had to Heaviest. (knowing I will need spring for my Homemade conversion). I then started with the lightest main spring in my ball gun frame and was surprised to find reliable ignition with the modified firing pin. Adam then started trying his conversion, he has a few 208S as .22. After having light hits on conversion installed on Accuracy X frame I mentioned my modification. He said that strike width on his cases were about the same as my modified width (.035) but vertical length did extend to .090" pin diameter. He then shortened it to the same length I modified (.050"), he no longer has light hits! Photo is of slide after pin modification. Note since width of strike was different on my pin and Adam's I checkeda few pins I purchased from Nelson for my homemade version and noticed a difference, old spare pin with the conversion was .050" wide and newer pins were .035" wide so there might have been a change.(vertical was still .090")
  Magazines are junk the lips are very short and round will fall out of the gun if slide slowly closed. AMU used German die cast mags (lips are same length) but modified the rear. I though I had photos but can't find them (can make some if requested). AMU put epoxy on the back so it's the same full length, mag will not move forward or back after epoxy. Also they t adhesive backed plastic and fitted in the two sided to increase magazine length. I took 1/8" square brass rod and epoxied it on the two sides, filed the tops to match the lip contour. Then drilled  3/64" hole (2 thru brass square and rear of magazine) and inserted 3/64" brass pins to help the epoxy. Later I found 5/32" square brass will work better in that it looks better and fits the opening . However the height has to be filed or milled to the 1/8" or what fits the frame better. I sent 2 with the 1/8" and later 1 with 5/32 milled to fit frame to Adam. All the mags. work great as well as the AMU epoxied ones. Adhesive plastic will come loose after time. Adam intends to send me the epoxied mags to be modified for brass rods.
  I did buy 4 trippleK Colt replacements but not happy with them, metal is thinner and lips are bent to round is directed to right side of chamber (only opened onepackage)1911 conversion infuriating  Cimg2230

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Post by Dcforman 3/28/2024, 3:08 pm

Wouldn't surprise me if Frank's instructions fix the problem. I will say that I originally installed my steel slide Marvel on a Caspian frame with oversized rails. My Nelson ran fine on the frame, but the Marvel slide dragged. I had to take some metal off the rails to get it loose enough to run. My issue was more failure to feed, but I did have light strikes due to the slide stopping just out of battery. If you remove the slide from the conversion, does it drag on the frame at all?

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Post by Froneck 3/28/2024, 4:38 pm

Problems with conversions is they seem to require the round leave mag. lips before round is near the chamber. The Colt Ace mag. has long lips and conversion mags the lips are short. Ace mags will work but need slight modification but even they have lips that are slightly too short.
 Wanting to see how the conversion worked when I decided to try it. I put the slide on a new Caspian frame with out recoil spring, when I closed the slide on mag. with live new rounds (blank frame with no hammer, sear, disconnector, trigger, etc so little chance of discharge). The round was ejected out of the gun by the mag. spring! The speed of the slide with the recoil spring installed was enough to chamber the round before it rose high enough to prevent chambering so slide speed is very critical therefor Dave has a good point about drag.
 Not liking that situation and know all my other high end .22s all have the bullet partially in the chamber before leaving mag. lips. When it does leave the lips the bullet and slide face recess plus extractor will hold the round in place. I decided to make my conversion by moving the barrel back the 1/4" needed to be like the other .22s mentioned. I have all completed except extractor as I mentioned in another topic. If I allow the slide to close slowly or do it without recoil spring it works OK about 70% of the time, other 30% the round is lifted too high by mag. spring and it's above the slide recess though OK on the chamber side because bullet is in the barrel. I think that when I make an extractor and install it that issue will be prevented. Testing the gun without extractor, it works great, chambering not an issue empty case is ejected.


Last edited by Froneck on 3/28/2024, 10:23 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling error)

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