Stovepiping?

Stovepiping?

This is a discussion on Stovepiping? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am familiar with the term Stovepiping, and I think I basically understand some of why it happens. I understand its from not holding the ...

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Thread: Stovepiping?

  1. #1
    Member Array floridaguy911's Avatar
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    Exclamation Stovepiping?

    I am familiar with the term Stovepiping, and I think I basically understand some of why it happens. I understand its from not holding the weapon firmly ie:Limpwristing. Why exactly does stovepiping occur? Is it due to the lack of firm grip, which in turn, possibly jerks the weapon side to side or up during recoil (or both), which in turn, adds additional force to the weapon from a different angle than intended, and that.. IN TURN, does not allow the round to properly feed into the chamber because of the additional force (jerking movement) applied from the side or top or bottom which allows it to catch prior to chambering?

    The reason I ask is I myself have did this before, but rarely. My GF who is hell bent on purchasing a G26, with only ONE visit to the range EVER, (approx. 30 shots fired from her in her lifetime so far, 3 stovepipes, which all occured while she was shooting a 9mm [[Kahr p9 range rental]]) and that was her only time ever firing a firearm more powerful than an air rifle. This concerns me for her personal safety under a VERY stressful situation which she might be in. I have mentioned the revolver to her today, to at least shoot one this weekend prior to purchasing any pistol, and although she said she would shoot one, she basically scoffed at it, and told me she plans on getting the Glock (She did shoot several Glocks at the range, its not just because I have one). I would like to know more about stovepiping, because I strongly believe she is going to get the semi, and when that happens I want to be able to help her avoid the stove at all costs.

    SO... my questions are these.

    1) Simply define stovepiping for me to your best ability

    2) Exactly what causes Stovepiping?/Why does stovepiping occur?

    3) How do you alleviate Stovepiping?/What tips would YOU have to a person who pulls off a stove more often than they should? (I know you should really never do it if you can help it, but Im sure everyone has been guilty of it at one time or another, including myself.)


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    Member Array Seabee's Avatar
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    1. A stovepipe is when a spent casing only partially ejects from your firearm. Like the term implies, it looks like a "stove pipe" sticking out of your ejection port. It effectivly "jams" your firearm by not allowing your slide to go back into battery.

    2. Stovepiping can be caused by many factors. It can be limpwristing, it can be underpowered ammo, it can be a problem with the firearm. I have a CZ-75B that is super reliable will all ammo except CCI Blazer. I will get at least a stovepipe once a magazine. It has nothing to do with the way I'm shooting it, it's that ammo. Use any other ammo and it functions 100% EVERY time.

    3. First, find out if it's the ammo. Try a different brand, maybe hotter. If it's the shooter, work with their grip. Make sure they have a firm grip. If it's still a problem, try a different firearm. I know it's sounds funny to some, but many times there is a mismatch between shooter and firearm. Revolvers dont have a stovepipe problem, but there are other factors that they make them less than desirable. I own a S&W 642 which I love. Only 5 rounds, but i never feel undergunned in most situation. Your girlfriend needs to find a gun that functions 100% of the time with the ammo she intends to carry. A few jams per range sessions is not a good thing because in a real world situation, stress can do funny things on you and most times, makes your shooting worse.

  3. #3
    Member Array floridaguy911's Avatar
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    Ok.. apparently I had "stovepiping" INcorrect to the fullest. My GF did not stovepipe any of her rounds. I was linking stovepiping to a failure to feed dependant on firm grip/limpwrist. Of the 3 rounds that malfunctioned for her, all were ejected away from the weapon, and I believe that all of them were in the same magazine, possibly 2 then 1 in a different mag. anyhow, It was a problem completely seating or clearing the upcoming round, so it would FTF/Jam with the slide wide open as if the mag were empty, When i checked the chamber the round was caught with the nose on the one peice near the barrel ramp, and the butt (bad terminology im sure) was viced in between another peice while attempting to chamber the round. This happened to me in my Glock yesterday. TWice in the same magazine. I always use the same practice ammunition from the range and this has never happened before. First two times it has happened to me with this particular weapon. I was shooting regular FMJ ammunition, nothing out of the ordinary, 180gr.

    What reasons cause this to occur? Could the rounds have been bumped around in the magazine to dis-combobulate them? Or would the fact that my pinky presses quite firmly against the front strap of the 2+ mag be enough to cause a feeding process malfunction??? Help?
    Last edited by floridaguy911; July 28th, 2006 at 12:59 PM.
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    Member Array Blackhawk6's Avatar
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    Failures to feed are usually the result of a dirty weapon/insufficient lubricant, bullet profile or an oversized cartridge.

    Given that you used the same ammunition previously, the three FTF's your girlfriend experienced were with a range rental and you just asked for advice on cleaning your firearm, I am going to guess its was a dirty weapon that caused the problem.

    Editted to Add: I have about 50 rounds experience with a Kahr so I am far from an authority. I do understand that they demand a firm grip in order to function reliably. It is also my understanding that Kahr has produced some handguns with less-than-satisfactory reliability in the past. It is possible the range rental was one of these.

    As for the Glock, my vote is still for the dirty gun.

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    Sounds like failure to feed

    The problem you describe, with the top round of the magazine jammed on the feed ramp so the slide won't close, is failure to feed. It sounds like the casings from prior shots all ejected properly, so you didn't have a "stovepipe" failure where the spent casing is stuck between barrel and slide.

    Common causes of failure to feed include:

    1. Magazine with weak springs that doesn't push the next round up high enough and quickly enough for the slide to catch it and push it into the chamber.

    2. Weak or worn recoil spring on gun so that the slide is not returning with adequate force to push the new round into the chamber.

    3. Rough feed ramp which causes the nose of the bullet to encounter excessive friction and jam.

    4. Hollowpoint ammo with a sharp lip that snags more easily on the feedramp than smooth ball ammo would.

    You can diagnose the problem through trial and error, trying different magazines, different ammo, polishing the feed ramp, or replacing the mag springs or recoil spring with newer, stronger ones.

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    Member Array floridaguy911's Avatar
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    Shaggy, my GF is about 5'4" 118lbs of hard headed flesh. I can relate.

    Blackhawk, like mentioned before it was a range rental Kahr P9 on my GF's FTFs. I cant comment on lubrication, I did not check it. We always shoot FMJ's at the range unless im trying out new self defense ammo, which we were not at that time. Bullet profile was standard as far as I know. They were just standard FMJ's.

    Pogo, Thank you for your post. I will definitely keep all of these causes in mind next time a FTF occurs. It was a rental, so i dont know about the mag springs, or the recoil springs, or the feed ramp, and we were using FMJs. I wish I would have known these before, as I would have tried to visually check some of the problem 'areas'. But as a rental we are not permitted to disassemble any of the rental weapons.
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    Pogo2 fairly well defined the causes of a FTF. Limpwristing a small auto can give about the same results as a weak mainspring.

    My suggestion:
    When you take her back and if it happens again, you try to shoot the same gun with the same ammo she just used and see if it happens the same to you. That should be a good indicator if it is the gun's problem or is something your GF is doing.
    eschew obfuscation

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    I would not judge the performance of any firearm based on a GS rental. Who knows what abuse and niuse it's had or if it's ever been cleaned and lubed properly.

    You need to eliminate the causes, be it shooter, ammo or gun.
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    Ex Member Array detective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by floridaguy911 View Post
    Shaggy, my GF is about 5'4" 118lbs of hard headed flesh. I can relate.

    Blackhawk, like mentioned before it was a range rental Kahr P9 on my GF's FTFs. I cant comment on lubrication, I did not check it. We always shoot FMJ's at the range unless im trying out new self defense ammo, which we were not at that time. Bullet profile was standard as far as I know. They were just standard FMJ's.

    Pogo, Thank you for your post. I will definitely keep all of these causes in mind next time a FTF occurs. It was a rental, so i dont know about the mag springs, or the recoil springs, or the feed ramp, and we were using FMJs. I wish I would have known these before, as I would have tried to visually check some of the problem 'areas'. But as a rental we are not permitted to disassemble any of the rental weapons.
    SS
    Generally, range rentals are notorious for not being cleaned, inspected recently etc, little history of good maintenance + who knows what shape it was in before it became a rental: so you can of often get an otherwise good gun running at its worst. I would not judge a gun if it was a rental and it had fired erratically.

    If in this situation, tell them you're thinking of buying new weapon that's the same and ask them to clean/check this one to have a proper test; make clear you won't buy without this.
    If they won't, then you don't.

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