First post, range report and an editorial

Discussion in 'M, C, L and S Series' started by Dag, May 6, 2007.

  1. Dag

    Dag Guest

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    Hi All – Been lurking for awhile, but finally decided to register. I’ve got several things on my mind, so here goes. I’ve got a new M40-A1 that I’ve put about 500 rounds through. So far it feeds and ejects just about everything – Cor Bon, Gold Dot, Golden Saber, Blazer, Blazer Brass, Fiocci FMJ and a couple of different lead hand loads. One fail to feed with Wolf (very early on) and a couple of fail to feed with lead hand loads (gun was dirty). Best ergonomics of any auto pistol I own (Ruger KP345 [second best ergonomics], 5” Springfield XD-40, Auto Ordinance 1911A1). I’ve also got a 3” Rossi .38 revolver with a Pachmayr grip that fits my hand like a glove, but .38 Special just doesn’t have enough stopping power to be my #1 gun. The Steyr’s low bore axis is outstanding, and I LOVE the sights. I’ve polished the firing pin spring guide and the surfaces of the Striker Release Mechanism, but the trigger is, at best, just OK. I’ll work some more on the spring guide. I too am having the infamous “brass on the head” syndrome. I’ve tried re-shaping the extractor, based on the photos ShelbyV8 posted. I’ve had some improvement, but I’m still getting conked about once every 100 rounds or so. Yeah, I know, not what you’d call a major problem, but if the Steyr is to become my primary defense gun, I don’t want the distraction of possibly getting brass in the face or on the head during a gunfight. I’ve ordered the Wilson plunger spring from Midway, and will try that when it shows up in a day or two. I’ve also polished the feed ramp and chamber to see if that helps. One other thing occurred to me: will the ejection pattern be any different if I only use nickel plated cases? It seems that a nickel plated case will change the extraction force needed, and probably the ejection trajectory. I’ve loaded up 100 rounds of nickel cases, and will let you know how it goes (will be next Friday before I can shoot again).

    Now a couple of editorial comments. The M-A1 will never be as popular as an XD, Ruger, Glock, Sig, M&P or Beretta, as long as the guns are not reliable out of the box. Most handgunners aren’t going to be willing to join Steyr Club and spend days or weeks tweaking their gun, hoping to make it reliable enough to use for self defense. They expect it to be reliable, at least as reliable as any mechanical device can be, when they get it. I think that if Steyr corrected the more serious problems (extraction/ejection, feed problems, trigger failing to reset), they would find much wider acceptance. You have to admit that it’s pretty impressive to read about some of the torture tests other guns have been put through. I know, I know, they’re not real world tests, but what they do show is that a particular gun has a wide margin for mechanical error, and if you happen to skip cleaning a couple of times, and the bad guy picks that night to break into your house, you know the gun will still work. You can’t say that about your brand new M-A1. Sorry, but them’s the facts. I’m just surprised that with Steyr’s background in military weapons, it’s so sensitive to ammo and cleaning. Now, having said all that, I fully expect to be using my M40-A1 as my primary defense gun, just as soon as can I get it all tweaked up. I'm absolutely obsessed about cleaning after shooting, so that won't be a problem for me.

    One other question - Does the avatar image HAVE to be off-site, or can I just paste an image someplace?

    As Don Rickles used to say, “So, is there anyone I haven’t offended yet? :)

    Thanks.

    Dag
     
  2. SELFDEFENSE

    SELFDEFENSE Premium Member

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    Hard statistics are not available on the true failure rates of all the guns you mentioned, but from anectdotal evidence, I would doubt the Steyr (especially the newer M/Ss and the A1s) are worse than the XDs or the Berettas.
    The litany of good points you mentioned is why, if Steyr gets the advertising/marketing clout, they could make inroads against some you have mentioned.
    Your own experience has so far been flawless (Wolf doesn't count).
    Happy Steyring (from a former Glock-only CCWer) :)
     

  3. madecov

    madecov Active Member

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    Welcome to the club and thanks for your thoughts and impressions.

    Some of what you say I agree with, some I don't.

    My M40A1 has never bonked me on the head with brass. My trigger is incredibly nice for a striker fired gun.

    I had a few failures to extract at 600 rounds but Steyr fixed it with a new Plunger and spring and the gun hasn't had a failure in close to 2000 rounds. I think the vast majority of the pistols have been reliable. I have enough confidence in my Steyr that I use it as a Duty weapon. I've only shot some reloads and Winchester ammo as target loads, duty loads have been Cor Bon, Gold Dots, Golden Sabre, Hydra Shock and Winchester SXT. I've had no failure's with any defensive ammo.

    Steyr's primary issue has been a lack of marketing in the USA. Everyone knows the silhouette of the AUG and Steyr needs to use it to increase brand name awareness. Most of the "gun" folks I know are aware of the name but have no real experience with any of the products. Steyr rifle's are very well built and have a decent reputation, but Steyr has never had a reputation in the handgun market. The GB wasn't exactly a huge success.

    The current MA1 series pistol is still the same gun as the M series, hence it's a version 1.5 rather than a 2nd generation. Steyr will still need to do some tweaks on the pistol in the next generation just as Glock has done on their pistols
     
  4. ThaiBoxer

    ThaiBoxer Active Member

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    I'll chime in on reliability. MY M40A1 has been 100%, flawless in every way since purchase and going on more than 500 rounds now. My M40 was bought used, and was also 100% until I bought a case of Wolf. About halfway through that case I got extraction problems, some were major. Switching ammo helped a bit, but I was still shooting up the Wolf and it wasn't until I polished out chamber and shot the last of the Wolf that it went back to 100%, which it has been for another 400-500 rounds. So I believe that Wolf in the tight Steyr chamber caused my troubles.

    I usually have bad luck with guns, seems like something is always coming up. These Steyrs have been great, and I can't hold the steel cased Wolf with the plastic coating against them.
     
  5. bigtaco

    bigtaco Active Member

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    you're gonna have to work harder than that if you want to offend someone here!!


    i haven't seen a trigger reset problem in a long time. i think that was relegated to a serial number batch and aside from a few popping up from that batch, that problem has long since been solved.


    handloads... i know many many people who have great quality control over ther handloads backed up by years of reliable ignition in all of their guns. but... in steyr's defense, they don't have access to everyone's reloads.

    nickel might slide out of the tight chamber a little better.

    they've proven to function reliably with factory ammo.

    i've seen a lot of, "the gun won't shoot umc...but it shoots gold dots just fine." hey,... i'll take that anyday of the week, cause i'm not likely to load umc for the bad guy.

    cleaning... i've gone over 1000 rounds without cleaning. it started as a test. then, i figured the gun would start malfunctioning at an ipsc match one day and it would be good clearance drill practice. the malf's never came. finally i got bored with the test and with having a filthy gun. cleaned it. now i don't even pay attention. if it looks dirty, i clean it. if the trigger gets gritty, i clean it. but no malfunctions.

    even the steyrs that are being purchased now as N.I.B. are really a few years old. we know that steyr follows this board and is well aware of the weak extraction, that DOES function 99%, but can be annoying even when functioning. someone discovered that by using a little more spring force, the problem is solved. and i suspect that the newest production lots, which are being designed specifically for the us consumer market are going to jump out of the box with no reliability problems at all.

    i think it'd be fun to conduct some steyrclub torture tests. we're just looking for a donor pistol. we all like ours too much to freeze it, boil it, throw it in the mud and run over it. but rest assured... when warren buffet becomes a steyr fan, we'll get our chance!!!
     
  6. Wulf

    Wulf Premium Member

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    Hiya Dag :)

    Hehehehe..."dag". Love your nick, Bro! :p Did anybody ever tell ya whatta dag is in New Zealand and Australia? If not, here ya go.

    God I love this website. :p Anyway, welcome to the club. :) If ya wanna keep your M40-A1's trigger action "tweaked", dry fire the -Hell- outta the thing. And, keep these firing pin assembly parts cleaned and lightly lubed, that goes for the channel in the slide, as well.

    [​IMG]

    Some members take a clamp or some kind of pliers and force the spring washer and spring guide to a very closely tolerance d fit. Be careful not to scar these parts during the process. And, of course the mating surfaces need to be very polished first for the magic to occur. <shrug> I learned all this from BT so if ya got any questions, PM him, not me! :twisted: So, good luck and if ya can find the #'s for all the other manufacturers you listed in the 100% Reliability buncha semiauto pistols, please post them. I'm very curious indeed! :p Thanx in advance. :)

    Wulf
     
  7. Netfotoj

    Netfotoj Premium Member

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    Everybody else pretty much answered your questions and comments except for the avatar. I know for sure it's gotta be uploaded somewhere on the Internet and then you post the url to the image. As to whether you can get away with uploading your avatar to this site, never tried that. If you did, it would work, but there would be no guarantee that Deluxe wouldn't zap it at some later date when he's doing file cleanup or upgrading the mods.

    As for my personal experience with head-bonking ejects, I figure it's the price of being lefty as I have other pistols that do the same thing. I just wear a cap to the range. But my M357-A1 stopped bonking me after about 400 rds.

    I can't imagine it only happens to lefty shooters, it's just more likely to get us southpaws, Steyr or other makes.
     
  8. matt13

    matt13 Premium Member

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    Welcome aboard, Dag!

    My M9-A1 has been excellent out of the box. I've run about 2000 rounds of "whatever" through it in the last three months or so and have had no issues with failures. I am still getting bonked in the head about once every 150 to 200 rounds.
     
  9. Gray_Wolf

    Gray_Wolf New Member

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    I have to agree with Dag

    Steyr is not a gun that will work 100% with any ammo right out of the box. But many guns are… I’m not great believer in brake-in periods, I see it as an excuse for a gun that isn't 100% reliable right out of the box. Also users shouldn’t try to think of ways to fix stovepipes, or crazy ejection patterns. Manufacturer should fix any problems before shipping out a gun. I think Steyr has a long way to go to be where ‘big boys’ are.. marketing alone won’t fix it. :?


    sorry for the rant...
     
  10. SELFDEFENSE

    SELFDEFENSE Premium Member

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    The worst head bonking I ever got by far was my Glock 19 on a case of Sellier&Bellot 115 gr. FMJ. I would get hit on half the rounds in a mag. Used it as practice in ignoring distractions while shooting.
     
  11. ThaiBoxer

    ThaiBoxer Active Member

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    Why? Do you think Steyr M-series is trouble-prone?

    I don't, but I only have 2.
     
  12. Gray_Wolf

    Gray_Wolf New Member

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    Erratic ejection, FTEs etc are not synonyms with reliability. Plus I would really like to see a firing pin block on Sterys, the fact that every gun seems to have one is reason enough to have it.

    but I guess I was a little blunt before...
     
  13. DocChronos

    DocChronos Premium Member

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    Of course, Dag and Gray Wolf are right: a gun should be reliable. That is why I ran my own torture test on my Steyrs right out of the box. I fired between 1500-1600 rounds of gun show remanufactured ammo through my M9 without cleaning and never had a malfunction, not even a hint of a problem. The S9 hiccupped around 600 rounds—a failure to extract. When I inspected the S9 chamber, it was so gunked up that it was obvious why it failed. When I got home that day I finally gave both guns a thorough cleaning. No problems in a couple hundred rounds since then. Overall, my S9 and M9 have been trouble free.

    As Netfotoj says, being a left-hander means that you occasionally get a round on your head, so you wear a hat. No biggie.

    The trouble with many forums is that you hear more about the problems than the good stuff. I was in a Quantico Arms store yesterday and saw one of the clerks had a M40 on his hip. He loves his Steyr—never had a problem with it. He had never heard of Steyr Club, so didn’t know there were problems to worry about. All he knows is that he has a top-notch shooter that is trouble-free. I suspect that there are many Steyr owners like him that have not had any problems and assume that is normal. And it probably is.

    One good thing about Steyr Club is that it is pretty clear what the Steyr M-series major problems are. Another good thing is that there are several VERY knowledgeable contributors, so if you do have a problem, you will probably find your answer here. Enjoy your new tool.

    Doc
     
  14. Dag

    Dag Guest

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    OUTSTANDING!!!!

    I can see that this is going to be a fun forum. Thanks to all who replied, including those who took me to task for a couple of my comments, but especially to Gray_Wolf, who got it right. OK, OK, just kidding, you all got it right. :) I was looking for a source of good solid technical information on my new M40-A1, and it was obvious that Steyr Club had that info. The tutorials on the home page alone are more like after market gunsmith guides, than free tips for anyone to download. Many thanks to BigTaco, hihosilva, DAIadvisor, Cort Tompkins and others I haven’t yet met. I was a little concerned that it would be something of a mutual admiration society, where everyone just kept patting themselves on the back for buying such a wonderful pistol. I can see that my fears were unfounded. I like it when people speak their mind, and aren’t afraid to be a little politically incorrect. I’ll keep the board posted on my quest for “the perfect ejection”. Ooooo, that almost sounds dirty! Maybe I should make it my new signature. :twisted:

    So, while the M-A1 may not be the best straight out of the box, I think it has the potential to be perhaps the best defensive pistol in the world. Now I guess it’s up to me to realize that potential!

    Netfotoj - Thanks for the info on avatars. I guess I’ll have to see what my provider (SBC Global) gives me for free space, and copy it there.

    Wulf – Thanks for a GREAT belly laugh! I had no idea, but it does seem appropriate. I’ve been told I was full of $hit, I just didn’t know it was $heep$hit. :mrgreen:

    DocChronos – You make a very good point. Most people aren’t going to just post “Every thing is fine, no problems.” So it’s easy to assume the norm is worse than it really is. Thanks for some great information on your own personal torture test. That’s something I can (and will) try myself, and see how my gun behaves, although it’s going to be tough not cleaning it after shooting. I’m really anal about cleaning after EVERY range session. Oh well, the price of progress.

    Thanks again all, and have a great week.

    Dag
     
  15. ThaiBoxer

    ThaiBoxer Active Member

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    Every thing is fine, no problems.

    :D
     
  16. Dag

    Dag Guest

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    OK, ThaiBoxer, there's gotta be one in every crowd. I guess you're the one! :D
     
  17. Dag

    Dag Guest

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    Hey bigtaco - Good to know the trigger reset problems are a thing of the past. That's the problem with lurking: I saw alot of the older posts (searching for specific topics), when I should probably have been focusing on the more recent stuff. Plus, it's good to know that there's a fix if it does start, beside just sending it to SAI. Thanks again!

    Dag
     
  18. Angel

    Angel Guest

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    Hey, at least the Glock ejected those rounds. My M9-A1 consistently fails to eject them.

    I think anyone claiming that the Steyrs are as reliable as Glocks or XDs is straight out delusional.
     
  19. squirrelpotpie

    squirrelpotpie Premium Member

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    People tend to speak from their own experience, Angel.
    Perhaps their experiences are just different than yours, that doesn't make them delusional.

    Steyr's may not be as reliable in sand, dirt or mud as some other guns with looser tolerances, and I understand from your postings that you have had what sounds like an unusual amount of problems with your particular firearm even under normal conditions.

    Reliability postings by others and my own experiences suggest that your experiences may not be typical.
     
  20. Dag

    Dag Guest

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    Extraction problems

    Hey Angel - I tend to agree with squirrelpotpie. There are apparently a bunch of folks who don't have ANY problems. A couple of questions:

    1) How many rounds through your gun? Some folks report the problems go away after 500-600 rounds.
    2) Have you tried the "plunger spring fix"? Nearly everyone who's tried it says if works. My plunger spring is on order from Midway.

    As a last resort, send it to SAI to fix. From all I read, Customer Service is outstanding. Good luck.

    Dag