The Colt Report #2: Troubleshooting

In the first article of the Colt Report I went through what mods had been done to each gun and how many rounds each had fired. I also noted that #440, the main match gun had experienced a considerable number of malfunctions (4 in 50 rounds) when using 200 grain LSWC ammo.


Because the gun had been generally reliable with other SWC shaped bullets and with JHP bullets, it was time to take 440 to the range and do some science with testing in controlled environments. In the 10-8 Performance Armorer’s class, they gave us a 50 round function test that would evaluate most of the problem areas in 1911 function; it should be conducted with duty/match ammo. Running a function check with 230 grain ball ammo if you’re planning on shooting 200 grain LSWC or 185 grain JHP doesn’t make a lot of sense.

To control for possible issues, I ran the test with different magazines each time; the first run through was with my 2+ year old Chip McCormick Shooting Star magazines. On magazine 3 & 4 I experienced two failures to feed on each magazine during various portions of the 50 round test. Those magazines were downchecked and documented.

The 50 round evaluation was then repeated with the exact same ammo using Wilson Combat Elite Tactical Magazines; all of which are less than 3 months old in my use. Using the ETM the gun did not experience any failures to complete its normal cycle of operation with the 200 grain LSWC ammo. To verify, the magazine feed checks were repeated a third time using my small supply of Wilson Combat 47D magazines; again there no failures of any type.

All failures experienced to this point with the gun have been with the old CMC magazines, which I’ve had for quite some time. Because 440 has run reliably with Wilson ETM and 47D magazines, I’m going to relegate the CMC magazines to dry fire and casual range use only. I’m going to keep the malfunctions that occurred with the CMC magazines on the record, but they’ll get marked with an asterisks going forward. The function check wasn’t really a practice session as much as it was important to verify that the gun worked correctly before I head off to Single Stack Nationals. Round count for the function test was a total of 180 rounds.

440 Stats

  • Rounds fired: 1520 rounds
  • Malfunctions: 2 counted against the gun (8 additional failures using worn out CMC magazines not counted)
  • Broken parts: 0
  • Times cleaned: 1