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Hello Folks, I got this absolutely gorgeous Turnbull Manufactures 38S Commander. She is a dream to shoot, very fast and accurate.

But she is a little finicky. She only has 638 rounds on her, and she was working just fine with Mcormick mags with both ball (any type) and Wilson Combat Hornedy HP 124 grain (she will not lock back with Wilson mags so I don't use them in this gun -probably not an optimal slide stop, I only use the WC-mags in my 38S CQB). She is very accurate with the WC stuff, and doesn't have any case cracking issues with it (I blew some stocks on this gun last year with buffalo bore HPs) so I want to keep using the WC ammo.

Last two range trips I started getting failures to feed (1 last time, several yesterday) on the last rounds with these same Mcormik mags (3 different mags) with the WC HP ammo. Just the last round, just the WC HPs. The mags are pretty new, with just the fore mentioned 638 rounds spread over 4 of them. So it is hard for me to belive it is the mag springs.

Next Item, recoil spring, I ordered some new ones from Wolf today (they told me 16# is standard), but was wondering what you folks are getting with your 38S Commanders as far as recoil spring round count? If you guys are getting about 600-800 rounds, I'll assume I am on the right track for the time being.

Thanks, for the feedback (I do not have much flight-time with Commander-size guns in 38s). (My other, almost commander, WC-EP has a flatwire RCS, a FW-Mag, and is in 45 acp, runs perfect, but is a different animal from this Super in question).
-Joe
 

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Just wondering, why do you think a recoil spring on this gun would only last 600 to 800 rounds? Also, have you discussed this with the manufacturer?

Marty
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If I knew the answer to that, I wouldn't be asking would I.:)

My thought process,
go with the easy things first, mags and RCS, cheep and fast. Sending back to TB is the absolute last resort...

I can't see why the mags would stop working all of a sudden with 636 rounds/4mags on each of them...And my full size 1911 45's only get 1,000 rounds on a "no-name/nothing fancy" RCS. And smaller guns are know to be tougher on recoil springs (just another fact). And never had experiencing a worn out a 38s recoil spring before, it is not so outlandish for me to think the RCS may be starting to go. Issues usually show up with HP before ball when they wear.

So do you have a 38s commander and a RCS round count for me?
C.A.
 

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Just wondering, why do you think a recoil spring on this gun would only last 600 to 800 rounds? Also, have you discussed this with the manufacturer?

Marty
A-7424

Yeah, I agree Its doubtful that it would be the recoil or mag spring unless your fail to feed is fail to pick up the last round and not a 3 point jam.

I would also check ammo overall length especially where it doesn't have a problem with Ball ammo.

We'd all like to think that if we stuck with a certain mfgr of ammo that worked at one time that nothing would change box to box but if the mfgr changed bullet profile then....all bets are off.
 

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Actually I don't have a .38 super Commander, however, I have a Caspian Hi Cap .38 super USPSA Open gun that has appx. 70k rounds through it. I run a 10 pound recoil spring and change it every 4 to 5000 rounds. I also have a fairly new Springfield RO Champion in 9mm, that gun would be similar to your commander. The gun has 900 rounds through it. It has the factory dual spring set up. I actually called Springfield Armory today about how often to change springs and they said every 3 to 5000 rounds.

Marty
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Last rounds not feeding......38 super

More often than not, the two possibilities are 1) the JHP bullets are nose diving and hitting the feed ramp at an incorrect angle which causes feeding issues. 2) the extractor tension is too loose....the last round does not have the support of a case below it, so when the round is held by the extractor claw and begins to slide up the breech face, the round falls off the ext. claw and misfeeds..... It may be a combination of the two potential issues listed above.....:scratch:

I always like to have very little up and down movement in my .38 super frame when the mags are seated. The higher the mag sits in the frame without touching the slide upon cycling, the better. When a mag sits higher in the frame, as the slide tries to strip the top round of the mag, the disco rail will strike the back of the top round of the mag slightly lower, which will allow more of a straight forward push that helps to reduce bullet nose dives. If you think your mags are seating too low, try resting the bottom of the frame and mag on a solid surface, and test fire the JHP rounds. If the rounds feed better, you may be better off using an EGW mag catch that has an oversized mag catch ledge that can raise the mag up to .020". This part has to be fitted properly.

A loose fitting extractor could also cause issues on the last round, so it is best to check and make sure the extractor tension is proper. I like to bevel and polish my extractor claws to ensure the round will slide up the breechface and is held firmly by the extractor claw.....any burrs or rough edges may cause problems with feeding.... see the attached graphic.....

I use my 1911 .38 super Commander for concealed carry. I use very hot JHP handloads....125 gr Hornady XTP bullets at roughly 1350 fps. I built this gun using a modified W/N ramped bull barrel. I use a 25# mainspring and an 18# recoil spring to get the proper slide velocity to reliably cycle the gun. With my hot handloads, the gun ejects the cases about 3-4 ft. from the gun. If I were to use a much lighter load, the gun would not cycle. For best reliability, the gun springs need to be tuned for the power of the load......:rock: My gun is both accurate and extremely reliable, otherwise I wouldn't use it for concealed carry.....my life may someday depend on the gun working properly if ever needed......:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
More often than not, the two possibilities are 1) the JHP bullets are nose diving and hitting the feed ramp at an incorrect angle which causes feeding issues. 2) the extractor tension is too loose....the last round does not have the support of a case below it, so when the round is held by the extractor claw and begins to slide up the breech face, the round falls off the ext. claw and misfeeds..... It may be a combination of the two potential issues listed above.....:scratch:

I always like to have very little up and down movement in my .38 super frame when the mags are seated. The higher the mag sits in the frame without touching the slide upon cycling, the better. When a mag sits higher in the frame, as the slide tries to strip the top round of the mag, the disco rail will strike the back of the top round of the mag slightly lower, which will allow more of a straight forward push that helps to reduce bullet nose dives. If you think your mags are seating too low, try resting the bottom of the frame and mag on a solid surface, and test fire the JHP rounds. If the rounds feed better, you may be better off using an EGW mag catch that has an oversized mag catch ledge that can raise the mag up to .020". This part has to be fitted properly.

A loose fitting extractor could also cause issues on the last round, so it is best to check and make sure the extractor tension is proper. I like to bevel and polish my extractor claws to ensure the round will slide up the breechface and is held firmly by the extractor claw.....any burrs or rough edges may cause problems with feeding.... see the attached graphic.....

I use my 1911 .38 super Commander for concealed carry. I use very hot JHP handloads....125 gr Hornady XTP bullets at roughly 1350 fps. I built this gun using a modified W/N ramped bull barrel. I use a 25# mainspring and an 18# recoil spring to get the proper slide velocity to reliably cycle the gun. With my hot handloads, the gun ejects the cases about 3-4 ft. from the gun. If I were to use a much lighter load, the gun would not cycle. For best reliability, the gun springs need to be tuned for the power of the load......:rock: My gun is both accurate and extremely reliable, otherwise I wouldn't use it for concealed carry.....my life may someday depend on the gun working properly if ever needed......:eek:
Rwe', Thanks for your thoughtful response. Yep, in my short experience with 38s I understand the challenges with making the gun run with the wide variety of loads...I am not really skilled at tuning an extractor (I will check the tension though), and I will only send it back to TB as a last resort. When it comes to issues like this, special conditions (i.e., only HP, only last round) it sometimes is tough for the manufacturers to duplicate it in their shop. Also, when it comes to troubleshooting, TB is not say a WC. (They are very nice to do business though and build really "pretty" guns).

I think you would agree that all the parameters of the gun add-up and work "synergistically" to form a reliability profile...The gun was working fine two hundred rounds ago, so I will first try replacing the recoil spring with a standard 16#er (I may even try an 18#er like you have later). I also got some HD 9R mag springs from Wolf (I can't use them in my 10R Mcormick, but I am getting some 9r metelform and will upgrade the springs to HD)...If this doesn't work, I will turn it into an "all-Ball" machine, I will not be the first one on the 1911-F who has had to do this....If it stops shooting ball 100%, then it will have to go back to Turnbull.

Thanks again for your insight.

C.A.
 
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