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Old January 2, 2013, 02:15 PM   #1
Ac1d0v3r1d3
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IMI Baby Eagle .40 S&W problem

So I have this Baby Eagle in 40 S&W. My dad bought it new right around 8 years ago. It is steel frame and was made in Israel.

The problem that i am having is that sometimes the slide won't close all the way on a round. With the magazine out the action is slick as snot, and for the most part it runs fine. But every once and a while it will just not close on a round. If I give the slide a bump it will close. It will do this with fancy hollow point self defense ammo or with the flat nose practice ammo. I don't believe that it ever happened with the really hot European ammo (fiocchi?) and I don't think that it has happened with wolf either. I would guess that over the years I've put several thousand rounds through this pistol.

Anybody have an idea what the problem might be? I'll try and put a few rounds through this pistol in the next few days and see what I can see.



ON a side note, I've never been able to run Winchester White box though this pistol. It would stove pipe or just refuse to feed.
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Old January 2, 2013, 02:44 PM   #2
Skans
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It's either a bad magazine, or more likely a weak recoil spring. I'd start by replacing the recoil spring with one made by Wolf - they should have one that will fit.
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Old January 2, 2013, 03:07 PM   #3
Walt Sherrill
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You don't say whether the problems you mention are new or have been there, all along. Sounds like two or more problems.

Stove-piping suggests that the extractor is losing its grip before the case hits the ejector. A lot of CZ-pattern guns seem to have problems with Winchester White Box ammo. Back when I was shooting it (years ago), it had a strangely-shaped extractor groove by the rim, and it would not let some extractors get a good grasp on the casing. You might try a stronger extractor spring, and the CZ spring (from Wolff) might work. (Or shoot some other ammo. I like Sellier & Bellot and Blazer... or Georgia Arms' Canned Heat.)

The slide not closing properly could be several things, especially if this is a new behavior.

When it does cycle properly, and IF your spent cases are being sent a great distance, it may simply be a tired recoil spring. (I don't know if Wolff carries IMI/Baby Eagle parts, but some CZ/Witness springs might work. Magnum Research can probably get you a spring, if that seems to be the problem.

Check to see that there's no buildup of lead/crap in the chamber.

If the spent cases aren't being sent great distances, something (perhaps the ammo) may not be up to spec -- and the IRREGULAR nature of the problem suggests that. Before you do anything else, try some better quality ammo and see if the problem goes away.

A bad magazine might have something to do with the problem, but generally, when mags are bad they're bad all the time, not just part of the time. (Exception: weak mag springs may hot work properly when the mags are full, but will work better with just a few rounds. in it.) Check the other stuff first before worrying about mags.

Last edited by Walt Sherrill; January 2, 2013 at 03:13 PM.
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Old January 2, 2013, 03:44 PM   #4
Ac1d0v3r1d3
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Thanks for the fast replies.

I've tried lots of different ammo and I've only had the stove pipe problem with WWB so I just stay away from it, I've also had the problem with my CZ75B so I just don't buy it anymore.

The problem with the slide closing is a new behavior. IF I recall correctly it'll happen with any ammo. Whether it's Speer or Remington or Winchester JHP's or S&B or Wolf or UMC range ammo. So I don't think that ammo is a problem here. I also don't think that it's magazines since it doesn't happen any more often with the first round than the last.

I will clean the gun really really well and try to put a few rounds through it tomorrow. I have two mags, so I can test them both out and see if one malfunctions more often than the other. I also have a bunch of different ammo that I can try and see if maybe I'm wrong and it is the ammo.

Do you think that polishing the feed ramp might help?
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Old January 2, 2013, 04:03 PM   #5
NJgunowner
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Probably just time for a new recoil spring, no biggie.
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Old January 2, 2013, 06:38 PM   #6
Walt Sherrill
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Quote:
Do you think that polishing the feed ramp might help?
Probably not. I think more problems are CREATED by people polishing feed ramps than are solved.

Sounds like a recoil spring issue, given the extra details. You may have to call Magnum Research.

(Wolff doesn't list springs for Magnum Research guns, but it might be able to use CZ or Witness recoil springs. Warning: you can't tell by looking at the springs, as used springs will be somewhat shorter than new ones. But, if a CZ or Witness recoil spring for a similar-sized gun lets the slide lock back, it'll probably work.)

Last edited by Walt Sherrill; January 2, 2013 at 07:14 PM.
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Old January 2, 2013, 09:27 PM   #7
Ac1d0v3r1d3
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I happen to have a CZ75b with a fully functional recoil spring. I can do a swap and see if it works. Thanks.
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Old January 3, 2013, 05:06 AM   #8
hemiram
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Since the Witness and the Baby Eagle is basically the same gun, swapping the springs should be ok. I had this happen with one of my compact Tanfoglio Mossad guns and it was bad ammo, that's it. I bought a spring for it and was kind of surprised it was still doing it, but rolling the rounds on a flat surface showed a couple in every box weren't round anymore, they were slightly egg shaped. Putting the egg shaped ones off to the side cured the issue. I loaded up a mag with those and got rid of them. The bad rounds were all Federal. The full sized Mossad just churned through them. I'm guessing the compact has a slightly tighter chamber causing the borderline stuff to hang up. I had a friend check the chamber size and it was in spec and smooth. I've had no problems with ammo in the gun since I used up that bunch I got really cheap.
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Old January 30, 2013, 04:02 PM   #9
Ac1d0v3r1d3
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So my wolff springs came. I bought a 20 lb and a 22 lb.
Just to be clear. Wolff DOES make springs specifically for CZ clones. I had a heck of a time finding them on their web site but they ARE there if you look hard enough. I actually found a thread on another forum where a guy had a similar question and someone pointed him to the correct Wolff product.

I installed the 22 lb spring and then the 20 lb, and I tell you what, they make a huge difference when racking the slide. Both springs will lock the slide back with an empty magazine.
I've not had a chance to shoot the pistol as of yet. But I hope to either tomorrow or Friday. I'll report back with any results.


P.S. Both of the springs also came with a much smaller, but proportionately sized, spring as well. I'm not sure what it might be for. Maybe for pistols with less than full length guide rods?
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Old January 30, 2013, 05:03 PM   #10
Walt Sherrill
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The smaller spring is a heavier firing pin spring, intended to prevent inertial discharges (with the slide slamming home making the firing pin go forward) caused by a HEAVIER recoil spring.

In guns with a firing pin block, and most have them, this is an unnecessary spring change -- if it's firing correctly, otherwise.

You could have gotten by with lighter recoil springs -- 14lb* would probably be closer to what was in there (before it wore itself out.) A heavier recoil spring CAN (that's CAN, not WILL) lead to a broken slide stop in the guns based on the CZ design (as is the case with the Witness and Baby Eagle), but generally, you'll not have a problem.

*Just checked the Wolff site: they say the "stock" weight for the Witness in .45/38 super/10mm (etc.) is 14lb., and CZ recommends 12lb (with 13lb-14lb. with hardball) for the .45 CZ-97.

If so, the 18-20 lb springs are a lot heavier than you need for the .45. The .22 kit will have it's own recoil spring.


.

Last edited by Walt Sherrill; January 30, 2013 at 09:38 PM.
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Old January 30, 2013, 07:14 PM   #11
chris in va
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I bet that clears up your problem. The recoil spring needs replacing every few thousand rounds anyway.
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Old January 30, 2013, 09:38 PM   #12
Walt Sherrill
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Re: CZ Clone springs on the Wolff site...

The springs for CZ clones were the first springs they offered.

The springs they offer for CZs are, in effect, Tanfoglio springs, made to fit the Witness/Tanfoglio guide rod which has a larger-diameter than the CZ guide rod. They are all the same springs, with different weights shown as "factory" weights.

If you want a proper fit for your CZs -- so that the spring fits the guide rod properly -- you should order the Browning Hi-Power springs of the appropriate (CZ-specified) weight. The BHP springs are a close physical match to the factory CZ springs, and Wolff now offers them in lighter weights than once was the case (when 17lb or 18lbs was the lightest BHP spring offered.)
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Old February 8, 2013, 04:48 PM   #13
Ac1d0v3r1d3
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Okay so I went and shot my pistol about a week ago. It worked great. I shot the gun with both springs and they both worked great. I put probably around 100 rounds through it, mostly it was hollow point, but I actually had some WWB laying around that I had bought for another gun that I have since sold, so I shot that up. It worked most of the time, but it did still have a stove pipes and once it failed to eject at all.
I took a close look at the rims of the WWB vs Fiocchi JHP, and the Gold Dot that I also shot and I could not find any differences at the time.
Oh well, I'll just continue not to shoot WWB.

Anyway I just wanted you all to know that my problem is fixed. Thanks for the help.
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