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  1. #1
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    GSG Firefly--Reliability and Function Fix

    I bought a GSG Firefly online (I won with a really low bid) at Gunbroker. Basically I got the gun including shipping, fees, everything sub $200. Initially I was excited because it seemed like a great pistol. Apparently the GSG Firefly is the same company and factory in Germany that made all the Sig Mosquito pistols.

    Little did I know after diving in online that the Mosquito is a notoriously ammo picky gun. My GSG straight out of the box was let's say 'so so'. I had failure to feed, failure to extract, failure to eject, and problem after problem. I was getting kind of frustrated with it to be honest. I ended up taking the gun apart and doing some simple things that I thought would help.

    Among one of the problems I had was my slide, if you pulled it back slowly and released it slowly it would stick in place. No slide lock, just stuck. A gentle tap and it would go into battery but it would bind a little.

    Fix 1

    I got a soft buffer wheel and some red rouge and I polished everything in the inside of the bottom of the slide that was making contact. I even buffed the hammer a little bit just to make sure. While I was at it I slightly polished the feed ramp and guide rod.

    Still no go. Grrr. It helped substantially but the gun was not reliable. Every mag would have a problem.

    Fix 2

    I got in some good light and slowly cycled the gun (with snap caps) and I saw what I thought could be a problem. The bullets in the magazine were held up at such a steep angle it was interfering with other functions of the pistol. What I did is disassemble the mag(s) and see what if anything I could figure out.

    What I noticed was the spring in the magazine the bottom of it is flat, but the top of it is angled to mimic the angle of the follower. I took that spring out and turned it over so that the angle was opposite of the follower. The 'tip' of the spring was now putting pressure on the back of the follower instead of on the front of it.

    When I reloaded that mag and compared it to how they came out of the factory, the factory ones, when loaded the bullets were about 25 or 30 degrees from horizontal. After my mag spring flip, the bullets sat about 15 to 20 degrees from horizontal. I don't know exactly how many degrees different they were, but the difference was visually noticeable.

    VIOLA! The fix was in!

    I ran 4 or more different kinds of ammo, including a box and a half of CCI subsonic suppressor ammo, 45 grain winchester subsonics, and the dreaded federal blue boxes that it has been absolutely hating. I shot a couple other brands too, and I did it all suppressed. I went through about 300 or so rounds--all suppressed with almost no (or very limited) problems. About the only time I had any real problems is when the gun started to get caked up with carbon on the face of the slide. It got so thick in fact that the slide couldn't shut properly. I wiped it off, ran a bore snake through the barrel once, and continued to fire.

    I think I have the problem fixed. Around 300+ rounds suppressed, including about 80 rounds of CCI subsonic, about 80 rounds of Winchester 45 grain subsonics, a lot Federal blue box (which has been my nemesis here) and some others and very few problems. I was just literally doing mag dumps.

    It did not run flawless, but I eliminated around 90%+ of the problems. I would attribute some of the stoppages that I had to trying to push the gun to the limit and see just how dirty it would run.

    I will do more testing but that gives me hope. I will run a bunch non suppressed tomorrow and see if there is any stoppages once carbon build up isn't a thing.

    Other stuff


    I bought extra mags for the gun so now I have 4 extra mags... and all of them came out of the package as I described above. I reversed the spring in all of the mags and ran a variety of ammo with each one and generally it ran like a top.

    I put this up here for two main reasons--- to get feedback from you guys... and also just in case anyone else is frustrated with their gun too they might find this.

    Please comment and give thoughts on this.

  2. #2
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    I find that .22LR Pistols for the most part, aside from proven models, Ruger MK III's and IV's are finicky. Even my M&P22 sometimes doesn't want to cooperate as far as cycling goes. Running a suppressor vs non suppressed, my M&P22 definitely needs that extra back pressure.

    I had a Walther P22 that was absolute trash. Would not cycle anything other than hot loaded .22

    I would have contacted GSG first, but glad you seemed to have solved it yourself.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by UWone77 View Post
    I find that .22LR Pistols for the most part, aside from proven models, Ruger MK III's and IV's are finicky. Even my M&P22 sometimes doesn't want to cooperate as far as cycling goes. Running a suppressor vs non suppressed, my M&P22 definitely needs that extra back pressure.

    I had a Walther P22 that was absolute trash. Would not cycle anything other than hot loaded .22

    I would have contacted GSG first, but glad you seemed to have solved it yourself.
    I emailed them but they are in Germany and it was a weekend so maybe they haven't gotten it yet. The magazines here were clearly the issue. Once it started to run right it just went really good. Maybe one stoppage every 3 or 4 mags.

    This is actually my first .22 pistol that I have owned, especially one that is suppressed so I am learning as I go. I am not sure but based on what I saw on this one outing about 250 rounds or so when shooting suppressed and you need to stop and wipe it clean and swab out the bore. I am not sure if that's pretty standard for a .22 pistol.

    The only major issue that I had at all were two stuck cases... and both were the bigger/longer 45 grain subs getting jammed into a really dirty chamber toward the end of the session. When I got them out you could see wax and gunk falling out everywhere. I thought the case was bent at first but I went to inspect it and it was all carbon and wax caked around the rim of the case.

    FYI I still might get a Volquartsen MKIII clone (a Scorpion or whatnot) but with what I have now I am now feeling a bit better. From more than 50 yards out I was able to pretty reliably hit my 1/2 size steel plate. When it actually shoots it seems like it's very accurate. I am going to keep testing ammo though because pretty much I want to be able to shoot cheap stuff if possible.

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    On average how much can you shoot your .22 pistol(s) suppressed before you need to clean them up and start having issues?

    I wonder how a nice pistol like the Volquartsen Scorpion would fare under a 'see how much you can shoot suppressed' test.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by UWone77 View Post
    I find that .22LR Pistols for the most part, aside from proven models, Ruger MK III's and IV's are finicky. Even my M&P22 sometimes doesn't want to cooperate as far as cycling goes. Running a suppressor vs non suppressed, my M&P22 definitely needs that extra back pressure.

    I had a Walther P22 that was absolute trash. Would not cycle anything other than hot loaded .22

    I would have contacted GSG first, but glad you seemed to have solved it yourself.
    Thought it was just me. Unloaded a Ruger MkII last year because it was so unreliable. Even had a smith tell me it was fine.

    Thatís one reason I never got another 22lr pistol.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by fledge View Post
    Thought it was just me. Unloaded a Ruger MkII last year because it was so unreliable. Even had a smith tell me it was fine.

    That’s one reason I never got another 22lr pistol.
    This is a good topic of discussion. Apparently not a lot of .22LR pistols are reliable? Much less suppressed.

    I am going to keep testing out various ammo now that the fix seems to be in and see what I can come up with.

    One thing I did notice though is that on a pistol the 'suppressor' ammo is not much quieter than the regular ammo.

  7. #7
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    My 22/45 MKIII seldom has any problems, surpassed or unsuppressed. I've had pretty good luck with both the lite and bull barrel. I'm going out today to give them the works.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjd3 View Post
    My 22/45 MKIII seldom has any problems, surpassed or unsuppressed. I've had pretty good luck with both the lite and bull barrel. I'm going out today to give them the works.
    I thought about--and still might get a Volquartsen 22/45 frame and a Pac Lite barrel for it. The MKIII seems like it's great. The MK IV not so much. The only thing I don't like is the Ruger triggers. I thought they were horrid. Volquartsen on the other hand...wow.

    If I can keep this GSG Firefly running though it will keep me in the game for a while until or if I decide to upgrade. I have too many life bullshit going on to spend too much on guns right now.

    When I get a chance though I am going to just get a box of 500 rounds and just shoot it suppressed and make notes of all my failures, which mags, and really do a controlled test so I can see what, where, or if there are any other issues that I might be able to find.

  9. #9
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    Update

    I cleaned the gun really good and conducted another test today.

    I shot 5 mags of the Federal blue box ammo and there was not a single misfeed or malfunction of any type.

    A "discovery" that I made is that it's critical to keep the chamber clean on the Firefly. When you start getting close to 300 rounds (suppressed) really scrubbing that chamber out is crucial.

    After several hundred rounds the waxy stuff that they coat .22 bullets with will coat your chamber and cause numerous types of failures. A couple of good swabs with a .22 wire brush and it's good to go.

    ---

    What I want to find is a small L shaped tool that I can carry with me to clean the chamber with without taking the slide off. That way I can just take it with me in my bag or whatever and do it without having to break down and field strip the whole gun. The gun has some kind of weird thread pitch so you need an adapter... but you have to take that adapter off in order to get the slide off, which that requires a wrench. I know someone is going to suggest a bore snake. I've tried that and it didn't work so well. It buys you a little more time but it's not sufficient to really get off a lot of that gunk.

    Long story short though, keep the chamber clean and it can run all day long.

    Yesterday when I did my long test the breech face of the slide was so dirty that it couldn't even close. There was a TON of carbon on there. Keeping that surface wiped clean is important too.

    ---


    I did get a response from ATI (I emailed GSG in Germany but they forwarded my email). The girl there told me a few brands of ammo to stick to. I responded with my diagnosis and fix. I asked her to forward my email up the chain and have them try to recreate my results. Time will tell if they ever get back to me.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by alamo5000 View Post
    On average how much can you shoot your .22 pistol(s) suppressed before you need to clean them up and start having issues?

    I wonder how a nice pistol like the Volquartsen Scorpion would fare under a 'see how much you can shoot suppressed' test.
    My Sig 1911-.22 (identical to the GSG 1911) has run anything I put in it and doesnít care if itís dirty. No mag issues either aside from the cost

    I did polish the frame/slide contact points after my first range day and smoothed it up, though

  11. #11
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    I've not had the first issue out of my M&P .22, suppressed or not. From cheapy to CCI to subsonic, gun has run perfectly (lemme knock on wood).

    SWMP Compact 22 2 (1 of 1) by Steven Ragan, on Flickr

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GriffonSec View Post
    I've not had the first issue out of my M&P .22, suppressed or not. From cheapy to CCI to subsonic, gun has run perfectly (lemme knock on wood).

    SWMP Compact 22 2 (1 of 1) by Steven Ragan, on Flickr
    That looks nice!

    How many suppressed rounds can you shoot before you start getting too much fouling on the gun?

  13. #13
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    Ha! Not many! Seriously, I got lens coverage after a couple of mags so bad I removed the Burris and went back to a normal sight. Also, really make the QD not so QD after about 5 mags. Kinda wish I had gone to a direct thread instead. Great can though...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by GriffonSec View Post
    Ha! Not many! Seriously, I got lens coverage after a couple of mags so bad I removed the Burris and went back to a normal sight. Also, really make the QD not so QD after about 5 mags. Kinda wish I had gone to a direct thread instead. Great can though...
    You can get a direct thread adapter for that can. At least you used to be able to. I think they are doing periodic runs of them so I would pick one up just so you have options.

    I guess my 300-400 round suppressed wasn't too bad of a deal then

    This is my first .22 pistol so I am learning my way around it. I haven't shot .22 in years until rather recently. Now I have been shooting it a lot because it's cheap and plus because I've been tuning this gun and testing ammo to see what works best and what doesn't.

  15. #15
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    Post Which spring did you you for all your tests?

    Quote Originally Posted by alamo5000 View Post
    I bought a GSG Firefly online (I won with a really low bid) at Gunbroker. Basically I got the gun including shipping, fees, everything sub $200. Initially I was excited because it seemed like a great pistol. Apparently the GSG Firefly is the same company and factory in Germany that made all the Sig Mosquito pistols.

    Little did I know after diving in online that the Mosquito is a notoriously ammo picky gun. My GSG straight out of the box was let's say 'so so'. I had failure to feed, failure to extract, failure to eject, and problem after problem. I was getting kind of frustrated with it to be honest. I ended up taking the gun apart and doing some simple things that I thought would help.

    Among one of the problems I had was my slide, if you pulled it back slowly and released it slowly it would stick in place. No slide lock, just stuck. A gentle tap and it would go into battery but it would bind a little.

    Fix 1

    I got a soft buffer wheel and some red rouge and I polished everything in the inside of the bottom of the slide that was making contact. I even buffed the hammer a little bit just to make sure. While I was at it I slightly polished the feed ramp and guide rod.

    Still no go. Grrr. It helped substantially but the gun was not reliable. Every mag would have a problem.

    Fix 2

    I got in some good light and slowly cycled the gun (with snap caps) and I saw what I thought could be a problem. The bullets in the magazine were held up at such a steep angle it was interfering with other functions of the pistol. What I did is disassemble the mag(s) and see what if anything I could figure out.

    What I noticed was the spring in the magazine the bottom of it is flat, but the top of it is angled to mimic the angle of the follower. I took that spring out and turned it over so that the angle was opposite of the follower. The 'tip' of the spring was now putting pressure on the back of the follower instead of on the front of it.

    When I reloaded that mag and compared it to how they came out of the factory, the factory ones, when loaded the bullets were about 25 or 30 degrees from horizontal. After my mag spring flip, the bullets sat about 15 to 20 degrees from horizontal. I don't know exactly how many degrees different they were, but the difference was visually noticeable.

    VIOLA! The fix was in!

    I ran 4 or more different kinds of ammo, including a box and a half of CCI subsonic suppressor ammo, 45 grain winchester subsonics, and the dreaded federal blue boxes that it has been absolutely hating. I shot a couple other brands too, and I did it all suppressed. I went through about 300 or so rounds--all suppressed with almost no (or very limited) problems. About the only time I had any real problems is when the gun started to get caked up with carbon on the face of the slide. It got so thick in fact that the slide couldn't shut properly. I wiped it off, ran a bore snake through the barrel once, and continued to fire.

    I think I have the problem fixed. Around 300+ rounds suppressed, including about 80 rounds of CCI subsonic, about 80 rounds of Winchester 45 grain subsonics, a lot Federal blue box (which has been my nemesis here) and some others and very few problems. I was just literally doing mag dumps.

    It did not run flawless, but I eliminated around 90%+ of the problems. I would attribute some of the stoppages that I had to trying to push the gun to the limit and see just how dirty it would run.

    I will do more testing but that gives me hope. I will run a bunch non suppressed tomorrow and see if there is any stoppages once carbon build up isn't a thing.

    Other stuff


    I bought extra mags for the gun so now I have 4 extra mags... and all of them came out of the package as I described above. I reversed the spring in all of the mags and ran a variety of ammo with each one and generally it ran like a top.

    I put this up here for two main reasons--- to get feedback from you guys... and also just in case anyone else is frustrated with their gun too they might find this.

    Please comment and give thoughts on this.

    Which spring did you you for all your tests?

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