Chambering a round

This is a discussion on Chambering a round within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Running into a weird tic with my handgun and wondering if it is something I am doing or typical to my gun. I use a ...

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Thread: Chambering a round

  1. #1
    Member Array genkirk2004's Avatar
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    Question Chambering a round

    Running into a weird tic with my handgun and wondering if it is something I am doing or typical to my gun. I use a Walther PK380, and preferred status for me at home (no CHL quite yet) is with a round chambered and the safety on. To do this, obviously I have to load the magazine, then chamber a round, eject the magazine and insert another round (prefer 9 rounds to 8). My question is this... every time I release the magazine after chambering, the next round in the magazine will be seated slightly forward. At times, it is far enough forward that the magazine does not want to come out. This has not caused me any major problems at the range that I've noticed, but I have had a couple of jams that I suspect were due to this. What can cause this? Are my magazine springs too stiff, so the next round is dragging forward on the bottom of the slide when the action cycles?

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    VIP Member Array maxwell97's Avatar
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    Sounds like a reasonable guess. Is it a pretty new gun with new springs?

    When you chamber a round do you ease the slide forward, or pull it back and let it go?
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    I don't know if it would help any but do you tap the back of the magazine to ensure all rounds are flush with the back? Also, you don't by chance have the magazine spring in backwards do you. This can cause some erratic feeding. It usually causes the rounds to nosedive though.
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    I often find the next round shifted forward in any of my semis. As the top round is stripped, the slides the next one. But it's never caused a problem.
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    Senior Member Array bigpapa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmattingly73 View Post
    I don't know if it would help any but do you tap the back of the magazine to ensure all rounds are flush with the back? Also, you don't by chance have the magazine spring in backwards do you. This can cause some erratic feeding. It usually causes the rounds to nosedive though.

    This is what I learn in the military back in the day you tap the mag on your helmet after you load the magazine and I find myself doing it even today with my handgun.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigpapa View Post
    This is what I learn in the military back in the day you tap the mag on your helmet after you load the magazine and I find myself doing it even today with my handgun.
    My ccw instructor also told us to give the back of the magazine a tap before sliding it into the gun.


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    Member Array genkirk2004's Avatar
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    I do make sure all the rounds are seated as far back as they will go after loading, so I know that's not it. When I reassemble the magazines, the top level of the spring is always at an angle upwards towards the front of the magazine, I.e. the tallest side of the spring would be under the nose of the bullet. It is a relatively new gun, only about 2 years old, but I keep it loaded 24-7 so I would think the sprjngs would be wore in by now, it just seems the most logical explanation. It doesn't seem to cause many problems when firing, just when taking the mag back out to load that extra round. I should also point out I'm using Hornady hollow points with the soft rubber plug in the center, which seems to drag a little, but it also does it on the range with standard FMJ, to the point where sometimes when I eject the mag it catches, then the top round in the mag will actually come loose and fall out after the mag, so I have to reload that round and add another. Also, I do pull back, then completely release the slide, not ease it forward.

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    Not to worry, if you ever have to switch Mags after firing all of the 9 loaded rounds at a BG (with a 380 = might be the case), then the Mag will be Empty and drop right out. Just have the other 3 Mags you will need at the ready!

    I'm just kidding! Really, love a 380 HP. Heck I trust my life to a BUG that is a .22 LR backing up my M 1911.

    Anyways, for cleaning, that might be a problem, but if you have to use all the rounds and reload, it should drop.

    I agree with the above. Either poor loading of rounds or an overly new spring. Tap that Mag after you load it. Tap it three times hard.
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    At times, it is far enough forward that the magazine does not want to come out.


    That is actually a common occurrence with many semi-automatic handguns. As the top cartridge in the magazine is stripped from the mag by the forward motion of the slide that top round will catch the next one up (the cartridge beneath) and tend to drag it slightly forward in the magazine.

    It is likely NOT the cause of any function or feed related problems.
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    Member Array genkirk2004's Avatar
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    That makes me feel quite a bit better, thanks to all for chiming in

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    As stated it is pretty common.

    Question though... if you load the mag a round light (below max capacity) and chambered the top round and remove the magazine, does it still move the top round in the mag forward (and as far) ?

    Some magazines are bound pretty tight when loaded to capacity and stuffed up there with the top round forced down a bit more against the bottom of the slide. This pressure can also make the gun cycle a bit differently on the first (and second) round than the cycles after it.

    You may find that the gun is more reliable if you don't top off the magazine. This used to happen with certain 1911 magazines. That's why I use mags like the Wilson Combat's in 1911's as they have a bit of extra space in them to compensate for the top round being pushed against the bottom of the slide when topped off.


    If you find that the top round does not go as far forward on a magazine that starts out loaded to less than full capacity, then I would suggest not topping off the magazine if you plan to use the gun for self defense.

    If the topped of magazine binds at all, It is far better to sacrifice that extra round for a more reliable first and second shot.

    I do this on my own Browning Hi Power, as it acts differently with a topped off magazine.
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    My wifes Sig p938 does the same thing after chambering first round than dropping mag to top off the next round is always not seated in orginal spot, I'd agree with the others this seems normal to some guns and has not produced any problems.
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    The Walther PPK/S that I have will do it every time.

    It does not affect normal function at all but often the next round has moved forward enough in the magazine that yanking the magazine out of the firearm will often pop that top round right out of the mag.

    The SIG P220 will move the next cartridge slightly forward also.

    The Colt 1911 can do it also but, with the 1911 the 1911 magazine feed lips vary so much between magazine manufacturers that some magazines will allow it to happen and some will not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigpapa View Post
    This is what I learn in the military back in the day you tap the mag on your helmet after you load the magazine and I find myself doing it even today with my handgun.

    You tap the mag against your head or do you wear a helmet to the range?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoveman View Post
    You tap the mag against your head or do you wear a helmet to the range?
    Thats why half the people at the range are walking around in a stupor, they didn't realize they were supposed to do it with a helmet on.

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