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Old 07-01-2011, 11:38 AM   #1
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MGMike .38
Wink Troubleshooting magazines

The weakest link in the mechanism of any semi or full automatic firearm is the magazine. At the first sign of feeding malfunctions, it will save a lot of time and frustration in diagnosis if the magazine is ruled out first.

The first thing is to TAKE IT APART and clean it. You cannot do an adequate job otherwise. Note the orientation of the spring; it should match the angle of the follower and the floorplate, and its top coils should be able to freely compress inside the follower without hanging up. Brush out the inside of the magazine tube until it is as bright as a clean shotgun bore. Make sure all fouling is removed from under the feed lips where it cannot easily be seen. Scrub the vertical faces of the follower legs. If the inside of the magazine is filthy and the follower is dragging, it will produce the same malfunctions as a magazine with a weak spring. Many magazines are condemned and/or the springs replaced when all they really needed was a thorough cleaning.

Turn the cleaned mag body upside down and drop the follower inside. It should drop all the way to the bottom with a satisfying "thunk", without pause or interference. Then turn it right side up; the follower should fall out without sticking. (If not, figure out why, and either fix it or buy another magazine.) Now insert the spring (making sure it is correctly oriented), holding it with your hand so it puts upward pressure on the follower. Confirm that the follower is being pushed ALL the way up under, AND PARALLEL TO, the feed lips; if it isn't, something is not right. Sometimes a follower can be adjusted by very slight bending, but getting it right is learned only by experience and most of the time you'll wind up replacing the follower or the entire magazine.

A thin smear of oil or grease on the front and back vertical legs of the follower is all the lubrication that's needed; more will just attract shooting schmutz.

If you have more than one mag, compare the assembled position of the followers to see that they are all at the same height and angle; if one is different from the others, something is amiss.

Finally, use a micrometer caliper to measure the gap between the feed lips at the front and at the rear. The Walther factory specification for PP-series .380 caliber magazines is .291" at the rear and .283" at the front, both dimensions having a tolerance of +.008" (i.e., max. .299" and .291" respectively). Occasionally one encounters OEM magazines that are tighter than that, which means the cartridge is presented too low to feed reliably.

M

Last edited by MGMike; 07-01-2011 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:05 PM   #2
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Thank you for the helpful information.
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:23 PM   #3
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Most excellent, MGMike: Another instant Sticky. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-01-2011, 04:04 PM   #4
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I also check for roughness of the underside of the top-lips of the magazine, and polish these contact points. I would not use "grease" of any kind on the follower "legs"...at most a light oil coat. Better is a dry lubricant in that particular area.

Mike...I also notice that when "looking down" on a 22LR Walther mag, the left and right side mag retaining lips are not parallel, and that the right-side and left side deviation ( or angle) to straight-ahead is different on both sides. One side angle is more pronounced. I know this is not an aberration of *one* mag that I have, as it appears this way for all the old and new Walther mags I possess. Do you have the "specs" for the 22LR mags ?
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Old 07-01-2011, 06:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by IPSC View Post
... Do you have the "specs" for the 22LR mags ?
Sorry, I don't.

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Old 07-02-2011, 06:20 PM   #6
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Great writeup, Mike. Keeps it simple and straightforward; thanks.

I concur with IPSC's notion of polishing the feedlips, to which I'll add 'have a look at the front edge of the magazine'. There is often a slight burr there from the stamping process that cut the magazine body. Using crocus cloth wrapped around a dowel or round pencil, polish this area and remove the burr; be careful not to remove any material from the feedlips. Start with the dowel parallel to the front face of the mag, and gradually turn it a few degrees to slightly radius the inside front of the mag. This often will solve first round feeding problems.

Give me a little time to look at the feedlips on a PPK/s .22, IPSC.
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Old 07-05-2011, 03:55 PM   #7
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Mike;
Do you happen to have the lip tolerances for .32 cal. magazines?
Thanks for a great post.
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:40 PM   #8
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Mike;
Do you happen to have the lip tolerances for .32 cal. magazines?
Thanks for a great post.
Sorry, I do not.

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Old 04-16-2013, 05:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MGMike View Post
The Walther factory specification for PP-series .380 caliber magazines is .291" at the rear and .283" at the front, both dimensions having a tolerance of +.008" (i.e., max. .299" and .291" respectively).

M
Mike, do you have or can your refer me to the factory specification for PP-series .32 caliber magazines?
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:03 PM   #10
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Mike, do you have or can your refer me to the factory specification for PP-series .32 caliber magazines?
jellis00
I am always willing to be enlightened. Was there something about posts #7 and #8 that was unclear?

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