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Old 08-22-2016, 09:58 PM   #1
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Playing with Springs

Yes, I'm a dinosaur. Back in the olden days, we bought guns, we shot them for the rest of our lives, and then we died. Those were simpler times. We just let the lead fly--we didn't count rounds and we didn't change springs.

I've never even seen a gun that was beat up from weak springs. I've had guns that were just plain worn out, and I did have a Broomhandle Mauser that was ridden hard. On the C96, the bolt recoils into a pin that is held in place on the barrel. Mine was bent, which COULD have been from weak springs, but I think it was from some knucklehead shooting cheap 7.62 x 25 rather than expensive 7.63 x 25. Regardless, my next Broomhandle got new springs, but never any of my other guns.

So after hanging with you boys and girls, I've changed my thinking. Maybe it's a good idea to replace springs periodically, especially on dinky super-guns that squeeze way to much power into way to small a package.

So now every time I buy something from Wolff, I order extra springs for several guns. Today the mail lady delivered an envelope with springs for my Ultra CDP II, a Ballester-Molina, and a Smith & Wesson Model 539.

The Kimber didn't need springs, but I just wanted to have them on hand. Swapping out the Ballester-Molina springs was just like any other 1911, except the firing pin spring was too long. I hacked it back to an appropriate length, and all is well. I bought the 539 when I was but a wee lad, and it was my only non-.22 for a few years. It's seen a LOT of use, with many, many, many thousands of rounds. I don't shoot it much any more, but don't know why. It's still a beautiful gun, but shows only a little finish wear from holsters and countertops. Figuring out how to remove the firing pin and the extractor on this gun was a bit of a challenge, but if somebody put it together, I can disassemble it.

Now two of the older residents of the gun safe are rockin' new springs. Maybe I'll bring them both on the next shooting outing.
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Old 08-23-2016, 05:27 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by RustyIron View Post
Figuring out how to remove the firing pin and the extractor on this gun was a bit of a challenge, but if somebody put it together, I can disassemble it.
Rob, from our "Gunsmith" sub forum
A link to the most owners manuals I've ever seen in one place. The manuals are all PDF files. I hope it helps.
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Old 08-23-2016, 05:55 AM   #3
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Thanks, Chuck.

That's quite a resource. Even though it no longer contains S&W manuals, the one I bagged off the 'net originally came from that site.

I found it interesting that the manual was only four pages long, unlike the hundred page tree-killer that came with my most recently purchased gun.

Also, in that four pages are directions on how to do such "factory only" tasks such as removing the firing pin and the extractor.
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Old 08-23-2016, 06:15 AM   #4
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I bought a S&W 39 and then a 59 when I was a cop. The 39 fits my hand and I loved it. Had a few ftf issues and moved it down the road. Later I believe it was the S&W ammo causing the problem but not sure. The 59 when loaded and in jACKASS shoulder holster with two extra mags and handcuffs was just to heavy to carry all day. Went back to my Smith model 38 airweight for plains clothes.I still like Smiths especially their wheel guns.
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Old 08-27-2016, 08:33 PM   #5
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Rusty - very nice 539. Kinda makes me wish I hadn't sold my Model 39. But, It never felt that well in my hand so after ~35 years, I sold it a couple of years ago. However, it had one of the best trigger releases of any gun I've ever purchased, except for my Model 69 44 Mag.

Nelly - a buddy of mine loved the feel of the 39 in his hand. So, I know what you mean.
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Old 08-27-2016, 08:37 PM   #6
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Rusty - wrt to your initial post, I have the same experience. Just shoot a gun until something goes wrong. No record keeping. Now, I keep records and depend more on spring length than round count. Not sure that takes into account potential fatigue though. I think manufacturers suggested spring swaps at certain round counts is too conservative though. Your mileage may vary.
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