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Thread: RI 1911 issue

  1. #1
    Regular Member conandan's Avatar
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    RI 1911 issue

    I have a Rock Island 1911a1 its been a great pistol. It has never failed, and I've run thousands of rounds thru it. But has now developed a problem. When the last round is fired the slide does not stay locked back. I am not much of a gunsmith. I can not see anything wrong when I strip it down.

    So my question is what could I be missing.

  2. #2
    Regular Member Fuller Malarkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by conandan View Post
    I have a Rock Island 1911a1 its been a great pistol. It has never failed, and I've run thousands of rounds thru it. But has now developed a problem. When the last round is fired the slide does not stay locked back. I am not much of a gunsmith. I can not see anything wrong when I strip it down.

    So my question is what could I be missing.
    Have you tried a different magazine? I like to start with inexpensive and simple. If you are SURE you're not riding the slide release with your hand, the next in line for me would be to swap out magazines. The Slide Lock back is caused by the follower in the magazine pushing upwards on the slide release lever causing the it to move upward... where the slide lock catches the groove in the slide... locking it back after the last round. If that's not functioning correctly, you won't have your lock back working as designed. A mag issue, not a firearm issue. I look at magazines like I do shoes and tires....when they are done, they're done. I work in from there. Your slide stop may be wore out of spec. Replacements can had for under 20 bucks from Numrich.

    I'd experiment with cheap and simple before making the gunsmith's next boat payment for him . If you don't have other mags, can you borrow a couple?
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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuller Malarkey View Post
    Have you tried a different magazine? I like to start with inexpensive and simple. If you are SURE you're not riding the slide release with your hand, the next in line for me would be to swap out magazines. The Slide Lock back is caused by the follower in the magazine pushing upwards on the slide release lever causing the it to move upward... where the slide lock catches the groove in the slide... locking it back after the last round. If that's not functioning correctly, you won't have your lock back working as designed. A mag issue, not a firearm issue. I look at magazines like I do shoes and tires....when they are done, they're done. I work in from there. Your slide stop may be wore out of spec. Replacements can had for under 20 bucks from Numrich.

    I'd experiment with cheap and simple before making the gunsmith's next boat payment for him . If you don't have other mags, can you borrow a couple?
    That would be my guess also, if not the mag then the slide stop.
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    There are many things that slide well not hold open on last shot. Dirt, lack of lube, low power ammo, bad magazine are probably the most common. Or could be a combination of any of them.

    Or some thing else but I start with those.
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  5. #5
    Regular Member conandan's Avatar
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    Thank you for the help I will check using different mags. I have a lot of colt 7 round mags I have 2 8 round mags don't remember the make, but I have had feed issues with both of the 8 round mags so I don't use them anymore.
    Dirt should not be an issue, I keep if very clean and oiled. And I use Remington 230gr.

    I will get some shooting in in a few days and let you know what I find out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by conandan View Post
    I have a Rock Island 1911a1 its been a great pistol. It has never failed, and I've run thousands of rounds thru it. But has now developed a problem. When the last round is fired the slide does not stay locked back. I am not much of a gunsmith. I can not see anything wrong when I strip it down.

    So my question is what could I be missing.
    1911s are great pistols, but one problem is that most need constant attention. I was issued a 1911 at one time and own several and have found that after "thousands of rounds" the pistol probably needs tuning. As suggested earlier the mags are a great place to start. You don't always have to go to the range to find the problem. An option might be for you to remove the barrel & slide, and slowly insert a mag and watch for the engagement (or lack of) of the follower "step" with the slide lock. Another option is to slowly cycle the slide and look for the issue. Mags aren't so cheap anymore, so sometimes, depending on follower design, a little modification might fix the problem. You could also just replace the slide catch lever spring, but after a few thousand rounds, I'd suggest a tuning and a new spring package.

  7. #7
    Regular Member snatale42's Avatar
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    You don't use your slide stop as a slide release do you?

  8. #8
    Activist Member carsontech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snatale42 View Post
    You don't use your slide stop as a slide release do you?
    Exactly. Dont use your slide stop as a slide release. Especially with the metal that Rock Island makes their slides from.

    The notch on the slide will wear out real fast.

    That's been my experience, atleast.

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