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Old November 08, 2017, 19:03   #1
erhauser's Avatar
FALaholic #: 15481
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Becker, MN
Posts: 296
Pocket pistol extraction issues

During the last couple of months I ran into two small, .380, pocket pistols with extraction issues. I am not sure but suspect that the short barrel, steep angle increased the likely hood of this type of problem. Both are now solved, I just think others may be interested in them.

The first was a rather elderly (2009 serial #) Ruger LCP that was stove piping or not extracting. Web research indicated that early production had a problem with cosmetically, according to Ruger, gouging the case rim. A heavier recoil spring helped but did not cure the extraction problem. Case rims were being gouged. The extractor had a rather rounded tip. A replacement from Ruger was sharp and pointed. This solved the problem. The pistol now operates fine with loads below minimum to overloads (probably in the +P++ range. {only used to prove proper operation}).

The second was a Kahr CT380 that started to have intermittent failure to completely chamber a round. Examination showed that the bullets had damage on their tips, and that the case rims were gouged. Apparently, as the slide went forward, the extractor jammed on the rim tipping the cartridge up causing the bullet to hit the top rim of the chamber.

As the pistol was under warranty, I sent it to Kahr along with a dismantled cartridge showing the problem. One month later I got it back along with a note that they had polished the extractor and solved the problem.

A range trip showed that the problem, while somewhat better, was still there. I then detail stripped the slide and examined the extractor. It had lots of sharp corners that could catch the rim, but most telling was that the long side that slips in the groove on the casing was very rough and had brass shavings embedded in the surface. I polished the whole extractor, rounding edges etc. with a ceramic stone.

Upon testing I have fired several hundred rounds with various loads (very light to +P++) and bullets with no malfunctions. I consider the problem solved. Bottom line is that the Kahr employee was right, he just didn't do enough.
Ed reluctantly in MN
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