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02-16-2010, 12:48 AM #1
Sterling by Wise Lite. Almost lost 2 Fingers!
Second time out shooting my new Sterling semi-auto. I have had some misfeed problems where the bullet gets jammed into the cartridge but over all pretty good shooter. Saturday a case exploded in the receiver before entering the barrel. I was holding the mag at the time and the pressure broke the mag and removed all feeling from two of my fingers. Fortunately, 4 days later all feeling is back except for a little tingling in the tip of my ring finger.
Upon inspection there was a completely destroyed case, some pieces of shrapnel and a loose bullet in the receiver. Here is the weird part...Later I also found another bullet lodged about half way down the barrel. I was able to tap it out with a moisin cleaning rod and a mallet. So I messed around with feeding rounds into to the receiver tonight using different magazines and found that a couple times 2 rounds would enter the chamber at once.
I am wondering if the firing pin hit the first round that then knocked the other bullet into the barrel? Has anyone heard of this happening before? Any thoughts?
02-16-2010, 05:40 AM #2
Sounds to me the bullet is hitting the feed ramp or breech face and the bullet is being pushed back into the case, this causes increased pressure in the case that raptures upon firing. It is important that when a firearm is malfunctioning to correct it before continuing, you can get seriously hurt shooting a firearm that is not in good working order. BTW What ammo were you using?When your smiling the whole world smiles with you
02-16-2010, 07:24 AM #3
02-16-2010, 07:28 AM #4Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2009
Definitely NOT safe!
At no fault to Kahr Arms, but I had a bad lot of Speer Blazer .45 ACP and bulged the barrel in my semi-auto 1928 Thompson. Not fun, probably came a few 1,000cup from a faceful of barrel shrapnel had it burst. Kahr was excellent and replaced my barrel totally free of charge, all they asked was that I enclose an empty box of the Speer ammo so they could get the lot number. They didn't care that it was aluminum cased.
02-16-2010, 11:55 AM #5Gold Bullet member
- Join Date
- Dec 1969
Sounds like something that happened to me with a real STEN a few years ago. In that case, the feeding cartridge detonated before it was fully chambered. This caused the case to rupture, venting the gas, heat and pressure into the magazine and ejection port. The heat detonated the top rounds in the mag, causing it to self destruct, leaving the same evidence that you found. A bullet lodged in the barrel and case debris and in my case, a couple of loose slugs in the mag and rear of the receiver. The bolt was jammed to the rear by the debris.
With the real STEN, I figured that the fixed firing pin, had made contact with a feeding round that was possibly dirty, corroded, or had it's entry in to chamber blocked by something, causing the premature detonation. With a semi-auto model, dirt, powder residue, any number of things could have locked the firing pin in the forward position, and caused this to happen. I have had a number of this type of premature detonation occur with the two STENs that I have. Most of the time the result was a badly buldged case head, that was found while policing the brass. Only once did it result in what you would have to call catastrophic failure. Articles I have read on the STEN indicated this as all too common given the construction of the weapon. The semi auto version would be
subject to the same problems due to the construction similarities of the bolt/mag/chamber between the full auto and semi auto.
I don't think that returning it to the the manufacturer is going to accomplish anything. Check to see it the firing pin is free. Always check that with these semi-auto mods. This is a common enough problem even with the surplus SKS rifle.
And, the correct position for hold the STEN, any STEN is to thave the left hand on the barrel shroud. If the magazine detonates, the force will not be absorbed by your hand, and the magazine will blow free of the weapon. Still dangerous, yes, but at least your hand may fare better.
02-16-2010, 04:40 PM #6Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2009
Wow, sounds like a serious defect.......the British used a lot of Stens during WWII, as well as Sterlings.
Speaking of SKS's I have a cheapo stamped Norinco that doubles and triples, might be because of slam firing....
02-16-2010, 05:15 PM #7
Glad to hear you are all right. Don't let this discourage you from shooting.What has our country become? More takers than givers.
02-16-2010, 05:46 PM #8
Cgibbs glad you still have your hand buddy. Good luck on your new project.
Stan that has happend to me once. I fixed it right away. I suguest you remidy that before you take it out again. If the wrong person saw your sks malfunction like that you could be looking at a unpleasant visitor. The ATF will say that you have a Machine gun by there definition. Make sure that your bolt / firing pin is clean and moves freely. If this persists you may need a after market firing pin or Spring Fix kit.
02-16-2010, 06:26 PM #9Gold Bullet Member
- Join Date
- Dec 1969
02-16-2010, 07:28 PM #10Gold Bullet member
- Join Date
- Apr 2009
- West Texas
WD-40 will cause the same problem when it sits and oxidizes. I never use WD inside a gun, exterior only. Use Tri-Flow, Rem Oil, or LPS1 inside.
02-16-2010, 09:20 PM #11
02-16-2010, 10:45 PM #12
Thanks for all the comments. The gun is as new as it can be. The firing pin and rest of the gun was absolutely clean since I clean all of my guns every time I shoot them. The ammo may be partially to blame for the the excitement. The magazine had mostly fiocchi rounds and the bullet in the barrel was fiocchi. BUT, and this may be the key, the case that was destroyed was a surplus round. I bought some surplus about 6 years ago that I think was Danish. I have shot a lot of the Danish ammo through my German P1 pistol with no errors but perhaps the conditions in the sterling are such that it failed.
02-16-2010, 11:09 PM #13
Added a picture of bullets
Attached is an image of the cartridges, bullet, and case. I can't find the bullet that was loose in the chamber. I threw it in my jeep and it vanished.
02-17-2010, 05:36 AM #14
You're pushing the bullets into the case and that's causing over pressure that's rupturing the case. You got a real good firing pin strike that suggests the case was in battery IMO. That's a very dangerous situation and should of been a warning to stop shooting till the problem was fixed, too often people see malfunctions but mistakenly believe if they continue on things will "work out". There's a lesson in there for all of us
I would slow feed some dummy rds and see where the cartridges are hanging up, if it's an easy fix (polishing the feed ramp, bad mag, etc...) I would fix it, if I couldn't easily determine the cause of the hangups I would definitely send it back for fixing along with a picture of how it's pushing the bullets into the case.When your smiling the whole world smiles with you
02-17-2010, 09:47 AM #15
Im wondering...You said you were holding the magazine when the malfunction occurred. Do you think that maybe the magazine angle may have had something to do with the malfunction?, Perhaps the magazine was somewhat loose in the mag well and holding it when firing caused the recoil to misalign the feed.
I always thought when firing the Sterling, one was to hold it forward of the magazine well /ejection port on the shroud. I also read/heard the Sterling and especially Sten magazines are somewhat unreliable.
I ask these ?'s because I recently won Sterling carbine at auction and have yet to fire it.
Glad your not seriously injured.
02-17-2010, 11:44 AM #16
Mojo has good point.
One should not hold SMGs by the magazine.
Gis are trained not to do this.
You see pics of folks doing it, but it is a bad idea.
You'll notice most more modern designs have eliminated the way the old ones can move around.
02-19-2010, 01:33 PM #17
Mojo and Mike,
I knew I shouldn't hold the mag. Just being stupid I guess. Some times it takes drama like this to learn! I don't thing the mag was tweaked or loose. I think the problem may be like MRRIDDICK suggests. The feed ramp on this piece is also really hacked up. It looks like wise light got it together and then decided to grind some of it down after. I tried to get a picture but my camera refuses to focus on it. No that I have my VZ58 back from century I think I'll have them take a look at the Sterling.
Thanks again for all the questions, suggestions, and advice.
02-19-2010, 02:16 PM #18
Wow. Ball ammo is supposed to help feed itself given the shape of the nose of the bullet.
I've never seen ball ammo pushed so far into a case before. Try to determine if the bullets are being compressed below the feed ramp or above the ramp but right below the barrel chamber (breach face).
I hate to say it but I don't think polishing is going to fix this. If its not the magazine then the ramp itself is not within spec either itself or by its placement.
Also, next time I'd run that sucker "wet" like an AR if it were me. At least until she loosened up.
Other than not using WD40 inside the firing pin channel, maybe someone could advise you on the quantity of lubrication to use on a a new (pseudo) sub gun.
02-19-2010, 07:09 PM #19
And contact us thru this page::
Please ensure that you provide us a daytime/workday phone number.
In this case it would be helpful if you can send us the damaged casings and a complete write up of the events.Wise Lite Arms
Class II Manufacturer
07 FFL SOT
WARRANTY INFORMATION: [email protected]
03-06-2010, 12:53 AM #20
I had a similar problem with my PPS 43 9mm. I think I have it figured out what happened. I had a case blow out in the receiver. About 3/4 down the 9mm brass the case blew out. I have the case. That round must of not left the barrel as the next round blew the barrel out. Luckily the receiver on the PPS 43 is very thick and there was no damage other than the barrel.
Is it normal or possible for these old sub guns to be able to pull the trigger and have the hammer strike the round when the round is not seated in the chamber? I was getting a fail to feed all the way every once in a while and this must of been how it happened.
I have a PPSh 41 used 7.62x25 I just bought but don't have yet. Can the gun be fired without the round being fully chambered?
Last edited by landtoy80; 03-06-2010 at 01:18 AM.
04-06-2010, 10:16 PM #21
UPDATE: I reported the problem to wise lite. A week later Steven called me. He was the most polite and easy going customer rep I've spoken to. He gave me a FedEx account number. I mailed my mags and gun. Two weeks later I received the gun back. Here is what wise lite reported: "Repositioned mag well for proper feeding. Replaced magazine. Checked all 4 mags for proper feeding (loaded with 34 rounds each). Test fired 5 rounds from each magazine." I will not have a chance to shoot it myself for a couple of weeks but this is what I think about the whole thing. The finish on the gun is a little worse for wear. The repair when repainted looks different but I see it as an opportunity to refinish it myself. I think wise lite was very professional and did a honest job correcting the problem. 2 mags originally came with the gun but they offered to test all four I had. They had a quick turn around and paid for shipping. My sincere thanks to everyone who replied to this thead including Richard Hamer from Wise Lite.
04-07-2010, 02:54 PM #22Senior Member
- Join Date
- Dec 1969
this is good information. I just purchased a sterling in 7.62x25 from century last week. Should be here soon. i will be sure to check feed ramp before taking it out for fun.