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P229 growing pains

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by riceboy72, May 26, 2008.

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  1. riceboy72

    riceboy72 Member

    Jan 14, 2008
    Western Washington
    As some of you know, I recently got my P229 back from Tripp Research after having the slide hard chromed. The pistol itself is strikingly beautiful and I want this to be daily carry pistol. Because of an overly busy work week, I had to ward off some serious pangs to get the pistol out but I finally ran some ammunition through it to see how it performed.

    Last weekend, I was able to run 50 rounds of Sellier & Belloit .40 through it but had heavy disappointment from the first round. I had a failure to feed immediately, and had to push the slide into battery the rest of the way to get it to function. Thinking nothing of it, I fired my first shot and it did it again ... and again ... and again. Chalking it up to a bad magazine, I tried a brand new one I had brought with me, but alas, the problem wouldn't go away.

    I had the range manager (a Sig aficionado) come out and run a few rounds through it, and he, too, had the same issues. We couldn't immediately figure out if it was ammunition related, so he hand cycled a magazine of Federal HST through and it swallowed and spit each round out with no issue. It took quite a bit of time to get through everything and I had to push the slide into battery more often than not, but I hit what I was aiming at so that was a plus. However, I couldn't get over the malfunctions I had encountered, and knew I had to get the pistol to be 100% reliable before it saw any time on my hip. I know this pistol is reliable because I had shot it with zero malfunctions prior to sending it to Tripp, so doubting the hard chrome even entered my mind. I left the range disappointed but determined.

    I took it home and gave it a very thorough cleaning, using Hoppe's #9 and then Tetra Gun Grease to lube the pistol. Two days later, I grabbed a 100 count box of Winchester White Box and headed back to the range, eager to not have another repeat of what I described.

    This time, not a single malfunction. To put it simply, it was awesome and I was very pleased with the way it ran. I tried several times to make it malfunction, but it kept eating, firing, and spitting everything sans failure. It did exactly what it needed to do, and it was a huge relief. I did have to play around with the POI to get it to hit properly, but overall, I'm love my P229 and would like to put at least 200 more rounds through it before I carry it daily. I want it to run like my Glocks and H&K's before it gets the nod, but so far, so good.

    So I've yet to figure out why it wouldn't function. Bad ammunition the first time around? Not sure; I didn't buy a second box to see if it was the issue. Bullet profile? I can't say that's the case because the WWB also had a truncated profile, and I know of no FMJ that's ogive for me to try. Plus, it fed reliably pre-hard chrome. The hard chrome refinish? Perhaps, but I don't know for sure. What's important is that it functioned on every shot.

    For those in the know, does hard chrome (or any refinishing, for that matter) affect performance whatsoever? Does it affect tolerances and fit to the point of where some 'break in' time is needed again? I was thinking this may be one of the issues I ran into, but I can't find much on it after doing a lot of searching.

    Also, two of the older German magazines won't eject properly when fully loaded. They tend to eject partially from the pistol and stick. I took them apart, cleaned them, and made sure the springs were put in the right way, but it still does it. These magazines are used and I noticed they appear to have Wolff springs in them, so I'm not sure if that's the problem. My other two magazines have shorter springs (they look like factory) and they eject smoothly. I left the problem ones fully loaded for a week thinking the springs may need to be broken it, but they still won't properly eject. Any ideas?

    And yes, I know a thread's just not fun without pictures, so here ya go. Not too bad, I'd say. 7 yards using a modern isosceles stance. When it's all said and done, I'll carry this in a Kramer belt scabbard, loaded with Federal HST 180 grain ammunition.





    Last edited: May 27, 2008

    1BLINDREF Member

    Jan 10, 2007
    SE Pennsylvania
    Nice shootin!

    Have you tried the Sellier & Belloit .40 since your gun ran perfectly with the WWB?
    Did you lube up the gun after getting it back from Tripp before you went out to the range?

    Maybe your P229 doesn't like the Sellier & Belloit.
    I had the same problem with Fiocchi .40 in my P229. I also had some Speer Lawman with me and my P229 ran fine with it. I didn't even clean the gun, just switched up the ammo.
    I've got a few Sigs and it was the only time I ever ran into an ammo sensitivity problem with any of them.

    Sigs usually like to run on the wet side. Maybe there wasn't enough lube on the rails so the slide was dragging on the frame.

    If it were my gun and I was planing on making it a CCW, I'd get a parts kit from Top Gun Supply

    and buy two or three new magazines, can get them from Top Gun also

    I'd replace the springs, clean the packing goo out of the mags and go to the range and put 200 - 300 rounds of target ammo and 100 rounds of whatever carry ammo you are planning on carrying.

    If everything went well, I'd trust my life to the gun.

    KNOCKDOWN Member

    May 27, 2006
    New Finish equals No Warranty

    I was told directly by SIG that the warranty is void on the ENTIRE firearm, not just the warranty on the finish, but also all the internals. This includes Duracoat, chrome, etc.

    As for your other question regarding tolerances, yes this can indeed affect operation, which is why Sig says they void the warranty. There's at least one guy I know of one guy who decided to pimp his gun, in 24k gold, (because he can), now its only reliable for a paperweight, and we are talking about some very thin coatings.

    Always assume NO WARRANTY on any NEW firearm with coatings, camo, aftermarket chromes, etc.

    Oh, and don't forget there are some very different guilding jacket technologies involved in some of the ammo you might be using.
  4. ..

    .. Member

    Jan 25, 2003
    Yep, you voided the warranty. Seeing that you don't have a railed gun you might not of had one in the first place. Sig is chickens*** about warranty issues.

    When you get a gun refinished it's not unusual to have a break in period. Run a bunch of rounds through it, it'll wear in.
  5. CWL

    CWL Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    Of course adding HC has changed the tolerance of your pistol, no matter how little the actual change it, it is thicker now.

    Nothing that some serious shooting wont take care of. Even HC will wear over time.

    note: this is why you should HC your gun first before you send a gun to get any custom pistolsmith work on it. If you HC a gun after customizing, it can totally screw-up a custom trigger job.
  6. riceboy72

    riceboy72 Member

    Jan 14, 2008
    Western Washington
    Thank you very much for the replies; it is appreciated.

    I figured it just needed to be shot and worked in again, which I plan on doing this week. This is such a great pistol and I really enjoy it. Once I get more rounds down range, I will have complete faith in it.

    On a side note, was there a thread here that had P229 photos only? I thought it was on this forum, but I could be mistaken. If it was, anyone have the link?
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