My Name Is Duh...


May 21, 2003, 12:49 AM
I was cleaning my Colt .45auto, when I shot the "Main Spring Cap Pin" (holds the mainspring assy. inside the Mainspring Housing) accross the room... :cuss: :barf: :o

I assembled the pistol w/o the pin, (carefully lined up hammer strut and pushed Mainspring housing into place and put M.S. Housing pin into place.) and the pistol functions fine.

I called Colt Customer Service, (1-800-962-COLT) and talked with a man named Glenn, He found the part # "SP50160B" (blue) was in stock, and said he`d send it FOR FREE... :D

I asked about shipping time, and he said that he would go out to the shop and just "grab" one of the pins for me and mail it, thereby bypassing the 2-3 weeks it normally takes to "Process and Ship" a normal order request...

I am VERRYYY pleased. :)

Has anybody else ever had one of their weapons disassembled and lost a piece ?

And if so, what did you do..?


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May 21, 2003, 01:02 AM
I lost a whole box of Ithaca parts once. It was weeks before I found it.

One of the most aggravating experiences ever...

Badger Arms
May 21, 2003, 01:13 AM
I distinctly recall losing the buffer-assembly keeper and spring while disassembling the stock on my AR-15. NEVER FOUND IT! At least it didn't hit me in the eye!

Rom, I remember your posts about your Ithaca 37 parts. Was at the Gun Show on Saturday and noticed an Ithaca 37 that had been satin-reblued but there was no barrel. I asked the gunsmith and he said they lost it. Wonder if they bought another Ithaca for the guy or just paid him for his loss. It was an older gun with matched serial numbers on the barrel and receiver.

Jim Watson
May 21, 2003, 01:31 AM
I have lost the recoil spring plunger out of a 1911 when stripping, and the teeny little bolt spring and plunger from a S&W 686 doing a detail takedown and clean before a match. I know right where they are but there is so much clutter in that end of the shop I just replaced them.

A local guy - magazine writer at that - sent a 1911 off for some high-tech finish. They lost his barrel. What with his audience to inform, they replaced the barrel with a new Barsto and paid for the local gunsmith to fit it.

May 21, 2003, 01:11 PM
The Buck Mark recoil spring retaining clip fits on the end of the guide rod to keep the spring on and is exactly this size and shape: c

I always order an extra after I lose, break or wear out a part, figuring I'll probably do it again.

"I know right where they are but there is so much clutter in that end of the shop I just replaced them." That's not clutter, those are "collectibles." You need to EBay them.

May 21, 2003, 03:19 PM
Has anybody else ever had one of their weapons disassembled and lost a piece?
I have never disassembled a gun and lost a piece.

I have never had a small spring go zinging across my workshop, only to get lost on a shelf, or in the garbage pail, or in one of a thousand possible nooks and crannies.

I have never crawled around on my hands and knees with a flashlight looking for a part.

I have never had a tiny part drop to the floor and defy the laws of conservation of matter by disappearing into the ether.

I have never tried to locate where a falling part went by the barely audible sound(s) it made in the course of its fall and subsequent bounces.

I have never had to replace a lost part by ordering a replacement from Gun Parts Corp, Sarco, Brownell's, or the current gun manufacturer.

And I have never doubted Bill Clinton when he said, "I did not have sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky."


May 21, 2003, 08:04 PM
I took my Rem 550-1 apart in 1970 lost the sear spring & plug I'm still looking for them,I THINK ITS TIME TO ORDER PARTS.Also bought a 22 single shot when my son was born(1972) took it apart to clean,son reassembled it when he was home on leave in 1994.He has the gun now.

Standing Wolf
May 21, 2003, 09:32 PM

Are you sure? Are you sure you're sure?

I doubt there's any such being as a High Standard owner who's never had to replace the microscopic slide release lever spring and/or the U-shaped spring under the side plate. They were both designed to turn invisible except under pressure.

Fortunately, Wolff makes both, and sells them in multiples.

May 21, 2003, 10:28 PM
Standing Wolf;some where in my side yard there are 2 HS springs laughing at me.

May 22, 2003, 11:35 AM
I'm sure others have done this but what with trifocals and arthritic fingers, I have found this "aid to finding lost parts" much more useful in recent years. :uhoh: :mad: :)

I keep a good 3 cell flashlight on my bench and when a part makes a successful escape, place the flashlight on the floor and shine the beam across the floor. When the part comes into the beam it casts a long shadow, making it much easier to spot.

W Va Glassman: Don't think it will work in grass.;)


May 22, 2003, 12:20 PM

I can beat that, I was cleaning my 70 Series Combat Commander on the back porch of my folks house when I went back to visit. Last day before going home, me and Dad had done some shooting.

I launched that same cap across the gravel alley that runs behind their house into the back 40. You can't imagine how hard it was to find a cap before going back home (I lived in NC at the time, 12 hours away), and I sure as heck wasn't going home without my pistola being in a functioning condition!


May 22, 2003, 12:31 PM
I've managed to lose hold of the occasional spring or detent ball, and drop them into the carpet, but I bought some "rare earth magnets" (really REALLY strong) from Lee Valley, so now if I seep the magnets anywhere close to where the parts are hiding, they jump right out and stick to the magnet.

May 22, 2003, 01:42 PM
I was going to post a tip about doing your disassembly in a cardboard box with a terrycloth towel on the bottom to minimize bouncing, but I just realized that some of you guys just need to keep the house windows closed.

May 22, 2003, 03:28 PM
Cardboard box? How do you fit inside of it? I'm thinking of setting up a small tent in my workshop and calling it the "Detail Stripping Chamber." :D

May 22, 2003, 04:20 PM
"Has anybody else ever had one of their weapons disassembled and lost a piece ?"

That's a trick question, right?

You should ask if anybody who works on their guns has NEVER shot a spring across the room.... because all the guys who answer "NO" are lying.

And, to make it worse, there is shag carpet in my gun room. Here's the drill: turn off the overhead light, put the flashlight in mouth, crawl across the rug combing the shag as you go....

May 22, 2003, 04:40 PM
Either you have to get a magnet or the shag has to go. The black velvet painting of the 1911 can stay.

May 22, 2003, 07:25 PM
The absolute worst "flyer" are the springs in bolts that hold the extractors in....The ones behind the plunger....
I have a vice with wooden jaw liners to hold the bolt. I push the little spring down into the hole and hold it with a dental pic or a very small bent screwdriver then insert the plunger or the extractor..

Gar-OON- teed to fly away when the pic slips..

mark mcj
May 22, 2003, 11:42 PM
"Cardboard box? How do you fit in it?" OMG ROTFLMAO :D :D :D

May 23, 2003, 12:33 AM
The black velvet painting of the 1911 can stay.

I always plug the painting in when looking for a part in the shag. The lights on the velvet help.

I don't lose many parts anymore but I do have a nice set of little circles indented in the ceiling over where I clean my guns. If they were grouped better, I could say they are the Olympic rings.


May 23, 2003, 07:59 PM
I have found the best way to keep from losing those tricky little parts is to buy replacements in advance and they wil stay in your toolbox until the end of time :D .

Myself, I have lost the hammer spring of a buddy's 10/22 when I went to compress it. The fool thing shot throught the air and down the air duct for his furnace. Luckily I had an extra one or I probably still be walking around with his foot up my butt.;)

May 25, 2003, 06:05 PM
When the thumb safety plunger goes flying off a 1911 and I don't hear it land, I pet the nearest dog. Found it there twice now.

May 26, 2003, 04:35 PM
I lost a whole pistol once...Couldn't find it for two years.
I figured that my cousin light-fingered it. Imagine my

Ah, well. he was a jerk anyway...

Chee... *coff coff* Cheers!

Chairman Meow
June 4, 2003, 05:15 PM
First time I tweaked the extractor in my 1911 I was re-assmebling the thing and managed to send the firing pin butt-first right into my left eye then across the room and behind the couch. I thought I was going to be blind for a second there and it took me 30 minutes to find the pin. Best part was that the friend that had described the process to me had explicitly warned me not to hit myself in the eye with the firing pin or shoot it across the room and lose it. :D I wear glasses now and cover the weapon with a towel when removing or replacing any spring loaded part.

lee n. field
June 5, 2003, 02:32 PM
Has anybody else ever had one of their weapons disassembled and lost a piece ?

CZ100 (striker fired DAO). Removed firing pin, main spring and spring guide. Just curiosity, I had no compelling need to do it. Do Not Do This In The Field.

Putting it all back together, I lost control and the spring and spring guide went TWANGGGG. The spring landed 3 feet from me. The spring guide (looks like a plastic nail 1.5 inches long) I still have not found. I looked for _days_.

I ordered a replacement, and spares from CZ.

Also had some false starts installing a replacement extractor on a Mini-14. It was a three hand job, IIRC, and I had only two. That plunger and plunger spring are _tiny_, and my basement is a very "enriched" environment. I was lucky to find them.

June 10, 2003, 01:13 PM
My standard operating procedure for disassembly of a new weapon is to do it in the bathroom with the drains closed.


June 11, 2003, 04:38 PM
mini 14s are a pain in the butt!

i took apart my AR 7 H.M.D to clean it up an try an refurbish it. left for the weekend an had to try to slap it all backtogether. well wether i fixed it or broke it more it still woundt extract for crap

June 11, 2003, 09:17 PM
I once made the mistake of trying to replace the rear sight assembly on my old Dan Wesson 715-2 from the old all black rear sight to the newer ones with the white line around the rear sight notch. Bought the whole new assembly from DW including springs and pins.

Did the amatuer gunsmithing at my desk in the "den". Got the pin out of the old sight and promptly lost the original spring. No problem, got 2 more with the new one. Got the new sight all settled in with the springs in place and was just starting to tap the pin into place when I slipped. "SPROING" 2 new springs and the pin disappear. Get down on my hands and knees to look for the bits mumbling profanities all the time. Told myself "How difficult can it be to find 4 black parts on a white and tan Berber carpet?" Answer: Utterly impossible. Even went over the entire carpet with a magnet and couldn't find them. Ended up using the original roll pin and a couple similar springs from my bits box.

June 12, 2003, 06:09 AM
When tiny springs take off, the invisible spring fairy
collect's all of'em and re-sells'em to the wholesaler. This
is a little-known hard fact that the professional smiths
have been aware of for years. If you lose one and find
it again, it's because the fairy was busy somewhere else,
and couldn't get right on it when she heard it "sproing".

Gunsmiths Dictum:

If a spring is too small to be clearly visible on a carpet at
a distance of 20 feet, it's best to order spares in 5-packs.

Note: Apply this dictum to pins as well.

Take heart, lad! You're in good company.


June 12, 2003, 08:56 AM
dfarriswheel...where are you??

I have a cylindrical pc of steel about 1" in dia, about 2" long, there is a hole running lengthwise and a looong pc of rawhide that runs through it. It's magnetized <click -light bulb on>

Think of a wooden spool thread used to come on.

Old trick of watchmakers, itty bitty parts will hide right in front one's nose. So tocheck for parts one "rolls" this magnet along the floor...even standing up if rawhide is long enough. Roll an area and check. I like this better than the store bought ones, simply because it rolls and the magnetism is a bunch stronger.

I secured one for my gunsmith 20 yrs ago. Strong and mobile enough to get behind filing cabinets and underneath and way back to the wall from a milling machine.

you can even pick up a revolver dropped in a fishing pond...
make one or take a seasoned watchmaker out and buy him lunch...;)

June 24, 2003, 01:40 PM
Several. The most memorablelwas a small detent out of a browning .22 semi auto rifle. I crawled around the floor for 30 minutes trying to find it- and didn't. I ordered a new one and forgot about it. About a month later, I walked into my "gun room" and it was laying in the middle of the floor right in front of my work bench. It's the Gremlins I tell ya.

June 28, 2003, 05:39 PM
Used to disassemble carburators this way (cause the big 4 barrels
got a WHOLE BUNCH of little things in'em that go 'SPROING' and
fire them selves into orbit !!)
Box about 15-20 inches on a side - set it on the bench (table, floor
whatever) - cut a hole in each end to put your arms through, cover the
top with saran wrap (so you can see what your doing) and if something
does 'fly off' the chances are REAL GOOD (not guarenteed) the part is in
the box.
I really liked the 'how do you fit in the box ?' question !! ROFLMAO !
BUT I COULD fit into an old refridgerator box and eliminate using
the saran wrap ;-)

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