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Discussion Starter #1
Seems like there's a lot of safety problems with the PPKs over the years. I recently bought a used, looks new, SS Fort Smith PPK/S which damn near needs vice grips to operate the decocker/safety catch. Otherwise, the pistol shoots well and operates as it should.
So, I ordered a safety catch plunger - called "new style" (205550) and extractor spring (205530A) from Numrich. When I disassembled the slide parts, I put the safety catch drum back in without the spring and plungers and the safety catch drum turned as smooth as silk so to me, it's obviously the extractor/safety assembly at fault.
I noticed the original safety plunger had been poorly modified, probably with a hand file, and was filed back to about half the length of the new safety plunger from Numrich. The spring and extractor plunger seemed OK to me. I put the extractor plunger, new spring and new safety plunger together and attempted to install it after reassembling the safety catch drum and firing pin. After many, many tries and sore fingers, it was simply impossible for me to compress the spring enough to reinstall the extractor. I was able to reassemble it with the old, modified, short safety plunger with no major problem.
So, I'm sitting here wondering WTH. I would be willing to just turn the safety off and forget about it, but it would be nice to have it operate as it should. I can't afford a large bill from Arkansas to fix it either.
Any ideas from y'all?

Crimp
Montani Semper Liberi
 

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This sounds like a previous owner was trying to solve the same problem. You said the previous safety plunger was 'filed'; which end was filed, and how smooth is the portion that engages the safety drum? How does the drum itself look? Any burrs or gouges? Are the two detent spot spots smoothly drilled?
Keep us posted; we have no lack of experienced experts here.
Moon
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Halfmoonclip: No burrs or gouges and the detents appear to be smoothly drilled. The working end of the safety plunger was filed back and is now only 1/2 as long as the new one I received from Numrich. The filed conical shape is not very symmetrical, but the point is relatively smooth.
 

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Two questions; was the extractor plunger correctly oriented when you were reassembling, especially with the Numrich parts? Sorry, that was pretty obvious.
I'd try smoothing and shaping the plunger point, and check the bore in the slide for burrs. Does the detent plunger move smoothly in its bore, if you press on it?
If none of that serves, be in touch with Ft. Smith. They claim a lifetime warranty, and should supply you with a mailer.
BTW, does the gun function well otherwise, or are there other things the mothership needs to check?
Moon
 

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Well, if it's the same as on the 'old' examples of the gun (wich I do not know), you have to install extractor, pin and spring before you fix this assembly w. your new safety drum.
 

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The safety was pretty stiff on my new Ft. Smith PPK/S. I played with it, engaging and disengaging a bunch of times, working the safety lever. It got easier after a while. It's still a tight fit. most parts are pretty tight. They must manufacture to tight tolerances.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The safety was pretty stiff on my new Ft. Smith PPK/S. I played with it, engaging and disengaging a bunch of times, working the safety lever. It got easier after a while. It's still a tight fit. most parts are pretty tight. They must manufacture to tight tolerances.
Thanks, Peter. I'll continue exercising the safety.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, if it's the same as on the 'old' examples of the gun (wich I do not know), you have to install extractor, pin and spring before you fix this assembly w. your new safety drum.
They are basically the same and I find it much easier to install the extractor, springs and plungers last. I found that hint here on the forum.
 

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Crimp, dismantled a Ranger 30 years ago (without the benefit of a schematic or the internet), and got it back together, and I may have done it that way.
For the sake of experiment,tho', have you tried reassembling the extractor and both plungers without the drum, just to see if they do indeed move smoothly in their bore?
Have you gotten things back together, and how are they working?
Moon
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Crimp, dismantled a Ranger 30 years ago (without the benefit of a schematic or the internet), and got it back together, and I may have done it that way.
For the sake of experiment,tho', have you tried reassembling the extractor and both plungers without the drum, just to see if they do indeed move smoothly in their bore?
Have you gotten things back together, and how are they working?
Moon
Yes, the plungers and spring slide smoothly in their bore without the safety drum. The extractor works as it should. I'm going to attempt to reshape and smooth the safety plunger's point and test. Will post when done.
 

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What you have is a spring loaded cone sitting down in a cone on the safety drum. To rotate the safety, the edge of the cone on the drum has to cam the plunger cone upwards. Think long and hard about what needs to happen between the two surfaces for this to happen smoothly. My take is that the edge of the recess on the safety drum is more important to smooth action than the slant on the plunger. The working edge of the safety drum needs to be smooth enough and not too sharp so that it can raise the plunger as the safety is rotated. If I were working here I would go slow and test, slow and test. You can always take more metal off....can't put any back on. 1917



The plunger can't sit so deep that the lip of the safety drum engages the side of the piece when you try to rotate the safety. It must engage the slanted portion of the plunger.
 

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This photo shows what one of the edges of the cutout on the drum looks like. You can see where the plunger is engaged. Rounding that engagement edge should allow the drum to more easily lift the plunger but I wouldn't smooth it so much that it is too easy or the safety might rotate from safe to fire and the opposite when firing/loading. If the plunger had annular rings from machining or the plunger hole is rough that could effect how smoothly the plunger can be pressed into the hole when being pressed a little off center and not straight down the bore. Several things to have a careful look at. Like, can you easily press the plunger back into the hole even when pressing it in at somewhat of an angle. 1917
 

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1917, you do take extraordinary pictures. Concur with the advice.
Moon
 
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I think those might be MIM'd parts in a Ranger version. They don't look like the machined parts in my older Ulm and Manurhin pistols. Those have more machining marks. But they work well. 1917
 

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Moon, I took these photos years and years ago and have them hosted at Imgur. I think I took those with a $100 point and shoot. Digital film is free so I just shoot plenty making sure they illustrate what I'm trying to show at the time and then I keep the best ones that happen to be in focus. lol 1917
 

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1917', my efforts to post pictures here have all come to naught, and even my tech expert (my bride) has been unsuccessful. Yeah, it's a new world, where it doesn't cost to snap the shutter.
Back to the question at hand, it does seem that binding in the safety drum plunger is the likely culprit. We've also found that the safety detent on SIG 365s profits from light grease, and it is a spring and plunger arrangement.
Moon
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well, thanks for all the help and suggestions in an attempt to fix the decocker/safety problem on my Ft Smith PPK/S. I gave up. A friend made me a swap deal I couldn't pass up.
 
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