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Old 10-02-2016, 09:09 PM   #1
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1,000 gram P22 trigger: How to ...

Got to fooling around this weekend with an old 2006 P22 parts pistol. Though I should drag out some stuff, put on a 5" barrel and stabilizer...take it apart, give it an inspection and cleaning and while I was at it....drop the trigger pull and make it a SAO P22 and refresh my brick smithin skills.



First of all if any of you haven't looked inside your pistol this is the kind of stuff you might find. This is a new hammer showing the cocking notch and the pin that holds the DA hammer strut. If you are going to fluff and buff..tap the pin flush on one side and stone, emery paper or file off the end sticking out. It will drag on the inside of the frame halves. Good triggers gotta have smooth running parts. The face of the hammer hook is pretty rough up close. It will smooth out over time but life is short.

The existing hook is 1.4mm tall or 0.055" and nothing special has been done to it from the factory. BTW, I'm told by Germany that these parts are hardened all the way through. Hammer/sear. You can see that the stoning or grinding of the hook has left it sort of rough with steel bits hanging out there. Get rid of em. They drag on the zinc frame too.

Look at one of the previous threads if you want to see information about the hammer hook angle.. Engagement is pretty positive, that means the hook overhangs the sear, the face is slanting toward the sear which makes for a safe engagement but not the best trigger. Neutral is 90 degrees or square with movement of the sear as it rotates. You do not want any angle where the face of the hook slants away from the sear. That would make a ramp that the sear could ride up and release your hammer.....when you don't want it released.



Pictured above is the MIM'd sear. It seems to get the job done but again...nothing has been done to it. You are looking at the business end..right out of the mold apparently and one side even has a streak from the mold half or something. Every one I've ever seen looks just like this. I will need to be working on the two hammer hooks and the two sear faces. Stock...the shape is sorta, kinda just rounded a bit. But, the P22 is in inexpensive plinker...so, that is about what I'd expect. The edges of these are usually pretty good but it wouldn't hurt to run both sides down some 1,000 grit emery very lightly just to remove anything sticking out......that will drag on the zinc frame.

What I want to do is square up the hook angle to 91 or 92 degrees on both hooks, I want to very lightly square and polish the nose of the sear arms. Then I want to under cut the sear so there isn't so much face width. Above you can see I have re stoned the hook angles from slanting way in toward the sear to about 91%. Let me explain that a bit better. There are photoshopped pictures of this pictures of this in another thread around here somewhere.

From what I can tell, after making a big drawing based on photos and measurements, the nose of the sear should be cut 90 degrees to a line extended from the center of the sear pin hole through the center of the sear face. There are no drawings from Walther we are going to get our hands on...so this is my take on it. Then when the sear has fully caught the hammer hook if I were to measure the angle between the the straight line through the sear and one extended from the face of the hook so that it crossed the sear line I would want the angle to be 90 degrees or larger on the bottom and 90 degrees or less on the top.....in other words, the hook is still slanting just a bit toward the sear and the sear will have to climb the face of the hook before releasing the hammer. Angles opposite of this and the sear would be sliding up face of the hook which would be very unsafe.



Above the sear face has been squared and polished with 1,000 grit emery. The hammer hook set up at an angle I want and I've undercut the sear face to reduce the amount of travel the sear must make to break from the hammer hooks. What is not done in this picture is that the hammer hook has not been shortened. As pictured the sear has quite a bit of climb before releasing the hammer. I will reduce the sear face a bit more...actually to about 1/2 of the original amt. The top of the sear arms don't touch anything so you can leave them alone. The top edge of the hammer hook is another story. Where the break occurs is at the bottom edge of the sear and the top edge of the hammer hook face.



Because the P22 is a plinker you won't find any jigs for this work and high dollar milling isn't worth it on this pistol anyway. Above is how I undercut the sear arms. I place the the sear as shown with only the sear ams on some 600 grit emery. Making sure I hold the rest of the sear securely against a glass table top I gently slide the arms back and forth, going slowly and checking my work carefully as I go. I find that by looking at the width of the cut on each arm I can tell if I'm going square or not. Proceed slowly and then finish with some 1,000 grit or finer. Inspect carefully. Take photos and blow them up for a really good look at your work. I remove about 1/2 of the width of the face.



Where we are going with this is shown above. I have lowered the hammer hook from 1.44 mm height or 0.055" to 0.77mm height or 0.030". One advantage of the P22 is that you can disassemble the pistol then place the sear and hammer on the right side of the pistol, pins in place, springs not...and have a look at what you are doing. Shown in other threads.



So how do I keep all of this stuff square. I do and I don't which you will see if I link the video. Remember, this is a zinc plinker.....not a fine steel pistol. Zinc wears.......much faster than steel. Above you will see where I have put some red magic marker on the hammer hooks, assembled the parts and dry fired several times. Then I have to interpret what I see. Are both sides doing the same amt of work, do they sit square, what is the trigger pull measuring, how does the trigger feel, any creep, grit, anything bad. Another thing I do with the slide off, all of this is now open for inspection, is drop a very, very thin feeler gauge between the two lear arms. Then I pull on them. They should require the same amt of pull to remove. If one just pulls out with no resistance....something isn't square. Then I go from there. While I haven't seen any wear to the edge of the hook or the edge of the sear....I have seen wear to the frame.

I like to say this sear/hammer is self centering because both move a bit.....especially the sear. It sits to one side with spring tension only and squared up when the hammer rests against it and takes out all of the play.

Shortening the hooks and reducing the sear face does not in of itself make the hammer unsafe. I test all of that, hammer cocked...can I force it off the sear, shake it off, bang the pistol firmly in all directions onto a towel and make the hammer drop. If not, the only test remaining is to fire the pistol and make sure the sear catches the hammer each time.

What is happening with my hammer is that I must manually cock it. The pistol is no longer a SA/DA pistol. It is SA only. I must cock the hammer for the first shot. I accomplished this by removing the hammer strut pin and removing the strut. This allows the trigger bar to reset in about 1/8". I can then install a pre-travel stop and an over travel stop and have the trigger barely move in either direction. Less than a P99 AS....

The trigger still must be pulled 2 1/4 lbs...but there is no creep, no grit, no nothing....when trigger pressure hits 2 1/4 lbs the hammer drops. You can't feel anything but the release. No sear movement at all.

So what goes into trigger pull resistance in this pistol? Trigger pull isn't adjustable. The whole chain of fire control components. There is friction in simply rotating the trigger, the trigger spring must be compressed, it slides along the rear of the trigger just a bit, the trigger bar must be lifted and begins to slide rearward. This takes 6 oz alone. Then the rear two legs of the trigger bar engage the bottom legs of the sear...polish both surfaces btw, rear of trigger bar legs at the top and the front face of the bottom sear legs. The sear must be rotated, it has a spring that must be wound, the strength of the hammer spring determines how much pressure the hammer is exerting on the sear....the more pressure, the more pull required. None of this will remain precise over the next 5,000 rounds. It's not that type of pistol.

Now to see if I can figure out how to load that video that shows all the sear wobble. M1911
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Old 10-02-2016, 09:14 PM   #2
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Hit the word limit again...I'll add some more stuff here. M1911

So what goes into trigger pull resistance in this pistol? Trigger pull isn't adjustable. The whole chain of fire control components. There is friction in simply rotating the trigger, the trigger spring must be compressed, it slides along the rear of the trigger just a bit, the trigger bar must be lifted and begins to slide rearward. This takes 6 oz alone. Then the rear two legs of the trigger bar engage the bottom legs of the sear...polish both surfaces btw, rear of trigger bar legs at the top and the front face of the bottom sear legs. The sear must be rotated, it has a spring that must be wound, the strength of the hammer spring determines how much pressure the hammer is exerting on the sear....the more pressure, the more pull required. None of this will remain precise over the next 5,000 rounds. It's not that type of pistol.

And look to host that video.



Here I have placed the top of the hammer hook on the center of the reduced sear face....and tested to see if it will slip off. It didn't. You want to make sure you really understand all of this if you want to play around with it. Having a cocked hammer slip off the sear with a round in the chamber is a receipe for disaster so be safe, very safe if you want to fool around with this kind of stuff.
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Old 10-24-2016, 03:22 PM   #3
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Brill.



A 2 1/4 lbs is just what the P22 needs for trigger control.

My questions relate to this quote: "...removing the hammer strut pin and removing the strut. This allows the trigger bar to reset in about 1/8"."

1. Does the removal of the hammer strut alone is enough to reach a 2 1/4 lbs trigger pull and 1/8" reset distance?

2. Have you tried the above (without any polishing of the other parts)?

I get frustrated when my (all factory trigger) P22 sometimes breaks at once (2 lbs? maybe, really easy), and other times it only breaks after I keep on squeezing for what it seems like an eon (4 lbs?). It drives me nuts.
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Old 11-01-2016, 08:58 PM   #4
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Hey Crete, removing the hammer strut doesn't have anything to do with trigger pull weight or smoothness. It does eliminate double action and it allows the trigger to reset in a very short distance which allows a pre-travel stop to be added to the bottom of the trigger guard.I also install an over-travel stop, both out of JB Weld. The over-travel stop is a drop of JB on the bottom of the rear of the trigger. Carefully file off the drop until the trigger just barely but reliably causes the sear to release the hammer. I recommend doing hammer hook and sear work first. The pre-travel stop is a drop of JB on the bottom of the inside of the trigger guard. The bottom tip of the trigger moves very close to the guard so this small blob of stuff does not have to be tall. I make it smooth so it does not interfere with my shooting finger.

You no longer have a DA/SA pistol. SA only. You must cock the hammer before the first shot. Trigger pull weight consists of several things including compressing the trigger bar spring, friction in the trigger pivot points, etc. I have measured this before and it seems around 6 to 8 oz of pull is required to make the rear legs of the trigger bar touch the sear. There is very little friction between the trigger bar vertical legs and the sear legs....the remaining effort is in rotating the sear and compressing its associated spring and overcoming the drag between the sear and hammer hook. I am using a stock hammer spring. As you know neither spring is optimal...both are wound torsion springs with off-set front and rear legs. This keeps the springs from being able to press on the parts in a square manner... i.e., the legs press more on one side than the other. Add a zinc frame and you have more less than optimal conditions for a match grade trigger.

So what I do is reduce the hook height and narrow the sear face. I'm told by Germany that both parts are fully hardened and by that I mean there is no surface hardening to worry about. Whether or not the material is of great quality for such refinements , I don't know, but I doubt it. In any event, the angle of the hammer hook seems to be the key to trigger pull weight. Yes, a weaker sear spring and a weaker hammer spring would reduce the effort but is you weaken the sear spring...the sear might not move fast enough to catch the hammer and if you weaken the hammer spring by more than one pound I find that I get light strikes.

By taking photographs of the hammer/sear straight out from the side and then blowing up the pictures on my screen I can get a pretty accurate look at the exact shape and angles. I've drawn all of this before showing the rotation of the sear in relationship to the hammer hook, etc. It appears to me that the tip of the sear is more or less square with the outer rotational circumference. I'm not an engineer so I don't know how to better describe this but, I don't think there is any slant on the engagement face of the sear. The hammer hook on the other hand slants forward on the stock hammer. If I remember correctly, when the sear is fully engaged, if I draw a line straight through the center of the sear pin to the tip and then a line directly on top of the face of the hook I get an angle of 77 degrees as measured on the top side of the line. This is a positive engagement angle. This is a very safe design and I would like to talk to the engineer who designed this to fully understand what goes into the design decision. Safety of course, enough positive engagement so that with wear the engagement still remains safe??????? I don't know.

This is all a bit tricky to me because I have absolutely no training or education here.....just my own observations. Obviously a shorter hook and a narrower sear face means the sear/trigger needs to move a shorter distance to release the hammer. As I re-profiled the hammer hook angle, trigger pull got lighter. From reading what I could find on sear work in general it seems to be clear that you never want to change the hook angle so that it slants rearward and away from the sear. 90 degrees would be the absolute max. The system must work properly every time or the pistol would be unsafe.

At this point the sear faces should be polished, the hammer hook should be polished and all points should mate properly. This takes patience and a bit of reassembly, pulling the trigger, inspecting wear marks to the parts, a bit of work if necessary to get all the parts fitting just so, the hammer being reliably caught, not able to be shaken or jarred off the sear and with no creep. My experience is that properly done...and at around 2 lbs, the moment the trigger moves the sear...the hammer is released. I use moly powder as the lubricant and it seems the trigger is pretty consistent regarding pull effort. It isn't 2 lbs one pull and 2.5 lbs the next. I don't see why a tall hook is necessary or a wide sear face....only enough to be safe.

If I remember a little of physics.....if you drag a brick on any face the pull remains the same. So, narrow face or wide face....might not have any impact on pull but it sure makes a difference on how much the sear must move to release the hammer. M1911
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Old 11-01-2016, 09:11 PM   #5
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I will add that my shooting of the old 5" P22 with the new dark earth slide Glen was nice enough to send me after the old slide broke.....was pretty exceptional last week. I spent the entire week working on the farm house and drug out the cleaned and lubed pistol with the new slide, breech block, etc. I will say that stock breech block hung up the slide 20% of the time...so, that part hasn't been fixed. But a shove on the rear of the slide just like my original pistol finished the cycle. For some reason my hand was very steady. I thought my groups rather exceptional for 25M as compared to my normal shooting. 8" and under reliably. I'm not sure if it had to do with all the hard work I was doing, having worn off the coffee jitters or an alignment of the stars. But....both of us were cooperating with good groups. I have determined that the grip on the P22 is too small and I have small hands. With the stabilizer on there....some grip tape or something would be an improvement, I think.

I had three workers there that had never fired a pistol before. I let them fire a variety of Walther's finest. They couldn't hit the broad side of a barn but I finally got them zoned in to the point of being able to hit an actual door from 40'.....at least with 70% of their shots. I pulled out my Bodyguard and fired five rounds in a tight group. They of course immediately thought I had reserved the better gun for myself. So, I let em have a try with that one....I'm pretty sure they hit the ground more than the door. We had a good time though.

So, on Saturday a guy drives up.....neighbor from down the road. He noticed the Walther sticker on my trucks rear window. Said he and his son had P22s and wondered if I'd ever heard of that pistol. I directed him to this site. My farm doesn't have any internet. Amazing what you can get done with no internet. M1911
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Old 11-01-2016, 09:31 PM   #6
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Hey, I sent you a 2 lb hammer and sear.....what did you do with it? A little refinement should make a fine trigger....but it is all a bit tricky since there are no jigs and no long term experiments here by qualified gunsmiths...nor is there likely to be.



This is all it takes for overtravel and pretravel stops. M1911
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Old 11-04-2016, 06:08 PM   #7
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If you take a look at pictures of sear/hammer engagement on the net about 85% of what you will find are 1911s and a lot of variable there. Some don't even make sense to me. On the P22, I am working on changing the hammer hook angle and height. In fact, I'm moving the hook angle more toward 90 degrees with the sear. On a 1911, the hammer hook is always 90 degrees and while the height of the hook is usually reduced the angle of the sear engagement face is what is changed.....both in width (it is usually undercut).....and there are all manner of fine jigs for doing this work very precisely.

Still, each trigger job must be carefully inspected and tested. As far as I can tell the only real change in about 100 years is the true radius sear profile....or a sear engagement face that matches the circular curve of the sear tip movement. Some profiles actually press the hook rearward as the sear begins to move. The true radius attempts to not move the hammer at all as the sear rotates. Other profiles allow the hammer to gradually drop as the sear begins to rotate. What would JMB think of all of this? His original specs are still pretty much respected for those not looking for a target trigger. M1911
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Old 11-04-2016, 06:09 PM   #8
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1917-1911M,

Thanks for the detailed explanation.

The hammer you sent is re-profiled so that the slide doesn't meet a lot of resistance, but the hook on the hammer does not seem to have been touched (maybe it was very finely polished), as far as I can see.

The sear has obvious marks of "squaring off".

I used this combo in the past but I could not fully control the critical trigger break, for some reason. I felt a "rubbery" break with that particular trigger break.

Since then I reverted to the stock (circa 2002-2003) parts and my highest score so far has been 523/600 in a sanctioned match with SK Standard Plus fodder.

I am recently testing the following method of dry-firing the P22 in rder to master its awful trigger pull, in SA only:

I place a two-inch dot at eye level and dryfire the P22 from a distance a meter (~3 feet) away.

Carefully squeezing the trigger I note where the front sight ENDS UP at the drop of the hammer.

I found that over and again the P22 "rolls" slightly clockwise so that the tip of the front sight — at the last millisecond when the trigger breaks — ends up @ 7 o or 8 o'clock, when the aim is dead on the centre of the bullseye.

I took my P22 apart today (again) and cleaned it paying special attention to the tiny surfaces of the hammer and sear, which are critical. They had specs of unburned powder stuck to them! I used a magnifying glass (the sort dentists use), and voila!, unburned powder discs (miniscule ones, invisible to the naked eye) were squashed between the metal surfaces. It took a spray degreaser (for Hi-Fi or electric connection cleaning), several attempts to dislocate them.

Then I reached to the drawer with the various P22 spares and pulled out the trigger parts you had sent me and guess what? Unburned powder was there too. Very fine and squashed but it had created a thin layer.

I couldn't believe my eyes.

At any rate, I put back everything together and did some dry firing.

You guessed it. The clockwork roll was 50% or more reduced.

I just did another session and so far so good.

I will have to verify this after burning some ammo next time at the range.

Lesson learned: I can't clean my P22 well enough to save my life
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Old 11-04-2016, 06:31 PM   #9
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One thing you can do with the P22 is simply remove the slide. That exposes the hammer hook and sear. So, you can pull back on the hammer a bit and expose both faces for cleaning. I can make a hammer/sear work fine in my pistol.....but my pistol isn't your pistol and detailed sear work must be done in the pistol it is to be used in....especially zinc framed ones. Steel offers the advantage of better wear and there is a lot of pressure on the small parts riding against the zinc. I need to put up that video to show you what I mean....my P22, the parts one that is really old has a fine feature.....it has so much play in the pins that engagement is self squaring... Anyway, I have it where there is no felt movement when the trigger is pulled to release the hammer. Crete...your trigger finger is probably a bit more educated than mine. M1911
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Old 11-11-2016, 09:30 PM   #10
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Crete....I've been trying to do some reading regarding all of this and this is some of what seems to make sense. We have a trigger sear and a hammer sear. One of the most common changes some folks make to reduce trigger pull is install a weaker hammer spring. This is not necessarily desirable as it increases lock time....the amount of time it takes the hammer to drop against the firing pin after being released by the trigger sear.

While the hammer is dropping, movement of internal parts, unequal finger pressure, contraction of muscles in the hand and arm all have a window of opportunity to move the firearm off target. The slower the hammer falls, the worse this gets. This is bad enough with a rifle but can be extremely critical with a short barrel and light weight pistol. A very little bit of movement makes a huge difference in where a round lands. So, fast lock time is good, keep a strong hammer spring.

Next, while we don't know the geometry of the P22 hammer/sear it doesn't look like Walther went to any really special effort here. It is more than adequate for a plinker and with mim'd parts and a cast zinc frame they probably designed the system to work on the safe side even with considerable wear. What you and I are doing is simply not what the P22 was designed for....not that that should stop us.....it just slows us down a bit and keeps refinement from being really, well.....refined.

So the next thing I think I've learned is that trigger pull weight isn't as important as consistent pull weight and creep free pull. It seems that some feel greater creep with lower hammer spring weights than they would with heavier springs. And if the trigger is creeping and slipping along it screws up your concentration. So, we want to have a trigger that is as much creep free and with a consistent pull as possible. In some pistols....part of the problem is with the springs....they crunch and scrunch and change compression resistance as the trigger is pulled. Not much we can do here except make sure that the bottom of the two trigger bar spring legs aren't digging into the rear of the trigger. I bend the bottom tips of mine out just a bit like the runner on the front of a sled. Otherwise...they dig into the polymer just a bit...I can see the marks from them. Also make sure all of the outer and inner parts of the hammer and sear and trigger bar are smooth because they can rub on stuff like the inside of the frame.

Then....there are the faces of the trigger sear and hammer sear. The smoother the better. Stoning marks (scratches) should run in the direction that the parts move against each other. Easy on the trigger sear....hard to do on the short hammer sear face. Polishing in the same direction as movement against each other is also recommended.. Outside of other problems this is where you eliminate creep and create a repeatable trigger pull.

Reducing the hammer sear height, providing crisp edges that are just barely stoned or polished to a small radius are next followed by the same treatment to the trigger sear face. An escape angle cut can be made to the bottom of the trigger sear arms. Both of these actions reduce the amount of travel the trigger moves in releasing the hammer. The less movement the better it seems to be agreed but most important is creep free and repeatable movement of the trigger sear face across the hammer sear face.

The angle of the trigger sear face in regard to the angle of the hammer sear also effect trigger pull. The stock P22 has a lot of hammer face for the trigger sear to climb up before release....safe, especially with wear but not the best for a target trigger. So it appears we are somewhat on the right track except that I have not been stoning the hammer sear in the correct direction nor polishing it.

After all of the above is sorted we still have to deal with play in the parts as it relates to fitment between the hammer and trigger sear pins and then how loose these pins fit in the zinc frame not to mention that both the springs exert unequal pressure, side to side, on the hammer/trigger sear. Also, the rear legs on the trigger bar are tunable should they not be pressing against the trigger sear squarely. All of that would take careful observation and experimentation. I'm heading out for Hilton Head for a week and I won't be doing any fooling around with the pistol....I still should put up a video of the sidewise slop in movement of the trigger sear when engaging the hammer sear and possibly similar movement when the trigger bar engages the trigger sear..

From what I can gather there is some physics law that says the amount of pull required to slide an object across a surface does not change regardless of the amount of surface area in contact and as long as the weight remains the same....whether gravity caused or applied by a spring. In other words I could take a brick, place it on a glass table top, attach a pull gauge and pull the brick on any face and the pull required would be the same. So, we aren't hurting anything, except perhaps longevity due to wear, by reducing the height of the trigger sear face. And that is all I know about that at this point......M1911
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