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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings,


I'm looking for some insight and advice regarding a Taurus PT138Pro.


About a month ago, I purchased an alleged new, in box, Taurus PT138Pro. I like the .380 caliber and thought it would be a good addition to the collection. I say "alleged" because there is no way for me to confirm its newness, but I do believe it was new, as it was heavily coated with what appeared to me as the old, factory grease.


I have had it at the range three times, and all three times I have had failures. I am able to shoot 15 or 20 rounds, before it begins failing. Once it fails, it fails every time thereafter.


How does it fail? It will not fire, then it will not eject. Hopefully the pictures below will aid in my description.


The first picture shows an actual shell that did not fire and was removed. Hopefully you can see the strike was way off center. Interesingly (to me, at least) once I clean the weapon and return to the range, it fires just fine--but soon fails again for the same reason. When removing and inspecting the firing pin, it looks just fine.


The next few pictures show, with a snap-cap, what happens next. Once a round fails to fire, it also fails to eject. It appears the round is held by the extractor, but (I guess) never comes in contact with the ejector.


The final picture shows the ejector which, to me, looks to be seated a little low. A couple of other Taurus automatics I have looked at, the ejector rides at the top of its little slot in the slide, while this one appears to be lower. This leads me to believe the round is coming back with the extractor, but is gliding over the top of the ejector and staying put.


I like the 138 and I'd like to keep it. I've talked with Taurus customer service (helpful, by the way) and they told me they would not fix it. It would be replaced with either a curve, or a G2C. I prefer neither option.


Also, the ammunition I've been using is Remington UMC (the white/green box). The .380 Remington rounds work just fine in my other .380's and I have no reason to believe it is a problem with the ammunition.


I do hope the pictures show enough detail.


Any advice or insight would be appreciated. If more pictures or information is in order, I'm ready to provide whatever will help.


Thank any and all!

20180810_165326.jpg 20180817_190649.jpg 20180817_190700.jpg 20180817_190920.jpg 20180818_145003.jpg
 

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On the misfires, it seems like the slide isn't completely in battery? This would cause the round to be a bit "low" for the firing pin. Try slapping the the slide to be sure it's fully seated for every round and see if you can get through a box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I haven't noticed if the slide is properly positioned, but I certainly didn't examine it carefully. It certainly could casually appear normal, but slip my notice.

Your comment about "low" intrigued me. I can't really say whether the strikes are low. I just tried a couple of snap-caps, and it looks like the strike is either dead center, or way off center, about 2 o'clock. I'm trying to gently remove the snap-cap (it is stuck in the extractor, as shown in the pictures) but I think I'm getting a true orientation when I remove it.

Next time I'm at the range, I will check the slide position, and get a better reading on exactly where the strike is. I assume knowing where on the clock the off-center strike is would be very important.

Thank you for the advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Hopefully I don't give away my ignorance, considering I'm replying to a likely expert in gun cleaning.

When I first got the weapon, it was pretty well inundated with the thick grey-ish lube (that I assumed is from the factory). It was thick and hard in places, I assume because it had been present so long. The KCY serial number tells me it is a 2010 model, so it has been crusting over for 8 years!

Anyway, I used a toothpick and butt end of a clothespin to remove as much of the grease as I could. I think I got it all, because the next time I cleaned it, I wasn't getting any residue.

My normal cleaning routine is spraying (soaking, really) Winchester Break Free Powder Blast on all the metal parts, including inside the barrel. After soaking for a few minutes, I use a brass brush (round in the barrel and square everywhere else). I then wipe down with dustless rags and spray more as necessary to remove any powder residue. After wiping down and seemingly dry, I then apply a light coat of Remington Rem Oil, wiping it with cotton cloths to remove excess and apply evenly.

I have cleaned it this way four times (after removing the packing grease) and two of those four times I've removed the firing pin and cleaned that whole area.

After reading this, it makes me think I should read up on cleaning and probably watch some videos in proper cleaning. This, however, is what I've done for years. Decades ago, I used to use nothing but WD40, but for the last 20 years or so, the above has been my routine. Don't misunderstand--I don't shoot much (and therefore don't clean much) and most of my experience has been with revolvers, so cleaning and maintaining an automatic is something I have very little experience with.

It never made sense to me that cleaning would have any impact on the gun performing, I assumed it was all for preventing rust and extending longevity. However, the more I read about Taurus guns, the more I gather that they almost always need a thorough cleaning or they may perform poorly or not at all. I "think" I've been cleaning it well, but that's just me and I'm not even close to being an expert.

If there's some cleaning technique that you think could make a difference with this gun, I'm all ears!

Thank you for the interest.
 

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Hopefully I don't give away my ignorance, considering I'm replying to a likely expert in gun cleaning...
I honestly don't think there's any such thing. Ask ten people, get ten different answers. We all do what works best for ourselves individually.

Were it mine, I might try dropping the slide assembly in my ultrasonic for a while and see what comes out. For that, I use a product we have at work that's a water based degreaser made specifically for ultrasonic small parts cleaning.
 

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Try putting a dot on the rim with a Sharpie, and load them all "dot up". It might be helpful to know if the off-center strike is high-low-left- or right.

It occurs to me this could all be the extractor being too tight, not letting the case slip all the way in sometimes, and holding it too well when it hits the ejector. Do try some other brand of ammo.

I'd be tempted to remove the extractor and clean up any sharp edges and see if there's any of that grease in the pivot/spring area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
glenwolde, that makes a lot of sense. I wish I knew how these things work, but I think I understand what you're saying. I was wondering about the extractor. It seemed a little stiff and I soaked and lubed that area, but I did not remove it. I believe the PT138 has a pin that runs vertically, that the extractor pivots on. I'm guessing I can punch that pin out and release the extractor, but I have no idea where the spring may appear (zinging across the room or whatever). I will have to see if I can find some specific video or diagram so I don't end up making a bad situation worse. The way that old grease was in there, I could sure see it messing with the extractor mechanism.

Thanks for that fantastic suggestion!
 

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glenwolde, that makes a lot of sense. I wish I knew how these things work, but I think I understand what you're saying. I was wondering about the extractor. It seemed a little stiff and I soaked and lubed that area, but I did not remove it. I believe the PT138 has a pin that runs vertically, that the extractor pivots on. I'm guessing I can punch that pin out and release the extractor, but I have no idea where the spring may appear (zinging across the room or whatever). I will have to see if I can find some specific video or diagram so I don't end up making a bad situation worse. The way that old grease was in there, I could sure see it messing with the extractor mechanism.

Thanks for that fantastic suggestion!
There should be a drawing somewhere. I removed one from a PT609 once and it wasn't difficult. They are similar guns. I drove the pin out from the inside-out. There's the pin it pivots on and then there's a spring and plunger that pushes on the opposite end from the claw. There was also a loaded chamber indicator blade in the same assembly in the 609.
 

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I don't often get involved on the smithing threads, but this one I will.
The gun is not NIB buy any definition, if you look at your pictures you can see old lube or rust
on the loaded chamber indicator, and paint worn off the indicator(had a PT145 that my paint was still there after
1 1/2 years) and the breach face looks worn. You need to pull that ejector off and clean it, check for broken ends on it
and give the whole pistol including mags a thorough cleaning............
Betcha it will run after that.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
glenwolde,

I picked up a set of punches today and was able to punch the pin that held the extractor and the loaded chamber indicator. There wasn't any gunk in there, but there was a fair amount of black residue. I soaked and cleaned the parts, oiled it all, and put it all back together. I was surprised to find an extra spring in there (there were two larger ones and one very tiny one) but I was able to get it all back in place. I should have made a video of the process. I'm really surprised that there doesn't seem to be one out there, as long as the Millennium Pro's have been around, surely someone has done that.

I ran a couple snap caps through, and they still stuck to the extractor. It will probably be a couple of weeks before I make it to the range, but I'll see if that makes a difference.

Thanks for the suggestion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
loudviking, well, thanks for the information. That stinks!

I was able to remove the extractor and give it a good cleaning, although it wasn't at all gunked up. I didn't see anything that was broken, although unless it was obvious, I sure could have missed it. All the edges looked machined and nothing looked like it had anything broken off. I oiled it and put it all back together. Unfortunately, it still doesn't cleanly eject a snap cap. Who knows, maybe with real ammunition, it will eject the brass.

I haven't cleaned the magazines since the initial cleaning. I did, at first, think it was a magazine issue, as it always seemed to fail on the third magazine (and I always loaded and emptied them in the same order). However, I did change up the order and it didn't follow the suspect magazine. The gun is sitting in the box, ready to use whenever I make it to the range. Since it's just idling, I'll go ahead and clean the magazines again and hope for the best at the range.

Thanks so much for the input.
 

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Loudviking I am there with you rust/oil/worn paint it is used I also opt complete inspection of parts mag scrub parts inspection there also....I am the kind that does that Complete clean/strip/inspect on every gun. Every dealer has had a gun go out and come back. I just do not accept NIB from any dealer LGS or Internet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ugh, thanks for the observation, Steyr. There isn't much inspection when I buy a gun...as if I'm some kind of expert!

If it looks like the gun I paid for, it is coming home. I still haven't been to the range since removing the extractor and cleaning/lubing it and the area, but it still won't eject a snap cap. It still looks to me like the ejector (which just appears to be a very small piece of metal jutting in to from the rear) is riding too low and the shell just skirts above it, never to be ejected. I've examined it as best I can, but I sure don't see anything bent or shaved. Comparing it to a PT132 I have, the ejector just looks to ride low in comparison to the slide. I'd really like to see it side by side with another PT138, but that's not likely.

Once I visit the range (hopefully within another week) I'll report back. It may be on a trip to Miami to get replaced by something I don't want!

I'll report back once I visit the range
 

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If you have any rounds of .380, CAREFULLY put one in the mag, load it in the chamber, and
give a good yank and see if it extracts.................
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
An update.

I finally made it back to the range today. I actually ran over 50 rounds through the gun, without ever failing to eject a round. After another thorough cleaning, this time taking the extractor out and cleaning that area, this time it didn't fail. Interestingly, after all that cleaning, it still wouldn't extract a snap cap, so I didn't hold out much hope.

Here's what was different:
I never loaded more than 7 rounds in each magazine (in the past, I'd loaded them up, 10 rounds).
I removed the extractor and cleaned/lubed the area (in the past, I'd never removed the extractor).
I used Winchester JHP, Blazer, and Herter ammunition (in the past, I was using Remington UMC).

I did mark some shells at twelve o'clock, anticipating the same problem. However, as you can see by this picture, it looks like it is striking on target.

20180908_181512.jpg

Is it going to fail again? Who knows, but at least it worked this time where it hadn't before. Next time, I'll load up the magazines and see if that changes things. Then I'll try some Remington again and see if that changes things. If not, I guess it must be the extractor removal and cleaning.

Thanks to everyone who gave advice.
 

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An update.

I finally made it back to the range today. I actually ran over 50 rounds through the gun, without ever failing to eject a round. After another thorough cleaning, this time taking the extractor out and cleaning that area, this time it didn't fail. Interestingly, after all that cleaning, it still wouldn't extract a snap cap, so I didn't hold out much hope.

Here's what was different:
I never loaded more than 7 rounds in each magazine (in the past, I'd loaded them up, 10 rounds).
I removed the extractor and cleaned/lubed the area (in the past, I'd never removed the extractor).
I used Winchester JHP, Blazer, and Herter ammunition (in the past, I was using Remington UMC).

I did mark some shells at twelve o'clock, anticipating the same problem. However, as you can see by this picture, it looks like it is striking on target.

View attachment 424497

Is it going to fail again? Who knows, but at least it worked this time where it hadn't before. Next time, I'll load up the magazines and see if that changes things. Then I'll try some Remington again and see if that changes things. If not, I guess it must be the extractor removal and cleaning.

Thanks to everyone who gave advice.

Sounds like a WIN to me....
 
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