Nighthawk Predator Range Report

This is a discussion on Nighthawk Predator Range Report within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Well, I sneaked out to the range today to put some rounds thru the Predator I bought last week....boy this was a long week...anxiously awaiting ...

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Thread: Nighthawk Predator Range Report

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Prospector's Avatar
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    Nighthawk Predator Range Report

    Well, I sneaked out to the range today to put some rounds thru the Predator I bought last week....boy this was a long week...anxiously awaiting the "weekend" to break-er in. My lead in frown face is because all didn't go as I had hoped. After spending a half hour lookin for a stapler that would work so I could hang my targets up (I use plain ole paper plates from Wally World...red marker to make circle in middle)....finally, got them suckers posted and I'm back at the line....pre-loaded three mags before leaving the house...the two Novaks which came with the Predator, and one Wilson mag I use in my Kimber.

    Started with the Novak mags (8 rd mags) since Bumper had indicated a problem using his Wilsons in his NH Enforcer.....well, as usual, my first shot (I'm really steady on the first one)...hit darn close to dead center. The next four rounds were in there close....boy this is cool! I went to pull the trigger on the 6th rd and holy cow, no trigger movement...nada. I ejected the mag, pulled the slide back, which ejected the unspent round, then put the mag back in and released the slide to chamber the 7th rd....fired, 8th round chamberd and fired, and the slide locked open as there were no more rds in the mag.

    To make long story short, this was a continuous problem, but only with the Novak mags. I did not experience that problem with the Wilson mag. I then started putting less rds in each of the Novak mags....7 rds only, then 6, then 5, then 4....and each time, the malfunction occured when there were only 3 rds in the mag....(actually 3rd from bottom would chamber, leaving two in the mag).....after fiddling around with this, I discoverd that when that event occured, the trigger did not fully return to the ready (it would stick in a bit of depress)....I would grasp the trigger and pull maybe 1/16 to 1/8 inch to put it back in the ready. At this point the gun would fire, chamber, and continue to function properly.

    The other malfunction that would occur, and not consistently, but regardless of whether Novak or Wilson mag....was the slide lock would engage as if there were no more rds in the mag.

    Disappointing day at the range, you bet.....however, I'll call Nighthawk and I'm sure they'll fix her up for me. Other than the probs today, that gun does shoot sweet....very accurate, pleasant enough recoil, and frankly....it's just doggone pretty to look at!

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  3. #2
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    Glad you had a day at the range prospector, that's all that counts. These little bumps in the road will go away and you have a quality gun, not to worry my friend the sun is out you just need a good stapler.
    As you slide down the banister of life,
    May the splinters never point the wrong way.
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  4. #3
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Ahh that sucks hopefully they will fix ya up right i havent been to the range at in a month

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    Good grief! I wish you were close so we could switch around some more mags and see if the problem could be narrowed down. I never had any problems with mine on either Wilson or the Nighthawk/Novak mags. The only problem I had was one of my Wilson mags would fail to lock the slide on the last round. It was limited to that one magazine. The rest worked perfectly. I would, however, give the guys at Nighthawk a call, they may know what the problem is off the top of their head.
    Bumper
    Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde; Beware the anger of a patient man.

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    Prospector

    Probably a really simple fix. Maybe a burr of metal goofing up the trigger. It could be any little thing.
    On the plus side...usually when you send a pistol back to most places for a malfunction repair the smith will go over everything and you get an even sweeter pistol back than you would have had in the first place.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

  7. #6
    Member Array nighthawk's Avatar
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    Prospector, Those Novak mags especially with your low serial # are for the trash can. I've never been able to get my Novak's to work in my Nighthawk. In fact NightHawk is now shipping a "new" Novak mag with all their NightHawks. They were going to drop Novak completely until Novak built them a new mag. I use Wilson D amgs and Big Bore mags in my Nighthawk and viola all feed problems gone. I even have a couple of real Colt mags that it chews on just fine. The ramp on the Novaks is all wrong send them back to Nighthawk. They say this only effects the serials below 250.

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    Senior Member Array Prospector's Avatar
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    Thanks for the support guys...boy what a disappointment it was. I plan to call the gunsmith and send the gun back to them for a looksee....Still have my Kimber to carry in the interim.

    Nighthawk...I sent Bumber a comparison picture of the Novak & Wilson mag last night...each with 3rds inside....you could clearly see where the follower lines up with the mag release slot that the Wilson had the whole slot covered because of their solid follower...but the Novak design left gaps that could perhaps cause the mag release to catch on it. I've never taken a 1911 apart fully to know how the mechanisms work inside the frame...that is, the trigger, grip safety, and mag release. I suspect, and hopefully as QKShooter stated, there might just be a burr that needs attention.

    On the bright side...it is a wonderful shooter though. Was tellin Bumper that I may switch out to Hogue wrap grips if I use this one at the range much.....I've never cared much for the darn serrations on the front they rub my fingers raw after a lot of shootin.

  9. #8
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    Actually

    I'm just thinking...if the magazines were out of spec & slightly too fat...that sure would cause the trigger not to reset.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

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    This is the reason why I like Terry Tussey. He's the one who takes the pistol to the range the first time. He's the one who deals with diagnosing the stove-pipes, the double feeds, the FTE's, the FTX's and all the other stoppages caused by magazines and hollowpoint ammo.

    I get a dirty, functional custom gun returned.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Tourist
    This is the reason why I like Terry Tussey. He's the one who takes the pistol to the range the first time. He's the one who deals with diagnosing the stove-pipes, the double feeds, the FTE's, the FTX's and all the other stoppages caused by magazines and hollowpoint ammo.

    I get a dirty, functional custom gun returned.
    Ya know, it makes me wonder why manufacturers don't do that ....I mean heck, fire 500 rds thru the darn thing before sending it out....catch all those bugs in the test phase.....Hey, I think I just invented myself a "job description" now if I can just sell the idea to Wilson Nighthawk Kimber Glock Springfield CZ Kahr Smith & Wesson Beretta Walther H&K....and on and on and on!!!

  12. #11
    Member Array nighthawk's Avatar
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    Prospector, You caught it head on with the gap. According to the gunsmith here in AZ there is no good way to fix the Novak's other than tossing them. I'd send them back to Nighthawk and ask for the "new" Novak mags. Me I just pitched the Novaks and use Wilson and Big Bore mags in my Enforcer and viola not one malfunction in 1500 rnds so far.

  13. #12
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    Red face

    Got in touch with Nighthawk yesterday and explained my problem. They said that it probably was the mags causing the hiccup and they mail me a couple replacements....he asked if I'd be kind enough to send one of the originals back so he could mess with it. I told him I'd send him both. Meanwhile, I'll use the Wilson mags. Will let ya know how the new ones check out.

  14. #13
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    Red face Nighthawk Predator Range Report #2

    Well, Nighthawk sent me two new replacement mags (I sent them one of the originals back as requested) and I managed to sneak out to the range today and give them a try. But before I did, I took the remaining original mag, pulled the follower out and used a Dremel tool to grind down the follower edge that appears in the mag release slot when three rounds are loaded.

    History - when I had the problem first time out, I got back home and did comparisons of Novak mags with the Wilsons...noticed that Novak follower would protrude into the mag release slot...thought this might be my problem.

    Today - loaded the two new mags and the modified Novak. First mag was a Nighthawk, and bigger than doodoo, it did the same thing as the Novak when I got down to the 6th shot...had to pull the trigger forward and then it resumed normal shooting. I set it aside and loaded the Novak (modified) and fired all 8 rds without a hitch. Loaded the remaining Nighthawk mag and fired all 8 rds without a hitch. Reloaded all three mags and had the same results with the one Nighthawk mag. I also experienced a "non complete" feed from each of the mags...nothing consistent, but it happened....what I did notice was that if I popped the bottom of the mag, it would continue chambering the round.

    I also tried popping the bottom of the Nighthawk mag when I experienced the trigger pull problem on the 6th round, and lo and behold, I could fire the round without having to pull the trigger forward.

    All problems seemed to dissappear after approximately 130 rds today. The remaining 120 rds fired without a hitch. Total rounds thru the Predator to date is 450. Maybe now it'll function correctly 100%. I did notice that the one Nighthawk mag that was having same problem as the original Novaks also had a bit too much follower edge into the mag release slot when three rds were loaded.....after getting home, I ground it down too.

    I've noticed that none of the mags..Novak, Nighthawk, nor the Wilsons fit completely tight in the vertical....you can push up about 1/16 to 3/32 inch....since I was able to rid my problem by pushing the mag up on a couple occasions, I can't help but wonder if perhaps a better fit (tight) in the vertical is possible. I also noticed that when the mag is pushed as far vertical as it will go, it actually seems to hit/rest against the ejector.

    Some expert advice please!
    "Endeavor To Persevere"
    Chief Dan George

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    I wonder reading this if you dont have a problem with your mag catch ... Worth a look i think

  16. #15
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    I would call them again and let them know they were going to be getting the gun back for a final resolution of the problem. I now have 600 rounds through my Enforcer and have yet to have any problems at all. In mine, all mags are seated tight. You can push the Nighthawk mag in a bit more after it is seated but it is under spring tension. The Wilsons fit tighter. Still, no problems with gun or magazines.....
    Bumper
    Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde; Beware the anger of a patient man.

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