Saturday, November 23, 2019

Went Shooting Today

I replaced the plastic recoil guide on the Mustang with a stainless steel one and the Mustang seemed to be shooting a bit more accurately, as might be expected.  (More consistent recentering.)  This is only a 2 3/4" barrel so you have to be realistic in your expectations, but at typical gunfight distances it is good enough, even in my hands.  It is gratifying to see skills return after not doing enough shooting the last few years.  The 6 round Colt magazine (5 was the original Colt offering) was refusing to hold open on empty.  I do not remember this problem in the past.  I mixed mostly from laziness, a variety of TMJs, FMJs, and JHPs in each magazine, with no failures of any sort, other than that failure to hold open.

The Firestar 9mm was refusing to either reliably extract or eject*, especially on the first round.  I was going to go test it again after cleaning, but managed to get the slide stop in before the barrel link.  (The more pistols you own, the more details of disassembly and reassembly there are to remember.  Fortunately, the Mustang, Browning, and 1911 are nearly identical.)  It is now pretty hopelessly stuck.  I searched and found at least one other person who managed the same stupid.  A gunsmith finally coaxed it out for him.  I will go visit QPR Precision Gunsmithing in Nampa this week.

This may be the solution.

If you accidentally insert the takedown lever and it snaps in place, before the lines on the slide and frame line up - it locks the barrel in the forward position and it locks the takedown lever so it can't be removed.
The fix for this is:Push the slide all the way foreward.Grasp the guide rod, in between to coils of the spring, with a narrow pair of needle nose pliers.'Pull the guide rod towards the front of the gun until it protrudes from the slide.Now, grasp the rod where it's protruding from the slide and pull it out the front.While doing that, move the slide toward the rear.
The slide will now go far enough back that the two lines can line up & the slide stop can be popped out.
Assemble as normal & take care to get the slide stop through the kidney shaped hole on the barrel where it's supposed to go.

I hope this can save some people a trip to the gunsmith.

The actual solution.  I pushed slide as far forward as it would go, pressed down on the back of the barrel through the ejection port.  There was now enough space to slide a piece of Delrin behind the barrel through ejection port.  This locked it far enough forward to press the slide stop out from the right.  Then I could remove slide to the front, remove recoil spring, guide, and barrel and reassemble.  I will go shooting again soon to see if the jam is ammo type specific (JHPs vs FMJs, although I doubt that).  Just in case I ordered a spare extractor spring from Sarco. collector of all oddball parts you could ever want.

*I could see the spent round in the chamber, partly out, but not enough to allow #2 to feed into the chamber.  The Firestar is not a free fall magazine, and especially not in this state.  Not a circumstance I have ever had from this pistol before, and therefore not a carry gun until I get this fixed.  This may be a weak extractor spring.  These are still available from Sarco for $2.25.  If I could get my Discover card out without waking my wife I would have already ordered it.

A number of YouTube videos suggest that the Firestar is sensitive to case dimensions.  I will try again with high quality ammo.


  1. "At typical gunfight distances" makes me wonder how many gunfights you've been in.

  2. Most gunfights are 21 feet or less.

  3. I have a Firestar and I've never seen anything like this issue. How exactly did you get into it?

  4. Mauser: pushed the slide stop through the hole prematurely, I think.