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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Springfield Champion that ejects its spent cases straight back into my face with great velocity. I shot only 3 magazines through it because I was afraid one of the cases would break my shooting glasses and put out an eye—that’s how hard they were hitting me. I called Springfield, got a return label, and sent it back. Today (about 3 weeks later) I got an email saying I needed to call them.

The woman I spoke to said that because this is a GI (actually it’s a mil-spec, but whatever) without a lowered ejection port, it is SUPPOSED TO EJECT THE CASES STRAIGHT BACK TO MY FACE!!!! She said Springfield would lower the ejection port and install a different ejector, but only if I pay them $90.

I said I own other mil-spec 1911s with non-lowered ports and they don’t do this, and furthermore no gun is “supposed to” do this, but she was just reading the message sent from their repair shop and kept insisting that this was normal for “GI models.” I maybe should have asked to speak to her boss then and there, but it was just about time for them to close on a Friday, so I said I was going to ask for advice on a 1911 forum and get back with her on Monday.

Some further info: Though only 3 magazines have been shot through this gun, it’s an older model made in Brazil with a steel frame. I bought it new about 14 years ago but broke my wrist in a dozen places before I had a chance to shoot it. For 14 years the gun sat in my safe, until I took it to the range last month and shot it for the first time.

I’ve had a few other guns occasionally shoot a spent case back at my face, but this thing does it consistently and with great force. It’s clearly a defective weapon IMO, and I surely believe Springfield’s lifetime warranty should cover the repair. It amazes me that they should claim this is normal and is “supposed to” happen with any 1911 that doesn’t have a lowered port.

So I’m seeking some advice from you good and wise folks. Am I right in thinking Springfield should fix this on their dime, and if so, what can I do to get Springfield to do the right thing?
 

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Yeah... I had probably the same person telling me that it was normal for my $3,000+ Professional to show wear on the slide from under 50 rounds that others aren't seeing after 2,000 rounds.

Eventually, we came to an understanding, and the did the work on their dime, but assured me that this would only happen again as this is just the nature of the 1911. Got it back in phenomenal condition, put a thousand rounds through it in one outing - no issues.

I also have a TRP that I've noticed the left side of the ambi safety is only functional for two, maybe three activations, then jams and is inoperable without adjustment. So I find myself in a similar position as yourself with the same company.

In your case, I've never had an ejection port that wasn't lowered and flared. But I do know that the way that I had to go back and forth to hold them to do the right thing as they tell me I'm mistaken, I'd just as soon buy better parts and take care of it myself or send it down the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the helpful replies. I may try sending an email to Michael B. He's not part of the custom shop, is he?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
...Eventually, we came to an understanding, and the did the work on their dime, but assured me that this would only happen again as this is just the nature of the 1911. ...
I'm glad they eventually did the right thing for you, Milano. Do you have any advice on how I can get them to do the warranty work on their dime? Is there someone in particular I should try to talk to?
 

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A Mil Spec Champion? I'd love to see a pic of it should you have one around.

I sent a LW Champion Operator in for a small fix and it was gone for 4 months.

I was on the waitlist for a Professional for 32 months, and when I called to check status, they told me that that had called and e-mailed me 3 months prior. I checked everything, saw they had not, and told the woman that they had not contacted me in any way. She replied that I could get back on the list for the Professional, but it would be at the new price which was hundreds of dollars higher.

I e-mailed Deb, my original contact at SA Custom, told her how disappointed I was that they had broken the sales agreement, and that I would be taking that money I had saved for the Professional and buying something else. She contacted me a week later and said she wanted to make it right, but by that time I had purchased a custom Silverback.

At one time SA was golden. They changed and have become someone I have no wish to do business with. I sold all of my SA pistols with the exception of 2 Mil Specs, which are phenomenal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A Mil Spec Champion? I'd love to see a pic of it should you have one around.
I'll post a pic if I ever get it back from Springfield. I bought it new in (I think) 2005. It has a steel frame, which I prefer over aluminum, parkerized, with teeny tiny sights, which I don't like. It came in a huge army-green plastic case which looks too big for the gun.
 

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I have a Springfield Champion that ejects its spent cases straight back into my face with great velocity
FYI, why this happens is because the empty case is not clearing the ejection port quickly enough to avoid being smacked by the forward edge of the ejection port as the slide comes screaming rearward. The result is the slide bats the empty case straight back your face like a line drive back at the pitcher.

Not clearing the ejection port in a timely fashion can be traced back to an incorrectly shaped ejector and/or an incorrectly fit extractor. GI or Mil-spec ejectors do not have noses that extend forward of the magazine well and the nose is raked back at a 10 degree angle to strike the empty case low to get it to pop nearly straight up out of the ejection port. If the empty case is ejected to the right into the side of the slide below the ejection port, it will float in the air until the rearward moving slide impacts it. If the extractor is poorly fit, it can lose control of the empty case before it strikes the ejector and once again the empty case floats in the air until the slide bats it back at you. Having spent a decade with Uncle Sam carrying and shooting GI 1911s I don't ever recall seeing one that would bat brass straight back at the shooter.

The woman I spoke to said that because this is a GI (actually it’s a mil-spec, but whatever) without a lowered ejection port, it is SUPPOSED TO EJECT THE CASES STRAIGHT BACK TO MY FACE!!!!
Unbelievable. Too bad their employees don't know anything about their products.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
FYI, why this happens is because the empty case is not clearing the ejection port quickly enough to avoid being smacked by the forward edge of the ejection port as the slide comes screaming rearward. The result is the slide bats the empty case straight back your face like a line drive back at the pitcher.

Not clearing the ejection port in a timely fashion can be traced back to an incorrectly shaped ejector and/or an incorrectly fit extractor. GI or Mil-spec ejectors do not have noses that extend forward of the magazine well and the nose is raked back at a 10 degree angle to strike the empty case low to get it to pop nearly straight up out of the ejection port.
Before I mailed the gun back, I thought the ejector looked unusually short. I think the woman on the phone said that for 90 bucks they would install a longer ejector as well as lower the port. I honestly can't understand why this isn't a warranty issue, but since she said the gun was "supposed to" do that, I guess Springfield refuses to admit there is any defect.

Unbelievable. Too bad their employees don't know anything about their products.
Yeah, I agree. The poor woman on the phone of course knew nothing except what the repair shop had written. She kept repeating "supposed to" as if it was holy verse. I'm surprised the Allies won either world war, since JMB deliberately designed the GI pistols to blind the people firing them.
 

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You might be able to tell from my avatar pic, I like traditional 1911s. (And newer ones)

I have a bunch that have the short GI ejector and small ejection port, and none, zero, zip, nada of them fire brass back at my face. The extractor on your pistol needs to be tuned unless there is something else seriously wrong with it.

Learning to tune the extractor is something every 1911 owner should do. Hopefully Springfield will do this for you, but if they don't it isn't that hard.
 

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I think everyone is correct here on the extractor and ejector. If you like the gun enough to keep it and shoot it, you can try and fix it yourself, pay them what they want ( which isn't bad considering they are paying for shipping both ways) or just sell it and move on. I don't agree with them, so I would try calling them back again with the issue.

As Greg45apc said you can try the extractor fix yourself for nothing, by just watching some online videos.

You can also see how much they want to fix it without lowering and flaring the ejection port, probably cheaper.

I could be wrong and would like to know myself, I don't believe you need the ejection Port lowered and flared to eject an empty casing just to eject a live round, so if someone can chime in and let us know.

I see a few Smith's on here that don't lower and flare because you don't need it. All mine have it so I don't really know the correct answer on that one.

So, if they just fix the ejector and /or the the extractor, it should be cheaper than lower and flaring and then having to refinish, even if it's on there dime or yours.

Hopefully someone can chime in and clarify the lowering and flaring part of the ejection port.
 

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. . . yourself, pay them what they want . . .
There is no guarantee they'll actually fit it correctly. There are many reports of 1911s being returned to the manufacturer to fix something simple (e.g. the extractor) only to have the pistol come back either not fixed or the replacement part simply grabbed out of a bin and dropped in with no fitting. For $90 I'd buy a new extractor and take it and the pistol to someone local who will actually fit it.

If you were in my neck of the woods, I'd invite you to the house and fit it while we chatted - for free. I wouldn't be surprised if any amateur, kitchen table, 1911 tinkerer on this discussion board would do the same.

I could be wrong and would like to know myself, I don't believe you need the ejection Port lowered and flared to eject an empty casing just to eject a live round, so if someone can chime in and let us know.
You are mostly correct. In fact, a standard GI issue 1911 will eject a live round as easily as it will empty brass through its non-lowered ejection port.

So, if they just fix the ejector and /or the the extractor, it should be cheaper than lower and flaring and then having to refinish, even if it's on there dime or yours.
Lowering the ejection port adds revenue to their bottom line and makes fitting the extractor faster for them since the empty brass will now have a larger window to fly through.

. . . flaring part of the ejection port.
Flaring is just a cosmetic thing that was thought up by bullseye shooters to minimize dinging of their cases.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Many sincere thanks to all who have replied. I did an amateur test of the extractor before sending the gun back: I removed the slide and slipped a cartridge into the extractor. The cartridge seemed to stay in place properly. I know this isn't the sort of test that proves a great deal, but I suspect the short ejector and the super-strong recoil spring may be to blame (it has the full-length guide rod and, if I remember correctly, a double recoil spring). I suspect the slide slams shut so fast the case doesn't have time to eject to the side, but I don't know. I'd probably be willing to pay the $90 if I were sure SA would send back a gun with safe ejection to the side. Since the gun is parkerized, I wonder what sort of coating or paint they will use to cover the bare metal after they lower the port. I'm going to send an email asking about these things before I make any decision, and I'll incorporate most of the advice you good folks have offered.
 
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