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Old May 6, 2002, 08:15 PM   #1
Oleg Volk
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Colt Govt.380 jammed up solidly: any suggestions?

Test-fired my new Govt.380. Had to hand-cycle the first magazine as none of the rounds would eject properly. Tried another magazine with different ammo (tried UMC first, then Blazer) and, after several shots, the gun froze up in half-recoil. We were able to get the empty casing to move back and forth but the slide won't budge. The hammer can be thumb-cocked all the way and dropped with the trigger. Betty thinks the ejector is broken.

Any other guesses as to the causes?
Any suggestions for getting the gun un-jammed?
Any advice on getting it fixed? How would I replace the ejector, if that's what it is?

PS: I now carry a backup all the time.


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Old May 6, 2002, 08:21 PM   #2
Betty
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So much for Oleg's birthday present.

I think the ejector's cracked because that's what happened on my Walther; it stuck the exact same way.

The scratching you see on the empty cartridge was the result of me fiddling around, trying to get it out.

Overall, it was a sad day at the range. First this, then my Para (see other thread).
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Old May 6, 2002, 08:22 PM   #3
Edward429451
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I'd ship it back to Colt to fix.
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Old May 6, 2002, 08:23 PM   #4
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Remove the left-side grip panel and look for the ejector's position. You may be able to free the ejector by releasing the sear spring with a small electronics screwdriver.

Also, check to see if the slide release lever spring is in its proper position on the left side of the frame. If it pops out of place it can tie up the gun as well.
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Old May 6, 2002, 09:46 PM   #5
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Look on the bright side of things...

I've seen Colt .380's shear off locking lugs (bad) or shear the recesses in the slide smooth (worse) or do some evil combination of the two (worst).

Yours is most likely a busted ejector (they use little staked-on ones like the 1911, nicht wahr?).

Blades67 offers good advice, if that doesn't work, get back to me and I'll describe the "bigger hammer" school of gunsmithing.
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Old May 6, 2002, 10:24 PM   #6
blades67
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Quote:
(they use little staked-on ones like the 1911, nicht wahr?)
Incorrect, the .380 Colts use a pivotal ejector. Sometimes it can slip down (when no magazine is present) and get jammed. If it cracks, as runt thinks, it can move up, or to the side, and bind the slide and barrel.



Oleg, you may need to strike the rear of the slide with a soft faced mallet to force the slide back into battery. If the ejector can be seen, you may be able to force it up and back from the barrel. That may free the slide. If that doesn't work you should talk to Tamara about her "'bigger hammer' school of gunsmithing."
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Old May 7, 2002, 10:42 AM   #7
C.R.Sam
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Agree with Blades.

Tip.....never let a good photographer look a gift gun in the mouth.

Pictures that would give Colt marketing the jeebieheebies.

Sam
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Old May 7, 2002, 10:49 AM   #8
Oleg Volk
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Here's a few images taken before first test-firing:

The casing actually came from a Walther PPKs. Comparison picture shows Bety's Para 645 and the Govt.380
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Old May 7, 2002, 12:15 PM   #9
Peter M. Eick
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Sorry to see your problem. I compared yours to mine and was surprised at the overall metal work. Very rough on yours particularly around rear of the slide and the extractor.

Any ideas why? Everything seems very "rounded"......
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Old May 7, 2002, 12:50 PM   #10
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From the fact that you had to hand cycle all the rounds, I'd say that the folks that have tagged the ejector are on target. How to get it apart is another matter, at least without damaging other stuff in the process.
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Old May 7, 2002, 01:41 PM   #11
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To be honest, I would place a wooden dowel down the barrel and rap it with a mallet. When I was shooting the last batch of Silver Bear 9mm through my TZ99, the cases simply refused to some out of the chamber, freezing the slide completely shut until I did that.
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Old May 7, 2002, 02:25 PM   #12
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Oleg

I have two of these pistols and they work good. I assume you know yours is nickel-plated. One of mine is too, I'm carrying it now.

See if you can disassemble the pistol by removing the bushing, guide rod and spring, etc. If you can do that, the slide may get a little free-er so you can jiggle it.

Good luck and regards.
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Old May 7, 2002, 02:34 PM   #13
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You might also want to consider the joys of Makarov ownership. Gee, Oleg, I'd've thought you, of ALL people.....
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Old May 7, 2002, 03:07 PM   #14
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I'm with Foxy, use a d-jammer or something similar.

"If it jams, force it. If it breaks, it needed fixing anyway."
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Old May 7, 2002, 03:25 PM   #15
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Mr. Volk:

If none of the aforementioned advice helps, you might want to stop by Blockbuster Video and rent a copy of U.S.Marshalls. There is a scene in which Tommy Lee Jones gives some sage advice to the villain - I think this advice will solve your problem too.


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Old May 7, 2002, 03:27 PM   #16
Oleg Volk
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Bwahahahaha! I think I've already followed that advice in spades.
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Old May 7, 2002, 03:55 PM   #17
hitnthexring
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I worked in gunshops for 7 years. Almost EVERY Colt 380 we sold was returned for "warranty repairs." (a nice way of saying: WE MAKE JUNK!)
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Old May 7, 2002, 06:38 PM   #18
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hitnthexring

Can you tell us if there was any pattern to the defects? I had one that was chewed up by the slide stop at the slide cut. Colt eventually gave me back my full retail price for that gun.

What are the things that go wrong with these guns, mostly?

Regards.
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Old May 7, 2002, 06:48 PM   #19
hitnthexring
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Ledbetter, just general overall poor quality. Most complaints were constant jams & failures to eject. With the exception of their OLD revolvers, most of Colt's Autos are junk. They all required $300.00 worth of gunsmithing to make them as reliable as a Glock, HK USP or Sigarms. If you MUST have a 1911 design, Kimber is decent, but reliability is still not up to a Glock due to the design dating back to 1911 which involves much friction & metal-to-metal contact.
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Old May 7, 2002, 08:28 PM   #20
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Quote:
The hammer can be thumb-cocked all the way and dropped with the trigger.
Oleg, this sounds like the disconnector is also broken. I don't have a Government Model, but with both of my Mustangs if the slide comes back enough to move the hammer to the "half cock" notch the disconnector engages the sear and disconnects the trigger.
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Old May 19, 2002, 09:46 PM   #21
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Oleg, what did you find out about your .380?
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Old May 20, 2002, 06:26 AM   #22
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hitnthexring...

All these Colt .380's that were returned for repair--How many were Mustang Pocketlites? Just curious is all. My Mustang Pocketlite and several friends who have them (with the stainless slides) have had no trouble at all.

KR
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Old May 20, 2002, 07:27 AM   #23
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I have two Mustangs, a Pocketlite and an SS model. They've never done anything but go BANG when I pull the trigger, and the Pocketlite is the pocket pistol I reach for when I need one. Even though it's right next to an NAA Guardian and a Keltec P32, I still trust the little Mustang the most.

I really love the posts that decree that all the examples of a specific brand or model are junk, I've often wondered how these people got to test every pistol on the planet to make that claim?
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Old May 20, 2002, 07:28 AM   #24
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so, oleg

given how small your 6.45 is, may i know why you would even carry the .380?

PS i know how frustrating such problems can be...hope you get it fixed soon.
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Old May 20, 2002, 07:50 AM   #25
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I would place a wooden dowel down the barrel, the largest that will fit diameter wise. I would then hold the gun in hand holding by the grip frame only ( you may need to use both hands, and push dowel into the wall. The dowel should drive the slide back as you push. (Caution only with a spent round in chamber).

This may free up the slide and allow the round to eject, some folks claim the blazer ammo can overexpand and jam guns, even glocks.

I would then dissassemble and check for damage, and replace parts as needed, or use a gunsmith.
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