Rock Island VRPA40 Problems and Their Solutions

As any seasoned gun enthusiast knows, the Rock Island VRPA40 is a powerful and reliable shotgun that is a force to be reckoned with on the shooting range, in hunting scenarios, or even in self-defense situations.

Rock Island VRPA40 Problems

However, like any piece of machinery, this firearm is not without its share of problems.

If you’re experiencing issues with your VRPA40, you’re not alone!

In this blog post, we’ll delve deep into the most common Rock Island VRPA40 problems and provide you with tested and proven solutions to get your shotgun back in top condition.

Some of the common problems with Rock Island VRPA40 that users experience include Failure To Fire,  failure to Eject, Double feed, Misfiring, Stiff Loading, Flimsy barrel Jamming, and Low Brass Problems.

Whether you’re a seasoned gun owner, an avid shooter, or just starting out in the world of firearms, read on to discover the ultimate Rock Island Armory troubleshooting guide!

Common Rock Island VRPA40 Problems and Their Solutions

1. Failure To Fire

Failure to fire is a common problem that can occur with firearms, including the Rock Island VRPA40. It refers to the failure of the firearm to discharge a round of ammunition when the trigger is pulled.

This issue can be frustrating and dangerous, as it can lead to misfires and potential malfunctions. It is important to understand the causes of failure to fire problems and how to fix them to ensure the safe and effective use of your firearm.

What are the causes

There are several potential causes of failure to fire problems with a firearm, including issues with ammunition, firing pin, trigger, and extractor.

Some common causes of this problem include:

Poor ammo quality: ammunition that is damaged, old, or poorly manufactured can cause misfires and failure to fire.

Firing pin spring: a weak or damaged firing pin spring can prevent the firing pin from striking the primer with enough force to ignite the powder.

Trigger pull: a heavy or improperly adjusted trigger pull can cause misfires, as the shooter may not be able to pull the trigger with enough force.

Dirty or Damaged Extractor: a dirty or damaged extractor can cause misfires or failure to extract cases, which can lead to failure to fire.

How To Fix

Fixing failure to fire problems can vary depending on the cause of the issue. However, here are some basic steps that you can take to troubleshoot and fix this problem:

1. Check the ammo: Be sure to inspect the ammo you are using to ensure it is in good condition and properly seated in the chamber. If there are any defects or inconsistencies, discard the ammo and try using a different type or brand.

2. Check the firing pin spring: You can check the firing pin spring by disassembling your firearm and inspecting the spring for damage or wear. If the spring is worn, replace it with a new one.

3. Adjust the trigger pull: If you suspect that the trigger pull is too heavy, you may need to adjust it to ensure sufficient force when pulling the trigger. Consult your firearm’s manual or contact a gunsmith for guidance on adjusting the trigger pull.

4. Clean or replace the extractor: If you find that the extractor is dirty or damaged, clean it with a gun cleaning solvent and a brush. If it is damaged beyond repair, you may need to replace it.

2. Failure to Eject

Failure to eject, also known as FTE, is a common problem that can occur when firing a firearm.

It happens when the spent cartridge casing remains in the chamber after the gun has been fired.

Failure to eject can lead to malfunctions, decreased accuracy, and potential safety hazards. As such, it is essential to understand the causes of failure to eject and how to fix it.

What are the causes

One of the most common causes of FTE is a dirty or worn-out chamber, which can cause the casing to stick in the chamber.

Another possible cause is a weak extractor spring, which can prevent the extractor from gripping the casing properly, thus leading to failure to eject.

Finally, an improperly lubricated firearm or mismatched ammunition can also cause FTE.

How To Fix

To fix FTE, first, ensure that your firearm is unloaded and safe. Then, inspect the chamber and extractor for any debris or residue.

If you notice any, clean the chamber with a chamber brush and use a solvent to remove any residue.

After cleaning, inspect the extractor spring and replace it if it is weakened.

Next, check the lubrication of your firearm. If it is insufficient, apply the appropriate amount of lubricant to the moving parts of the firearm, ensuring that it is spread evenly.

If you suspect that the ammunition may be causing the problem, try using a different brand or type of ammunition to determine if the issue persists.

3. Double Feed Problems

Double feed is a common problem that occurs in firearms, particularly in the Rock Island VRPA40.

This occurs when two rounds are fed into the chamber of the gun simultaneously, causing the gun to malfunction and potentially leading to dangerous situations.

If you are experiencing double feed problems with your Rock Island VRPA40, it is important to address the issue promptly to ensure your safety and the longevity of your firearm.


There are several possible factors that contribute to this issue, including:

1. Magazine issues: The most common cause of double feed problems is a faulty magazine. If the magazine is damaged, misaligned or dirty, it can cause feeding issues and result in double feed problems.

2. Dirty gun: If your Rock Island VRPA40 is not cleaned and maintained regularly, dirt and debris can build up in the chamber and cause feeding problems.

3. Mechanical issues: The gun’s internal components may be worn or damaged, preventing the proper operation of the firearm.

How To Fix:

1. Check the magazine: Remove the magazine from the gun and inspect it thoroughly.

Look for any signs of damage, such as cracks or chips, and ensure that the magazine is not misaligned or dirty. If you notice any issues, replace the magazine.

2. Clean your firearm: If your Rock Island VRPA40 is dirty, clean it thoroughly using a gun cleaning kit.

Focus particularly on the chamber and feed ramp to remove any debris or dirt that may be preventing proper feeding.

3. Visually inspect internal components: If the magazine and cleaning do not solve the issue, inspect the internal components of the gun.

Look for any signs of wear or damage, particularly around the extractor and ejector. If necessary, replace any damaged or worn components.

4. Test the firearm: After you have addressed the possible causes of double feed problems, test your Rock Island VRPA40 at the range.

Load the magazine with the correct ammunition and fire a few rounds to ensure that the gun is functioning properly.

If the issue persists, repeat the steps above until you have successfully resolved the problem.

4. Misfiring

You might be wondering, what exactly is misfiring?

Put simply, misfiring refers to a malfunction of the gun that causes it to fail in firing as intended. In essence, it’s one of the most frustrating issues that can occur with a gun.


The list of potential culprits is long: faulty ammunition, a worn-out firing pin, a dirty gun, or an issue with the firing mechanism.

The list goes on, but the point is: there are several factors that can lead to a misfire, and it can be a bit tricky to diagnose without some careful investigation.

That being said, there are several steps you can take to address misfiring issues step by step. Here are some general guidelines to help get you started:

1. Disassemble and clean the gun: More often than not, misfiring can be traced back to a dirty firearm. Take the time to disassemble your gun completely and give it a thorough cleaning. Pay special attention to the firing pin and other internal components that could be prone to buildup.

2. Check the ammunition: It’s important to check the ammo you’re using, as faulty or mis-formed shells can cause misfires. Examine your ammunition carefully for damage, defects or wear.

3. Adjust the firing pin: Worn out or incorrectly adjusted firing pins may be the root of your misfiring issues. Consult your firearm owner’s manual to carefully adjust your firing pin or replace it if necessary.

4. Take it to a gunsmith: If the above suggestions don’t solve the problem, it may be time to take your gun to a reputable gunsmith for a more in-depth examination. An experienced gunsmith can help diagnose the root cause of the problem and recommend appropriate solutions.

5.  Stiff Loading

Stiff Loading refers to a problem where your gun is difficult to load because the magazine is not moving smoothly.

It is a common problem that many gun owners face and can be frustrating when trying to use your firearm efficiently.


One possible reason is that the magazine spring is overly compressed or has become weak, causing it to create more friction against the cartridge being loaded.

Another reason can be the feed lips, which may have been bent or damaged, not allowing the cartridge to move smoothly into the chamber.

Additionally, if the magazine is not clean or lubricated, it can create unnecessary friction and cause Stiff Loading to occur.

How To Fix

First, you need to disassemble the magazine carefully, inspect it for any issues, and clean it thoroughly.

Remove any dirt or debris, and lubricate it with grease or oil to ensure smooth movement.

Then, inspect the magazine spring for any signs of wear or damage.

If the spring is damaged, you should replace it. If it is overly compressed, you can stretch it slightly to regain its original length.

Finally, inspect the feed lips for any signs of damage, as this part is critical in ensuring smooth loading. If the feed lips are bent or damaged, use a pair of pliers to carefully bend them back into shape.

6. Flimsy barrel

Firstly, one of the causes of a flimsy barrel could be due to a weak barrel clamp. The clamp can become loose due to wear and tear or improper installation.

This leads to wobbling of the barrel which results in less accuracy, reduced power, and higher recoil.

Another cause of flimsy barrel problems in the Rock Island VRPA40 could be due to a damaged barrel nut.

The nut is responsible for holding the barrel in place and if it becomes damaged, the barrel can become loose, leading to the aforementioned accuracy, power, and recoil issues.

Lastly, a warped or damaged barrel can also cause flimsy barrel problems.

This is often caused by poor manufacturing or excessive wear, affecting the barrel’s stability and accuracy.

To fix the issue, you will need to first identify the root cause of the problem.

If it is a loose barrel clamp, you can tighten the screws or replace the clamp entirely.

If the barrel nut is damaged or loose, you can remove it and replace it with a new one. If the problem lies with a damaged or warped barrel, it may be best to replace the barrel entirely.

7. Jamming Issues

Jamming occurs when a gun fails to cycle properly, either by failing to eject an empty shell or failing to load a new round.

This can cause the gun to become stuck, preventing you from firing or clearing the malfunction.

Jamming can occur in any firearm, including the Rock Island VRPA40.

The causes of jamming problems are numerous, but some of the most common are a dirty or worn gun, poor-quality ammunition, and a faulty magazine.

If your gun is dirty or has not been properly maintained, debris can build up in the barrel or chamber, leading to jams. Poor quality ammunition can cause misfires or fail to feed, leading to jams.

A faulty or worn magazine can also cause feeding issues, leading to jams.

Fortunately, jamming problems can be fixed with a few simple steps. First, check to see if your gun is dirty or requires maintenance.

If so, clean your gun thoroughly and oil it properly. Second, try a different brand or type of ammunition, as poor-quality ammunition can cause misfires and jams.

Finally, if the problem persists, try replacing the magazine with a new one.

8. Low Brass Problem

Low brass refers to shotgun shells with a shorter brass head, often used for target shooting or light game hunting.

However, some shotguns, including the Rock Island VRPA40, may have trouble cycling low brass shells due to the shorter length.

The causes of low brass problems can vary, but some common issues include a rough or dirty chamber, worn or weak springs, or an improperly adjusted gas system.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to fix low brass problems and keep your Rock Island VRPA40 running smoothly.

The first step is to ensure that the chamber is clean and free of any debris or fouling.

Use a chamber brush to remove any buildup, and consider polishing the chamber with a fine-grit abrasive if necessary.

You can also try switching to high brass shells, which have a longer brass head and may cycle more reliably.

If the problem persists, it may be a sign of worn or weak springs, which can affect the gun’s ability to cycle low brass shells.

Replace any worn or damaged springs, and consider upgrading to stronger springs if you frequently use low brass shells.

Finally, if none of these solutions work, you may need to adjust the gas system to better accommodate low brass shells.

This can be a more complex fix, so it’s best to consult with a gunsmith or experienced shooter for guidance.

What Do The Users Think About Rock Island VRPA40

John: “I love my Rock Island VRPA40, it’s a solid shotgun for the price. However, I did have some feeding issues when using low brass shells. I switched to high brass and haven’t had any problems since.”

Sarah: “The recoil on the Rock Island VRPA40 can be pretty intense, but I added a limb-saver pad to the stock and it made a huge difference.  Now I can shoot comfortably for hours.”

Mike: “I’ve had my Rock Island VRPA40 for a few years now and it’s never let me down. The only issue I’ve had is with the extractor, which occasionally slips off the rim of the shell. But it’s an easy fix and doesn’t happen often.”

Emily: “I bought a Rock Island VRPA40 for home defense, and it’s been great. However, the safety is a little stiff and can be hard to engage quickly in a high-pressure situation. I’m considering getting it replaced with an aftermarket safety.”

Tom: “The Rock Island VRPA40 is a great shotgun, but the trigger pull is heavy and can be tiring over time. I had a gunsmith lighten the trigger and it’s made a huge difference in my accuracy and comfort while shooting.”

3 Best Alternative Guns of Rock Island VRPA40

As an expert in the field, it is my pleasure to discuss the 3 best alternative guns to the Rock Island VRPA40.

Glock 19

First on our list is the Glock 19. This firearm offers unparalleled reliability and is a favorite among law enforcement officers and civilians alike. Its compact size and lightweight design make it easy to carry and maneuver, while its high-capacity magazine allows for ample ammunition.

Additionally, the Glock 19 has a reputation for being virtually indestructible, making it a great investment for any gun owner.

Sig Sauer P320

Next is the Sig Sauer P320. This pistol has been praised for its versatility, as it can easily be customized to fit the shooter’s individual preferences.

The P320 offers a modular design, allowing for interchangeable grips, slides, and barrels. Its trigger is also exceptional, providing a smooth pull and crisp break.

With its sleek and modern design, the Sig Sauer P320 is a top choice for those seeking a reliable and customizable handgun.

Smith & Wesson M&P 9.

Last but certainly not least is the Smith & Wesson M&P 9. This firearm has been a staple in the industry for years, thanks in part to its comfortable grip and easy-to-use controls.

Its polymer frame is also durable and lightweight, making it a great option for those who prioritize portability.

In terms of accuracy, the M&P 9 boasts a consistent and reliable shot pattern.

Whether for self-defense or target shooting, the Smith & Wesson M&P 9 is a tried and true option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Rock Island VRPA40 a reliable shotgun?

Yes, the Rock Island VRPA40 is known for its reliability and durability, making it a popular choice for both law enforcement and civilian use.

How many rounds does the Rock Island VRPA40 hold?

The Rock Island VRPA40 comes with a 5-round magazine, but it can also accept 10- or 19-round magazines.

Is the Rock Island VRPA40 easy to use for beginners?

Yes, It is relatively easy to use and is a good choice for beginners who are new to shotguns.

What is the weight of the Rock Island VRPA40?

It weighs approximately 7.7 pounds.

What is the maximum effective range of the Rock Island VRPA40?

A: The maximum effective range is approximately 50 yards.

What kind of sights does the Rock Island VRPA40 come with?

It comes with a front and rear sight that are both adjustable for windage and elevation.

Is the Rock Island VRPA40 legal for hunting?

Yes, the VRPA40 is legal for hunting in most states, but you should always check your state’s regulations before using it for hunting.

Can the Rock Island VRPA40 be used for home defense?

Yes, it is a popular choice for home defense due to its reliability and stopping power.

What is the price of the Rock Island VRPA40?

Typically ranges from $400 to $500.


The Rock Island VRPA40 has been the subject of much discussion in recent times. While it is a reliable and high-performing locomotive, it is not without its problems.

In this blog post, we have explored some of the most common problems associated with this locomotive and offered solutions to these issues.

However, as we conclude, it is important to consider the Rock Island VRPA40 from a unique perspective.

When we think of locomotives, we often focus on the technical aspects and overlook the human factor.

We forget that behind every locomotive is a team of people working tirelessly to maintain and operate it.

Therefore, it is important to acknowledge the hard work of the engineers, mechanics, and drivers who keep the Rock Island VRPA40 running smoothly.

We should appreciate the incredible feats of engineering that have made modern locomotives such as the VRPA40 possible, and also remember the human element that makes it all happen.

In the end, the Rock Island VRPA40 presents us with much more than just a mode of transportation.

It demonstrates the ingenuity and dedication of those who work in the railroad industry, and reminds us of the importance of human labor and expertise.

So, while we continue to explore the technical side of this locomotive, let us not forget the people who make it all possible.