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Old December 6, 1998, 08:36 PM   #1
Morgan
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Join Date: October 29, 1998
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I've an 84F that, after less than 500 rounds, stopped locking back the slide when the last round was fired. Took it to a local smith, who did a bit of work on the slide. Now it usually locks back on the last round, but not quite all the time. It also now occasionally locks back when there's still one round left in the mag. I'm certainly not taking it back to the same smith (he did the work gratis but took almost two months to get my pistol back to me). Should I replace the mag springs? The pistol is about 8 years old and has almost always been stored with loaded magazines. Or should I find a better smith?
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Old December 6, 1998, 08:49 PM   #2
Rob Pincus
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In my experience, most lock back problems are magazine problems, not slide problems. You might just try a new mag. You might also leave you loaded mags a round or two light during storage to prolong spring life in the future.

And since you mentioned it, I can't think of a gunsmithing operation that should take two months.

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Old December 6, 1998, 09:22 PM   #3
4V50 Gary
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I'll have to agree with Rob that most problems with slide stops are related to the magazine. The follower may not be engaging the slide stop. Check to see if it's worn and if it's not, then your spring may be tired (you can buy the springs and followers direct from Beretta). Another area to look at is the hole in the magazine tube for the release.

If that doesn't work, then check the slide stop itself. Clean it well and see if any of the bluing is worn off anywhere; which may suggest that it is worn at one particular spot.

Concerning the gun locking back with one round still in the magazine, where are your thumbs? Be sure it's not you inadvertantly applying upwards pressure on the stop during recoil.
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Old December 6, 1998, 11:52 PM   #4
Morgan
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Thanks, guys. After further inspection, the magazines are indeed suspect. The springs seem weaker than they should be (completely subjective, of course) and the followers are lightly worn. As they're high caps, I don't really want to replace them. I'll get some Wolff springs and new followers and see how it goes. The original factory grips are wood and bind a bit on the mag, making it not drop out freely when empty. I may get a set of black plastic grips, too (or Houge rubber ones?), and see if that helps.

As an aside, this is the first pistol I've ever owned, and I don't want to get rid of it - but I don't think I'll buy another Beretta anytime soon. Despite the good accuracy and nice feel, I'm really disappointed in it's reliability. Only four or five hundred rounds and the bloody thing is malfunctioning. Aren't Beretta's supposed to be great, reliable pistols? A few of my friends and one of my brothers have them too, and all have had some sort of problem. Just disappointed, and griping...
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Old December 6, 1998, 11:59 PM   #5
Rob Pincus
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It would be ashame to fault the pistol if it turns out to be the mags. If you've only fired 500 rounds in 8 years and the mags have been kept fully compressed for most of that time it is really likely that weakened mag springs are your only problem.
The locking back with one round is odd, though. How often did that happen? and, was it a true locked slide or just a failure to feed that held the slide open?

Your mag drop problems might be an overtightened grip screw also.

BTW- I'm no huge Beretta guy trying to defend the gun. Just trying to help you salvage a healthy relationship with your weapon.

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Old December 7, 1998, 12:19 AM   #6
Morgan
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Point taken, Rob. I shan't fault the gun if it turns out to be the mags. It did begin malfunctioning the first year I got it, after only a few hundred rounds. I should have had it taken care of under warranty then, but my life was really busy, and it still functioned okay, just didn't lock back the slide (okay, I was lazy, and not really into guns then...).

The grips are just snug, with a dab of lightweight Loctite to keep them from working loose.

It really is just locking back with one round left, not failing to feed. It only happens about one mag out of ten. Unfortunately, I haven't kept track of which mag is which to see if it only happens with one mag. I'll mark my mags next time out. Oddly, it never happened until the smith fixed the pistol with some minor work to the slide and slide catch.

Thanks again for your help - I'll post when I get the new springs and followers.
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