First Stovepipe- cause?

gifbohane

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Yesterday, out of a batch of 200 9MM I had one stovepipe. First ever with my S & W Equalizer. Trying to figure out why. Light load? Weak spring in gun? I did clean the extractor pretty good the last time .

Ideas?
 
200 9MM I had one stovepipe. First ever with my S & W Equalizer.

Trying to figure out why. Light load?
Stovepipe usually occurs when slide does not go back fully to eject spent case.

Even though you developed the load during warmer summer months with temperature sensitive powders like W231/HP-38 that reliably cycled the slide; during colder months, you could experience insufficient slide cycling to cause stovepipe - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.p...s-and-discussions.778197/page-7#post-10117881

I initially loaded my USPSA minor power factor loads to 125 but when I experienced slide cycling issue during colder months, I started loading them to 130 PF and no more slide cycling issue (And vice versa for reverse temperature sensitive powders).

Only one out of 200 producing stovepipe could be from "tolerance stacking" of reloading variables (Powder charge variance, bullet seating depth/OAL variance, case wall thickness, number of reloadings/brass spring back from work hardening, etc.) to not produce high enough chamber pressure to reliably cycle the slide.

If you are loading towards lower load data and/or using longer OAL and continue to experience stovepipes, increase your powder charge by .1-.2 gr and see if that addresses the issue.
 
1. Your own handloads? or a count of commercial rounds fired ?

2. Could be light load, limp-wristing, or lube exhausted/needed on the rails.

3. Light-lube the rails as first option.

.
I appreciate all the comments. The limp wristing is possible but I doubt it. While practicing, I did shoot a few rounds with my off hand and a few single handed but as best that I recollect that was not the stove pipe.

The 200 rounds in the new Equalizer were for familiarization.
30 Rounds of RMR 124's Round nose
HP 38 4.2 Grains
1.112 LOA
Labradar showed an average of 1015 FPS.

Factory Hornady showed 1131 FPS a week ago.

A week ago, same loading in a standard M & P 9 with 4.2 Grains of HP 38, and OAL of 1.112 gave me 1038FPS. CORRECTION


Lube - I cleaned it today and thought that saw a lot of lube on the slide and made a note that I over lubed it when I cleaned it.

Will have to go with a mystery unless you guys can analyze my data better.
 
Last edited:
RMR 124's Round nose ... HP 38 4.2 Grains ... 1.112 LOA

Labradar showed an average of 1015 FPS ... Factory Hornady showed 1131 FPS a week ago.
Another variable is new/newer recoil spring rate could be more than a pound over well worn/broken-in recoil spring.

Looks like you may be referencing lead load data while using FMJ/RN bullet and could be on the fringe of reliably cycling the slide - https://hodgdonreloading.com/rldc/
  • 9mm 125 gr Lead CN W231/HP-38 COL 1.125" Start 3.9 gr (1009 fps) - Max 4.4 gr (1086 fps)
  • 9mm 125 gr Sierra FMJ W231/HP-38 COL 1.090" Start 4.4 gr (1009 fps) - Max 4.8 gr (1088 fps)
 
Seems i remember 9mm clocking a bit higher then your #s. I think you might be on the threshold of functionality, load wise. Perhaps bump it up a few 10ths.
 
I appreciate all the comments. The limp wristing is possible but I doubt it. While practicing, I did shoot a few rounds with my off hand and a few single handed but as best that I recollect that was not the stove pipe.

The 200 rounds in the new Equalizer were for familiarization.
30 Rounds of RMR 124's Round nose
HP 38 4.2 Grains
1.112 LOA
Labradar showed an average of 1015 FPS.

Factory Hornady showed 1131 FPS a week ago.

A week ago, same loading in a standard M & P 9 with 4.2 Grains of HP 38, and OAL of 1.112 gave me 1038FPS. CORRECTION


Lube - I cleaned it today and thought that saw a lot of lube on the slide and made a note that I over lubed it when I cleaned it.

Will have to go with a mystery unless you guys can analyze my data better.

Nobody, nobody can tell you why one round stovepiped. To many possibilities. Especially with handloads
 
Seems i remember 9mm clocking a bit higher then your #s. I think you might be on the threshold of functionality, load wise. Perhaps bump it up a few 10ths.
I regularly shoot 9mm at under 950 fps in several pistols.
A few Star pistols; a 30M, a Model BM. An SCCY. A Tisas, and several other list Ww2 Euro pistols.

Only a Shield gives me problems; it won't cycle.
 
What do you mean by 'higher than normal'?
As the slide moves back with the fired case, the magazine allows the nose of the next round to pop up higher then normal.
The fired case is knocked off the slide/bolt face & out from under the extractor.

An adjustment of the front lips of the problem magazine is needed. Bend in a few thousands & retry.

Magazines should be numbered & a note made in the range log of what magazing had the issue.
 
As the slide moves back with the fired case, the magazine allows the nose of the next round to pop up higher then normal.
The fired case is knocked off the slide/bolt face & out from under the extractor.

So all stovepipes are caused by this?
 
Seems i remember 9mm clocking a bit higher then your #s. I think you might be on the threshold of functionality, load wise. Perhaps bump it up a few 10ths.
I regularly shoot 9mm at under 950 fps in several pistols ... A few Star pistols; a 30M, a Model BM. An SCCY. A Tisas, and several other list Ww2 Euro pistols.

Only a Shield gives me problems; it won't cycle.
Recoil springs are consumable part that gets replaced when worn/weak but many shooters never replace the original factory springs.

Some pistols with well worn original recoil springs are like bullseye match pistols with weaker than factory recoil springs and lower powder charge loads can reliably cycle the slides. And compact/subcompact pistols with higher recoil spring rate may not reliably cycle slides with lower powder charge rounds that will reliably cycle the slides of fullsize pistols.

9mm 115 gr FMJ/RN loaded to 1.130"-1.135" OAL with 4.5 gr of W231/HP-38 will start to reliably cycle the slides of fullsize Glocks with new recoil spring assemblies and 4.6-4.7 gr will start to reliably cycle the slides of compact/subcompact Glocks. With worn/weaker recoil springs in some pistols, lower powder charges will reliably cycle the slides and albeit produce more snappy recoil with higher powder charges than new recoil springs.

You can mitigate this effect by using extra power recoil springs so after spring "breaks in", spring rate is close to new factory spring rate. So if you shoot a lot of full power .45ACP 1911 loads and don't like the muzzle snap, instead of 16 lb recoil spring, you can use 17/18.5 lb recoil springs.
 
Sometimes they just happen for no apparent reason. I never worry about it unless it’s one round after another. Just keep shooting.
 
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