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Llama .380 going full auto

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Rex B, Dec 7, 2007.

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  1. Rex B

    Rex B Member

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    This is one of the 1940s-era Llama .380s that are almost identical to a M1911 in 3/4 size. It differs only in
    1 - external extractor
    2 - non-floating firing pin
    3 - minor details - threaded fasteners instead of pins for example.

    I had stripped and cleaned it after buying it used last month. All was good, considering the age. It appears to have been shot very little. The only thing I did not go through at the time was the slide - firing pin and spring.
    The first time I shot it was today. I ran 3 magazines (7 rounds per) through it.
    In each mag, it shot a string of 3 or 4 rounds in one burst.
    I don't think it was operator error, as I was holding it firmly (especially after the first time!).
    Brought it home, field stripped it. Removed the firing pin and spring. A little varnish on both and the spring had a small offset about 1/4" from the front.
    I cleaned both reinstalled the spring the other way.

    I'll take it back to the range first chance I get. But I'd like to have some expert thoughts on how this happened. I had dry-fired it many times, and it seemed fine. I always got a nice click, never anything that sounded different.
    Any ideas?
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    If the firing pin were sticking and protruding out the front of the breach-face, it would just not feed the next round.
    That is a fail-safe feature of all of John Brownings designs.
    I assume the Spanish copied it on th Llama.

    So, I would suspect a sear or hammer notch problem.
    Or possibly a sear spring gone bad.
    Or possibly the disconnector is not moving up like it should.
    Make sure the three-lief spring is were it is supposed to be.

    Try dropping the slide on an empty chamber several times and see if you can get the hammer to follow the slide down.

    BTW: I would stop dry-firing it ASAP, or you will need a very hard to find firing pin when that one breaks.

    If you must dry-fire it, get some A-Zoom Snap-Caps.

    1224.jpg
    rcmodel
     
  3. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Most likely a failure of the sear to completely reset, and catching the hammer hooks on the tips. Could be interference from the disconnect...could be a bad sear spring...but probably just needs to be detail-stripped and scrubbed out.

    Possibility that the disconnect is worn, and not being pushed down into the frame far enough to keep the trigger from holding the sear...but not highly likely. You can test it by pulling the trigger and holding it while you rack the slide by hand. Ride the slide into battery and see if the hammer follows all the way to the firing pin.

    Is it the straight blowback or the locked breech/recoil-operated version? Both were made in .380 caliber. The latter has a link on the barrel. The former's barrel is fixed to the frame by the slidestop crosspin through a hole in the lower barrel lug.
     
  4. Rex B

    Rex B Member

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    There is no wear on any part, but the sear spring did not look good.
    For some reason it looked older than the rest of the gun.
    This gun is basically unworn, inside and out.

    It is a locked-breech. As I said, just like a 1911 except as noted above.

    It passes that disconnector test, can't get the hammer to follow the slide.

    That leaves the leaf spring. Might be fun finding another that's any better.
    I have another gun that is unfired, I think I'll take a look at the spring in that one.
     
  5. Rex B

    Rex B Member

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    OK looked at the other sear spring, and also a stock 1911 spring.
    Both those were curved the same way, and the problem gun had a spring that was bent differently. The center leg was raised back about 1/8" from straight. I bent it to approximate the curve of the left leg.
    I'll run by the range again tomorrow and try it.
     
  6. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    That just may be it. It's the little things that getcha. Now the question is...
    has the leg been bent past its elastic limit?
     
  7. Rex B

    Rex B Member

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    temper, temper

    I don't think so. It still seemed to have plenty of sproing to it.
     
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I'd agree that you found the culprit. The center lief is the one that pushes the disconnecter up.

    You should be able to test it with the slide off.
    Push down on the disconnecter where it comes out of the hole in the frame and see if it stays down, or pops right back up. If it stays down, you still have a problem.

    1224.jpg
    rcmodel
     
  9. Rex B

    Rex B Member

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    that's it

    OK, disconnector now pushes back with authority.
    So I figure it's safe now.

    But the trigger feel seems to have degraded. It feels like it has no overtravel, i.e. it barely fires though it does drop the hammer every time. It's not as crisp as I like either.

    What can I do about that?
     
  10. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Check to see if the trigger stirrup...the area that bears on the disconnect... has been bent into a concave shape. If it has, that's likely what's causing the problem.

    Straighten it by placing it on a flat surface, and using a flat piece of barstock inside it and rapping on it lightly with a small hammer. Small...as in about 4 ounces. Go slow. If you break the stirrup, you'll have a hard time finding another one.
     
  11. Rex B

    Rex B Member

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    That makes sense. I'm pretty sure it was flat as I looked everything over ran a stone on both sides and rear of that stirrup. I guess I can always put a convex bow on that trigger.

    And by the way I have a local source for most all of those small-frame Llama parts. The later ones are mostly parts-interchangeable or can fitted. I just have to dig through a parts box. Reminds me, I need to go buy some spares.

    Thanks for all the input guys.
     
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