Author Topic: New CZ 83 .380: Diagnosing feed problems  (Read 2652 times)

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troublemaker71

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New CZ 83 .380: Diagnosing feed problems
« on: August 23, 2002, 10:00:49 PM »
I'm not an expert on firearms by any stretch of the imagination.  Accordingly, I'm asking for some advice that a relatively inexperienced handgunner can make use of.  

My problem is that my new CZ 83 .380 is failing to reliably feed.   I've only emptied a couple of magazines of Winchester White Box without feed problems.  Otherwise I average about two misfeeds per fully loaded magazine.  I've taken care to make sure the gun is firmly gripped, as recommended by other readers, to no avail.  This is particularly frustrating as I bought the gun largely due to its reputation for not having this kind of problem.  I've also made sure no excessive oil is gumming up the works and the ammo is clean, as recommended in the manual.

How do I go about diagnosing the cause in a systematic fashion?  I need to address the most likely causes of this problem first, and proceed toward more remote factors after ruling out the "usual suspects."

I first thought the problem might be caused by ammo choice, particularly the UMC, but other readers appear not to have issues with this label.  Should I try another brand -- S&B perhaps -- before resuming any meaningful troubleshooting activity?

Again, where do I begin and how do I follow through?

Thanks,

Tristan

Offline ut83

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New CZ 83 .380: Diagnosing feed problems
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2002, 06:26:49 AM »
Ok...First..this gun doing this is quite a rarity.  REALLY.
Now lets fix your problem, for proper "e-diagnosis" we need to know more.  Explain to us how your failures happen.  Are the bullets "nose diving" into the feedramp and trying to go upside down?  Is the fired casing not being extracted from the gun all of the way before the new round is being chambered?
Do rounds stay in your mags, stopping the slide from chambering the round?  Does it happen with more than I mag in the same fashion.?
Explain systematically what happens..if there is a common situation when they do occur.

There are usually a couple of main causes of FTF's in blowback guns.  First mags are 99% of feeding failures.
I can tell you how to clean your mags..dirty mags wont function 100%, I can tell you how to tell if your springs are bad or if you have a bad follower.  Its hard to diagnose a bad mag over the internet...but like most problems is just ruling out other causes...like medicine!
Have you taken the slide off of the gun and cleaned it completely yet?  Did you look at your feedramp..whats it like?
Is its surface smooth and even?  When you have your gun togethor after cleaning...does its slide/action run smoothly along the slide/frame rails?  
Let us know all of the specifics...If you want you can email me and Ill get back with you quicker...lets fix your gun.
Shoot well
pcrcz@netzero.net

Walt-Sherrill

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New CZ 83 .380: Diagnosing feed problems
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2002, 06:46:21 AM »
Winchester White Box has a reputation for extraction-related problems.  UMC has a reputation for ALL kinds of problems.

Try some S&B.  But continue your search for other causes, as well...  This model is generally considered a very reliable gun.

"Feed" (as opposed to extraction) problems are often mag-related, so UT83s suggestions are a good start.

Take the mags apart, and see if you can feel any rough spots inside the tube walls.  If you do, you can use a flat file to smooth them up.  (And then sandpaper around a stick or small ruler.)  If you sandpaper -- I do -- use a very fine grit, or wet/dry sandpaper.  Then lubricate the inside of the tube lightly, and try to wipe away any residual lubrication.   (You don't want OILY mags, you want lightly lubricated mags.)

You can lightly sand (very fine grit sandpaper) the springs, as well, and oil and wipe them, too.  

And check the follower for rough spots, which can be smoothed with sandpaper.  Reassemble and test them at the range.  (You may see marks on the follower that will show you were rough spots in the tube can be found.)

You should be able to tell if there's a problem with the mags just be lmanually loading and unloading them.  Watch the follower as it moves up and notice if there's any "hitches".


troublemaker71

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New CZ 83 .380: Diagnosing feed problems
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2002, 10:59:23 PM »
Thanks guys,

No ejection problems.  

The slide has been cleaned and appears to encounter no obstacles when I manually pull it back and release it all the way forward while gun is unloaded.  Pleasantly smooth, actually.  

Feed problem occurs using either magazine.  The gun fires, ejects spent case, and starts feeding the next round as anticipated.  The misfed round simply gets stuck prior to entering the feed ramp, or may be sticking on the feed ramp itself.  Sorry for not making a mental note of its exact position; I will keep this in mind.

About the feed ramp -- and thank you for bringing this to my attention -- there are noticeable grooves in the feed ramp itself, which appear to be slight enough so that I can very carefully polish them into obscurity.  This may be the problem, as I can mentally visualize the round catching on one of the grooves, but I do not yet know how I caused them to get there.  That will be something I must look for.

I also noticed similar grooves in the plastic component of the magazine that sits between the spring and the loaded ammo, and which is the visible top piece of plastic on the magazine prior to loading (please forgive my lack of terminology for this item).  These grooves are visible on both magazines, and I imagine they got there while I was struggling trying to load ammo into it.  I assure you they are not the result of trying to jam too many rounds into the magazine.  I think I can buff them away without damaging anything.

Until next time, I will do the following:  smooth out the feed ramp and magazine grooves with appropriate care, properly clean and lightly lubricate the gun.  While loading the magazine, I will watch for any hitches; so far I have noticed noticed no obstacles to loading the mag other than a monstrous spring weight.

Since I just had one of my big toenails removed it will be a few days before I'm hopping out to the farm to test my minor modifications.  My brother will assist me further, as well; he is competent with elegant machinery and generally knowledgable concerning firearms.   I think he has a new Steyr M40 and told me he is looking to buy a CZ 75 when the opportunity arrives.

Thank you for your gracious advice and taking an interest in my situation.  I will reply soon with results as they surface.

Tristan

Walt-Sherrill

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New CZ 83 .380: Diagnosing feed problems
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2002, 04:59:35 AM »
Could you be "limp wristing" the gun?  Does everybody who shoots the gun experience the same problem?  (I'm assuming its NOT your technique, but simply a malfunctioning weapon.)

Polishing the feed ramp is a DEFINITE next step, and you sound as though you're already onto that.  

If you have a Dremel tool, use that with some jeweler's rouge. (There's no risk of doing anything dangerous, if you use a felt "bob" with the polish.)  

If you don't have a dremel, use the smallest grip sandpaper (wet/dry) you can find, and do it by hand.   Maybe you can start with 400 grit, and then work down to 800 or higher...

The plastic piece you lacked words for is the "follower."

Although it seems stupid to do so -- since CZ will repair it for nothing -- if you've got a reputable local gunsmith, you can ask him to look at it, too.  It'll cost you a bit more than sending it back to CZ (when you consider shipping costs), but you'll have it back a lot sooner.  

If you do that -- which is what I generally do with a "new gun" problem (since I don't want to be without a new gun for that long), also take along a box of the ammo you were using.  If the gunsmith has that, he can try to recreate the problems.  If he can recreate it, he can probably fix it.




Offline ut83

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New CZ 83 .380: Diagnosing feed problems
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2002, 07:24:03 AM »
The chance of you limp wristing the 83 are slim to none..literally.  My son who is 8 and 60#'s shoots both of my 83's with all kinds of ammo and has never had a problem...in over 500 rounds.  Then again hes very strong for his size :rolleyes

The situation you describe sounds like a union of little problems causing you a bigger problem.  If you have a little too much friction at many points ..it will cause FTF's.

The feedramp can be smoothed out like Walt described (thanks Walt)...you can finish it off with scotchbrite pads.  You dont need it to be mirror smooth..just smooth to the touch...your feedramp cant tell the difference between bullets or your fingers.

Take you mags apart and smooth out the tops of your followers..the plastic thingys that push the bullets up.
Again not rocket science..just make them smooth and even.
Question?  When you put bullets in your mags do you feel friction or roughness on the feeding lips as you load them?
If so...take some scotch brite to the "underside" of the lips where they contact the bullets...just a little to make sure they are smooth....This helps on brand new mags at times.
Put a tiny bit of oil on them when putting them back togethor and wipe dry when reassembled.

Now a couple of other tricks..K?  When you have you gun apart..turn you slide over...youll see a little smooth raised area on the bottom of the slide behind the ejection port...right under the firing pin....see it?...Its about 1/4" wide and 1 1/2" long.  This little strip is where the top bullet in your mag 'rubs" as the gun shoots and is waiting to be chambered...make sense.  The forward edge of this strip is what actually takes the round from the mag and sends it into the chamber.  The bottom of this strip should be very flat, smooth and even.  You can give it the same treatment as your feedramp...just dont go bonzai on it.  Just smooth to the touch.

Now a couple of other suggestions.  Your slide has a certain timing to it.  When the round is fired, when all is right with your gun, the slide comes back and ejects the fired round.
The recoil spring is compressing and building tension.  The tension has to be just enough to take up the energy from the slide and stop it with out letting it "slam" into the frame..and send it back with enough force to strip the next round from the mag and chamber it.  While the slide is coming back your top round is rubbing on the slide as described earlier..causing friction..not much, but its still there.  
My point is your recoil springs have to a "good" tension and so do your mag springs.  You may have a slightly weak recoil spring and/or strong mag springs putting force on the slide that the recoil spring cant overcome.  
Just as a precaution..you can get new springs from CZUSA...a couple of each is good insurance,  you have spares that way.  
Ok...your feedramp is smoother, mag followers are smooth, mag feedlips are checked out and smoothed if needed, mags are clean and slightly lubed, the little steel area under your slide is smooth and slick, We are gonna assume your recoil/mag springs are good and your gun was cleaned and properly lubed....you should have NO problems.  If not, get a set of springs from CZUSA...recoil/mag and see what this does.  I use BreakFree CLP for lube.  It works pretty good.

Shoot well and let us know how any of this works.......

troublemaker71

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New CZ 83 .380: Diagnosing feed problems
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2002, 10:17:27 PM »
Have not had as much time to attend to the feeding issue as desired due to a bunch of mundane crap that has taken up my time since my last communication.

However, I think I've been able to narrow the issue down to the 'lips' of the magazines; looks like rounds are catching on them and only partially exiting the magazine.  I'll follow a previous suggestion made about correcting the problem.

Tonight I experienced 3 misfeeds out of fifty, which is slightly better than previous.  I'm thinking normal use may be smoothing or evening the magazine lips toward increased functionality.  I'll assist this process with some very light buffing on my own and report the results.

Thanks so much for the advice.  Your insight helped someone with little experience to gain some useful control over the situation.

I'm dog tired.   'Till next time.

Tristan

Offline ut83

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New CZ 83 .380: Diagnosing feed problems
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2002, 05:54:35 AM »
Hey its our pleasure and frankly why were here :D
Take heed this warning though  K???????
You can scotch brite the lips on the underside until they are smooth...but ....BUT if you think they arent straight BECAREFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Most mags especially CZ's have tempered/hardened steel mag lips and if bent too farr or too much...SNAP!  Most of the time the smoothing will take care of it...only on very used and old mags for the lips actually need adjusting.....
Shoot well

Unregistered(d)

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New CZ 83 .380: Diagnosing feed problems
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2002, 11:15:53 AM »
UMC stinks - do noooooooooooot make any decisions about your guns performance when using this ammo.  It has caused me to chase my tail several times.  The quality of this ammo is very incosistant and if you have a tight gun it will kill it.

Walt-Sherrill

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New CZ 83 .380: Diagnosing feed problems
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2002, 08:08:14 AM »
Try polishing the underside and edges of the mag feed lips with a fine sandpaper.  If they're at all rough, that could cause some feeding problems with some ammo.  (Like UMC?!)

troublemaker71

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New CZ 83 .380: Diagnosing feed problems
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2002, 10:11:21 PM »
Despite my efforts the problem stated previously has worsened.  Scotch-Briting the mag lips did not alter the gun's performance.  Next, I disassembled the mags, cleaned some gummy feeling black gunk out them with Ballistol, slightly buffed the underside of the magazine lips with jeweler's polish and Dremel until glass smooth (without grinding the lips down), made sure the springs weren't dirty, lightly lubricated and tested the next day.  Now the gun misfeeds in the previously described manner 2-3 times per 10 rounds, and occasionally tries to feed two rounds instead of one.  Once today a round even jammed half-way into the barrel at an angle, pointing upward.  The funny thing is that I will randomly empty two magazine's in a row without a problem, but then the misfeeds resume as before.  Problem still occurs with both magazines, so I'm starting to think it's the slide or springs and will probably call CZ on Monday.

The slide seems smooth, but feels like it is engaging some mechanisim when I pull it back manually.  I don't know if this is supposed to happen or is a problem.

Let me know if you got any last minute words of advice for the weekend before I mail her in.  You guys have been awesome with the help so far, and I wanted to give you this update before I take it to the next level.

Thanks,

Tristan

Walt-Sherrill

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New CZ 83 .380: Diagnosing feed problems
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2002, 04:18:58 AM »
Sure sounds mag-related.

Are the problems happening with BOTH mags, or just one?

Offline ut83

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New CZ 83 .380: Diagnosing feed problems
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2002, 05:14:41 AM »
Ill AGREE with Walt.  Wolff doesnt offer mag springs for the 83 or Id Highly recommend you to there product.  Call CZUSA and get some mag springs...try them out.  The black gummy stuff you pulled out of your mags doesnt sound really good..either.
Shoot well

troublemaker71

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New CZ 83 .380: Diagnosing feed problems
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2002, 09:58:23 PM »
Yeah, both mags.  Looks like the mags or their springs might have been taken from different lots, too; one spring has a shiny brownish appearance while the other is grey.  They are otherwise similar, I think.  One of the mags also requires just a little more effort to insert into the gun than the other; however, they both snap in place and produce, as stated, the same results.

With both mags inserting rounds is alternatively smooth then difficult; for example, either the ten rounds will slide in as anticipated, yet another time it will be difficult and I can only squeeze eight in.  This happens with both mags, consistently.  Misfeeds occur regardless of whether loading was difficult or smooth, so I'm quite confused.

Something totally trivial an unrelated but which still irks me is the fact that the plastic 'dummy' rounds included with the gun are for 9mm Luger and not the Short; who the hell was packaging this thing anyway?!  ;)

Tristan

Walt-Sherrill

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New CZ 83 .380: Diagnosing feed problems
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2002, 05:36:16 AM »
Sounds like it may be time to contact CZ about replacement magazines.

One last thing to try:  disassemble the magazines and smooth their interiors.

The base plates should come off easily.  Pay attention to how the springs fit into the follower, so you can reassemble in the same manner.

With a file -- something similarly narrow (perhaps a piece of wood wrapped in sandpaper) -- rub the inside of the magazine tube to remove any roughness that might be present.  (This is common around the "witness" holes that show how many rounds are present.)  

If you find any roughness, sand/file until its smoothed, then use the finest sandpaper (wrapped around the stick/file) to make it as smooth as possible.  Then lightly lubricate and remove as much lube as you can.

Finally lube the springs. IF you find rust on the springs -- rare, but possible -- sand them, too, until they are smooth.  Then oil them lightly, and remove all the oil you can.

Reassemble.  You should find that they now load more smoothly.  If they do, you may find that the feeding problems are resolved.   If they don't its time for new CZ-replaced mags.

 

anything