FTF caused by slide not fully forward on M40-A1

Discussion in 'Maintenance / Tweaks / Technical Difficulties / So' started by nc_gunner, Mar 31, 2007.

  1. nc_gunner

    nc_gunner Guest

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    Strange one today at the range. I haven't had this happen before when firing, so here's the problem:

    I was firing normally, nothing super fast or fancy. No limp wrist problem in the past causing slide issues, so I doubt that did it. Anyway, I got a FTF. Put the gun down and realized that the slide was about 1/4-1/2 inch back, not fully forward like it should have been after the last round was fired. Thought I might have a dud round or stuck bullet so I tried to rack it. Wouldn't let the slide come back at all.

    I pushed the slide forward the last 1/4 to 1/2 inch and it went with no problem. I was then able to pull the slide back and get the "dud" round to extract properly. The round probably wasn't a dud, it looks like it was a weak hit from the pin that hit right on the outer edge of the primer and wasn't enough to ignite it. Shooting 165gr UMCs, haven't ever had an issue with those before.

    So... this slide not fully forward problem I have had before. But only when I was working the action and not snapping the slide forward using the recoil spring. The slide would stop maybe a 1/2 inch short of fully forward and I had to push it the rest of the way. This issue I figured was caused by me not allowing the recoil spring to do its job. Problem is, this slide problem happened today when I was firing so the spring should have had nothing impeding it.

    I religiously clean my guns after a run to the range, including the rails and rail tracks in the slide. Any thoughts on what might be causing that? This is a fairly new gun with about 800-900 rounds through it.
     
  2. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

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    You're in the minority, then - Steyrs are notorious for hating UMC ammo...

    CCI is your friend :) .
     

  3. bigtaco

    bigtaco Active Member

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    i agree with syntax. neither of mine will feed umc at all. in a ten round clip i'll have 2 stove pipes, a double feed, one ftf and one light primer strike. seriously.

    wwb and cci, no problems. there's something different about umc cases that the steyrs don't like. i obviously avoid umc like the plague. and in my experience, umc is also more expensive anyway.

    also had good luck with independence ammo and hear good reports of steyrs and pmc.
     
  4. DocChronos

    DocChronos Premium Member

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    Not to hijack the thread, but the discussions about brands of ammo always interests me. I have shot thousands of rounds of generic gun show remanufactured ammo in all kinds of calibers and through all kinds of handguns, and never have had a problem I can attribute to the ammo. I had one failure to extract in my S9 around 600 rounds without cleaning it, and never had a problem with my M9, even though I didn't clean it until I shot 1500 rounds through it.

    I was at the range again yesterday, mostly to shoot a friend's H&K USP, but of course I had to shoot my 1911 and my MP, as well. I shot maybe 100 rounds of .45 and another 100 of 9 mm through my M9 with nary a hitch. Either I have been extraordinarily lucky with my Steyr M9 & S9, or with my ammo, or ... maybe these are just exceptional handguns, and luck has nothing to do with it.

    Doc
     
  5. nc_gunner

    nc_gunner Guest

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    Thanks for the info on UMC guys. That was probably the issue, because I've put a fair variety of ammo through my M40 and this was the first hiccup.

    600+ rounds of PMC with only one FTF that was a light strike. The second strike fired fine. I blame that incident on my GF shooting, she's pretty new to it and we're working on getting rid of a variety of bad habits. Just don't tell her I said that. :wink:
    200+ rounds of Winchester White Box (165s and 180s) with not a single issue.

    I've also put a box of Fiocchi, CCI Blazer Brass, Winchester Rangers, Winchester JHPs, etc. through it and nothing else has had a problem feeding, firing, or extracting. I shall avoid UMC in the future and stick with my PMC and WWB. Considering the price on UMC, it's not even worth screwing with; there are plenty of other options in that price range.
     
  6. tglahn17

    tglahn17 Member

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    Here's another Steyr shooter who avoids UMC. The only malfunctions I've had in about 4,000 rounds through my M9A1 are three FTEs with 115-gr UMC. I mostly shoot American Eagle and WWB now. Good luck,
     
  7. posterboy7

    posterboy7 New Member

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    I had the same problem and I had been blaming it on the gun being dirty, it was up to about 500 rounds w/o ever being cleaned before it started and got really bad at around 600, 700 rounds.

    Now I think it might have been a combo of the gun being dirty *and* the cheap Triton ammo I have been using. The ammo is a Sportsman's Guide special, Triton assembled left-over components. These are the same bullets I mentioned in the ammo thread. They break apart and spatter the paper with little bits of shrapnel and big keyholes. They are nickled plated but they are pretty dirty.

    I have been shooting Win Rangers, WWB and Triton as well as a box of Horny TAP rds. I know the TAPs are not to blame, but the first time I had the problem I was shooting a mix of Rangers and Triton and maybe even WWB, sometimes in the same mag so I am not %100 certain it is only Tritons that caused the problems, but I am fairly confident it was.

    I have some Remington no-name hollow points that I haven't tried yet. UMC = Rem, right? Should I be concerned about all Remington bullets in my M40-A1 or just their UMC stuff?

    Thanks!
     
  8. bigtaco

    bigtaco Active Member

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    don't know about other remington ammo. never bought it or ran it. give it shot. might work, might not. good for malfunction drills!!! keeps you on your toes.

    strange thing though. the m9 which started the day thoroughly filthy, ran 250 rounds of umc with no trouble last week with the stainless guide rod...hmmm. maybe umc has changed their cases.
     
  9. posterboy7

    posterboy7 New Member

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    I shot 149 rds tonight at the weekly Monday night defensive class. 104 of those rounds were my notorious fragmenting Triton (400 rds left) and I also fired twenty some odd rounds of both Fiocchi 165gr JHP and Rem Express 155gr JHP and had no problems with any of them. I know I should probably shoot more of both JHP before I carry them, but I am gonna carry them now anyway.

    Man, what a fun two hours that was.

    I am feeling very ready for LFI-I starting on the 18th. Whoot!

    BTW, as of this evening I have fired just over 900 rds through my M40-A1 in exactly two months. I am starting to not even look at other guns.
     
  10. SELFDEFENSE

    SELFDEFENSE Premium Member

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    "I am feeling very ready for LFI-I starting on the 18th. Whoot! '
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    Good luck. You'll love it.
     
  11. posterboy7

    posterboy7 New Member

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    Ok, I am still having a return to battery problem. At last night's Monday defensive class I started to experience once again the failure to fully return to battery and possibly a trigger reset problem.

    I hadn't cleaned my gun since last time so I was up in the neighborhood of 250 rds fired without cleaning. Still using the notrious fraging Triton ammo (300 rds left) which from here on out will only be used for target practice and not training. The return to battery failure was hurting my confidence and concentration since I wasn't expecting it to happen for another 250 rds w/o cleaning, which I wasn't going to reach before I did clean.

    Then I had at least a couple of instaces where the trigger didn't seem to reset and I had to rack the slide. My trigger technique is to pull the trigger, hold it, ease up to reset as I re-acquire the target then pull the trigger again. I assume lots of people do it this way... So on those couple or so occasions I eased up to reset, then pulled and nothing. Eased the trigger more, pulled nothing. Racked the slide and fired. The lack of a dent in the primers confirmed that it was not a return to batter problem in these instances. I am not 100% certain I just wasn't letting the trigger out enough to reset, but on one occurrence I am pretty sure I took my finger completely off the trigger and it didn't reset. These battery failures and possible reset failures were happening in a cluster and I was really rattled by it.

    These problems led me to use a mix of Fiocchi and Remington JHP for the 48 round qualification shoot because I had lost confidence in the Triton to get me through the course without problems.

    I had one more reset problem - the last instance where I actually took my finger off the trigger - in the middle of the qualification so now I know the problems are not entirely ammo specific.

    The instructor told me the return to battery problem was most likely caused by the gun being dirty. I didn't mention the possible failure of the trigger to reset.

    So now I am left with several nagging questions...

    1) Is my gun super sensitive to fouling?

    2) Is the Triton ammo that exceptionally dirty and or weak that it is the sole cause of the problems?

    3) Is the trigger reset problem me or the gun, and if it is the gun, is dirt causing the problem or is it a completely separate issue?

    4) Am I not lubing the gun well enough?

    5) Does the heat generated by sustained rapid fire have any part in these problems?

    As I have mentioned, I have LFI-I starting in four days and I want to be confident that my gun is not going to start to hicup as the round count climbs. We are required to bring 500 rounds -- I am bringing Win Ranger JHP -- and we are running 10 hour days with 2 more hours of driving for me added to that. I would prefer not to have to clean my gun every night before I hit the hay.

    Any advice or input is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  12. bigtaco

    bigtaco Active Member

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    what's the serial # range? 48,xxx etc...

    tough to diagnose your trouble because you have so many variables. i don't use any of those brands of ammo so can't comment on them in any way.

    if you pack the chamber slam full of mud, it won't go into battery. but not sure how dirty the ammo/your chamber are cause no experience with those ammos.

    when you say you cleaned it, i'm not sure how or how well. did you take the sub-frame out of the grip ala cort's tutorial?

    not sure what you're using for a solvent to break up all the gunk but you need to thoroughly soak everything down with something (not lube) and run the action under steaming hot water to blow all the crud out.

    then thoroughly hose the thing down with lube and wipe all the lube off with a patch. the residual fim is what you're after, but you'll be leaving more lube in internal areas like the sear/post.

    make sure you clean out the firing pin channel. especially the hole in the breech face. lube her up, and wipe ALL the lube out.

    i hope this helps. i can tell you that in my experience, i wouldn't think twice about running 500 rounds without cleaning. but if i were doing an expensive training class... i would DEFINITELY clean the gun between days. why not?

    as far as the trigger reset, it could just be gunk in the sear mechanism. clean it out real good and lube it up real good and go from there.

    this CAN'T be caused by you. you can't hold the trigger or use a technique so different from other shooters that will make the trigger act up. clean it good and stick with ammo that other steyr owners have luck with. win. rangers should work great. try to shoot 100 rounds before the class starts.

    if you have a mechanical trigger reset issue, it will get worse rapidly. but if you go 100 rounds without a hiccup after cleaning, i'd think you to be fine doing the class assuming you clean the weapon at night.
     
  13. posterboy7

    posterboy7 New Member

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    BT,

    My M40-A1 serial no. is 53XXX.

    I have only cleaned the gun according to the manual, ie field strip, clean the barrel, scrub the breach face and wipe out/off the residue from the frame and slide and lube the points indicated. I use Hoppes, a bore brush and patches, a silicone rag and Outer's spray lube. This is all I have ever had to do with other pistols I have owned (actually, I never lubed other guns). Granted, I have never used another gun this hard in such a short period of time.

    I am going to feel grumpy if I have to do more and remove and clean the sub-frame since, if it isn't in the manual, I don't expect I should have to seek out info that is critcal to the normal function of the gun. But of course, I will do what it takes, at least to a point, to make it work. [Grumble grumble]

    If this is an unreasonable attitude, I am open to adjusting it and if this gun needs a bit more love then some others, well then I am probably willing to adjust to that too.

    I suspect you are right about crud in the trigger assembly, since I did a basic cleaning and now I am having this problem come up after less than 300 rounds. I usually stick to good manufactured ammo and I have to say this Triton maybe the dirtiest I have seen in a pistol. 357 mag mess in a revolver is a different story.

    I will clean it tonight if I have a chance or tomorrow according to the tutorial you mentioned. Unfortuantely, I don't think I will have a chance to run 100 rds through it before Friday.

    Thanks for all of your advice, BT. I really appreciate it.
     
  14. posterboy7

    posterboy7 New Member

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    BTW, where the heck is cort's tutorial on removing and cleaning the sub-frame? I thought I remember seeing but now I can't find it!
     
  15. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

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  16. posterboy7

    posterboy7 New Member

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    Thanks Syntax! I forgot about the home page...
     
  17. posterboy7

    posterboy7 New Member

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    BTW, am I being in unreasonable in expecting that I shouldn't have to do more than field strip and clean and lube the gun according to the manual?

    I was absolutely thrilled with my Steyr after the Monday before and I just keep shooting better with it, but this experience has really shaken my confidence.

    Realistically, do I have to remove and clean the sub-frame every time I clean the gun? And do I need to also disassemble the slide to fix my reset problem and/or do so regularly to keep the gun functioning reliably?

    Again, I have never ran a gun so hard in such a short period of time and without cleaning after every single range session. But also, I have never taken a pistol down past field stripping it to effectively clean it.

    I don't mean this as a rant. I am no expert and am really curious to know if my expectactions are unrealistic.

    Thanks.
     
  18. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

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    I went probably 4000 rounds before I disassembled the pistol and cleaned it. So no - unless you want to, you should never have to take the gun down that far. But if things start acting up, it's a good idea to make sure your gun is squeaky clean before trying to diagnosis it.
     
  19. bigtaco

    bigtaco Active Member

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    as syntax said, it's a good idea to eliminate dirt as the cause.

    i think that not having performed this task, you are making more of it than there is. popping the sub-frame out is a quickie task. and getting all the goop and gunk outta there will only keep the gun functioning and feeling fresh.

    be careful when you pull the sub-frame out. keep a thumb over the key lock. otherwise you'll get an eyeball full of key lock. which is a pretty big problem condisering you'll need said eyeball to find the now-lost key lock spring.

    but all in all not a difficult task by any measure.

    the reset issue would be located in the sear/post area more than likely. that's why you gotta pull the sub-frame out and be sure to get any foreign matter outta there. compressed air? computer duster? if not, good running water will carry out the dislodged stuff.

    "dis-assembling the slide" is really only popping the slide cap off. the firing pin comes right out. just clean her up, lube her down, and wipe all the lube out of the channel and off of the firing pin. this cleans all the powder residue out of the channel. good for solid ignition of the primer.
     
  20. posterboy7

    posterboy7 New Member

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    Thanks both of you. I am going to detail clean the gun today, sub-frame and slide included, and then run a 100 rds of WWB through it tomorrow. Basic clean it after the range trip and pack up my gear for LFI-I.

    Thanks again.