Dismounting the safety on PP-series pistols - WaltherForums
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Old 03-13-2010, 10:50 PM   #1
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MGMike .38
Dismounting the safety on PP-series pistols

In PP-series Manurhin, Walther and Interarms pistols:

FIRST MAKE SURE THE GUN IS UNLOADED.

Remove the slide. Others have suggested slipping a thin piece of plastic or cardboard under the opened trigger guard to hold it open and reduce adjacent scratching of the frame. An excellent idea, as it is much easier to smoothly and accurately position the slide for dismounting and remounting if you don't have to fight the trigger guard spring at the same time. (A piece of plastic cut from a motor oil bottle works well and is durable.)

Place the dismounted slide inverted on a workbench. Removal of the safety is a three-handed job, so until you get the hang of it, it's easier if you hold the slide in a padded vise. Otherwise you can hold it down with the heel of one hand while you work. The muzzle end of the slide should point toward you (it's easier that way, also less confusing to follow the directions below).

With any handy slender tool (I prefer a bamboo skewer, as I don't like to leave scratches behind as enduring evidence of a brand of malpractice known as Bubbaism) push the firing pin forward as far as it will go, and turn the safety down about half way toward "safe". Remove the skewer and the firing pin should stay forward. If it doesn't, you turned the safety too far or not far enough. (If during this procedure the firing pin escapes and pops back to its rearmost position, you won't be able to continue. Start over.)

Now, using a little screwdriver or any handy slender tool, push from the INSIDE of the slide against the side of the safety drum closest to the lever until the lever moves outward. Make sure the lever stays in a "middle" position between "Fire" and "Safe".

PUSH the safety drum out to the left. DO NOT try to pry it out with a tool under the lever. Eventually it can be pushed out far enough to grab it with your fingernails and pull it the rest of the way out.

AGAIN: In case it did not impress you the first time: DO NOT try to pry it out with a tool under the lever. You will leave Bubba-like scratches on the safety and outside of the slide and you might even break off the lever.

As the safety comes out, be prepared to catch the firing pin, which demonically wants to eject itself (under pressure from the compressed firing pin spring) into the darkest corner of your workshop.

Observe that the inside (right-hand) end of the safety drum has a pair of detent holes. These mate with a pointed detent plunger on the rear end of the extractor spring. Once that spring is relaxed by removal of the safety, the extractor will fall (or can be shaken) out. Be prepared for that, and keep the slide over the workbench; otherwise you'll wonder where it went. The extractor spring and its two plungers can be pulled forward, past the ejection port, and out of the slide. Don't try to pull it out the back. Now is an opportune time to clean any gunk out of the extractor spring tunnel.

To reassemble the safety, proceed in reverse order. Make sure the extractor retainer plunger is correctly oriented with its tongue facing out to properly capture the extractor.

Hints: Insert the safety drum into the slide with the lever in the "middle" position between "Safe" and "Fire". Midway through the slide, push the firing pin all the way forward so the safety can slide past. When you get the safety almost all the way across the slide and are about to push it home into its recess on the right-hand side, you'll find that the safety detent plunger is in the way. Reach in there with a dental hook or tiny screwdriver and push the plunger down into the tunnel. Apply inward pressure on the safety to hold it there. Now you'll encounter rearward pressure from the extractor spring, pushing rearward on the safety drum and causing it to cock very slightly rearward and bind in the hole. This prevents the drum from seating. So: while keeping inward pressure on the safety, use a blunt wooden dowel or similar tool to press forward against the safety drum; this will compress the extractor spring enough to move the safety drum exactly perpendicular to the slide and allow it to snap into place.

Now test the firing pin by moving the safety lever into the fire position. The firing pin should pop back rearward.

You're done.

M

Last edited by MGMike; 03-13-2010 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:40 PM   #2
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Ignacio49 .22
Thank you MGMike.

It seems more difficult to do than I thought. Will cry for help if needed.
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Old 03-14-2010, 12:20 AM   #3
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Very nice, MGMike. It's the reason why you should consider writing a book.

It's also an instant Sticky. Thanks for the good work.
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Old 03-14-2010, 12:51 PM   #4
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I have found that if you use a pointed stick and press forward against the square section of the firing pin (up inside it's tunnel), you can hold it in position, out of the safety while getting a thumbnail under the safety lever and wiggle it out without having to pry on any part of it. This is on my Interarms PPK/S.

One other suggested mod to Mike's great description... On reassembly, do not insert the extractor or its detent spring assembly prior to reinstalling the firing pin and safety.

Instead:
  • Reassemble the safety and firing pin, in reverse order
  • Insert the extractor's detent spring assembly into it's tube from the extractor end; make sure that the flat/chamfered side of the extractor plunger faces inward
  • Insert the extractor into it's slot, pushing the small, round nub at its rear end back against the extractor plunger until it slides all the way back in the slot
  • Press inward on the rear end of the extractor and the nub will slip into its retaining hole
This method makes it much easier to reinstall the firing pin and safety without the pointed end of the extractor spring/safety plunger assembly getting in the way.
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Old 03-14-2010, 02:11 PM   #5
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MGMike .38
There is nothing wrong with the way Kurt suggests if your fingers are young and nimble and your fingernails strong enough, and if you are comfortable working "three-handed" without clamping the slide in a vise. Since this description was for those who've never done it before, I opted for the more conservative approach.

Installing the extractor last undeniably makes it easier to reinstall the safety, but it practically rules out holding the slide in a vise, as it impedes access to the extractor slot. The extractor and its spring train with detents are very small and hard for my aged and arthritic fingers to hold in alignment while compressing the extractor spring. It CAN be done, but if you slip you'll be chasing small parts on the floor.

And a word of caution: while it is feasible to install the extractor last after the safety, don't be tempted to try the reverse. That little extractor spring is surprisingly strong, and if you attempt to dismount the extractor first, before removing the safety (following the Pollyannaic illustrations in Hoffschmidt and the NRA disassembly book), you're just itching to leave the unsightly tracks of Bubba on the extractor, its plunger, or (worse) the slide.

M
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MGMike View Post
There is nothing wrong with the way Kurt suggests if your fingers are young and nimble and your fingernails strong enough, and if you are comfortable working "three-handed" without clamping the slide in a vise. Since this description was for those who've never done it before, I opted for the more conservative approach.

Installing the extractor last undeniably makes it easier to reinstall the safety, but it practically rules out holding the slide in a vise, as it impedes access to the extractor slot. The extractor and its spring train with detents are very small and hard for my aged and arthritic fingers to hold in alignment while compressing the extractor spring. It CAN be done, but if you slip you'll be chasing small parts on the floor.

And a word of caution: while it is feasible to install the extractor last after the safety, don't be tempted to try the reverse. That little extractor spring is surprisingly strong, and if you attempt to dismount the extractor first, before removing the safety (following the Pollyannaic illustrations in Hoffschmidt and the NRA disassembly book), you're just itching to leave the unsightly tracks of Bubba on the extractor, its plunger, or (worse) the slide.

M
Mike...

This ol' boy ain't no spring chicken either! I was recently issued that gubmint card that entitles me to free rides on area transit and mistreatment at local medical establishments...

And, +25 on the business of trying to pry the extractor out rather than via the method described in this thread. An aquaintance of mine tried it on his blued pistol before he asked me - not a nice result at all - AND - he never got it out that way...
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Old 05-23-2010, 04:09 PM   #7
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halfmoonclip .22
Stumbled thru' the procedure described a bunch of years ago with a .22 and then a
.380 PP series. It isn't that tough, but it does require more hands and fingers than most folks possess. Somewhere or another, Hans unt Jurgen are laughing their keisters off.
Thanks for the reminders and advice, fellas. It's useful to detail strip things from time to time to degunkify them.
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