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Thread: Strange P380 Problem--Dead Trigger

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wlfman13 View Post
    Clean your striker channel, and replace your recoil springs. I am on my third set of recoil springs, and am about to order a fourth as a backup because my third set has 800 rounds on it.

    Try this. The next time that happens, pull the slide back a quarter inch to 3/8 inch. Don’t eject the live round. Kinda like you are checking to see if the gun has a round chambered. Make sure you push the slide all the way forward after “checking for a live round”. Then, aim, and pull the trigger. You should hear a bang.

    If that bang happens after doing a “mini-rack” to reset the trigger and pushing the slide forward into battery, you need new recoil springs. This happened to me, and new recoil springs fixed the problem.

    -Wlf
    OK, I took the Magguts +1 kit out of the mags and test fired again. Same problem: fire and eject one shell, chamber a new round, "dead trigger".

    Your post above was exactly right. After my "dead trigger" failure I pulled the slide back, heard a click when the trigger reset, and was able to fire the gun.

    Thanks.

    I have an RMA to return the gun to Kahr coming. I may opt to just replace the spring.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    105

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    Alphonso,

    One additional detail I didn’t mention. Given your original post, I didn’t think it mattered. However, you and I have experienced similar issues this month. I recently switched the followers and springs in both of my P380 magazines to the Magguts +1 kit. I immediately started to have “weird” light strikes after firing the first round. This was happening after losing the mag with five rounds, and shooting one. Then, on the next shot (with one in the chamber, and three in the mag), I would experience the lightest of light strikes. No bang. At first, I threw the round downrange as I thought it was a defective round. After the third time (both mags did this), I did a “press check” (I think that term is correct). I racked the slide 3/8” and pushed it forward. The round would fire, as well as the remaining rounds. It only happened with four rounds remaining, regardless of which mag I used, and regardless of how many rounds I initially loaded I to the magazine.

    At first, I blamed the problem on the fact that I sprayed Ballistol onto the breech face and striker assembly and spring when cleaning. That had been my first time to ever use Ballistol. After cleaning the striker channel with non-chlorinated brake cleaner, the issue remained. I then blamed the issue on the magguts followers. Then, I remembered that the first sign that I needed recoil springs the last time I had to change them was light strikes. THOSE light strikes were easier to feel and hear. For some reason, the magguts springs made the light strikes lighter this time.

    That night, at home, with the gun loaded, I again pulled the slide back a quarter inch to see if the spring was strong enough to push the slide back into battery without the help of any forward momentum. No joy.

    I changed the recoil springs, and the “mini rack test” resulted in the slide going easily and quickly back into battery without the help of momentum.

    The next three trips to the range have been completely different. It’s like a brand new gun. I now realize what it feels like to be dealing with recoil springs that have gotten “sluggish”.

    I’m typing this on a phone, so it feels very long and drawn out. I hope, though, that this post benefits someone. If my description does not provide help, or a solution, then I feel very confident that the excellent information provided by gb6491 will be helpful. I learned a lot just from reading his post, and now feel comfortable tackling the replacement of my trigger bar spring, should the need arise.

    -Wlf

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wlfman13 View Post
    Alphonso,

    One additional detail I didn’t mention. Given your original post, I didn’t think it mattered. However, you and I have experienced similar issues this month. I recently switched the followers and springs in both of my P380 magazines to the Magguts +1 kit. I immediately started to have “weird” light strikes after firing the first round. This was happening after losing the mag with five rounds, and shooting one. Then, on the next shot (with one in the chamber, and three in the mag), I would experience the lightest of light strikes. No bang. At first, I threw the round downrange as I thought it was a defective round. After the third time (both mags did this), I did a “press check” (I think that term is correct). I racked the slide 3/8” and pushed it forward. The round would fire, as well as the remaining rounds. It only happened with four rounds remaining, regardless of which mag I used, and regardless of how many rounds I initially loaded I to the magazine.

    At first, I blamed the problem on the fact that I sprayed Ballistol onto the breech face and striker assembly and spring when cleaning. That had been my first time to ever use Ballistol. After cleaning the striker channel with non-chlorinated brake cleaner, the issue remained. I then blamed the issue on the magguts followers. Then, I remembered that the first sign that I needed recoil springs the last time I had to change them was light strikes. THOSE light strikes were easier to feel and hear. For some reason, the magguts springs made the light strikes lighter this time.

    That night, at home, with the gun loaded, I again pulled the slide back a quarter inch to see if the spring was strong enough to push the slide back into battery without the help of any forward momentum. No joy.

    I changed the recoil springs, and the “mini rack test” resulted in the slide going easily and quickly back into battery without the help of momentum.

    The next three trips to the range have been completely different. It’s like a brand new gun. I now realize what it feels like to be dealing with recoil springs that have gotten “sluggish”.

    I’m typing this on a phone, so it feels very long and drawn out. I hope, though, that this post benefits someone. If my description does not provide help, or a solution, then I feel very confident that the excellent information provided by gb6491 will be helpful. I learned a lot just from reading his post, and now feel comfortable tackling the replacement of my trigger bar spring, should the need arise.

    -Wlf
    First off, if you can type a post like that from your phone you are my hero. That would take me a week to type on the phone.

    I have had no light strikes. I have had "no strikes" and completely disengaged trigger. Also, my recoil springs return the slide to battery in all cases. No matter how little or how much I pull the slide back the recoils springs put it into full battery.

    My problem is clearly failure to reset the trigger. I too at one point thought the problem was Magguts. Nope. Original mags have the same problem.

    I have recoil spring coming from Kahr (their customer service has been truly wonderful to me over the years). If the springs don't fix the problem, the whole gun is going home to Kahr for a professional look see.

    In the mean time a guy offered me an unfired (except factory test) S&W 380 Bodyguard with the built in laser for $250. Couldn't say no. I'll use it to back up the P380 or sell it for a small profit here in a week or two.

    Thanks again for the help.

  4. #14

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    How would a worn out recoil spring cause light strikes? I'm just asking because I want to learn something new.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    105

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    Lee1000,

    (Please understand that I’m not a gunsmith, and I may be corrected. If so, I will definitely edit this post.)

    The recoil spring is critical to placing “pre-tension” on the striker. It is what holds the slide forward. For that reason, the slide is hard to hold back. When the slide returns to battery, the striker catches on the trigger cam. The trigger cam won’t move forward. Because of that, something has to give. That thing that gives is the striker spring. The striker spring is strong. The recoil spring forces the slide forward, which “pre-cocks” the striker.

    When you pull the trigger, the striker is pulled back the rest of the way, and at the end of the trigger travel, the “2nd nodule” on the trigger cam pushes on the rectangular piece, which removes the “barrier” that keeps the striker from hitting the primer cartridge.

    if the slide is not fully in battery, then the trigger cam can only pull the striker back a little bit. Also, if the slide is TOO far back, then the trigger cam will only pull the striker back a little bit, AND will let go of the striker before it pushes the rectangular “button”, which allows the striker to hit the primer cartridge. So, you get a really light strike that doesn’t even touch the primer cartridge.

    Now, on to a real-life example:
    1. Unload your gun
    2. Unload your gun again.
    3. Remove the slide stop pin.
    4. Remove the recoil spring and guide rod.
    5. Remove the barrel.
    6. Install the slide on the frame. Yep.
    7. Lightly... rack the slide slowly. Until it snaps back over the trigger cam.
    8. If you’ve never done this, you may now feel like you are in a bind. You can’t remove the slide without pulling the trigger. However, the slide needs to be in he correct spot.
    9. Go ahead and pull the trigger with the slide where it is. Feel the sponginess? Let go of the trigger.
    10. Now, push the slide forward until the rear of the slide is even with the frame. You will have to “force it”, since you will be working against the striker spring. Normally, the recoil spring does this work for you.
    11. When the rear of the slide is pushed forward enough to be even with the rear of the frame, pull the trigger. Do you feel that? It feels like a normal trigger because it is pushing the striker spring back. For some reason, the trigger has no “power” unless the recoil spring pushes the slide forward, after the trigger “resets”.
    12. After you pull the trigger, things will feel normal, and you will be able to slide the slide forward, over the trigger cam, like you would normally do just prior to cleaning the gun.

    In short, the recoil spring HAS to have enough “oomph” to keep the slide in battery, which also “precocks” the striker, and also places the correct pressure on the trigger system to give it the power to pull the striker the rest of the way back.

    If your recoil spring can’t keep the slide forward all the way, it can’t pull the striker back all the way (among other bad side-effects).

    I REALLY hope this makes sense. And, I really hope I explained it correctly.

    Everyone, PPPlease correct me if I am wrong.

    Again, I did this on my phone. I’ll correct spelling and other issues (if needed) after I post this reply.

    -Wlf

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wlfman13 View Post
    Lee1000,

    (Please understand that I’m not a gunsmith, and I may be corrected. If so, I will definitely edit this post.)

    The recoil spring is critical to placing “pre-tension” on the striker. It is what holds the slide forward. For that reason, the slide is hard to hold back. When the slide returns to battery, the striker catches on the trigger cam. The trigger cam won’t move forward. Because of that, something has to give. That thing that gives is the striker spring. The striker spring is strong. The recoil spring forces the slide forward, which “pre-cocks” the striker.

    When you pull the trigger, the striker is pulled back the rest of the way, and at the end of the trigger travel, the “2nd nodule” on the trigger cam pushes on the rectangular piece, which removes the “barrier” that keeps the striker from hitting the primer cartridge.

    if the slide is not fully in battery, then the trigger cam can only pull the striker back a little bit. Also, if the slide is TOO far back, then the trigger cam will only pull the striker back a little bit, AND will let go of the striker before it pushes the rectangular “button”, which allows the striker to hit the primer cartridge. So, you get a really light strike that doesn’t even touch the primer cartridge.

    Now, on to a real-life example:
    1. Unload your gun
    2. Unload your gun again.
    3. Remove the slide stop pin.
    4. Remove the recoil spring and guide rod.
    5. Remove the barrel.
    6. Install the slide on the frame. Yep.
    7. Lightly... rack the slide slowly. Until it snaps back over the trigger cam.
    8. If you’ve never done this, you may now feel like you are in a bind. You can’t remove the slide without pulling the trigger. However, the slide needs to be in he correct spot.
    9. Go ahead and pull the trigger with the slide where it is. Feel the sponginess? Let go of the trigger.
    10. Now, push the slide forward until the rear of the slide is even with the frame. You will have to “force it”, since you will be working against the striker spring. Normally, the recoil spring does this work for you.
    11. When the rear of the slide is pushed forward enough to be even with the rear of the frame, pull the trigger. Do you feel that? It feels like a normal trigger because it is pushing the striker spring back. For some reason, the trigger has no “power” unless the recoil spring pushes the slide forward, after the trigger “resets”.
    12. After you pull the trigger, things will feel normal, and you will be able to slide the slide forward, over the trigger cam, like you would normally do just prior to cleaning the gun.

    In short, the recoil spring HAS to have enough “oomph” to keep the slide in battery, which also “precocks” the striker, and also places the correct pressure on the trigger system to give it the power to pull the striker the rest of the way back.

    If your recoil spring can’t keep the slide forward all the way, it can’t pull the striker back all the way (among other bad side-effects).

    I REALLY hope this makes sense. And, I really hope I explained it correctly.

    Everyone, PPPlease correct me if I am wrong.

    Again, I did this on my phone. I’ll correct spelling and other issues (if needed) after I post this reply.

    -Wlf
    Wow thanks for the explanation. So is the striker spring/trigger pull pulling the slide out of battery?

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    105

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    I’m not sure. That could definitely be the case.

    I do know that, in my case, new recoil springs fixed the issue. Which, I guess, is a clear indication that I had asked my recoil spring to perform its duty for way too long.

    I guess, in my explanation above, I (in a long-winded way, maybe) explained why a semi-auto striker-fired gun won’t fire if the slide is pushed out of battery, even the tiniest bit.

    Last night was when I really figured out/understood how the Kahr trigger could possibly release the striker, but not have the striker contact the primer cartridge.

    Also, working through my example, along with the understanding I gained from gb’s post, gave me a clear understanding of how the Kahr trigger is reset when a fired round forces the slide rearward.

    -Wlf

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Bowling Green, Virginia
    Posts
    3,051

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    The only instance I've experienced of "dead trigger" in a Kahr occurred when the trigger bar broke. The rearmost piece that actually contacts and moves the cam broke completely off resulting in the trigger doing nothing but going back and forth. There was no off and on, work then not work to it though. The gun was completely useless. Probably not your problem if the gun works sometimes but I thought I'd throw it into the mix for info purposes.

    Kahr replaced the trigger bar for no charge but it did take about 9 weeks to turn around IIRC.
    Judging by today's left wing, looks like Senator Joe McCarthy was right after all.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by ripley16 View Post
    The only instance I've experienced of "dead trigger" in a Kahr occurred when the trigger bar broke. The rearmost piece that actually contacts and moves the cam broke completely off resulting in the trigger doing nothing but going back and forth. There was no off and on, work then not work to it though. The gun was completely useless. Probably not your problem if the gun works sometimes but I thought I'd throw it into the mix for info purposes.

    Kahr replaced the trigger bar for no charge but it did take about 9 weeks to turn around IIRC.
    My "dead trigger" is intermittent and, I'm pretty sure, not the result of t broken trigger bar.

    Also my recoil springs will move the slide back to full battery no matter how much or how little I pull the slide back.

    The recoil springs may be failing somehow while being called on to cycle during firing.

    I'm still having trouble understanding how: My pistol can fire and eject a round, feed another, go into FULL battery, and have a dead/unset trigger.

    I should get the new springs soon and will test fire and post about results.

    I am the OP and I thank all for their help and information...

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Near the Gila Mountains in SW AZ.
    Posts
    4,650

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alphonso View Post
    ....

    I'm still having trouble understanding how: My pistol can fire and eject a round, feed another, go into FULL battery, and have a dead/unset trigger.

    ..

    Notice as the slide travels to the rear it forces the trigger bar down which disconnects the trigger. This also resets the cocking cam.
    As the slide travels forward, it feeds a new round and the striker is stopped by the reset cocking cam. Releasing the trigger allows the trigger bar to move backwards and up to engage the cocking cam. If not broken, I suspect your trigger bar is not returning far enough back or high enough to engage the cocking cam properly.
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