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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all -

I have an Astra A-75 with some "issues" that maybe you could help me with.

About 50% of the time, after firing, the slide doesn't return to battery. A round will be chambered, but I have to manually push the slide forward about 1/8th of an inch to shoot the next round. [Fortunately, the hammer won't fall without the slide all the way forward. :eek: ]

I changed the recoil spring with one from Wolff, but obviously that isn't working. I suspect the Wolff spring to be "one size fits all" as they don't differentiate between 9 mm, 40 S&W and 45 ACP when ordering. BTW - they rate the spring at 13 pounds.

With the barrel, recoil spring, rod and slide stop removed, the slide moves quite freely along the frame.

Any input would be appreciated as I can't currently trust this pistol for CCW, and darnit, that's just not right.

Thanks,

Charlie
 

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What caliber is it, and what kind of ammunition are you using? The first thing I would look at is the ammo. With the barrel out, will the ammo you are using freely drop fully into the chamber and drop out when the barrel is inverted? If not, there is something wrong with the ammo or you have a fouled chamber.

What happens if you put the gun together minus the recoil spring and guide rod, and cycle it by hand? (You might have to try it upside down.) Does the slide still move freely?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Dang. I knew I missed something.

It's a 45 ACP.

I've used both Winchester White Box and CCI Blazer Brass cased 230 FMJ ammo with the same results.

I don't think it's the ammo as both work on every other pistol I own.

I should note here that other than the failure to return to battery, the pistol functions normally, ie no FTE's with ejection appearing to be consistent.

I will check slide movement with the barrel in when I get home.

Thanks for the quick response. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi again -

I checked the slide movement with the barrel installed but without the recoil rod, spring or slide stop.

The movement appears to bind right where the barrel would generally toggle up or down (about 1/8th to 1/4 inch out of battery). :(

Please advise what does this mean?

Thanks,

Charlie
 

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Seeing that it is the last 1/8 in., could it be the extractor is binding and stopping the forward movement. Check to see if there is any crud or unburnt powder/grease impeding movement and slowing things down.. Just a guess, you have covered most of the other possibilities.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the input.

I'll have to try it with the slide stop installed.

All ammo I try (including WWB, CCI Brass, Hydrashocks and Black Talons) appears to chamber fully and drop freely from the barrel (removed from pistol assembly).

I will check under the extractor.

I believe the pistol is well lubricated.

Thanks again,

Charlie
 

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Check to make sure that the locking/unlocking cams on the sides of the barrel underlug and the corresponding cams in the frame and clean, undamaged and well lubricated; then with the sllde stop installed see that the barrel locks and unlocks smoothly and positively when the slide is cycled by hand without the spring present. If that checks out okay, and the chamber is clean (especially at the front end where it meets the rifling), then the problem is probably interference from the extractor. Dismount the slide and remove the barrel; wedge part of a toothpick inside the slide to prop back the extractor and expose the space under the extractor claw. Spray solvent into that space and blow it out with compressed air; then lubricate and blow it out again. Check to see that the extractor moves fully and freely.

This is when dummy cartridges come in handy. Reassemble the gun with the recoil spring removed and try feeding cartridges by hand from the magazine, and you will be able to see what happens. DO NOT USE LIVE CARTRIDGES! If you don't have dummies, make some. Break down some new ammo and pop the primers; fired cases will not work.

M
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the input.

There still appears to be binding with the slide stop installed but no recoil rod or spring.

The barrel does not unlock if pressure is placed on top of it without the recoil rod or spring, so the lock up appears to be ok.

I noted no or very minimal movement in the extractor at all using a toothpick.

I never imagined an exposed extractor could bind the slide, but I guess I'll have to soak the slide.

I'll keep you posted.

Charlie
 

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Charlie: If the binding occurs after the slide opens about 1/2", that's from the hammer dragging on the underside of the slide, which is normal.

If the toothpick trick doesn't work for you (it has to be cut to just exactly the right length), use a slender hardwood dowel (perhaps 1/8' or 3/16" dia.) to lever the extractor back by pressing outward against the claw to see if it has free movement. Don't use steel tools for this; they slip and will scratch. You should get at least 1/16" of movement at the claw. In the alternative, you can apply a fair bit of pressure with that hardwood dowel against the rearmost end of the extractor, right above its spring, and the extractor claw at the other end should move in and out about 1/16th. Holding the extractor at its extreme outward limit, you should be able to get the long thin spray tube of your favorite aerosol gun cleaner into the crack under the extractor and shoot some solvent in there. If the extractor is not moving at all, or not moving enough to let a cartridge slide up the bolt face under it, fixing it may require dismounting the extractor to clean it and its channel in the slide.

Just soaking the slide probably won't be effective unless you have high-pressure compressed air available to blow the gunk out after it's been loosened; otherwise it just stays there.

To dismount the extractor: With the slide held firmly in a padded vise, drift the extractor pin UP from underneath; it's not necessary to remove it completely (and better if you don't) -- just enough to free the extractor. If you want to do a professional job, when driving the the pin back down use a cupped-tip drift punch to avoid deforming the domed upper end of the pin. The slide is swaged at that point, but reswaging it will mar the slide finish, so a tiny--very tiny--bit of Loctite on the top end of the pin before it is finally driven home will serve just as well.

If you don't have a proper vise or the right tools, take it to a gunsmith. There's nothing worse than a kitchen-table job that afterward looks like one.

M
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If you don't have a proper vise or the right tools, take it to a gunsmith. There's nothing worse than a kitchen-table job that afterward looks like one.
Hi Mike -

Thanks for the input.

I'm seriously considering taking it to a 'smith if degunking the extractor doesn't work.

It's not that I probably couldn't work through everything, but working six days a week, I barely have time to shoot. :(

Charlie
 
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