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Old November 19, 2012, 12:25 PM   #1
TunnelRat
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Positive Ejection: What Causes It?

Hi all,
So recently I picked up a very slightly used CZ P-01. One thing I love about it is that it ejects spent cases a good 15-20 feet to my right, no exaggeration. This got me to thinking (typically a bad idea).

I know very positive ejection isn't a requirement to a gun functioning perfectly. As long as the cases get out of the pistol who cares right? Well, I do.

Why is it that some companies seem to have so many problems with ejection while others relatively none? What makes for good ejection? Is it just the design of the ejector, the tightness and shape of the extractor, the strength of the recoil spring, or everything combined? Why does my little CZ seem to be able to do this so well (for all of $550 new), when my mighty HK P30 took a week of locking the slide back to accomplish this (this is no bash on HK, I still love the gun)? Just curious on some opinions.

-TR
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Last edited by TunnelRat; November 19, 2012 at 12:31 PM.
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Old November 19, 2012, 01:39 PM   #2
Crow Hunter
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I know why it is different between the Glock 19 and the M&P 9c.

(The only ones that I haver ever done a detailed comparison on)

If you take a dummy round and lock the slide back and look at where the ejector is in relation to the incoming round/round in battery you will notice a big difference.

The extractor on the Glock is nearly 1/8" further back relative to the magazine/chamber.

On the M&P the ejector actually "interferes" with the cartridge as it is feeding into the chamber. When you try to eject and unfired round in the M&P the ejector will actually knock the round out from under the extractor because it hits the back of the case before it ever clears the chamber. It doesn't do this with a fired case.

On the Glock the ejector doesn't hit the case until the round is well clear of the chamber. There is clearance for an unfired round to eject without getting "knocked" out of the extractor as the nose of the bullet is clear of the chamber before the ejector hits it. But, this is also why the Glock ejection pattern is so erratic. It is very dependent on how fast the slide is going and the strength of the magazine springs as to when/where the ejector hits the fired case. Very strong magazine springs pushing up on the fired case as it is ejecting combined with slow slide speed can cause it to hit the ejector in a different place and change how it ejects. (Just like what you get with a brand new gun shooting cheap target ammo) Usually it also varies all through the magazine emptying because the pressure upwards varies with the spring compression and it varies based on what magazine you use (old vs new). One of the reasons this obsession with getting the "perfect" 3:00-4:00 ejection pattern with Glocks is a waste of time. It won't stay that way.

With the M&P, it always hits it right as the case is coming out of the chamber so it knocks it out before the magazine can even have an effect on it.

One of the other things that I noticed is no matter how slowly you operate the Glock, it always extracts/feeds. It will not however, always eject a fired case without the magazine in it because the fired case will slip out the bottom of the extractor before the ejector hits it.

The M&P operated slowly will often puke the round out of the magazine and cause a feedway stoppage because the ejector is riding on the top of/touching the round as it is feeding. The M&P will, however, eject without a magazine present since the ejector hits immediately after the case is extracted.

I messed with my brother's Sig P226 too and it is very similar to the M&P but the ejector riding the feeding cartridge isn't as pronounced.

I don't know why Glock chose to do it this way, I don't know if there is some advantage to the way they do it, or if they were just wrong. I would be highly interested if someone tried an ejector that and an extension welded on it to mimic what the M&P does to see what would happen with ejection patterns.

What does the HK P30 do?
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Old November 19, 2012, 01:51 PM   #3
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^Thanks for the insight! That's got to be one of the best explanations I've read. I had also heard that one of the aspects of some ejection problems with Glocks is that the extractor didn't hold the case tight enough against the breach face. Is there any truth to that?

The P30's problem was essentially a very, very stiff recoil spring. It was retarding the slide motion so much that the case wasn't making full contact with the ejector. Wearing in the recoil spring, or at least helping it take a set, by locking it back fixed that.
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Old November 19, 2012, 02:18 PM   #4
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The feed/extraction cycle is quite complex.

A friend has a Sig 2340 which jams on 40cal ammo but works fine on .357Sig (different barrel). I've looked really closely at it with dummy round cycling and find so many ways for feed/extract to go wrong it's amazing!

Just examining a variety of breech faces of other pistols I own for comparison purposes indicated at least 4 different designs of cutouts for the cartridge head off side (off from the extractor side). The 2340 is a 5th style.

The examination was really interesting. I'd not expected to find that many variations on solutions to feed/extraction.

(We're working on finding known-good magazines before filing or cutting on anything.)

Experience with my Springfield 1911 says that modest charges of powder in my rounds will deliver the empties in a nice, predictable, small area. Full power ammo chucks them high and far away.
So simple ammo power is a major factor.
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Old November 19, 2012, 02:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
^Thanks for the insight! That's got to be one of the best explanations I've read. I had also heard that one of the aspects of some ejection problems with Glocks is that the extractor didn't hold the case tight enough against the breach face. Is there any truth to that?

The P30's problem was essentially a very, very stiff recoil spring. It was retarding the slide motion so much that the case wasn't making full contact with the ejector. Wearing in the recoil spring, or at least helping it take a set, by locking it back fixed that.
Well thanks. I appreciate that. I got to wondering about it myself so I just took my brothers M&P 9c home with me one day to investigate, just fell in my shooting bag. Really it did.

None of them hold the case well in my opinion. I always thought that the case would fit into a groove formed by the breech face and the relief in the extractor.

It doesn't, on either the Glock or the M&P. The extractor contacts on a line tangent to the case diameter so it can pretty much roll around. The M&P has a little bit more of a curve to it so the "ears" of the extractor have a little more contact with the case rim than those of the Glock, but neither of them hold the case "snug" like I thought they would. The case can just roll up or down with only a small "contact patch" actually bottoming out on the extractor in the groove.

The big advantage with ejection on the M&P and Sig, is IMHO, because the ejector hits it before the case can be affected by any outside influences. Pretty much as soon as the extractor pulls the case far enough back to clear the chamber it is knocked out of the gun. That is also why ejection seems to be better on Glocks when you use +P ammo. The slide velocity is higher and also why ejection "patterns" change over time. The RSA is getting weaker as is the magazine spring as they wear out.

The only thing that I could think of as to why Glock did it the way they did was it will reduce the wear on the ejector/extractor because they aren't fighting each other as often since the clearances are much more generous. On the M&P a little difference here and there and the casing is getting ripped out of the extractor grasp or in the case of ejecting a live round, the ejector is getting whacked pretty good.

I still would like to see what a longer ejector would do on a Glock. I think that will be much more of an influence on the ejection patter than changing the extractor.

What does the gap look like on a P30 or a CZ? I haven't ever even seen either of these guns in person. They aren't very common in my area.
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Old November 19, 2012, 06:10 PM   #6
Walt Sherrill
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Quote:
Why is it that some companies seem to have so many problems with ejection while others relatively none? What makes for good ejection? Is it just the design of the ejector, the tightness and shape of the extractor, the strength of the recoil spring, or everything combined? Why does my little CZ seem to be able to do this so well (for all of $550 new), when my mighty HK P30 took a week of locking the slide back to accomplish this (this is no bash on HK, I still love the gun)? Just curious on some opinions.
Keeping a coil spring fully (or nearly fully) compressed for extended periods CAN cause it to degrade. Locking the slide back on your H&K may have had the effect of slightly weakening the recoil spring -- which would increase the distance spent shells are tossed. That said, it's just as likely that the improvement (by your standards) in extraction may have been due to the gun slowly breaking in.

Rounds ejecting 15-20 feet -- which you seem to value -- is not universally considered desirable, especially if a shooter reloads. A gun that consistently drops rounds 3-10 feet away is just as functional as one that sends the rounds much farther away.

Having owned MANY CZs over the years, I'd say that if your P-01 (sending spent cases 15-20 away) has a slightly weakened recoil spring -- or you're simply shooting hot loads.

Problems with ejection can be encountered with any gun; they're not generally confined to a particular brand or design. People with P-01s can have ejection problems, too. Sending the spent cases a great distance is not necessarily a sign of proper function.

When there are ejection problems it's generally due to one or more of the following: 1) anemic or stout ammo, 2) a damaged extractor, 3) a damaged ejector, 4) a recoil spring that is too stout (or too weak!), or 5) limp wristing by the shooter. Figuring out which one (or more) of these variables is the cause can be time-consuming.

Little things like changing the angle at which the case and the ejector meet (by filing on the ejector) can change where the rounds go, and how for, too...)
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Old November 19, 2012, 07:00 PM   #7
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If the ejector is directly opposite the ejection port like the HK P7. The case should fly out vigorously 15-20 ' + .If the ejection port is not opposite like the 1911 the case hits the slide and bounces around until it gets out . The 1911 target guns had the ejection port lowered 1/8" for better ejection but it took many years for them to realize the standard guns would be helped too !!
If the slide around the ejection port is smeared with brass you have a poorly designed pistol !
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Old November 19, 2012, 10:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
That said, it's just as likely that the improvement (by your standards) in extraction may have been due to the gun slowly breaking in.
It wasn't. I shot the same ammo the day before I left it locked back and had 6 o'clock ejection. I didn't shoot it for a week and left it locked back. Afterwards the ejection issues were gone. I had fired 600 rounds or so through the weapon in an attempt to "break it in" and wasn't successful.

Quote:
Rounds ejecting 15-20 feet -- which you seem to value -- is not universally considered desirable, especially if a shooter reloads. A gun that consistently drops rounds 3-10 feet away is just as functional as one that sends the rounds much farther away.
I don't remember saying that it had to be exactly 15-20 feet. My point was I would prefer it ejected properly, 3-10 feet is fine, and not into my face or into my chest as I've had Glocks and even one Walther do or simply dribble out of the gun which I've also seen happen. The point of mentioning the 15-20 feet (prob more like 10-15 feet) was simply to highlight the ejection not being into the shooter.

Quote:
Problems with ejection can be encountered with any gun; they're not generally confined to a particular brand or design. People with P-01s can have ejection problems, too.
Again, never said a CZ couldn't have that issue, though I haven't experience it in the ones I've owned and I read about them much less. Certain brands seem more plagued with ejection issues than others was my point.

Quote:
Sending the spent cases a great distance is not necessarily a sign of proper function.
No, but it is something I prefer. This was mentioned in the first post. Again you're focusing on "great distance", which was not my intent.
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Old November 20, 2012, 09:20 AM   #9
Walt Sherrill
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Sorry. I misinterpreted your focus. Consistent extraction is always desirable, as is not having spent cases hitting you in the face. <grin>

Sounds as though all you need to do is install weaker recoil springs in your guns to (within reason) get the sort of ejection performance you want. Or you can take steps to weaken the recoil springs a little, by stressing them (i.e., locking them back for extended periods, as you did with your H&K), or cutting a coil -- either way you'll likely get the same change in performance.

Too-strong recoil springs often cause problems, while a weak recoil spring that still allows the gun to properly cycle won't lead to damage to the gun... even though that seems to be a concern for many shooters. (Far more problems are CREATED by shooters installing stronger recoil springs to "protect" the frame than are prevented by that action.)
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Old November 20, 2012, 10:53 AM   #10
TunnelRat
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^ Yea I tend to leave recoil springs stock and just wear them in over time. I never understood the desire to go stronger. I haven't fired a gun yet that I thought was destroying itself from the act of firing. Recoil springs are usually relatively inexpensive.

And I know it's not a huge deal in the end. Just something weirdly satisfying about it for me to see the brass collecting in a nice little pile to my right.
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Old November 21, 2012, 01:51 AM   #11
chris in va
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The p01 ejects brass so far because the recoil spring is too weak. Ditto for the mag springs. I had to buy two mecGar mags so I could run my lead reloads reliably.
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Old November 21, 2012, 09:50 AM   #12
Walt Sherrill
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The p01 ejects brass so far because the recoil spring is too weak. Ditto for the mag springs. I had to buy two mecGar mags so I could run my lead reloads reliably.
Mec-Gar makes the P-01 mags. Just getting new Wolff springs for the factory mags -- they offer standard and slightly stronger ones -- would likely have solved any mag-related issues.
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Old November 21, 2012, 10:43 AM   #13
chris in va
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Eh, I used to think mecGar made the mags too, not so sure now. The stock mag spring is thinner and has a different profile, and the mag body is shaped differently toward the base. MecGar mag springs are easily 30% stronger.

A few years ago i bought the +10% Wolff mag springs for the stock 15rd that came with my 75bd. It still had FTE issues until I just tossed them for the mecGar 16rd.

Every CZ i've owned has weak spring issues, including rifles. Wish they would get their act together.

Just my first hand observation.
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Old November 21, 2012, 11:01 AM   #14
Walt Sherrill
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It still had FTE issues until I just tossed them for the mecGar 16rd.
Failure to extract or eject problems are seldom magazine related; if it was magazine-related, it was a very unusual problem. About the only thing I can think of is that the mag spring isn't keeping the next round UP high enough to force the round being extracted up, too. Your BD mag springs might've been a little weak. Did you buy that gun NEW? (BDs are relatively rare, but use the same mags as other full-size CZs.)

Mec-Gar NOW makes the mags. There's no question about that -- as both CZ and Mec-Gar acknowledge the fact. This business relationship started some years ago (around 2002-3?); prior to that CZ first made their own, and then started to farm out production to a number of companies; all were made to CZ's specs.

CZ factory magazines have, over the years, been made to slightly different specs than some of the after-market "clone" mags (like those made by Mec-Gar), and that may account for the differences you see. CZ factory 10 and 15 round mags would always work in the older pre-B guns, but many Mec-Gar mags would not.

If you had problems with factory mags, changing the springs with Wolff springs would solve most of the problems and it's far less expensive than replacement mags.


.

Last edited by Walt Sherrill; November 21, 2012 at 11:08 AM.
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Old November 21, 2012, 11:54 AM   #15
TunnelRat
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If it means anything my CZ hasn't had a hiccup so far. The mag springs do seem a little softer than some others, but I bought it used. The mags seem of good construction though.
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Old November 24, 2012, 01:26 AM   #16
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I can't explain anything and I have no theories at this point, but I've got additional data for the subject.

My Coonan Classic is by far the most erratic brass chucker I've yet owned. Distance seems to be within a rational "circle", but I do mean circle. This pistol seems to have a 360-degree kill-zone where it will fling brass.

The only thing I've ever fed it has been handloads, and I take extreme care when I build the handloads.

I separate all my brass by headstamp, I have a very repeatable mouth flare that doesn't vary whatsoever along the line in my ammo. I buy my bullets in lots of at least a thousand and I've got a very careful routine when metering powder, which is bought 4 or 8 lbs at a time. Final crimp is done with care and the entire process from start to finish is executed with the idea that I'm doing every single one of the rounds as closely as I possibly can to all the rest. Some loads chrono more consistently than others, but I've had a couple loads return SD's in single digits. I run THOSE loads through it again, just to be sure, and it does it again.

The goal (and hope!) is that the ammo is not a variable when I'm on the firing line.

Bottom line is that regardless of how detail oriented I am with the ammo, the pistol runs all of the time, doesn't give feed, firing or extraction/ejection failures, but if there is some formula to make it eject brass consistently, I've got NO IDEA what's in that formula.

But I can pretty much be sure that in the case of my pistol -- it's not the ammo.
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Old November 24, 2012, 09:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
I can't explain anything and I have no theories at this point, but I've got additional data for the subject.

My Coonan Classic is by far the most erratic brass chucker I've yet owned. Distance seems to be within a rational "circle", but I do mean circle. This pistol seems to have a 360-degree kill-zone where it will fling brass.

The only thing I've ever fed it has been handloads, and I take extreme care when I build the handloads.

I separate all my brass by headstamp, I have a very repeatable mouth flare that doesn't vary whatsoever along the line in my ammo. I buy my bullets in lots of at least a thousand and I've got a very careful routine when metering powder, which is bought 4 or 8 lbs at a time. Final crimp is done with care and the entire process from start to finish is executed with the idea that I'm doing every single one of the rounds as closely as I possibly can to all the rest. Some loads chrono more consistently than others, but I've had a couple loads return SD's in single digits. I run THOSE loads through it again, just to be sure, and it does it again.

The goal (and hope!) is that the ammo is not a variable when I'm on the firing line.

Bottom line is that regardless of how detail oriented I am with the ammo, the pistol runs all of the time, doesn't give feed, firing or extraction/ejection failures, but if there is some formula to make it eject brass consistently, I've got NO IDEA what's in that formula.

But I can pretty much be sure that in the case of my pistol -- it's not the ammo.
My Coonan is a brass launching catapult. It throws some brass as far as 15 yards (45 feet) and others only 10-15 feet. I throws them mostly to the right and back a little but evry so often I get some that go left and forward a little.
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