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I have a Kimber 45 ultra carry that issues with the slide closing all the way when chambering a round. It will close fully when there is not a round in the chamber but lacks about 1/8 of an inch there is a round in the chamber. I just bought this gun from a pawn store and not sure of the background of the gun. I am thinking the previous owner may have disassembled the gun and it may not be put together correctly. Any thoughts on what it could be?
 

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Don’t ride the slide. Let it slap shut.


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Right up front let me say that you should be using factory 230gr FMJ ammo to test this pistol. Since you don't know if the previous owner swapped springs you should replace the existing recoil spring and mainspring with new, standard weight ones. Go to the Wolff Gunsprings website and find the springs for your model.

Let's see if we can diagnose the problem by running three simple tests. These tests cover most of the possibilities. There are other more complex things that could be wrong such as an incorrect feed ramp angle that are not as easily diagnosed and would require accurate measurements to determine.

The first test is the "plunk test"

  1. Remove the barrel
  2. Hold the barrel vertically with the chamber up and the muzzle down
  3. Drop a factory round into the barrel. When the brass case mouth impacts the steel chamber ledge a distinctive sound will be made - the plunk
  4. Push the cartridge as far forward into the chamber as it will go and while maintaining forward pressure on the cartridge rotate it. It should rotate easily.

If it does not rotate easily or if it will not freely drop out of the barrel under its own weight, the barrel should be returned to the manufacturer to be finish reamed.

Next is the extractor test

  1. Remove the extractor
  2. Lock the slide open
  3. Seat a fully loaded magazine
  4. Allow the slide to move forward at full speed by pushing down on the slide stop

If the first round out of the mag feeds fine, the extractor is the problem. It has incorrect geometry, too much deflection, too much tension, or all three. The extractor can be correctly fit using a couple of inexpensive tools and the knowledge of how to do it.

If the first round out of the mag does not feed, the extractor is not the problem.

Keep in mind that you're using live ammo for this test. If you want to avoid an unintentional loud noise followed by a 1/2" hole in something, you can remove the firing pin before conducting this test.

Poorly fit extractors are common across most 1911 manufacturers.

The magazine height test

  1. Lock the slide open
  2. Seat a fully loaded magazine
  3. While forcefully pushing upward on the magazine push down on the slide stop to release the slide to come forward at full speed

If the first round out of the mag feeds okay, replace the OEM magazine catch with an EGW Higher mag catch. This mag catch holds the magazine slightly higher and enhances feeding. FWIW, I put these EGW mag catches in nearly every 1911 that crosses my bench simply because it makes feeding smoother.
 

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Schooled by Steve, follow his instructions. All I got to say, except it is assembled correctly or you would know.
And...
Welcome to the site from Tennessee.
 

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Chuck43 said:
He says the gun is an Ultra Carry, the Ultra recoil spring is a dual spring assembly
bad ninja said:
$68 in Kimber webstore.
Given that information, it's unlikely that the previous owner messed around with the recoil spring. An upgrade to the dual spring system would be the EGW guide rod kit for about the same money but at this point I wouldn't bother with it.

Jdramse, please let us know the results of each of the diagnostic tests. It will help everyone.

FWIW, diagnosing and fixing issues such as the one you're experiencing is best done slowly and methodically examining and testing one variable at a time. In the long run this approach will yield positive results more quickly than simply taking the shotgun approach and trying a bunch of things all at once.
 

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$68 in Kimber webstore.
Damn. They are proud of those springs.
(I own an UC2 .45 also)
Does Kimber show the Ultra spring assembly "in stock?" The last time I bought some spare assemblies I got 9m and 45acp from a Kimber Master Dealer selling them on eBay, I think price was around $54 each but had free shipping?
 
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No Doubt! I guess when Kimber got them back in stock they took the opportunity to raise the price or Covid raised the price?
I think because they sell out, Kimber figures they were worth a bit more.
Kimber also just spent a ton on a big move, and they are a premium manufacturer.
I get it.
My other CCW is an H&K. Everything for it is pricey.

But by the time you pay shipping you are looking at just under a hundred bucks for a recoil spring and rod for a 1911.
Just seems a bit.....much.
But it is what it is.
Im not complaining. If I wanted a cheap gun I wouldn't have bought a Kimber....lol.


BTW, I broke down and ran another 100 rounds of cheap PMC ammo through my UCII today without a single issue.
Still flawless from the first round, and more accurate than I am.
I really love this gun.
 

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First of all, thanks to everyone that responded with all the good advice. Turns out that it was an issue with my ammo. I got some good ammo and all is good. Thanks again!
Excellent news.
 

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Ninja,
This is the place I bought mine from, Grant, Alabama. Not 49 bucks but a tad over 100 will get you two assemblies and has Free Shipping.
I bought two each 9mm and .45acp.

 

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Saving a little...better than nothing!
 

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Bahh, mumble, grumble, you kids with money to burn. I have a small stash of the inner and outer springs and replace them when needed.
 

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Chuck, are the Wolff 18lb recoil spring kits good to go?
 

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I have Ultra recoil spings from both Kimber and Wolf in 9mm and .45. I haven't had a problem with either companies products. Per a conversation with a Kimber rep the first time you rebuild the recoil spring assembly you only need to change the outer spring, the second time you replace both of them.
 
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