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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for some help...

Im getting FTE with mine. Ive used 2 different magazines and 2 different ammo( factory ), same result with all.
I thought it may be the recoil spring which factory is 14lbs ( also called wolff gunsprings for verification ). I tried a 13 & 15lb springs with same results. Could it be the ejector
or extractor ?

see pics attached
fte 1.jpg fte 2.jpg fte 3.jpg
Appreciate any help
 

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Which version barrel is in your pistol? Can you take a pic of the ejector? Will the extractor hold a empty case fairly securely? I'm assuming this issue has just cropped up? 14# spring should be fine and is the correct one. Have you tried shooting only 1 round from the magazine to check function?
 

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Also load a cartridge into the barrel with the magazine, then remove the magazine and see if it will eject when fired.
 

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Since the extractor has removed the cartridge from the chamber, it appears that the extractor is not the issue. Is the chamber clean and oil free when this occurs or after a string of fire? Is the weapon field stripped and cleaned regularly?Are you using grease and/or oil to lubricate the weapon?When was the pistol last detail stripped and cleaned? What ammo are you using? Manufacturer?Was the hammer spring replaced and was it a factory specified spring weight? Are the slide/frame rails lubricated?Is this a unmodified stock pistol or has a gunsmith or hobbyist been "under the hood" doing any modifications?Magazines - are they factory and have they been adjusted, modded, or had springs replaced? Are the magazine lips bent or damaged?
 

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Since the extractor has removed the cartridge from the chamber, it appears that the extractor is not the issue.
It may be because the .38 Gold Cup is a blow-back action, so the case is being "blown out" of the chamber by chamber pressure, not extracted by the extractor. The extractor serves mainly to extract live rounds, but also has to hold the case adequately against the breech face until the case hits the ejector. Since the case is not being ejected, the extractor may be the problem. Take a look at the "hook" to see if it is damaged. Check how tightly the extractor holds a case against the breech face.
 

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Since the .38 special is a wad-cutter round, you may want to put a few empty .38 special cases in a magazine and try mechanically cycling the slide to see if they chamber and extract. The casings are the same length as live rounds so there is no interference (you don't need a lead nose to ramp the rounds and have no protruding bullet to prohibit ejection).

It may help using a weak recoil spring (or no spring at all) to try this dry fire cycling. It comes down to the extractor and ejector doing their jobs correctly.

If the (empty) rounds feed and chamber, then it is probably not a magazine problem.


There are several variations on Colt .38 specials, the newer ones having bifurcated (split) ears holding the rounds in the mag. These load and feed easier.
There is also the consideration of the barrel chamber with its concentric grooves. These do wear over time and dont grab the empty casings as tightly.
 

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Blowback operated pistols require extractors to operate reliably. The cartridge does not extract itself. See the Beretta model 21, which has no extractor, for the problems that come with no extractor or such an assertion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
colt midrange 38 wadcutter

Looking for some help...

Im getting FTE with mine. Ive used 2 different magazines and 2 different ammo( factory ), same result with all.
I thought it may be the recoil spring which factory is 14lbs ( also called wolff gunsprings for verification ). I tried a 13 & 15lb springs with same results. Could it be the ejector
or extractor ?

see pics attached
View attachment 443954 View attachment 443962 View attachment 443970
Appreciate any help

This should answer many of you guys ideas.....

I just bought this from my friends dad who passed away, he said its been in the safe for god knows how long


Ive attached 2 pics based what a few people asked for( ammo & feed lips )


I stripped & cleaned it, everything looks good...

It extracts a single LOADED round when you empty the chamber, however I loaded the mag with 4 EMPTY 38 spec brass & was UNloading manually & each mag has 1 case that FTE like the shot
rounds at the range and they have the same indent on the casing
If need be I can get a picture of extractor, I can

I didn't put 1 live 38 wad ammo.jpg mag 38 wad.jpg round in chamber and shoot it , that I can accomplish on next range date

I use oil where oil is needed and grease on the rails of both the frame & slide, feet of barrel, hood of barrel & on barrel near the muzzle

Im using old stock new ammo Winchester super match ( pic attached )
 

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your magazine feed lip on the right side looking from the rear does not look like it's bent in like it should be, and no wear marks from the case rim riding over it either. (unless it's just the picture)

If the cartridge in the magazine is riding to high, that could cause your ejection problems.

It Should look like this bend in this magazine on both sides.




 

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Does the barrel hood say: COLT .38 SPEC. N.M.?
Colt had function problems with this barrel and magazines in early pistols. The barrel and magazines were redesigned 2 more times before Colt got it mostly right. Do you have any other magazines to try with this pistol?
 

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Also load a cartridge into the barrel with the magazine, then remove the magazine and see if it will eject when fired.
Does the .38 MRNM have a magazine disconnect safety? I know the .45 NM does not (got a hole in my foot to proove it) but a 5 shot pure target pistol may.... or at least it should!
 

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The only thing I can offer is that if the gun is stock, clean, lubricated and using factory ammo, then the things to look at are too much extractor tension, magazine springs and adjusting of the magazine feed lips. My guns ran great and were most accurate with a 16 pound spring, but none of them were ever what you would consider reliable. Best wishes.
 
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