FiveSeven Problems....

Discuss the FN Five-seveN line of pistols and accessories.

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allena2s2
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FiveSeven Problems....

Post by allena2s2 » 20 May 2009, 08:20

Here is my experience with FN and the two FiveSevens I own...

I have had my first fiveseven for a couple of years, and started using it as my full time carry this year instead of the Glock 21SF.

My first problem came when I started dropping magazines. I mean all the time. The mag catch had rounded off and needed to be replaced (well known and documented problem). I called Bob at FN and emailed and called some more, finally he said he would send me a new one...That was in February, still have not seen or heard from him or the part he said he was putting in the mail...

So I bought another Fiveseven while I was waiting for the new part. (I am glad I am writing this, I had forgotten all about the mag catch to fix that, that is my next call.)

Anyway, I now have a brand new Fiveseven and it has no problems until I started training with it.

So I practice with what I carry and started taking this to the IDPA shoots here twice a month since January.
(I know it is not an IDPA approve round, but I shoot it anyway, I don't care about scores)

Anyway this thing has let me down three times, all the same situation.

When doing a reload, I put a new mag in and the tip of the bullet on the first round in the mag catches the damn magazine release spring and pulls it out of the gun! Then the magazine catch is just floating (no spring tension on it) and the mag has to be held in place from the bottom while I finished the stage. At this point having to do another reload is about impossible because the mag catch will fall out and everything goes to hell.

So I go back and find the mag release spring in the dirt, clean it off and get my tool kit to put it back in the gun.
The spring is shaped in a way that it has no defense against being pulled up and out of the gun when inserting a new magazine if the first round is the least bit forward.

I know that everyone will say ohhhh.... your problem is your first round is not seated fully to the rear of the magazine properly and is pulling the spring out....No shit, I know what is happening, but when doing a tactical reload during a course of fire do I really have time to see if the first round is seated fully to the rear during every reload.... and the point is: if the loaded magazine will fit in the gun and chamber a round regardless if the first round is to the rear or forward .100" (which it does) it should not pull the mag catch spring out, or not even have the ABILITY to pull it out.

I have thought about glueing the spring in, or glueing a small "ramp" below the top of the inverted U-shaped so the bullet tip will not be able to hang on the spring at all, instead it would just push the bullet to the rear enough to clear the spring. That is what I am going to try. But I think this is a major design flaw none the less...

I built up a great deal of respect for the pistol from everyone I shoot with in the IDPA, they all have come around to admiring the round and the pistol, even some who previosly hated it. After getting the S4 Superaptors in this at night and hitting steel plates harder then the old guys and their "superior .45s" they finally came arouns. But after these failures, everyone says, "What happens when you need that second magazine in a real gunfight and the thing won't stay in?" my typicall response is "I have 20 rounds in the first so if I need 20 more I have bigger problems and will just go get my FS2000!"

Needless to say I do think the same way about this happening at the worst time, and have started carrying my Glock again until I can get this fixed. No, I don't expect Bob the "Customer Care" expert to do anything about it, so I will void my warranty and resort to using superglue and scrap plastic to fix a design problem on a $1000 pistol.

I am not trying to bash the fiveseven or FN, I love their stuff and own $4000 worth (FS2000 and two fivesevens), I am just telling what has happend to mine.
So for all you real world guys depending on this pistol for your life, I wouldn't trust it until all the mag catch and mag catch spring issues are fixed.

Allen
If anyone has had similar problems or a fix let me know...

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f3rr37
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Re: FiveSeven Problems....

Post by f3rr37 » 20 May 2009, 08:35

Maybe you need to call Bob again and ask to speak to his supervisor. Or you could call the FN parts department and get it directly from them.

As for the mag release spring problem, I've never come across that issue with either the IOM or USG that I had. If I were having this issue I would just slap the back of the mag on the palm of my hand to make sure that all of the rounds are seated fully to the rear of the mag after loading them.

I'm not sure that a ramp of some sort that you would glue in there would prevent this, as the round might actually jam against it and prevent the mag from being seated.

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Re: FiveSeven Problems....

Post by Buffman » 20 May 2009, 08:44

I'd be surprised Bob wouldn't be that willing to provide customer support. I had simply emailed him inquiring about those dummy rounds and he quickly sent me some. Maybe time for another call.

Does it happen with factory rounds? That spring is protected by the front of the magazine unless the first round is pushed out 1/4" inch from the back of the magazine. With that in mind the SS197 will catch that spring. Picture Coming

Grantness
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Re: FiveSeven Problems....

Post by Grantness » 20 May 2009, 08:45

yea, like you said the mag release is a common problem. You can mitigate problems associated w/ a defective mag release by reversing it. Then you need to remember to push up on the mag before pushing the mag release button....and when loading mags (if you arent trying to do a tactical reload) push the mag release in while inserting the magazine. I've found that the mag catch wears out one side of the magazines. If you buy new magazines, the problem won't recur as long as you take the precautions I described above. Yes, I know...this is a pretty lame thing to have to do w/ a $1000 gun. FN needs to get their butts in gear, and crank out some new mag catches already!

I've never had the mag release spring problem.... :?:

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Re: FiveSeven Problems....

Post by Buffman » 20 May 2009, 08:56

Grantness, I just took a picture. You'd need that last round protruding quite a way to catch that spring.
Sorry for the poor focus. My old Powershot A520 is not much a digital camera.
Image

If mag releases wear out, would it possibly be more reliable to construct one from steel (well stainless for non rust)? Or would that put too much wear on the magazine itself?

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Re: FiveSeven Problems....

Post by Grantness » 20 May 2009, 09:03

The main problem is that the mag release wears out the magazine. The catch itself will still work. So I dunno. Someone w/ more expertise than I will have to answer that.

That pic about sums it up. I dont think Ive ever had a round out that far. Alana2s2: were your rounds sticking out that much? Cause if that happening, and you are pushing them all the way in when you load them...your mags may be to blame...possibly even a poor mag spring. :?: Its not something I've heard of happening before.

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f3rr37
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Re: FiveSeven Problems....

Post by f3rr37 » 20 May 2009, 09:09

I'd say it would be cheaper to replace the catch than the magazine. Obviously polymer on polymer is going to wear faster than metal on metal contact (in most cases).

EmptyBrass
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Re: FiveSeven Problems....

Post by EmptyBrass » 20 May 2009, 09:23

Try contacting FN Parts department. I'm sure they could help you with a spring and latch

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allena2s2
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Re: FiveSeven Problems....

Post by allena2s2 » 20 May 2009, 09:24

Yea, I am calling Bob today.

The ramp I am thinking about would only come out into the mag well as far as the spring does while properly installed, so it would in no way change the dimensions of the interior mag well. Just provide a bevill up to the spring height filling in the void there.


I just reproduced this failure on both of my guns, you can to if you wish to see a potential problem you may encounter. Here is how whithout actually pulling the mag catch spring out and having to put it back:

1. Unload the pistol
2. Unload the pistol again.
4. Remove and load magazine to full capacity ( or not, just make so the top round is on the right side when looking from rear of mag.)
3. Take off the slide. (all you need is the frame and loaded mag to see what I am talking about.
4. Pull first round in mag forward until about 1/8" to 3/16" of the bullet is hanging over end of magazine.
5. Slowly insert magazine and watch through the top so you can see what the bullet does. First the bullet will angle slightly upward in order to fit into the mag well. Then as the bullet passes the mag catch it will go back into line as the bullet is able to fall into the void in the plastic where the mag catch spring is located. Keep pushing the mag in and notice how the bullet tip perfectly catches under the spring and with almost no resistence dislodges the spring from the mag catch and begins to pull it out of the frame. Stop before it pulls it out all the way or you will have to put it back in.
6. Withdraw the magazine.
7. With your fingernail, push the mag catch spring back down until seated in the mag catch.
8. Woneder when this will happen to you in a bind.

Let me know what yours did.

Thanks,

Allen

allena2s2
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Re: FiveSeven Problems....

Post by allena2s2 » 20 May 2009, 09:28

You guys are missing something I think:

The mag catch and dropping mags is only on my first pistol.

This new one I have the mag release works perfect.

But both (and all) fivesevens will pull the spring out if (like the picture above) the bullet is out just a bit.

Allen

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f3rr37
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Re: FiveSeven Problems....

Post by f3rr37 » 20 May 2009, 09:43

What I'm saying about the problem with a small ramp to prevent the round from pulling out the spring is, that... here I'll MSPAINT it.

Crappy drawing, not even close to what it actually looks like, but you get the picture :P

Image

Instead of the ramp pushing the round back into the mag so it doesn't catch the spring, it will bind on the bullet preventing the mag from being inserted (as apposed to the spring coming out). This will require you to pull the mag out, reseat the top round and reinsert the mag.

allena2s2
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Re: FiveSeven Problems....

Post by allena2s2 » 20 May 2009, 10:01

Awsome picture! Yea that is what I was thinking about.

But if that wouldnt work how about just filling in the void all the way up to the spring? So the bullet doesn't drop back down straight and then bind up when it hits the ramp?

If it drops back straight after it has passed the spring there are no problems.

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f3rr37
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Re: FiveSeven Problems....

Post by f3rr37 » 20 May 2009, 10:23

It might work, I don't know.

The main issue here is why is the round sticking out 1/8-1/4" past the mag lip? The spring isn't causing the problem, it is the round not being fully to the rear in the mag causing the spring to be pushed out.

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panzermk2
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Re: FiveSeven Problems....

Post by panzermk2 » 20 May 2009, 13:49

There also may be a molding defect in the frame. Beside Bob I would give Tommy Thacker at FN a call. He is the program manager for the USG pistol.
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gw45acp
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Re: FiveSeven Problems....

Post by gw45acp » 20 May 2009, 14:17

I had the mag release spring pull out of mine while at the range. I don't know if I pulled it loose during cleaning or if the tip of the bullet lifted it up and out. It hasn't happened since, but it is still a concern and I check it frequently to make sure it stays in place.
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f3rr37
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Re: FiveSeven Problems....

Post by f3rr37 » 20 May 2009, 14:22

They should redesign it so that the spring clips in under something so that it can't be pulled out as easily.

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gw45acp
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Re: FiveSeven Problems....

Post by gw45acp » 20 May 2009, 14:32

Yes, it should have a positive stop or some sort of keeper to help prevent accidental removal of the spring.
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Re: FiveSeven Problems....

Post by Buffman » 20 May 2009, 16:03

One thing I do like about the XD. has an ambi mag release (no need to switch it) and it's held very firmly in place :)

allena2s2
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Re: FiveSeven Problems....

Post by allena2s2 » 20 May 2009, 16:50

Exactly, they need to have a retainer for the spring.

As to why would there be a round hanging out of the mag a little, well if you have ever shot on the run, done a quick mag grab from a concealed pocet, dropped a mag, .... you name it, there are a million ways to have one round move while you move too, it happens.

But it should not cause a complete failure in your sidearm, never had that problem in a glock, cz75, sig p220, 1911, or a s&W sigma, all of which are about 1/2 the price of this pistol....

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panzermk2
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Re: FiveSeven Problems....

Post by panzermk2 » 20 May 2009, 21:16

I would really like an XDM in 10mm.
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