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Thread: SA RO Elite Operator 9mm - First 600rds

  1. #1
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    SA RO Elite Operator 9mm - First 600rds

    So, I had a long post here about tuning a new WC extractor for this SA RO Elite Operator in 9mm. Todays was it's first 600rds, and it was sloppy outside here in OH. Good news was I had the whole range to myself.



    First things first. 10-8 live fire extractor test. During this, which I'm sure uou are all famliar with here, it passed with flying colors. not malfunctions. Nore shooting position had brass falling at about the gun's 4o'clock a few feet away. That seems right.



    Second thing, accuracy test. This target was 10yds. This is about the average size groups I was getting when I did my part. Seemed to always throw one. I did have to adjust my rear sight slightly, luckily I remembered my sight pusher and was able to do it right there at the range.





    With those two things out of the way, time to just start sending rounds down range. I only had 115gr Winchester Whitebox and Sellier Bellot 150gr subsonic. I only shot about 50rds of the S&B, but no hiccups. Then on the Winchester White Box. I was loading 7rds per magazine, x4 magazines, and doing reload drills. this meant that every 7rds, one of my Chip Mccormick 10rd mags was falling into the soupy OH mud pictured above and below.



    After about the 5th reset of the drill, I could no longer get the slide to lock back on an empty magazine, even while manually racking the slide. (I'll also say my 9rd Springfield mags behave the same way). Slide did not lock the rest of the day. After cleaning the gun and magazines, slide will now lock back manually with CM mags, but still not Springfield mags. I'm guessing just too much grit for the follower to overcome? Never had a problem getting rounds to the feed lips though.

    Early on, I experienced one failue to fire. It was the onlyh one of the day. Ligjht primer strike, or hard Winchester White Box primer? What do you think?



    After about 400rds, I started getting frequent (3-4 times per magazine) failure to feeds. These occured both by not having anough power to strip the round from the magazine (5% of the time) and by not quite getting the round to fully seat in the chamber (95% of the time). I know this gun has a tight chamber because it will not chamber my reloads when it is sparkling clean. I'm thinking maybe I'll send this out to have it worked on and hopefully it reduces malfunctions?

    Rounds 400-600 were all painful, requiring a smack to the rear of the slide 3-4 times a magazines and every reload requiring manual cycling of the slide. at 34 degrees F., my fingers were feeling some pain an the rear sight doing this so many times.

    All in all, I don't know what to think honestly. I severly handicapped the day against the gun by immediately dropping all my magazines into the mud. I'm not sure if the feed issues related to fully seating the round in the chamber were becasue some of that mud had made it's way toward the chamber, or if general dirt and carbon from firing lined the chamber and made it even tighter than it already was, or if the recoil spring lost all it's momentum just trying to strip the round from a filthy magazine. Because of this, I guess I'll have to run the test again without dropping the mags. Either way, it preformed worse than the P10C (which didn't care at all about the mud) but that's to be expected I think. What do you think?




  2. #2
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    Good job on the extractor issue(s).

    Re. light primer strike/FTF: (Bearing in mind the shit conditions you were shooting in, MUD)

    I would;

    (Pull barrel) Check headspace is adequate by dropping a sized case in chamber- base of case should be flush, or just past flush with barrel hood. Establish that this is NOT an issue.

    Then-

    Check leade. If your handloads don't function/go into battery it is likely due to COAL or bullet profile engaging leade before cartridge is fully in chamber.

    Get a Manson "Throating reamer" (or "Finish Chamber reamer" if chamber itself is short) and lengthen leade so your handloads will "chamber drop".
    If your chamber length is adequate (empty case drops in flush with hood) use a Throating reamer- do not lengthen chamber further. You will create a FTF situation if chamber/headspace is too long/deep.

    I lengthen leade to run JHP's at 1.150" from my 1911's/2011's. I use a Throating reamer for this as the chamber is very seldom too short (or it wouldn't have passed whatever halfassed QC spotcheck before leaving factory).
    The longer COAL assists in reliable feeding. (The 1911 was designed around a cartridge. The 230 gr. .45 ACP cartridge existed before the pistol was designed. That COAL was 1.270"+-)

    Most cartridge failure to seat/go into battery issues I see are caused by too short leade, very seldom is the chamber itself at issue.
    If gun functioned/went into battery prior to slinging mags in mud, I would venture a guess the leade was at the ragged edge of "deep enough", and the additional issue of mud crossed the line of seat/not seat, function/not function.
    Last edited by gaijin; 01-29-20 at 06:50. Reason: Spellcheck........
    A true "Gun Guy" (or gal) should have familiarity and a modicum of proficiency with most all firearms platforms, as well as the major Food Groups.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info! I'll look into this further

  4. #4
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    1) I would not have made a sight adjustment off that group at 10yds. The group is larger than I'd prefer at 10yds (IE the data isn't good enough) and the group is low/left: where we (as right handed shooters) push our shots with preignition anticipation.
    2) Winchester white box is notoriously inconsistent/flawed ammunition. I would not use that to validate reliability or accuracy testing.
    3) Yes, you absolutely handicapped the gun by dropping all your magazines in the mud.

    If you're evaluating the weapon you need to remove variables. Mud is a variable that's clouding your results. Poor quality ammunition is another variable that's clouding your results.
    If I were evaluating that pistol I would 1) detail strip the gun and magazines then properly clean and lubricate 2) repeat the reliability/function checks with a quality 9mm like Speer Lawman.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammer27 View Post
    1) I would not have made a sight adjustment off that group at 10yds. The group is larger than I'd prefer at 10yds (IE the data isn't good enough) and the group is low/left: where we (as right handed shooters) push our shots with preignition anticipation.
    2) Winchester white box is notoriously inconsistent/flawed ammunition. I would not use that to validate reliability or accuracy testing.
    3) Yes, you absolutely handicapped the gun by dropping all your magazines in the mud.

    If you're evaluating the weapon you need to remove variables. Mud is a variable that's clouding your results. Poor quality ammunition is another variable that's clouding your results.
    If I were evaluating that pistol I would 1) detail strip the gun and magazines then properly clean and lubricate 2) repeat the reliability/function checks with a quality 9mm like Speer Lawman.
    1. Cadence was about a shot every two second-three seconds. The first group is a little low left, second is center left, and third was center. White box is indeed crap ammo, so I wasn't expecting one hole, but it was gifted to me over the holidays and gives me an average center, which was verified by the S&B 150gr. subs. The third group is after my sight adjustment, which is certainly more centered by average than the first two. These were just the groups I took pictures of, I repeated this many times and drifted the sight more than once to find what I thought to be good. Also I call this an accuracy test because I was shooting groups and wanted to check sight alignment. However if I wanted to see what the pistol was truly cpapble of, yes I would have gone out of my way to purchase quality ammo and taken more time between shots, ab=nd probably shot off the bench. That wasn't my goal for that day.
    2. See above.
    3. I dropped my CZ P10c mags, AR Pmags, AR Okay Ind. mags, and PSA CZ Scorpion mags in the same mud with no feeding issues. I don't expect this 1911 to be as forgiving as my striker fired, but it's worth noting that the conditions weren't impossible and there wasn't and easy solution in the field. Gun and magazines have all been stripped, cleaned, and lubed.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaijin View Post
    Good job on the extractor issue(s).

    Re. light primer strike/FTF: (Bearing in mind the shit conditions you were shooting in, MUD)

    I would;

    (Pull barrel) Check headspace is adequate by dropping a sized case in chamber- base of case should be flush, or just past flush with barrel hood. Establish that this is NOT an issue.

    Then-

    Check leade. If your handloads don't function/go into battery it is likely due to COAL or bullet profile engaging leade before cartridge is fully in chamber.

    Get a Manson "Throating reamer" (or "Finish Chamber reamer" if chamber itself is short) and lengthen leade so your handloads will "chamber drop".
    If your chamber length is adequate (empty case drops in flush with hood) use a Throating reamer- do not lengthen chamber further. You will create a FTF situation if chamber/headspace is too long/deep.

    I lengthen leade to run JHP's at 1.150" from my 1911's/2011's. I use a Throating reamer for this as the chamber is very seldom too short (or it wouldn't have passed whatever halfassed QC spotcheck before leaving factory).
    The longer COAL assists in reliable feeding. (The 1911 was designed around a cartridge. The 230 gr. .45 ACP cartridge existed before the pistol was designed. That COAL was 1.270"+-)

    Most cartridge failure to seat/go into battery issues I see are caused by too short leade, very seldom is the chamber itself at issue.
    If gun functioned/went into battery prior to slinging mags in mud, I would venture a guess the leade was at the ragged edge of "deep enough", and the additional issue of mud crossed the line of seat/not seat, function/not function.
    What do you think about this?

    My reload OAL is shorter than the Winchester white box. My reload does't chamber, but the white box does
    Winchester


    Reloads



    To be sure, I pulled the bullet from my reload and tried to drop the empty case in the chamber. Same result, wouldn't drop in.


    Out of curiosity, I attempted to drop a fired Wolf steel case in the chamber. I didn't have any unfired Wolf cartridges to try. This was a no go by a long shot.


    I then measured the diameter of all the cases.
    Reload:

    Winchester:

    Gold Dot (also drops fine into chamber and feed correctly):

    Wolf Fired Steel Case:


    Based upon the measurements and testing, I'd say the chamber is indeed tight rather than the leade being too short. Would you agree?

  7. #7
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    I would, yes.
    Although attempting diagnosis via photos is potentially foolish.

    First; what was the fired brass shot out of?
    If they were fired from a "generous" (sloppy) chamber AND sized in generous sizing die/die not screwed in fully- that can/will happen.
    (I assume that any/all factory loaded ammo will drop check?)

    I see options as:

    Call SA's CS and see about them sending you an RMA to return barrel/slide(?). I have no clue what they'll want to do in that regard, although they just need the barrel, which is the issue.

    Or-
    Purchase an "undersize" sizing die.
    This has a better chance of bring bulged/oversized fired cases back to original spec.
    Lee makes them and EGW sells them as well (order #100356715). They have worked in sizing "Glock bulge" brass to spec with one of the range guys reloads.
    They are like 30 bucks.

    Or-
    Find a smith/hobbyist locally that has a 9mm chamber finish reamer.
    You could always purchase a 9mm finish (chamber) reamer yourself. That's usually how the "slippery slope" starts- one tool/reamer at a time.......

    (:

    Add; Make darned certain you don't have crap in the chamber- clean it thoroughly.
    That .003 to .004" difference in cartridges/brass which seat/don't seat (Win/GD vs Wolf/reloads) isn't much.
    Last edited by gaijin; 01-29-20 at 12:43.
    A true "Gun Guy" (or gal) should have familiarity and a modicum of proficiency with most all firearms platforms, as well as the major Food Groups.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammer27 View Post
    1) I would not have made a sight adjustment off that group at 10yds. The group is larger than I'd prefer at 10yds (IE the data isn't good enough) and the group is low/left: where we (as right handed shooters) push our shots with preignition anticipation.
    2) Winchester white box is notoriously inconsistent/flawed ammunition. I would not use that to validate reliability or accuracy testing.
    3) Yes, you absolutely handicapped the gun by dropping all your magazines in the mud.

    If you're evaluating the weapon you need to remove variables. Mud is a variable that's clouding your results. Poor quality ammunition is another variable that's clouding your results.
    If I were evaluating that pistol I would 1) detail strip the gun and magazines then properly clean and lubricate 2) repeat the reliability/function checks with a quality 9mm like Speer Lawman.
    This, especially the "mud" variable
    GET IN YOUR BUBBLE!

  9. #9
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    Not impressed with these guns. I had a new 10mm TRP or whatever it was called. Accuracy and feeding problems that 2 trips to the factory couldn't solve. And this gun was not cheap! Sold it with full disclosure to someone who wanted to tinker with it.

    Bought a Croatian Springfield xdm 10mm. 100% reliable.

    I don't think Springfield makes a good high end 1911.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uni-Vibe View Post
    I don't think Springfield makes a good high end 1911.
    Or maybe you got a lemon.

    https://www.m4carbine.net/showthread...field-Operator

    https://www.m4carbine.net/showthread...or-quot-45-ACP
    The simple fact of the matter is this, America has never not been great.
    - Mark Robinson

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