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9 mm 1911 Not Going to Slidelock When Empty


pbairborne
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I've done some searching, but haven't seen an answer to my problem. I'm running an Akai Custom 1911 in 9mm. With the mags I have, 25 or so Metalform and Wilson ETM, the gun will not reliably go to slidelock when run dry. Only occasionally does the gun go to slidelock, perhaps 1 out of 10 times. With all these mags, when an empty mag is inserted into the gun and the slide is pulled all the way back and released, it always slidelocks.

 

While I shoot a variety of ammo, most of what I have been shooting lately is 145 Acme coated, loaded to 1.125 in with 2.9 gr Solo 1000 (lot 2384). The power factor I get is 130-131. I'm running a 17 lb mainspring and a 9 lb recoil spring, although I have run a 10 lb recoil spring with the same results.

 

This week I tried out Tripp Cobra mags for 38S. I used 3 of them in a match and all worked perfectly, with no feed issues and always going to slidelock when the gun ran dry.

 

Has anyone had this experience? Any suggestions to resolve my problem?

 

Bill

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I'm getting reliable slidelock with 10-11 pound springs, 17# mainspring, on tripp mags...but I'm right on the edge.  135 PF ammo.  130 PF was spotty.

 

I polished the back of the slide catch, with the goal of making sure it's moving freely in the gun.  Also tune the mag followers.  Remove slide, insert each magazine with one round in mag.  Tweak follower until it almost touches slide catch with one round remaining in gun.

 

Sounds like you've narrowed it down to the magazines. 

Edited by johnmyster
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Range report: I went to the range today. I dropped the recoil spring to 8 lb and tested ammo from 115 gr Federal commercial ammo to reloads with PF of 125-140. The results were the same. My Wilson 9 mm ETM mags and the Metalform mags would not give slidelock when the gun went dry. My Tripp 38S mags gave slidelock every time and with all the types of ammo I tried.

 

I also removed the slide and looked at where the follower engages the slide release, comparing my Wilson, Metalform and Tripp mags. I couldn't see any difference, measuring the space left when the follower engages the slide stop. I did this with dial calipers, measuring the space from the mag baseplate to the grip. I understand that this is a crude measurement because the polymer baseplates may not be nearly the same. Still, the differences I say were on the order of 0.01 in. 

Still scratching my head...

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Get a few sets of new mags guys, springs and followers,  or at least new springs.

Clean the mags and install new Springs.

 

See if the new mag springs push the slide stop into the slide.

 

Good fortune

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You shouldn't need an 8# spring to get full travel.  No shock buff, and no thumbs in the way right?  (Although those factors shouldn't be different with the 38s mags.)

 

For me, followers were adjusted by taking slide off of gun, putting slide stop back on gun, inserting mags with one round in them.  With one round, adjust follower to be very close to slidestop nose in fully "down" position.  This is a good chance to see if the slide catch nose is profiled well to work with the different mags.

 

Also, are your wilsons the older poly follower, or the newer steel followers?

 

I ended up trading my Wilson ETMs away because of this (less reliable slidelock than the Tripps) and their contribution to feeding issues...which was a "grand scheme" situation that also included my ammo.  I know people that swear by the ETM mags and have good luck, just wasn't my experience.  YMMV, but for me Tripps and Metalform are good to go in multiple STI, Dan Wesson, and Springfield 9mm guns.

 

With a high end custom gun, why not check with the maker?

Edited by johnmyster
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My $0.02

Either-

a) The springs springs in the mags that don't lock back are slightly weaker/short.  Unlikely, but easy enough to test using the mags that do lock back

b) the 'notch' on the mags that don't  lock back is cut  slightly lower than on the ones that work. More likely, but harder to test as it won't take much of a difference in placement between working and not working.  So it will be harder to 'eye ball' the mags to see the difference.

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Yesterday I contacted Akai Custom about the problem. Lisette told me that the slide release would have to be recontoured and that they would be glad to do it. Simple job. I could send it, but I think I'll wait until I am in FL this winter and just take it to them directly. Meanwhile, I'll run my Tripp mags when I need to have the gun go to slidelock.

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