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Okay, I know it's a POS, but I need advice from Phoenix Arms HP22 owners

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by MCgunner, Jun 13, 2011.

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  1. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    This thing is NOT a defensive carry, okay, never, but what it is is an inexpensive plinker that's amazingly accurate, like 2" at 25 yards accurate with the 5" barrel, an inch larger groups with the 3". I've carried it a lot afield as a kit gun, killed lots of snakes and such, a few rabbits with it.

    Anyhow, the recoil spring wimps out about every 500 rounds and needs to be replaced. I bought this thing 20 years ago, about, when I had my FFL, just out of curiosity. Then I got the 5" barrel when I determined I liked the gun. Anyway, the springs I get from gun parts inc are too long, have to be trimmed. I'm wondering if Phoenix Arms did a redesign or something and now has a longer spring fitted? I guess I should contact Phoenix Arms, will probably do that, but thought someone out there might have noticed this or have some knowledge.
     
  2. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    I have no knowledge, but I do have one of these guns, and find it to be a good shooter as well. However, I don't think I've gotten that many rounds through mine yet (only had it maybe two years, and have a bad habit of taking too many guns with me each shoot session.)
     
  3. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Well, I have probably only about 3K out of this gun. It's had 6 springs in it as I recall and they go about 500 rounds each. It was a very early production example. The original slide cracked. I sent that in and Phoenix sent me back a redesigned one that didn't have the weak spot in it where the original cracked. Was all free of charge.

    Now, the first few spriings I bought for this thing were just an install and worked fine. Then, I started getting longer springs. I'd put 'em in and the slide would not retract far enough to catch the next round off the magazine OR lock back with the safety. I had to trim two coils off 'em to make 'em work. Just got two more from Numrich Arms, same problem. SO, I was thinkin' this may have been another redesign to fix the spring problem. Not sure.

    I'm going to call Phoenix Arms. Their site lists only the phone number, no e-mail addy. They're open 'til two PM west coast time. I'll see what they say.
     
  4. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    Have you talked to Phoenix Arms about the problem? (909) 937-6900 in Ontario, California. They have a website. There only seems to be ONE recoil spring -- it appears that the standard and 5" barrels use the same spring, and from what I can see of the design in the downloadable manual, that makes sense. Maybe there's been a design change, and if so they should be able to tell you what to do. If you're buying springs from Numrich, you may be getting USED springs. Does Phoenix Arms not sell them?

    Are the new springs just longer than what was originally in the gun, or so much longer you can't get them installed?

    Nearly all (non-captured) recoil springs will be noticeably longer than the current (used) spring before they are installed, but will shorten considerably after a few days. These springs take a "set."

    If you can install it without shortening/cutting it, and can rack the slide, you may find that you've been shortening it unnecessarily. Which means it will not have enough "spring power" to function properly after it shortens a bit (a normal change.) Let it set for a few days and see if you notice a difference.

    If you can't rack the slide, start taking a coil off, one at a time, until you get it to fit and hand cycle.
     
  5. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Yeah, I've been getting 'em from Numrich Arms, might not be an exact fit, but I can install them and get the barrel on. However, when I rack the slide, it won't come back far enough to lock the slide back OR strip a round off the mag. I have to trim two coils off the spring to get it to where it will function. Then, it works, at least for 500 or so rounds.

    I called Phoenix, talked to some lady. They're going to send me a spring free of charge. I will compare it to what I've been getting from Numrich Arms. I'm betting it'll fit without trim work. :D I'm thinkin' Numrich isn't sending the exact part. I've made 'em work, though.

    Hell, Phoenix Arms has a lifetime warranty on these things. I should probably just call them every time i need a new spring. They might actually send me one free each time. I don't shoot the thing a lot, but it sure is a handy little kit gun, smaller than my J frame sized .22 revolver (a Rossi 511). It's neat cause I can just slip it in a back jeans pocket when I'm going fishing or something. I even made a wallet type pocket holster for it. It's WAY more accurate than other pocket sized .22s I've fired, Beretta being the other one I owned. It shoots rings around that Beretta. Amazing considering its cheap construction. It's accurate enough to easily take small game to 25-30 yards. Not bad for a pocket sized .22. I normally shoot my Rossi or my Ruger Mk2 at the range, but once in a while, I'll put that 5" barrel on the HP22 for a session. It's almost as accurate as the revolver, though it can't touch the Ruger (which has a 2x scope on it, a squirrel gun).
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  6. almherdfan

    almherdfan Member

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    Just went through this same experience today. Got two springs from Numrich in the mail. I tried the first spring and could not get the slide to retract far enough to get the slide lock (safe) up. Tried the second spring with same results. Pulled out the original spring and noticed that the new springs seemed a coil longer.

    I've got two springs on the way from Phoenix Arms and am eager to see how they fit. I'll try cutting a coil off the Numrich springs & see if that works as well.
     
  7. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I think you'll find it takes two coils to get it to fit. Did me, anyway.
     
  8. PX15

    PX15 Member

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    It's just a POS....

    Jesse
     
  9. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Well, thanks for your constructive input....:rolleyes:
     
  10. CZguy

    CZguy Member

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    :uhoh: Oh come on, there was no need for that. :scrutiny:
     
  11. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    I'm sure he feels better for having written that. <snort>

    I wonder if he's ever owned one?
     
  12. larryh1108

    larryh1108 Member

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    He's obviously clueless. That's ok, the net is full of that. My HP22a is a great shooter as long as you change the recoil spring every 500 or so rounds. Best $120 I ever spent. Countless hours of fun with any .22 ammo. I haven't purchased any springs from Numrich in a while since their shipping is so expensive... I buy them 10 at a time.
     
  13. PX15

    PX15 Member

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    MCgunner:

    My apologies to you (and the other members) who were offended by my comment.

    I was attempting to be funny, agreeing with you that IMO the HP22 was indeed (in my experience) a POS.

    I bought a new HP22 years ao, (with the extra "target barrel)it was never, never, never even close to reliable, and no matter how many new springs the Customer Service folks at Phoenix Arms were willing to send me free none fixed the problem.

    To the gentleman who commented that if you replace your recoil spring every 500 rounds you'd be good to go?

    MY Phoenix Arms HP22 never made it to the 100rd mark without failing....

    Hey folks, it's a cheap gun.. That's why the price is cheap, and that's the primary reason it doesn't offer reliability which in turn makes it a very small, door stop at best..

    For comparison I have a Firestorm FS22 that I bought years ago.. It still has the original recoil spring after well over a thousand rounds thru it. It is reliable, it shoots every time you pull the trigger, and you can have confidence in it in that you can depend on it, be it as a substitute for your usual self defense carry pistol, or just shooting cans or casual target shooting..

    My FS22 cost roughly twice the price of the HP22 and is 50 times the gun.

    Unreliability in the HP22 is a known problem, and has been for years and years.

    Perhaps the Phoenix Arms co. should spend their money on research and manufacturing a GOOD recoil spring for the HP22, resolving the reliability problem, rather than being so happy to send each customer more free bad ones all the time.

    I sincerely apologize for offending those folks with my original post. It was a poor attempt at humor. But I cannot apologize for the fact that the HP22 I had was really a piece of junk, and I'd by lying if I said otherwise..

    Jesse
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  14. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    I think I'd send a "new" spring to Wolff (after calling them first) and see if they can give me a close match from some other gun. I'm sure they can measure the spring and find something comparable (or which can be made comparable with a couple of coils snipped.)

    Of course, they might not be willing to take the time. (That's why I suggested calling first.)

    Then you'd have a good quality spring to work with.
     
  15. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    Numrich must be getting their springs somewhere else. I'm sure the one Phoenix sends you works fine. I have no problems with them. I've installed a few, but for kicks have been running mine with the same spring for the last 2k rounds without a single malfunction.

    PX15: the target barrel didn't quite fit right in mine without some sanding. Also, the extractor doesn't quite fit tight in the examples I've seen. Both relatively easy fixes. The design is quite sound, but the execution is not always perfect with this gun.
     
  16. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Oh, I wasn't "offended", just that I put that "I know it's a POS" in there hoping to avoid irrelavent bashes and hoping to get the info I was looking for, which I have. Wolff, migh have SOMETHING close, don't know. If I get time, I might call 'em.

    Anyway, mine works fantastic and even after the spring wears, I can just finish closing the slide with my thumb after each shot, the gun not being totally disabled. I'd dump it and forget about it except for its incredible accuracy, which is VERY useful to me. I have never owned a gun this small that shoots this danged good, at least not until I bought a Radom P64 last year. That one shoots as good as the 3" barrel in the Phoenix Arms. But, the PA is a .22, not a 9x18, and it makes for a better field plinker considering the cost of ammo. I have that Radom in my carry rotation, but that's another subject.

    I don't put many rounds through the HP22, but it's there as a choice. I have it out in my camper along with a Ruger 10/22, just in case I wanna do some plinking when i'm out somewhere. :D Good a use as any for it, I reckon. It's the ONLY pocket sized rimfire I've ever fired with 3' 25 yards accuracy. That's reason enough to keep springs around for it. I bought 3 from Numrich some years ago, tried to harden one by heating and quinching it...nope, didn't work. Been told to try quenching it in oil, but I never messed with that. I'm not that up on metalurgy, but hey, the springs were cheap back then. These last two, I paid near 8 bucks a pop for.
     
  17. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    I read a review of these guns in a Gun Digest IIRC and they spoke highly of the gun. I have looked at them and may consider checking into them further.

    I like a good small 22 thats a shooter.
     
  18. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    Ok I just looked on their website and it says that the 22s are for standard velocity ammo. Have you shot the high speed or hyper velocity stuff in your gun? If you have that may be why your springs are pooping out.

    When I saw the standard velocity only rule that sorta made them less appealing. I do like the two barrel set up. I wish you could get it with out the range kit. Most of all I wish they would make the 25 auto with a 5" barrel and adjustable sights. Now they would have something.
     
  19. larryh1108

    larryh1108 Member

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    I stick with the bulk pack cheapo stuff. If I want to use the hot ammo then I use a gun that doesn't cost $120. Can't really have it both ways. I do run some CCI Mini Mags thru it from time-to-time but that's as hot as I get. For plinking, shooting beer cans or pop tops or general lazy day shooting you can't beat it.
     
  20. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    Most bulk packs are hi velocity. That's all I shoot through mine. It defeats the purpose to buy a $130 gun and have to buy target ammo for it.

    The main thing that can go wrong is the frame can crack. But that area of the frame doesn't do anything for safety or function. So some people are grinding that part of the frame preemptively, to prevent the crack from starting and spreading.

    Now, you can eventually shoot the gun loose to where it will no longer function reliably. But by then you'd a paid over 5 times as much in ammo as you did for the gun.

    I find mine to be "combat accurate." I wouldn't try to bag a squirrel with one. But I don't do well with a short sight radius, in general. It'll hang with my Glock 27, but it's a far cry from a precision target gun in my hands. Since acquiring a MkIII, I don't shoot it much, anymore.

    I personally don't recommend the 5" barrel. Mine took some sanding to get it to fit, and the elevation was off so badly I could have filed the front sight off, completely, and it still would have shot low. Also, it's an aesthetic disaster on a pocket gun with a 2 finger grip.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011
  21. larryh1108

    larryh1108 Member

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    Correct. The part of the "frame" that cracks is really an extension of the mag well. It does not alter the safety of the gun. Combat accurate is a good description out of the 3". I never tried the 5". I keep trying to tighten up my groups with the 3" to make me a better shot with my "real" guns. It's great for trigger control and technique. I shoot 100 to warm up then bring out the big lumber. It helps a lot. The cheap, bulk pack ammo makes tight groups nearly impossible.
     
  22. Robbins290

    Robbins290 Member

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    I love my hp22. I shoot it weekly.
     
  23. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    It is CCI Stinger that gives me those 3" 25 yard benched groups and I shoot mostly stinger in the 3" barrel. However, Federal bulk pack shoots best in the 5" and I shoot it routinely in that barrel. Never had a fit problem with that barrel and it came with an extended finger rest mag so that it "looks right" with that mag in it. I like the 5" barrel as it reduces my groups at 25 yards (benched) to 2" and both barrels shoot to POA with the same sight setting IF I shoot CCI Stinger in the 3" and Fed Lightening in the 5", just sorta the way MINE worked out. I suspect they all have different appetites.

    If I wear it out, so what? And, they warranty this thing for life, I think. If I can't get another, no biggy. Not like it's my only .22 handgun or that I shoot it all that much. I wouldn't miss it like I would my Rossi 511 or my Ruger Mk2 if I lost them. I don't expect the little booger to last forever, but then, it'll probably last ME forever. It's taken my 20 years to fire up 3K rounds in the thing. I kinda keep it around as a kit gun option when I go fishing, carry it in my pocket, 3" barrel and loaded with CCI Stinger. I carry it condition two. It has a floating firing pin and is safe to pocket that way. I suppose condition three would be a safer way, of course. It's not like I'll need it that quickly, not a defense gun, but I have used it to tranquilize largish black tip sharks while one hand was busy with a fishing rod. Kinda hard to rack the slide one handed, though there are techniques for that.

    As to safety, the gun has a firing pin block, but the thing kept turning itself on, so I superglued it, no longer useable. If you put the safety up when the hammer is down, the hammer cannot be cocked, though the mag can then be removed. The interlocks on this thing are strange. But, putting the safety up when it's in condition two is added security IMHO and can still be put into action with one hand tied up fighting a shark or gar or whatever should I need a fish tranquilizer. :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011
  24. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    I've long maintained that I think there would be a good market for a well made steel and aluminum alloy (or all steel) version of this gun, even if it cost 3X as much (A staggering $300 or so).

    I love my HP-22, it's a nice shooting, accurate and fun little gun that has been as reliable as other small .22's I've owned (they're all a little finicky). I paid $107 for mine, got the target kit for another $35. As mentioned, they're warrantied, so when I wear it out, no biggie.

    I saw this thing in a magazine when I was 12, kinda wanted one ever since. Didn't actually get one til I was 26 and spotted it at a Big-R store when I happened to have a spare C-note on me..
     
  25. Autopistola

    Autopistola Member

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    If they weren't made of pot metal, the worst thing I could say about them is they're a bit finnicky. Mine came with the 5" barrel and mag pinky extension. Suprisingly accurate little thing with terrible safeties (don't use them because it's got a hammer).

    Anyhoo, good thread. Mine currently has a cracked slide and lost recoil spring.
     
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