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Discussion Starter #1
I have a newer Remington 1911R1 I worked up a nice load that the Remington shoots well with no failures to feed. I also have a Glock 21 that give great accuracy with these loads with no failures to feed. Now we come to my trusty Colt 1911A1. I get at least 2 failures to feed out of each magazine.

The Colt shoots ball ammo just fine. My reloads use 230gr Hornady XTP's. It must have something to do with the shape of the bullet tip. Has anyone run into this problem previously, if so, is it fixable and how.

Thanks
 

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how does your feed ramp look? a little elbow on the feed ramp may improve the feeding
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I inspected the ramp in the Remington and did not see anything different than what was in the Colt. Although I will say that the Remington is a lot tighter than the Colt, its a typical rattle trap. Any suggestions on where I might look to see a picture of where this elbow should be worked in, or how to work it in?
 

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the elbow I am referring too is "elbow grease" polishing the feed ramp if it seemed to have any unfavorable marks or defects that may hinder smooth feeds.:)
Ball ammo is almost malfunction free feeding the 1911 type pistols and is also what the 1911's were designed to use in it's beginnings. It is known that HP ammo may give ftf problems. I keep all my feed ramps polished to mirror finish and use fmj ammo mostly but the few HP ammo I use always feeds without failure. I carry fmj ball or flat tip ammo when carrying the 1911 for CC. BTW welcome to the forum:)
 
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I have a newer Remington 1911R1 I worked up a nice load that the Remington shoots well with no failures to feed. I also have a Glock 21 that give great accuracy with these loads with no failures to feed. Now we come to my trusty Colt 1911A1. I get at least 2 failures to feed out of each magazine.

The Colt shoots ball ammo just fine. My reloads use 230gr Hornady XTP's. It must have something to do with the shape of the bullet tip. Has anyone run into this problem previously, if so, is it fixable and how.

Thanks
Take a look at the ramp, are you seeing any copper rubbing marks on it? Also the spring tension with your 1911A1 might be different or "tired" compared to the Remington and Glock.Of course as mentioned genuine 1911/1911A1s do not have such a well tuned or polished feed ramp. If you're not sure how to deal with it, let us know. I've seen a lot of people over polish the area including the support of barrel chamber and undermine the support for the case.

What's the load and the COAL you're using?
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
1911 ftf

A sharp edge? Where on the outside of the case mouth? I started putting a slight bevel there and it still hasn't fixed the failure to feeds. Its not always at the same point in the magazine either. Sometimes the first and third, other times fifth and eighth, or sixth and seventh. No patterns with the magazines. I have Colt mags, Wilsons, Kimbers, some generics from a gun show. No difference.

I am shooting 6.2 gr of Unique behind 230gr XTP's with CCI standard primers, and new, never fired Starline brass. I clean the brass, full length size it in carbide dies. Trim all the cases to 0.896 and bevel the outside of the case mouth. COAL is 1.273

I do not use any crimp. I take my micrometer with me when shooting and I typically will measure rounds left in the magazine, rounds that failed to feed, and rounds that fed successfully. There is no bullet creep, they all measure 1.273

I've tried making the cases shorter in .001 increments with no change to the problem. I've tried making the COAL longer and shorter in .001 increments with no change to the problem. One suggestion I'm going to try is replacing the recoil spring. I have several friends with Colt 1911's. I'll drop in their spring at the range and see if it makes a difference.

What do I use to polish up the ramp? Emery cloth? what grit and what should I wrap it around to make the surface equally distributed?
 

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Replacing the recoil spring is necessary...

there's a set of three different strengths (comes in 3 colors) that are very handy for different loads.
Dremel tool should have a flapper wheel that fits that radius if it's deeply groved, if not wet emery or crocus cloth works well. Red dot powder and a firm grip after "tapping" the loaded clip also required.
 

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I would also suggest trying another recoil spring, it could be that yours is just on the ragged edge of not having enough strength to strip the round out of the magazine and chamber it resulting in intermittent failures to chamber.

Another suggestion would be to use the taper crimper in your seater die to just make sure you've taken all of the bell out of the case mouth after seating the bullet. You just have to make sure all of the bell is removed but go no further. Case mouth tension should be enough to keep the bullet from moving.

As to polishing with emery, I use 400 grit wet/dry emery to start and 600 grit for final polishing. Crocus cloth comes in handy if you wish a mirror finish.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I just inspected the feed ramp with a jewelers eye piece. There are no copper marks any place. It could stand a good polishing there are no burrs but under the correct light I see faint machining marks. No work done on this ramp at the factory. The ramp is blued. I have a small tube of Flitz and a Dremel with cotton buffer wheels. I'll give it a go. I'm going to get some polishing paste and junk in the innards of the frame. What do I do? take the grips off and dip the frame in something? then air blow it dry?
 

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That's the way I clean'em...

The set of springs I mentioned are the best way to cover the range of loads you'll probably be experimenting with in your (basically a "bring back") 1911 --- the mil load was way to strong for the light (most accurate red dot) spring and it really showed in the way the slide hit at the backend --- the target load was having the same problem you are describing with the strong member of the set. I'm sure some of the more experienced 1911 fans will tell you --- you can only get so much out of the barrel bushing models & then it's time to move on. to something more modern.
 

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Another potential is OAL.
Typically short cartridge lengths can cause real headaches for feeding.
 

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Load them to 1.230" and apply a taper crimp and see if that works.

Are you using the same magazines in both 1911's?

Did I misread about making the cases shorter? Shorter than trim length?
 

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I look at the magazine first, followed by the extractor, followed by the springs.

In thus case he is loading the ammo a bit longer than Hornady suggests, so I'd start there and use the taper crimp.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
1911 reload FTF

You did not misread. One of my attempted solutions was to take a small batch of casings and trim them shorter in .001 increments. The max on this effort was .003 The COAL was also decreased by .001 in each loading. FTF's were not as frequent but still occurred with enough regularity for me to deem the whole rig to be unreliable.

I had kept a log of this effort. The 1.273 COAL above is the product of an old memory and incorrect. Glad I kept a log. That was my starting point and I shortened the length in .001 increments from there. At 1.273 there was barely clearance in the magazines. I just pulled out the micrometer and measured 25 rounds and found them all to be 1.224 just like my log says. So any references to 1.273 above should be changed to 1.224

Yes I did interchange the magazines between the Remington and the Colt. Colts worked fine in the Remington, vice versa made no change to my problem.

This is a Series 80 Colt 1911 and has had about 350 rounds through it according to my inventory of remaining CCI primers, compared to the 1000 that I started with.

I just bought a new box of American Eagle ball ammo (these cycle fine). I measured the width of the mouth on the ball ammo and found it to be .001+ smaller than my reloads. So it appears that there are many viable suggestions here that all bear trying. Here's my plan

1. Load up a batch and slightly crimp the case mouth to approximate the width of the ball ammo case.
2. Polish up the loading ramp. I found a good YouTube video from Wilson's on how to get it done.
3. Wait for the 4 new springs to come in from Midway. If #1 & #2 fails, start fiddling with new springs.
4. Trade the Colt in for a new Remington and be no longer frustrated.
 

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I just inspected the feed ramp with a jewelers eye piece. There are no copper marks any place. It could stand a good polishing there are no burrs but under the correct light I see faint machining marks. No work done on this ramp at the factory. The ramp is blued. I have a small tube of Flitz and a Dremel with cotton buffer wheels. I'll give it a go. I'm going to get some polishing paste and junk in the innards of the frame. What do I do? take the grips off and dip the frame in something? then air blow it dry?
Something to consider on your Feed Ramp inspection:
You mention Faint Machining Marks.
If they are aligned across the Ramp they need ot be polished smooth.
If they are aligned along the Length of the Ramp they may be polished but should not cause your problem as is UNLESS they are deep enough to 'grab' the Bullet nose and slow its progress to the Chamber..

Polishing lengthwise will remove Crosswise Marks quicker and with a Smoother result.
Don't Polish the Ramp so much you deepen the 'cut into the Chamber Wall as Bad Things Can Happen.

Best Regards,
Chev. William
 

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Hornady handbook of cartridge reloading 9th edition says for 230 gr XTP the COAL is 1.210. Sounds really short to me but I would start there.
 

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One or two failures to feed out of a magazine is not the end of the world. Remember, some of the rounds DID feed. You didn't tell us what the failure to feed looked like. Did the bullet nose jam up against the barrel hood? What happened? Simply limp wristing after a shot can cause a failure to feed. Did you save the rounds that failed to feed so you could compare them against your other reloads? Look at your reloads. Do you see any bulges on one side of the case more than the other? Are you sure your powder charges are consistent? Just some things to check for in your ammo.

A series 80 1911 would have the feed ramp and breech end of the barrel cut properly for hollow-point and wadcutter ammunition so I wouldn't be in a hurry to polish these parts. If you must do so, remove the grips, then tape off any openings in the magazine well to avoid getting any polishing compound migrating into the interior of the frame. Painters tape would be a good choice for that inasmuch as it leaves very little adhesive on the frame when removed.

The fact that you have a late model 1911 with very few rounds through it and it DOES feed with intermittent failures, leads me to suggesting that you look at your ammunition first, then experiment with a new recoil spring, swap magazines, but leave the polishing for last. Once material is removed, replacing it usually means a new replacement part if your polishing makes matters worse.
 
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