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1911 locked up tighter than a bank vault!


Dantankerous
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Okay, what does this have to do with Wild Bunch? Simple. As I completed the 4th Wild Bunch stage of the day without incident I went to show my 1911 clear to the timer operator. I dropped the magazine and released the slide. The slide went half way forward and caught. So I pulled the slide rearward. Nothing. The gun was jammed with the slide halfway forward, 100% stuck. I could not get it to budge. The timer operator inspected the gun and declared it clear so I left the stage and went to figure out my stuck gun problem. I'm not a small guy and fairly strong and it still took quite some doing to get that slide to rack forward or rear word. It eventually moved rearward to full lock where it stuck in place again, locked up tight, no budging. Using as much force as I could muster with both hands I finally got the gun back into battery or a closed position. And it took some doing. As in all my strength. I tried to rack the slide again and this time it racked open and closed no problem at all. I then racked it back and forth about another 50 times easily in total bewilderment. The gun shot trouble free all day and then this, although I had to smile since it was after I was done shooting for the day.

 

This particular gun had been field stripped and cleaned the night before the shoot. It functioned properly all day until the day was over. I took the gun home and re-disassembled it for a cleaning and inspection and found nothing overtly wrong. Dry firing it everything works properly. The gun is a Springfield GI model with no modifications. It has been trouble free the entire time I've owned it. All I can think is maybe I got a small piece of debris from either a split case or something stuck in the slide. Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks for any insight and help.

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You should have been able to see what caused the lockup when you finally got the gun disassembled. 

 

Now is a little late, because the material that jammed it is probably gone - since it moves normally now.

 

At this point, you need to closely examine the slide rails on the frame, and the grooves in the bottom of slide for galling or other damage or remains of foreign materials. 

 

It's almost certainly the slide to frame contact that is causing slide to stick, if it has stuck half way back and also at full retracted position.

 

The disconnector touches the slide but it does not have enough surface area to lock the slide to it.

 

Muzzle end of barrel goes through the barrel bushing.  Something galled or stuck there could lock slide forward, but not so much at half way or all way back.

 

If the frame or slide ways are galled, heavily scratched or otherwise rough, there are stones/files that can clean that up, but for top accuracy's sake, I'd have a good 1911 smith do that refitting, because it's easy to make it too loose and thus lose some accuracy and lifetime of the gun.

 

Good luck, GJ

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well... it happened again.

 

Took the 1911 to the range and shot around 200 rounds trouble free but for a mag issue or two (another topic) and the gun jammed up solid as a rock again.

 

Is there a chance the barrel link pin walks out far enough to lock up the slide?

 

I disassembled the gun and inspected it. All looks OK. Nothing seems out of place, scarred or scored, bent, etc... Reassemble and all works fine.

 

Hmmm.

 

 

 

 

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I'd say there's something you are not seeing. 

Bout time for the gun to visit a good smith that knows 1911s well, I'd say.

 

Your barrel link pin should not be free to come out.  Take center punch to the each end and give it a good smack to upset the end of the pin (make it swell a little).  I've sheared a link pin before when it came loose.  Then since the link could not pull the barrel down out of lockup, I had to press down on barrel hood to open slide.

 

Good luck, GJ

 

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I'd say there's something you are not seeing. 

Bout time for the gun to visit a good smith that knows 1911s well, I'd say.

 

Your barrel link pin should not be free to come out.

 

Well, mine is. You can push it out easily with a ball point pen tip. Hence the problem?

 

My Colt 1911s do not exhibit this.

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Update on the problem.

 

I went to the range last week with the same Springfield GI and put around 200 more rounds through the gun. Same thing happened at about the same round count as at the match where I first encountered the problem. Locked up. Totally locked up in the same position.

 

Disassembled the gun and found nothing overtly wrong. Cleaned it, this time LUBED the PI$$ out of it, and took it back to the range today.

 

Same mags, same ammo. Ran trouble free. About 200 more rounds. Perhaps I simply did not have enough oil on the gun? I'm going to not clean it and run more ammo through it later this week just to see what happens.

 

I always oil my 1911s but maybe this one just needs a lot more oil?

 

Hmmm.

 

 

 

 

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Update on the problem.

 

I went to the range last week with the same Springfield GI and put around 200 more rounds through the gun. Same thing happened at about the same round count as at the match where I first encountered the problem. Locked up. Totally locked up in the same position.

 

Disassembled the gun and found nothing overtly wrong. Cleaned it, this time LUBED the PI$$ out of it, and took it back to the range today.

 

Same mags, same ammo. Ran trouble free. About 200 more rounds. Perhaps I simply did not have enough oil on the gun? I'm going to not clean it and run more ammo through it later this week just to see what happens.

 

I always oil my 1911s but maybe this one just needs a lot more oil?

Hmmm.

Is the ejector loose?
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Ejector is fine. Very tight in place and straight as can be.

 

My SA GI actually has the ejector pinned, not glued like other SA's do.

I have two Springfield 1911 MIL-SPEC .45ACPs that I shoot traditional Wild Bunch with. One's ejector likes to come loose so I thought I would mention it. I only notice if I pull up on it and it will move. The other has not had that issue. So I guess that is not it!  ;)

 

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Three possible suspects could be grabbing the slide/barrel at halfway-forward on the closing cycle of the slide.

Barrel bushing grabbing the barrel

Disconnector not sliding down to allow bottom of slide to pass by

Ejector pivoting enough to grab the narrow slot in bottom of slide that the ejector slides within

 

Sudden bushing tightness isn't something likely to "just pop up".  Unless you see the inside of bushing galled or the outside of barrel scarred, and bushing is not super tight on barrel when you disassemble the gun, probably not there.

 

Disconnector needs a drop of oil on it's tip every time you clean gun.  That disconnector is not driven upward by much of a spring (one leaf of the three-legged leaf "sear" spring).  It could have it's channel in the slide filled with gunk and be not wanting to be pushed down by slide.

 

Ejector pivoting would be my guess from what little you have to work on.  If the ejector is moveable by hand, you need to re-pin it and make it solid.  It could pivot up and down, or rotate some sideways (especially if one of the two legs on the extractor has sheared off).  If ejector has been damaged (peened), it could be dragging in it's raceway.    That, though, would seem to be a regular drag on the slide, not a one-every-200 rounds problem.

 

Then again, it's probably something else..... ???

 

Fourth possibility - probably very rare.....Did the slide release wedge itself in the disassembly notch of the slide somehow? 

 

Good luck, GJ

 

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