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This happens. The follower jumps over the nails and the magazine binds.
Step 1. Remove nails, unplug hose.
Step 2. Remove the bolt at the bottom of the magazine with a 2.5mm hex key.
Step 3. Remove the magazine while holding the nail follower in place to the magazine cover.
Step 4. Carefully remove the nail follower and gently extend the yellow warning indicator and follower spring.
Step 6. Inspect the nail follower. There should be 3 indentations that are stamped into nail follower face. This is the culprit.
Step 7. With a small punch, make these three indentations deeper.
Step 8. Assemble and test. Repeat if necessary.
Per your addendum I would have first told you to check that you are using the proper guage nails. Second you should make sure you are loading the nails in the lowest channel in the magazine so they are at the bottom of the magazine. If you load them into the top of the magazine they have more time to go off course before they get into the wood.
You should be able to find a local Dewalt/Black and Decker service/repair shop and they will be able to sell you all the parts you need, I would recommend getting a full upper rebuild kit and replacing everything, while you have it open already
It sound to me that the 1 5/8 brads are not 18 guage but probably 16 guage and they will not work. Double check them first before going any further. You can usually lay them next to the smaller ones that work and see the size difference, if not let me know and I will dig deeper.