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Old 05-18-2017, 07:22 PM
Oldgoalie Oldgoalie is offline
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Default Model 39-2 woes continue

Hi folks, I continue to try to solve a failure to eject problem with a 1972 era model 39-2. I posted earlier this year, and I thank all those that contributed then.

I have tried the super cleaning, and having all the springs replaced, checking the extractor( it's clean, groove is clear and crisp)

We have addressed the limp wrist grip concerns, even though I did not dismiss operator error. It jams with multiple people firing it, ones with SWAT memberships, team training position, and factory S&W sponsorship experience. Not operator error.

Which brings us to ammo. Gun wouldn't stomach Winchester white box, 115 gr. 9mm Luger. Gun worked with 124 grain (sorry I don't remember the brand) after changing back to the recoil spring that came with the pistol.

(Did I mention that my wife gave me the gun as a Christmas present, and I love it, and want to get it working correctly.)

So I have a weapon that needs more oomph to operate. I'm sure I can find carry ammo to meet the bill, and will test it to see if it works. That is a separate problem from practice ammo. The concern I have is the aluminum frame, and causing damage to it by firing NATO, OR +P ammo. I also don't want to spend more than necessary for shooting paper. Does anyone have any ideas about target ammo, that wight work without damaging the gun?

I look forward to hearing the community's thoughts. When the gun works, it's a dream. Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-18-2017, 07:49 PM
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When you say you changed all the springs, did you include the hammer spring? The action of the slide cocking the hammer is responsible for a lot of the energy usage of the recoiling slide. Also, what brand springs did you buy? I've been using Wolff for decades with zero problems. Did you try a lighter recoil and/or hammer spring?
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:28 PM
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I would shoot NATO without much concern.
I have a 59 that only likes 1150 fps 124gr or NATO. Works everytime.
115 commercial is when the problems surface.
Another thing to consider is a 12# recoil spring from Wolff.
It might help with the lighter 9mm commercial loads.
Dont give up.
Jim
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Old 05-18-2017, 09:32 PM
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Have you tried a different magazine? or Magazines?
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Old 05-18-2017, 09:54 PM
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I think you may have magazine problems, or your chamber needs to be polished. My 1976 39-2 eats any and all ammo. I use Win white box 115 gr all the time when target shooting.

Withe the aluminum frame you have to run the gun a little "wet". Meaning oil the rails well.

Once I bought an aftermarket mag, (I don't remember the brand) and it caused all kinds of problems. I returned it and got my money back. The original mags I got with the gun and two more Macgar mags work perfectly.

Try this; field strip the gun and with the barrel out of the gun place a live round in the chamber. Now tip the barrel with the muzzle up, the round should just fall out of the chamber all by itself. If it sticks in the chamber, have the chamber polished until a round will drop out. It does not take much to hang up a slide.
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:42 PM
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I vaguely remember that, back in the day (when I lived in Alameda County, CA) the S.O. bought nice shiny new S&W semi-autos, and got rid of them in a few months. Major problems with extractors. We are talking late 1960s if I recall correctly.
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Old 05-18-2017, 11:01 PM
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QUOTE .....The concern I have is the aluminum frame, and causing damage to it by firing NATO, OR +P ammo. I also don't want to spend more than necessary for shooting paper. Does anyone have any ideas about target ammo, that wight work without damaging the gun?"......

Although there is no real reason to shoot a regular diet of +P ammo for purposes of practice, the S&W will perform a lifetime of service with +P ammunition. Do not concern yourself with the aluminum frame, a midwestern State Police Dept regularly carried and shot thousands of rounds of "+P+" (yes, +P+) through their M39-2's.

To this day, many of their retirees still carry their "old 39's" stoked with the Winchester +P+ from back in the day.

Last edited by 2K7; 05-18-2017 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 05-19-2017, 08:19 AM
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A COUPLE OF QUESTION FOR CLARIFICATION MY FRIEND. WHEN YOU SAY FTE, DOES IT STOVE PIPE? IF SO, I KINDA THINK THAT BOTH THE MAINSPRING AND RECOIL SPRING MIGHT NEED TO BE CHANGED INTO SOMETHING LIGHTER, BECAUSE THE INERTIA GENERATED BY THE PRESSURE OF THE FIRED ROUND IS NOT ENOUGH TO OVERCOME THE SPRING RESISTANCE.
OR, DOES THE EMPTY CASE STAY INSIDE THE CHAMBER COMPLETELY? IF SO, I KINDA THINK THAT YOUR EXTRACTOR NEEDS A STRONGER SPRING. BECAUSE ASTE ABOVE MENTIONED INERTIA DRIVES THE SLIDE BACK AND THE EXTRACTOR FAILS TO GRIP THE CASE HEAD.
EITHER WAY, I DO NOT THINK IT IS THE MAGAZINE'S FAULT. GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR PROBLEM FRIEND. I AM SURE IT IS SOMETHING REPAIRABLE, BUT UNFORTUNATELLY I CAN NOT PROVIDE MORE HELP.
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:13 AM
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Default 39-2 woes

Thanks for all the replays. The answer to the spring question, the spring replacement kit was Wolff. To the hammer spring comment, I will admit it hadn't crossed my mind, and you are correct, it does have a lot to do with the energy needed. We stopped swapping springs back to,the old, when going back to the old recoil spring and using the heavier round gave good operation.

The cleaning and polishing, Roland sliding out of chamber fix were all done prior to the spring replacement. Thanks for the suggestion, but I was ahead on that one.

The mags are new s&w new ones, plus the one original one that came with the gun. The problem is an equal opportunity one, and occurs with all the 4 mags that I have.

Thanks again for,your thoughts and your time.
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:16 AM
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The FTE is consistent. The casing is pulled out of chamber only about a third of an inch. The new round is jammed into,the back or it.
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:18 AM
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We changed the extractor spring to a new one, old one appeared weak.
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:20 AM
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I think the next move is to get some NATO rounds, and to,see if the gun likes them.
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldgoalie View Post
The FTE is consistent. The casing is pulled out of chamber only about a third of an inch. The new round is jammed into,the back or it.
Is the EJECTOR (not the extractor) of your gun in good shape?
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Old 05-19-2017, 03:32 PM
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Cleaning the weapon tomorrow. To tell the truth, I can't answer that, other than I think it is, but can't answer a 100%, until I look again. I see your point, thanks for asking. I'll haul it out of the safe, and clean it after breakfast.
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Old 05-19-2017, 03:36 PM
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I was issued a 39 by the state of Illinois, never had any problems with target/ball ammo. The state loaded their own reloads.

When there was problems with some 39's the problem was usually cured by tweaking the mags, or replacing them. Sorry I don't recall how the armorers tweaked the mags.
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Old 05-19-2017, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M29since14 View Post
Is the EJECTOR (not the extractor) of your gun in good shape?
HMMMM.... GOOD POINT. IF YOU ARE RIGHT FRIEND, AND THE EJECTOR HAS A PROBLEM, THEN, I WOULD THINK THAT UPON FIRING, THE CASE GETS EXRACTED, HELD IN THE FASE OF THE BOLT/SLIDE BY THE EXTRACTOR, AND THEN GET PUSHED BACK INTO THE CHAMBER. IT MIGHT HAPPEN, BUT I WOULS ASSUME IT SHOULD HAPPEN WITH EVERY SHOT FIRED, NOT JUST EVERY NOW AND THEN. IT SURE IS A POINT TO LOOK AFTER THOUGH.
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Old 05-19-2017, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldgoalie View Post
The FTE is consistent. The casing is pulled out of chamber only about a third of an inch. The new round is jammed into,the back or it.
OH, I MISSED THIS REMARK!!! MAYBE "M29since14" IS RIGHT ON THE MONEY WITH THE FAULTY EJECTOR THEN!!!
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Old 05-19-2017, 04:14 PM
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OP states that his 39-2 functioned with 124 gr, unknown brand, ammo.
If the ejector was damaged the problem would have been seen then.
Some of these guns were fussy about ammo. I have learned that lesson well in a few of my 39`s and 59`s.
A visible inspection of the extractor would most likely reveal any flaws.
Try not to over think this one.
Jim
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Old 05-21-2017, 06:32 AM
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Ejector looks fine, has a new spring, and matches the photo of a replacement ejector on line.

I don't think it's an ejector problem, just from thinking through the stoppages. I do believe it's an ammo problem. I think it's a function of the slide not cycling reward far enough with the 115 gr. Commercial ammo.

I trying to remember back to what we used when I used a 39 as an offduty carry weapon. I remember wanting to carry JHP ammo, and there being lots of discussion on autos having problems feeding hollow points. Up until that point, everything was FMJ ball. I remember a discussion with some Secret Service guys, when they rolled into town, and I worked a detail with them. They had a pointy nosed, full metal jacketed like round, that I think was made by Remington. I tried it, and it cycled in my weapon just fine. I switched to it, firing a version of the ammo in FMJ ball on the range, and the hollow point as carry load. Wish I could remember what it was. During the day, the wheel guns were still duty carries. Ammo for the model 19's wasn't an issue. The model 39 was a nice to have, and started with the movement to be able to carry more ammo, and be able to reload faster. I feel in love with the 39 when it was an easier carry, and I shot better with it than the 19.
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Old 05-21-2017, 08:49 AM
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If you feel like it is ammo related, it might be helpful to run a few rounds over the chronograph and pick the stoutest one for your testing so you know what you have beforehand.

I have always found S&W autos not only function better but also shoot more accurately when they are "slammed around" by the ammunition they are using. HS6 always produced the best accuracy results in S&Ws for me, and it produces velocity! I'd be looking for ammunition that actually produced original 9mm Luger ballistics, which was a 124 at 1145 FPS, if memory serves.

When I noticed that my HS6 handloads consistently produced best accuracy in several different S&W 9mms (5-6 of them) I wondered if this was a peculiarity of the cartridge or the guns. I expanded the testing out to include SIGs, and did not have similar results. My SIGs preferred Win 231 in handloads. I guess that little tidbit is not relevant here, but I always thought it interesting.
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Old 05-22-2017, 02:10 PM
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mine was doing the same thing, turned out to be ejector problem.


Model 39-2 Help
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Old 05-22-2017, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
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mine was doing the same thing, turned out to be ejector problem.


Model 39-2 Help
No, the thread you mentioned pointed to the extractor.
That has to be the problem if the spent casing only comes out a short way and stops before having a chance to hit the ejector.
It isn't the ammo.

Last edited by ralph7; 05-22-2017 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 06-10-2017, 11:22 PM
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I'm curious about the outcome. Problem solved?
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Old 06-17-2017, 11:28 PM
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just dump all the parts in a large zip-lok freezer bag,put that in a box and send it to me. I will send you $300 for ALLthe parts,no questions asked.You will never have to loose sleep and suffer from intestinal irregularitybecause it wont work.I will send my check first so you will know I am serious!!!
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Old 06-18-2017, 08:46 AM
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"Gun wouldn't stomach Winchester white box, 115 gr. 9mm Luger. Gun worked with 124 grain (sorry I don't remember the brand) after changing back to the recoil spring that came with the pistol."

Having been among those who tried to assist on the last go 'round, I'd like for you to expand upon your statement (above): Did the 39-2 fail to correctly cycle with the 124-grain bullets while using, if at all, the same spring used for the 115-grain projectiles which did not properly cycle?

(BTW: While used in my 39s are a variety of cartridges, I have used the Winchester "white box" rounds, such having worked flawlessly across a range of 39s - still, quickly noting that such is tough to precisely recall.

Later.
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