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Colt .380 ACP Jams - Pics Included - Help?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by chiselchst, Mar 15, 2009.

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  1. chiselchst

    chiselchst Member

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    Greetings,

    I own a Colt .380 ACP Nite Light, purchased in the mid 90's. It's had a failure to feed problem, ever since new. The gun is apparently a collectors item now, so I'd like to keep it.

    Failures have occured with the last round of each mag. It possibly a weak mag spring? I've kept it loaded all of this time. But as mentioned, it's always had this condition since new.

    Attached are some pics of the jams today. Fired maybe 50-75 rounds today, and it FTF 3 times. All were on the last round in mag...

    Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance...

    Mitch
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  2. usp9

    usp9 Member

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    Are you sure the mag spring is installed the correct way? It looks like the follower is causing the last round to be tipped up. Are mags clean? The simplist, cheapest, place to start is to replace the mag spring and see what happens.
     
  3. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

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    Does it have the same problem with all magazines?
     
  4. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    Neat as these guns are, they have always been somewhat problomatic.
    There are some upgrades available such as steel guide rods, newer improved slide locks and internal springs and the usual fluff and buff.

    The magazines are rarely the issue in these guns, Colt still makes, or has made, some super excellent magazines.
    However,
    From the looks of the malfunctions, assuming the pictures were taken immediately after the malf. occurred and these are not staged or the result of hand cycling the action, my guess would be limpwristing, not likely if this is occuring only with the final few shots in the magazine, or,
    The magazine spring has become twisted or shortened.
    The cartridges are feeding out of the magazine at a lower than standard feed angle.
     
  5. DBR

    DBR Member

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    I have owned several of these pistols. I currently still have a Pocket Lite. The first thing I would do is get Wolff + power magazine springs. The type of jam you are showing is frequently caused by the slide out running the ability of the mag to lift a round.

    Other things to check out are the top edge of the feed ramp where it transitions into the chamber. I have had to gently radius this on all of the ones I have owned. Don't try it unless you know what you are doing.

    The top inside of the chamber can be polished to smooth feeding.

    The extractor needs to be properly tensioned and the hook may need to be polished.

    If you really want the gun to be reliable I think "Cylinder and Slide" still works on these guns.
     
  6. chiselchst

    chiselchst Member

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    Thanks for all of the feedback folks. I'll try to answer the questions as best I can.

    Are you sure the mag spring is installed the correct way?
    I believe so. I will double check though. 99% sure.

    Does it have the same problem with all magazines?
    Yes - I only have two mags, happened on both.

    From the looks of the malfunctions, assuming the pictures were taken immediately after the malf. occurred and these are not staged or the result of hand cycling the action, my guess would be limpwristing,
    Pics were taken immediately after failures. I brought my camera to photo another .45 that was having problems. Nothing staged. Doubt limp wristed as I fired 4 .45's, a 9MM and other pistols that day w/o this occuring.

    I have owned several of these pistols. I currently still have a Pocket Lite. The first thing I would do is get Wolff + power magazine springs. The type of jam you are showing is frequently caused by the slide out running the ability of the mag to lift a round.
    That was my take, FWIW. I''l follow up on that recco and talk to them.

    Appreciate everyones in onput...
     
  7. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    Try the wolff mag springs I have in all my Mustang mags . Only timw my Mustang became unrelieable was with the metal guid rod I quickly removed it.
     
  8. chiselchst

    chiselchst Member

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    I read somewhere were the Wolff mag springs were a little tricky to install? I couldn't quite understand that - has anyone ever had a problem installing Wolff mag springs?

    Thanks everyone...:
    D
     
  9. krs

    krs Member

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    Nothing tricky about Wolff springs........(??) I have them in four mags for my .380 Government model. Funny thing with that pistol is that the only problem I've EVER had with it was a result of the single Colt mag I have for it. The rest are aftermarket and I've never had a feeding issue with any of them.

    The mag issue with the Colt mag was resolved by the installation of a new Wolff spring.

    As far as I'm concerned it's a great little pistol. As reliable as my Sig 232 while being both smaller and lighter. I love the little sucker!

    [​IMG]
     
  10. krs

    krs Member

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    Just KIDDING!!


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  11. chiselchst

    chiselchst Member

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    Krs,

    Dude, you had me! Can I get this little pocket gun reliable? I've already ordered new Wolff springs (and a couple of new mags).

    What part of "I'm kidding" are you talking about, LOL? I'm hurting here...:
    D
     
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