Tight slide?

Discussion in '1911 Forum' started by Drrhein, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. Drrhein

    Drrhein New Member

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    At the range with my new Springfield SS 1911-A1 optimized. I've always thought the slide was a bit tight but on at least two occasions I've seen the slide hang up for just a bit before closing. Seems to happen on the second 8 round mag and then all is well thereafter. If I don't clean it (say, two sessions in one day) It doesn't do it on the second session. But if I clean and oil, it does it every time. What is the best way to loosen the slide a bit?
     
  2. IGETEVEN

    IGETEVEN New Member

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    Sounds like it still needs to be broke in. Keep them slide to frame rails lubed up and keep shooting it. The warmer the gun gets from shooting, the better that slide will move.

    What mags you using? Some good after market mags like Wilson, Chip McCormick or Tripp may help, if you are not already using them.

    Are you shooting store bought ammo or reload?
     

  3. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    if my 1911 doesnt rattle when i shake it, it makes me nervous, i just like a looser gun as metal expands when it heats up. on a super tight gun this can cause binding if there is a small tolerance flaw. excess oil/lube can cause binding if it gets gunky. burnt powder and oil make mud. it doesnt take much of a tolerance error for this to happen.

    anyway if this behaviour only happens on a specific magazine it may be a faulty mag. put a piece of masking tape on the bottom of your mags number em and note which are having issues. if its not mag centered and you have gone through 500 rounds get in touch with springfield.
     
  4. Drrhein

    Drrhein New Member

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    Yes, I think it's a combination of oil and too tight slide, I forgot to mention that I've already ruled out the mags. My RIA 1911 is quite a bit looser but the metal seems quite a bit softer and I'm concerned about excess wear on that, while the Springfield has very hard steel and I've had great difficulty polishing the feed ramp. I'm reluctant to attempt fooling with the slide rails but I'm sure thats where the problem lies. I suppose Springfield is the next step as suggested.

    I did read somewhere that using a polishing compound to lap (ala valve lapping) the rails but I'd really like to hear from more experienced people about that.

    It's interesting that JonM likes a rattle or two. My Sig sounds like a bucket of bolts every time you shake it, but it shoots 100% of the time and I don't worry about the slide hanging up one day.
     
  5. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    Polishing the rails is one way to smooth out the action. Care has to be taken and remember that metal can be removed easily, but is difficult to put back.

    Try to get at least 500 rounds through it first.
     
  6. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Drrhein - I do have a cure for what ails your pistol, but it does undertake a certain degree of risk.

    So, with that said, proceed at your own choosing/risk:

    Do you have a micrometer? You should have one for this process. You will need a vise, definitely a bench mounted one, but if you have access to one mounted to an end mill, that would be the best.

    Strip the frame down (I would say all the way down for Interwebz safety and all that, but you will be able to judge for yourself), at least remove the grips and think about pulling the hammer just in case.

    Mic the runnng rails across the frame at several spots to make sure you know how much of a change you are making.

    Insert frame runnng rails into vise and SLOWLY and CAREFULLY, apply some pressure to the rails so they get SLIGHTLY closer together.

    Re-mic and make changes in very small measures, refittiing slide and testing.

    When you get the customized fit you want, re-assemble and take to the range to test.

    I have seen Brett do this on about 15 or 20 frames at the shop and there was never a problem. That said, he routinely cautioned that this is an exercise in TINY changes. :eek:

    Good luck.

    JD
     
  7. Gojubrian

    Gojubrian New Member

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    I would rack the slide over and over while you are sitting around. Have it oiled up just a bit. It will work its way together.
     
  8. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    It sounds like you need to shoot this gun some more. I had a Dan Wesson that was very tight and it sometimes wouldn't go fully into battery by itself. To help this one out, I put in an 18# recoil spring and it functioned fine. After I got 500-700 rounds through it, the slide smoothed out and it functioned perfectly. Note that stainless has higher friction than carbon steel so make sure you keep the rails lubed up well. As I've said before, I use Mobil 1 on all my guns (including stainless 1911s) with good success...
     
  9. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    i dont use my 1911 for competition target shooting. all of mine are for self defense survival type crap or protection while hunting in south texas. when im down there im only like 100 miles from the border... its dusty dirty nasty out in the woods or what passes for em. my 1911 rides in a bianchi m9 holster and has to work when i need it to regardless of the junk its covered with. if i took a competition grade 1911 with tight slide to frame toleance i dont think i could count on it functioning covered in dust or blood or mud. sometimes they ride in my truck in a open holster shoved tween the seat and center console and crap falls on em for several days before i can clean em. my springfield A1 and colt series 70 are working guns. although if the rear sight on the springer falls off one more time its getting retired to the safe perminantly.

    thats why i dont care for mine being super tight and like to hear the rattle. all my 1911's shoot 1.5-2" 25 yard groups when im rock steady from a brace. which means they shoot hella better than i do under stress. when i want super accurate jagged hole groupings i pick up my 22lr ruger mk2 target pistol :)

    its just a matter of personal preference. some folks like the super tight guns others dont. im one that doesnt.

    with the information you added i think you should contact springfield before yu try doing anything else to the gun yourself. doing work like polishing the rails yourself can void the warranty.
     
  10. Drrhein

    Drrhein New Member

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    Thanks all, I've got an email off to Springfield waiting a reply.
    I super cleaned the thing and I'll try Mobil 1 in the slide for my CCW class next Saturday. (I'll take the Sig, just in case) If she hesitates again, off to Springfield as I'm not quite ready to try the vise yet, not while the thing is still under warranty. There's maybe 400 rounds through it now and I have noticed the problem a bit less as time goes by. My main big concern is that if it's too tight and you add in the propensity for stainless steel to gall up, well you can see the potential problem. If I do end up sending it off I'm certainly going to ask them to open it up. I'm just a hobby shooter, I really don't think the difference between 1" groups with a tight gun, vs 1.25 groups with a loose one is going to make any difference to me the way I shoot:D If I get all my shots into COM at 20 yards I'm happy as a clam!
     
  11. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    dont worry springfield will make the gun right. its just likely a small micro bump holding things up when it gets a little warm.
     
  12. billdeserthills

    billdeserthills New Member

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    While I'm sure you are right, it is too bad they need to be asked to do it right.
     
  13. sebbie

    sebbie New Member

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    Recoil spring?

    I have 2 guy friends who had the same problem with their recently bought Springfield's. The recoil springs on both were holding only at 14 lbs. They went with a Wolf 18 lbs recoil springs and they worked fine after that.

    Might just be me but the Springfield 1911 seems kinda clunky in their assembly and function.
     
  14. gatopardo

    gatopardo New Member

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    Sandpaper

    I'd use the sandpaper, but before check barrel alignment.
    Check inside the slide for over worn surfaces, that is a red flag alright. Apply sandpaper if needed.

    Semis are so simple machines is really easy to figure out what is going inside, I just take some time to look for bare metal, when I disassemble it.
     
  15. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    yeah thats true but every company lets one through once in a while.
     
  16. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    I lapped Fenrir (my Colt XSE/460 Rowland) when I couldn't get the damn thing to cycle.

    First question, is the gun stainless? Hard chromed?

    Is the receiver and slide of the same material? SS vs carbon steel?

    How many rounds do you have down range? (Should have been the first question.)

    If you haven't shot the first 500 rounds of 230gr ball ammo, don't even consider doing anything to the gun except cleaning. Polish the feed ramp?? Pretty feed ramps don't always eliminate FTF issues. Break-in sorts issues.

    Get it dirty, then clean her so she starts to respect you. When her trust is complete, she will serve you well for a lifetime!

    Answer thee questions and I'll give you a complete, step-by-step lesson in slide lap-in.

    It's a little different than head valves. :eek:

    Think the following:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Drrhein

    Drrhein New Member

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    Complete Stainless, about 400 rounds shot now. Thanks!
     
  18. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    I personally wouldn't lap anything or take sandpaper to anything unless you're positive you know exactly what you're doing. While it's easy to take metal off - it's very difficult and costly to put it back. Clean, lube, shoot and repeat. Stainless guns like a bit more lube than carbon steel guns as well...
     
  19. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    Somewhere I saw a lube that was designed specifically for stainless firearms. Check Brownells.
     
  20. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    First, Dave has a great point. NEVER undertake a gunsmithing project you know you're incapable of doing....OR....uncomfortable undertaking. You cannot un-ring a bell. Once the metal is gone, there are only two things that will fix your problem, a replacement part, or cash bucks!

    With that said, lapping removes very little material. And it will only remove the culpable, tight area. (High points only) This is not a difficult process and if you have a modicum of mechanical skillz you can do this given the proper parts and time. < $25 and some elbow grease. ( Wheeler Engineering Lapping Compound Kit (1 oz each of 220, 320, 600 Grit Compound) - MidwayUSA Now on sale)

    If you want to proceed, PM me for more info.

    I have found that stainless steel has a higher coefficient of friction than carbon steel. I pulled my gray hair out trying to get the cycle time set on my 460 Rowland conversion. Clark Custom Guns suggested FP-10 and I found it worked well. When I ran out of the sample, I returned to Mobile 1. If you don't want to use engine oil the guys at MPC will be glad to take your money. When I ran out of the sample, I returned to Mobile 1. If you don't want to use engine oil the guys at MPC will be glad to take your money. ($30/qt vs $6/qt)

    [​IMG]

    Firepower FP-10 CLP

    MPC Lubricants | Military Lubricants, Additives and Greases

    FP-10 Cleans, Lubricates & Protects
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010