SA only, no DA or the sear is catching the hammer on the safety notch...Help - WaltherForums

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Old 05-13-2012, 02:41 PM   #1
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1917-1911M .38
SA only, no DA or the sear is catching the hammer on the safety notch...Help

This situation comes up for resolution about every week or two. The purpose of this thread is explain how fire control components work inside the P22, what causes this issue, how to assess if this is your pistols problem and what corrective action needs to be taken to resolve this issue. In nearly all instances the trigger bar spring has been over-wound and lost the strength required to properly raise the rear of the trigger bar.

As previously explained the P22 has a series of fire control components which are all connected and dependent upon the proper function of one another. The P22 contains a magazine disconnect safety that prevents the pistol from being fired if a magazine (loaded or empty) is not fully inserted and locked into position. This is accomplished by utilizing a spring loaded polymer foot that simply presses down on the top of the trigger bar when no magazine is inserted.

When a magazine is inserted the two expanded tabs on the front of the magazine push the spring loaded safety foot upward. The top of the tabs push the safety up, the bottom of the tabs lock against the mag catch. At this point the trigger bar is free to rise via the trigger bar spring as the trigger is pulled and engage the hammer group and sear. To accomplish this the trigger employs a light spring that is configured in such a manner so that as the trigger is pulled the spring is wound tighter which causes the square, rear end of the spring to lift the trigger bar. Unless the trigger bar is able to properly lift it will not engage the hammer strut or the sear properly. If it does not engage these parts then the shooter will pull the trigger and the trigger bar will simply move front to rear over and over as the trigger is pulled, released and pulled.

Pictured above are the components of the trigger assembly and magazine disconnect safety. Two strong springs press the safety foot down against the trigger bar which will not allow the much weaker trigger bar spring to raise the bar causing the problems this thread addresses.

What happens is that the light trigger bar spring loses sufficient strength to raise and keep raised the trigger bar. Several reasons for this spring weakening exist but the most common is that someone has pulled the trigger too far rearward while the pistol was disassembled for cleaning. This over-winds the spring so that it no longer has enough strength to properly lift the trigger bar. Dirt can be a problem, so can a bent trigger bar where it drags on the side of the frame, the ears cannot drag on the slide either. The trigger bar must move freely and should begin to rise the moment the trigger is pulled....even the slightest amount.

The trigger bar spring should stretch out the trigger assembly, like pictured above, before reassembly. You should actually have to pull the trigger rearward against the spring just a bit to fit the assembly onto the right side of the frame. In this condition the trigger bar spring will be properly tensioned.

The trigger bar performs two functions. As the trigger is pulled, magazine inserted, the trigger bar rises and the space between the rear vertical legs engages a slot on the hammer strut. As the trigger continues to be pulled the strut is forced rearward and since it is connected to the hammer via a small pin the hammer moves rearward also. As the trigger is pulled further rearward the hammer continues to be pressed rearward. At a predetermined point the two vertical rear legs of the trigger bar engage and rotate the spring loaded sear out of the way of the hammer. This will allow the hammer to fall without being caught. In double action the hammer is never caught by the sear.

As the trigger bar moves further rearward the two, top rear outer shoulders of the trigger bar engage two slanting steel pins that are fitted into each side of the frame. Pulling the trigger even further rearward causes the trigger bar to begin to slide downward due to these pins. Downward movement of the hammer strut is controlled by a flat floor on the left side of the frame. The trigger bar on the other hand continues to move rearward and downward as the trigger is pulled. So, when does the hammer fall in double action? It falls when the center portion of the rear of the trigger bar slips out of the hammer strut notch allowing the hammer to fall and the pistol to fire.

But, another problem can be encountered. Should the trigger bar not keep the sear properly rotated clear of the hammer's safety notch then the hammer will be caught. In summary, it is imperative that the trigger bar function properly and the component responsible for this function is the trigger bar spring.

So how do I assess my pistol for this problem?

First the trigger should have no free movement. In other words the trigger bar spring should be pressing the trigger all the way forward when the hammer is down. If you turn the pistol upside down and look immediately behind the trigger you will see the trigger bar and the square end of the trigger bar spring. It should be firmly pressed against the trigger bar.

Second, viewing the trigger bar ears through the gap between the polymer housing and the slide you should see the ears begin to rise the moment the trigger is pulled rearward.

Third, you can turn the pistol upside down, safety on, unloaded pistol, magazine inserted and pull the trigger. In this manner if your trigger bar spring is just slightly too weak, gravity will help the spring and DA will work in a normal manner. This will confirm that the trigger bar spring is too weak.

Fourth, you can insert something behind the trigger and under the two legs of the trigger bar spring in order to increase the springs pressure. Say, a small toothpick. This will increase the trigger bar springs tension.

If these last two tests cause the trigger bar to engage the hammer strut/sear and the pistol to function properly then this is a clear indication that the trigger bar spring must be unwound to increase its strength. To restore the trigger springs strength you must disassemble the pistol, disassemble the trigger assembly and unwind the trigger bar spring. Then reassemble the pistol.

I hope this helps explains what is occurring when this problem occurs, how to assess it and how to quickly repair your pistol's function. :bthumb: M1911
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Old 08-20-2013, 12:14 PM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 82
myron .22
I will attempt to disassemble the pistol. I was wondering if the assembly may just needs to be cleaned. It is a new gun and as far as I know it has never been taken apart. I will give it a shot and then try some more rounds. I live in town so it's hard for me to find a place to shoot.(20 miles) As you can tell, I am not a gunsmith. I will take it slowly. I have learned a lot so far. Thanks
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