A Tale Of 3 Pistols

By John Hayslip
Gun Club Of America Member

Being a confirmed “rifle looney” from a very early age and a person who does some of the work on his own weapons, I tend to adopt “orphan” guns that need work.

S&W Daewoo

S&W Daewoo

Several years ago I purchased a .40 S&W Daewoo with the “Triple Action Trigger” system. I loved the trigger pull. When I took it to the range it turned into the nastiest jamming pistol that I had owned to date. It did the same thing with both mag­azines. The fired shell would be pulled half way out of the chamber, the extractor would jump off and the slide would start the top round in the magazine, pushing it forward until it stopped when it came up against the fired case. This would, of course, create a jam that took two hands to clear. I wouldn’t sell a gun in that condition – several gunsmiths tried to fix it and failed, including one gentleman who was supposedly involved in importing them.I was getting several jams per magazine so the pistol was no fun to shoot. What to do?

A short time later I purchased a 9mm Star Firestar cheap because it wasn’t functioning properly. Then I read an article in Rifle magazine on the CZ 75 stainless in .40 S&W and I had to get one.

All three had exactly the same problem. I had two magazines with each pistol and they all created the same jam—leading me to believe that magazines were not the problem. Remaking the extractor and replacing the spring in the Dae Woo didn’t work. No gunsmith locally had a solution.I was in a bind.I stopped trying to work on them and they lan­guished in my safe.

CZ Pistol

CZ 75

The CZ finally went back to the importers and was returned in about a week fixed and running at no charge.Bless them, for there was a note that they had replaced the extractor and its spring and polished the chamber. If I had watched Bob Dunlap’s exhaustive (and exhausting) eleven part “In the Classroom” series on extractors and extraction in GunTech issues #1 through #11 I would have saved a lot of time and frustration.

Anyway, now that I had ideas to work on I removed the bar­rels from the Dae Woo and the Star and polished their chambers.That, to my absolute delight, solved the Dae Woo’s problem; but the Star did the same jam on the first test shot. That really surprised me because the Firestar’s chamber was coated black with powder fouling that my normal cleaning hadn’t caught, and I hadn’t noticed.It had polished up nice­ly and I really thought I’d solved the problem there too.

Back in my work room I took the Star apart and removed the extractor and found the problem -powder fouling about the size of a #8 shot had built up under the extractor.My expe­rience with this pistol and a couple of .22 caliber rifles indi­cates to me that there are some powders out there that burn incredibly dirty.

Star Firestar

Star Firestar

Other possibilities for the extraction problems are a weak extractor spring or a burr on the extractor—but I think those are less likely culprits based on my experiences.

Haven’t polished a chamber? Take a piece of drill rod or cold rolled about a quarter inch in diameter, slit the end of it with a hacksaw about a half inch (or chamber depth) deep. Use a piece of silicon carbide sand paper or a piece of rolled abrasive long enough to center the rod in the chamber when rolled up and spin it in the chamber for a very short time at a medium speed with a cordless drill. Use 320 grit or finer and TAKE IT EASY!! It’s REAL hard to put metal back in the chamber. Check your work every few seconds to make sure that you are just polishing the chamber, not hogging metal out of it.

You can also use a piece of wooden dowel the same diame­ter. Word of warning here—if you do this job in your lathe and the rod is long, use drill rod instead of cold rolled as cold rolled bends easier than drill rod.I had some cold rolled as long as the drill rod I usually use hanging out the end of my lathe when it bent and knocked the electric key-pad off my safe, but that’s another story for another time.

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