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Old June 11, 2010, 04:51 PM   #1
Join Date: March 21, 2010
Posts: 46
Beretta slide problem

I have beretta 92f that has been great. Today however, the slide did not lock back when the last round was fired. This happened on 3 of 4 different magazines I fired. When I racked the slide back manually, it stayed open. The ammo used was Winchester 9MM lugar, 115 g which is what I always use.

Any suggestions on what to start looking for?

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Old June 12, 2010, 03:43 AM   #2
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Location: Tx Panhandle Territory
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I may have a couple of ideas.
First, make sure your mags are clean on the insides and that your mag springs are not installed backwards (makes heap big difference).
Second, take a peek at your magazine release button. On the inside of the mag well, you should be able to see the little catch/nub that actually holds the magazine body in the well. It should be sqaured. As a Beretta Armorer for my dept, we've found that not all of those mag catches are the same hardness and some wear out faster than others. Although I cannot rule out that the premature wearing of some catches are not a result of the shooters' habits and techniques of slamming the mags home. Anyway, if the mag catch is worn, it won't allow the magazine to seat as high as when it was factory new. Thus, if the mag isn't seated high enough then the 'slide lock shelf' on the follower can't assert it's upward force on the slide lock lever after the last round is discharged. I haven't looked for the complete magazine release button assemblies at Brownells but they have somewhat recently become a stocking factory part supplier and have most parts. Changing them out can be tedious and frustrating sometimes (esp if you have a magazine disconnect safety feature such as found on the 92D models). If you suspect that is the problem- drop me a line and I'll try to talk you through it. Also, there are many more superbly trained and skilled actual Gun Smiths here that I'm sure can help you as well.
Thirdly. Oh snap, I forgot what I was going to sugges... Oh yeah, it's not jsut real common, but it could be a problem with a weak mag spring or a follower that has seen much use and abuse or overly aggressive chemicals.

Just for poops and giggles, try firing one handed and use your off hand to push up firmly on the mag floor plate as you fire the last round from the mag. If that makes the slide lock to the rear- that is a good indicator that the mag release button is worn past it's usefulness.
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Old June 12, 2010, 08:06 AM   #3
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Join Date: January 18, 2005
Location: Idaho
Posts: 146
I would suggest that the ammo was the problem, seems like Winchester QC is lacking these days and the ammo you bought may have been a bit under powered.
Last time I bought & shot some Winchester ammo, I was disappointed, as well as being on the weak was very inaccurate.
So many times lately I have seen people having problems while shooting and they automatically think that it is a hardware problem, when usually it turns out to be an ammo problem. (Usually the cheapest available plinking ammo)

I guess that's what happens when companies are going full bore in production trying to get caught up and attention to detail starts to slip when running at that kind of pace.

Last edited by ogree; June 12, 2010 at 08:13 AM.
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Old June 12, 2010, 09:30 AM   #4
Walt Sherrill
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Join Date: February 15, 1999
Location: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Posts: 6,026
Could be, too, that mag springs are getting weak...

I say that because the force (from the ammo) needed to cycle the gun isn't that different from that needed to lock back the slide... but weak springs (either in the mag or in the slide lock mechanism) can conspire to keep the slide lock from being engaged or pushed up properly by the follower.

I've had similar problems with several guns, and replacing either the slide lock spring or the mag springs generally fixes it. I'd try a new mag or mag springs before anything else.


Last edited by Walt Sherrill; June 12, 2010 at 07:43 PM.
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Old June 13, 2010, 01:14 PM   #5
Join Date: March 21, 2010
Posts: 46
Beretta slide problem

Thanks folks.

I appreciate the advice. Mag inspection will be first. I bought 3 that were used and the pressuer on the follower was different between each one. The ammo was bought all at the same time, early shooting was successful up until now. I'll leave the possibility of the mag catch to last, although I've been toying with reversing the mag catch button.

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Old June 16, 2010, 02:12 PM   #6
Join Date: March 21, 2010
Posts: 46
I think I found the problem

Thanks for the many suggestions.
I cleaned all of the magazines and ensured they are assembled correctly. Loaded up with the usual suspect ammo and had one failure (third mag) for the slide to remain back after firing off the mag. When I started to shoot the fourth mag, I realized my left thumb was resting on the slide stop. OOPS. I was trying to improve my grip. The fourth mag went well; part of the problem was obviously me.
Thanks again
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Old June 16, 2010, 04:03 PM   #7
James K
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 24,139
"the force (from the ammo) needed to cycle the gun isn't that different from that needed to lock back the slide"

But sometimes just enough different.

Jim K
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