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Discussion Starter #1
Shot about 125 rounds during a course this evening. Training used 2 mags loaded 8-rounds each. I rotated 3 Wilson 47d mags. At least 12 - 15 FTF. Most were either the first round or the last. A few of the FTF with the last round the slide actually locked open so I dropped the mag and a loose round fell with it. I've never had that problem before in over 1200 rounds. It got to the point where every other full mag would not load the first round into the chamber. I watched the slide release and there wasn't a jam, the round just sat there in the mag.

FTE usually occurred with the last round. One stovepipe was so bad the slide was jammed as well as the mag. The instructor took it to the gunsmith at the shop to remove the brass.

So, I've got some reading to do. I would suspect extractor tension for FTE. The Wilson mags have less than 250 rounds each. I recently went from a 16# Wolff recoil spring with Springfield ILS and mainspring to an 18.5# Wolff with a Wilson mainspring housing running a 23# main. I fired about 150 rounds of 230 FMJ and 230 JHP and some 230 +P JHP with no problems after the switch. No clue as to the FTF problems.
 

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Change your recoil spring back to the 16 lbs spring maybe and try that. To much jolt knocking a round loose? Were you seating the 8 rd mags properly?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Were you seating the 8 rd mags properly?
This is the third course I've been through and all three stress slamming the bottom of the mag to make sure it's seated if there's issues. So that's pretty much my first recourse. Worked a only few times. Thought about switching back to the 16# but 18-18.5# is supposed to be "normal" for 230-gr loads.
 

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Check your mags.

Check your extractor for correct tension, clocking in the slide.

Check your firing pin for a loose fitting, thus causing your extractor to clock in the slide.
 

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Sounds a bit like you're oversprung and the extractor is losing control of the round. They may be affecting each other. The original 1911 design called for a 14.5 lb mainspring or close to it.

This move to heavier springs doesn't seem necessary for the longevity of the gun.

If the ejector is undertensioned it will not hold onto the round firmly enough to have consistant contact with the ejector. A non scientific test would be to take the slide off and slip a loaded round under the extractor. Then give it a good shake. If it comes loose then you need to bend the extractor inwards slightly until it holds the round reasonably convincingly. That and going back to a 16 pound spring should help.

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I don't fully understand clocking and the timing of everything. But I do appreciate that this is a system and by changing parts of that system I threw the thing out of whack (that's my highly technical term for things I don't know about). I tend to make incremental changes and this one had a significant effect.

The FPS was pretty loose so I think that could affect the extractor. I'll put the original FP back in to see if that helps.

The FTF has me baffled. The mags and follower are good so I could just change out the spring. But these mags are only a few months old. Could the FTF be related to the recoil spring and extractor issues?
 

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The clocking on the extractor is when you the push it, from the rear of the slide, and it will move either counter clock wise or clock wise. This is from a loose fitting firing pin stop. Get an EGW oversize FPS and fit it to the slide. This will keep the extractor from clocking.

If the extractor is clocking, then there's not providing a consistent hold on the casing, thus could cause multiple issues: 1) weird ejection pattern, 2) FTEject and FTExtract, and possible FTF.

And like Kruzr mentioned, the tension on the extractor will also attribute to the FTF and FTE.
 

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... A few of the FTF with the last round the slide actually locked open so I dropped the mag and a loose round fell with it. I've never had that problem before in over 1200 rounds. It got to the point where every other full mag would not load the first round into the chamber. I watched the slide release and there wasn't a jam, the round just sat there in the mag...
First issue seems to be a premature slide stop. Do you see any scratches on the unfired round casing from the slide stop? Do you see any copper residual on the stop?
For the second issue I assume you released the slide either through a sling shot or by depressing the slide stop. If the round still is in the mag it seems like the slide was so quick on going forward that the mag spring failed to push the first round up on time for it to be picked up with the slide.
I can not see how extractor could contribute to either of those two issues. Both seem to be from extra strong recoil spring. Please post if going back to 16# one has resolved the issues mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Will be reinstalling the 16# spring today. Checked the gun out last night looking for some further clues. Ran a mag full of dummy rounds through. I use an overhand power stroke release. First dummy round chambered but the slide did not return fully. Ejected the first round and the rest were normal. The 'nose' of the ejector looks a little battered. While there is some play in the extractor due to a loose-fitting FPS, I won't know if it's clocking until I remove the slide from the frame (I can't fully tell with the slide still on the frame). I'll be ordering a few extra parts such as an EGW HD FPS and extractor (and Wollf mag springs). If the extractor tension is off, I will attempt to correct that.

I suspect the heavy recoil spring is the culprit but that is intriguing to me since many references state an 18.5# should be used. But there's no other qualifying information along with that such as ".. if you use an 18.5# spring then do this and then do that.." Or perhaps it's common knowledge what else needs to be changed and I have yet to discover it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Cleaned the gun and tuned the extractor. If anything the extractor felt too tight instead of too loose. I didn't alter the tension too much. Tested with a empty casing, dummy round, and a live round. Really had to shake the slide to get the live round out. The angles on the extractor look good matched up with the casing. Ejector dinged, probably from the jam that locked everything up. Slide stop looked good (no copper or brass residue). When I clean the gun I always check everything for wear - nothing out of the ordinary.

Cleaned one of the Wilson mags. Really didn't have any residue. Hand-cycled three full 8-round mags with dummy loads. No FTFs or FTEs. We'll see how it goes at the range.
 
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