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Old November 28, 2020, 07:37 AM   #1
Holmes529
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Luger ejection issues... solutions?

Hello all, I have a Luger made in 1940 in great condition. I took it out to shoot for the first time the other day and almost every single shot was a stovepipe, failure to feed, or a double feed. I was wondering what I should look for in order to try and troubleshoot and resolve these issues. I’ve taken this particular pistol apart and cleaned many times as it is normally a safe queen since it’s in such good shape. All parts/pieces seem to be in working order with no visible issues.

Could this be just a mag problem or something else? Has anyone else had these issues?


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Old November 28, 2020, 07:44 AM   #2
shurshot
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Are you using hot 124 ball? Or Target grade 115's? The gun was designed for fairly stout FMJ loads. I would use +P 124 ball, and the hottest load you can find. Weaker 115's may not have enough zing to cycle that action.

Nice looking gun by the way.

Last edited by shurshot; November 28, 2020 at 07:54 AM.
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Old November 28, 2020, 08:18 AM   #3
Holmes529
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shurshot View Post
Are you using hot 124 ball? Or Target grade 115's? The gun was designed for fairly stout FMJ loads. I would use +P 124 ball, and the hottest load you can find. Weaker 115's may not have enough zing to cycle that action.

Nice looking gun by the way.

Thanks! I’m using target grade 115s. A buddy who also has a Luger has never had an issue with 115s. I’ve heard conflicting statements about Luger ammo. Some say the lighter loads are safer and won’t damage any parts, others say the heavier loads are the way to go.


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Old November 28, 2020, 09:06 AM   #4
AK103K
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Id try 124-grain load's for a start.

Then try your buddys mag if you dont have a spare.

There are also new made Luger mags available that work and arent horribly priced.

If that doesnt work, I start looking at the extractor, springs, etc.
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Old November 28, 2020, 03:02 PM   #5
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Make sure the mag is clean, and dry; no lube, especially on the feedlips.

Also, make sure your chosen load is not too long to properly cycle through the mag; a too-long round can bind in the tube, resulting in little or no spring pressure holding the top round against the feedlips.

I think most Lugers are over-sprung, which results in the belief that they require hot ammo. I've seen an old manual that listed a half-dozen different action springs, for different chamberings, barrel lengths, etc.
Wolff used to have only a single Luger spring, but they now have three to choose from; try the lightest one (36#).
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Old November 28, 2020, 03:36 PM   #6
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I’d start with the magazine. If it’s original, it is possible that the magazine spring may have become weakened over the years. Also, there was a time when people, who didn’t know about or how to use the loading tool, would shorten their magazine springs to make their magazines easier to load. Because there is no way of knowing how many magazines have been butchered over the years, it’s possible your mag may have suffered this fate.

Before I tried heavier or higher pressure loads, I’d either try your friends magazine or buy a newer reproduction magazine and see if the problem goes away. Better to waste money a magazine than to break a part or ruin your pistol.
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Old November 28, 2020, 04:18 PM   #7
Jim Watson
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First, I would try 124 gr standard velocity.
Original 9mm in 1903 was a 123 at 1090 fps in 4", not "hot" at all.

Think twice before shooting +P or "NATO". As one Luger expert says, an overloaded Luger behaves a lot like an underloaded Luger.
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Old November 28, 2020, 06:59 PM   #8
shurshot
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Jim is correct... after researching it a bit, I stand corrected... take his advice, not mine, which was based on hearsay. No hot loads or +P.
Nice to learn something on here aside from conspiracy theories.
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Old November 28, 2020, 07:34 PM   #9
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A friend's Finn/Tikka did best with my 145 gr IDPA subsonic.
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Old November 28, 2020, 08:03 PM   #10
HiBC
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I have no experience with Lugers.
Semi-auto handguns in general:
The slide/breech is only open for a very short window of time.
Thats the only time the magazine as to elevate the column of ammunition up to the feed lips to be in the correct position to feed.
I'd tend to agree an 80 year old magazine spring might be a little slow.
Any old goo'd up oil ,lint and dust inside the mag will add drag.

I'd guess a new mag spring,clean,and dry lube might help.

One surce of quality gun springs is Wolf. or is it Wolfe? Search "Wolf gun springs" and see what you find.

If you are not using a firm grip,try that,too.
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Old November 28, 2020, 11:04 PM   #11
tangolima
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Are the stove pipes empties or fresh rounds? Ejection and feeding are two different issues.

-TL

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Old November 29, 2020, 08:58 AM   #12
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You might want to check the ejector. I had one fail and it caused the same issue. I bought a replacement from Brownell's, but that was a few years ago.
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Old November 29, 2020, 03:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
The gun was designed for fairly stout FMJ loads. I would use +P 124 ball, and the hottest load you can find.
No, NO, NO!!!

Quote:
Jim is correct... after researching it a bit, I stand corrected... take his advice, not mine, which was based on hearsay. No hot loads or +P.
YES!!!!

The original 9mm Luger load is listed as a 124gr @ 1050fps from a 4" barrel.

A couple years before WW I the load was changed to a 115gr @ 1150fps.

THAT is what Lugers were built to run on. DO NOT USE +P or any other "high pressure" load.

Double feeds are almost always a magazine problem.

While the toggle lock is mechanically a very efficient system (think Maxim gun) Lugers have a reputation for being "tempermental" and what SHOULD work gives problems in some guns and not in others.

the first thing you should do is try a different magazine. If possible, one with known good performance. See what that fixes, and what it doesn't. Then come back with what (if anything) is still wrong and we'll see what we can figure out. Same for ammo, if possible get some that works in someone else's P.08 and try it in yours. Its not a guarantee, but its a good place to start. Also gun clean and correctly lubed...

I had a 1936 P.08 and it ran surprisingly flawlessly on American Eagle 124gr loads.

Good luck, and let us know how things go...
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Old December 8, 2020, 02:36 PM   #14
unspellable
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Luger reliability

I once had a recoil spring from Wolfe. It was much longer than the original. As Georg Luger said, "The springs have to be right." One thing never said in spring specs is the preload. The preload is important in the Luger, it can fire with the action not quite all the way into battery. Not good.
In the past there has been a lot of tinkering with Luger springs by people who didn't know what they were doing.
You will never find an over long cartridge, the problem is they are too short. The SAAMI maximum OAL is the original DWM MINIMUM OAL. I don't know who, when , or where the decision to shorten it was made.
The 9 mm Parabellum cartridge is tapered. In a single stack magazine, and the Luger in particular, the nose need to ride up the front of the magazine to be presented to the breech at the proper angle. Take a look at a 22 LR magazine, due to the rim, the nose must ride up the front of the magazine.

The White box Eagles are the favored plinking round in Luger circles.
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Old December 8, 2020, 04:16 PM   #15
Minorcan
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Nice looking pistol. You said it was a safe queen. Is it possible old lube is interfering with the action. Check the mags first. Clean and lightly lubricate them with CLP. Use dummy rounds and slowly work the action to check alignment. The extractor and recoil spring is also critical. Be aware that the action can fire even when the toggle and barrel assembly is removed from the frame.
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