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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, I have a Colt 1903 32acp that has functioned perfectly for 200+ rounds over time. Recently a friend has been wanting to shoot it and brought 2 boxes of the Winchester Target 71 grain FMJ white box ammo over to try the pistol out. I shot 1 clip and the pistol functioned fine though I thought I noticed some rounds seemed to be slightly different in recoil so I checked the lot #'s on the boxes and they were the same. I handed the pistol to my friend and he shot a couple of clips (8rds per clip) then on the next clip the 2nd shot was followed immediately by a 3rd shot slam-fire.

I stopped him from firing again and checked the pistol. It had reloaded the 4th round into the chamber functioning load process fine. I emptied the gun & checked the ammo. I noticed that all the primers were not the same color, some were a greyish/silver color & some were a brass like color, all 50rds of each box with same lot# were about 1/2 of each color. I then noticed numerous primers smash fitted into the primer pockets. Numerous primers were not seated correctly! I stopped using this ammo and went to check my pistol out further inside. I found it to be working fine undamaged.

Now what should I do? I have tried contacting Winchester Olin Ammo part of Winchester and left a message but have not received a reply call at all in 2 1/2 days. I am disappointed for sure as I have always used & depended on Winchester to providing top notch products. I reload and understand mistakes can happen but $26.00 a box I expect the ammo to be reliable.

Has anyone had any problems with this White box Winchester Ammo or with a Colt 1903 32auto pistol? I'm not sure what empty brass was the slam-fire but with hardness differences of primers I'm not wanting to have a primer fire a cartridge halfway into the chamber upon the slide picking up the round. Some of the primers are smashed out over the primer pocket rim! I have not fired any more of the Winchester White box Walmart bought ammo and hope Winchester will make good on there ammo & replace the boxes. Blowing up my pistol is not in the plan of action either.

Any comments appreciated.
 

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Here is some info from another forum that may help you in your situation:

'The "hammerless" Model M actually has a hammer, but it is entirely internal. In front of the hammer is a firing pin tunnel milled into the slide. Because the distance between the rear of this tunnel and the back of the slide is too small to allow insertion of a one-piece firing pin of the required length, the firing pin is in two pieces. There is a spring in front of the forward firing pin that tends to retract the pin when then hammer is cocked.

Colt Model M forward firing pin springs have been known to lose their springiness. If this happens, and if you then dry fire the pistol (for instance, so as to store it with the main spring unloaded), the forward firing pin can become lodged in the firing pin hole in the breech face. If this happens and you're not aware of it, and if you then insert a charged magazine and drop the slide, you'll have a pistol that fires from an open bolt position with some surprising results.

So after you acquire your Model M, clean it, and reassemble it, do the following. Be sure the pistol is unloaded. Allow the slide to close on an empty chamber and then pull the trigger. Now open the slide far enough to inspect the firing pin hole. If you find the forward firing pin lodged in the hole, you'll have to disassemble the slide and replace that spring.'
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Posted by Mike Faires: ( Have you contacted the store you bought them from? I would start there. )

Mike,
Have not wasted my time with the local Chinese supplying Wally World! Contacted Winchester they are sending shipping label for UPS to pick up tomorrow to send both boxes back to them for full refund. Had left messages for return call with nothing so I called them again & told operator the problem. She got my info & said she would email the person responsible for this matter personally and like I hoped and always expected Winchester has come thru. They will send check for refund to replace value. Funny, I asked her to just send some 22LR since it is so rare, she didn't go for that though!

"Thanks for the reply Mike Faires!"
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Here is some info from another forum that may help you in your situation:

'The "hammerless" Model M actually has a hammer, but it is entirely internal. In front of the hammer is a firing pin tunnel milled into the slide. Because the distance between the rear of this tunnel and the back of the slide is too small to allow insertion of a one-piece firing pin of the required length, the firing pin is in two pieces. There is a spring in front of the forward firing pin that tends to retract the pin when then hammer is cocked.

Colt Model M forward firing pin springs have been known to lose their springiness. If this happens, and if you then dry fire the pistol (for instance, so as to store it with the main spring unloaded), the forward firing pin can become lodged in the firing pin hole in the breech face. If this happens and you're not aware of it, and if you then insert a charged magazine and drop the slide, you'll have a pistol that fires from an open bolt position with some surprising results.

So after you acquire your Model M, clean it, and reassemble it, do the following. Be sure the pistol is unloaded. Allow the slide to close on an empty chamber and then pull the trigger. Now open the slide far enough to inspect the firing pin hole. If you find the forward firing pin lodged in the hole, you'll have to disassemble the slide and replace that spring.'

Thanks Goldcup62 & smkummer for your replies! I didn't know this forum had English lessons also given by some, I will be more careful next post.
I checked the firing pin as that was my concern also. It was lubricated and is moving freely as it should. The primers were high on some of the rounds and I believe that had to be part of the problem as the breech face could hit part of the primers that were not seated all the way into the primer pocket. Some were squeezed flat to where the rounds won't stand on end with the primers not flush. I will test fire again soon.

Thank you again smkummer & Goldcup62!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I did notice one thing I want to ask if you can answer. When I disassembled the 1903 and pulled the recoil spring out I notice it is compressed or sort of sprung just past the recoil guide rod end (about 1/2 inch) at an angle then it straightens out again. It will not lie flat & straight on the table like a recoil spring does from a 1911. As the spring is much longer than the area it rides in the slide and is compressed a lot, is this a common thing when disassembled or should the recoil spring always come out and lie straight?
Here are two pics showing the bend at the end of the recoil spring. It is very hard to put back together but it has been functioning fine, until the ammo issue. Does this occur with the 1903 regularly or should I replace the spring? Hand Finger Arm Thumb
Arm Hand Joint Wrist Finger
 

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I have 6 pocket models and the first thing I do when I purchase one to add to my collection I replace all the springs since I don't know what condition they are in or how much they have been used or what ever other reason you want to use. Best bet change it yo a new spring from Wolf springs and avoid any accidents.
 

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Not sure how light the trigger is on that model but Im gonna add this from experience. Having never fired a Colt semi auto I took a Mustang to the range. The trigger is very crisp and light. I gripped the gun a little tight since I didn't know what to expect first time out with it.I actually had slight pressure on the trigger and I fired two in a row...not intending to. You didn't have a problem with it but maybe your friend was just not as used to it.
 
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