9mm to 9x23 Caspian Commander conversion problem - Pistolsmith

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Old 10-31-2003, 03:15 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 33
9mm to 9x23 Caspian Commander conversion problem

Hi guys,

Just got my Caspian 9mm commander back from a local pistolsmith who fitted up a Nowlin 9x23 non-ramped barrel(9mm barrel is also Nowlin). I shot it for the first time today with Winchester white box 124gr soft points. It definately had some pop but was very controllable with mild muzzle flash compared to a .357 magnum. After the first magazine I checked my brass for firing pin smearing, etc to make sure the pistol was staying locked up good during firing. No ejection or extraction malfunctions were experienced. Unfortunately I noticed some rounds did have smeared primers and some even had missing primers. I also noticed some primer residue that had been "extruded" or left in the firing pin hole.

Do I need a heavier recoil spring and firing pin spring? It appears that the firing pin is not retracting fast enough when the pistol unlocks. The recoil spring was supplied by Nowlin with the barrel but I am not sure what weight it is. I put in my 9mm barrel and the pistol still functioned fine so the spring does not appear to be to heavy.

After my session I purchased a 20# commander spring and heavy duty firing pin spring the range had on hand but have not shot them yet.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.


"New 9x23 maniac"
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Old 10-31-2003, 03:37 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 555
If you have the same recoil spring for both the 9mm and the 9x23..definitely use a heavier recoil spring..and I would try the new FP spring. ALso might try a FP stop like the EGW oversize one to help slow the slide down..

Not sure what primers WIN uses, but I usually see some flattening with the factory..never one missing though and no metal in my firing pin hole..the same velocity reloads using small rifle primers, there is none of the flattening..

otherwise..how do you like your commander?? that has been a project that I have wanted to have done, but always had something else in front of it..
Old 10-31-2003, 07:13 PM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 33
Thanks for the feedback. I have had this particular Caspian commander for over 7years in 9mm before coming across the 9x23 and catching the bug to get it converted.

I think it is a hard combo to beat in 9mm at the commander length. Probably the most controllable self defense semi-auto I have shot.

In 9x23 you give up some control but gain big in ballistics. Anyway I feel its all a matter of practice.

I would not hesitate to recommend the Commander configuration for this caliber. Fits my hand better, shorter in length than the goverment model, and the extra weight helps with recovery. Pretty close to ideal;at least for me.


Old 11-03-2003, 03:47 PM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 53
How about some pics of the Commander?
Old 11-06-2003, 08:35 AM   #5
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 33
Fixed It!

Finally fixed the problem with a new "steel" 38 super firing pin from Wilson Combat. I actually forgot I was running a "titanium" firing pin in the 9mm. It was apparently a little longer and slightly smaller in diameter than the Wilson unit. I also replaced the FP spring with an extra power unit and I am running a 20# recoil spring with no problems. Good extraction and ejection with no pierced primers or primer flow into the firing pin hole. She's definately got some pop but is more controllable than my Glock 22 in .357 SIG. Now all I need is more Winchester white box. Anybody got a line on some?


PS Hope to get some pictures up shortly.
Old 11-06-2003, 08:35 PM   #6
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 19
Win white box at Natchez for 10.69/box by the case. They are out right now.
Old 11-07-2003, 07:45 AM   #7
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 33
Caspian Commander 9x23 pictures

This pistol was originally built in 9mm around 7 years ago and had about 2000 rounds in it before the 9x23 conversion. It is all steel. Frame was shipped from Caspian with the beavertail cut, Bo-mar cut, slide serations, and the front strap checkering. I prefer a smooth arched mainspring housing to allow my hand to slide into position easier on the beavertail. Front strap checkering keeps it there. Both the 9x19 and 9x23 barrel are Nowlin. I also have a Ceiner .22LR kit that can be used on this frame as well. A very versatile combo to say the least.

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