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ortgies ftf and slam fire

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by vavasour, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. vavasour

    vavasour Active Member

    I've been working on my .32 Ortgies. This time I bought two striker springs and two spring guides from Numrich. The guide goes in the notch and stays while I assemble it. At last! I've been loading it two rounds at a time, with S&B or my hand loads 78 gr LRN over 1.7 and 1.9 and 2.0 gr Bullseye. The first round fires, but the second gets stuck under the firing pin/ejector. Recently got two boxes of Magtech 71 gr ball. The Magtech works fine in my 1914 Mauser that I'd also been having trouble with. In the Ortgies both times I tried it I got the same pproblem of the second round stuck under the fp/ejector. I removed the slide assembly (in a bag of course) and cleaned the barrel and slide with Ed's Red. After reassembly the second round doesn't jam. Both rounds fire in a slam fire. This has happened three times. I can't think of anything I could have done to the disconnector. Advice anyone?
  2. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    The reason your second round was caught on the firing pin is that the slide was not coming back far enough to cock the firing pin OR the firing pin spring or spring guide is too long, preventing the firing pin from cocking.

    What is happening is that the firing pin is barely engaging the sear so that the releasing the slide manually (or in firing) jars things enough to allow the firing pin to fall and fire the round. Study the mechanism closely to see whether the problem is in the spring guide or in the spring going solid that keeps the firing pin from cocking properly.

    (I am assuming that you would have seen broken "feet" on the firing pin, but that can also cause the problem of jarring off.)

  3. vavasour

    vavasour Active Member

    Thanks. One possible source of my slide problem: I've read posts that Wolfe replacement recoil springs may be stronger than stock. Another: my ammo may not be hot enough. A third: in removing and replacing the barrel I may not have it lined up perfectly. When the slide is replaced without the recoil spring, the slide falls back loosely, but when I point the barrel down the slide falls fully forward but acts a little sticky an inch or so before the end.
    Just took the slide off. The striker falls freely back and forth, and yes the legs are still ok. The spring guide is .681; the shank is .587. I polished the barrel and slide opening (bushing?) with 0000 steel wool and put the original recoil spring back on. I'll try again tomorrow morning.
  4. vavasour

    vavasour Active Member

    OK. After taking it apart and studying the disconnector mechanism, I wondered if grime was keeping it from working right. Took the disconnector out and cleaned it and the pocket where it goes, then cleaned the slide and eveything else. Put in the original recoil spring. Reassembled. Barrel traveled easily back and forward. Just tried two rounds in each of the mags I have--one original and one aftermarket. No slam fires at least. The second round in the original mag fed but didn't fire, light strike. The second round in the aftermarket mag was under the firing pin. If too long fp spring or too long fp guide were preventing cocking, wouldn't I get no strike instead of light strike on the first try?
  5. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    I really can't tell without seeing the gun, but the guide length sounds OK. The firing pin spring should run about 2.15".

    If the "feet" on the firing pin are too long, they can catch on something other than the sear, possibly the rim of the next round in the magazine. The latter is especially common if the magazine lips allow the round to sit too high.

  6. vavasour

    vavasour Active Member

    I pulled the slide back with a dummy round in the mag.The fp extends a little beyond the rim. When I ease the slide forward the dummy round is caught and pushed forward to be chambered, but won't go in. It will go in when simply release the slide. When I pull the slide back again, the dummy round ejects. So somehow in actual firing, the slide is either not being pushed back far enough to allow the round from the mag to go in or that the mag spring is not moving it up fast enough. If a too long spring or guide were causing the problem, wouldn't that prevent the loading of the dummy round?
    I will try to get one of my geekly sons to show me (again) how to get pictures onto my laptop and attach them.
  7. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Better check one thing. On that gun the firing pin is the ejector and it has a long "nose" (around 3/16 inch) that sticks out of the breechface when the slide comes back, thus ejecting the empty. If your firing pin is not that way, it needs to be replaced.

    Does the dummy round enter the chamber properly with the barrel off the gun or with the firing pin, spring and guide removed? If so, I see no reason it would not chamber with the gun assembled unless the firing pin gets in the way, which means it isn't cocking.

    Here is what should happen. With a round chambered, the grip safety is squeezed and locks in. The trigger is pulled. The sear moves down, releasing the firing pin. The firing pin moves forward, firing the chambered round. As the fired case pushes the slide back, the nose of the firing pin pushes on the base of the case which pivots around the extractor and is thrown out the ejection port. The slide continues back all the way, then moves forward. Since the firing pin is caught by the sear, it is kept back out of the way as the next round rises in the magazine, is caught by the slide and chambered. Then the shooter pulls the trigger and the process starts over.

    It still sounds to me like the firing pin is not being caught by the sear, though I don't know why.

  8. vavasour

    vavasour Active Member

    I have three dummy rounds made from S&B brass with spent primers and LRN with OAL of .928. They all drop in easily to fit flush. Putting them in the mag and with the slide on with fp, spring, and guide all removed, they loaded one after the other. (I held the gun sideways so at each manual cycling the extracted dummy fell out.) The fp measurement in longer than 3/16: from the tip to where the flare out to the body begins is .300 in.; the tip protrudes .197 in. out the hole.
  9. vavasour

    vavasour Active Member

    And the fp OAL is 1.722
  10. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    That all sounds OK.

  11. vavasour

    vavasour Active Member

    I just tried something else. I assembled the pistol with the stiker and spring and guide all in place but without the recoil spring. Inserted the mag with two dummy rounds. The absence of the recoil spring allowed me to slowly operate the slide while watching through the ejection port. First cycle: when I pull the slide back to the cocking point, the top dummy round comes up till it touches the firing pin and stops, and when I push the slide forward the fp stays in position and the part of the slide from which the fp has protruded pushes the top dummy round into the chamber as the slide closes at forward position. Second cycle: when I pull the slide back to the cocking point the top dummy round is extracted and pulled back with the extractor's force on the right side of the brass bringing the front of the dummy round toward the port; as I pull the slide further back the dummy round tilts further toward the port and moves rearward till it hits the fp/ejector which flips it smartly out; as the slide continues further back, the next dummy round pops up under the fp, and when I push the slide toward the front it picks up that next dummy round and chambers it.
    Well sir, thanks to you I'm getting a clearer view about how this works when it does work, but not what's going wrong when it doesn't.
  12. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    The cycle should be:

    *The round fires.
    *The slide begins to move back.
    *The case is pushed out of the chamber by the pressure (in a blowback pistol it is not "extracted"; the extractor acts only as a pivot point for the ejector)
    *The firing pin spring begins to exert pressure on the firing pin and the firing pin ejects the empty case.
    *The slide continues to the rear with the firing pin protruding.
    *The slide continues past the cocking point so the firing pin feet pass over the sear. (Meantime, the disconnector has released the sear bar so the sear catches the firing pin; that is happening isn't it?)
    *The slide begins to move forward; the firing pin was caught by the sear and is held back so it cannot interfere with the round rising from the magazine.
    *The next round is pushed up by the magazine spring so it rises up in front of the breech face and is chambered.

    So what is missing from my list or from your observations?

  13. vavasour

    vavasour Active Member

    OK, to run down your list:

    *fires (non occurring with dummy rounds)
    *slide begins to move back (done by me manually
    *the case comes out of the chamber (non firing, the extractor actually removes the case)
    *the firing pin exerts pressure on the case; it pivots on the extractor and is thrown out
    *the slide continues toward the rear with the firing pin protruding(me pushing); the next round pops up below the firing pin
    *the slide continues back until the firing pin is out of the way of the new round and the feet catches on the sear (I can't see this, but . . .)
    *the slide begins to move forward and the firing pin does not so that the breech face pushes the next round forward into the chamber. (It is at the same level, below where the firing pin would have been, but the breech face simultaneously pushes the round toward the ramp and goes past the end of the stationary firing pin so that the round pops smartly up and is pushed into the chamber.

    I was worried that maybe my hand loads were not hot enough to get the fp feet back to the sear so I made three rounds with 78gr LRN over 2.2gr Bullseye. It didn't fix the problem and I couldn't find the brass. The second round, one of my dummies, didn't chamber and was canted up.

    In manually cycling dummies with a factory 380 mag that came with the pistol, I noticed that the new rounds remained horizontal until chambering, while the aftermarket mag that came with the pistol canted the new rounds slightly up. Putting the mags side by side, I could see that in the aftermarket mag the top round was canted a little higher. I'll try firing from the 380 mag later. Right now I'm trying to finish grading tests and essays to turn in grades Friday.
    Thanks for you patient analysis.
  14. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    The description you give seems correct. The feed lips of your aftermarket mag are probably not hardened so you might be able to tweak them a bit to see if that would help.

    But your work is more important right now.

  15. vavasour

    vavasour Active Member

    I just made four rounds 78 gr cast over 2.2 gr Bullseye and test fired four of them. They were in the 380 magazine on top of four dummy rounds, hoping that might give more mag spring tension. (Though maybe spring tension doesn't work that way; I don't know.) I racked the slide. The first round fired and ejected and the slide went back into battery. Pulled the trigger. Second round did not fire. When I tried to rack the slide, it fired (down range) and the third round jamed pointed up into the chamber. Grr. and grr.
  16. vavasour

    vavasour Active Member

    narrowing down problem

    Hello again,
    In the past month I bought an RCBS 32 ACP die set on ebay, I had been using and RCBS 32 S&WL die set. With the 32 ACP seat and crimp die, brass is slightly crimped so that the transition between brass and slug is smooth. With the 32 S&W seat and crimp die, the brass had an abrupt transition. with a 78gr LRN cast slug, I made six rounds with 1.7 gr Bullseye, six rounds with 2.0 gr Bullseye and six rounds with 2.2 gr Bullseye. In the Ortgies with two in the magazine at a time, the 1.7 gr loads always fired the first round fine and jammed on the second with the fp/ejector above the second round as usual. Ditto with the 2.0 gr rounds. With the 2.2 gr rounds a slam fire that sounded like a single shot. Jim, this sounds like the sear, as you said, or maybe the disconnector. The only good thing is that all of these loads work fine in my 1914/34 Mauser. And of course in my new Kel Tec P 32. I'd bought the 32 S&WL set to reload for my 95 Nagant, but I use reformed 32-20 brass for that now. I've also reloaded for my grandfather's H&R Young American in 32 S&W. I'll also use it for a IJ 55 Partner SA recently acquired from my father.
  17. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Well-Known Member

    Pictures or video needed for sure to diagnose this symptoms origin.
  18. Ron James

    Ron James Well-Known Member

    If those " little feet " on the striker are worn { and they seem to be soft steel } that will cause doubling and even full auto. The interrupter { Pi$$ poor design ) on these guns are prone to failure ( as is the sear on the striker ). That is why one should never carry an Ortgies with a shell in the chamber. With the doubling and the full auto, been there and done that. with all due respect, once you get the gun running, you should oil it and put it away, it should never be used as any type of defensive weapon. That is just my opinion based on my experience with the brand, others may feel the gun is a marvel of German engineering { sound of vomiting }, not I. The Germans screwed up designs just as any other country. JMHO and I have more out in the garage:)
  19. hartcreek

    hartcreek member

    I have had 1905 Savages go full auto. Once he gets his problem sorted out he will be good as long as he does not carry one in the pipe. I seem so remember it is possible to put the striker spring in backwards too and this will cause weak taps. I havent had either one of my Ortiges apart in two deckades and then it was a FTF issue with a weak striker spring.
  20. vavasour

    vavasour Active Member

    Today, I took the slide off and reassembled without the recoil spring. When I cycled several dummy rounds, I noticed that while the striker catches on the sear, when the bolt slide forward and catches the next round, it rises up against the last quarter inch of the firing pin. As the bolt is pushing the new round into the chamber, it is simultaneously covering the rest of the fp. Eureka moment. The jam seems not to be caused by problems with striker, sear, interrupter mechanism. Maybe it's the usual suspect, fed lips on magazine. The diagram in the Ortgies manual shows the top round parallel to the base of the mag. In mine, the round is canted higher. I tried bending the mag lips to reduce the angle of the top round. Still jammed though.

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