Thursday, February 16, 2012

New Carry Gun, part 2

If you read my first post about a new carry gun I picked up, you know I wasn't satisfied with it's reliability.  It's unusual to find a modern firearm from a reputable manufacturer that isn't 100% reliable.  One should be able to buy a Smith and Wesson and have good faith it is going to work perfectly every time.  But this one had problems with both factory ammo and my reloads, so I needed to do some work before I could trust it as a carry gun.

I was at the range last night with a couple of neophyte shooters (who both did very well!) and took the opportunity to put a few dozen rounds through my 357 sig M&P compact.  I still love the way this gun shoots.  For a little gun shooting a rocket of a cartridge it has pretty reasonable recoil and is very accurate.

After the problems last time, I took the time to disassemble and clean it thoroughly.  I was overly generous with the lube even, as that ended up spraying my face for the first few shots.  (I hate when I do that....)  First couple mags of factory ammo work fine, so that's a start.  First magazine of reloads works well as well.  I'm starting to get excited.  I took the time to makes sure my cases were perfectly clean and I used a slightly higher powder charge with this batch.

You can see the slide just out of battery in this pic
Then I get a familiar failure, a failure to extract.  The case is pulled partially out of the chamber after firing and the gun jams up.  I drop the mag at which point the slide returns forward and completely locks ups the gun.  Locks it up to the point where I can't clear it by hand.  You can see in the picture that the slide is just out of battery and it's stuck in that position, only allowing movement of maybe 1/16".

So I haven't ruled out my reloads.  It could also be another problem.  I'm going to try some different factory ammo and run a couple hundred rounds through it.  My reloads work perfectly in my other 357 sig, but if this M&P compact has a tighter chamber or something a bit off with the extractor it could very well cause it to not work with my reloads if they are a bit out of spec.  I just hate dropping money on new factory ammo.  What I have now I got a great deal on ($11 a box), about half of what it goes for normally.  Oh well, next time I order ammo I'll add some 357 sig to my bill.

If it keeps having problems I think I'm going to try sending it to S&W to see if they can fix it.  It's a real shame, if the gun worked 100% it would be a fantastic carry gun.

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