Browning 1911-380 Handgun troubleshooting

Discussion in 'Browning 1911 - 380 Handgun' started by Billythekid, Jun 29, 2015.

  1. jmtraylor

    jmtraylor Copper BB

    Just had the same thing happen to mine. Pulled it out of the holster and a little piece of black plastic fell out. Took me a while to figure out what it was. A plastic front site. PLASTIC.
    Soonerbelle and SHOOTER13 like this.
  2. I think I'd ask for a new gun or just glue it back on. How does Browning fix this?.
  3. I got my gun back from Browning today. The gun is smaller than I remember. It will take some getting used to. Still want a rubber grip.
  4. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 Guest

    Welcome to the Browning Owners Forum jmtraylor !!

    Enjoy our community...
    Calamity Jane likes this.
  5. The_Consultant

    The_Consultant Copper BB

    Regarding Calamity Jane's note of a stripped grip screw hole:
    I too have a problematic bushing.

    1) Did you try to change the bushing yourself?

    2) Was the repair sent to a local gunsmith or back to Browning?

    3) Does anybody have experience with swapping out a grip screw bushing on a Browning 1911-380?
  6. wchancey

    wchancey .22LR

    Thank You , for the pictures , I would like to print them out and and blow up the size and hang them above my work bench. We're the grip screws and bushings a special size or standard size.
  7. whitemingo

    whitemingo Copper BB

    Purchased a 1911-380 compact a few days ago. Took it apart, got rid of the gun grease, lubed it up, and put a total of 75 rounds from 3 different brands of ammo through it with zero problems. The gun is pleasant to shoot and seems to be surprisingly accurate. Overall I’m very happy with the gun.

    But I have run into a weird problem. I can not eject an unfired cartridge from the gun when I rack the slide back. (Which is necessary if you want to unload the gun.) What happens is the unfired cartridge jams between the ejector and the rim of the right side edge of the barrel. When the ejector starts to push the cartridge to the right it has not completely cleared the barrel and jams tight. If you pull the slide back hard and sharply, it will jam the shell in that position even tighter. I have checked the OAL of 2 different brands of cartridges and they are within spec. The only other reason I can think of is the ejector is a little too long, causing the shell to start turning to the right too soon. (It doesn’t matter if the magazine is in the gun or out.)

    The only way I can unload the chamber is to remove the magazine, pull the slide back slowly, and let the shell drop down through the magazine well. This works because the extractor does not grab the rim of the brass tightly, which I believe is correct because there is plenty of space in the “slot” of the extractor where it grabs the rim of the shell. It pulls the brass, it does not actually “grab” and hold it like some other guns. The extractor isn’t the problem anyway.

    When firing there isn’t a problem because there isn’t a bullet in the end of the brass to hit anything. Which is why the gun operates perfectly. I’m wondering if anyone else has this problem or if I’m just missing something.
  8. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 Guest

    Welcome greatday...please see your private mail.
  9. DevL

    DevL Copper BB

    I got a 1911 380 for my girlfriend for her birthday. It is the only gun to ever actually fit her propperly. Shot 100 rounds and it is very accurate. Trigger is so good I would never want to improve the crispness or weight. Did run into TWO BIG PROBLEMS. THEN FIXING THOSE CAUSED A THIRD.


    Problem 1: The last round in a magazine would point up and jam into top of chamber. I tweaked the feed lips to .308 and .309 and it fixed that.

    Problem 2: Once loaded with more than 4 rounds, the mag would cause the bullets to push down instead of forward. I think people call this hitting low on the feed ramp but it's the nose of the bullet jamming into the front of the mag and bullets never get out the mag at all. I solved this by tweaking the front lip of the mag, where the pop out spring that hits the slide stop is. By pulling it inward, the nose of the bullet is not allowed to drop lower than the front of the mag and guides the bullet upward along the nose of the projectile over the front of the mag. This led to another problem...

    Problem 3: With the front of the mag bent in, it hung up on the front left of the follower and prevented it from coming all the way up. This meant my slide lock didn't work anymore. I bent it back just enough to barely let the follower come fully up. That made rounds go into nose of the mag again, but only if 7 or 8 were loaded, not 5, 6, 7, or 8. Final solution was to file a bevel along the front lip of the mag where the nose of bullets caught. With a tiny round file I beveled the edge at 45 degrees and then round and smoothed the top edge. Then used cold blue to cover all the scratches I put on the mag tweaking things with flat face pliers figuring that out. First mag took 4 hours to figure out. Second mag had identical problems. Once I knew to bend feed lips to .308, actually stopped at .309, bent front lip inward till it caught the follower, then backed off. Then beveled front edge of mag with a file. Then I cold blued. Took only 5 minutes on second mag and it seems to work perfectly.

    Still have two more issues to fix.

    1. Gun won't drop an empty magazine with slide locked back. I already know this is caused by the trigger coming forward and the horizontal bar pushing on the rear of the magazine. It's ONLY about 1mm of travel that needs to be removed to get a drop free mag. You can work around this by pulling the trigger as you push the mag eject button, but that is not acceptable IMO.

    2. Bullets won't eject if unfired and still complete cartridges with bullet. The bullet nose catches the side of barrel and/or slide. Any thoughts on a fix for this? I'm assuming it requires removing material from the chamber side and/or slide? Or does the ejector need to be shorter?
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
    mike noerper and SHOOTER13 like this.
  10. MutinousDoug

    MutinousDoug .22LR

    DevL,
    I can only speak to my experience in dealing with the 7-8th round tip-up that did not include "tweaking" the magazine feed lips.

    I sent the gun back to Browning and they replaced the magazine springs with a larger diameter spring wire. They replaced the barrel assembly as well but I can't figure out why, since the malfunction occurred before the cartridge ever entered the chamber. Whatever. Since the gun's return I have had one failure to completely chamber a round ( and quite possible due to my reloads) and one tip up stove pipe in over 350 rounds using the 2 returned magazines.

    My gun drops a magazine loaded or empty with the slide locked back or closed. If it is your trigger bow that is hampering this function and not a buggered magazine, agreed: this is unacceptable.

    My gun ejects loaded cartridges without issue with the slide locked back. Are your cartridges lengths within spec? Otherwise this is unacceptable performance and a safety issue that may be ejector length related.

    I would recommend returning your gun to Browning and gritting your teeth for about 2 months until they fix it.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  11. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 Guest

    I would contact Browning and ask them to fix it...ALL of it.

    Those other fixes would NOT be mentioned...as you already voided the warranty.

    As you can see...this thread is the one most visited and used to complain about that platform.

    Evidently...They need to step up their quality assurance before releasing it to the public.
  12. Texas-Mark

    Texas-Mark .22LR

    I have not had the problem, but maybe a little JB weld in the channel.
  13. cavelamb

    cavelamb .22LR

    JB Weld? I dunno about that.
    I's use a spot of red locktite - applied at the range so I could verify center.
    The other option - the more traditional fix - is to stake both sides.
    Come on, guys. This isn't rocket science.
  14. Texas-Mark

    Texas-Mark .22LR

    The front sight does not go on side to side, but front to rear, so it is always centered. Staking is not a viable option. The rear sight is plastic. Not sure about the front without checking, hence the JB Weld suggestion since locktite does not bond as well to plastic.

    Note: The newer pro model does have a standard dovetail, but the poster did not say which model he has, and my response was based on how mine is made.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
  15. Texas-Mark

    Texas-Mark .22LR

    That should work ok. Plus it will remain pliable enough to remove the sight if you ever need to.
    brett267 likes this.
  16. Val

    Val Copper BB

    Im fairly new to shooting and have the same problem with the mag. Do they make aftermarket magazines for this gun?
  17. Gil W

    Gil W .410

    I bought my extra mags through Bass Pro. They are regular Browning mags for the .380.
    ripjack13 likes this.

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