Slide won't lock back at all now when mag empty

Discussion in 'Browning 1911-22 Handgun' started by ShooterGranny, Dec 23, 2022.

  1. ShooterGranny

    ShooterGranny .270 WIN

    Ever since my 1911-22 was new I would have occasional slide failures to lock back when a magazine was empty. On this last range trip I shot 70 rounds and each and every time the magazine was empty the slide did not lock back! I was shooting CCI mini mags. No problems with feeding or ejecting the rounds - just no slide lock back.

    I've shot other brands through this gun before and, as stated, occasionally had a failure to lock back. this is a new problem, when it won't lock back at all when empty - that is ALL SIX magazines!

    I shoot high velocity .22lr in my .22 handguns. I do not shoot super high velocity like Stingers.

    I've been reducing the number of brands of .22lr in my stash and now have a couple thousand rounds of Aguila left, plus a few hundred rounds of Eley target, and one other brand, but most of our .22lr supply is CCI mini mags. I finally used the last of the Armscor HP which seemed to be good stuff at first, but by the time I shot the last few hundred rounds it was total junk with dud rounds and spent casings that wouldn't eject from either of my S&W .22 compacts, etc. - which is where I shot most of the last few hundred rounds of the Armscor, because I rotate my guns and it was not the Browning's turn to come out and play.

    I'm not sure how many rounds I have through this gun but I'm pretty sure it is less than 2,000.

    I "clean" the magazines as best I can with pushing a soft cloth all the way down to clean the inside of the metal, and then cleaning the followers as best as I can. Really, they don't get noticeably dirty. I sure wish these mags came apart for cleaning!

    Back to the problem as stated. HELP????? Please
  2. JimCunn

    JimCunn .270 WIN

    Sounds like slidelock wear.
    Numrich Part # 696980
    About $28.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2022
  3. ShooterGranny

    ShooterGranny .270 WIN

    I has not had more than 2000 rounds though it I don't think. I don't keep count, but it is in rotation with 3 other .22lr handguns so doesn't come out to play as often as I might otherwise like.

    I have not had it back out of the safe since the last range trip but will look at it. How can you tell if that little piece that sitcks up on the slide lock lever is worn?

    It is a bit challenging to get it to slide lock initially to "show empty", but it will do it, and I think that initial slide lock back problem is my hands rather than the gun because I have that "challenge" with a couple of other guns. I also intend to try the gun with Aguila Super Extra to see if just maybe it is the ammo. Have not done that yet. Maybe next range trip in a week or so.

    And then: If it does need a new part: I checked midwest gun works which is my normal "go to" for parts and they have nothing. OOPS - I also checked Numrich ( and they do show both the original and also an extended one. Not sure I want an extended "anything" though. Guess I need to get the gun out of the safe sooner than I thought I would!
  4. JimCunn

    JimCunn .270 WIN

    "How can you tell if that little piece that sitcks up on the slide lock lever is worn?"

    That's unlikely to be worn - it's the segment that extends horizontally inboard and mates with the exposed 22 mag spring loop that is probably worn (Edit - oops - I'm thinking of the 380 - the 22 has a plastic protrusion instead - possibly rounded off) . It is also possible that you may inadvertantly have a 380 slidestop mounted at the factory - they work intermittently if installed in the 22, but are too short to be consistent.

    I'm not an expert, but I do have a 1911-22, two 1911-380s, and two extra 1911-22 slide assemblies and slide stops that I use to convert the two 380s back and forth between 22 and 380 ammo. I've heard of several cases where 1911-22s had 380 slidestops installed, and have done it myself on purpose to see how it would affect the action.
    It causes exactly the symptoms you describe.

    As an aside, I have small hands, so I am using the extended slidestops on all three pistols -- I much prefer them.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2023
  5. ShooterGranny

    ShooterGranny .270 WIN

    So you think I should order a new regular 1911-22 part from Numrich to see if that solves the problem? They don't cost a lot and I wouldn't mind having an extra one in any case.

    I do know that one of my friends bought a new SIG P238 and it was incredibly hard to rack - they are normally very easy. It turned out that her new gun came with a P938 recoil spring. She ordered the proper one and the gun has run great ever since.
  6. JimCunn

    JimCunn .270 WIN

    "So you think I should order a new regular 1911-22 part from Numrich to see if that solves the problem?"

    I do.

    They are relatively cheap.
  7. ShooterGranny

    ShooterGranny .270 WIN

    OK, I just ordered one, plus a recoil spring guide and recoil spring - for the future "just in case" situations. I have extra plugs because I learned that no matter how careful you are, pushing down on the plug with oily hands when reassembling sometimes winds up launching it into The Great Unknown! And since hubby has been whining for another .45 magazine I got one of those for him also for his RIA .45 -- All of that stuff together got me free shipping.

    Thanks for your suggestion. "We" shall see how things go from here on out. I'll post a reply when I know something. That may take a while.
  8. JimCunn

    JimCunn .270 WIN

    If you have an extra magazine, something else you might try is to take a pair of needle nose pliers and expose a bit more of the magazine top spring loop. Not much - something on the approximate order of a hundredth of an inch.
    Oops - I was thinking of the .380.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2023
  9. ShooterGranny

    ShooterGranny .270 WIN

    I have 6 magazines but I'll try the Aguila ammo first - then if that doesn't solve things I'll change to the new slide stop lever - then, if needed, a mag spring "adjustment". Changing only one variable at a time is the way I learned problem solving. LOL
  10. JimCunn

    JimCunn .270 WIN

    Yeah, me too.
    I like these little pistols, but all of mine have required a bit of smithing to make them dependable. Gave me something to do during the TV commercials.

    As an aside, I find that I usually prefer to keep the 22 slide assemblies mounted on the 380s.
  11. Alpha1

    Alpha1 .410

  12. Alpha1

    Alpha1 .410

    The mags do come apart. Look at the floor plate of the mag and you will see a small hole. Insert a small diameter probe into the hole and you should hear or fell a slight click and then being careful slide the foot off keeping your had over the assemble as the spring will want to also come out. The spring coil that protrudes just below the follower is the part that also locks the slide open when all round have been fired. If th recoil is too far out the gun will not feed properly. I have spend many many hours trying to work around a very poor design and as I have told others the solution is the have the coil projection from the mag once coil dia. With no ammo in in mag but in the gun pull the slide back, if properly adjusted the slide should stay open. Your situation seems a bit different from what I have seen in that all the mags I have purchased have the spring coil way too far out causing all sorts of FTF issues. I have modified my mags and can shoot 50 to 100 rounds without any issue. Don't give up. Oh by the way I lube the inside of the mag on where the follower front and rear rides. I oil then wipe with a Q tip.
  13. JimCunn

    JimCunn .270 WIN

    I lube the mags with half nanometer boron nitride dry lube powder.
  14. JimCunn

    JimCunn .270 WIN

    "I have told others the solution is the have the coil projection from the mag once coil dia".

    Could you elaborate on this, please?
  15. JimCunn

    JimCunn .270 WIN

    "With no ammo in in mag but in the gun".

    And this.
  16. Alpha1

    Alpha1 .410

  17. ShooterGranny

    ShooterGranny .270 WIN

    Jim, I'm thoroughly confused and getting more so. Are you talking about the spring that is inside the magazine? There is none of it exposed at all that I can see. I think I need pictures with details and arrows.

    Also, do you take your magazines apart? If they can or should be taken apart for cleaning like non 1911 magazines, why does the owner's manual tell you not to take them apart but to flush them with solvent - which I am NOT inclined to do.

    I might take this child to the range, using the Aguila Super Extra, toward the end of this coming week when next "we girls" meet to shoot.

    I know that the mag springs in my S&W .380 EZ are so weak that periodically I have to stretch them when I clean those mags. Then for a while I don't get FTF stovepipes on the last round. It doesn't happen ever time with every mag, in any case. I do have replacement springs for those mags but want to use the original ones until I can't make them work anymore. It's only a range toy - way too much wrong with the design to trust it for anything other than play time. But that's a whole different subject.
  18. ShooterGranny

    ShooterGranny .270 WIN

    You described the magazine plates of several of my guns but the 1911-22 magazines not made that way. Not even close.
    IN FACT: Here is a post on a thread from rimfirecentral forum:

    "I called Browning on this one they told me the mags cannot be taken apart,just soak them in gun solvent or gunscubber and blow them out with a can of compressed air. I tried taking one apart and destroyed it! I think Browning could have done better and I told them so."
  19. Alpha1

    Alpha1 .410

    I know some people especially muzzle loaders that use that lube, but I would suggest you try Clenzoil available from Amazon. It is the best I have seen so far and having doing this gun thing for over 35 years, I like to keep trying new stuff. This is the best so far, especially for the inside of the mags.

    With an EMPTY mag inserted pulling the receiver all the way to the rear should result int the slide locking open. Does it do that?

    The coil spring thing is a bit more involved. Take a close look at the coil that protrudes from the mag just below the follower. I doo not recall what the diameter of. the coil wire is but lets say .035 which should be close. Part of the spring coil then must not be more than .035 beyond the mag body. To do so, the mag as to be disassembled and the spring adjusted using a long nose pliers. It takes a bit of practice but it does work. Browing's mag design is the only design I have ever seen that activates the slide lock. When I first started shooting the 380 it had so many issues I sent it back to the factory and it came back the same way. Comparing it to my Sig 380 was no contest. The sig has never missed a beat. So after a few months of working on the Browing I found 99% of the issues was due to the mag and slide lock design. I don't keep guns that do not work 100% of the time.

    I sure hope this helps.
  20. Alpha1

    Alpha1 .410

    Now I get the stupid reward of all time. It took me a bit to realize that your gun is a 22 not a 380. The mags are totally different and all I did was to confuse you. Every response I have made on the forum has been in regard to the 380 so my sincere apologizes. My bad. My comments that would apply would be the correct assembly, full length recoil rod, no buffer pad and the use of the lube that I suggested. I plan on taking reading lessons as soon as possible. I am extremely embarrassed.
    JimCunn likes this.

Share This Page