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RIA 1911 issues


lock n' load

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I recently purchased a RIA Ultra 1911and have put 450 rounds through it to get it broke in. For the most part, the gun hasn't had any issues. There have been about 3 times where the gun seemed to go out of battery I think. The gun would fire and eject a round but once a new round was chambered, the gun would not fire. There was a round in the chamber and the hammer cocked back but it would not fire. The first 2 times I simply racked the slide to eject the round and put it back in the magazine and continued shooting. Today while shooting I had the same thing happen except that racking the slide would not extract the live round. I locked the slide back and used a cleaning rod to push the round out of the chamber and clear the gun. I wonder if I need to have a gunsmith do some work on it or hope that the issue resolves itself. Today I also had a round nosedive into the chamber and get stuck. I was using 200 grain Gold Dots. The first 400 rounds I have fed the gun have been 230 grain FMJs. I wanted to run some JHPs through it also to see how it handles them. I've read that I may need to get the feed ramp polished to help with that issue. Overall, the gun has been a joy to shoot and I haven't had many issues with the gun.  I look forward to shooting it whenever I can. Being my first .45, the recoil isn't as bad as I thought. It's not any worse than my .40 Glock. The heavy frame helps absorb most of the kick. I just hope I can get the bugs worked out because I would like to carry the Rock as a EDC when desired. Anyone have any suggestions or ideas as to what I may need to do? Thanks.

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No one buys a 1911 because they are a .45. You buy them because they are a 1911. 

Did the Mec-Gar magazine work?  They are some of the best aftermarket mags on the market and are in fact OEM for some big name companies. 1911’s are heavy, regardless of who makes them and 9mm ve

If you’ve already got some grease by all means try it.  The point is, a lot of 1911 problems can be cured by proper lubrication. If it slides grease it, if it turns oil it.

I'm not familiar with that particular model but it sounds like the disconnector plunger is hanging up. They are different from say a 70 series type to the newer 80 series stuff. Its going to be in the slide either way. Could have a burr or some dried grease. It's not hard to take the slide all the way down and look everything over. I'm betting a little TLC will put you back on top      

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Before you do anything else, grease (not oil) the slide/rail contact surfaces.  You can use whatever grease you want but I recommend Tetra GUN grease since your new to the platform rather than some random wheel bearing or garage door grease.

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12 minutes ago, lock n' load said:

I've been using Hoppes gun oil to lube the gun with. I use Shooters Choice gun grease on my other guns. I'll pick up some Tetra grease next time I'm out.

If you’ve already got some grease by all means try it.  The point is, a lot of 1911 problems can be cured by proper lubrication.

If it slides grease it, if it turns oil it.

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I had a RIA 1911 in 9mm that wouldn't free anything but FMJs.  I suspect that a previous owner did a poor job polishing the fed ramp.  RIA was easy to deal with and had a pretty quick turnaround.  They didn't tell me what they did but it has worked great since I got it back. 

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It needs to either go to a gunsmith or back to the MFG. Why pay for a gunsmith if you don’t have to? Don’t chase your tail on a broke gun.
 
But just out of curiosity, you say “There was a round in the chamber and the hammer cocked back but it would not fire.” The hammer would not fall, or the hammer fell but the round did not fire?
 
I’ve heard plenty of so called “experts” say a 1911 can’t fire out of battery. I’ve also seen plenty of people say theirs did. You never really know because the Mfg. doesn’t want to admit their gun did it, and many times the suspected problem was reloads, and the reloader or gun owner doesn’t want to admit that.

After spending most of my life working on and with machines, I have learned anything can happen to a mechanical device...and will. How many times have you heard someone say a gun can’t fire without pulling the trigger? That’s ridiculous and usually coming from the uninformed that like to use childish phrases like booger finger or bang switch. :)  Point is, you have a potentially serious problem if your gun is not going into battery.

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I recently picked up the same platform in 9mm.  It has been a joy to shoot although I have run mostly ball ammo through the gun.  I've enjoyed it so much that if I stumble across as good of a deal ($460 brand new) in .45, I'll jump on it.  Please let us know what the issue turns out to be.

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I did a detailed cleaning of the slide by removing the firing pin and extractor. I cleaned those and also cleaned the inner chambers. It was pretty dirty and took 4 q-tips to get them clean. Dunno if that may help a whole lot but it shouldn't hurt either I guess. Which brings up another question..Should a 1911 slide be taken apart (firing pin, spring, and extractor) be cleaned more often than a polymer pistol? 

Edited by lock n' load
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1911's are very different animals than a striker fired rig. I will tell you a well oiled clean machine will always run better than a dry dirty one. I use really light Mobile one synthetic oil and make my own grease of sorts from nickel anti seize , STP and Moly powder. It must be stirred but is way better than Gunslick. Don't get any on your clothes.  Certain ammo is way dirty and others not so much in my experience. Looking at the brass you have fired in your gun will give you clues to whether or not its hot enough or smoking the brass. The primer may also give you clues to things about your gun.  Find something that works and stick with it if your going to carry it or depend that it will shoot.            

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12 hours ago, DaveTN said:

It needs to either go to a gunsmith or back to the MFG. Why pay for a gunsmith if you don’t have to? Don’t chase your tail on a broke gun.
 
But just out of curiosity, you say “There was a round in the chamber and the hammer cocked back but it would not fire.” The hammer would not fall, or the hammer fell but the round did not fire?
 
I’ve heard plenty of so called “experts” say a 1911 can’t fire out of battery. I’ve also seen plenty of people say theirs did. You never really know because the Mfg. doesn’t want to admit their gun did it, and many times the suspected problem was reloads, and the reloader or gun owner doesn’t want to admit that.

After spending most of my life working on and with machines, I have learned anything can happen to a mechanical device...and will. How many times have you heard someone say a gun can’t fire without pulling the trigger? That’s ridiculous and usually coming from the uninformed that like to use childish phrases like booger finger or bang switch. :)  Point is, you have a potentially serious problem if your gun is not going into battery.

My post wasn't very concise. The gun would chamber a round and the hammer was cocked ready to fire but when I pulled the trigger, the hammer wouldn't fall. The first two times that happened I was able to rack the slide to eject the live round but the third time it happened, racking the slide wouldn't eject the round. The thumb safety would not engage either. The only other thing I could think of was locking the slide open and sliding a cleaning rod down the barrel to push the round out of the chamber and out of the gun. I racked the slide while it was empty and pulled the trigger and the hammer dropped as normal. I loaded up another mag and it fed and fired fine. 

Edited by lock n' load
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Sounds like its not going fully into battery. Possibly a tight / dirty chamber is making it ammo sensitive.  Could be it just doesn't get along with that ammo. Also sounds like there may be some extractor issues. The full cleaning should help. Sometimes just a small amount of crud in the wrong place will cause all kinds of problems.  As Garufa  pointed out, proper lube is important. Try some different ammo.  Believe it or not, some guns just need a whole lot of shooting to properly break in. 

Clean, lube, try different ammo and see what happens. 

The 1911 is a great gun and very easy to work on. However, it can be downright finicky at some of the slightest things. RIAs are some pretty good guns, but they do sometimes need a little tuning to work right as they aren't always exactly in specs. I have one in .38 Super that was a total jam-o-matic when I got it. Once I figured out the problem, its been totally reliable. ;)

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The third time when you pulled the slide back the round stayed in the chamber?

Was the round difficult to push out, as in stuck in the chamber, or did a light push get it out?

it sounds like the rounds might not be chambering fully keeping the gun out of battery, or maybe the round is sliding up forward of the extractor and not going into battery. 

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It sounds to me that the barrel has a very short throat and the projectile of choice is wedging into the rifling, keeping the slide out of battery just enough that the disconnector is keeping the sear disengaged (to prevent out of battery firing).  

If it were mine, I would run in a chamber reamer to make sure there was adequate freebore in the throat.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It definitely sounds like the round is not going all the way into the chamber, which is causing the slide to stay slightly out of battery. Could be that you've had a few rounds that were loaded long, but if they fit in the mag then they should fit in the chamber. On the round that got stuck, if you noticed rifling marks, then you don't have enough freebore, as Ken pointed out. Although, on bulk round nose ammo without a roll crimp I would think the bullet would just push back into the case... I'd try to clean the chamber really well, in case there is something stuck on the chamber that is preventing the round from properly head spacing on the case mouth.

I will also add in my vote for greasing the rails. I've got a few RIAs and some nicer 1911s. A liberal coating of grease smooths out the slide and makes it feel like a more expensive gun.

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I would probabbly just write it off as a tight, new gun. And stick with ammo it has known to like.

I recently acquired a 1911 that does the exact same thing but only with my handloads and 230 cast bullets.  It has not done it with several different brands of ball ammo and several hollow points.  

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Range update...

I've been to the range the past 2 weeks. Each trip I shot 100 rounds through the gun. Last week I shot Winchester white box and this week I shot Federal ammo through it. Both 230g fmj. I again had 1 out of battery issue both times. Both issues occured on the last round out of my Wilson Combat magazine. I also had a round nosedive in the chamber with the WC mag and the gun jammed. Other than those 2 issues it fed fine. The ACT mag that came with the gun didn't do that. After each shooting session I thoroughly clean the gun. I also applied some Shooters Choice grease on the slide to see if it would make a difference. Could the magazine possibility be the issue? 

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51 minutes ago, lock n' load said:

Range update...

I've been to the range the past 2 weeks. Each trip I shot 100 rounds through the gun. Last week I shot Winchester white box and this week I shot Federal ammo through it. Both 230g fmj. I again had 1 out of battery issue both times. Both issues occured on the last round out of my Wilson Combat magazine. I also had a round nosedive in the chamber with the WC mag and the gun jammed. Other than those 2 issues it fed fine. The ACT mag that came with the gun didn't do that. After each shooting session I thoroughly clean the gun. I also applied some Shooters Choice grease on the slide to see if it would make a difference. Could the magazine possibility be the issue? 

Anything’s possible. I had a brand-new Shield that would fail to feed on the 2nd round in both of the new mags that came with it. Clear it and it would finish the mag just fine. I only ran 4 or five mags though it. What I saw was unacceptable. They sent me a shipping label and told me to send it in. The shipping instructions said don’t ship the mags back; so, I didn’t.

They sent it back with paperwork that said they replaced the extractor and polished the feed ramp. They didn’t send any new mags. It has not failed since.

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