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  #1  
Old 05-08-2020, 09:11 PM
1chessiefan 1chessiefan is offline
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Problem Seating Mainspring Retaining Pin

Dear Friends, I stripped down a 77 Combat Commander that I traded for earlier this week to install an arched mainspring housing. I did not have any trouble driving the pin out of and removing the old mainspring housing (a Pachmayr). The mainspring retaining pin does not want to seat when I try to install the new mainspring housing. It will only go in about 40% of the way. I am guessing that the mainspring assembly is not moving upward to allow the retaining pin to seat. I do not have any problem seating it when I take the mainspring out. The mainspring assembly easily dropped into the new housing. I wiped out the tunnel that contains the mainspring with a q-tip and there does not appear to be anything that would impede the movement of the mainspring assembly. I would greatly appreciate any assistance/guidance that you can provide. Thank you!

1chessiefan
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  #2  
Old 05-08-2020, 10:08 PM
megafiddle megafiddle is offline
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Mainspring housings can vary considerably in the amount of protrusion of the housing pin retainer into the housing pin hole. Some are pretty bad, with the main spring tunnel bored too deep.

Assuming the pin will go, you may have to remove the right grip and set the frame onto a bench block, so that the right side of the frame is firmly supported. Solid support helps a lot.

As you may already know, the housing pin is installed from left to right, with the rounded end entering first.

It's common to require a hammer and punch for removal and installation.

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  #3  
Old 05-08-2020, 11:01 PM
1chessiefan 1chessiefan is offline
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Dear Megafiddle, I compared how the mainspring assembly was seated in the two housings. It is more centered and perhaps slightly deeper in the arched housing. I was thinking that the fix is to remove material from the bottom part of the ms assembly and perhaps take more off on one side so that it is closer in configuration to the way it was seated in the Pachmayr. Is this the best approach or is there an easier fix? Thank you!

1chessiefan
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  #4  
Old 05-08-2020, 11:52 PM
rkammer rkammer is offline
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If the retaining pin goes all the way in and through both sides of the frame with the spring removed from the housing, then you should be able to use a hammer and a punch with a pointed tip to tap it in with the spring installed. Sometimes takes a pretty good smack from left to right with the rounded end going in first.
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  #5  
Old 05-08-2020, 11:59 PM
BBBBill BBBBill is offline
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Where did you get the arched housing? Who made it? Price? There are varying levels of quality among the various part sources. You generally get what you pay for. There are some brands to be avoided. A genuine Colt arched housing will likely not have that problem.

You can shorten the bottom of the mainspring housing retainer pin some to see if that will allow mainspring housing pin to more easily seat, bit I would be looking for a new arched mainspring housing were it mine.
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  #6  
Old 05-09-2020, 12:27 AM
megafiddle megafiddle is offline
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That is the very type of problem I have seen on some housings. I simply did not use them.

With the frame side sitting solid on a block of some type, a fair tap with a hammer will not seat the pin?

Once the housing pin is installed, the out of spec spring tunnel makes little difference. It would still be easy to remove. It is a problem though, if installing the pin mangles up the frame or housing hole.

If you do try to reshape the pin retainer, you have to be careful that it doesn't cause the pin retainer to seat even deeper. Any reduction in the pin retainer needs to be concentric. It would need to replicate the correctly positioned pin retainer where that pin retainer protrudes into the housing pin hole. A flat will not work.

-

Last edited by megafiddle; 05-09-2020 at 12:29 AM.
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  #7  
Old 05-09-2020, 01:31 AM
1chessiefan 1chessiefan is offline
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Friends, I appreciate the information and thank you for your assistance. The housing was advertised as a Colt part. I did try to use a hammer and a punch to seat the pin and it did not budge once it contacted the ms assembly. I will just purchase another housing (Colt) and hopefully have better luck this time around.

1chessiefan
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  #8  
Old 05-09-2020, 07:16 AM
Jolly Rogers Jolly Rogers is online now
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Try putting the mainspring housing pin through the assembled mainspring housing out of the frame. if it can be inserted then, the pin holes in the frame and the housing are probably misaligned.
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  #9  
Old 05-09-2020, 08:12 AM
walter o walter o is offline
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By chance is the hammer back in the cocked position?
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  #10  
Old 05-09-2020, 08:58 AM
Infidel525 Infidel525 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1chessiefan View Post
Friends, I appreciate the information and thank you for your assistance. The housing was advertised as a Colt part. I did try to use a hammer and a punch to seat the pin and it did not budge once it contacted the ms assembly. I will just purchase another housing (Colt) and hopefully have better luck this time around.



1chessiefan
Source of the part, Is it plastic, is it new or used?

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  #11  
Old 05-09-2020, 09:37 AM
1chessiefan 1chessiefan is offline
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Friends, I tried to insert the pin in just the ms housing using a punch and hammer on a solid surface - no go. The ms housing is metal and was in the white when I got it. I do not know if it was new or used. The hammer was not in the cocked position when I tried to install the pin. Thank you for your assistance.

1chessiefan
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  #12  
Old 05-09-2020, 12:24 PM
VetPsychWars VetPsychWars is offline
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Where did you get the mainspring? If it's the longer length, perhaps that's your problem. As I recall the Combat Commander has a shorter grip length, therefore I think it takes a shorter mainspring?

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  #13  
Old 05-09-2020, 01:13 PM
1chessiefan 1chessiefan is offline
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Dear Vet, The mainspring was in the pistol when I purchased it. The Combat Commander has the same grip height as the Government model.

1chessiefan
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  #14  
Old 05-09-2020, 01:25 PM
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pistolwrench pistolwrench is offline
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Many ms/hsg pins will benefit from slightly breaking the corners of the rounded end.
Many have a very sharp transition from the incomplete factory radius to the full diameter portion of the pin.
This abrupt edge will score the retainer.
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  #15  
Old 05-09-2020, 01:35 PM
TRX302 TRX302 is offline
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Take the springy guts out of the mainspring housing and slide the empty housing into the frame. Look through to make sure the hole in the housing lines up with the frame. Push the pin in and make sure it will go. The fit can be anywhere from "slides in with a fingertip" to "might take some very light tapping". This test is only valid for the stripped housing; the pointy "mainspring pin" and the mainspring can cause enough friction to make it hard to tell how the housing retainer pin fits.

I have had three (so far) housings with the holes at least .020" out of position. Being stubborn I salvaged two of them by spending way too much time with a needle file. The third housing had other problems, including being loose enough to rattle side-to-side when slid into the frame. I finally threw it away, lest I be tempted to weld it up and remachine it in a monumental waste of time...
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  #16  
Old 05-09-2020, 02:38 PM
bowlegged bowlegged is offline
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Beware of parts advertised as "Colt" on ebay, gunbroker and such... most of them are not genuine OEM Colt parts. Some sellers use "Colt" simply as a generic term for all 1911 parts - not as a brand reference, but as a firearm-type reference. Kind of like how some people used to see a rifle and say "Winchester" !!

With time you'll be able to recognize true OEM Colt parts
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  #17  
Old 05-09-2020, 03:39 PM
1chessiefan 1chessiefan is offline
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Dear Friends, Being stubborn, I went back and tried one more time. This time I first placed the ms housing with ms assembly installed on a more solid base and was able to seat the pin. Encouraged, I put the ms housing into the pistol and was able to seat the pin. I again used a more solid base. Thank you one and all for your advice.

1chessiefan
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  #18  
Old 05-09-2020, 10:51 PM
Pedro 1 Pedro 1 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1chessiefan View Post
Dear Friends, Being stubborn, I went back and tried one more time. This time I first placed the ms housing with ms assembly installed on a more solid base and was able to seat the pin. Encouraged, I put the ms housing into the pistol and was able to seat the pin. I again used a more solid base. Thank you one and all for your advice.

1chessiefan
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  #19  
Old 05-10-2020, 10:08 AM
jjfitch jjfitch is offline
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Push the MSH upward slightly...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1chessiefan View Post
Dear Friends, Being stubborn, I went back and tried one more time. This time I first placed the ms housing with ms assembly installed on a more solid base and was able to seat the pin. Encouraged, I put the ms housing into the pistol and was able to seat the pin. I again used a more solid base. Thank you one and all for your advice.

1chessiefan
I just saw this thread with interest...

One thing not mentioned but worthy of review is to push the MSH upward until it is flush with the bottom of the frame. This helps to align the holes and plunger to ease the insertion process!

This can be done by pressing the MSH against the side of the bench or using a slave pin from the opposite side.

Smiles,
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  #20  
Old 05-10-2020, 10:24 PM
NoExpert NoExpert is offline
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Now that you have the MSH installed, does the hammer cock OK?

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  #21  
Old 05-11-2020, 10:59 PM
1chessiefan 1chessiefan is offline
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Friends, Yes, the hammer cocks OK.

1chessiefan
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