1911-380 Problem! Please help thanks!

Discussion in 'Browning 1911 - 380 Handgun' started by JasonBrowning, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. JasonBrowning

    JasonBrowning Copper BB

    Keep getting nose up jams! Happens on all 3 mags I have. All Browning mags. Seems to happen on the 2nd or 3rd to last round. Any info would help! Thanks.

    Attached Files:

  2. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 .30-06

    I don’t own a 1911-380 but I do have 3 1911’s. Most problems can be traced to the magazines. In your case I would guess the feed lips are too far apart and as the weight of the stack decreases, the mag spring is able to push the next round past them.

    I finally replaced my 1911 mags with Wilson Combat and haven’t experienced any more jams. I don’t know if there are any after market mags for you but I’d look for some. I’d also call Browning and complain, and experiment with at least one of the 3 mags to try to make it work.

    Good Luck!
  3. MCPO

    MCPO Copper BB

    No help in a solution to the problem.

    I have 4 Factory mags and the 2 that came with the gun, plus one of the newer mags. will occasionally do the same exact thing. Mine are always the next to the last rd. Happens maybe once or twice every 3rd or 4th range trip (100 to 150 rds per range trip). It's not a consistant occurrence for me. Not ammo related as it has happened on Winchester, Remington and my reloads with Everglades FMJ rds..

    Stretching the mag springs seemed to work for awhile, but the sporadic occurrences returned and stretching was a hit or miss solution so gave up on that. A stronger mag spring might solve it but only a guess and to my knowledge no one offers Mag springs for these guns but Remington.
  4. MutinousDoug

    MutinousDoug .22LR

    Refer to the "Browning 1911-380 Handgun troubleshooting" thread further down for pictures and a discussion of the problem you are having.

    My Black Label suffered the same until I returned it to Browning where they exchanged magazines and replaced the barrel for one with a proper chamfer on the barrel hood. I can't tell for sure but your pic doesn't show much of a relief on the underside of the hood which looks like it's catching the nose of the bullet.

    I've had very good reliability with lead or jacketed rnd nose or hollow points since the gun was returned to me.
  5. Tim Lange

    Tim Lange .22LR

    I have four magazines for my 4.25" Black Label. I shoot Federal bulk FMJ. If I keep my round count below 200 I have not had any misfeeds or jams. Above 200 I start getting misfeeds, I suspect it is too dirty as a good cleaning will allow it to run trouble free.
  6. Griffen

    Griffen Copper BB

    I have two black labels and experienced the same problem. There is a thread about the front lip of the magazine spacing that was spot on for me. I believe the lip spacing needs to be no more than .308 (that is from memory, so check the thread). Being a bit handy with tools, I chose to close the gap myself on several magazines and they work well now. I bought three extras before adjusting the opening thinking maybe the mags were defective, but they are all made that way.

    I only had problems with the ball ammo; all the expensive ammo ran fine.

    This is a very annoying problem that Browning should fix. These little pistols are way too expensive (relatively) to have this type of problem.

    All that said, mine are extremely accurate. More so that my Colt or Walther .380’s and are really fun to shoot.

    Good luck!
  7. I have 4 magazines for mine. Had to close the gap on all four (2 were replacements). One of them continues NOT to lock the slide back on the last shot as well the previous problem.

    My pistol is accurate but shoots 3" higher than point of aim. Have about 800 rounds through it now (one recoil spring replacement) and it continues to have intermittent failures to eject, occasional light primer strikes.

    Since there is no aftermarket support for springs...we are stuck with we've got. IMO 'my' pistol (maybe not others) would benefit greatly from heavier magazine springs and stronger recoil spring.

    Don't know who's bright idea it was to have the magazine spring protrude through the follower and be the item that lifts the slide lock, but it sucks.

    Attached Files:

  8. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 .30-06

    I don’t know what it is about this forum; the OP posted on June 11 and hasn’t been back since. This seems to happen a lot. What is it with these guys?
    KyBoB likes this.
  9. Good point.

    I joined since this site is dedicated to Browning products and it is hard to find information on other sites that isn't scattered all over in different posts.

    BUT...disappointed that the site sees so little activity. Made all the worse when someone posts...then doesn't 'follow-up'.

    Doesn't help anyone when no solution/conclusion is reached.
    Rudolph31 likes this.
  10. Check the magazine lip spacing. Mine did not have any.
  11. Alpha1

    Alpha1 .410

    I purchase a Browning 1911-380 a couple of months ago and had feeding issues. I have doing gun work for over 30 years and this had me stumped...almost. I tried adjusting the mags, but that was not a real solution. Some ammo worked better than others. Then I thought the extractor was the issue, but after sending the gun to the factory the extractor was set properly. After receiving the gun it still would fail to feed properly. I was going to the range every few days trying to figure out what the cause. With the receiver all the way to the rear and locked in position, insert a mag with the rounds you are using. Look very carefully last the extractor. If the extractor is a bit too long it will push the nose of the bullet down and you will have FTF. Not all bullets have the extractor ring exactly the same. I removed the extractor, mounted it in my gun vice and measured it carefully with precision calipers. Using my gun files I removed .020 from the ejector end. It worked perfectly with Fiocchi ammo but not so good with PMC Bronze. I could see with PMC the ejector still pushed the nose down. I removed another .002 fired about 100 rounds today ands it works perfectly. Just go a little bit at a time checking a live round to see if the ejector is not pushing the round down. Be very careful, but to do it right you have to use live ammo. This is an easy fix it just requires patience. Now I have a 1911-380 that works. I will not own as gun in my collection that is not 100% dependable 100% of the time.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2022
    Rudolph31 likes this.
  12. This jamming problem is really the only thing I dislike about this pistol. Closing the mag lips certainly helps. Since it seems to prefer some ammo over others, I suspect that the problem/solution described above is worth looking into. Any chance of a couple of close-up pics to make the mod perfectly clear?
  13. Alpha1

    Alpha1 .410

    I will send a couple of photos within the next day. Before I do please do the following. Load a couple of rounds into the mag and with the receiver all the way to the rear and locked in that position, is the front to the bullet, the ball end, just located on the ramp? Or is the cartridge at some weird angle? Also I recommending using a Baby Up LULA to load the mags. The exposed part of the mag spring used to lock it in place sometimes make loading a bit difficult. Also when you look into the ejection port, received back and locked, where does the ejector appear in relation to the ejection ring on the cartridge. If this does not make any sense the photo I send will help. The ejector should just be a couple of thousands over the cartridge ejection ring. Not all manufactures have the ejection ring in exactly the same place.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2022
  14. Alpha1

    Alpha1 .410

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2022
  15. Alpha1

    Alpha1 .410

    Note the position of the ejector . Look carefully and you can see the ejector is is still within the range of the cartridge ejector groove. If it is too long it will push the nose of the cartridge down (as strange as that seems) and the nose of the cartridge will be below the entry of the ramp. If that happens it will not feed. I would advice removing the slide and the ejector plate which requires a very small hex wrench, securing the ejector in gun vise measure the ejector and take .020 off using a gun file. Then reassemble to check to see if looks like the one in the photo. Also, just to make sure all is ok, check the extractor. There are some videos on uTube that show you how. If the extractor is too tight you will have more issues. I was able to shoot Federal, American Eagle, Fiocchi ( my favorite) and PMC Bronze all with out a FTF. Just remember start with .020 off and you will be very close . If I can be of further help just ask.
  16. wkrp4me

    wkrp4me Guest

    This is great work. My wife has the compact and I have the longer barrel and, we get fail to feed a lot more than a gun should have. We don’t get stovepipes - just a jam because the nose of the cartridge is below the workable section of the ramp. We tried a earlier post suggestion that cartridges that measure near the max tolerance for OAL would have fewer feed issues, but we have pretty well proven that it may solve some problems, but not ours. Your photo is extremely helpful and I will be investigating this tomorrow!
  17. Alpha1

    Alpha1 .410

    I tried adjusting the mags but with little success. Since I made the ejector mod I fired about 100 rounds without one FTF.
    In this case I do not think the mags have anything to do with the FTF. I went though the same exercise at first with little to no success. First I made sure the extractor was adjusted correctly and then did the mods to the ejector. I fired about 100 rounds at the range a couple of days ago using three different ammo companies with 100% success. So if I can be any further help just ask.
  18. wkrp4me

    wkrp4me Guest

    I looked at my longer barrel 380 at the range yesterday and my ejector looks just like your photo. I started the day with 2 mags of 100 g Black Hills FMJ round nose. On the first mag, I closed the slide before inserting the mag, then racked the slide, and all went flawlessly. I dropped that mag and inserted the second and closed by releasing the slide lock and the gun jammed - cartridge failed to enter the chamber….not a stove pipe….just blocked. After clearing this jam, I loaded into a closed slide , racked the slide, and all went flawless again. After this, I used the closed slide start position for the remainder of the session. I fired one mag with 4 more Black Hills and 4 Winchester 95 g FMJ-FN, followed by 6 mags of 95 g American Eagle FMJ-RN. I had zero fail to feed. However, On the next to last mag, the 6th cartridge hung partially ejected.
    A couple of points that could be factors…I did some measurements on my ammo inventory before going to the range. All of the cartridges except the 4 Winchester measure on the high side of the OAL tolerance (0.970+/- 0.003). The other point is that this session only brought the total round cont on my gun up to about 150, so what I can say so far is, closing using the slide stop release has been a problem, and cartridges on the longer end of the tolerance have been able to feed better. I don’t have to tools the measure the ejection grove on the cartridge nor have the skill and equipment to easily modify the ejector as you suggested, but I can clearly see the potential for exactly what you described. For now, I’m going to stick with ammo that measures to the greater OAL and try to get more rounds behind me and see what else may develop.
    I realize this is a lot of information with no conclusion….something I hate, but it is an update, and I very much appreciate the comments from the group so far.
    ShooterGranny likes this.
  19. Alpha1

    Alpha1 .410

    There two things we need to look at. Lets start with the easiest. Could you send me a close up photo with a life cartridge not feeding into the ramp. You have seen the photo I have sent it is important you send one exactly like that. I need to have a close up where the ejector is in relation to the cartridge. I am going to give you my e-mail address in case it is easier to send me a photo. I used my iPhone with good lighting to get a close up. Detail of photo is everything. We may need to look at the extractor as step two, and that adjustment is equally important. I look forward to the photo.
    My goal was to be able to shoot ammo from the 4 or 5 manufacturers that I have in stocks. My 380 will now do that.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2022
  20. wkrp4me

    wkrp4me Guest

    Yes, I will do that but it likely will be Tuesday before I can accomplish….traveling to see grand kids for the weekend.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2022

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