Pin that will not budge...


August 15, 2014, 10:29 AM
Because quality gunsmiths are becoming more and more scarce, I (and suppose many, many others) have become my own "personal gunsmith," familiarizing myself with all the firearms I own (mostly wartime German/Euro 7.65mm pistols).

My routine is to completely disassemble new acquisitions down to the last pin/spring, etc., and thoroughly clean them before putting them into service. I've yet however, to come across a pin that absolutely will not budge when trying to drift it out.

I have just obtained a functional Sauer M1913 pistol (for a very good price) which is the filthiest pistol I've ever come across. While attempting to completely disassemble the gun for a thorough cleaning, I could not budge one of the two pins that hold the mechanism housing in place. I'm guessing it's possible it is rusted in, as there was some rust present in the gun. I tried drizzling some Kroil on it and waiting a spell, but it still wouldn't budge when trying to drive it out.

From this point on, what is the suggestion to remove a "frozen in" pin, apart from drilling it out?

Soaking overnight, followed by some heating of the pin area, hitting it with a torch until warm?

Thanks in advance.

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August 15, 2014, 12:05 PM
Couple of things that have always worked for me.

1. The frame 'Must' be supported on a heavy steel surface to absolutely prevent any movement or give when you hit the pin.
I use a small 10# anvil I keep on the bence with holes drilled in it for pin clearence.

2. You Must use a short, very stiff 'starter punch' to break them loose.
Typical long slim pin punches flex to much or bend too easily to break a tight pin loose.

I use a couple of different size tapered, cup point nail-set punches for 'starter' punches.
The tips are small enough to enter the hole, but the taper prevents them being used to drive to pin very far through the hole.
But they are very stiff, and won't flex or bend either.

3. Use enough hammer.
I use a medium size ball-peen hammer for really tight pins.
Again once it moves, I go back to my small gunsmith hammer to finish with the more fragile long pin punches.

Once you move a tight pin, even a little, the long pin punch & smaller hammer can take over to finish the job.


August 15, 2014, 12:46 PM
If it's a pin from one side to the other I flip over and try the other side. Burrs and bent pins sometimes make pins refuse to go one way but come out the other way easily.

August 15, 2014, 03:52 PM
Unless it's a taper pin...

August 15, 2014, 04:39 PM
Time is your friend. Let the Kroil soak in for several days, reapplying periodically. Then try RC's nail set starter punch.

Jim K
August 15, 2014, 10:09 PM
I would buy or make a cup tip punch for that upper pin; else you risk ruining it with a regular flat tip, as well as having the punch slip and mar the frame.


4v50 Gary
August 15, 2014, 10:26 PM
Agree with the soak in Kroil.

Sometimes even heat afterward. I've had some tough screws to remove before.

August 15, 2014, 10:37 PM
I posted this a little while ago but it was deleted for some reason. Soak the gun in ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid) for three or four days. Cheaper than Kroil.

August 16, 2014, 10:39 AM
I agree with using ATF. But the most important part is to use a starter punch to break the pin loose and a heavy enough hammer - and having the gun on a solid surface so it cannot move when you strike the pin. I have a vise on my bench that weighs so much I can barely lift it and it's bolted to a very heavy bench. Nothing can move but that pin. You also need to hold your mouth just right and maybe stick out your tongue a little.

August 16, 2014, 12:52 PM
Might be a taper pin or a pin that is itself pinned in place. Designers have all sorts of quirks. My motto is not to disassemble unless necessary, and then only when I have a schematic or know what I'm doing.

August 16, 2014, 01:05 PM
Yup, a man's got to know his limitations. Most especially with destructive devices.

August 16, 2014, 05:28 PM
Adding a taper to a pin used to be very common.
There are MANY gun parts that have just enough taper to make them lock.

August 16, 2014, 05:52 PM
It's still common. The front sight base pins on AR-15s are tapered.

loose noose
August 20, 2014, 10:55 AM
Most pins go from left to right to come out and just the opposite to go back in. I know this is very basic but I thought I might add my $.02 worth.

August 20, 2014, 04:52 PM
Agree with a starter punch and a rock solid support, I've used marvil mystery oil and soak for a couple of days. Find a sunny spot and let the firearm catch some sun for a couple of hours after the soak. When it gets hot to touch, try a couple of wacks.

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