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Thread: 1911 slide hangs up, what's up?

  1. #1
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    1911 slide hangs up, what's up?

    A friend brought me his aluminum frame/steel slide 1911 so I could look at the problem he was having with it. When shot or cycled by hand the slide sticks at it's farthest rearward travel and will not return forward without bumping it toward the front. I disassembled it completely and thoroughly cleaned and oiled it, same result. Any tips on where I should look for the cause of the problem? Your hints and advice would be more than welcomed.

    Thanks,
    Leonard

  2. #2
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    Check the recoil spring and see if it is binding up.
    Also, if it has full length guide rod, they can bound with the plug if surfaces are smooth. My commander did that until I polished the edges on the plug. (with 2olb spring, but not with 12lb spring)

    Try cycling it without recoil spring in place to see if anything else binds, like the slide stop rising too high.

  3. #3
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    Start by taking out the recoil spring, plug and guide rod (or spring and FLGR) ... check the feel when running the slide through its travel.

    There'd have to be quite a burr on the aluminum frame to cause a stick so I'd suspect the recoil components ... does it have a full length spring or has it been clipped a few coils?
    /Bryan

  4. #4
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    Might be the disconnect.

    Pull the trigger and hold it. Hand-cycle the slide. If it returns to battery freely, it's the disconnect.

    If the slide is extra hard to pull rearward with the trigger pulled and held...the center leg of the sear spring is too short and preventing the disconnect from camming down into the frame. It will likely have a small kink in it about 1/8th inch from the top.

    Don't file on the disconnect.
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  5. #5
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    I pulled out the barrel, plug, spring and guide rod last night and hand-cycled it. Same result but not as bad. Still hung-up at farthest travel.

    There's no obvious burrs on the frame rails or on the grooves in the slide. As you approach the end of the slide travel, resistance increases. Then the slide will not return forward until you bump it to overcome the resistance and send it on it's way.

    I tried Tuner's test with the trigger pulled. Didn't seem to change anything. I switched the disconnect with another one from my parts bin. No change.

    (Tuner, I'd never shorten the disconnect after all your stern warnings!)

    Any more suggestions? I'm tapped-out.

  6. #6
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    The way folks these days want such a tight 1911, it does not take much of a ding in the side of the slide and cause a pinch. Also galling happens, but you said you couldn't see anything.
    If it is tight it might just be a bump meeting a bump. I know that when I built a Caspian from new frame and slide, as I lapped them in together, it got to where it did just what you describe. I bit more work with the lapping compound got it go tight and smooth.
    Did he drop the pistol?
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  7. #7
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    What make, and model is it??? 1911 means something but not much in this day and age

    Regards

  8. #8
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    Apparently not the recoil assembly kinking/binding, nor the discon ... just to be really sure, leave out the recoil assembly and pull out the ignition parts. If you can feel the hitch with just a slide and frame, there's got to be a pinch in there somewhere (back half of frame with front half of slide) ... maybe just a "pinched" spot on a frame rail from a previous accidental bang when cleaning.

    Is it a new gun? Has this been an issue since he's owned it?
    /B

  9. #9
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    I pulled out the barrel, plug, spring and guide rod last night and hand-cycled it. Same result but not as bad.
    A clew!

    Because of the way the frame rails are machined, you're more likely to get a ticht spot at the limit of the rearward travel without the guide rod in place...so that's pretty normal.

    That you had a little change makes me suspect that's what caused it...but since it's worse with the guide rod in place...

    Assemble the pistol and leave the spring plug out so you won't have to fight the recoil spring.

    Pull it to the point that it starts to bind, and wiggle the barrel up and down to see if moves easily. If it doesn't...the guide rod flange is interfering with barrel drop, and the tight spor is coming from contact between the slide and the top of the barrel.

    If all is well, it's in the rails. Get a sall tub of J&B Bore Cleaner. Disassemble the gun and slather it into the rails and ways. Work the slide to full travel...back and forth...about 50 times. Wipe off the bore cleaner...oil lightly...and retest it. Repeat as necessary.
    Speak kindly to me, beloved master. Revel in my unconditional love, and give me every minute that you can spare, for my time with you is short.
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  10. #10
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    Tuner, the barrel didn't wiggle when it hung-up. I blackened the barrel and slide with a Sharpie and cycled it a couple of times. The attached pics show what I saw (barrel rubbing on slide). Now what? New link?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "We cannot but pity the boy who has never fired a gun. He is no more humane, while his education has been sadly neglected."

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  11. #11
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    From here it looks like there's insufficient drop clearance. The barrel goes to bed, and there isn't any clearance between the top of the barrel and the first slide lug.

    Hard to tell from the picture...but if the front corners of the barrel lugs are flanged or peened...there could be a linkdown/drop timing issue at work.

    Assemble the gun and pull the slide back about a half-inch. There should be a gap between the top of the barrel and the underside of the slide of .015 inch.

    If it's not there...you;ve either got a frame bed out of spec, or there's a timing problem.

    If those are flanges on the barrel lugs...check the slide lugs' rear faces to see if there's similar damage. If there is...you've got a bigger problem than you can correct with online advice or instruction. In any event...if that's flanging...you're looking at a new barrel at the least. If the slide lugs are likewise damaged...you're gonna need a new slide.

    The link could be a player if it's way too long and not allowing the barrel to drop to bed. You can check that by laying the barrel in the frame...slidestop pin through the link like it is when the gun is assembled. Push the barrel down and back as far as it will go and see if it's being held off the bed.


    Check for a short link or vertical impact surface too far forward like this:

    Assemble the gun, and leave the slidestop hanging vertically. Push straight back on the muzzle until it comes to a hard stop. It'll be about a quarter-inch of slide travel. See if the slidestop arm will swing freely. If it gets into a bind...you've either got a short link or a frame spec problem. It could also be that the barrel lower lug is located too far to the rear.

    If all that checks out, check to see if the guide rod flange is keeping the barrel from dropping.

    'Bout all I can tell ya from here.
    Speak kindly to me, beloved master. Revel in my unconditional love, and give me every minute that you can spare, for my time with you is short.
    --Your faithful dog

    http://www.collierescue.net/available/index.html


    To see my real work:

    http://www.pets-r-great.org:80/magaz...ue1/cover.html

  12. #12
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    Tuner--
    Great work, as always. Every time I read one of your posts, I learn something.

  13. #13
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    Has the barrel been replaced recently?
    "If you want assault rifles, join the army. We have lots of them." - General Wesley Clark 2004
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  14. #14
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    make sure ejector pin is not peeking out of the frame, it doesn't take much.

  15. #15
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    A follow-up to let you know how the job came out.

    Replaced the guide rod with a nicer, more refined rod. Switched barrel links for a shorter, .273 link. Now locks-up tight as a drum, NO hang-up at farthest limit of travel.

    Tuner, thanks for all your help. I'm starting to get Mr. Browning's machine figured out!
    "We cannot but pity the boy who has never fired a gun. He is no more humane, while his education has been sadly neglected."

    -Henry David Thoreau

  16. #16
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    now that i think about it

    a had a ton of trouble with a 1911, much like yours. it turned out to be the firing pin stop plate. it had worn itself to the point where it was hanging down and the gun would run for for all praying i did.

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