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Bite The Bullet

What's The Catch? (2000-09-26)

So you're firing away and the next thing you know, you're firing blanks but the slide on your beloved gas blowback is not catching itself in the open position? On closer inspection, you see that the notch cut into the slide to hold it back when the magazine is empty - is pretty worn down and now looks more like a dimple than a notch! Have no fear since the fix is quite easy. All you need is a small file and some patience to recondition that notch.

First, before you do anything, make sure that the slide is indeed not catching because of a worn out slide catch notch. Look closely for signs of wear and dents in the notch. Level the gun and see if the notch is in vertical alignment - in plain English, make sure there still is a notch there! If you find that the notch is worn, then slowly use your file to recondition the notch; file away slowly at the worn out parts to redefine the notch again. You should be careful not to over-do this since filing too much away can leave you with a notch that is set too far rearward in the slide. The undesirable result is when the slide catches in the open position, visually it (the slide) will not be that far back.

Be sure to choose a file that is relatively fine and sharp edged so that you can really work it into the notch to create a sharp angle. If you file is too large or doesn't have a sharp edge to allow you to work the notch, then you might get worse off than before you started! So choose your file wisely and work slowly. Once you get the notch back in shape, reassemble your gun and you're back in business!

Alternative Solution Submitted by KevlarMan
Hey guys, KevlarMan here... just read the September bite the bullet about the worn slide catch problems; I have another solution that may be of some help too!  Apparently, TM's M9 seems to have more trouble in this area than other GBBs.

Eventually, heavy firing will wear the slide catch down, however, repeated filing away of the catch will eventually render it useless (as you've stated), as there will be insufficient material to engage the slide lock lever.  My solution was to put a very small dab of two-part epoxy in the catch groove.  Use a toothpick to shape the epoxy so that it is perpendicular to the top of the slide, and you should be all set!
The high tensile strength of the epoxy gives the slide lock something stronger to grab onto, and lockup is a sure thing every time!  Just make
sure to use an epoxy that's safe on plastics, and use only a very small dab!

Thanks KevlarMan for sharing this trick!