Friday, May 16, 2008

CTone's nuclear 1911

My primary carry piece for years has been a Springfield Armory Ultra-Compact V-10 in .45 ACP. It has somewhere around 5,000 rounds through it and it lately has become the most unreliable POS that I have ever owned. I keep getting a nosedive type jam with hollowpoint ammo that I cannot recall ever getting before that looks like it could be entirely magazine related. But what changed?

I cannot get through a box of fifty rounds without a few jams, so I tinker with it, and just as soon as I think I've got it running right....JAM..
WWB 230 gr HP close

The mouth of the bullet is not touching the feedramp, nor is it touching the extractor. The magazines that I have used for years are Chip McCormick shooting stars - 7 rounders (Officer frame), and I have not had any problems until recently. I am now using brand new Wilson Combat 7 round mags, and I still have the same problem. I have also replaced the recoil spring and guide rod.
MMmmmm ammo

Holding the two brands of magazines together shows the Wilson Combat holds the round a slight bit higher:
Chip McCormick and Wilson Combat

I have polished the feedramp and breechface which makes the gun run noticeably smoother with hardball. When I fire hot ammo like Cor-Bon through it, I often get a crazy looking stovepipe where the case mouth has four crimps in it. It looks to me like the slide is cycling way too fast and ramming the case mouth against the barrel hood before bouncing open enough to eject the case into a stovepipe; if that makes any sense. I will have to get a picture.

The ammo that I have tried so far (since the jam problem) are 185 and 230 grain CCI Gold Dot's, 185 grain Cor-Bon HP, and 230 grain Winchester White Box JHP. Hardball feeds fine, but I want ammo that can stop inside of a target. The only benefit of hardball that I can think of for this gun is the penetration that I am obviously lacking from having a short barrel with almost half of it ported. I am looking into getting a chrony to find out what velocity I'm missing.

I read on The High Road and the 1911 Forum that these 1911's with the short slide can give you headaches. Mine in particular has a 3.5 inch ported barrel. I would never recommend a ported barrel for a carry gun because if you have to shoot it inside of a car or house, it would be the last thing you ever hear. That, as well as the blinding fireball that you get in low light:
CTone's nuclear 1911

I'd make some lucky sniper real happy.

Also of note, the cases eject erratically. I re-tuned the extractor and now it doesn't hammer empties into your forehead, but it still is not like what it used to be. I would send the blasted thing to Springfield Armory for a tune up, but I'm thinking about fitting a commander length slide to it and calling it a day. I can't stand the ported barrel, and I think the extra length would give me more velocity and distance.

I've never done any substantial work to a firearm before, especially a 1911, so how difficult would it be to fit a Essex slide and an undetermined make barrel to this pistol? I've got good eyes and a steady hand, and I'm technically savvy.

What do you think?
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