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Unread 09-25-2022, 07:21 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by ithacaartist View Post
A few things come to mind.

One of mine had a similar problem with the safety lever. IIRC, a slightly larger diameter pin that holds it in fixed it.

Did you remove the lever from the frame? Others have said that crud around the lever's shaft affects its operation.

If all is otherwise OK, it's possible to remove the lever and carefully (the part is somewhat hardened, I believe.) bend/adjust the end of the lever so it presses against the frame more closely and engages the detentes more securely.
I bent a nail trying to drive out the pin that holds the safety in place and the pin doesn't have a scratch. I have also been told there should be a small piece of plastic, or something like that, which fits into the safety lever and engages the dimples on the frame to keep it from moving. If true this is something I've never seen on any breakdown, but after spending 30 years as a dental lab tech, making a piece of acrylic to fit in there would not be a problem, IF I can drive that stupid pin out.
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Unread 09-25-2022, 09:37 PM   #42
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You might be trying to drive the pin out backwards. It won't go that way.
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Unread 09-26-2022, 01:21 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by day late View Post
I have also been told there should be a small piece of plastic, or something like that, which fits into the safety lever and engages the dimples on the frame to keep it from moving.
I seriously doubt that it's plastic. Plastic as we know it didn't come along until years after the Luger was in production.

I've never had a Luger safety lever off but there is a definite drag line on Lugers between the two dimples. That leads me to think that there may be a check ball under the lever. However, someone who has actually had one off of a Luger will hopefully comment.
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Unread 09-26-2022, 04:42 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by day late View Post
I bent a nail trying to drive out the pin that holds the safety in place and the pin doesn't have a scratch. I have also been told there should be a small piece of plastic, or something like that, which fits into the safety lever and engages the dimples on the frame to keep it from moving. If true this is something I've never seen on any breakdown, but after spending 30 years as a dental lab tech, making a piece of acrylic to fit in there would not be a problem, IF I can drive that stupid pin out.
The tiny pin is driven out from the inside of the frame. IIRC, a 1/16" punch will get it started, but use a brass one once it moves. Soak the area in your favorite penetrant if needed.

The lever is one piece, no balls behind it. There's a slight swelling/proudness on the back side of the lever which interacts with the detentes on the frame and keeps the body of the lever's handle from scraping on the frame.
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Unread 09-26-2022, 11:19 PM   #45
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Quote:
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The tiny pin is driven out from the inside of the frame. IIRC, a 1/16" punch will get it started, but use a brass one once it moves. Soak the area in your favorite penetrant if needed.

The lever is one piece, no balls behind it. There's a slight swelling/proudness on the back side of the lever which interacts with the detentes on the frame and keeps the body of the lever's handle from scraping on the frame.
I'm a locksmith. I have taken one of my picks and hooked it under the lever. There seems to be nothing but a void under there. Again, this thing was on life support when I got it. It is possible that the piece that engages the dimples in the frame has been bent upwards, so that I didn't find it. The main thing now is removing that pin. I admit, when I first tried it, it was during the original break down and clean up. At that time, I put a drop or two of solvent on the pin. It didn't move then, but since that time I've put a few down range. Maybe the vibration and the soaking time will help me get better results on my next attempt to get it out. Hey! A man can hope, right?
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Unread 09-27-2022, 06:18 AM   #46
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I had the same problem with a floppy safety. I found the answer in the FAQ section. The safety is purposely bent so that the tip is the only area of the safety arm to touch the frame. The tension for this is determined by the diameter of the pin that holds it place. After the pin was removed, I replaced it with one of slightly larger diameter. My first choice solved the issue and the safety snaps back and forth into the detents on the frame. I used the shank of a numbered drill bit to make the pin. Good luck.
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Unread 09-29-2022, 09:18 AM   #47
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Maybe it's not THE answer, but I found one that works. The end of the lever where it connects to the safety bar is quite thin. I used a set of three prong plyers to tweak it less than 1 degree. The lever moved just enough to where I can feel the bump just barely engaging the dimples. For now, I stop there. If I can put a few rounds down range without it moving, leave well enough alone. If not, another minor tweak may be in order.
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Unread 10-22-2022, 06:06 PM   #48
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Everything seems to be working just as it should. The safety MIGHT need a tiny more tweak, but for now, leave it alone. But now a question for the older wiser heads.

I still have the original trigger bar. I can see where it has worn down. Back in the day I was a dental lab. tech. I worked with dentures and partials. Sometimes the partials needed adjustments. Say, adding a new tooth to the existing partial. Acrylic doesn't bond to metal. I have to solder on some retention, place the tooth, then finish and polish that metal and acrylic down nice smooth and shiny. The metal I'm soldering to is chrome/cobalt. The metal I'm soldering on is stainless steel. And it has to be milled well enough so that it doesn't bother the patient's tongue.

Right now, I'm wondering if it would be worth the trouble to add a spot of soldier to the old trigger bar and then mill it to original specs. It certainly has enough mass I don't have to worry about burning it up. And even If I do, the pistol won't shoot more than one round at a time with that bar.
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Unread 03-12-2023, 02:34 PM   #49
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OH NO!!!! He's back!

Seriously, I managed to get the safety issue taken care of. It now functions as it should. I've put at least 150 rds down range and all seems well, except one thing. Being new to Lugers I have to ask. Is it normal, when shooting say 50 rds at the range, to have about one in eight fail to extract correctly? By that I mean either I get a 'stovepipe' jam, or the fired round doesn't come all the way out of the chamber, causing a backup in the entire feeding operation. Being a weapon the was just barely saved from the ash heep, I can understand that the chamber may need to be repolished or something. BUT being new to this world I have to ask, is this normal?
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Unread 03-12-2023, 03:05 PM   #50
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NO!! To be correct you have 8 rounds in, and 8 rounds out.
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Unread 03-12-2023, 07:42 PM   #51
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Then may I ask, what is/are the most common reasons for the problem? That being, about one in eight to ten rounds fails to extract properly. Either it doesn't clear the chamber, or it doesn't clear the action and creates a 'stovepipe' type jam.
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Unread 03-13-2023, 11:08 AM   #52
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Worn magazines, short ammo OAL, weak extractor spring to name a few.
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Unread 03-14-2023, 05:07 PM   #53
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Certainly not the extractor spring. In restoring this piece, I had to replace every spring in it. The mags are both new re-pops. Not likely a problem there. I admit, it could be cheap brass. Given the age of it, I only fire lower powered target rounds. That's good enough to reach from one side of the living room to the other, if need be.
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Unread 03-14-2023, 07:04 PM   #54
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Just because a mag is new doesn't mean it's good or dependably functional. All repro mags are not equal. MecGar are the best, providing you can find any now, or mortgage some tender parts in order to pay for them. Avoid Triple K mags because they're a crap shoot for function. Any mags with spot-welded seams should also remain with their sellers.
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Unread 03-15-2023, 02:26 PM   #55
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Did you clean up/polish the feed ramps and the chamber?
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Unread 03-21-2023, 10:16 PM   #56
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Did you clean up/polish the feed ramps and the chamber?
No more than a normal cleaning. Given the age I'm taking things one step at a time. i.e. A normal cleaning after getting it functioning was enough to get it to feed and fire. Now when one or more mags are fired, I get the jams. IS there a way to polish the ramp and/or chamber on my own, or does it need to be professionally done? Bear in mind I have many years of experience with small hand tools. I used to make dentures. Now I'm a locksmith. Very detailed work. Your thoughts?
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Unread 03-22-2023, 03:53 PM   #57
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Yes, you can do it yourself. You start slow and go slow. I do all of my own polishing to my firearms. I use jeweler's rouge and a soft polishing " felt bob". Do a bit, and try it out.

I own an Alphabet Luger that had a very rough cut feed ramp(from the factory), and it was a jam-a-matic. I started with a wood dowel covered with different grits of wet/dry sandpaper for the rough stuff......then the polishing. It converted my Luger into a very happy gun!!
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Unread 03-29-2023, 09:27 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by day late View Post
Certainly not the extractor spring. In restoring this piece, I had to replace every spring in it. The mags are both new re-pops. Not likely a problem there. I admit, it could be cheap brass. Given the age of it, I only fire lower powered target rounds. That's good enough to reach from one side of the living room to the other, if need be.
You have likely created the failure problem; lugers do not function with "weak" cartridges.

Unless your luger has signs of abuse or damage, use standard loads and likely the FTE problem will go away.

As to replacing all the springs, where did you get the springs, and how are you sure the extractor spring is the correct one? "New" doesn't mean correct.

Also you may have installed a recoil spring that is too strong - which will also cause FTE problems.

Don't give up but you may need to send the pistol to a luger mechanic, not every gunsmith is aware of luger requirements.
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Unread 03-30-2023, 04:56 PM   #59
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With regard to the last two responses.

rhuff, you mention a "felt bob". The rouge I'm very familiar with, but I'm wondering if we are calling the same thing by two different names. I'm thinking of a cone shaped piece of felt. They come in varying sizes to be used for polishing different things in the dental world. Is that by chance what you refer to? If so, they and the rouge are already in the garage.

DonVoigt, the ammo is listed by the manufacturer as target loads. While I do reload, I don't reload for 9mm of any kind. So, all rounds are as the manufacturer made them. Since at worst I expect this would be used as a last-ditch defense weapon, higher powered rounds are not needed. As to the condition of the weapon, in post #3 on this thread, there are pictures of the way it looked when it was given to me. The exterior is quite rough and without doing expensive tests to find out how far the rust has gone, or the money to buy a replacement barrel, I don't see the point in chancing a barrel blowing up on me. The interior did require a bit of work to get it functional, but it now is and wasn't too bad to begin with. The springs were purchased from reputable suppliers. AND BEING A NEWBIE to all of this some springs had multiple copies bought in kits that I didn't realize I had already ordered separately. It is interesting that you bring up the main spring. I had to lose a couple of coils on that one to get it to work right. Cycling spent rounds isn't the problem. It's getting them all to clear the chamber while cycling that is the rub. Most do, but after shooting for 50+ years, I know when I piece isn't quite up to snuff. Something is off in the extraction of spent rounds and I'm not going to rest until I find and fix it.
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Unread 04-01-2023, 06:12 PM   #60
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So, there are many factors that go into producing ammunition.
The over all shape and length is just a critical as the powder used and the bullet. That's petty much how we have figured out that the Winchester White box 115 grain FMJ, which is a "target load", is idea. If they don't work, the gun is really out of tune.

A hollow point, half-jacketed or lead bullet is not likely to feed well. Stick with FMJ.


There is a main spring chart around here somewhere.(below) It has recommendations for all kinds of lugers. It sounds like you have adjusted one before - they are tricky! (not speaking from personal experience - that's something I have yet to try!)

There are springs and then there are real springs. Wire size, composition, coils, etc all make a big difference. After market springs are a gamble, so don't be afraid to swap out the extractor spring again. I'd certainly do the before adjusting the main spring. My felling is that if any rounds cycle normal, the main spring is probably set correctly.

Focus on that magazine a lot. They are very hard to eye-ball or even measure. They have to fit exactly right and not move around once they are locked into place. Lots can go wrong with a magazine. It's a critical part.
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