M40 Major Malfunction #2

Discussion in 'M, C, L and S Series' started by Guest, Jun 20, 2005.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Hi all,
    Some of you my remember my other thread, "M40 Major Malfunction", in which my friends M40 broke a pin off of the FP catch (part 10 on usasteyr schematic). Well, my friend has still not tried to order parts yet, so I still don't have any pictures of the broken part.

    Anyways, last Saturday I was at the local range shooting my M40, when I had a similar failure. I was one round into a 5 round string, after shooting 45 rounds of Blazer Brass. After the first round out of the magazine, the trigger failed to reset. I cycled the slide, ejecting a live round from the chamber. The trigger remained fully to the rear, and could not be reset either by the slide or by manually pulling it forward. Also, the firing pin was cocked (or atleast partially cocked), which prevented normal slide removal. Needless to say, this rendered the weapon completely useless.

    Just for a little background on this weapon, suffice it to say that it was lovingly cleaned and cared for at all times. The malfunction occured after only 46 rounds, so I don't think cleanliness was an issue. There was also no indication of an ammo malfunction, as round 46 fired normally and loaded round 47 fine.

    So, after I get home, I start monkeying with the weapon. It took me a while, but I finally got the trigger far enough forward where it would release the FP catch and drop the firing pin. I could then get the slide off. Then I had to get out the sub-frame assembly to see what was going on in the trigger. Here I ran into another problem. You know how you have to push the trigger forward a little to get the key safety to push in enough and pull out the sub-frame? My trigger was reluctant to go forward enough to push in the key safety. So, after fooling with that for another 10 or 15 minutes, I finally got the trigger forward just enough, and out comes the sub-frame...

    And what do I see (to my shock and horror...wait...too dramatic) in my trigger assembly? The drop safety (part 32 on usasteyr) has literally snapped in half, leaving the back half dangling uselessly out the top of the weapon, and the forward, "hook" half thouroughly lodged in the lever which releases the trigger. After a little hoping and prying (yes, I know...bad pun), the piece came out.

    So, luckily USASteyr has the part in stock, and it's only $4 to replace. However, this is the second failure of this type (rear trigger mechanism) that I have personally witnessed in an M40, and I have only ever seen two M40s! Neither of these weapons was abused in any way, although they both do have fairly high round counts (10,000+) through them. So, has anyone else witnessed any failures of this type in any of the Steyr pistols? Is this a problem in design or production that has not been recognized yet, or am I just really unlucky? Enquiring minds want to know...

    BTW I will try to get some pictures as soon as I find someone with a good digicam...
  2. IDPASteyr

    IDPASteyr Guest

    I have had a couple of drop safeties break on my Steyr M9. 10,000 seems a little early, my first one broke about 20,000. In every case I have witnessed, the gun continued to fire. As a matter of fact, I shot one major match with a broken drop safety because none were available at the time. I keep some in my parts kit as they are fairly easy to change. I now inspect mine every time I do a total breakdown of the pistol. BTW, my wife and I have about 90,000 rounds through each of our M9s.

  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Hmmm, what do you think is the cause of this part failing? It doesn't seem as if it should be subjected to any great stresses, although vibration under recoil may play a part. The only reason I think the weapon failed to operate was the front "hook" of the drop safety lodged between the sub-frame and catch release lever, preventing the lever from moving allowing the trigger to reset forwards. I think the weapon will operate normally with the part broken, but I think at least some of the part needs to be there to keep the catch straight in it's channels. Also, what would be the safety implications of using the weapon with this part non-functional? Does it do anything other than act as a drop safety?

  4. IDPASteyr

    IDPASteyr Guest

    James, Don't know what causes the failure but the part does seem to be subject to a lot of stress. I'll bet if others inspect their pisols they may find that theirs is broken and never know it. The function of the drop safety is to prevent the catch from releasing unless the trigger is pulled to the rear. If it's broken, don't drop the gun. Prior to the establishment of DTSS as the warranty station for Steyr, I put a lot of rounds through a pistol with a broken drop safety. The good news is it is fairly inexpensive and easy to change. This is one of the parts you need in your maintenance kit for the Steyr pistols.
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Thanks for all the good info. It's good to know I can take the pistol to the range and still use it, although I won't be keeping it loaded around the house until I get the part. Out of curiosity, what other spare parts do you keep in your kit to maintenance you and your wife's pistols? I don't have any spares of anything for my Steyr or my Glock, other than a few extra recoil springs for my G30 (Glock .45s come horribly undersprung from the factory, came with #17 stock, I use #21).
  6. uncle_walty

    uncle_walty Member

    It would be interesting to have a metalurgist inpsect that broken drop safety to determine if it was a fatigue or tensile overload failure. Definitely would like to see a picture of the failed part since I can't picture how it could break in half. I figure the weak points or stress risers would be at the hole and maybe at the corner where the hook is. Like to see if IDPA Steyr's drop safeties had both failed in the same location also. Hate to say but if Steyr had a real warrenty service department, they would do failure analysis on these parts and learn something from these failures and can improve on them. Doesn't seem right that these metal parts should fail at 10K or 20K rounds.

    IDPA Steyr, please let us know what other parts have failed on your Steyr M pistols. You seem to have the most round count on your Steyr pistols. These are the first failures that I've read about on these forums that appear to be due to wear or fatigue. All the other failure I've read about appeared to have been due to initial workmanship or infant mortality type failures.

    I wouldn't be surprised if USA Steyr runs out of drop safeties in a couple of weeks.
  7. madecov

    madecov Active Member

    guess I need to put together a small basic parts order.
    Besides a drop safety, what else do you guys figure?
  8. IDPASteyr

    IDPASteyr Guest

    Actually, I have a complete set of parts in my kit, including a spare multifunction unit that is completely built up for installation. My minimum spare parts kit though is:

    Drop Safety - Item 32 (Have had failures)
    Trigger Spring - Item 20 (One failure)
    Catch Spring - Item 12 (One failure)
    Slide Catch - Item 30 (Two Failures)
    Extractor - Sub Assembly G (multiple failures)
    Firing Pin Spring - Item 46 (two failures)
    Key Lock - Sub Assembly D (seem to lose one everytime I disasemble the gun)
    Slide Plate Spring - Sub Assembly I (see above)

    I have a new recoil spring assembly but have never had a failure nor seen wear on the original.

    Keep in mind, this is my experience with almost 200,000 rounds fired through Steyr M9 and S9 pistols. The M9s have been used very hard, way beyond what most would consider normal wear. I am thinking of donating mine back to Steyr at some point.