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Discussion Starter #1
I was at the range yesterday and my 1911A1 wouldn't feed properly. The bullets would jam at an upward angle and stay pinched between the barrel entrance and the next bullet in the magazine line. I examined it when I had returned home and found a line of brass on the slide catch which indicates that the bullets were rubbing on it. Is this normal? I know that the slide catch is responsible for holding the slide open and holding down the follower in the magazine but I was wondering if it served any other purpose? Would modifying the slide catch so that the bullets stop rubbing be a good idea or would I be screwing up something else in the process that I am not aware of? Any thoughts on this matter would help a great deal. Thanks :)
 

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Sounds like you need an extractor adjustment. I have done it myself and it has been hit or miss. 1 of my .45s is perfect the other wont extract reliably. I recommend asking a pro im only an amature gunsmith.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I fixed the feeding problem by filing down the rough edge on the entrance ramp of the barrel then I used some superfine sandpaper to smooth it out. It's super smooth and feeds great now :D The extraction however is still not working properly :( I removed the extractor to look for signs of wear and found none, it looks to be in like new condition :? The only thing I could think of that would stop the gun from extracting the spent casings would be a bad extractor. I seem to be out of theories and options.
 

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You can tweak it by bending it or shaping it. How the adjustment is done other than guess work and experience is beyond me.

The extractor that is.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
One thing I don't understand is that when I experiment with cycling the gun manually with dummy rounds or test extraction with empty casings it seems to work fine. Whether I move the slide slowly or quickly it extracts fine. Nothing seems to be catching or binding in any way, the action is very smooth. So why would the gun not work properly under it's own momentum and function flawlessly when the gun is racked manually :?
 

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when I experiment with cycling the gun manually with dummy rounds or test extraction with empty casings it seems to work fine
No offense, semi, but any chance you're "limp-wristing" when the pistol recoils? 1911s have to have a solid surface to recoil against in order for the extractor to work properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
No I don't "limp-wrist", I keep a very firm grip and couldn't "limp-wrist" even if I wanted to. I have fixed the problem with a new extractor so my 1911 is back to being old reliable. When I compared the new extractor to the old one it was night and day. The old extractor was even bent in the wrong direction so it couldn't grip the case.
 

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TMats said:
No offense, semi, but any chance you're "limp-wristing" when the pistol recoils? 1911s have to have a solid surface to recoil against in order for the extractor to work properly.
This conversation has been had. Don't go there with him! :wink: :D

I wonder how the old extractor became bent as it was. The previous owner perhaps? I don't think it would be bent that badly from normal use.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I agree, it was very strange to have it bent in the wrong direction. This is the one and only weak link in the 1911 design and with age and normal use over the years the extractor can lose it's spring and just stop springing all together. According to the seller the gun hadn't seen much use and wasn't that old but after firing it for the first time I knew why it didn't see much use.
 

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This extractor problem with the Auto Ordinance is not inherent in ALL 1911s, just this one gun in particular and Auto-Ordinance (and other inexpensive brands) in general. I've put well over one 5 gallon bucket full of .45 ACP ammo through my Springfield with nothing more than routine spring replacements and regular cleaning. I would expect similar results from Kimber, Para Ordinance, S&W, and other major makers. To produce a gun this inexpensively, some corners must be cut and the quality of the parts is one area this is done. More expensive guns generally have better specs for the materials used in them as well as more hand fitting. That doesn't mean poor examples of expensive guns do not reach the market, just that it is less likely for it to happen. Problems like you experiences are less common (not non-existant) in the more "upscale" brands. Buying cheap generally means more work by the owner as you are finding out. I've been there and done that with Norinco and AMT 1911s along with other brands and styles; it is a good way to learn the inner workings of the gun but frustrating to have the gun regularly go down due to broken parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Everything I've read online said that the Internal Extractor is the only weak link in the 1911 design because it functions as it's own spring. This can cause the extractor to become stiff over time and stop the gun from extracting regardless of who makes the gun. Some extractors my go sooner than others because of quality reasons like you stated in your earlier post Uglydog but they will still fail eventually and they will go alot sooner than any other parts in the 1911. This is why they went to the external power extractor because it uses an independent spring which eliminates the stiffening problem.
 

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I'm slowly learning that you get what you pay for. It's true whether the subject is a gun, car, computer or anything else. I always try to buy upper-middle-of-the-road now to avoid some of the problems that can be avoided. My .02
 

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The external extractor is indeed the weakest link but that doesn't necessariliy mean it is a weak link. As you found out with your Auto Ordinance, material is a key component in reliability and here you get what you pay for. The external power extractor is more of a response to some serious users of the gun than a true shortcoming. If the internal extractor was really that weak of a link, it would not be so prevalent in guns ordered by special operations groups. I also was thinking of your response to the Springfield thread in the General forum when I wrote this so it may not have made the most sense. I took your post as the AO being equal to the Springfield in reliability which I strongly feel is incorrect. I agree with Fueburns that the mid level guns have the best combination of quality and reliability for the price; higher cost comes with smaller gains for the increasd cost.
 

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Gee, with my AO 1911 I found most of the problems I had were fixed by getting rid of the $4 gun show magazines. When I went to Shooting star mags, most of my problems went away. I took my gun from grouping at about 3"+ at 25 yds to about 1 1/2". I made it into a comp gun. I eventually sold my Colt Commander and my Kimber Ultra Carry, but the old AO is still in the safe.
 
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