Stove piping with hollow points every once in a while

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by jmarc1, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. jmarc1

    jmarc1 New Member

    Hello all,

    I have a Bersa .380 Thunder. Every time I typically take it to the range I encounter at least one mis-feed (stove piping) and wanted to know if this problem occurs with anyone else? I'm sure the hollow points could be one of the issues and I'm not that worried about it as I plan on polishing the feed ramp a bit to alleviate some of this (hopefully). If anyone else has any ideas, I'd like to hear them.
  2. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Lifetime Supporter

    Welcome to the Bersa Forum jmarc1 !!

    Blowback operated pistols in .380 often have a stove pipe during recoil

    when the user inadvertently limp wrists the pistol...just concentrate on maintaining a

    high grip on the gun and that problem can be solved.

  3. bhale187

    bhale187 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Welcome to the forums.

    Limpwristing is the most comon cause, to a much lesser extent it could be buildup of gunk behind the extractor, or weak or damaged extractor spring.
  4. opaww

    opaww Banned

    Also bad mags can be a problem
  5. Pancho_Villa

    Pancho_Villa Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

    Problem diagnosis:

    You stated "mis-feed" type of stovepipe? That would be a live round sticking up and out of the gun. Stuck between the slide and barrel. I have seen this with some "open slide" auto pistols, but would seen kinda hard with a Bersa .380 cause the ejection port is to one side. Most often the live one will stick straight up out of the gun. Have seen a few with the ejection port on the side feed the bullet too far up and strike the upper end of the barrel at the rear. Mostl likely with the Bersa.

    An empty brass stove pipe on ejection, yes or no? That would be an empty not clearing the slide/barrel. It would be an empty stuck between the slide and barrel.

    Some possible solutions:

    If it is a live round stiovepipe, I would suspect a magazine feed lip problem. Ever drop your mag to the floor? Might want to check the mag feed lips for any damage or misalignment. Ya may want to try another new mag and see is the problem continues. If I find bent mag lips I can usually correct that, but I could not adivse you to do it. You did not say if you had tried another mag yet or not to see if the problem is the same with another one.

    Feed ramp jams will usually be partially stuck in the barrel with the slide not fully closed. The live round does not stick up out of the gun. Happens more often with holly points hanging on the ramp. If this is not the case, a feed ramp polish will not help. Ya can still do it. It won't hurt anything. If the bullet is hanging up on the top, rear of the barrel, I would suspect either the ammo being a bit short or the magazine again. Try some JHP ammo with a differnet bullet shape to see if the problem persists. Or try another mag if ya don't want to change your bullet brand and see it the problem persists.

    If it is an empty case stovepipe, I would suspect an extractor problem or damage. Extractor spring being weak. Or the most common problem with alot of auto pistols which is "limp wristing."

    Hope that helps some and did not confuse you even more.:D
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2012
  6. jmarc1

    jmarc1 New Member

    Thanks everyone for the responses, I will investigate these courses. BTW - it's a feeding issue not extraction as it's been a problem with the cartridge going in. The pistol is still fairly new and I keep the pistol clean, I don't think the extractor is the root cause at this point I will take a look at the magazine as well. I only have the one that came with the pistol when I bought it new. I will also try some new rounds.
  7. bhale187

    bhale187 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Can you describe a little better what exactly is happening? There may be some confusion between us on the definition of a stovepipe?

    Is a spent round catching between the barrel and slide? A live round nosing up and sticking between the barrel and slide? Not picking up the next round in the mag after the spent case is expelled? Something else?
  8. levelcross

    levelcross Well-Known Member

    A couple of pics could help with the diagnoses.
  9. TDeMoss

    TDeMoss New Member

    thunder .380 plus jamming

    haven't had problems with hollow points but mine will not cycle any of the full metal jacket ammo i've tried they seem to stick on the feed process dont fully seat in the chamber and doesn't let the slide close. i have the bersa thunder .380 plus high capacity, been like that from day one, any help would be appreciated on this issue.
  10. warbirdsdreamer

    warbirdsdreamer New Member

    Have not used 380 but 45 UC is flawless.

    I have a 45 UC and I love it. Have never had even a single malfunction. Handles Winchester white box FMJs, Speer Gold Dot, and Fiocchi XTP without problems. I have large hands but it's not uncomfortable to shoot. Obviously would be great with more capacity, but then would not be a UC. Fits in my pocket! Is easier to break down and put back together than even my Kahr 45, which I also love. It's heavier than the Kahr and unlike the Kahr didn't require a "break in" period. Took almost 150 rounds before the Kahr stopped jamming. I carry both and love both. More mag options for the Kahr.
  11. Pancho_Villa

    Pancho_Villa Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

    Most common thigs to look for would be the case head being a bit wide and not fitting loosely enough in the nothch cut for it in the side. change in ammmo might help. Kinda hard to fix it if the cut is narrow.

    Another one along those lines is the rear of the case head hanging on the firing pin hole, usually helps to polish it. Or the possibiltity of the firing pin protruding just a bit more than it shoud from the front of ht eslide. it should not do that even with the hammer down. If it is the firing pin hole is causing binding. Solutionis to reamit out with a drill just a bit bigger than the firing pin. That would require some disassembly.

    Another one I have seen is the live rounds making contact with the slide stop, where it is suppose to contact the magazine to lock open on the last shot. Not too hard to fix, but hard to diagnose on the pistols with the enclosed slide like the Bersa .380. Ya can't see it through the ejection port.

    Some other weird ones I have seen:

    It has been rare, but I have found a few blowback autos in my years of gun trading that did that. I remember one MAB. (Manufacture De de arms de Beyonne, or something like that) It was a small Frenchmade .32 acp blowback that was sold in good numbers back in the 80s IIRC. Surplus/police stuff. Quite similar in operation to the Bersa.

    I had the same problem with it not gully seating full metal jackets in the chamber. Guy I got it from said it had always been like that and just gave it to me. Slide would stop about 1/8th of anch from fully closing. So I took the slide off and checked for any obstuctions or tool marks. Nothing unusual, looked new. well it had probably never been fired. I stuck a live round in the barrel WITHOUT the slide on the gun. The round would not fully seat in the chamber????

    All I could figure was that the rifling was hitting the bullet and stopping it fromfully seating. Mostl likely the chamber was cut a bit short. Not haveing a .32 acp chambering reamer, I thought I might use a drill bit to cut the rifling away, making for a deeper chamber. Just barely took anything off very slowly till the rounds fully seated in the chamber. Gun worked great after that.

    In other guns I have found tool marks made by chambering reamers. Some burrs in the chambers that I have been, I was able to polish off with a dremel tool or light sandpaper taped on the end of a penci or cleaning rodl. Saw one .303 British that was like new, but had a huge gouge donwn the chamber. Took the rough stuff off and it worked. It was just hard to eject the fierd case cause the case swelled a bit into the gouge. It had probably never been used.

    Ya may want to try your FMJs in the barrel without the slide on the gun and see if it is not fully seating in the chamber. If it works with Holly points and that is all youuse, just use them.


    Again, use this info with caution. I am not professional gunsmith, just a tinker-er. Use this information at your own risk.

  12. jmarc1

    jmarc1 New Member

    I believe the extraction process is working as I'm not seeing any indicators of spent cartridges being caught in the slide (the brass seems to being kicked out like any normal cycle ). It's also not consistently happening ( perhaps once every couple of mags ). I'm going to try to pay more attention to what round in the magazine this happens at (does it happen at the same spot in the magazine) to try to isolate the cause. I'm still going to polish the feed ramp as it certainly won't hurt ( amateur gunsmith/hobbyist )