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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am having trouble with the spent cartridge not ejecting all the way from the cylinder, and hangin up there, on my "new to me" SW 22A. Maybe 3 out of 100 rounds, this happens , which is irritating. Any thoughts? I will admit right here that I am an old timer guy, but only been shooting for a few weeks. Any comments maybe?
 

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I had one of these and had the same problem a couple of times. First off, try a good cleaning of the grooves in the slide and the rails that fit inside. Then, lightly oil these areas and any other place there is friction when the slide moves such at the top of the bolt mechanism. I found a light coating of BreakFree CLP or other similar oil to work well. Also, cleaning the feed ramp, chamber, and extractor of carbon and lead "gunk" helps the gun to run properly. This fixed the vast majority of issues but not all. The other thing I found to cause these problems stemmed from the use of the inexpensive "bulk" ammo. I often found great variations in velocity between individual rounds from the same container. This could then affect how well the slide slid rearward which may then affect the ejection of the spent case. No single brand was immune though some lot numbers had fewer issues than others within the same brand. Use of the better ammo lines did not seem to have this variation but for the price of bulk, I will put up with occasional stoppages.
 
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Hmm...

Thank you for your response. I will try a more thorough cleaning. I have tried many different ammos... including the aquilla... which seems to be what the better shooters in the league I am joining are using... but I still have problems as you say no matter what ammo I am using.

After getting this gun, I thought I should be well versed in breaking it down, so I practiced this maybe a hundred times in the frist few days... so that if asked to do it I would be able to... I hope that I have not left something mis aligned or something.

Keeping better count, I think I am getting maybe 7 or 8 of these caught up cartridges per hunmdred rounds fired... which is fine if I am at the range alone... what do I care(?), but for league shooting... it is quite disruptive.

Perhaps I should have gotten a differnt gun than the Smith & Wesson? I have to be able to get much better performance, or I wil not be able to continue in the league. I am interested in any other comments you or others may have. Thanks again.
 

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I just realized this may be a used gun that had been used for league competition. If that is the case, you might want to also replace the ejector and recoil springs as they may be fatigued. Also, make sure that nylon buffer is still in place and not broken, I had one crack when I took it out for cleaning and had more problems than the norm. Again, clean out the chamber area very, very well. 22 LR cartridges can be fairly dirty and carbon build up in the chamber could lead to sticking cases if the case alloy is a tad too soft or hard. I sold mine about 3 years ago so have a bit of a problem remembering how it goes together and how the parts interact. I found mine to be pretty accurate but I did not like how it came apart for cleaning. I eventually replaced it with a Browning Buckmark target model. Now I wish I had the S&W back as it was easier to take down. I also have a S&W 41 and a High Standard Trophy Military that are much nicer to clean but I don't shoot them as much since I don't want to unduly wear the bluing off while carrying them in a holster. Most of my shooting these is plinking around the farm so a noncollectable is a much better choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks again for your comments.

Yes, the gun was bought used from a guy in the league. I don't know how much he shot it... he generally shoots High Standards I am told.

Last night, I was late, and missed the first two targets... of the ten remaining targets (ten shots each - 100 rounds), I had nearly 20 of these stove piping occurances... where the spent casing failed to eject fully from the chamber.

I have now cleaned the whole thing as well as I can figure out how to do, and re-oiled it. I put on a new nylon buffer peice too. A couple of the better shooters suggested cutting one or two "rings" from the recoil spring... and I guess i will try that... one ring at a time. Probably Smith and Wesson would just send me a new one?

Is there something I can do with the ejector as well??, or are we getting into things that someone more experienced than me should handle?

I try to be a tolerant guy... but last night, i could hardly get through a five shot clip without having a problem. I am either going to work this out somehow, or have to get a different gun.

I don't really like the way the Smith and Wesson breaks down either... you say the Buckmark is even worse? The S&W just feels almost fragile as it comes apart... having to be really careful not to have the recoil spring fly off to who knows where and everything... not really what you want for "field stripping" a weapon? You ever shoot that spring off out in a field somewheres... you would never find it again that is for sure.

For plinking... I think the Walther P22 looks like a cool gun, but I have heard it is not accurate enough for target competition.

Well, wishing you well, and thanks again for your comments. Any further advice is most welcome, as I say, I have to get this sorted out.
 
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For what it is worth...

I have now cut three rings out of the recoil spring, and things are working better... and a quick call to Smith and Wesson Customer Service, and they are sending me a new recoil spring... no charge.
 
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Yesterday... 4 out of 150 rounds stove piped. This is still too many, but is way better than al;most 20 out of 100. Also now have totally cleaned out the extractor, and oiled it, which some guy showed me after I was finished shooting yesterday. I do not yet have the "new" recoil spring from S&W.
 

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Sorry to not have responded earlier, I didn't pay close enough attention to notice a further post under this topic. I am at a loss on what further to do, it is hard to diagnose a problem without seeing nor experiencing it. It is heartening to hear the problem is decreasing and hopefully a new spring will cure the ills. Thinking on it, the use of target ammo might be part of the problem as it is slower than the higher velocity bulk ammo and therefore creates less force to work the slide. You may stll have to cut the spring a little to get proper functioning. If that doesn't do it, sell the gun as you will never have the proper confidence in it.
I am partial to the miltary grip High Standards and have a couple of them in the stable. My favorite is a Supermatic Trophy Military with 7 1/2" fluted barrel including port and barrel fins. If using the barrel weights, it is nearly as accurate at 50 yards as most inexpensive 22 rifles with scope. It would probably do better in the hands of someone who could shoot. Close behind is a S&W 41 and a Hammerili 150(?) Free Pistol.
In today's market I think it is hard to beat one of the Ruger semi-autos. I prefer the 22/45 style grip but that is just me. For the price of one of the previous models, one can buy and spruce up a base Ruger to be very competitive. There may be other models out there but those are the ones I'm familiar with. Best of luck in your endeavor.
 
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You have wisdom. Yes, I hoped the new spring would cure all, but sadly, it did not. Pretty much the same as the old spring (uncut). So I went back to the cut spring.. and did more cutting, hoping to get to just the right place... but I could not really get there. Now that spring is probably too short... and I am getting actual misfires now... (hammer drops, but the round does not fire)... but also, still getting "some" stove piping. Luckily, S&W actually sent me two springs... so I can start cutting on another one, and still have a brand new one left (for whatever good that does). I( think now though I am beyond what is probably my own personal best compromise on spring shortness for still using this gun... but you are completely right... I just am not being able to garner any confidence in the weapon, and it is taking the fun out of it.

So I need to get the gun to someone who really knows what they are doing... or just send it to S&W, let them go over it...and then sell it. Problem then is what other gun to get.

Guy here has a souped up S&W for $ 750... which I assume might just be a 41... I only see two target guns featured on the S&W home page... the 22, and the 41 (are ther others?)... or I may consider just getting a browning Buckmark, which could be had new for certainly less than that. I don't want to come off like i have got to have the very best gun or anything... becuase I am really just a newbie... but... a target pistol ought to fire at least most of the time right... like at least 99% of the time?

I rode with a bicycle group for a while... riding a pretty nice racing style bike... carbon fiber, and really sweet smooth working and responsive hardware on it... and the only thing was... having a good mechanic around and keeping in good with him fior when something needed adjusting... as I was not much for that sort of thing... this target shooting thing is feeling like that now... like I need to find a good gun mechanic, and cough up the retainer fee or something? Is that actually the nature of it?
 

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Sorry to hear the new spring did not fix things. I would try to see if there is a S&W authorized repair facility close before sending it to the factory. The service centers often have a faster turn around and there may be one close by which would save you overnight shipping and insurance charges.
As for other guns, I have several. My favorites are the High Standard Military models but they are rather expensive to purchase and parts can be a problem as they have not been manufactured for many years. The S&W 41 is also very nice but as you noticed, they are rather expensive too. The Browning Buckmark can be a very good gun and I have one of the target models. It is a pain to disassemble but probably no more so than many others. I am not overly familiar with its disassembly so its ideosyncrasies are still kind of challenging. I have a red dot mounted on it and use it to shoot small pests around the buildings. It is pretty accurate, even in my hands, and I have a ball shooting it. I bought it as I did not want to put extra wear on the High Standards or S&W by putting them in a holster. This is probably the most expensive of the "lower end" target pistols. There are some accessories and parts available to further tune up the Buckmark such as barrels. MidwayUSA would be a good place to start looking. The Ruger would be the next gun I would recommend and maybe the best choice. They are relatively inexpensive but can be tricked out fairly easily. For the price of the S&W 41 or a High Standard, one could buy a Ruger and accurize it to the point it would probably outshoot the true target guns. I have shot quite a few of them and with the bull barrel they can be pretty accurate as is. I'll go as far as to say across the board the Ruger should outshoot your 22A.
I don't have as much experience with most of the other semi-auto 22s out there. I've shot a number of them but nothing overly serious. The ones mentioned above seem to have a long track record in the target arena and are the ones I would pick first.
 
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They were recently discontinued, but if you bump into a SIG/Hammerli Trailside, definitely check them out. They're frighteningly accurate, have excellent triggers out the box, a weaver rail, and the target models have click-adjustable rear sights. I've yet to have any reliability issues with mine, and it's seen 6000+ rounds of bulk (mostly Federal and CCI). As a bonus, they are child's play to disassemble. The price point should be approximately $450 new, less used. The longer-barreled versions apparently do quite well on the Bullseye circuit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Grateful for the further replies. Now we are getting into the "too many choices" arena... oy e vay.

The Ruger that you speak of Ugg is the Mark II (or the newer Mark III) I assume? Are you as comfortable with the new model as you were with the old one?

I understand that the High Standards that everyone likes so well are from the original company (Connecticut) but, my sense would be that the newer Texas made guns ought to be pretty good units as well? Do you have a thought on that?

Am I even correct in thinking that a target pistol should be 99% reliable. I mean the league that I am working with shoots 120 rounds in an evening... I would actually think that most of the guys get through most of the nights without any misfires... typically, although I have not been there that often... with 12 guys shooting... there will be maybe three or four misfires in a night. Of course the centerfire guys do nto shoot all the targets I guess... but out of 1000 or 1200 rounds, there are still usually three or four misfires of some sort, that have to be attended to... not including my 15 or 20 (oh sorry). For me to average that percentage on my own... that would mean that three or four weeks out of ten weeks of shooting, I would experience some sort of misfire. I guess that is what I am trying to get to.

Reliable. Accurate. I guess these are the two most important, because they are not negotiable. Like you... I have not really enjoyed the way the Smith and Wesson 22A breaks down. Again, this is just a "feel" sort of thing, but yea, a guy would want a gun to just have a solid feel to it when it is taken apart... which someone might have to do at some awkward moment... and he would like to be able to do so with a certain amount of grace I guess. I have practiced doing this with the 22A... but it is still a bit of a struggle each time... and of course the fear of that recoil spring shooting off.

The Browning Buckmark's are awkward too is what you are saying? This other fellow is mentioning the Sig Trailside... but I do not know where I would find one.

There are so many ins and outs of all this stuff. So Smith and Wesson makes 2 target 22 pistols.. the 22A, and the model 41. (Right?) The 41 is obviously a lot better or at least a lot more expensive... does it break down the same way as the 22A? What else is so much better about it to make it cost almost 2 1/2 times as much... do you know? I mean I actually do trust the market place... and if S&W can sell the 41 for almost $750 while they sell the 22A for more like $ 250... I bet it is better eh?

OK.. sorry my post is too long... not to take advantage of anyone's time. Today's task is to get back to the range, and start working on one of my two new 22A recoil springs, to at least get back to the best compromise that I can make... and at that point... at least i will have done everything that I am able to be doing towrds helping my own circumstance.
 

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I'll try to answer in order, I am on the way out the door and don't have much time so bear with me.
Yes, the Rugers I'm speaking of are the MK I, II, and III. I prefer the grip of the 22/45 series better but they are all pretty much the same mechanically. Break down of the guns can take three hands but from what I hear, with a bit of practice it isn't so bad.
I have no recent experience with the newest versions of the High Standards but the earlier reincarnations from Mitchell (I thiunk) were not very reliable nor accurate. I bought one and have had a bad taste towards them ever since. They may be better today, I wouldn't know and don't care to find out.
A target pistol should be quite reliable, especially a 22LR where one can't screw one up with minimum level reloads. If using competition ammo, I would be surprised if there was more than two misfires in 1,000 rounds or more. Much the same with the better high speed loadings. With the bulk, milk carton look alikes I seem to get a half dozen misfires from the 500 plus rounds in them. Again, with the standard velocity levels found with target loads, keeping the gun clean and properly lubricated is more important than with the high speed loadings as the energy used to work the slide is less. Most problems arise for this reason which is easily fixed.
The Buckmark is a bit awkward as one does need to use an Allen wrench for some of the take down. I found it to be a pain but the truth be told, I took it down only the one time three years ago. Since then I've kept the rails oiled and the gun wiped down using dental picks and Q-tips to clean the front face and feed ramp. I have not had a feed problem in a long, long time with this gun, at least a couple thousand rounds. I should take it apart more often but I am always looking for the wrench as I seem to misplace them (I have bought additional ones to complement the one supplied by Browning) regularly.
As for the 41, I do think it is disassembled easier than the 22A and is a much better gun in accuracy, appearance, fit and finish, and reliability but I'm not sure if it is $500 worth more. There is a bit of mystique to the model and I'm sure that is a part of the price difference. I bought mine used at a very good price otherwise I would not have one either. The 22A served me well for my purpose but when I had the chance to replace it with the Buckmark I leapt at the opportunity, especially as the Buckmark was only slightly more than a new 22A (the Buckmark was used). I bought my 22A used and was able to resell it at a loss of only $15 (there was a sale on new 22As which placed them a little under $200 at the time, I paid $190 for mine) so I feel I came out well.
I don't know, with the luck you have been having I am afraid to make a suggestion. If forced to do so, I would look at the Buckmark and the Ruger of any variation. The Ruger seems the less expensive and has the greatest number of aftermarket options if one wishes to be more involved in competition. They are also very popular there which is another reason I recommend them. Plus, Ruger customer service has been very, very good to me the few times I've had to use them. As for the Buckmark, I have a bias towards Browning products which is why I still mention it. It is a good gun, quite accurate, and seems very dependable but can be a pain to take apart. if I did it more often it may not seem so bad but I am lazy and will fully clean it when I absolutely have to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Again, thank you for your time. It is wierd... I saw a small allen wrench in the junk drawer the other day... and had no idea where it came from... could be yours somehow? You have given me some good things to think about. I am not seeing Rugers in the league here... maybe for no particular reason... but there are a couple of guys who are shooting the Buckmarks, and several who are shooting the old High Standards.

I am wondering now... if maybe a getting a new gun might be a better idea... as... what the heck... if a gun were firing really well... why would anyone sell it? I don't know... I just feel pretty helpless when these matters of hardware are getting in the way, and I know so little about it. In time, these things will resolve I imagine.

One thing is that I do not want to be a burden on the other shooters in a league... holding them up with a bunch of "alibi" shooting?

I did use one of my new springs from Smith and Wesson today... and carefully shortened it... but not too much... and I am not having actual "misfires" now... but still what I think is way too many of the failure to eject problems (stovepiping).
 
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One of the previous posters mentioned the ejector. I would check that it isn't damaged and I would also check the extractor. A friend of mine had this model with the same problems. His problem was the extractor was not always functioning properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
A after experienicing continued varieties of mis fires and stove piping - and getting tired of need so much help from other league members who after all have troubles of their own to worry about... I went looking for a new gun. Ended up at Gander Mountain, and ended up looking mostly at the Rugers and ended up gettibng properly steered by the sales associate towards the purchase of a Mark III Competition Target Model... it is a little "prettier" than I like (it is a great looking gun), but also has a really solid feel to it. I have 300 rounds out of it now without a single glitch of any sort, which is indeed quite comforting. My target groupings are quite noticably better.

I have not tried breaking this gun down yet... although I watched the gun smith at Gander Mountain do it, and it looked quite tricky... but hopefully, it will go back together well enough and still be shooting well after i have done so for cleaning.

I would say that every single thing that you said you old Ugly Dog was true, and your suggestions were right on the money.

My Smith and Wesson will be going back to The Factory for a factory tune up, and then will be either sold, or ... more likely... relegated to plinking duties.

I want to thank you for you help.
 

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I'm glad things have worked out for you. I think you made a very good choice in the Ruger and that particular model should see you through quite a few levels of competition before needing to do any upgrades (NEED mind you, not want!!). Hopefully S&W will be able to get the 22A into proper running shape, it would be interesting to hear what they found, if anything, and if the problem gets corrected. Best wished to you and good luck in your competitions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
UG... I continue to be satisfied with the Ruger Mark III Competition Target model. It is a sweet shooting gun. My Smith 22A is back from the service center... then saying that they adjusted the slide to BBl Fit. I shot 50 rounds the day I got it back, and there were three instances of "stove piping". Whatever. I paid $ 250 for it with a nice ultra dot red dot scope on it... the red dot is now on the Ruger, and the Smith is in it's case on a shelf... I don't know what to do with it... maybe some use will come along? I am grateful for your comments when I was finding my way through this circumstance.
 

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Glad to hear the Ruger is working well for you, too bad about the Smith. Hopefully, some more shooting will work out the ejection problems. If it were me, I would probably use the gun as my "walk about" gun at the cabins as a jam would not be a major problem when plinking at stumps or shooting pesky red squirrels. If the latter is not an option then best bet would be to try selling it. Even with the problem, if it doesn't go away, I would expect to get someplace in the $175-$200 range.
 
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