PM9 FTF problems. - Pistolsmith

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Old 09-22-2003, 11:14 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 11
PM9 FTF problems.

Hi, new poster. Long timer over at GT, just pinned this post over there.

I've now got 200 rounds through my new PM9 and have experienced FTFs throughout the break-in period, usually on the last round of each mag. When it happens, the slide will not return to full battery and stays open about 1/4". I can push it closed and am then able to fire it. Happens with both mags and UMC and USA FMJ ammo.

Upon disassembly, I always find the recoil spring migrated halfway off of the barrel lug, out of the recessed semi-circle. When the spring and barrel are properly assembled in the slide, the spring assembly is at an angle relative to the barrel. Not sure if this is right or wrong; it is not like my MK9 which has been flawless through 1000 rounds.

Can any PM9 owners shed some there a problem with my recoil spring assembly that may be causing these FTFs?

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Old 09-22-2003, 12:46 PM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 204
That roaming spring sounds like the problem. If the spring has been stretched, bent, or kinked in any way it would tend to create the problem you discribe. This is one of the reasons so many of the premium 1911's have a full length guide rod... to prevent the spring and gudie rod from binding.

Pull the spring and make sure it is straight.... then do a side by side match up with a new spring or one from another PM -9 checking for length and kinks.

My PM is up to about 800 rounds with 5 or 6 different types of ammo. (including some hot Corbon +P) and I have experienced zero FTFs.
Old 09-22-2003, 03:26 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 4
I disagree about the "roaming" spring. Here's why: On one of my guns (Glock 26 and/or 30 maybe?) the spring must be sat into a similar half-moon position as on the PM9. But it's a well-known fact that the spring will "adjust" itself the first time the slide is racked. So every time you take apart the gun, the spring appears to be out of place, but it's really not. I assume the same thing is happening in the PM9.

I just checked my PM9, and its recoil spring was halfway up out of the semicircular cutout, just like you described. I just now put it back together, cycled the slide 5 times, and then disassembled it again. The recoil spring is back out of the cutout again. I think that as long as it's still parallel with the barrel (barrel, not feedramp) then it's probably working fine.

As for it being different than your MK9, if you read your PM9 owner's manual you'll see that the disassembly and reassembly instructions are different between the two. I wouldn't be surprised at all to learn that they behaved differently as far as the guide rod is concerned.

What's probably happening is that you're limp-wristing the gun a little, but it's only noticeable on that last round when the gun is at its lightest. I had this problem with my PM9 initially, and others shooting mine for the first time seem to experience it occasionally as well. When problems only occur on the last round from a magazine, it's usually one of three things: the magazine (typically the spring, sometimes the follower), the slide stop, or the shooter (limp-wristing a lightweight gun). If it happens with all magazines, then you can rule out the magazine as the source. If it happens with all shooters, then you can rule out the shooter. But if it only happens with some shooters, then it's almost definitely the shooter. This is actually the best possibility, because it can be "fixed" with practice/training instead of replacement parts.
Old 09-22-2003, 05:31 PM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 11
Thanks for the replies.

After examining the PM9 next to the MK9, it seems there are more than just the obvious differences. First, the barrel lug on the PM9 is thinner and fits through a thinner passage in the frame. The foot of the recoil assembly that stays in the semi-circle of the PM9 is of smaller diameter than that of the MK9, which is the cause of my confusion about the migrating spring...on the MK9 the foot is sized for the recessed semi-circle and sets nicely in it but not on the PM9, so the PM9 self-adjusts after cycling the slide. I now agree that it is not a problem.

I had thought of the limp wristing at the range and concentrated on locking everything; my groupings were on POA, not high like limp wristing may cause. And my MK9 has been perfect in the same set of hands, not a single failure in over 1000 rounds. But the PM9 is lighter and thinner, so I can't discount limp wristing. I was under the impression that limp writing would cause more FTEs, not FTFs. In any case, the PM9 takes some getting used to and mine still needs breaking in, so I've got two reasons to head to the range after work tommorrow. 8)
Old 09-22-2003, 08:42 PM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 79
I agree with Dan T 100% -- nearly all FTF are caused by Limp Wristing. Initially when making the transition to a smaller gun such as the PM9 or G26 you're not aware you're doing this.

During the course of fire at the N.Y.P.D. Range we make all shooters aware of this prior to going to the line to shoot. When the G26 was chosen as a Back Up Gu & Off Duty choice more range time was spent on "Mastering" the grip technique for this gun.

As with everything else time - practice and patience is the key! I just purchased a PM9 and awaiting delivery. In the meantime I'm going to the Range and practicing with a PM9 to accustom my self to the gun.

Good Luck! Be Patient!
Old 09-24-2003, 02:48 PM   #6
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 47
hAY sAILFISH, You might try the Peirce mag extension for the 6 rnd mag. It will give the pinky finger a really good grip instead of tucked under the mag/grip like you have to do with the flat base 6 rnd mag.
I'm not sure why but I get a better grip with the 6rnd mag with the extension than I do with the 7 rnd mag and it's factory extension. Maybe cause the Perice extension angles forward rather than straight down like the 7rnd mag does.
I swold my extras but if you run accross one you may want to give em a try. JB
Old 09-24-2003, 08:03 PM   #7
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 11
I've got one.

In fact I've got the Pierce Grip extension on the PM9 and my MK9. I agree it helps a lot, mostly in the accuracy of follow-up shots. As of today I haven't fired the PM9 since I started this thread, but I intend on focusing on the grip and stance when I visit the range. I've never had a problem limp wristing with any HKs, Glock, MK9, none of them...but the PM9 is the lightest and smallest of them all so I have to at least rule it out next time at the range. My inclination is that this isn't caused by limp wristing since I'm not a limp wrister with other small guns and more people would be having similar problems if the PM9 was so sensitive. Also limp wristers see a lot of FTEs since the wrist absorbs the energy that is supposed to drive the slide back and eject the spent cartridge. I have no FTEs but the FTFs occur when the slide stops short of full battery. I think it just may need more break-in and more cautious assembly, or worst case a new recoil spring.
Old 09-26-2003, 03:23 PM   #8
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 79
Sailfish : If you checked the prices of the Pearce Grip Extensions they run $10.00! I'd sugesst purchasing the mags WITH the Grip Extensions from KAHR -- Cost with the Grip Extension is $35.00 for the 7 Round Magazines same price without the Grip Extension!

To practice your firing technique to overcome "Limp wristing" or just to get a better "Grip" on the PM9 I'd suggest buying some "Snap Caps." Several Manufacturers put them out. I purchased mine at the last Gun Show in Middletown, New York. They're made by Pachmayr and called "A-Zoom" they're packed 5 in a Blister Pack and will last almost indefinitely! The size on the package is noted "9mm Luger." I paid $10.00 but I bought other items from the dealer also -- so he gave me a "break." The usually run about $14.00.

The "Snap Caps" will Not damage the firing mechanism of the PM9 or any other 9mm pistol. You'll be surprised at the improvement you'll see after practicing with them a while.
Old 10-01-2003, 09:06 AM   #9
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2
Are you having the same problem with both of your mags?
It could be a mag problem.
If both mags are doing it, and you are concentrating on your grip,
give Kahr a call.
Old 10-03-2003, 08:54 PM   #10
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 68
My only comment is that the PM9 is SO MUCH LIGHTER than most pistols that it is freakishly prone to "limp-wristing" failures. In fact, it is not really "limp-wristing" by a normal definition, but simply "insufficient wrist rigidity".
You have to really concentrate on keeping that wrist rock-locked because the slightest motion is able to move the pistol itself, absorbing its recoil ebergy.
There is also a true break-in period that lasts until about 500 rounds, so I wouldn't worry at all at this point. The only reason I know about this is because the same thing happened to me when my PM9 was new.

The other place it becomes obvious is when "slingshotting the slide" forward on a new magazine. Unless you keep the wrist absolutely locked, if the wrist jerks forward slightly it destroys the relative momentum of the slide-to-pistol, and it won't strip and feed the cartridge. I verified all this after I noticed it and tried it with "normal slingshotting" and "slingshotting while concentrating very hard upon keeping the wrist motionless and rigid".
The practical solution to that is just to always use the slide-release lever instead of slingshotting.

After getting these habits firmly ingrained, the reliability has been virtually 100%. I can't remember a recent misfeed of any kind...of course it is also more well-broken-in now too !

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