DAY AT THE RANGE - RUGER YES - S&W NO

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by Charles Christensen, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. Charles Christensen

    Charles Christensen New Member

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    In the last few months I have acquired several new handguns. This last Friday I took four of them to the range for a bit of function testing.

    The first was a used Colt Government .380 that I bought from a private party. That's the one that looks like the Mustang but with a slightly longer slide and barrel. It looks like a miniature 1911 .45. Cute as can be. Anyway, I had shot it before but I had two 10 round U.S.A. MAGAZINE mags that I tested and found that one of them came out of the gun during firing. I sent it back for a replacement and was now seeing if the replacement was OK. It was fine this time but I did find something odd. I had some reloads that came with the gun but they would not fit into the U.S.A. MAGAZINE mags - they were just a bit too long. However, the reloads worked in the 7 round factory mag that came with the gun. Remington factory ammo worked in all three mags. All things are not equal, I guess.

    The other three guns were a Ruger LCP and LC9 and a S&W M&P 9C. All of these were NIB. For both Rugers I had bought extra, genuine Ruger mags. The M&P came with two mags. I will say that I would rather have found two mags with both Rugers than those big, hairy bicycle locks that came with them. Talk about a waste of steel. Anyway, I digress. The Rugers functioned perfectly with both mags and Remington fmj ammo. No complaints.

    The problem was with the M&P. You would think that a company like S&W with a reputation for high quality would have fired this gun before it left the factory. IT ABSOLUTELY FAILED TO FEED EVERY FREAKIN' TIME. It would fire and eject if I just dropped one in the pipe, closed the slide and then put the magazine in but the next round would would just jam at an angle going into the chamber. It wasn't a stove-pipe sticking out of the ejection port, it just stuck nose up entering the chamber. It probably needs a throating and polishing. I suspect that the mouth of the case may be snagging on some edge at the chamber mouth. The ammo was standard Remington FMJ. Does anyone else have a thought on this?
  2. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Sounds like a simple fix. I have had issues like this with a couple of guns in the past and just changed the magazine or found a burr on the throat that needed polished and that took care of it. The m&p has a good reputation so I wouldnt give up on it thats for sure. Keep us informed on how you fixed it.
  3. Charles Christensen

    Charles Christensen New Member

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    The M&P jammed with both factory mags so I suspect the polishing work is in order. I should be able to handle it myself.
  4. Dennis C

    Dennis C New Member

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    I have previously had issues with aftermarket magazines for my Glock. I now only purchase factory magazines even though they can be quite expensive.
  5. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Did you try any other ammo besides the rem?
  6. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Active Member

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    Charles, I share your love for the Colt .380 pistol. Mine is the most comfortable .380 I have ever shot. Stainless, flat, and reliable - a perfect little gun.

    I haven't fired a Ruger LCP yet, as I own an older pocketlite Colt Pony which is the same type of gun. The LCP is getting good reviews around here and I hope to try one out this spring.

    The M&P is supposed to be Smith & Wesson's better brand. Your gun should be flawless with every kind of 9mm ammo available. No way should it have any trouble with FMJ factory ammo. Odd.
  7. Charles Christensen

    Charles Christensen New Member

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    No, Double D, that was the only 9mm stuff I had. I would think Rem fmj was pretty good quality and rather white bread as ammo goes.
  8. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yea, just curious, it would have eliminated the ammo as the problem if another ammo did the same thing.
  9. Charles Christensen

    Charles Christensen New Member

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    Hey, Oneida Steve, you have it right, the Colt .380 just feels RIGHT in your hand. This is one gun I don't think I will ever sell. I think the receiver is nickel plated and the slide is stainless. I got an aluminum trigger for it to replace the plastic one but I still have to put that in.

    I must say that I am impressed with the feel of the LC9 and the M&P. Both Rugers struck me as being very...FLAT. The LC9 has a really good feel to it but the LCP feels too small. However, if you want something to slip into your packet and disappear until needed that LCP would be it. The M&P struck me as heavy for a part polymer gun. And when you stick 12 rounds in the magazine it turns into a bit of a chunk. But it looks and feels good. Now, if it would only go BANG!
  10. pkcgbifaid

    pkcgbifaid Member

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    Charles, if you contact Smith they should offer to pay shipping to have it sent in to the factory for repair, but if you are confident you can take care of it let us know how it goes.

    I have handled and shot probably a dozen different M&P pistols of every chambering except the 357 Sig and every one of them functioned exactly the way they were supposed to.
  11. Charles Christensen

    Charles Christensen New Member

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    UPDATE ON M&P 9C JAMMING PROBLEM

    A now believe I have located the reason that my NIB M&P 9C will not feed any rounds from any of the three S&W magazines.

    The first two pictures show the gun in the jammed situation. This happens EVERY time when feeding from the magazine. I have used Remington FMJ and some RWS I picked up at Wal-Mart.

    Picture three shows the head of a RWS round after jamming a couple of times. Note the real nice gouges.

    Picture four is a shot from the underside of the slide showing the bolt face. The arrow points to the edge that is digging into the case head and stopping the show. I am planning on grinding that down and polishing it. It does not appear to be a problem to do that as the case rests above that area during firing. The similar point on the other side is slightly higher and does not come into contact with the case head - at least at this time in the jam but I may touch that one up a bit too.

    Attached Files:

  12. Country101

    Country101 Active Member

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    Re: UPDATE ON M&P 9C JAMMING PROBLEM

    Charles, I dont know that that is your problem, and I probably would go grinding on it. My guess is it is the feedramp or throat being too tight or at the wrong angle. The flat face on the bolt face is used on all the guns that I can think of to puch the round into the chamber and as the bullet moves forward it slides up the face of it. If the bullet was not able to slide freely into the chamber, it would start to bind and possibly create the condition you have. Before I did anything, I would send it off toe S&W, but all I might try before hand was to polish those edges to take off the burrs that the jams may have caused. I am by no means an expert(or even very smart), so take my opinions for what they are worth, but I would send it back to have them look at that feed ramp or chamber.
  13. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member

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    Since this pistol was NIB, did you happen to give it a good cleaning and oiling before firing ?
  14. Charles Christensen

    Charles Christensen New Member

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    Yep, I cleaned and lightly lubed it. I used a light touch of SBGO and it moved real slick.

    I also did polish up the feed ramp and chamber and a round does slide nice and easy into the chamber. When I pull down on the slide release to let the slide shove a round in it jams as shown and stops with the head stuck up against that corner on the bolt face.
  15. al45lc

    al45lc New Member

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    It could also be the extractor has a burr or is angled wrong, I've seen that on many an auto loader.
  16. Charles Christensen

    Charles Christensen New Member

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    No, the case is not touching the extractor and it looks sharp and clean.
  17. Charles Christensen

    Charles Christensen New Member

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    OK - update time. The three pictures below show my latest progress.

    The first is a shot of the feed ramp and shows the bit of polishing I did with a Dremel tool. The second picture shows the bolt face after I did some grinding with a Dremel tool and a tungsten carbide bit and some polishing. The fuzz is a result of the felt polishing tip.

    After the second picture I took it to the range and put 170 rounds through the gun. Only about 1/3 of them jammed this time as opposed to 100% of the time.

    Picture three shows the bolt face after some slow, careful work with a thin diamond file and some 320 grit silicon carbide paper. After this final work I used it at a gun club I just joined for the range safety check. They had me load five rounds and fire them just to see if I really knew which end goes BANG! All five rounds functioned PERFECTLY! It was almost like someone at Smith & Wesson actually knew how to build a gun that works. As far as I can see it is not possible for any gun of this design to function out of the box. Someone, PLEASE, explain this to me.

    I will be returning to the club soon to run a couple hundred more rounds through it.

    Attached Files:

  18. gvw3

    gvw3 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    This is not right for you to need to go through this with a new gun. I know my Rugers came with the case from the 1st round fired. I never had an issue with any of them. I just bought a Baretta and no spent case was with the gun. It works fine.

    I wonder if SW is testing there guns before they ship?
  19. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    These guns have a good reputation and are not notorious jammers. I am surprised that you still have issues with your gun after doing what you did. I guess now if you cant get it to function flawlessly, you will have to take the next step and let a pro look at the gun.
  20. Charles Christensen

    Charles Christensen New Member

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    OK, this is the final update on this thread.

    I got out to the range last week and put another 160 rounds through it without any problems at all. Aimed fire and rapid fire with two S&W 12 round mags and one 17 round mag went without a hitch.

    Another problem I also had prior to my final work was several misfires where the firing pin dented the primer slightly but the round did not fire. Reloading those rounds resulted in all firing on the second attempt except one round that refused to go off after repeated tries. I remembered reading a thread on this forum about making sure the firing pin and firing pin cavity were clean and free of oils and grease. So, I found out how to remove the firing pin on YouTube (God bless YouTube) and did a good cleaning on it. I used EEZOX to lube it because of its watery consistency. Using the same type of ammo on this latest trip to the range did not produce any failures of any kind. I thank whoever it was for that tip and I will also recommend that everyone clean the firing pins and cavities and avoid using any heavy oil or grease.
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