How about detail stripping info for a S&W 3913?


January 12, 2003, 12:36 PM
Well I got my Christmas guns (one was a Mosin Nagant, and the other a 3913). Being that I'm very fusy with my guns, I just have to detail strip this 3913.

Any directions available?


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Old Fuff
January 12, 2003, 08:25 PM
The whole "39" series of Smith & Wesson pistols are excellent examples of something you don't want to detail strip. Field strip the piece and remove the grips. Then dunk it in a bath of solvent.

4v50 Gary
January 14, 2003, 01:55 PM
I can tell you, but how much are you going to pay for the reassembly instructions? ;)

If Jagermeister doesn't get back to you, I'll post later. May be good for the website anyhow.

January 14, 2003, 03:22 PM
I don't have the information that you are asking for


January 15, 2003, 03:14 PM
Alrighty, well since no one seems to have the info I was originally after, could someone tell me how you take the grips off this gun? I'm sure I could figure it out by myself, but I'm at college, and my guns are so painfully far away...

I'm not quite sure if I'm going to put some Hogues on this gun or not... does anyone have the Hogues with finger grooves on a 3913 or 3914? If so, how does it feel. I love the thin grip on these guns, and I don't want the Hogues to add much to it.


Jim K
January 15, 2003, 10:05 PM
The grips are held on by screws, and removal is easy.

As for detail stripping, I agree with the others. That is just not a gun that was intended for complete takedown by the user.


January 15, 2003, 10:09 PM
Where are the screws? I'm looking at a picture I took of the gun for insurance purposes, but the only thing I can see on the grip is what looks like a pin in the lower rear of the grip panel...

Thanks again!

4v50 Gary
January 16, 2003, 05:44 PM
The grips are retained by a pin near the heel of the gun. Push it out with a pin punch and the grips can be worked off. I'll get to typing out instructions it either tonight or tomorrow. Sorry about the delay, but I've been reading a book that I just got this week. Was looking for it for over 3 years and found it in a shop in VT.

4v50 Gary
January 16, 2003, 10:50 PM
OK, I'm back.
The Frame
Begin your detailed disassembly of the 3913 (or virtually any other S&W semi-auto) by removal of the grips. The grips are held in by a pin which can be pushed out with a punch by hand. Once the grip pin is removed, work the grips off. Don't pry w/a screwdriver. You finesse it off by pushing it towards the back and downwards.

Once the grip is removed, you can remove the hammer strut spring and the "thingy" that contains it (sorry guys, no parts diagram in front of me, just a 4506 which I'm disassembling as I'm going along).

Note that the hammer pivot pin is attached to a flat spring that the slide release plunger bears against. This flat spring also serves to hold the pivot pin for the sear. The next step is to use a punch and drive out the sear pivot pin from the right side of the frame to the left. After the sear pivot is removed, remove that flat spring that features the integral hammer pivot pin (Good English, no?). The hammer and hammer strut may now be withdrawn from the top. The ejector and its spring may also be removed at this point from the left side of the frame. On the right side of the frame the disconnector and firing pin safety block lever and the associated coil spring may be removed.

Now, use a punch and drive out the trigger pivot pin. This may be done from either side of the frame. The trigger bar may be withdrawn from the rear of the frame - just like on the 1911. Tilt the frame up and the trigger return spring and plunger comes out . Now, remove the trigger from the top of the frame. This is done by rotating it such that the top of it leans towards the front of the frame (imagine if the pivot pin was still in place and you press the trigger. As the trigger goes rearward, the top swings towards the front.

OK, I'm working in a carpeted area and not a table. So, I'm not going to risk losing the mag catch plunger & spring and I stop here with respects to disassembling the frame. Pat yourself on the back and before we turn to the slide, sip some water (no coffee as it can give you the shakes and you need steady hands to reassemble it) and don't forget to pat yourself on the back.

The Slide
Look at the right hand safety and you'll see in the center a tiny hole. Insert a punch and depress the plunger. While the plunger is depressed, push the safety forward towards the muzzle. Withdraw the plunger and slide the right hand side of the safety off.

Now, flip the slide upside down. You'll see two plungers. The one on the right hand side (muzzle away) needs to be depressed. While it's depressed, push in on the firing pin to relieve pressure on the safety barrel (or safety shaft or body of the safety). This allows you to slide the left hand side of the safety out of the left side of the gun.

Pushing down on the same plunger allows you to remove the firing pin and the firing pin spring. You should have a disassembly block (2x4 with a 3/4" hole drilled into it). Locate the extractor pin and place the slide such that the extractor pin is directly over the hole in the disassembly block. Punch out the pin from the bottom of the slide. You can withdraw the extractor and extractor spring. This completes the disassembly of the slide. You don't want to remove the other two plungers because to do so requires removal of the rear sight (and resighting the gun afterwards).

Insert firing pin spring & firing pin into the firing pin channel. You need to depress the firing pin block to do so. When properly installed, the firing pin should clear the tunnel where the safety shaft is. Next, depress the firing pin to insert the safety. You have to finesse it in. The safety will come to a rest and the plunger on the safety has to be depressed before you can push it all the way in. Push on the firing pin safety plunger so as to release the firing pin from its forward position. It should "disappear" from the firing pin hole. Now, insert the right hand safety. Push it until it comes to a stop against the plunger. Depress the plunger and it should slip right in. This completes the reassembly of the slide.

Turning to the frame, insert the trigger first from the top of the frame. Then insert the trigger spring & plunger into the trigger spring & plunger channel of the frame. Now, insert the trigger bar. Look at the parts diagram to make sure you don't put it in upside down. The trigger bar helps to position the trigger spring & plunger. Insert the trigger pivot pin to hold these in place.

I put the fame such that the left side faces up. Install the magazine safety plunger spring and then the magazine safety and the other flat bar. The dark metal one goes to the right. Insert the disconnector. The "J" faces towards the rear. Now, insert the hammer. Put the ejector and spring in and secure them with the hammer pivot pin. Insert the sear. The "legs" go up since they allow for clearance for the disconnector. Now depress the trigger such that it relieves the pressure on the sear. This allows you to manuever the sear into place such tha the sear pivot pin can be inserted into the frame from the right side. Push the hammer pivot pin plate down and hold in place. A light rap with a brass mallet and the sear pivot pin should "snap" into place and be held securely by the hammer pivot pin plate. Test the action. Insert hammer strut spring and cone. Push grip onto frame and then push grip pin back in.
Reassemble slide onto frame. Breathe in, breathe out. You're done.

Function check should always be done on every gun after it is disassembled and reassembled.

1) Insert empty magazine. Pull on base. Make sure it doesn't come out.
2) Lock slide back. This tests that the slide lock works on empty.
3) Remove magazine. Release slide. This tests that the slide surges forward on its own power.
4) Engage safety. The hammer should decock.
5) Press trigger. The hammer should not move. This means the magazine safety works.
6) Engage manual safety and watch the hammer. It should rotate rearwards slightly. What you're looking for is the shaft of the safety pushes the hammer back and away from the firing pin.
7) Insert magazine. Test the DA trigger.
8) Cock. Test the SA trigger.

Now, you're done.

1) Now you can have your coffee or Coca Cola.

(BTW, I'm sorry if the nomenclature doesn't comport with that of S&W. I don't have my notes or a parts diagram and did this while I was working on the gun. Can someone link this thread to a parts diagram of the S&W pistol?)

Jim K
January 18, 2003, 12:21 AM
Hi, guys,

I'll give myself a dozen lashes with a wet noodle for thinking about the Model 39, instead of the 3913.

Gary, great post, and you covered the job well. I don't know how Parke1 feels, but if I were a newbie and read your post I think I might have second thoughts about that detail stripping.

I can't blame anyone for not using the S&W parts names, even if they have them. The S&W engineers must have stayed up late inventing names for the parts. For example, the parts under the sight that you didn't take out are called firing pin safety lever plunger and the ejector depressor plunger and their springs.


4v50 Gary
January 18, 2003, 01:11 AM
Thank you Jim.

I would have used the S&W nomenclature, but I couldn't find my copy of the armorers' manual or even a Gil Hebard catalog. Long before I even went to that school (in Carson City no less) I wrote a paper describing the function of every part for the S&W pistol. It was prepared for a citizens' complaint agency against police. They wanted to know how a S&W pistol worked and so I wrote a lengthy essay in hope of boring & numbing their minds with details. They never called me to testify. :cool:

BTW, the Walther P-38 is an interesting pistol. Beretta borrows the falling block from it for their P-92. The S&W borrows those thingys with plungers from it. :D


January 18, 2003, 01:53 AM
Hey hey, who's calling me a newbie?!? :)

I had a couple hundred posts on TFL. I've been shooting regularly for 15 years now. But anyway...

No, I don't have second thoughts about detail stripping my 3913. I have an obnoxiously positive outlook about disassembling my firearms, but to date I've never taken apart a firearm that I couldn't put back together.

It'll be a while before I get to detail strip my Smith, but that's just something I always do when purchasing used guns.

Thanks again to all who contributed to this info, especially 4v50 Gary!

January 21, 2003, 08:14 PM
Go with the Hogue grips, it will fell like a new gun. For some reason S&W seemed to search for the most slippery plastic when they developed their grips, and the Hogue unit changes the overall feel of the grip as well as providing a more secure hold. I use the style without the ifnger grooves, don't always find that finger grooves work for me.

April 9, 2003, 01:03 AM
After I got hogues for my 3913, I decided to do my first detail strip...

Ok.. this pin looks like it goes out that way... done.

Ok.. that pin looks like it needs to go - *click* *spring* *tinkle* *clatter*.

OH crap... 3 flat pieces of metal that all look suspiciously alike, the sear (for lack of a better term) and the hammer just fell through the mag well onto the table.

Without instructions, it still reassembled just fine, however! Seeing the list of steps here in print is somewhat daunting, but the only thing I couldn't absolutely tell how to install by sight was the sear... visually it looks like it could go in either way. But try to run the action thru once and it becomes obvious if you put it in backwards.

I have to admit, I didn't take the mag retention pin and spring out, either.

This brings up my biggest gripe about the 3913 though... for field strip purposes, during slide re-installation, I really dislike how the ejector, disconnector, and firing pin safety block stand up in the way of the slide. I came up with my own way to hold the pistol (without requiring a 3rd hand), before I ever saw the S&W instructions.... turns out I stumbled on their recommended method.

April 22, 2003, 07:29 PM
What Parke fails to mention are the results from his last detail strip of a firearm. If I recall the range visit correctly, while I was doing load testing, Parke was busy disassembling his 1911 and trying to reassemble it in a manner in which would cause it to work(unlike the prior reassembly).

April 22, 2003, 07:51 PM
(sorry guys, no parts diagram in front of me, just a 4506 which I'm disassembling as I'm going along).

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