M40 Major Malfunction

Discussion in 'M, C, L and S Series' started by Guest, Apr 10, 2005.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Hello All,
    Today I went to the local indoor range with a buddy from work, and we both have M40s. He was shooting WWB and got through about 25 rounds when his trigger began failing to reset. The slide felt slightly gritty when pulled back, and the trigger would not move from the rearward position. The firing pin was cocked however, preventing normal field stripping. This rendered the gun completely non-functional. I haven't talked to him since we left the range, but I will see him at work on monday to ask him about it. Anyone have any suggestions as to what that is? To me it felt like something broke in the gun. More on this as it develops...

    James
     
  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Yikes! I've only had one malfunction that was that severe in my whole shooting life and it was in a competitive match no less. :x
    That however was with a custom 1911. My M40 hasn't missed a lick.

    I am anxiously awaiting a report on what was broken.
     

  3. hihoslva

    hihoslva New Member

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    Hmmmm.

    Well obviously make sure the gun is unloaded before taking any actions.

    I would see if there is any way to get that trigger to reset. You say the slide felt "gritty - could it be? Does your buddy clean his gun often?

    I would think that it is possible that some piece of junk could get stuck in the action, causing the trigger to stick. Can he pull the trigger forward to reset it? Maybe there's something simple like a spring issue.

    Do what you must to get that slide off and see what's going on inside. And help your buddy out by breaking down your M40 side-by-side with his so if something is amiss you guys can catch it and hopefully fix it. If you can, take the whole action carrier out of the frame - read the stickies on how to do it. It's extremely simple, and could prove worthwhile - I do it once every 1000 rounds or so for cleaning.

    Good luck. Keep us posted.
     
  4. Ripped

    Ripped New Member

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    the only thing i have ever encountered with my S40 remotely like that.. was when my guide rod broke, and the spring popped.. , it became non functional and i had a bear of a time getting the slide to move.. might be time for your friend to look up Mr. Jack Ash.. :)

    photo is of my old guide rod, it is blurry but if you look closely you can see where theres a bite out of the guide rod where it had been making contact with bottom of the barrel box.. Shop where i purchased it from gave me a new one at no charge.. only 16.00 to replace from steyr USA at worst case .. Although Jack Ash guide rods are known to be alot more sturdy than factory metal guide rods.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. madecov

    madecov New Member

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    Is it possible your M40 is one that did not have the trigger upgrade. If you look at the trigger you will see the pivot pin that holds the trigger safety lever. If it is BELOW the center of the trigger close to the bottom of the trigger then you have an older trigger.

    I hope this is not something serious as my M40 is slated to become my duty weapon. I would hate to think that there is a design flaw in the M40 that would cause the gun as a model to be unreliable
     
  6. ministerofdeath

    ministerofdeath New Member

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    Hmmm, thats the first time I've ever seen a post that describe such a serious malfunction with an M-40. Perhaps, the spring or guide rod did break in some fashion.

    Is your friend's M-40 still under its service warranty?
     
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Well, as I said, I won't be talking to my friend until tomorrow, so I'm not sure what the deal on this is yet. After breaking down my M40 and looking at the trigger catch assembly, I might have a couple of ideas. At the range we did try to manually pull the trigger forward, but it seemed locked in place. The firing pin cocked when the slide was closed, not allowing field stripping of the gun. Anyone know if this can be solved by removing the firing pin from the slide with the slide locked back? As we couldn't get the slide off, I didn't get a good look at the end of the recoil spring guide, although the spring felt like it was functioning. Something did feel gritty while pulling the slide back, which would suggest a problem with the recoil spring. However, I don't understand what would make the trigger fail to function, even with a massive spring guide failure.

    Another idea popped into my head while looking at my trigger assembly. I'll reference part numbers from the schematic in parentheses and try my best to explain. If the catch spring (12) broke, the striker catch (10) might be forced to the rear by the spring tension on the catch lever (11). The trigger bar (16) could maybe go down enough to get wedged below the striker catch (10), locking the trigger to the rear and wedging the striker catch up enough to cock the firing pin when closing the slide. I'm not sure if it could happen, and I don't feel like stripping down my entire trigger assembly (again) to pull that spring out and find out. Anyone else care to take a guess?

    More on this when I get it...

    James
     
  8. Ripped

    Ripped New Member

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    im screaming guide rod.. my trigger went non functional after the rod gave.. returned to normal as soon as disassembled.
     
  9. hihoslva

    hihoslva New Member

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    While it might not be very easy, I would think the firing pin could be removed with the slide locked back and still on the gun.

    It sounds as though you've had experience stripping the pistol, so I'll assume you know how to remove the rear slide plate and get the firing pin out. If not, it can be explained.

    But I have to wonder if removing the FP will "decock" the gun and allow the slide to be removed as though the trigger had been pulled.

    Worth a try, I suppose.

    There's GOT to be a way to get the slide off.
     
  10. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Well, I ended up playing hookie from work so I can go shooting again :D , so I won't talk to the guy until tomarrow. I do have experience stripping the pistol, so I'll try to help him out any way I can. I have actually disassembled the M40's entire trigger assembly and taken every part out of the pistol except the LCI (because I don't have a sight pusher), and the trigger safety (because pushing that roll pin out of the plastic trigger scares me). After I took apart my trigger assembly and cleaned and lightly polished the engagement surfaces, my trigger pull improved noticebly. If anyone wants me to make a how-to on disassembly of the sub-frame, I probably could. I would just have to find a digi-cam somewhere around here. Let me know...

    James
     
  11. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I wish I could recomend something. My best advice if he can't figure the problem would be to send it to the repair facility in IA.
     
  12. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Hi all,
    No updates to report on this as yet, but we will be trying to pull apart the gun this weekend and hopefully get a better idea of the nature of the failure. I am awaiting news on this as much as anyone else, as my M40 is my primary home defence weapon (loaded with Double Tap 165gr. Speer GDHPs). BTW, if anyone is looking for good SD ammo, and you aren't afraid of a little kick, I highly recommend the new loads from Double Tap (http://www.doubletapammo.com). The 40 S&W 165gr load makes 1140 FPS / 476 ft/lbs, while the 185gr. 45ACP load makes an (incredible) 1225 FPS / 616 ft/lbs. And these are out of short barreled pistols, and are not "+p" rated! Anyways, stay tuned for further developments.

    James
     
  13. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Actually, those 45 acp numbers are from a 5" 1911.

    1225fps - 616 ft./lbs. - 5" 1911
     
  14. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Whoops,
    You are right HighVelocity, only the 40S&W numbers are for a short barrel. Still pretty damned impressive though, and they shoot great out of my M40 and G30... those .45s are beasts though, I wouldn't want to fire more than a few of them at a time! Of course, I would want to be hit by one even less 8O .

    James
     
  15. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Hi All,
    Alright guys, the verdict is in on this one, and it doesn't look good. My buddy just got in to work, and told me the story. After working on the pistol for a few minutes, he got the slide off of the frame, and the trigger reset. He said he immediatley noticed that the frame made a noise when he shook it. And then....a small piece of steel fell out of the frame. After looking at it further, and pulling out the sub-frame, he determined the problem. The striker catch (part # 10 on the usasteyr schematic) rides in grooves in the sub-frame on two steel pins protruding out of either side. It appears that the left side pin (when viewed from the rear) has actually sheared off of the part, then stuck in the trigger bar engagement surface. This completely jammed the trigger to the rear, and basically jammed the entire striker realease mechanisim. Needless to say, this left the pistol totally non-functional. I have not yet inspected the part, but my suspicion is that this part must have been cracked for some time, as the loads generated on those pins must be nowhere near the shear stregnth of the steel. Unfortunatly, I'm guessing that a crack in one of those pins would be very difficult if not impossible to detect without removing the part from the sub-frame. Although this part wouldn't seem to be affected by the load being fired, FYI the piece broke when firing WWB FMJs, with no indication that it was a hot or double charged or otherwise abnormal round. Anyways, I am going to remove the catch from my M40 this evening and check it for any signs of cracking. Maybe a few others would like to do the same and make sure that this is just one defective part, and not a comprimised design. Also, the guy is ordering new parts from USASteyr, and I'm going to help him put them in, at which time I will get digital pictures of the broken part and post them here. But if anyone does find cracks in another catch, please post it here ASAP so we may better determine the cause of this. Thanks.

    James
     
  16. Ripped

    Ripped New Member

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    Hmmm... never heard of that happening.. hopefully it is an inexpensive repair for him.. Did he buy the pistol new or used? i think documenting all forms of failures in a dedicated forum or list.. would be a great idea..

    failure type:
    Load used during failure:
    failure date:
    first three of serial:
    part number required to correct issue:
    Descrition of failure:
    approx total rounds through weapon:


    if we had an on demend listing of all actuall failures that would be very very good for all of us and the steyr name.
    any input fellas..?
     
  17. FlaChef

    FlaChef Guest

    that is disterssing!

    there was someone who had a sear break that on close-up inspection revelaed a bubble in the metal (still remember those pics, does anyone have them).

    I will break down my M40 and check before my next range trip (i think i know the pins your talking about).
     
  18. FlaChef

    FlaChef Guest

    sldo what serial number range was it, in case it's not an isolated incident?
     
  19. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Hi all,
    I don't know what range the serial number is in, but I can get that info eventually. I do believe that it is one of the "newer" pistols, as this is the second one that this guy has had. He doesn't seem to have very good luck with these pistols. His first one went Kb! because of a bad reload (his fault), but Steyr (or whoever the local importer was at the time) sent him a new one for free. I believe the pistol in question (the new one) has a few thousand rounds through it, but not what I would qualify as "heavy usage". I have yet to strip out my striker release and check for any signs of cracking or stress (damn girlfriend, always wanting me to spend time with her and not my guns... :D ), but I will by this weekend, and let you guys know if I find anything.

    In case anyone is wondering, the striker release is the piece of steel in the back of the frame which grabs the striker (firing pin) with that little pyramid shaped protrusion when the slide closes. That piece of steel has "ears" which ride in slots in the sub-frame. It is one of these "ears" that sheared off, which is very strange given that this piece shouldn't be subjected to very high forces. My buddy decided he would replace all the parts in the striker release assembly (release, lever, 2 pins, 2 springs), and total cost from USASteyr will be about $35 + shipping.

    Anyhow, I should be able to post pics of the broken part in the next couple of weeks. I would be interested to know if anyone knows of any confirmed cases of this part failing before, or if anyone sees any damage on their pistols. I'll keep you all posted.

    James
     
  20. hihoslva

    hihoslva New Member

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    This really is some good info - nice job on finding out what happened. And I guess we are lucky enough that the Steyrs are fairly easy to fix ourselves.

    I have to think that something like this is an isolated incident - who the hell knows why it happened. I mean, it's unfortunate that your buddy has had some bad luck with his two M40s, but it does sound as if only this last malfuction is from something wrong with the pistol itself.

    I'd also think you are correct that the striker release doesn't undergo huge stresses. It does seem to be a rather odd piece to break.

    Looking forward to your pix.