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Old 02-18-2012, 07:19 PM   #1
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AC44 Range Report - Feeding issues - ideas?

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Nice Saturday to test the minty ac44 (see previous thread). Gun looks better than my other (reblued slide) AC44, but doesn't feed as well.
Any ideas how to improve feeding?

I detail cleaned and lightly oiled all guns before testing, including dismantling and cleaning inside of all magazines.

Fired today: Two AC44 P38s (minty and reblued slide), Luger P.08 (1917 date).

Ammo: 200 rounds new Winchester White Box 115 grain ball; 40 rounds UMC 115 grain ball.

Results on my new "minty" P.38 (pic below):

1.) Original mag, filled to 8-round capacity: first round usually won't strip out of the mag when you pull back the slide and let it snap forward. The round noses over into the feed ramp and jams the gun open. Have to drop the mag out, take 1 or 2 rounds out, try again. Usually works OK starting with only 6 or 7 rounds (my other P38, similar problem).

2.) Original mag, 2 or 3 rounds into firing, sometimes empty case does not fully eject and slide jams part way open. Empty case is still halfway in the chamber, while the slide is trying to strip the next round from the mag. Same result with different ac44 vintage mag. Worse with refurbished post war P1 and P38 mags. Better with Winchester WB ammo, definite ammo related jams with UMC ammo (too short OAL.) Another AC44 works fine with same mags and WWB ammo. Neither one likes UMC, but my Luger P.08 eats it up.

3.) Original mag, halfway through mag, sometimes a round does not feed all the way into the chamber. The base of the jammed round seems to be offset to the right (not sure if that is cause or effect). Similar problem with other AC44 mag and post war mags. Same mags work OK in my other AC44. (original mags work better than post war surplus ones.)

This is a little disappointing, any ideas of cause? Maybe spring related?

I have my guesses but looking for some expert opinions.

I changed recoil springs on my "vet blued slide" ac44 and it works flawlessly, except is doesn't like to feed the first round from an 8 round loaded mag. It works better so I think that was the right decision.
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AC44 P.38 Reblue slide (Greatest Generation capture)
AC44 P.38 Original 98% (Greatest Generation capture)
BYF44 P.38 Original 98% (Greatest Generation capture)
Walther P1 Interarms Commercial 1969 (Peace, Love, Nines)
Walther P.38 1959 Postwar Cold Warrior

Last edited by rollin59; 02-18-2012 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:01 AM   #2
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Wait for the pros.
I hope you get this sorted out. I think you will.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:43 AM   #3
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Is the chamber clean?

Have you tried swapping out barrels to see if the problem still exists?

Have you double-checked that the springs are orientated correctly within the mags?
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Old 02-19-2012, 12:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AoxoMoxoA View Post
...

Have you double-checked that the springs are orientated correctly within the mags?
In a P.38 magazine there are four (4) possible ways to install the magazine spring. Only one of them is correct.

The end with the short coil fits under the step at the rear of the follower, the second longer coil supporting the front of the follower to keep it from nosediving.

The OP says that some of his ammo was "too short" in OAL. I've never seen that, but I have seen some WWB that was too long in OAL to function correctly in a P38 or P5 magazine when it was fully loaded. The 7th and 8th rounds were binding in the front of the magazine body and keeping the cartridge column from being thrust up smartly.

At this point the easiest diagnostic tools would be a new P1 magazine and some Fiocchi 115 gr. FMJ.

If none of that cured the problems, I'd put the original springs back in the gun.

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Old 02-19-2012, 02:33 PM   #5
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Thanks for ideas. Will take a look at these items. To clarify, I have not resprung or made any changes to the AC44 I'm having feeding problems with, other than field stripping & cleaning it. I did put new recoil springs in my other AC44 because they appeared worn (flat spotted coils) and questionable, and that gun functions better than before.

The chamber was cleaned before firing (nylon brush, Hoppes gun cleaner) and I oiled all moving parts lightly. The most likely suspects are the mag spring, possibly ejector needs cleaning, or possibly recoil springs, although those visually look A-OK in the problem gun.

I am fairly sure the mag springs are properly inserted because the exact same mags work fine in another AC44 and in my P1 but will double check that. Some of my extra (police surplus) mags probably were reparked, and might benefit from polishing the insides a bit, the follower could be dragging slightly inside the mag.

I've had problems with all of my P1/P38 brethren with UMC ammo which is visibly shorter OAL than Winchester White Box and Blazer Brass. WWB and BB work fine in my P1 and P38. All of this ammo is 115g ball.

For any springs or parts changed on any of my guns, I label them and put in a safe place so the guns could be returned to "original".
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AC44 P.38 Reblue slide (Greatest Generation capture)
AC44 P.38 Original 98% (Greatest Generation capture)
BYF44 P.38 Original 98% (Greatest Generation capture)
Walther P1 Interarms Commercial 1969 (Peace, Love, Nines)
Walther P.38 1959 Postwar Cold Warrior

Last edited by rollin59; 02-19-2012 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:55 PM   #6
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I would replace the recoil springs.

I do the same with my original springs (save them)
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BROBS View Post
I would replace the recoil springs.

I do the same with my original springs (save them)
I have one full spring kit (including a set of recoil springs), and a set of stock recoil springs on order. I don't think the recoil springs are the problem, but probably a good idea to have on hand.

If the other suggested tweaks don't help, will try recoil springs.
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AC44 P.38 Reblue slide (Greatest Generation capture)
AC44 P.38 Original 98% (Greatest Generation capture)
BYF44 P.38 Original 98% (Greatest Generation capture)
Walther P1 Interarms Commercial 1969 (Peace, Love, Nines)
Walther P.38 1959 Postwar Cold Warrior

Last edited by rollin59; 02-19-2012 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:27 PM   #8
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re-reading it could be magsprings as well.

the recoil spring can help it push into the chamber up the feedramp, but if it's not stripping the 1st round at all I would think maybe magsprings... I missed the fact it wasn't stripping the 1st round.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:00 AM   #9
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Cool Magazine scrub

Quote:
Originally Posted by BROBS View Post
re-reading it could be magsprings as well.

the recoil spring can help it push into the chamber up the feedramp, but if it's not stripping the 1st round at all I would think maybe magsprings... I missed the fact it wasn't stripping the 1st round.
I agree, most likely suspects are mags, or dirty EXTRACTOR. Springs seem OK. Tried different combos of mags and ammo, the original WWII mags and WWB worked best, P1 post war mags second best, for some reason one P38 post war seemed to bind. (I have 2 P38s, 1 P1 and total 9 mags, 1 original and 2 extras each gun. Extra mags, mix of refurb postwar P1 and P38.)

Took all mags apart and polished the insides w/a few passes of 0000 steel wool lightly soaked w/a couple dashes penetrating oil, then dried 'em out with cotton patches and a light coat of oil to prevent rust. Also lightly polished the mag follower edges with steel wool to reduce friction.

I looked really close at the EXTRACTOR under a bright light, it looks slightly worn on the tip but no more than my P1 or other WWII P38. No visible gunk behind the EXTRACTOR, but I thoroughly cleaned it and bolt face area with a shot of Rem shotgun cleaner followed by a few strokes with soft nylon brush/Hoppes 9 then a light coat of oil and drop of oil behind the EXTRACTOR. This probably sounds a bit anal but we'll see if it helps. Easy stuff first.
__________________
AC44 P.38 Reblue slide (Greatest Generation capture)
AC44 P.38 Original 98% (Greatest Generation capture)
BYF44 P.38 Original 98% (Greatest Generation capture)
Walther P1 Interarms Commercial 1969 (Peace, Love, Nines)
Walther P.38 1959 Postwar Cold Warrior

Last edited by rollin59; 02-22-2012 at 12:15 AM. Reason: Fix TYPO, extractor!
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollin59 View Post
I agree, most likely suspects are mags, or dirty ejector. Springs seem OK. Tried different combos of mags and ammo, the original WWII mags and WWB worked best, P1 post war mags second best, for some reason one P38 post war seemed to bind. (I have 2 P38s, 1 P1 and total 9 mags, 1 original and 2 extras each gun. Extra mags, mix of refurb postwar P1 and P38.)

Took all mags apart and polished the insides w/a few passes of 0000 steel wool lightly soaked w/a couple dashes penetrating oil, then dried 'em out with cotton patches and a light coat of oil to prevent rust. Also lightly polished the mag follower edges with steel wool to reduce friction.

I looked really close at the ejector under a bright light, it looks slightly worn on the tip but no more than my P1 or other WWII P38. No visible gunk but I thoroughly cleaned the ejector and bolt face area with a shot of Rem shotgun cleaner followed by a few strokes with soft nylon brush/Hoppes 9 then a light coat of oil and drop of oil behind the injector. This probably sounds a bit anal but we'll see if it helps. Easy stuff first.
Do you mean the extractor?

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