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Old July 19, 2012, 05:25 PM   #1
bamiller
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Need advice from veterans please

Took my newSig P938 to the range a few weeks ago and had many FTEs with my reloads. Tried Winchester white box (WWB) during the same range session with about the same results. Since then I have read others have been having the same issue with WWB and a couple of people recommended Federal Champions. Took to the range a 2nd time with shorter (1.149 avg.) reloads, WWB, and Federals. The reloads and WWB were a little better this time and the Federals ran through without a hiccup. It appears like the length isn't the issue as the 2nd batch of reloads were the same length as the Federals. Reloads are loaded at the lower end of the powder range. My new theory is maybe the Federals have more "juice" than my reloads and the WWB? I'm thinking about loading a few reloads to near max powder and try that to test my theory. What is your guys' take on the issue and do you think more powder may be the answer?
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Old July 19, 2012, 05:39 PM   #2
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If the gun won't work with WWB, it's a gun problem. Don't waste time creating hot reloads.

Get the gun fixed. Since it's new, this should not be a problem.
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Old July 19, 2012, 05:39 PM   #3
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Your theory is sound. .380 (Ooops... 9mm. Duh) pocket pistols such as the P938 are designed for full power loads. What you would carry in the gun... when you carry the gun.
Semi autos are a balanced system... drop out of, what I will call the range of balance, and you have issues, either with with function, or gun damage.

The other theory is the gun is new and tight. After a more extensive break-in, along with a clean and lube, it may function just fine with the lighter loads.

Cheers,
C
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Last edited by Creeper; July 19, 2012 at 08:39 PM. Reason: 'Cause I'm old and get kinda dumb sometimes.
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Old July 19, 2012, 05:42 PM   #4
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Now I am still "green" however I do believe the issue you described would be what you think not enough force driving the slide etc. However I DO NOT think the answer is going to close to max right off the bat. I would think the better idea would be to work up as is suggested in all the reloading manuals I have read. It could be simple as just .2 more of a charge and you would be golden for reliability not always for accuracy. I would work up a couple loads of differenct charges.

But just jumping to near max could be very bad of a idea as your weapon may not be able to hold that pressure very well. Hope this helps and is close enough to correct to cause a issue.
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Old July 19, 2012, 08:17 PM   #5
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If you're having issues with WWB it's the gun not the ammo.
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Old July 19, 2012, 08:31 PM   #6
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The P938 is a 9mm is it not? Someone else said 380 and the name makes it sound like a 380.

First things first. There is absolutely no reason to fear max load. None whatsoever. Most max loads are at least 1k psi below max pressure for the cartridge, some as much as 4-5k. A load work up should be done, sure, but all max load is these days is factory powered ammo. Even if the velocity is greater the pressure probably isn't. Staying below SAAMI specs is not "hot", just feared by some reloader who are still feeling things out.

It would be more helpful if you told us the exact powder and charge you are loading. Also OAL isn't ever going to be a factor here because by the time the barrel unlocks from the slide all that is left is the ejecting brass case.

But that being said it may well be the gun because any 100% functional gun should run on WWB. If the problem was lesser the second time around it could be a gun working through some break in problems. My advice is to work those reloads right up to recommended max, leave the OAL alone because it isn't the issue and make sure the gun is well cleaned and lubed when you shoot it. Hold that little thing very firmly also. If it isn't meeting your expectations at that point I'd point the finger at the gun.
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Old July 19, 2012, 08:38 PM   #7
Creeper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Creeper
The P938 is a 9mm is it not?
Entirely my fault... I did in fact have it in my head that it was a .380.

Sorry for the confusion.
C
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Old July 19, 2012, 08:42 PM   #8
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I'll second the opinion that it is not the fault of factory ammo. Could be any number of things, including simple magazine problem. Try to narrow it down. Get a new magazine if you can and clean the top end of the gun spotless and run it with wet rails, slide and recoil spring (some noticeable gun oil) for two mags worth of WWB. If running it wet with a new mag doesn't help, its the gun and needs some work.
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Old July 19, 2012, 09:10 PM   #9
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I should of asked before, on the FTE's (think about it fellow posters, not FTFs) does the round remain in the chamber or stovepipe? I just assumed stovepipe but should of asked.
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Old July 20, 2012, 09:09 PM   #10
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HOOO Boy. FTE can mean 2 things; failure to extract and failure to eject. Both are gun problems first and ammo second. Magazines are the cause of 95% of FTF or failure to feed. If the Federal ammo is functioning, buy several boxes and shoot the bleeping gun. Save the brass; reload it. CLEAN IT SPOTLESS after every range session. NO semiauto handgun can be considered 100% reliable period. ALL will have a bobble sometime; even the revered Gold Cup isn't immune. If you have shot the gun at least 250 rounds and still have problems, contact the maker and send it in explaining the problem(s) and the ammo used. THEY should make the repairs or replacement at their option. CB.
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Old July 20, 2012, 11:06 PM   #11
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Sounds like you need to leave the slide locked to the rear for a week or two and try again. Sometimes factory springs are a tad on the heavy side, and while an engineer will tell you that springs left in their compressed state will not lose strength it seems like this is a good place to start.

Another good thing to do is disassemble, clean, and reassemble the pistol and pay close attention to "wipe marks" where copper or brass is left on the steel. I had a 45 that needed some polishing on the feed ramp before it would digest factory fodder reliably, and I didn't want to wait for the "natural break in" to occur.

Or you could just shoot 300 rounds of Federal through your pistol and then try WWB again, that should give it the break in required.

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Old July 20, 2012, 11:11 PM   #12
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My friend had lots of FTE with range ammo in his Sig 229 when he first bought it. Roughly 250 rounds later the springs finally took a set and ran fine after that. Fairly common issue.
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Old July 21, 2012, 01:11 PM   #13
bamiller
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Thanks for all the replies gentlemen. To repond to couple of comments in the posts:

My reloads are winchester brass, precision delta bullets, 4.2 gr. Bullseye.

The shells not ejecting are remaining in the chamber.

I have tried two different magazines with the same results.
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Old July 21, 2012, 02:29 PM   #14
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Yeah thats a gun problem, specifically the extractor. Nothing to do with the reloads or magazines. I would contact Sig customer service unless you can find a DIY fix on the web and are comfortable with that.
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Old July 21, 2012, 09:20 PM   #15
bamiller
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Just for the giggles I loaded 50 rounds to the max for Bullseye (5.0 per my manual) and going to try tomorrow at the range to see if that helps. If it doesn't solve the problem or the pistol doesn't at least show improvement I'm going to contact Sig. Hoping if it's not an ammo issue it may be a break-in issue. We'll see.
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Old July 22, 2012, 01:39 PM   #16
bamiller
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Well went to the range with my 50 rounds of reloads loaded with 5.0 gr of Bullseye and Berry bullets. First two mags (13 rounds) with the reloads went of without a hitch. Then ran two mags of Winchester white box and had 4 FTE's. Finished the remainder of the reloads, again without a hitch. Conclusion is this little bugar likes loads with punch. Like I said in my earlier posts it has FTE issues with lower range powder reloads and Winchester white box but shoots higher range powder reloads and Remington Golden Sabers (my personal defense load choice) without any issues. Now my question is if you guys would consider this a defect and send it back to Sig for repair?
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Old July 22, 2012, 01:45 PM   #17
Jimro
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It just sounds like you got a spring from from the "strong" end of the pile. Or it could be a weak lot of WWB and your starting loads.

If you are concerned I'd call and ask, but it should be as simple as changing out to a slightly weaker mainspring to shoot the WWB or weaker handloads.

If you are going to concealed carry this thing I'd see if your defensive round cycles fine, and if it does just be happy with it. How many rounds do you have through it now?

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Old July 22, 2012, 02:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
First things first. There is absolutely no reason to fear max load. None whatsoever. Most max loads are at least 1k psi below max pressure for the cartridge, some as much as 4-5k. A load work up should be done, sure, but all max load is these days is factory powered ammo. Even if the velocity is greater the pressure probably isn't. Staying below SAAMI specs is not "hot", just feared by some reloader who are still feeling things out.
I am a believer. I used to automatically assume that keeping my reloads at midpower would give the best results. It was my Bersa Model 83 .380 that made me realize some guns just shoot better at maximum loads, which are actually more like factory level power, as you said.

A strong 3.5-3.6grain HP38 charge under 100gr Berrys RN at .980" gets me 920fp out of the above gun. It took me a little while to get comfortable with the idea of shooting a max load out of a "normal" gun (one not known for its crazy strength, like a Ruger for example) but I am glad I did. Even with a new recoil spring it took these max loads to get the POI down to where it should be in this gun.
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Old July 22, 2012, 02:51 PM   #19
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Send the gun back to dealer for warranty work.
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Old July 22, 2012, 03:04 PM   #20
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I agree that it is a gun problem. My own thinking is that life is too short to wast time on a malfunctioning gun.
Send it back at their expense under warranty.

Jerry
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