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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Before I took my 738 to the range, I polished the feed ramp, hammer cocking ramp, and barrel. I did notice that it fed better but still would not load the first round unless I was very aggressive in racking the slide. When I went to the range, I had three FTFs in 50 rounds.

Today I went to the range and had 4 FTFs in 30 rounds. I was shooting Remington 95 gr. FMJs. I never had two mags in a row without a FTF. I then shot two mags of Hornady Critical Defense and had no FTFs.

After I cleaned the gun, with the slide still off the gun and the barrel out of the slide, I pushed a round up from the bottom of the slide under the extractor and noticed the effort required to push it up and the roughness doing it. I then took a small thin file and wrapped it with 1000 grit sandpaper and polished the outside and bottom edges of the extractor that face the breech face as well as the corner where those two surfaces meet. After that I pushed a round up under the extractor and the effort was much reduced and the roughness was gone. After I re-assembled the gun, I put a round in the mag and racked the slide in what I would consider a normal fashion for racking a slide and the round chambered. I then loaded the mag with 5 rounds and racked each round through with a gentle racking and each round chambered. I showed it to my son and he locked the slide open, inserted the mag, and pushed the slide release and the round chambered. Given that I no longer have a first round FTF, I suspect that my firing FTFs will be a thing of the past.

While polishing the extractor has been discussed previously, it was in the context of general polishing of the gun. My experience shows that it had a greater effect on the functioning of my gun that all the other polishing I had previously done.

Every gun is different and while what worked to fix my gun may not solve another guns first round FTF problem, my experience would indicate that the extractor should be checked as a potential contributor to the problem.

e. J.
 

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Nice post my 738 had the same problem too so i will look at it and try this it sounds like the same issue so i will check on it my ftf were huge with it being brand new just out of the box I can feel the rail rubbing so ill give it a througo once over and hopefully i can fix it if not it will be going to the factory for warranty
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was curious why I had no FTFs with the Hornady ammo for the two mags I fired. I decided to check the rounds and the rim on the Hornady ammo is .003-.004 inch smaller in thickness than the rim on the Remington ammo. That makes perfect sense since a thinner rim would have less trouble sliding under the extractor.

E. J.
 

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Gonna try this in a few hours. Girlfriends 738 almost always has problem feeding first round out of the clip. Thanks for the info!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I hope it works for you. Finding that the rim thicknesses are different between the Remington and Hornady ammo makes me wonder if that isn't the reason people are finding that their gun has a preference for one brand over another in proper feeding. The Remington rim is .042 inch and the Hornady rim is .038 inch. Maybe people that have other brands on hand can post the rim thickness of their ammo. That way, maybe we can get confirmation that the brands that are a problem in their gun also have thicker rims than a brand that works better in their gun.

E. J.
 

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Gonna try this in a few hours. Girlfriends 738 almost always has problem feeding first round out of the clip. Thanks for the info!!!
Are you trying to slingshot the first round or use the slide release? Some pistols are sensitive to slingshot. My Kahr's manual specifically says that it is recommended to always use the slide release for the first round. When I started playing with the 738 last night, I couldn't get it to feed a single time by slingshot (probably 10 tries), but had perfect feeding if I let the spring do the work.
 

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We press on the release and pull the slide back a hair and let it slide forward since the release is just a beast to get to work. She has 150 rounds through it so far and it is getting better. Hope it gets easier still tho.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Any chance you could post pics of exactly where you filed? I would really appreciate it.
I'm not skilled enough to put arrows on a picture so me posting a picture wouldn't be helpful. I'll try to explain it. The round comes up from under the extractor and at an angle initially so it is important that the bottom rear edge of the extractor be smooth and not a sharp corner. I polished the bottom back edge using 1000 grit sandpaper wrapped around a thin file. You don't want to file the extractor because it will remove too much metal. You only want to polish the edge. It requires wrapping the sandpaper around something very thin because there isn't much room to get between the extractor and breech face. I also polished the vertical back edge of the extractor as well as the 90 degree corner where the bottom and vertical edges meet. Just think about where the round contacts the extractor during the loading process and you will know where to polish.

You had mentioned that you could feel some roughness in working the slide. While you have the slide off, inspect the slide rails to see if you can see any burrs that could be causing the roughness. One other thing I do is grease the springs. When you have two springs nested together they will rub on each other as they are compressed. I don't know that it helps functioning any, but did change the way the gun sounds when I rack the slide. If the coils don't move smoothly against each other, the jerkiness of the coils moving over each other could give the impression of roughness in slide movement.

E. J.
 

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Federal 95 gr. fmj rim thickness is .395 to .040. Blazer 95 gr.fmj is running .042. Federal functions well in my gun. Blazer not so much
 

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See there, we all can learn somethin'. Thanks for sharing.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Federal 95 gr. fmj rim thickness is .395 to .040. Blazer 95 gr.fmj is running .042. Federal functions well in my gun. Blazer not so much
Thanks for posting your rim thicknesses. It does look like a pattern is developing. Hopefully some others will post rim thicknesses on other brands.

E. J.
 

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I'm not skilled enough to put arrows on a picture so me posting a picture wouldn't be helpful. I'll try to explain it. The round comes up from under the extractor and at an angle initially so it is important that the bottom rear edge of the extractor be smooth and not a sharp corner. I polished the bottom back edge using 1000 grit sandpaper wrapped around a thin file. You don't want to file the extractor because it will remove too much metal. You only want to polish the edge. It requires wrapping the sandpaper around something very thin because there isn't much room to get between the extractor and breech face. I also polished the vertical back edge of the extractor as well as the 90 degree corner where the bottom and vertical edges meet. Just think about where the round contacts the extractor during the loading process and you will know where to polish.

You had mentioned that you could feel some roughness in working the slide. While you have the slide off, inspect the slide rails to see if you can see any burrs that could be causing the roughness. One other thing I do is grease the springs. When you have two springs nested together they will rub on each other as they are compressed. I don't know that it helps functioning any, but did change the way the gun sounds when I rack the slide. If the coils don't move smoothly against each other, the jerkiness of the coils moving over each other could give the impression of roughness in slide movement.

E. J.

Thanks for the explanation. Hopefully I can figure it out and get it polished to fix the issue!!!
 

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Interesting thread, so I dug thru my .380 Brass and this is what I came up with. There were some minor fluctuations in size by brand however the majority of what they measured is listed here:

Hornady .0375 Nickel
Hornady .0385 Brass
RP .0410
PMC .0415
Federal .0415
WIN .0420
CBC .0435
S&B .0465
FC .0475

I have fired everything except the FC, S&B, and CBC in my TCP. These were “free range” brass I picked up.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
"I have fired everything except the FC, S&B, and CBC in my TCP. These were “free range” brass I picked up."

If you ever fire any of these cases, please report how they functioned since they are the thickest rims so far.

Thanks for posting your measurements.

E. J.
 

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"I have fired everything except the FC, S&B, and CBC in my TCP. These were “free range” brass I picked up."

If you ever fire any of these cases, please report how they functioned since they are the thickest rims so far.

Thanks for posting your measurements.

E. J.
Someday I will get around to reloading these; I will let you know then. When I first got my TCP I was having trouble with the "WIN" I attributed it to the flat nose, perhaps it was the rim thickness causing me problems. After a few hundred rounds the “WIN” worked fine. I guess that is why they call it a break-in period. :D
 

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I'm not skilled enough to put arrows on a picture so me posting a picture wouldn't be helpful. I'll try to explain it. The round comes up from under the extractor and at an angle initially so it is important that the bottom rear edge of the extractor be smooth and not a sharp corner. I polished the bottom back edge using 1000 grit sandpaper wrapped around a thin file. You don't want to file the extractor because it will remove too much metal. You only want to polish the edge. It requires wrapping the sandpaper around something very thin because there isn't much room to get between the extractor and breech face. I also polished the vertical back edge of the extractor as well as the 90 degree corner where the bottom and vertical edges meet. Just think about where the round contacts the extractor during the loading process and you will know where to polish.

You had mentioned that you could feel some roughness in working the slide. While you have the slide off, inspect the slide rails to see if you can see any burrs that could be causing the roughness. One other thing I do is grease the springs. When you have two springs nested together they will rub on each other as they are compressed. I don't know that it helps functioning any, but did change the way the gun sounds when I rack the slide. If the coils don't move smoothly against each other, the jerkiness of the coils moving over each other could give the impression of roughness in slide movement.

E. J.
FYI, another way to polish areas like this is using a Dremel and the little felt polishing wheels with the polishing compound. I don't know the grit of the poilishing compound that came with my Dremel kit, but this process works really fast and give you a mirror shine to those rough surfaces in no time. I used mine to polish the feed ramp and bolt face of my TCP and it went from being non-functional (out of the box brand new) to nice and smooth.
Shouldn't really have to to do this with a brand new gun just to make it cycle...but hey, it was $200....
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
When feeding a round from the magazine, the rim of the cartridge has to slide up between the extractor and the breech face as the breech face pushes the round forward. The round comes up at a slight angle so the front of the rim has to slide over the rear bottom edge of the extractor. If that edge of the extractor is sharp or has burrs, it will tend to grab the brass rim and hinder the upward movement of the round.

I suggest you lock the slide to the rear, insert a loaded magazine, pull back on the slide to release the slide lock, and slowly let the slide forward while watching how the rim comes up between the extractor and breech face to notice where the rim of the round contacts the extractor.

I hope this helps you understand what you need to polish.

E. J.
 
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