help with changing firing pin and spring

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by garydude, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. garydude

    garydude Member

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    I have a SW 1911 that I purchased used, and have been performing maintenance on it, both because I don't know how many rounds were put through it before I got it and because I have shot the bejeezuz out of it since owning it. I am about to replace the firing pin and spring, and have figured out how to remove the old ones, and I'm guessing just reverse it to replace new ones. Are there any tips the forum could give, and please do tell if I'm leaving out important steps. Thanks!
  2. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR Active Member

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    Rule number one: don't let it hit you in the eye if it flys out.:D
    Assembly is reverse, slide the spring over the tip and drop in the pin. Check the pin by pushing it with a punch to make sure it does not bind. If thats OK proceed by pushing pin in with a punch and then try to capture the pin with the pin retainer. When you get the retainer just over the back side of the pin, remove the punch and push the pin retainer the rest of the way up. The back of the pin will poke through.
    This is based on a series 70 gun, if you have a series 80 then you have a pin lock to contend with but you can use them to your advantage by having them retain the pin instead of you pushing it down with a punch.
    Just watch your face, if the punch slips the pin can go flying
  3. garydude

    garydude Member

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    Funny you should mention that- I took off the retaining plate, saw a flash out the corner of my eye as the pin shot over my shoulder! Thanks for the info,; can you tell me if you lube the assembly or no? I re-assembled the old parts as I am waiting for the new ones to arrive, and when I did I depressed the pin/ spring combo back into the hole and it felt alot like pushing your fist into a bowl of cereal. Crunchy, scratchy sensation. Could I have put spring in backwards, or does the tunnel need to be cleaned, or just worn out spring? BTW I have what I'm guessing is a model 80 type pistol. It did take depressing a small stud under the slide to get the components out (and back in)
  4. techoca

    techoca New Member

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    garydude, your S&W is a series 80 type pistol.

    You should clean the cavity for the firing pin and spring. I spray it with Gun Scrubber or brake parts cleaner and follow with a Qtip, then lightly oil the pin and spring with a drop of oil on your fingers.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
  5. garydude

    garydude Member

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    Thanks much guys; really do appreciate it. Should get parts in tomorrow and will give it a go. Next up mainspring and bushing. Bushing seems pretty straightforward, but any advice on mainspring would be greatly appreciated.
  6. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    FWIW, I see no reason to change either the firing pin or the spring. I can't guess how many tens of thousands of rounds it would take to weaken the spring or damage the firing pin, but I doubt your "shot the bejeezuz out of it" even comes close.

    Jim
  7. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    jim has a good point, but those fancy titanium firing pins and xtra power springs do make you feel like you have a manly-er gun;)
  8. garydude

    garydude Member

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    Jim,
    Around these parts

    1 bejeezuz = roughly two thousand rounds

    I decided to replace these parts because when changing the slide spring, I noticed that it was a full 1" shorter, and noticably weaker than what came with the gun. I ordered all parts from smith and wesson directly, and most parts were under $5 each. I truly enjoy the gun and want it to last, and this has been a learning experience for me. Yours' and others' advice here at the forum have been most instrumental in my education.
  9. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Recoil springs normally "take a set" under initial use, then (if they are well made) won't change for thousands of rounds. IMHO, the only time a recoil spring needs replaced is when it fails to feed a round and push the slide into battery when it is released manually. (The normal slide "bounce" will make up for a weak spring when firing.)

    Some folks claim the recoil spring should be replaced after ridiculously short periods; one guy claimed he replaced his after every 100 rounds, which I am sure pleased the spring maker, but did no other good whatsoever.

    Another poster told me that all springs wear out after a few thousand compressions. I asked how often he changed the valve springs in his car, which undergo that many compressions in a couple of minutes. No response.

    Jim
  10. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I have a trimmed down (21.5 down to appx 17) square wire spring in my taurus thats been there for about the last 7500 rounds. It still slams the slide home a little harder than it needs too, and the only reason i replaced the stock one was because i took it out to clean the pistol on a hunting trip and lost it in the grass.
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