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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all. I am new to the forum. I am a pretty experienced shooter, having shot for 30 years. Over the past 3 years, I have been shooting regularly, taking classes, and doing standard drills. I don't claim to be an expert by any means. I have shot many handguns, and have been shooting my Browning Hi-power for 30 years (roughly 15k rounds) and my Glock 19 for 10 years, with several thousand rounds through it. I recently bought a FNS-9, manual safety and night sights to be my primary defensive gun. However, to date I am very disappointed in the reliability. I cannot recall ever having a failure of any kind with my Glock, and with my Hi-Power, numerous failures. All HiPower failures were fixed with new springs, which I expect to replace every 5k rounds or so. So far I have kept notes. I was hoping some more experienced FNS guys would have some thoughts. In a little over 1500 rounds, I have had 7 failures. While I realize cheap range ammo COULD be the cause, I am interested to see what others might have to say. I am confident that I am not limp wristing. I clean and lube carefully after every range day. Any help out there? thanks in advance. Here is the log:

7-16-16New. 300 rounds. No malfunctions. Tested all 3 mags at 10 and 17. Shooting left 3" and low 3"


7-21-16
200 rounds 1 stovepipe approx. 150. Shot in low and left. Cheap ammo- armscore and Winchester white box


7-29-16
200 Rounds. Tula. No malfunctions. Low and left


8-21 mixed brass rounds. 300 rounds. No failures.


8-27 mixed brass ammo from various manufacturers. 200 rounds. 1stovepipe. 2 double feed.


9-3 200 rounds Tula. 1 failure to go into battery. Low and left. 1 failure of slide to stay open on last shot.


9-4 Adjusted rear sight to right. 150 rounds Tula. 2 failure to go into battery. Sights centered at 21 feet.
 

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It looks as though TULA is not an ammo that your gun (and many other guns) likes. Make that change, and you might see some of the malfunction issues resolved.

Feed errors (like failures to chamber), are almost always due to crappy ammo quality control (under-powered round during the prior shot, out of spec ammo).

Stovepipes are typically due to a weak extractor spring, a chipped extractor, or crappy ammo (bad case rims, bad extractor grooves). IF the failure to extract only happens once in a great while, it's typically the ammo, not the gun. (I gave up on bargain basement ammo some years ago -- there's really good stuff available for just a few dollars more...

If you haven't checked the FNS's reliability with HP/Self-Defense ammo, you've not been testing what you should be testing. If you're using cheap "ball" ammo in SD/Carry roles, I'd ask "why?"

If you have used/tested a variety of SD (HP) ammo AND the gun is reliable, I'd argue that you have little to be concerned about. If the gun is NOT reliable with HP ammo (and even there you may have to find ammo that your gun likes best -- as reliability ALONE isn't all that matters: accuracy and penetration and expansion matter a LOT, too), then it may possibly be time to move on.
 

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Dude, that's horrible.

It should function with all ammo types. With striker fired, sometimes you get light strikes on hard mil ammo like S&B, Russian surplus, etc., but you shouldn't experience so many stoppages.

My Glocks cycle Tula all day. However, that being said, FNS' are a little oversprung, so I would definitely work the crap out of the spring manually to see if that helps.
 

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Stay with good quality name brand brass case ammo and you should be fine. I would stay away from Tul, Brown Bear, etc. The low end ammo is always questionable loadings. FNS pistols do have strong recoil springs, being a military company. Low left usually indicates a trigger pull issue, but some guns do need their sights drifted to zero them for the shooter. My FNS 9 and 9c have seen hundreds of rounds each and neither has had any issues. Good luck and shoot often..
 

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Hello all. I am new to the forum.
Welcome to the forum. Like you I am a decades experienced handgunner. Revolver trained by Uncle Sam and when the revolver was the norm for us cops so I do not shoot using the standard for today type of stance and handhold. I often think that keeping thumbs against slides is what causes so many people to have these problems. My wife and I both carry our FNS' daily and shoot them nearly every week. Thousands of rounds through them without a hiccup. I have used WWB for what seems like a decade without any troubles. But in the last couple weeks I've noticed that it is shooting dirtier than ever. I'm starting to have failures in Sig's that are years old and been 100% with any and all ammo. They continue to be 100% with other brands. I've had to avoid using WWB in Sig's now. Our FNS' don't seem bothered by the WWB, eating anything and only getting dirtier with an occasional casing hitting my forehead. With any other brand they run like angels. I love my hard earned pistols too much to shoot anything Das Comrade has made out of steel through them. I'd say though that your FN needs a trip to the factory for an assessment if brass cased rounds have given that many hiccups....assuming you do clean your pistol after each use.
 

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In approximately 1500 rounds with my FNS 4" with night sights I have experienced 1 failure to eject. It was using Winchester White Box and I limp wrist ed a double-tap.

I just ran 150 rounds of Winchester Forged steel case and 100 rounds of Federal Premium aluminum today with 0 failures. This included a magazine mixed with both of the above rounds.

I have also fired
Liberty Civil Defense 50gr +P
Winchester PDX 124gr +P JHP
SIG V-Crown 147gr JHP
Federal Premium brass 115gr
All without a single failure to feed, failure to eject, failure to enter battery other than documented above
 

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It's the ammo my friend could be you might need a good cleaning as well I have the fns 40 no issue at all only a month no malfunction right now fn makes some real good precision cut guns don't give up on tho keep working with it
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I appreciate the responses. I guess after shooting a Hi-Power that cycled any 115 FMJ ball ammo, and a Glock that you could feed any ammo to, including Tula, I am really surprised that The FNS would be so ammo sensitive. I get Tula not functioning, that is easy to swallow, but brass 115FMJ by others should function. My favorite range ammo over the past few years has been Mag-tec. I have had no issues in the HP, the Glock, or my Ruger LC9s. Flawless performance. UMC and WWB have been fine too, but The Mag-tec works well and the price is very reasonable. It just seems to me that a pistol the quality of the FNS-9 should feed it as well as other modern guns. Even the LC9s, which is a daily carry for me, has had over 1500 rounds without a single failure.

Back to the FNS though. The ammo I had originally had was a mix of UMC, WWB, Armscore, and Mag-tec. I wish I had been paying more attention to the brand at the time I had the original couple of issues. I have Herters, Mag-Tec and Freedom Munitions on hand to run some more tests through, but if the gun cannot reliably feed basic hardball ammo, it isn't much good to me. As far as "better" ammo, for carry ammo in the Glock, I carry Federal HST 124 Grain, and for the Ruger I carried the same, but have migrated to the Ruger ARX ammo.

Thanks everyone for the input.
 

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My suggestion is to run 200 rounds of good name band brass cased ammo through it. Record every issue you have on a note pad or something, including the round count that it occurs on. Pay special attention if one mag has the majority of issues or not. Also look at if it is happening more with a full mag or close to empty mag etc.
Then call FN customer service at 1.800.635.1321.
These are all some of the questions they will be asking........Good luck and I hope you get it running as good as mine runs.......
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Good suggestion. I originally marked the mags, but the sharpie wore off. It could very well be one mag causing this, though I doubt it. Worth checking though.
 

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Next time try some federal fmj or if u really want to save some money hpr fmj are a good deal too if it keeps giving you problems I would send it to fnh and let them look at it
 

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I originally marked the mags, but the sharpie wore off. It could very well be one mag causing this
I use a roll of white electricians tape. Cut small shapes and attach to the floor plate. Square, triangle, stripes, multiples.......
 

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I have not had any FTF, FTE, or stovepies issues with my FNS 9 & 9c and have over 500 rounds through them using a variety of 115gr/124gr FMJ ammo - Blazer, Fiocchi, WWB, Federal, Lawman, Perfecta, Privi Partizan, Geco. I've even shot some Brazilian and South Korean military stuff and never had an issue in any of my guns. I stick to the ones that have shown to be consistent reliable in all my guns and stay away from the ones that have been shown to be less than reliable.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Today I put 220 rounds of Magtec ammo, with no issues. Cleaned and lubed it. I will try another 500 rounds before I declare the issues as ammunition. The only other thing I did is leave the slide locked for the past 6 days. I got to thinking that perhaps a strong recoil spring might cause the issue as well. I canno t see that leaving the slide licked back for a modern well maintained pistol should be an issue. Thanks to all for the suggestions. I guess I will feed the cheaper ammo to the Glock. Disappointing, but not such a hardship!
 

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kevinsmg said:
I canno t see that leaving the slide licked back for a modern well maintained pistol should be an issue. Thanks to all for the suggestions. I guess I will feed the cheaper ammo to the Glock. Disappointing, but not such a hardship!
I posted a lengthy tract about how springs deteriorate, cobbled together from discussions on other forums, and based upon both technical info and the comments of engineers who work with metals (including two metallurgists.) It's here somewhere on the forum, probably under the FNX section.

Coil springs spread the work done over the entire spring, but will degrade more quickly with use when the spring, compressed by use, is compressed to or near it's elastic limit (i.e., the point beyond which the spring is not intended to be compressed by the folks who designed it.) At or beyond that elastic limit, the metal can begin to experience micro fractures, and each compression to or beyond that point, will cause further fractures. Then the fractures can begin at other points (as the remaining spring material is forced to do the work of the lost coils) until the springs becomes softer (due to the many different fractures.)

Note: not all springs, when used in a given gun, will (or can) be pushed to or past their elastic limit. It really depends on the design. With many of the newer, very small larger-caliber guns, the springs are considered renewable resources, and pushed to the limit with every cycle. Other guns don't push.

The Rohrbaugh R9 -- one of the smallest, high-quality 9mm semi-autos -- has a recoil spring that the maker recommends replacing every 250 rounds. (You can use it longer than 250 round, of course -- for practice, for example -- but that's the recommendation for a carry weapon, where reliability is critical.) Springs like the very small recoil spring in the R9 that must be compressed very completely -- as would be the case with many smaller guns -- will degrade more quickly than springs that aren't compressed as fully. And it will happen whether the spring is kept compressed or just compressed more fully during normal cycling. Not all guns us or abuse their springs in the same manner, and many of the newer sub-compact guns, and guns with ultra-high capacity magazines push their springs farther than has been the practice in the past. That's why Wolff Springs, in their FAQ area, recommends downloading high cap mags a round or two when the mags are stored loaded. It's not necessary for all hi-cap mags, but it's a general guideline.

Recoil and magazine springs will take a set (anticipated in their design) and will shorten slightly after modest use. A brand new recoil spring will always be longer than one that has been used for a while -- and that surprises people. If you've got a Glock, you'll notice this with a new mag -- as it may take a bumper jack to load a new mag.

Locking back your slide was arguably the proper course of action, as it was likely to degrade the recoil spring slightly. Folks using their FNX with a suppressor do as you did, to weaken the recoil spring slightly.

One participant on THE HIGH ROAD talked about his National Guard Armory NCOIC leaving all of the unit's M9s (Berettas) with their slides locked back over the winter. THey found, in the spring, that all of the springs had to be replace -- as the guns wouldn't cycle properly. That's an anecdotal tale, but it makes sense.

If the problems you've experienced with your handgun are due to a too-stout recoil spring, you'll probably find that the crappier ammo will work fine in a few weeks, with the gun's continued use. It may not happen with the next recoil spring you install, if you ever have to change one out.

Re: Ammo. I've had problems with the cheap stuff in other guns and gave up on nearly all such brands long ago. (If you live within easy shipping distance of Georgia Arms, their "Canned Heat" is a high quality, low cost ammo available in both ball and hollow-point loads and various weights for a range of calibers. I've been using their stuff for years, with great results.) It seems a bit like buying a high-performance car that's designed to use 97+ octane, and then complaining when it runs badly when using 87 octane. (That's not a perfect analogy, but can apply for some of the crappy stuff sold as ammunition.)
 

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I've put about 500 rounds of LAX ammo reloads through my new FNS-9. Not one failure. Also Fiocchi and Winchester JHP's. No failures there either. Can't say enough about the reliability.
 

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I've put about 500 rounds of LAX ammo reloads through my new FNS-9. Not one failure. Also Fiocchi and Winchester JHP's. No failures there either. Can't say enough about the reliability.
LAX makes a fine reload...I've only ever had one out of thousands fail to go BANG when I pulled the trigger.

My only complaint is they're absolutely filthy​.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I posted a lengthy tract about how springs deteriorate, cobbled together from discussions on other forums, and based upon both technical info and the comments of engineers who work with metals (including two metallurgists.) It's here somewhere on the forum, probably under the FNX section.

Coil springs spread the work done over the entire spring, but will degrade more quickly with use when the spring, compressed by use, is compressed to or near it's elastic limit (i.e., the point beyond which the spring is not intended to be compressed by the folks who designed it.) At or beyond that elastic limit, the metal can begin to experience micro fractures, and each compression to or beyond that point, will cause further fractures. Then the fractures can begin at other points (as the remaining spring material is forced to do the work of the lost coils) until the springs becomes softer (due to the many different fractures.)

Note: not all springs, when used in a given gun, will (or can) be pushed to or past their elastic limit. It really depends on the design. With many of the newer, very small larger-caliber guns, the springs are considered renewable resources, and pushed to the limit with every cycle. Other guns don't push.

The Rohrbaugh R9 -- one of the smallest, high-quality 9mm semi-autos -- has a recoil spring that the maker recommends replacing every 250 rounds. (You can use it longer than 250 round, of course -- for practice, for example -- but that's the recommendation for a carry weapon, where reliability is critical.) Springs like the very small recoil spring in the R9 that must be compressed very completely -- as would be the case with many smaller guns -- will degrade more quickly than springs that aren't compressed as fully. And it will happen whether the spring is kept compressed or just compressed more fully during normal cycling. Not all guns us or abuse their springs in the same manner, and many of the newer sub-compact guns, and guns with ultra-high capacity magazines push their springs farther than has been the practice in the past. That's why Wolff Springs, in their FAQ area, recommends downloading high cap mags a round or two when the mags are stored loaded. It's not necessary for all hi-cap mags, but it's a general guideline.

Recoil and magazine springs will take a set (anticipated in their design) and will shorten slightly after modest use. A brand new recoil spring will always be longer than one that has been used for a while -- and that surprises people. If you've got a Glock, you'll notice this with a new mag -- as it may take a bumper jack to load a new mag.

Locking back your slide was arguably the proper course of action, as it was likely to degrade the recoil spring slightly. Folks using their FNX with a suppressor do as you did, to weaken the recoil spring slightly.

One participant on THE HIGH ROAD talked about his National Guard Armory NCOIC leaving all of the unit's M9s (Berettas) with their slides locked back over the winter. THey found, in the spring, that all of the springs had to be replace -- as the guns wouldn't cycle properly. That's an anecdotal tale, but it makes sense.

If the problems you've experienced with your handgun are due to a too-stout recoil spring, you'll probably find that the crappier ammo will work fine in a few weeks, with the gun's continued use. It may not happen with the next recoil spring you install, if you ever have to change one out.

Re: Ammo. I've had problems with the cheap stuff in other guns and gave up on nearly all such brands long ago. (If you live within easy shipping distance of Georgia Arms, their "Canned Heat" is a high quality, low cost ammo available in both ball and hollow-point loads and various weights for a range of calibers. I've been using their stuff for years, with great results.) It seems a bit like buying a high-performance car that's designed to use 97+ octane, and then complaining when it runs badly when using 87 octane. (That's not a perfect analogy, but can apply for some of the crappy stuff sold as ammunition.)
Walt, I just want to clarify that I meant locking the slide for a week or so should not harm a modern pistol. I agree and have experienced spring failure from extensive storage with a slide licked back on a Hi-Power. Thanks again for the response.
 
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