Thursday, July 12, 2007

Feeding and Ejecting With .22 Auto Pistols

In a previous post the question came up as to one brand of .22LR ammo feeding and ejecting without problems, yet another version of .22LR from the same manufacturer had a large number of feeding and ejecting problems. I decided to expand a little bit on my answer in the form of a short post on the subject.

Straight blowback actions are dependent on several different things to be able to function at all. Powder charge, burn rate, bullet weight, bullet nose shape, amount of crimp, primer, slide weight, spring weights, both hammer and slide, smoothness of the action, cleanliness, and lubrication all have a big effect on feeding, cycling, and ejecting. Even barrel length makes a difference, as a longer or heavier barrel compensates a bit for "limp wristing". Believe it or not, even the temperature of the ammunition and the magazines can make a major difference. On top of everything else, this assumes that everything mechanically is in perfect condition and alignment.A slightly worn extractor or a slightly bent or mis-aligned ejector can make you want to change back to a single action revolver!

If you are having feeding, firing, and/or ejecting problems with your .22 pistol, here's a few things to check:

1. Is the gun still new, tight, and unbroken in? Some guns take thousands of rounds to finally settle in.

2. When you pull the slide back, is it smooth and silky, or kinda rough and graunchy? If it's not really smooth, a thorough cleaning might help. New guns from the factory aren't necessarily clean, by the way. If it's clean but still rough, polish every rubbing and sliding surface you can find. Final polish with 1500 grit wet or dry sandpaper should make it nice and smooth. Give everything another cleaning and lube, and try it again. In most cases the difference in feel will be noticeable.

3. If it fails to regularly fire, check the rim of a cartridge for a good solid impression by the firing pin. If there's a good solid dent in the rim, it's probably the ammo. If it's not too soild, a bad firing pin or a weak hammer/striker spring may be the problem. A dirty chamber keeping the rim from going solidly against the face of the barrel can also cause that. Some target barrels have a slightly short chamber so the fully seated bullet actually goes slightly into the rifling. That can hold the casing out a small amount and lead to not only failure to fire, but failure to eject, too, as the ejector can't always pull the bullet back out of the rifling.

4. Failure to feed is most commonly the magazine feed lips, but before you go bending away on them, try your magazines in another gun, and try other magazines in your gun. Also, some ammo feeds much better than other brands.

5. Failure to eject can also be the ammo, but just about everything mentioned above can cause ejection problems. Sometimes it's just a case of going over one thing at a time until the problem clears up.

Hopefully this will answer some questions for you, but remember that the very nature of blowback pistol actions on .22 semi auto pistols, ammo that works fine in one may not work well at all in another, and vice versa.



At Monday, July 16, 2007 5:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was about to stress over feed ramp jams and misfires on my brand new palm pistol. Now I have some remedies to work with. This quality of info makes for a more knowledgeable shooter.THANKS.

At Thursday, July 19, 2007 9:31:00 PM, Blogger redleg said...

On feed failures, add clean the magazine. Sometimes the simple fix to a problem, particularly if you have been shooting heavily waxed ammo. Bought some Aguila that wouldn't come out of the mag on my 22A and worked for about 15 rounds in my Ruger.

At Tuesday, July 24, 2007 10:14:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, mostly great post, but gotta dis-aggree on a couple of points:

A blowback does not need an extractor to extract after firing, although the extractor can help with directing the ejecting case. Try taking the extractor out of a blowback gun and firing a few mags, it works.It's just a pain to manually extract unfired rouns from the chamber.

Polishing really fine...
the best bearing surfaces have about 60% contact, any more and friction goes up. a machining mark with just the top polished makes an ideal reservoir for lubricant, and a place for crud to get out of the way of moving parts, this is part of why the cast iron bedways of machine tools and the surfaces of the best plain bearings were hand scraped.It provided reservoirs for lubricant.

It is also why the almost perfectly flat and finely ground surfaces of slip guages will stick together, they are just too smooth to slide over each other easily.


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