While this is easy to deal with in a competition – you have two hours for 60 shots plus your sighters, usually 10 or 20 – it’s distracting; it breaks my concentration. So I’d like to fix it.
The Web says either the gun is dirty or the firing pin spring needs to be replaced. So I first cleaned the whole gun as thoroughly as I could without doing more than removing the grips and squirting cleaner and then compressed air in every nook and cranny, but it continued to fail.
When a fellow free pistol shooter at a recent match said he had extra springs for sale, I bought two, and as I went to store them in the box for later installation, I discovered the small bottle I had thought was for oil was actually for spare parts. I already a replacement spring in there. So, now I have more. I should be good for several years.
Replacing the part is straight-forward IF you rehearse the steps and plan ahead for what surprises there might be. One of those surprises is a sproing that, if it gets by you, will have you scrabbling in the dirt for a lost part. So, be a Boy Scout. Be Prepared by doing this once (or twice) when not under pressure.
The part is question is the curly spring, #12 in this picture. It is inside the #10 block to its left, which is then held in the frame by pin #7.
Here are the steps.
- Check the firearm to make sure it is unloaded. And then check again.
- Remove the grips.
- Examine block #10 from the side and note how the breech open/close lever fits into it. During re-assembly, you’ll need to line that up correctly. (It would be hard to do it wrong.)
- Once that’s noted, drive out pin #7. On mine, it moved quite easily in the direction I guessed (from right to left). There is no tension on the parts and, after the pin is out, block #10 can be extracted – it literally falls out if you turn the frame upside down.
- In the next step, you’ll need to put a moderate amount of pressure on screw #13 with a screwdriver. I have padded jaws in my shop vice and so I placed block #10 therein with that screw facing up for this step but read the next step before proceeding.
BEWARE: The sproing is about to happen! For the next two steps, keep a steady hand and support the pressure so it doesn’t get away from you!
- Screw (#13) rotates only a fraction of a turn to release. The head has three small flanges that hold it inside the block (#10) and, once released, you’ll feel the pressure of the firing pin spring. (You are wearing your safety glasses, yes?) The pressure is not extreme but, if you aren’t expecting it, parts could go flying so be ready.
- Now, rotate the screw slightly left and, when you feel the pressure of the spring pushing up, gently release that pressure.
Once the pressure is released, there’s no more danger of a sproing – until it’s time to re-assemble. (Beware again!)
- You can then remove the screw (#13), the small flat spring (#15) and firing pin spring (#12) as a unit.
- At this point, I also fished out the firing pin (#11) and cleaned it before beginning re-assembly.
- Re-insert the firing pin if, as I did, you removed it.
- Remove the old firing pin spring and compare it to the new one. The new spring should be longer – mine was nearly 1/4" longer.
- Place the new spring (#12) on the shaft of the screw (#13) with the small flat spring (#15) still in place.
- Guide that assembly (#13, #15 and #12) into the hole in the firing pin (#11).
- Make sure the tail on the leaf/flat spring (#15) lines up with its slot.
BEWARE: Here comes the *sproing" if you’re not careful.
- As during dis-assembly, you will again feel pressure as you push the firing pin screw (#13) down – as you do, pay attention to the alignment of the tiny flanges on the screw’s head and their receiving slots in the block (#10) and, when fully inserted, turn the screw slightly clockwise while visually checking that all three flanges are rotated securely into place.
- Reassembly of the block into the frame is straight-forward – just remember to line up the breech open/close lever as you (hopefully) noted earlier – and finally re-insert the pin (#7) to hold it in place.
- Do a final check of operation to be sure everything is working.
On mine, the click of the firing pin is now significantly louder. It should go “Bang!” much more reliably now.
See you at the 50 Meter line!