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Star PD Mag Popping Out

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Drakejake, Apr 17, 2003.

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  1. Drakejake

    Drakejake Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I have been very happy with this pistol until today. Every time I fired a shot today, the mag dropped out of the grip about a half inch. Since the falling mag prevented the next round from chambering, this has turned this accurate pistol into a single shotter. The mag locks in securely and the mag release button seem to work fine with a strong spring. I had the problem with two mags which had always worked fine before. What could explain this problem?

    Thanks,

    Drakejake
     
  2. Rangegod

    Rangegod Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
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    244
    Location:
    South FL.
    Drakejake

    Although it is impossible to be 100% sure of a problem without seeing it, I will offer this opinion as to your problem.

    Since you state the mag release spring is good and the problem occurs with two different mags, I will assume the magazine engagement (cutout) surfaces are OK. This leaves the mag catch itself as suspect.

    90% of basic gunsmithing has to do with understanding and correcting worn “positive and negative†engagement surfaces. Positive engagement is required on parts which must hold under pressure, such as hammer/sear surfaces and your mag catch. Negative engagement is used when interfacing parts must override each other to perform their function. Examples of this include disconnectors, various plungers and the front face of extractors that must override a case rim.

    The problem occurs when the positive angle surface wears and becomes less positive or slightly negative. This I suspect is your problem.

    As to a fix. First I would try to dress up the original part (stone or file) to return the positive engagement. Note, engagement depth may also be increased by removing some material from the limiting stop serface of the catch. If there is not enough material to allow this and maintain proper mag fit, then new parts would be the normal fix. However, the PD parts may be hard to find (don’t know haven’t looked) in which case a (good) gunsmith can always add weld material (Tig) and recut the part.

    BTW, I’ve always had a soft spot for PD’s as one saved my wife and myself many years ago.

    Good luck

    JAC
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2003
  3. Drakejake

    Drakejake Member

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    I examined my two Star PDs today to see if I could see a problem with the one from which the mag was dropping. The mag release buttons on the two and the latch itself seem to be fine with equally strong springs. I fired the PD at the end of a shooting session. My guess is that my hands were fatigued and I didn't keep my arms rigid enough against the stiff recoil of of a 25 oz .45. . I suspect that the bullet in the mag at the catch cutout bounced inside the mag and hit the latch in the grip thus freeing the mag to fall. Since both the pistol and the mags worked in the past, one possibilty would be change in firing position or grip. I don't see any other explanation. I will take the two pistols out to the range on my next trip and see what happens when I stiffen up my grip.

    Drakejake
     
  4. citizen

    citizen Member

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    Dec 24, 2002
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    Two PDs????? Hmmmmm, now that's an idea.......
     
  5. Drakejake

    Drakejake Member

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    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    One blued, one nickel. I wanted the nickel, but the seller took it off the market. So I bought the blued from the same guy, and then the seller decided to let me have the nickel. Go figure.

    I just noticed that the top of the infamous PD recoil buffer is damaged. The bottom of the buffer is OK. I have a couple of extras but I am distressed that this one has lasted so briefly. The need to use this expensive buffer is a major disadvantage of the Star PD

    Drakejake
     
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