1911-380 Problem! Please help thanks!

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

  1. wkrp4me

    wkrp4me Guest

    Back at the range this week with only my wife’s Browning compact, 4 standard Browning mags mags preloaded the day before with Sellier & Bellot FMJ, and the 2 previously modified “wireless” magazines mentioned in previous posts unloaded. The gun was clean and well (over) lubricated and so were all 6 mags. Net result, shot a full 50 round box of Seller & Bellot with ZERO fail feed, and Zero stove pipes and zero ejection of unfired cartridges. Then loaded 2 standard mags with PMC FMJ, and in both cases, the initial cartridge was presented nose down. after several tries, was able to get the initial cartridge “nose up” and the 8 round magazine cycled properly. Next, shot 16 rounds of Fort Scott and 16 rounds of Hornady CD, and finally, a mag with 4 each Hornady and Fort Scott with ZERO issues. The modified magazines never locked the slide back after last shot, and the unmodified magazines never failed to lock the slide back after last round

    I don’t understand much of what I know about all this, but this was far and away the best day for the gun. Perhaps part of the improvement is more rounds and more lubrication, but that does not explain why S&B works and PMC (and others) do not.
    If the practice ammo has to be S&B and the defense ammo is Fort Scott or Hornady, and we continue to prove it is a reliable combination, we can live with that.

    I plan to try to replicate this trial with the full size gun next week. I’m not modifying ejectors until I replicate this trial.

    I don’t think Browning should ever sell a gun so sensitive to feeding issues that you are limited to a couple of brands of ammo, but it is such a fantastic shooting gun that I’m not sure I want Browning near it if I can avoid it.

    ADDED INFO
    See photo -
    A. left side cartridge is PMC which repeatedly presented first cartridge nose slightly down causing a jam when slide was closed.
    B. Center is S &B which performed flawlessly over a 50 round box.
    C. Right is Hornady CD which performed flawlessly in a box of 25.

    Note diff in machining at the brass base between PMC and S&B and Hornady. Also, the Hornady conical bullet shape seems to be forgiving.

    OK, apparently the “Forum gods” think I am not allowed to upload the photo. I will try to work it out. It’s very interesting and relevant to this issue.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2022
  2. Ranger6

    Ranger6 Administrator Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator Forum Moderator

  3. Ranger6

    Ranger6 Administrator Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator Forum Moderator

    This was uploaded for wkrp4me.
  4. wkrp4me

    wkrp4me Guest

    Back at the range following up on feeding issues, shot 6 magazines (Standard unmodified Browning) loaded with Sellier & Bellot FMJ in my 4.25 barrel. All magazines chambered the first cartridge even though some were presented nose slightly up and some almost level. All 6 mags functioned flawlessly, including slide lock on the last round. It was as if I had magically started over with a new gun - ZERO isssues.

    Then….I tried Winchester FMJ RNFP, Freedom FMJ RNHP, and several magazines presented first cartridge nose down, which jammed unless the cartridge was manually adjust to nose up presentation. Then I tried Underwood FMH RN and initial cartridge presentation was low but did not jam. I loaded one mag with PMC FMJ RN and it presented first cartridge nose down and it jammed. After 3 trys to get the nose up I gave up on PMC. Finally, I tried 2 more mags of same S&B I started with, and again, ZERO issues, even with gun that really needed cleaning at that point

    One other variable to muddy the water (isn’t there always at least one?) - I noticed the ejector had some wobble in it when I cleaned the gun BEFORE this range trip, so I tightened it.

    There is unquestionably a physical reason some mag’s initial cartridges presents itself nose “flat to up” and some nose “flat to down”. Some FMJ RN like S&B, and Underwood, enter the chamber with no issue, while PMC FMJ presents down and jams more often than not.
    Even when the initial cartridge is clearly oriented nose up in the magazine, something depresses the nose and I can’t see what causes it. The S&B bullet nose seems to have more taper (visual observation, not measured data) than other FMJ RN which allows it to feed even when presented flat.
  5. JimCunn

    JimCunn .22LR

    Alpha 1 said, "The slide lock is operational with or without the mag in".

    I want to make sure I understand this -
    ? The mag will still lock back on the last round after the spring has been clipped?
  6. wkrp4me

    wkrp4me Guest

    Alpha 1 knows a lot more about this than I do, but my experience is as follows:
    1. first trials with wire clipped in my 4.25” barrel, mags with wires clipped locked back on empty twice. Used those same 2 magazines in my wife’s compact and neither locked back on empty with 2 cycles of each mag. Standard unmodified browning mags always locked slide open on empty in both gun.
    2. Next visit to the range, focus was on variety of ammunition, but the clipped wire mag locked slide back ONE time, and then did not lock back again thru 4 mag cycles. My wife’s gun never locked slide back thru 3 cycles with wire clipped mags. Both guns locked slide back on empty with every cycle using unmodified mags.
    3. Many range trips later, neither gun has ever locked slide open on empty again with a mag with the wire clipped. Both guns are “much better” (but not bet your life reliable) using well lubed and well used unmodified mags. Still fun to own and shoot, but not what we expected.
    4. Our only “reliable” set up for either gun is using a mag with wire clipped, no epoxy “leveling”, and using either Fort Scott TUI, Hornady CD, or Underwood 68g CD ammo. Set up like this with one in the chamber, and full mag, have about 400 rounds like this thru each gun. Understand that slide is not going to lock open after last round, and that inserting the next mag still require a quick look to be sure nose is up before releasing the slide.
    The Fort Scott bullet shape is such that a jam is very unlikely on initial slide close no matter what magazine is used - so far about 200 rounds thru each gun.

    If I were you, I’d be scratching my head and saying “how did that slide ever lock open” on that first and second range trip. I feel the same way. I don’t understand it, but I’m just reporting what happened, not explaining it.
    Good luck. Let us know how your experiences turn out.
  7. JimCunn

    JimCunn .22LR

    Well actually, on my two 1911-380s, I'm not gonna clip the spring because that spring loop is what lifts the 380 slide lock up to hold the slide open after the last round.
    Clip it, and the slide won't lock back after the last round.
  8. JimCunn

    JimCunn .22LR

    "Do you get many feed jams and stove pipes on unmodified mags - usually round 6,7, and/or 8 ?"

    Yes.
    However, adjusting the feed lips and lube minimizes it. Half nanometer Boron Nitride powder helps a lot.

    Also, 90gr XTP JHP is quite dependable.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2023
  9. wkrp4me

    wkrp4me Guest

    Thanks. I’ll give the powder a try. Adjusting feed lips and normal lube “helped” but didn’t “cure” our issues.
    Thanks for the tip on the powder.
  10. JimCunn

    JimCunn .22LR

    As an aside, the white powder is quite messy, but it is a great lube.

    Another aside - when I am running the 22 slide assemblies and slide stops in my two 380s, there are far fewer jams.

    I have not done a 380 conversion on my 22 because the 22 to 380 frame modification on the 22 frame though not difficult, is tedious.

    All in all, the pistols are gradually improving. I am no longer unhappy with them.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2023
  11. JimCunn

    JimCunn .22LR

    Another thought. The metal follower from a Sig P238 may work in the Browning. I have not confirmed this yet, so take it with a grain of salt.
    wkrp4me likes this.
  12. wkrp4me

    wkrp4me Guest

    Help! Why has my ability to log in with my user name been banned. The screen says my email address has been banned. If I’m not wanted here, that OK, I’ll be glad to leave. However, it seems just common decency that “just maybe” someone that made that call would be willing to tell me why.
  13. JimCunn

    JimCunn .22LR

    Sounds like an inadvertant software glitch.
    Have you rebooted your computer or phone?
    Can you sign in with your email address?
    How did you log in to make the above post?
  14. JimCunn

    JimCunn .22LR

    He was trying to help you.
  15. wkrp4me

    wkrp4me Guest

    Fact not in dispute. His previous help has been a big reason that I’m still on the forum.
    If you can’t log in to the forum, but can access an ongoing topic, it seemed logical to me (obviously incorrectly) that replying was a reasonable thing to do. My sincere apologies to everyone on the forum for being out of order. The end.
  16. Ranger6

    Ranger6 Administrator Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator Forum Moderator

    I have emailed you a couple times with no reply. So when your ready let me know and we can try and fix the issue. I do see in your post that you are registered as a guest which should not be.

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