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391 faliure to eject (except hunting loads)

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by BD457, Mar 6, 2012.

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  1. BD457

    BD457 Member

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    Update: FIXED!!! See later post




    I've been trying to figure this out for a while with no success. This is my kids AL391 that we bought used......very used. When I got it I took it apart and cleaned it completely. We proceeded to use it for trap so there was no reason for me to even know if it ejected or not since he uses a TS shell catcher. When he tried his hand at 5 stand is when we realized it wasn't ejecting. I wasn't sure where to begin, so I replaced the recoil spring and buffer just because I was sure it was old and could probably benefit from it either way. Since then we've tried it and it still won't eject.

    This week-end he went on the junior pheasant hunt and they had a trap thrower set up just to gety the kids "tuned up". The gun still didn't eject with the factory Federal target loads. the RSO pointed it out to me and said "It probably just needs to be cleaned". From there, he went out into the field with two rounds in the gun to hunt the pheasants. He was able to get off two shots on each pheasant without a problem. They supplied 3 1/4 dram game loads. Is there something that I'm missing here? Is it possible there's something with the piston assy? I have the piston spring screwed all the way down and jam nutted there. IIRC, that's what I'm supposed to do. Any help would be greatly appriciated.

    Before anybody asks........nope....he didn't get a pheasant. Too quick on the bird. :(

    Mike
     
  2. Bentley998

    Bentley998 Member

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    Sounds like the gas port needs a cleaning. I brazed a 5/64 drill bit to a length of wire to lengthen the reach- have to enter the hole in the gas cylinder at about 45 degree angle - then twirl the drill a couple of times
    I do this on my 391 about every 500 rounds- shooting 1 /18 oz 23 grains Hodgen International Universal -never have had that problem
     
  3. BD457

    BD457 Member

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    Any based shell. Our reloads are STS or AA. I musty admit I haven't cleaned the gas port, I just look for light. I'll have to dig up a drill bit ansd try that.
     
  4. Pointer

    Pointer TS Member

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    Jan 29, 1998
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    Yes..gas port, then piston, and the rod the piston rides on. Cleaning the inside of the piston can be a pain in the rump you may have to soak it in cleaning fluid. When I shot one I would drop the piston in hopps 9 and clean the rest of the gun while the piston sat in the fluid for a while. The rod can get a powder build up ring that you can feel with your hand. take a brass brush to the area where you feel the bump and make it gone! A 391 should eject any factory round. If you are sure all of those areas are very clean then start looking for anything abnormal (groove in the rod, crack in the piston....etc)There is also a spring in the 391 stock?..i'm no expert on that but I understand it needs replaced at some point...

    A clean (very clean) 391 is a great gun..sad part is thats about every 300 rounds. Some say you can shoot these a long time without cleaning them. That is true if you want a busted 391 :)
     
  5. archangel

    archangel Member

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    if it is not feeding the second shell have the straight shell lifter replaced with the older curved one. if it is not extracting the first shell but is completely cycling replace or check the extractor. make sure the gas ports are not carboned up.
     
  6. Lawman214

    Lawman214 TS Member

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    You may also have excessive carbon buildup in the gas cylinder, on the gas valve, and the piston itself. Any restriction in the flow of gas can cause the lighter loads to not cycle the gun properly. The gas cylinder is pretty notorious for building up carbon over time, and depending on how much you shoot, that amount of time may not be very long. My wife shoots an AL391 Teknys, and I typically clean the gas cylinder about every 1000 shells. I use a dedicated gas cylinder scraper made for the 391...Brownells used to carry them.
     
  7. 4th. down

    4th. down Active Member

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    Pat, a Dremel will sure save you a lot of grief - clean completely including pulling recoil spring and relube. Shoot it wet - I have 4 391's and trial and error this works the best on my guns. Clean after about 3 flats.

    If the gun is not ejecting, probably a cleaning problem. If it's not lifting the next load up into the chamber, you may need a new lifter (390 is the best) and of course..........Dremel.
     
  8. John Thompson

    John Thompson TS Member

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    Mine worked fine until I took to the factory gun smiths at The Grand. They replaced the original recoil spring as part of a total tuneup after around 50K rounds. It would not eject and load for doubles anymore. I talked to a couple of gunsmiths and got the same suggestion. The factory spring is too strong, I got a new lighter recoil spring, no more problems.
     
  9. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    You would think they would test fire it after they tuned it up. HMB
     
  10. Boxbirder

    Boxbirder Member

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    Click the link to all the 391 info on the top of the forum. Dan Suggs in MD makes a nice cleaning kit for the 391.
     
  11. Tron

    Tron Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    6,675
    If you have a straight carrier, either have it bent properly or replace it with a 303/390 carrier. Shoot the gun "wet" with Breakfree CLP. Use clean ammo such as Winchester AA or Anything Remington and if you reload, use clean powder such as 700X or Clays.

    My first 391 has around 200k rounds through it and never misses a beat.
     
  12. OldGoat

    OldGoat Well-Known Member

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    This is why I "dumped" (as in sold at a loss) a 391 Parallel Target shortly after I bought it and I have seen many unhappy Beretta owners. Cleaning pistons and chambers are a constant problem. Regards, Ed
     
  13. StonewallRacing

    StonewallRacing Well-Known Member

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    My experience is the 391 works best when it's seasoned..... I have only had troubles after I clean the gun.

    The dirtier and more covered in carbon the guts are the better it cycles.

    My two cents...
     
  14. BIGDON

    BIGDON Well-Known Member

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    If it ejects a single shell OK then it probably is a feed problem. I have and have had 303, 391, tekneys in 12 and 20 gauge and I don't clean then that often. They don't miss a beat. If you have a shut off or switch on the side make sure it is in the proper position. Also look and see if you have a gas port adjustment, if you do the close it down a bit.

    Don
     
  15. Tron

    Tron Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    I totally agree with Stonewallracing. "Season" the receiver and internals with Breakfree and don't baby the gun and you'll go thousands of rounds without a single malfunction. If you use clean ammo, you can go every bit of 2000 to 3000 rounds without needing to clean.
     
  16. 391 shooter

    391 shooter Well-Known Member

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    Having bought the gun used it is possible this gun has a "Blue" Cole gas spring in it instead of the factory spring.

    Light loads will not cycle properly with the light spring.

    Just a thought.

    Also, Breakfree lube is the way to go, as others have suggested.
     
  17. Too Tall

    Too Tall TS Member

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    Make sure the barrel ports and the cylinder ports in the bottom are clean. Also, make sure the valve is tight. Thankfully, I have at least 50,000 rounds through mine and the only time it failed to eject was when the valve was loose and another time was when I cleaned the cylinder and forgot to clean the ports in the bottom. They got clogged when I cleaned the cylinder. I've run 10 flats through mine before cleaning it and the only thing I really had to clean was the slot on the mag tube. You want to keep that clean to keep the piston from sticking. If it sticks and you force it off, you can break the c clamp in the piston.

    Robert H.
     
  18. BD457

    BD457 Member

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    It's not a failure to feed, it's clearly a failure to eject. The ejector looks great. After the shot is fired, the hull is straight in the port as if the bolt has come back ALMOST to the ejector and then returned forward. No carrier problem and the gun worked flawlessly with hunting loads.

    Yesterday I took it completely apart, cleaned everything all the way down to zero carbon, cleaned out the barrel gas ports (they had very little carbon in them, but there was a little) and we'll give it a try with 7/8oz loads tomorrow night.

    The recoil spring is a genuine Beretta that I replaced maybe 1,000 rounds ago.

    The gas piston spring is factory dark brown.

    Mike
     
  19. build4u

    build4u Member

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    You mentioned it was for your children, and bumping up to 7/8 Ounce. Is it the youth Model 20 Ga.? I have been working up loads for my Children in 3/4 ounce with Clays and the Claybuster 3/4 ounce wads. The Youth 20 ga. have a short barrel which can be more finicky for the gas operation with lighter loads. I have several 391 models and 2 390s in 12 and they cyycle all the way down to low recoil and noise rounds right out of the box. The 2 20s have proven to be a lot more finicky with lighter loads. I have them right at the brink of running perfect with International powder if interested in the Data.
     
  20. BD457

    BD457 Member

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    it is for my son, but it's a full size 391 12ga 28"bbl Teknics (or however ya spell the darn thing). We both shoot 7/8 from the 16 and back to the 21. then 1 1/8th back. the only reason I was going to load it with a light 7/8oz was to see if it'll cycle the load. if not, then I'll try a light 1 1/8oz. if that doesn't work...... (throwing hands up it wonder) then I don't know, change springs i guess.
     
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beretta al391 20 guage wont eject target loads