1911-380 Problem! Please help thanks!

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

  1. Ranger6

    Ranger6 Administrator Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator Forum Moderator

    Gents I am glad to see this section making some good headway. I appreciate you guys sharing information and fixes. Thats what this forum is all about. We have a lot of new members showing up and it is things like this, that make people want to be apart and then stick around after their stuff is fixed. My hats off to you guys. You guys make my job a little easier when there are a good group of people having discussions. Thank you.
    wkrp4me and KyBoB like this.
  2. Alpha1

    Alpha1 .22LR

    Wow. Thanks so very much. Results will forwarded to you as soon as I get back from the range. I took photos of how I made the changes and I'll post those two.
  3. Alpha1

    Alpha1 .22LR

    I did not do a very good jog in responding your question. The slide lock is operational with or without the mag in. So Monday is the best test day and I will post the results as soon as I get back including some "how to" photos.
  4. Alpha1

    Alpha1 .22LR

    I modified 4 mag getting rig of the spring loop. I sent photos previously of the mags. So went to the range to see how four rework mags would work. My shooting procedure is to pull and lock the slide back, then load the mag. The reason is to see if the first round is placed properly on the ramp. I fired about 100 rounds using Fiocchi, American Eagle, Remington, PMC Bronze. All ammo worked perfectly except the PMC. Spoke with others at the range and no one liked the PMC. Now I am not sure why the stuff does not work, but I just will not buy the stuff. My mag mods were to disassemble making note which way the spring came out. Make sure it goes back the same way. I cut the top coil back and I will provide photo at end. The followers were place in a vice with the base of the follower level and filled with epoxy so that the inside level is flat. Be sure to tape over the hole where the spring loop use to be. If any resin leaks out just use some 400 wet/dry to polish it up. I wipe a small amount to gun oil the surfaces except where the cartridge goes then I wipe it off . I think it is also a good idea to close up the "wings" on the mags to about .310. The only problem I had today was the receiver would not lock up after the last round, but I know why. Then I disassembled the 380 I found the recoil buffer pad had move onto several coils messing up the full recoil. I had installed a full length recoil rod with the buffer pads that came with it. Now I should know better having gone through all this once before with my Springfield match grade 45. Guess I am a slow learner. My advice is to forget the full length guide rod (there is no real advantage), ands consider the recoil buffer pads as evil. At this point I am very happy with my 380 (finally), but avoid using PMC. And the recoil rod is all back to stock. So...with just a bit of effort and just pennies for one of those epoxy kits, you can have a really neat 380. IMG_0718.jpeg
  5. wkrp4me

    wkrp4me .410

    10-4
    Can’t work on mine until Thursday but very encouraging….Thanks again!
    :thanks:
  6. wkrp4me

    wkrp4me .410

    Just a curiosity, but…..all 4 of those cartridges are (I think) FMJ RN. my efforts so far have shown that FMJ RN has a much lower failure rate for either of our guns than any of the FMJ RNFP like Winchester, Sig , and some others. If you get a chance to try some FMJ RNFP, please let me know if you see a difference.
  7. Alpha1

    Alpha1 .22LR

    I will be traveling for several weeks so my next trials are in mid October. I did some measurement with my precision calipers and found essentially no difference between Fiocchi and PMC. I think I need to rerun the tests just to make sure I did not screw up somewhere. Will "talk" soon. Too bad the factory makes a great gun with a horrible mag. I sort of wonder if they actually produce the mag.
  8. wkrp4me

    wkrp4me .410

    Thanks. I will be shooting Fiocchi and PMC tomorrow for first time. My measurements are a long way from being “lab certified”, just a manual set of digital caliper on the kitchen bar, but I think the Fiocchi is longer than the PMC. I have looked at cartridge length and shape since my first days of fail to feed. I am including the data I have collected. I just pick first 4 cartridges from a box and measure OAL. I’m fairly confident that my data is accurate enough to show trends, but far from statistically valid (and I don’t intend to ever measure enough to get there either).
    In the spreadsheet, darker green means the fewest % of issues, black indicates so many issues I gave up on that brand for now
    At this point I think the geometry of the bullet is more important than length. One additional thing, after comparing the knife edge unbroken machined edge of my Browning feed ramp to my S&W, Springfield, and Ruger 9 mm very smooth edged ramps, I have smoothed the edges and there is no long a shape edge at the bottom of the ramp. There is some chance that the copper coating was hanging on that edge, although that would still indicate that the magazine did not present the cartridge properly.
    Still working on first epoxy filled Mag.
    OK, for some reason I can not upload an excel file here…whatever, I find a way to get that data uploaded but the avg OAL for Fiocchi was 0.964” compared to 0.974” for PMC. American Eagle avg 0.970”.
  9. wkrp4me

    wkrp4me .410

    Just an FYI, photo of spreadsheet and calipers. IMG_1020.JPG IMG_1020.JPG IMG_1021.JPG
  10. Alpha1

    Alpha1 .22LR

    For Fiocchi I measure .966. For PMC .971. For American Eagle .966. My measurements are very slightly different but so small they should all function in the 380. When I first received the 380 I very carefully polished the ramp and removed a slight burr on the underside of the ramp. I use conical buffing wheels on a few shaft with a variable speed motor. Same set up I have used all of my guns. I believe the configuration of the factory mag makes it difficult to get the proper bullet presentation. Once I made the change to 4 of my mags, the 380 was a a gun that worked every time.
  11. wkrp4me

    wkrp4me .410

    I modified one mag with the resin fill per Alpha1. I overfilled not thinking about the fact that I was loosing space for the cartridges (Duh! Now a 7 round mag) but I shot 21 rounds each of PMC and Fiocchi with no misfeeds. I also carried an un-modified mag and duplicated each trial, and had one stove pipe with 24 rounds from each brand of ammo. However, in looking at each magazine upon insertion, I found a couple of cartridges with nose not raised to a level where entry into the chamber looked likely, so I dropped each of those and manually raised the nose and reinserted and all went well. The slide lock open on last round fired worked same for modified mag and with standard mag, so apparently that wire loop has nothing to do with it. So….what is the wire loop really there for?……anyone?
    Clearly the Alpha1 modification is an improvement (unless you overdo the epoxy fill), but once you cut the wire loop off, the spring seems to naturally rest inside the follower. Wonder what happens if the loop is removed and the mag reassembled with no epoxy fill? I think I will give that a go tomorrow. Stay tuned.
  12. Alpha1

    Alpha1 .22LR

    I think what will happen is the follower will be not loaded evenly. The purpose of the spring loop is to keep the spring level. As I stated before, I think this design is flawed in that the spring loop creates much drag ands does not do a good job keeping the follower with even spring pressure. All four of my modified mags work great. Of all the semi's I have owned I have never seen a mag design with a spring loop sticking out the side.
  13. wkrp4me

    wkrp4me .410

    Continuing the discussion concerning fail to feed issues, my wife and I went to the range today armed with one magazine epoxy filled per Alpha1, one magazine with the spring loop cut off and reassembled without epoxy, and 6 standard Browning magazines. Her gun is the compact, mine is the longer barrel. We carried 9 types of ammo. We also each carried a 38 Special revolver just in case we gave up on the Brownings. It was a mountain of frustration, way to much to try to burden the forum with, but I can say a few things with confidence:
    1. The removal of the spring loop had no effect on slide locking open after last round on my longer barrel gun.
    2. The removal of the spring loop definitely caused her shorter barrel gun to refuse to lock the slide open on last round.
    3. The magazines with and without epoxy fill and wire loop removed performed exactly the same…..zero difference.
    4. Removing the wire loop almost eliminated stove pipe failures on the longer barrel gun but it did nothing to help either gun with cartridges being presented to low on initial cartridge loading.
    5. Underwood (3 types), Hornady CD, Double Tap SC HP, Fort Scott TUI all ran flawlessly in either gun.
    6. Norma is the worst at being presented too low to feed the first cartridge, but runs with no issue after first cartridge is chambered. It is likely related to the ejector length as identified by Alpha1 and others
    7. Magazines with wire loops in place (Browning unmodified) continue to frustratingly stove pipe random rounds, eject founds 7 and 8 after round 6 fires (noticeably worse with Ammo TMJ RN). The magazines without wire loops still had some stovepipes but less than those with wire loops and not a single ejection of unfired rounds. Next effort will be to close the opening to around 0.308-0.310 as identified in several other posts.
    8. All magazines exhibit tendency to present some rounds to low to chamber first round with exception the above mentioned Defense rounds, which all have more conical shaped bullets which feeds even when presented low.

    After todays experience, we agree that “when the gun shoots, it’s the best that we own”. It’s the gun we most want to work. We also agree that it looks unlikely that a Browning will ever be dependable enough to bet your life on, which is almost criminal given how wonderful it shoots “when it shoots”. We are still debating whether or not to “keep or sell”.

    We finished the day shooting 38 Special revolvers…..without any failures of any kind.

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