View Full Version : SA 1911 Issues, Keep it or ?
19th October 2004, 11:38
SA Mil-Spec 1911 .45
Great gun other than the jamming every other clip. I've made slight modifications to it using a new recoil spring, one piece guide rod, extended safety release and new mags. Everything Ed Brown products with the exception of the Wolff recoil spring. I plan to add new extended BT, match trigger, and hammer.
Now after reading the various posts on jamming, I see after replacing recoil spring, and mags, I should replace the extractor to possibly help remedy the jamming. My quesiton is, will I eventually replace all factory guts with aftermarket parts in order to achieve a proper functioning firearm? Or should I sell it and upgrade or purchase a 1911 other than SA? I'm not bashing SA, I just would like a smooth shooting 1911 out of the box with little modification. Or is that asking too much any out of box 1911 and I should continue as planned with my current SA? Anyone have any suggestions?
19th October 2004, 12:21
Hello sa, some questions:
What type of mags, stock, etc?
What pd recoil spring?
What type of ammo?
Any of these can contribute to the problem. Input!
19th October 2004, 12:22
Most of the malfunctions with SA's, are found to be extractor related.
Most likely just a simple tune. Check out the tech area for the how-to on that.
If you're still having problems get back here and we'll figure it out.
I've got a Mil-Spec, I tuned the extractor prior to even firing the first round, and hasn't had a problem yet.
19th October 2004, 13:06
Listen to Wichaka. What brand of mags do you have? Does it happen with each mag? If so, then rule out the mags. Work to find the one consistent item. Try to use the best if possible (factory ammo, proper cleaning, etc...)
19th October 2004, 13:19
The recoil is #20 Wolff
Mags are Ed Brown 8 rd and 1 factory SA, seems to happen randomly between all mags.
Ammo has been Winchester 230g FMJ, yes the cheap stuff. A friend shoots the same stuff in his SA Mil Spec no issues, yet or maybe he'll never have any. I shoot anywhere from 100 - 300 rounds each outing and clean after each outing. Let me know guys!
19th October 2004, 14:01
The first problem I see is the recoil spring. The original 1911 was engineered for an approx. 14lb spring, provided we're talking about a 5" gun. I would go back to a 16lb spring, and use a Wolff. They are closest to their advertised rate as any I've tested.
Any time you mess with spring rates, there's other things that gets messed up in the mix........the most critical of all is the timing. With that heavier spring, you slow down the recoil or slide back, but speed up the slide home (going forward). And in some cases the mag can't function as quick to keep up with the slide going forward into battery that fast. Also with that spring slamming the slide home with more force, its also hard on the slide stop pin.
Next you need to specify what "jamming" is. Explain what exactly happens, what happens to the round, and at what time is the problem occurring....i.e., extraction (slide going back), or feeding (slide heading for home)
We need to remember what the 1911 was originally designed for; providing U.S. troops a secondary weapon to operate under all conditions, firing hardball type ammo. Nothing more.........
Fast forward almost 100 yearts later, and we're feeding it different styles of pointed bullets, messing with the tolerances, metal quality, etc., etc., etc. and we wonder why the 1911 has taken a bad rap for being unreliable?! It was not designed to do what we're putting it thru. Its like taking your stock off the show room floor pickup and running it thru the Baja 1000.........'taint gonna make it!
Yes, there have been some very good well thought out and engineered ways of getting the 1911 to do what we want.........but the makers (bless their inferior cast/MIM steel hearts) need to make their buck. So they can't put a whole lot of love into these things and stay out of the red. So have patience with the JMB's little gem and remember, its not your fathers 1911!
The ammo you're using is fine. I use it alot with no problems.
19th October 2004, 14:37
well i see your point on the recoil spring, but it did jam proir to replacing it as well. it seemed to do it more so with the factory spring, but i could be wrong. guess i should have mentioned that earlier. it is a 5" gun as well.
during feeding when one round is fired, the following round does not quite make it through and up. it ends up wedged facing up into the chamber and jams the slide. this has happened more so at the end the of the mag, last round. but it does occur randomly anywhere before that as well. i have gone several mags without a hitch, this occurs as they say, "once in a blue moon".
I really appreciate the input guys. i'm a newbie to the 1911, well i've been shooting mine for over a year, but it is my first. i really enjoy the 1911 so i want to make this a reliable shooter. reason being my girlfriend wants to get rid of her .38 revolver and take over my .45. that could be a good thing, could be bad, not sure yet!
19th October 2004, 15:14
Go back to the 16 lb spring and install a good quality extractor ( Ed Brown or Wilson). I'm 99% sure your problems will go away.
19th October 2004, 15:25
Good advice about the new Wolff 16# recoil spring. Also, polish your feed ramp, barrel chamber lips & breech face. Go light with the polishing- just smooth& slick things up, don't remove metal! Try Wilson 7 rd. mags. or CMC Powermags. I also replace SA extractors with Wilson "Bulletproofs". I'd try these things one at a time so you can determine the actual problem. Good luck & good shooting! :)
19th October 2004, 15:25
It sounds like the problem is a Bolt Over...or Rideover Feed. It happens when the breechface catches the extractor groove of the case instead of the back of the rim, and forces the base down into the magazine...and the bullet nose up.
Most of the time, it happens because the magazine spring can't get the
round up to feeding position in time, and the slide rides over. Which is what I mentioned in my previous post. With the heavier recoil spring, it forces the slide home faster than normal, which makes this type of jam more likely.
The other problem could be the magazine spring. Use a Wolff 11-pound mag spring if you're using 7-round magazines, or Wolff 5% Extra Power for the 8-round mags.
Short cycling of the slide can do it as well, and too much recoil spring can make things worse. If you're using a shock buffer, take it out and see if it ends the problem.
Put the 16lb recoil spring back in, and try the Wolff spring or some other mags......but DO get it fixed. A live round jammed in an open chamber can be dangerous. If the round gets rammed in just the right place, and the primer gets hit in the process, you'll have shrapnel explode in front of your face.
As for the girlfriend thing........uh.......can't help ya there.
19th October 2004, 15:28
Not to sound like bashing but I am confused first you say every other mag, then you say once in a blue moon which is it? Lose the 8 round magazines and find some good Metalform 7 rounders with the flat follower with the dimple (a little info from Tuner). But I am a newb to this pistol as well and saving up for 1911 number 2. Oh well of to read some more, plenty of interesting things to be found about the 1911.
19th October 2004, 17:25
thank you wichaka and everyone for your advice. i have some work to do and some parts to order. i'll start with the springs and polishing, then maybe a new extractor. i'll let you all know how everything ends up.
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