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P99QA Gen 1 (sold), PDP compact 4", PPS, Q5 Match, P22, and a few from lesser brands as well.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I was shooting a USPSA competition today and I had a repeated malfunction issue with my Q5 match (polymer). About one out of every three or four rounds, I would get a dead trigger. To be specific, I would fire a round, the slide would cycle fully, ejecting the spent case and properly loading the next round. When I would press the trigger for the next shot, the trigger was dead... There was no wall, no striker release, no bang. I would have to manually rack the slide, ejecting a live cartridge, loading the next cartridge and resetting the trigger. It would then go bang like normal. Another round or two, and again: dead trigger.

I have been completely unable to reproduce this issue on dry fire, or with a magazine full of snap caps. My first thought was that the slide was cycling enough to load the next round, but not far enough to reset the trigger. Upon closer inspection under dry fire, it is clear that the trigger reset happens before the slide even moves back far enough to eject the spent case. Since my slide would successfully eject the case and load the next round, we know it was cycling far enough to reset the trigger.

After some googling, I found this thread from nearly 10 years ago that describes a similar issue... (1) The trigger reset issue | Walther Forums Could this be what is happening? Does someone have another idea of how the trigger could be "dead" after the slide completely cycles?

For reference, based on comments in that thread, I too recently switched to a small backstrap. I purchased the Taylor Freelance brass backstrap which is a small size (apparently they made small instead of medium by mistake). I'm wondering if that's enough to cause the gun to bounce in my hand, possibly making my finger "bounce" the trigger right at the spot mentioned in that other thread... thus causing the dead trigger.

I plan to go to the static range this week to test further under live ammo. If I can duplicate, I'll swap back to the polymer medium backstrap and see if it happens again.

After two full stages of this dead trigger happening about every 3-4 rounds, I went back to the car and got my EDC PDP Compact and finished the match with it. Had no issues whatsoever with it (same mags, same ammo).
 

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Well THAT sucks. As for searches, you might try this, click on search, then advanced search. Enter "Dead Trigger" in the search box. Scroll down to tell it where to look....in this case the 'PPQ' section, then hit GO. Here's what you get. Search results for query: "Dead Trigger"

One of the first questions to ask would be is the gun stock....meaning stock trigger and springs.

I do understand how the fire control system works .... well, for the most part anyway.

1 When you fire a round, the slide cycles rearward and back forward.

2 As the slide is going rearward, it extracts and ejects the spent cartridge.

3 The slide continues rearward and will force the trigger bar 'down' which will allow the single action lever to pop forward. (this part is important....if the single action lever is not released, then the striker is NOT going to get cocked and you'll essentially have a dead trigger)

4 The slide will start returning forward, catching the top cartridge in the magazine and forcing it into the chamber.

5 When the slide is about 3/8" from fully forward, the single action sear will catch and stop/hold the striker as the slide continues forward. (remember, the single action lever has already popped forward, and is in a position to support the single action sear)....and here's where the above part in #3 in red comes into play.

6 As the slide continues forward from that 3/8" position, the striker spring is getting compressed. The striker spring continues to compress as the slide makes its way into battery. As a side note: Compressing the striker spring also slows down the velocity of the slide, letting it arrive at 'battery' with a soft landing.....meaning less muzzle dip.

7 Now, you let your trigger finger move forward and as a tab on the trigger bar makes it way forward, it'll POP up in front of a tab on the single action lever. THAT's the 'click' you hear when the trigger resets.

Now, which one of these operations could be screwing up?????? Without the gun to look at and play with, I'm clueless.

I DO know that I can decock a PPQ or PDP or even a P99 (without using the decocker). To recock the striker, all you've gotta do is move the slide back about 3/8". Try this....with an unloaded PPQ/PDP/P99 turn your hearing aids up, pick the gun up, hold it pretty close to your ear (not pointing at your ear) 馃槀 and very slowly move the slide rearward while listening for a slight or faint 'click'. That'd be the single action sear popping up in front of the striker. As soon as you hear the click, let the slide go back into battery....your striker is cocked and your trigger is reset.
 

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P99QA Gen 1 (sold), PDP compact 4", PPS, Q5 Match, P22, and a few from lesser brands as well.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
One of the first questions to ask would be is the gun stock....meaning stock trigger and springs.
I'll review that search and look more closely at my gun as compared to your description as time permits, but wanted to go ahead and answer your question...

Yes, all internals are completely stock. The only "internal" part that I have changed is the stock mag catch/release to the extended Walther mag release button. I have changed no other parts internal to the gun itself. As mentioned, I did change the external backstrap for the aforementioned brass backstrap.

One additional note. I shot with this same gun in IDPA and USPSA matches the last two Saturdays and had no malfunctions whatsoever. Same magazines and ammo, though I did also add brass +6 baseplates to the magazines this past week.

So the only changes since last week were:
Walther extended mag release button
Brass backstrap (small instead of polymer medium)
Brass +6 mag baseplates (on same mags).
 

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Yep, that's one of those questions that has to be asked.

I REALLY don't see how any of the changes you've made would have any effect on the trigger. Same mags....same ammo.....I really don't know.

There's been a few dead trigger threads in the last 10 years, but I don't remember if we ever identified a specific problem or fix. In the past when people have complained about unintended double taps, I'd always suggest, when firing a round, always hold the trigger all the way to the rear until the slide has completed its cycle...well THAT's over in the blink of an eye. But, too light ah trigger finger or touch of the trigger can result in a double tap or pretty much a bump fire. But in your case, with a dead trigger, I don't know what to tell ya.

Other than contact Walther.....I bet they'll want to take a look at that pistol.
 

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P99QA Gen 1 (sold), PDP compact 4", PPS, Q5 Match, P22, and a few from lesser brands as well.
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Well, my trigger finger is definitely not 鈥渂ouncing鈥 on the trigger to cause this condition.

I went to the range tonight and used my phone to 鈥渟lo-mo鈥 record the gun. It is clear that the gun is cycling properly (from an external view) and that my finger is staying fully to the rear throughout the entire recoil process until I intentionally move my finger off the trigger to reset for the next shot.

Here鈥檚 where it gets weird. If I take the brass back strap off the gun and put the factory polymer back strap back on, the gun resets correctly every time. When I put the brass back strap back on, the problem returns (every few rounds). Polymer on- no problem. Brass on- dead trigger after a few rounds. This was replicated multiple times. Nothing else was changed on the gun.

This also confused the heck out of the staff I talked to at the range.

I opened a support case with Walther and they sent me a return label already. I guess we鈥檒l see what their experts find out.
 

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In the past when people have complained about unintended double taps, I'd always suggest, when firing a round, always hold the trigger all the way to the rear until the slide has completed its cycle...well THAT's over in the blink of an eye. But, too light ah trigger finger or touch of the trigger can result in a double tap or pretty much a bump fire.
This has happened to me. Never knew why ...

Ya' learn something every day!
 

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P99QA Gen 1 (sold), PDP compact 4", PPS, Q5 Match, P22, and a few from lesser brands as well.
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just got the gun back today. 8 days from doorstep to doorstep. That is a very fast turnaround and I am impressed with Walther support for getting it done that fast. The warranty invoice says they replaced the entire sear housing and a quick glance at the parts tells me that the sear itself is definitely new and it appears the housing is new as well. The single action lever is hard to tell because it just barely sticks up out of the housing, but I have to assume it is new as well. Now I just need to find time to go to the range and test it out and start building confidence back in the gun.
 

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P99QA Gen 1 (sold), PDP compact 4", PPS, Q5 Match, P22, and a few from lesser brands as well.
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Follow up post: (I hate posts that are left open as to issues being resolved, so I wanted to make sure to update this one).

Took her to the range today. Not a single hiccup or issue at all (other than re-zeroing my red dot since I had removed it for shipping). Every single round fired correctly and the trigger reset properly every time. Interestingly, the trigger reset is MUCH more apparent now. It is much more tactile and firm when it resets as the trigger moves back forward. I could feel it pretty well before, but now it feels even more crisp when it resets. The new parts that they put in definitely work better and the difference in reset feel implies that something was definitely wrong with the previous parts. Glad to have her back and working well again.
 
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