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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm writing this on my phone after completing my time at the range with my new old stock FS-380. I ran a mix of ammo, a majority being lead free indoor range ammo with a flat nose, 1 mag of hollow points, and a few mags of brass jacketed ammo. I ended up firing 128 rounds of ammo through it during my hour at the range. Doing my best to keep track of FTF and FTE I counted 15 FTF and 14 FTE. I'll update more on the specifics when I get home to my computer, but that's the results so far. Along with that the 10rd mag needs tuning and my silver 7rd mags have super strong mag springs that seem to cause feed issues that my black mags don't suffer from.
 

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If you have multiple mags you should number them if you haven't already done so. My experience with Lorcin & Cobra mags is they're problematic so it's good to know which ones are the culprits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I
If you have multiple mags you should number them if you haven't already done so. My experience with Lorcin & Cobra mags is they're problematic so it's good to know which ones are the culprits.
I've only got 4 standard mags and only the silver ones are trouble. The weaker mag spring in one of them seemed to help so I'm just going to load them and let them sit to weaken the springs a touch. Is there any specific mag manufacturer thats better or is it all mag by mag?
 

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An update to my original post now that I'm at my computer. For most of the failure to feeds the round would be partially in the chamber, but the slide caught on the casing pinching it. Once there was a round sticking up past the chamber in the mag somehow. My two black magazines with weaker mag springs seemed to preform the best and I did manage a few mags without issues. I can only suspect that my silver magazines have far stronger springs and is somehow causing problems with the slide/action. From anyone who has a Cobra FS-380, what have you guys done to make them function better?
 

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An update to my original post now that I'm at my computer. For most of the failure to feeds the round would be partially in the chamber, but the slide caught on the casing pinching it. Once there was a round sticking up past the chamber in the mag somehow. My two black magazines with weaker mag springs seemed to preform the best and I did manage a few mags without issues. I can only suspect that my silver magazines have far stronger springs and is somehow causing problems with the slide/action. From anyone who has a Cobra FS-380, what have you guys done to make them function better?
Label the a mag of each color and swap springs to test your theory and rule out any other potential structural defects or potential malfunctions.

You're also on the forum that's home to the firearm most known for its warranty and magazine induced malfunctions. Start with leaving them loaded, work the mag followers and "exercise" the springs to break them in while you're busy being bored, consider looking for springs from the manufacturer that made your functioning mags, DO NOT consider clipping a turn out of the springs.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Label the a mag of each color and swap springs to test your theory and rule out any other potential structural defects or potential malfunctions.

You're also on the forum that's home to the firearm most known for its warranty and magazine induced malfunctions. Start with leaving them loaded, work the mag followers and "exercise" the springs to break them in while you're busy being bored, consider looking for springs from the manufacturer that made your functioning mags, DO NOT consider clipping a turn out of the springs.
I'd never consider clipping the springs, but I will have to look into making the mags work with different springs potentially. One thing I also noticed both during and while I'm currently cleaning the gun is a heavily excessive amount of unburned powder. Covering the interior of the chamber, the slide, and even on the underside of the barrel. Is this a known issue or just some awful ammo I had? I also see some tiny dents in the ejection port near the slide from presumably where rounds jammed into during either FTF or FTE.
 

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Carbon build up due to blowby is common with steel and plated case ammo due to the reduced ductility and malleability preventing a full chamber seal for a split second during firing and it also occurs in any all running slow burning powder. You can "hone" the chamber with your carbon busting cleaning fluid of choice and a bore brush chucked up in a drill and see if that improves the issue.

If it's chamber wear itself, you'll need go/nogo gauges.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Carbon build up due to blowby is common with steel and plated case ammo due to the reduced ductility and malleability preventing a full chamber seal for a split second during firing and it also occurs in any all running slow burning powder. You can "hone" the chamber with your carbon busting cleaning fluid of choice and a bore brush chucked up in a drill and see if that improves the issue.

If it's chamber wear itself, you'll need go/nogo gauges.
I don't think it's chamber wear as the pistol was new old stock, but I will look into some go/nogo gauges for future safety sake. I also seem some minor casting or other imperfections in the feed ramp. Look to be the size of a grain of power, roughly 10 of them all maybe .5mm deep or less. Overall both some surprises (good and bad) with it's first outing at the range, but looking forward to attempting some improvements and see where it takes me. None of the range officers even knew what it was haha. Took it out and one walked over to inquire about it. Younger guy, never had heard of a SNS or the ring of fire, but he was intrigued and I let him shoot it. He didn't hate it, but it was indeed an interesting experience he said.
 

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I don't think it's chamber wear as the pistol was new old stock, but I will look into some go/nogo gauges for future safety sake. I also seem some minor casting or other imperfections in the feed ramp. Look to be the size of a grain of power, roughly 10 of them all maybe .5mm deep or less. Overall both some surprises (good and bad) with it's first outing at the range, but looking forward to attempting some improvements and see where it takes me. None of the range officers even knew what it was haha. Took it out and one walked over to inquire about it. Younger guy, never had heard of a SNS or the ring of fire, but he was intrigued and I let him shoot it. He didn't hate it, but it was indeed an interesting experience he said.
Chamber wear was a reflex term. Your chamber could just be out of spec from the factory. If you or a reloading buddy have got a chamber block, you can take a piece of your fired brass and drop it in to see if your chamber is off.

I would just clean it, and see if a different ammo does it as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Chamber wear was a reflex term. Your chamber could just be out of spec from the factory. If you or a reloading buddy have got a chamber block, you can take a piece of your fired brass and drop it in to see if your chamber is off.

I would just clean it, and see if a different ammo does it as well.
I've got more of a different ammo I plan on running through it when I get a chance to get to the range next, but so far I've polished the feed ramp like a mirror and tried to clean up the chamber a touch to see if it will help. In terms of ejection issues, is that just down the extractor design or is there another well known problem?
 

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Well that I'll leave up to the SNS/ROF guys. I'm more of the....fire slash medical slash long distance birth certificate revocation... guy.
 

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I think you'll find the mags are crimped on the bottom and can't be taken apart without considerable effort. I would look at the mag feed lips to make certain they are formed correctly. But if these are new old stock they should be okay. Besides the feed lips I'd make sure the follower is moving up and down freely and not getting hung up. I find a carpenter's pencil works well for that.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think you'll find the mags are crimped on the bottom and can't be taken apart without considerable effort. I would look at the mag feed lips to make certain they are formed correctly. But if these are new old stock they should be okay. Besides the feed lips I'd make sure the follower is moving up and down freely and not getting hung up. I find a carpenter's pencil works well for that.
Two of the mags appear to have been manufactured by Cobra, as one I recently received was new old stock and the other black mag matches it. The two silver mags appear to either be from a different manufacturer or a different batch of some sort. They currently are being "exercised" and will hopefully work better after. However, with the silver mags it was a struggle to get the 7th round loaded even with the assist of a mag loader. But I'll look over the mags and see if there are any differences I can see or anything.
 

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@Zamak-Zeppelin I'll bet those two silver ones are Lorcin mags. Jim Waldorf was the king of cheap and really didn't give a dang about quality, it was all about raking in cash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@Zamak-Zeppelin I'll bet those two silver ones are Lorcin mags. Jim Waldorf was the king of cheap and really didn't give a dang about quality, it was all about raking in cash.
I bet they are Lorcin mags. They look identical minus the finish, but they were far less reliable. Later today I'll do some more inspection and eventually get 2 more black mags to see if they work well or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Cobra made a lot of improvements over the old Lorcin (and Davis) designs.
I remember reading a lot about that when i did my research on the actual firearms a few years ago. The improved quality of the Cobra is what made me buy it over a different manufacturers. Never would have thought a mag could be so problematic.
 

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I remember reading a lot about that when i did my research on the actual firearms a few years ago. The improved quality of the Cobra is what made me buy it over a different manufacturers. Never would have thought a mag could be so problematic.
Mags are usually the main issue.
 

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I remember reading a lot about that when i did my research on the actual firearms a few years ago. The improved quality of the Cobra is what made me buy it over a different manufacturers.
Don't get me wrong, Cobra's "engineers" (I don't know that they actually had engineers, LOL) didn't wave a magic wand and make everything wonderful. But it definitely appeared they looked at Lorcin's (and Davis') failures and tried to improve what they were making, in particular the Lorcin L380 slide & magazine and the Davis P-380 buffer. But Cobra was still the cheapest firearms you could buy new out of a gun shop, and Zamak has its limitations when used in a small firearm.

The best thing one can do to keep a FS380 (or a CA380) alive is to routinely change the recoil and firing pin springs - like every 2500 rounds or so, which will be a challenge since, well, Cobra's gone.

On a side note, it's interesting that Cobra didn't decide to make their own version of the L9 / LC380 or the L22. I get it when it comes to the L9, the gun won on style points but failed miserably in terms of reliability. On the other hand, the L22 was on par with the Jennings J-22, and I found it worked well as long as it was kept clean and fed it a diet of CCI Mini-mags. (The L22 magazines were no better than the L380 magazines though).
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Don't get me wrong, Cobra's "engineers" (I don't know that they actually had engineers, LOL) didn't wave a magic wand and make everything wonderful. But it definitely appeared they looked at Lorcin's (and Davis') failures and tried to improve what they were making, in particular the Lorcin L380 slide & magazine and the Davis P-380 buffer. But Cobra was still the cheapest firearms you could buy new out of a gun shop, and Zamak has its limitations when used in a small firearm.

The best thing one can do to keep a FS380 (or a CA380) alive is to routinely change the recoil and firing pin springs - like every 2500 rounds or so, which will be a challenge since, well, Cobra's gone.

On a side note, it's interesting that Cobra didn't decide to make their own version of the L9 / LC380 or the L22. I get it when it comes to the L9, the gun won on style points but failed miserably in terms of reliability. On the other hand, the L22 was on par with the Jennings J-22, and I found it worked well as long as it was kept clean and fed it a diet of CCI Mini-mags. (The L22 magazines were no better than the L380 magazines though).
Oh ya, I know their "engineers" didn't really fix much, but in terms of cheap it was the lesser of two awfuls. I'll keep in mind that recoil and firing pin spring info though as I shoot it more.
 
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