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Colt 1903 .32 Hammerless Firing Pin Replacement

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by ZBill, Sep 15, 2007.

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  1. ZBill

    ZBill Member

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    I seem to be into replacing springs this weekend. Can someone provide instructions to properly replace the firing pin spring in a 1903 Colt .32 Auto hammerless? I have always heard not to disassemble this pistol but if this is an easy job I would like to do it as I have the spring. Any assistance is appreciated, thank you, Bill
     
  2. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    First off, the firing pin for those guns is made in two pieces, since a one-piece pin can't be put into the slide. Removal is pretty easy. Using copper or leather jaws, clamp the slide firmly in a vise, making sure not to "pinch" it at the bottom. Now using the proper size punch, preferably a hollow end type, drive the firing pin lock pin out left to right. Make sure to catch the firing pin parts and the spring. Install the spring, then the front firing pin, then the rear. Use a smaller punch to get the cut in the rear pin aligned for inserting the firing pin lock pin. You may want to use a work* pin, slightly smaller in diameter than the lock pin, to get things lined up. The work pin is then driven out as the lock pin is driven in.

    *We used to call them "slave pins" but that word is now a no-no, not PC.

    Jim
     
  3. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Be sure to use a cup-pointed punch to at least start the pin. A flat-pointed punch is likely to slip off of the pin's rounded end and mar or ding up the slide.

    I have seen endless numbers of battered slides because someone didn't use the right kind of punch. A wrong move can substantially reduce the value of the gun if it's in excellent or better condition.
     
  4. ZBill

    ZBill Member

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    Thanks Jim and Old Fuff

    I don't have the correct punch so I will stay with the old spring until it breaks. I replaced the recoil and mag springs and thought I would replace the firing pin spring since it came in the Wolff recoil spring.

    Thanks for the input. I will print it our for the day I need to do something. Bill
     
  5. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    Old age is heck. I couldn't think of "cup point" for the life of me, which is why I said "hollow end" hoping ZBill would know what I meant. ;)

    Jim
     
  6. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Boy are you right, but none of these young guys knows how to take the old Colt Pocket Model apart - nor why they probably shouldn't do it. :uhoh:

    But anyway, if ZBill or anyone else should decide to do it, the correct punches are available from Brownell's at www.brownells.com

    I believe you need a 1/8" cup-point bunch for that pin in the slide, and a 1/16" one for the extractor pin. The pins in the frame have flat ends and regular pin-punches will work.

    However the best way is to field strip the pistol (no problems there if you know how too do it), remove the grips, and submerge the metal parts in a solvent bath. Only detail strip the frame if parts replacement is necessary.
     
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