Ruger SR1911 Double-Feed

Discussion in '1911 Forum' started by dlidster, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. dlidster

    dlidster New Member

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    SR1911 Double-Feed

    As of yesterday, I now have 500 rounds through the Ruger SR1911 I purchased three weeks ago. I have a double-feed situation I'd like to throw up for discussion on this and several other forums.

    Let me begin by pointing out that I am not experiencing failures to feed (FTF) or failures to eject (FTE). Here's what seems to be happening. As the slide reaches its rearmost position and the empty case is ejected, the next cartridge in line in the magazine is popping up into the breech of its own accord. Then, as the slide begins its forward movement, the cartridge that the slide is trying to strip from the magazine runs into the cartridge already loose in the breech.

    Regarding magazines and ammunition used: In addition to the seven- and eight-round magazines that came with the SR1911, I purchased an additional seven-round magazine from Ruger. All of my initial shooting was with handloads -- 230 gr hard-cast RN over 5.6 gr Unique with an OAL of 1.22". The problem always seemed to occur using seven-round magazines. Jam occurs every second or third magazine, usually third or fourth round in magazine.

    While shooting over Memorial day, my brother-in-law handed me five ten-round Wilson magazines loaded with Federal (Walmart bargain) cartridges. The double-feed occured in the third of the five Wilson magazines using this new factory ammo.

    Yesterday while testing some reduced loads (230 gr RN over 5.0 gr Unique and same 1.22" OAL for use in local matches) I had the same double-feed problem in every other seven-round magazine. However, it was not one or the other of the two magazines -- it happened with both. It never did occur in the eight-round magazine. (I was using a Wolff 16# spring with these light loads. The factory 18.5# spring was in place for all the previous loads.)

    Before shooting this gun for the first time I completely stripped it, degreased it, and lubed it. (I also lapped the rails and did some other slick-up work.) I also thoroughly cleaned the magazines.

    While the Ruger SR1911 is my first 1911, I am not new to handguns or autoloaders. I fired more than 7,000 rounds through my Beretta 92 FS and CZ 75 B last year. Neither has ever so much as hiccupped. Even my little Beretta 3032 Tomcat has been malfunction-free for more than 400 rounds.

    So, what do you think?
     
  2. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

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    It sounds to me that you need a lighter recoil spring. The recoil spring is slowing the slide too much so that it's not ejecting the case properly. Try a "standard GI" recoil spring or slightly hotter loads (230 gr ball).
     

  3. dlidster

    dlidster New Member

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    Please note that there is not an ejection problem. Cases are being tossed 10 to 12 feet to my right and behind me. This is a double-feed.
     
  4. Wambli

    Wambli Member

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    WAY too many variable combinations of ammo, springs, mags and ammo to try to troubleshoot. I would put in the factory spring and get a mega pack of UMC (250 rd) std 230gr ball ammo and get all the factory mags you own and go to the range and start from there to establish a baseline. THEN start one variable at a time...
     
  5. Jpyle

    Jpyle New Member

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    By process of elimination you should be able to isolate the issue. So start with what we know should not happen...a round should not eject itself from an undamaged mag. Are the lips visibly damaged, springs too loose to hold round against lips when mag is half full? Since this happens with multiple mags and ammo you either: accidently damaged the mags, the gun itself is damaging the mags or you have the worst luck in history...I would go with a or b.

    Barring damaged mags, the gun itself would have to be the culprit, duh I know, as the problem occurs with virtually all mag and ammo combinations. Something has to be bumping a round out of the mag before the slide cycles forward. Sorry I can't be of any more help. Is it possible to remove the recoil spring and manually cycle the slide to check for contact as the slide moves rearward?
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2011
  6. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    As a hint, put some kind of id mark on each mag. When you are shooting, have a piece of paper to keep track of which mags are giving you problems.

    I had a similar problem with some used mags I was given. Ended up being small cracks in the mag lip area. The cracks allowed the lips to expand when loaded.
     
  7. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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  8. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

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    When he 1st posted I thought that it was an ejection problem from the way he talked. So the mag is releasing the round before it's supposed to?
     
  9. Jpyle

    Jpyle New Member

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    several different mags, different ammo brands apparently
     
  10. Olympus

    Olympus New Member

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    Yeah, a mag shouldn't be just magically releasing a round on its own. As others have mentioned, stick with one kind of ammo. In this case, I would also recommend buying a bulk box of factory ammo. Take the reload component out of the equation and start with the mags. Someone else already mentioned, but I would number your mags so you can differentiate them and find the one(s) that are being used when the problem occurs. It wouldn't hurt to try some regular old 7-round milspec 1911 mags as well. They're only about $7 at my area gun shows.

    I also don't understand why you're changing recoil springs in order for a lighter reload to function properly. Put the factory weight spring back in and adjust your loads to find the lightest load that reliably functions in your gun. My opinion is you won't be able to tell much difference in anything lower than that point anyway. And if you want to shoot super light loads, I'd switch to another caliber. But that's beside the point.

    Hope you get it figured out though.
     
  11. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you contact Ruger, do not tell them you used hand loads.
     
  12. Olympus

    Olympus New Member

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    Or changed out the recoil spring either.
     
  13. dlidster

    dlidster New Member

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    I will take this and not mentioning reloads as sound advice. I was contacted by Ruger (e-mail) and they suggested sending the gun back to them.
     
  14. Wambli

    Wambli Member

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    I know I'm in the minority but that is like sending a patient to a doctor and asking him to only talk about half his symptoms. It is futile to send the gun to Ruger if you have not ironed out if it's a reloads, magazine or springs issue.

    They will probably use factory mags, factory ammo amd fatory springs, run the gun and send it back to you and tell you it's working just fine so both you and the company potentially wasted time and money diagnosing a non-problem.

    Before sending the gun back I would seriously run it in 100% stock configuration with factory ammo. Even if you are still having a problem I would give the gun to an experinced 1911 shooter to make sure we take shooter error out of the picture too. I had a 1911 that ran at 100% reliability in my hands and I sold it to one of my best friends who was a 1911 newbie. He had FTF with it in almost every mag. I took it off his hands and it would runn 100% for me again. The gun was particularly finicky to weak wristing it and he would let it fly up to almost 90 degrees up on recoil. He switched to a heavier spring and modified his grip and the gun became a 100% gun for him (it was a Colt Series 80).
     
  15. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    Wambli, I gave you a thumbs up on that. Thanks.
     
  16. Wambli

    Wambli Member

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    Thanks! Just trying to help.
     
  17. dlidster

    dlidster New Member

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    With the help of all of you here, I believe we have identified the problem. From my experiences with a lengthy (fun) session at the range yesterday, I believe the SR1911/Ruger magazines is quite sensitive to OAL.

    Although it hurts me to buy factory ammo, I picked up 100 rounds of Winchester White Box. The OAL of these factory loads runs from a little over 1.26" to 1.27. They ran without a hitch.

    Based on these measurements, I loaded my 230 hard-cast round nose bullets into cartridges trying to approximate these dimensions dimensions. Because the ogive is different, the bullet can't be seated this far out -- it engages the the rifling lands in the throat. So, I loaded 50 at 1.26" and 50 at 1.25".

    At 1.26" the bullet still makes contact with the rifling. I had three failures of the gun going into full battery out of these fifty cartridges. But, there were no double-feeds.

    At 1.25", the cartridge will chamber correctly, but I did have three double-feeds in the 50 rounds.

    I feel better now. Now that I know what's going wrong, I can deal with the situation. I'll just experiment with different bullets till I get a good match.

    I should have known better than this. I load my 9mms with an OAL that fills the magazine front to back. In more than a combined 9,000 rounds (using 125 gr hard-cast or 124 gr plated bullets) through my Beretta 92 FS and CZ 75 B, I've never had a malfunction. Honestly, never. This has spoiled me.

    With the frustration of not knowing what was wrong gone, I can return to experimenting with loads and enjoying my SR1911. Thanks again to everyone for sharing helpful advice.
     
  18. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    Get a different magazine a non ruger one
     
  19. mrwintr

    mrwintr New Member

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    So your problem is solved...??
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011
  20. dlidster

    dlidster New Member

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    Getting closer. I'm planning a full report next week.

    I talked with Ruger. They couldn't have been nicer or more cooperative. They're sending me two more magazines to work with before we take another step (send the gun in).

    But... After an additional 500 rounds, my loads as described previously continue double-feed with some predictability in the seven round magazines, but cycle just fine in the eight-round Ruger magazine, a seven-round colt magazine, two eight-round Wilson 47 D magazine, and two Chip McCormick 10-round magazines.

    I'll be loading up some 200 gr LSWC loads. I'll report back after I've received the new magazines from Ruger and have run another 500 or so rounds through the pistol.

    Other than the DF problem, I love this gun. Trigger is wonderful. I've lapped the rails so it's butter-smooth. And it shoots way better than I do. (As do most of my other guns, though.)

    BTW, there's a post on Ruger Forum.net from a guy with the same problem as mine. For some reason I've never been authorized on that forum, so I can't participate. (I've never received a reply from a human being there who can help me rectify the situation.)