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I could be imagining things, but I think your detent holes look a little cock-eyed. But, your drum does not exhibit the "trail" that Steve's does. I think you have a gun that has not reached the over-1000 mark yet either.

Could that be the picture itself, me.... or dose anyone else see anything odd about the detent machining in Guybrush's drum....could just be the light.?
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Guy's safety cylinder looks exactly like mine - he's just holding it differently and the play of light has much to do with what we see here, trust me. I'm finding it interesting how these positional detents are ovoid (egg-shaped) in how they've been machined into the cylinder. Not being an engineer myself, I don't know why this is but I suspect it has much to do with the transition of the plunger moving out of the recess upon cylinder rotation (lever flipping), possibly applying a torque to it in order to ease the plunger free from it's unhappy home.

OK, I'll try to answer the thoughts shared:

Steve, does the plunger mate with the recess in the safety drum very well? I was just thinking about how the valves on car engines are fitted, maybe this would benefit the mating and solve the problem.
It's difficult to determine while manipulating the parts by hand. Sure, when I tinker with the parts when free from the slide they seem to marry well, but it's a completely different story (and set of circumstances) when the slide is assembled, let alone undergoing the multitude of of physical conditions applied to these intricate parts during the firing operation.

Steve: I didn't say the detent holes were out of alignment with one another. What I said was that the plunger was not in alignment with the holes. And all of your photographs confirm that the metal displacement is predominantly on one side (toward the end opposite the lever), not in the center of the dished portion of the hole. The safety might be saved by cleanly reaming the holes and restoring the conical point of the plunger, but the better and easier solution is to replace both parts.

M
I agree, Mentor. However, there is little I can do to solve the problem of A) the position of the hole milled through the slide where the spring/plunger/extractor piece rest and B) the position of the detents in the safety cylinder in terms of their X axis location. These parts must align with one another through proper machining or the phenomenon you've correctly observed is inevitable. I see it now - my thanks for pointing it out to me.

Should I be fortunate enough to someday acquire a new safety cylinder one day, this one is going into the Bridgeport. I will gently mill the detent with an appropriately angled center drill to clean it up, and machine a copy of the safety plunger on the collet lathe with an angle to the "nose" which properly matches that of the recess. I will then harden it with a trip through the flame of an Acetylene torch followed by a plunge into oil. Time will tell on this endeavor, but I will not give up on my PPK!

Steve
It looks to me like the "extractor piece" angle is too long.
Naw. It's just fine, sir. It's an unrelated part of the equation, but I thank you for your observation nonetheless. (Watch, when we get to the bottom of this it'll turn out to be problem after all! But as we sit around this proverbial campfire now, I don't think it is).

How about trying it both ways? Deepen the dimples on the safety drum...

...6string may be on to something as well; if galling really is the issue, then a carbon steel detent pin might well be a great idea. In its oily home in the slide it's not apt to rust.
Moon
I might try this, .5 Moon, but not until after I manage to secure replacement parts first. I will never put Great Unmentionable parts into my Interarms PPK however... to do so would be a travesty to me. I'll first bleed to the pain of Earl's fees or hope the Tooth Fairy drops something under my pillow first. And in regards to my above reply regarding machining a new safety plunger myself, it will be of carbon steel and not of stainless. However, the thought of intermingling parts of different metallurgical composition together brings it's own set of complications if you want to get really nerdy. The oil which is intended to serve as a lubricant/preservative might actually act as an electrolyte and set up a potential between the parts of different metallic composition. We would then have a battery of sorts, which would ultimately rot the slide through electrolysis and might actually serve to accelerate degradation.

....maybe Steve just sits in front of the TV and flips his lever all the time.....we don't know for sure..
No sir. I don't flip the lever unless I need to. But I don't have any way of knowing if the previous owner enjoyed a fat bowl of potato chips in front of a TV set displaying "Family Guy" whilst flipping away, unfortunately.

More to come. As previously touched upon, we will get to the bottom of this!

-Pilotsteve
 

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Steve: Put on your thinking cap. Why is the spring bent?

M


Tonight I took out the camera, mini-tripod and a lot of patience to try and get the best pictures I could of the parts in question. After careful observation, we can see there is indeed some wear, albeit very slight. Observe the roots of the problem:

Here we have my safety cylinder, no flash so we don't have glare issues. The graph paper background is 5 squares to the inch, or .2 inches per square - aligned with the cylinder of the safety on the X axis, with the "fire" detent uppermost:



A better photograph with flash:



I manipulated the photograph by superimposing some 90 degree lines to align with the Y axis through the detents which are aligned with the grid. This negates Mike's hypothesis of the detents being out of alignment with one another. (I beg your apologies, Mentor). The previous pictures were inconclusive as I was holding the cylinder at an angle.



An up-close of the "fire" detent in the cylinder - the best I could manage with my girls' 10.2 megapixel camera in macro mode. With the flash on we reveal some damage to the integrity of the conical profile of the detent. Some metal has been swaged away:



Again from a slightly different angle; I rotated the cylinder approximately 10 degrees for this image which confirms metallurgical compromise:



And now onto the safety plunger. We can see the tip has some scarring but I believe it is designed to be flat to allow more surface area contact with the cylinder "flats" in between the detents when one rotates the safety. Think about it... if it were ground to a sharp point the contact area would be very small and under such intense spring pressure the forces of metal-on-metal friction would be severe, leading to significant galling of the stainless steel. The more contact area, the lesser the pressure.

At any rate, the tip of my safety plunger has definite imperfections. Observe:



Whence rotated to a different area we can see there is some metal removed from one side of the cone, probably in line with the swaged surface of the detent in the safety cylinder. It's difficult to tell... either some metal has been removed from the plunger or metal has been picked up from the safety cylinder and packed onto the plunger.



Finally, the spring/plunger/extractor hold assembly aligned with the .2 inch/grid graph. My guess is .57 inches... what's yours? Mike says the Overall Length for this spring should be 16mm (.62992126 inches). A bit short is mine?



We WILL get to the bottom of this problem, my friends. Hang in there, Guy. I'm having the same problems you are but am wholly unwilling to give up on this fantastic pistol. Together, with a little help from my friends and the experts here (along with an admitted dash of nerdiness), we will solve this vexing problem.

-Pilotsteve
 

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I know you guys are having fun, but the best advice so far would be to follow Mike's original advice and buy new parts.

If you want to try fixing the pieces you have, re-shape the plunger or the detents on the safety. A stiffer spring might work, but as it does double duty powering the extractor - that might create other problems.
 

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Guy's safety cylinder looks exactly like mine - he's just holding it differently and the play of light has much to do with what we see here, trust me. I'm finding it interesting how these positional detents are ovoid (egg-shaped) in how they've been machined into the cylinder. ...

-Pilotsteve
I'm trying to trust you, but my eyes are troublesome. If you think it's "the play of light" you will have trouble distinguishing Kathrine Hepburn from Raquel Welch. (See, I'm showing age.)

Do you think it might be a possibility that the "ovoid (egg-shaped)" form was deliberately selected by some experienced engineer to compensate for generous tolerances in the angle of the extractor spring tunnel? (Said angle being very difficult to maintain in mass production...)

For those who imagine that Earl is the Headwaters of the Amazon, PPK/s pistols were made for Interarms EXCLUSIVELY IN BLUE for the first couple years of production before stainless, and blue was continued thereafter. They were, I believe, made of SAE 4140. M&M has a considerable selection of such parts.

M
 

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...

If you want to try fixing the pieces you have, re-shape the plunger or the detents on the safety. A stiffer spring might work, but as it does double duty powering the extractor - that might create other problems.

Ahhh... Wisdom.

M
 

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My safety doesn't look anything like that..... I digress.

Anyway, tonight I shot my IA, ss .380 PPK/S after using red locktite to secure the rear sight. Good news, the sight is still in place after about 75 rounds. But in the midst of the range session the safety engaged, several times, just like the video posted above. WWB has never done that before. Maybe mechanical, but I tend to believe that limp-wristing is involved. It seems as though this issue is limited to IA, .380's.

Thoughts?

Roboslug
 

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...Maybe mechanical, but I tend to believe that limp-wristing is involved. It seems as though this issue is limited to IA, .380's.

Thoughts?

Roboslug
It IS mechanical, and very doubtful that grip has anything to do with it.

Walther/Manurhin experienced this problem as well, and changed the design of the detents a couple times. The originals were informally called "cat's-eyes", which is what they resembled.

I myself am convinced that this malfunction afflicts only guns which are at the edge of tolerance in certain dimensions, and that selective substitution of parts is the only easy solution. In extreme cases, when nothing else works, the slide should be replaced.

M
 

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I don't think I'm willing to invest in a new slide. Don't get me wrong, I like the gun, but at this point I've already poured $500+ into it. I could have originally spent that much on a better gun that actually worked.

When the parts get here, I'll try them out and if they work, great. If not, I've had a few offers for it already. I'll take a bath on it, but if it comes to that point, I won't want much to do with this gun, or Walthers in general, and will gladly send it on its way.
 

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...When the parts get here, I'll try them out and if they work, great. ...
We cretins here would greatly appreciate it if you --in the name of science and the advancement of knowledge-- would try just one part at a time to see which one is effective.

Otherwise this thread will be a dead waste to intellectual inquiry.

M
 

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Reference post #26. I think the cat needs to be thrown out to make more room for larger "components".:D

Now....where we we? Oh...yes....FOR SURE....please just don't get a new slide.....I'd opt for component changes first. Somewhere floating around here is a post/thread that Searcher is moving to this thread...I think. It details what a shooter did to correct this very problem. He re-worked the plunger detent recesses. I don't know where Searcher put it....my mind is still on post #26.
 

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Searcher......it's a new thread...."Safety/Hammer Riding the Slide Forward".

Yep....I checked again and I think the cat is still asleep....but I'll check one more time before I leave this thread.
 

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More on the safety riding forward with the hammer

Here is a picture of a PP .32 from the late 50's or early 60's, note how the plunger cup is a cut instead of a divot. When it wears the plunger will run in deeper not like the modern methods. The safety works perfectly on this PP. Hope this helps.
 

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From my other thread:

Guy...

What does the face of the hammer look like where it rubs against the safety drum? The area of interest would be where the flat front face of the hammer curves back toward the knurled thumb pull. Is it smooth and nicely burnished or does it have rough "granules" on its surface that might grab the drum and rotate it into the safe position as the slide moves forward?

The same would go for the area of the safety drum where it rubs against the upper portion of the hammer face.

Also, and this is more difficult to check, when the slide is back, is there still clearance between the back of the hammer and the flat area of the frame where in nests when cocked. If the safety drum pushes the hammer down and binds it against the frame, there may be enough interference to rotate the safety as the slide moves forward.

Just chasing some other possibilities...
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v309/temporaryscars/P1010289.jpg

I have it in about a million pieces right now, so I'm not sure about the rubbing, but I do believe it was pushing the hammer down. Also, the flat part that strikes the firing pin is really rough looking.

I also had issues where bullets wouldn't fire after the trigger was pulled. Cocking back the hammer and trying again fired the rounds.
 

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Steve, I'm seriously doubtful that placing carbon steel and stainless in intimate contact will create a battery. Were I to counsel using a brass detent pin it might be another matter.

Speaking of intimate, I'm off to a cold shower without too much more thought of the double-D kitty.
Moon
 

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Steve, if the Walther platform has survived the work of froggish artisans in Manurhin, I expect it will survive the ministrations of the down easters in Houlton.
I wouldn't be too gun-snobbish about parts made by the Gulf Uniform; if we all live long enough, it will be the only game in town.
Moon
 
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