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 Sig P6 multiple mags, multiple failures, even with ball update & pics
MRW  [Team Member]
5/19/2008 11:44:37 PM
I bought a P6 from Spikes at the local Orlando fun show on saturday. I picked up four used mags from another guy for six mags total, and the two that came with the gun look brand spankin new.

I hear about issues with hollow points, and sure enough, the WWB 147 gr JHPs regularly nose dived into the feed ramp. The round would head straight for the ramp and the bottom fifth of the rim of the bullet would jam square on the edge of the feedramp. This held true for all six mags. It required stripping the mag from the gun and removing the offending round from the magwell to clear.

Tonight was the local action pistol match and so I shot it with blazer 115 gr ball ammo. I did fine until the SAME jam happened with round nose ball! It took twenty seconds for me to fully clear the jam and get the gun running again.


On close inspection, I think it is a mag issue. The more rounds I load in a mag, the more the rounds already in the mag tend to nosedive. When the last round is loaded. usually it ends up pointing down at about a 20 degree angle instead of up. If I smack the backside of the mag to reseat the rounds, the top round will pop up and align with the feed lips, but if I look inside the front of the mag, the second round still points down, so that there is a gap of about three millimeters between the case mouth of the top round and the case mouth of the second round. The top round is only being pressed upward by the rear of the round below it. I can wobble the bullet tip up and down. No amount of fiddling with the mag will change this arrangement. I believe this misalignment of the rounds in the mag is what is causing the nosedive jams.

All of the mags do this.

And so does my Star BM mags, very similar to the P6.

But my P7 does not, but the mag spring is much stronger.


Do you think stronger mag springs are the solution?

If it won't feed ball ammo, it's not worth keeping.
guinness301  [Member]
5/20/2008 8:22:52 AM
It'd be relatively cheap to try new stronger mag springs, Midway has them but out of stock at the moment.


http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=583154&t=11082005
stainlessAR15shooter  [Member]
5/20/2008 8:58:02 PM
Just out of curiosity are feeding problems likes this common especially on these used trade in models. I've got one on backorder from AIM and have been debating on canceling and putting that money towards a flattop AR type since I shoot rifles more than pistols.
MRW  [Team Member]
5/20/2008 9:33:22 PM
I really don't know. I know that there is an updated barrel, and I have a model with the old one, but I really believe that it is a mag related issue. I can't se how I can blame the pistol then the rounds routinely point down. All of my mags are factory Sig too.


Anybody else have this problem?



I don't mean to sound like a killjoy, but I have serious buyers remorse. I keep eyeing those CZ82s again, like I need another one, but boy they shoot great!
glenn_r  [Team Member]
5/20/2008 9:50:11 PM
If it's happening with all mags, with ball ammo, I don't think it's a mag issue.

Try replacing the recoil spring. My wife's P229 had the same problem. An old spring wasn't giving the slide enough "oomph" to chamber the rounds, and they'd all stop at the feed ramp. A new recoil spring, and everything was 100% again.
MRW  [Team Member]
5/20/2008 10:49:30 PM
Thanks, but I don't think that will do it. I tried forcibly smacking the jammed slide forward, and racked the action multiple times, all to no avail. The bullet tip gets jammed into the bottom of the ramp in such a way that it deforms the nose and squishes a bit of jacket into the tiny space between the bottom the the ramp and the frame. Whacking the slide forward only resulted in jamming and pinching the bullet in deeper.

Again, all mags have the tendency to seat the last few bullets tip downward, misaligned with the feed lips. I really have to say it's a mag issue
legalese77  [Team Member]
5/21/2008 12:13:47 AM

Originally Posted By stainlessAR15shooter:
Just out of curiosity are feeding problems likes this common especially on these used trade in models. I've got one on backorder from AIM and have been debating on canceling and putting that money towards a flattop AR type since I shoot rifles more than pistols.


I've handled two in recent months and they both ran flawlessly. *Shrug*
lraimer  [Member]
5/21/2008 8:37:02 AM
sounds like my problem too first round would push straight into the feed ramp and jam with both factory mags and a promag
ackspac  [Member]
5/21/2008 11:50:50 AM
Have you tryed switching the recoil spring around (backwards) and placing the rod in the other end?
MRW  [Team Member]
5/21/2008 1:46:50 PM

Originally Posted By ackspac:
Have you tryed switching the recoil spring around (backwards) and placing the rod in the other end?


No. How do you think that would help?
legalese77  [Team Member]
5/21/2008 1:55:28 PM

Originally Posted By MRW:

Originally Posted By ackspac:
Have you tryed switching the recoil spring around (backwards) and placing the rod in the other end?


No. How do you think that would help?


Allegedly, this can make a difference. Given your reported problems, I'm skeptical but I have heard tales of FTF that were solved by trying this. It doesn't cost anything to give it a try. *shrug*
N2CH_556  [Member]
5/21/2008 2:18:26 PM

Originally Posted By legalese77:

Originally Posted By stainlessAR15shooter:
Just out of curiosity are feeding problems likes this common especially on these used trade in models. I've got one on backorder from AIM and have been debating on canceling and putting that money towards a flattop AR type since I shoot rifles more than pistols.


I've handled two in recent months and they both ran flawlessly. *Shrug*


+1

I'd also suggest disassembling & cleaning the magazines, if you haven't already.
glenn_r  [Team Member]
5/21/2008 9:40:06 PM

Originally Posted By MRW:
Again, all mags have the tendency to seat the last few bullets tip downward, misaligned with the feed lips. I really have to say it's a mag issue


I thought it was counter-intuitive too. But it worked.

Anyway, if you want to sell all 6 factory mags, every one of which is defective, IM me with a price.
MRW  [Team Member]
5/21/2008 11:23:12 PM
Here are some pics. All mags are the two "new" ones that came with the pistol, but all other mags functioned the same way

Properly aligned top round on left, improperly aligned round on right. Notice that through the round count holes that you can see that all of the remaining rounds in each mag are pointed nose down. They are flush with the top round in the right mag, but not with the top round in the left mag.



Properly aligned top round on the left, nose down top round on the right. Notice that on the right the rounds sit flush with each other, but on the left there is a separation angle between the top and second round




What the jam looks like from above




an exaggerated recreation of the jam. The bullet tip wedges into the feed ramp. You can put as much force on the slide as you want and all you will do is seat the bullet farther back in the case.




Properly aligned round for feeding. Note that when pushed forward, the bullet tip will strike in the middle of the feedramp




Nose down round ready to "feed" Note that if pushed forward, the bullet tip will strike much farther down on the ramp





I cleaned all the mags and spent an hour replacing the hammer spring with an 18lb one, replacing the decocker spring, recoil spring, and the the trigger bar spring. Actually, the hammer spring took 52 minutes, the others were easy.

I then played with a P6 mag, a Star BM mag, and a P7 mag, all of which are 8 round single stack. The star had similar misalignment issues, but less pronounced, and the p7 had just a slight bit of misalignment. But the P7 lines the round up almost directly in line with the barrel and feeding has never been a problem. The Star has a 1911 style ramp in the frame and does not have the issue. Between the P7 and P6 mag, the P7 had a noticeably stronger mag spring. Perhaps all that's needed is a really stiff mag spring.

I am still unsure why the rounds are nosediving. I do not think that the follower is tilting in the mag, nor do I think the nose of the bullets are dragging on the inside of the mag. Perhaps the follower angle is bad and I need to tweak the front and rear extensions to provide more lift up front. But it seems to be somewhat of a design hiccup with the mags rather than an out of spec pistol.

I'll give it another run sometime soon.
legalese77  [Team Member]
5/21/2008 11:40:15 PM

Originally Posted By MRW:
Here are some pics. ....



I wish I had mine handy for comparison but it's still probably a week out, yet. Have you tried swapping the spring around, just to humor us?
MRW  [Team Member]
5/21/2008 11:53:55 PM
The spring has a shortened coil on the top so it will sit up behind the depression in the front of the follower that activates the slide stop. Turning it around either upside down or front to back will misalign the spring pressure. I may try it just to humor you, but not tonight


oops, I misunderstood. I replaced the recoil spring tonight with a new one that came in the kit I bought.
MRW  [Team Member]
5/22/2008 10:04:29 PM
still tweaking...
lraimer  [Member]
5/23/2008 8:23:00 AM
my feed problem seems to have been cured by new wolff 17# recoil spring and cleaning the mags with some lite polishing on the follower sides...fed everything I tried without a problem Starfire,Golder Saber,JHP reloads and some Ball
MRW  [Team Member]
5/23/2008 9:35:00 AM
do you have an old feedramp or new?
MRW  [Team Member]
5/29/2008 8:07:47 AM
After further investigation I'm fairly confident that the mags need new springs, and that is the only issue. Also, the problem is probably related to just one mag, rather than several.

I'll run it one more time just to be sure.
MRW  [Team Member]
6/1/2008 2:03:59 PM
I ran another 50 rounds of 115 FMJ through it yesterday without a problem. Still waiting on Midway to get the extra power mag springs.

I bought a Walther PPS which is also a single stack 9 and the mags have much more spring tension than the P6 mags...
Starrbow  [Member]
6/3/2008 4:14:32 PM
Heres a SIMPLE FIX that I did and it works much better then the stock follower, I added a Steel rivet to the follower to make the round set higher in the front.

The first pic is left to right a 226 factory Mag, a P-6 modified mag and a P-6 stock mag, as you can see the rounds set higher to hit the feed ramp at a better angle.


The second pic is the rivet in place, it is a steel rivet and very easy to do with the right tools. we have several P-6's in the family and all of them have the Mag mods.


As with all things, YMMV. as a note with any 147grHP's this mod will not make them feed 100% but it's very close and not all 147gr rounds are the same, some run better then others, I have settled on 124gr HP's as a go to bullet. We do not have any problem with ball ammo at all, we shoot lots of 115gr and 124gr, we run lots of White Box 115gr winchester with 100% reliability, once again YMMV
SkagSig40  [Team Member]
6/3/2008 10:40:20 PM

Originally Posted By Starrbow:
Heres a SIMPLE FIX that I did and it works much better then the stock follower, I added a Steel rivet to the follower to make the round set higher in the front.

The first pic is left to right a 226 factory Mag, a P-6 modified mag and a P-6 stock mag, as you can see the rounds set higher to hit the feed ramp at a better angle.
i100.photobucket.com/albums/m38/starrbow/bullets017.jpg

The second pic is the rivet in place, it is a steel rivet and very easy to do with the right tools. we have several P-6's in the family and all of them have the Mag mods.
i100.photobucket.com/albums/m38/starrbow/bullets019.jpg

As with all things, YMMV. as a note with any 147grHP's this mod will not make them feed 100% but it's very close and not all 147gr rounds are the same, some run better then others, I have settled on 124gr HP's as a go to bullet. We do not have any problem with ball ammo at all, we shoot lots of 115gr and 124gr, we run lots of White Box 115gr winchester with 100% reliability, once again YMMV


Intresting and may be a good idea if it works. I myself would not keep or carry a gun that I had to use rivits on to make run properly. Something is serously wrong if need to do this to get the gun to feed.

but hey if it works........
MRW  [Team Member]
6/4/2008 12:25:39 AM
Interesting, although I think if the rounds present themselves properly in the feed lips, the angle is just fine.

I ran another 50 rounds, alternating between all six mags, and it ran like a top. go figure.
MRW  [Team Member]
6/30/2008 11:58:18 PM
Update. I got wolf extra power mag springs in for my four mags and it still won't feed WWB 147 gr HP. Actually, it won't feed the first three out of the mag. The remaining five do okay. It is still nosediving on those first few rounds. I may try polishing the follower and see how that goes, or try some lighter weight JHPs as I heard that P6s don't like the 147s.
herman07  [Member]
7/2/2008 12:16:49 AM
Mine does great with 147 grn silvertips, wicked accurate too. Hates the Gold dot 124 though. Does fine with 115 ball and 115 silvertips, 115 SXT's. It appears that the gold dots have a very long nose, and won't chamber.

Try a variety of different loads and shoot what it likes.

Good Luck.

Herman
MRW  [Team Member]
7/29/2008 10:45:08 AM
Well, I got the same jam again tonight at an action pistol match. This was the first time I have used ball ammo in the pistol since installing the wolf extra power mag springs. It only happened with one mag, but it was very disappointing. I was using Blazer Brass 115gr FMJ. On inserting a fresh mag during a reload, dropping the slide jammed the bullet tip up under the feedramp, completely jamming the gun. The mag won't come out, the slide won't go forward. I had to reach in and forcefully press the offending round back down into the mag, shuck mag, insert fresh mag and start over.

The onlookers behind me kept calling out "you're dead!"

I'm going to track and see if this is a problem with just one of the mags. Perhaps the follower needs some polishing so it doesn't bind up.
k9shag  [Team Member]
7/29/2008 11:25:42 AM
I initially had the same FTF problems on all mags. I sent mine back to sig for the performance plan and trigger work and they polished the feedramp. I also installed wolf mag springs in all mags. this past weekend I put 200 rounds of round ball and flat tip 147 grain federal through it. not one problem with either ammo.
MRW  [Team Member]
7/29/2008 2:56:52 PM
well, how much did that cost? Did you send the mags back too?
k9shag  [Team Member]
7/29/2008 4:12:15 PM
it was $129 for the performance pack and $100 for the trigger work and ramp. this included the shipping. Having carried a 220 for over 20 years and I am a firm believer in sig quality and although some may feel that it may be too much to invest in a surplus weapon I use the P6 as my CCW so for me the price was not too much.
MRW  [Team Member]
7/29/2008 4:53:19 PM
thanks, it's an option to think about
recondodan  [Member]
7/29/2008 5:40:39 PM
MRW-

I am sure you are an experienced shooter, so please understand I am not talking down to you. P6/P225s' are truly fine examples of early Sig craftsmanship, but it is usually something ridiculously simple causing mis-feeds and such in these firearms. Often times it is not apparent to the shooter at the time.

I would suggest you do the following:

1. Have another shooter fire your P6 extensively with your problematic ammo, and observe. Mark magazines that are more problematic than others.
2. Field strip, observe recoil spring for cracks or failure, and verify the "tight end" of the coil is seated against the base of the guide rod. Lubricate, I rec. S.C. FP-10.
3. Examine the barrel hood exterior for unusual wear.
4. Shoot "warm" ammo, like +P Ball, then +P JHP with a ball type ogive profile.
5. Crush grip, locked wrist. If problem still exists, ransom/machine rest it if possible, and try again.
6. I have not observed this, but it appears some earlier P6 pistols have a shallow feed ramp profile, ala the P35 "bump". That may require some 'smithing to make JHP worthy.

As an anecdote, a small frame officer of ours purchased a P245. Me-I am 6'1" 220lbs and it ran fine with WWB. Her-5'4", 102 lbs max. WWB would jam her up 50% of the time. Her mass just was not generating enough resistance to the inertia of recoil, despite kung-fu grip and good form. That P245 short slide travel did not help either. But when I loaded it up with 230 +P JHP for her, it was 100% reliable.

Point is; the earlier P225/P6 pistols were designed only with warm/hot European ball specs in mind. A little experimentation on your part might find you some relief, and save some $$$.

Good luck.
recondodan  [Member]
7/29/2008 5:49:24 PM
Also,

I am not being a smart-a$$, but as mis-feed procedures go:

"I tried forcibly smacking the jammed slide forward, and racked the action multiple times, all to no avail."

Generally only a good idea, if the slide is only slightly out of battery. Get in the habit of immediately locking the slide to rear for all jams. RIP the offending mag OUT. Clear/cycle the boogered round, if it has not already fallen free. Reload, with NEW mag. Rip the slide to the rear and let it fly forward, on it own inertia. Engage and destroy.

Again, good luck and keep us posted your progress.
MRW  [Team Member]
7/29/2008 9:27:08 PM
thanks

mags are bing tracked
gun has been inspected and properly lubed and assembled
ammo has been chosen to ensure reliable feeding
shooting grip is fine. I routinely shoot a minimum of 100 rounds a week with a plethora of pistols


As I have discussed the problem previously, this particular malfunction is being caused by the combination of nose downward presentation of the top round in the mag and the particular geometry of the feedramp and frame combination of this pistol. The downward pointing round is stripped from the mag and the bullet tip is jammed in into the area between the bottom of the feedramp and the frame, forcing the barrel upward and literally wedging the bullet tip into the space between like a doorstop. No amount of typical clearance drills will resolve this problem. The slide cannot be made to move forward, as any attempt to push it forward only further serves to jam the bullet in tighter, and the mag cannot be stripped from the gun because the top round that is still held by the feedlips is partially extended beyond the magwell opening. The offending round must be pushed backwards, back into the magazine, which can only then be removed, in order to clear the gun.

I am convinced that if the mags can be made to present the top round correctly, the ramp geometry will not really matter. The advice above is good but not new, but it bears checking.

mykrowyre  [Member]
8/5/2008 10:44:25 PM
I think you are right. Sounds like too much play between top of barrel and slide. Barrel is moving upwards creating a gap between feed ramp and frame that the nose of the bullet is getting caught in. Not sure how you could fix this short of having a new barrel installed, assuming it's not the slide itself.

Your work around looks ok, but seems like a shame to have to do a hack like that. fwiw my mags all have the nose down attitude also, but feed fine, no jams. Very little upward movement of my barrel when my slide is half way.



ASUsax  [Team Member]
8/7/2008 4:50:30 PM
I've transitioned my P6 to Federal EFMJ's for Self Defense work. If I can't trust it with all Hollow Points, then I don't trust it with any. (Incidentally, my Star BM was on the same diet. That gun needs to go to the smith at the moment, however) Personally, it doesn't take many issues for me to decide that discretion is the better part of valor, and the Federal EFMJ's don't perform that badly.

If I was having HP feeding issues, I'd think long and hard about the Federal EFMJ's or the Cor-Bon PowRball's. I use the Federals because I can find them easier in 9mm, I certainly have no problem with the Cor-Bon ammo.

It's odd, though, that you're having problems with ball ammo as well. My P6 has gobbled up all the FMJ I can throw at it.
MRW  [Team Member]
8/7/2008 10:36:58 PM
I got a promag magazine in the mail today. I'll try that out and see how it goes
MRW  [Team Member]
8/11/2008 10:44:38 PM
The ProMag seems to run fine except that it sometimes prematurely locks the slide back on the last round. I piddled with it a little bit and the follower shelf that actuates the slide stop is a bit too high. I guess I can file it down.

It sure beats the other problem
mykrowyre  [Member]
8/12/2008 9:30:51 AM
Try taking the old mag springs and baking them in the oven at 450-500 for a couple of hours. I've heard this helps old compressed springs return to original shape. A bunch of guys were doing it on the cetme forum for awhile with good results.

Never tried it myself, but it's not gonna cost anything to try it. Sounds like your old mags had worn out springs.