Friday, June 24, 2011

IPSC Equipment: In Search of Reliability

You might recall from my earlier posts that owning an open gun, especially a 9mm Major STI, can be an exercise in patience. Last time I mentioned that my magazines needed tuning. Well the dawson Precision Kit arrived, and I set about hammering the feed lips to perfection. Ever since I have done that the magazines have performed flawlessly. The tools that came with the kit are really nice, so now I include examining my magazines as part of my match preparation ritual.

You might recall, way back, that I had extraction issues. I had seemingly overcome these by replacing my standard extractor with an Aftec. At the time of inserting the extractor it seemed to be too loose, but hell it was an Aftec, so it must be right. Right?

Anyway, after I had sorted out the magazine issues, the gun started smokestacking again.

What now?

Because I had already replaced the extractor, I immediately assumed ammo. So I double checked and re-chronographed my ammunition. No problems there. I reduced my recoil spring from a 9lb to an 8lb spring, after the Brian Enos forum suggested that 8lbs is the "right" number. Didn't make any difference. I then got a second opinion on the extractor, and they concurred that it was too loose, and as a result was not holding the round effectively. The Aftec warranty stated that I must not "tune" the extractor, so I contacted Aftec in desperation. I was told to place the extractor in a vice and to "tune" it using, what I call, a BFH (a Big F*****g Hammer). I did this, and voila, a tighter extractor.

I then range tested it, and it worked flawlessly for all but one round out of 250. It may need to be tweeked a tiny bit more. In the interim I have also ordered a sideways mount, to remove the red dot from over the ejection port. Hopefully this improves the reliability too, and helps me eliminate the odd C-More Shuffle (failure to find the red dot). I will report on that, once installed and tested. So next month it is off to the Provincials, and I am holding thumbs that I get to enjoy a 100% reliable gun for once.
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