Assembly -- What Am I Doing Wrong? - Pistolsmith

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Old 09-18-2009, 09:41 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 3
Assembly -- What Am I Doing Wrong?

I have the trigger and safety system installed.
I also have the mainspring installed.
I insert the bottom of the sear spring into its proper location and orientation
below and in front of the mainspring.
Now, I need 4 hands:

1. hold the trigger straight up
2. bend the sear spring back towards the mainspring
3. insert the sear into its proper location
4. maintain the location of the sear spring below the sear and
the sear in its proper location
5. insert and push the sear pin into the hole while maintaining
pressure on the sear spring, the sear, the hammer.

I can't seem to get everything together because I don't
have 4 hands to do all this at once.

I must be doing something wrong.
Perhaps I have something in the wrong location?
Perhaps I have something installed in the wrong order?
Is there some trick I am missing?

I tried to follow the steps in a manual I found with pictures, but ...
It just doesn't seem like it should be this difficult.

Can you give me some idea as to what I am doing wrong here?
Or, is this just a pain in the rear to do?
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Old 09-19-2009, 08:16 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Issaquah, WA
Posts: 3,831
Re: Assembly -- What Am I Doing Wrong?

Hi-Powers are pesky critters!

When I get flustered I use a padded vise to hold the frame. With the sear spring installed you have to hold the hammer back, hold the sear spring back and put the sear in and pin it all at the same time. (ejector needs to be in ther up position as well. I use a small punch to line every thing up and then push the punch out with the frame pin on final assembly.

Using a padded vise and the small punch may give you the extra hands needed.

Hope that helps some. Easier than it seems once you have done it a few times.

Old 09-19-2009, 10:59 AM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 3
Re: Assembly -- What Am I Doing Wrong?

Hi, Dane,

I was afraid that you'd say something like this.

Glad to see that you are still around and cooking.

Old 09-20-2009, 05:52 AM   #4
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Brisbane Australia
Posts: 19
Re: Assembly -- What Am I Doing Wrong?

I haven't stripped a Hi-power for a few years but had one to do last week and it tool a bit of fiddling before I remembered how I did it. First is that holding the frame in a vice is almost essential. Hold the frame by the trigger guard. High-power frames are easily crushed if held by the grip. Also it helps if you put a slight chamfer on the leading end of the sear pin. Put the sear pin in just far enough to hold the ejector in place as well.
I hold the frame with the muzzle end pointing to the left. Thumb of the right hand holds the hammer in the cocked position. One or two of the remaining fingers of the right hand hold the sear spring in place.
Use the left hand to position the sear and when in place, push the sear pin with the left thumb. I have enough control that I can jiggle the sear a bit to get alignment.
I have very small hands, not sure whether there is enough room for a full set of meaty fingers
I used to use an old fashioned wooden clothes pin around the hammer to hold it in the cocked position, freeing up half a hand. Any small clamp would do it or you could tie it back.
Old 09-20-2009, 08:01 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Issaquah, WA
Posts: 3,831
Re: Assembly -- What Am I Doing Wrong?

Hey Bruce good to see you are still alive and kicking as well

Don't let a HP get the best of you! It is also possible without a vise. Generally the way I do them as it is quicker. But it is more complicated and makes my hand sore if I slip off the hammer. That way I hook my thumb through the rear of the trigger guard and hold the hammer back with my index finger, and hold the sear back with my thumb and do everthing else with my right hand. Tough one but not impossible. But a small punch that will go all the way through the frame and line everything up can be a live saver here. I don't work on them often but after with a few repetitions and figuring out where your hand and fingers need to be you can get it eveything lined up and the sear pin will slide in easily by hand pressure without the extra effort of the punch. Punch just gives you some extra leeway.

Another little trick I like is to take some of the tension out of the leaf/sear spring. Helps getting everything back together and doesn't hurt the trigger job either

Stick with it....and I suspect you'll come up with your own way and describe it to us.

Old 09-20-2009, 05:35 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Southwest
Posts: 2,371
Re: Assembly -- What Am I Doing Wrong?

Hello. As has been said, it's not complicated but it damned sure helps to be an octopus when completely reassembling.

You can partially insert a magazine to hold the flat sear spring in place. If your pistol has a ring hammer, you can make a "hook" from a coat hanger that fits in hole of the hammer and the other end in the grip screw hole or at the bottom of the magazine well at the rear. Something holding the hammer back helps LOTS. If you have a spur hammer, you can do the same thing but make one end of the hanger into a loop that will go around the top of the hammer and loop around the spur as well. The loop around the front face of the hammer is what will hold the hammer rearward and the loop around the spur keeps it from sliding down where the hammer can move forward and possibly smack the frame; not good. Once you only have to fight the sear spring's reduced tension while holding the sear in place and inserting the pin, life is much, much easier and your fingertips will really appreciate it.

This video shows a similar "hold back" tool and might be of use:

I think that part is roughly 4 minutes into it.

Best and good luck.

Old 09-25-2009, 11:57 AM   #7
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 3
Re: Assembly -- What Am I Doing Wrong?

To All Who Responded To This Post:

Thanks very much for the suggestions.

The first problem was that I was trying to hook the sear under the full cock notch of the hammer.
I saw this in a cutaway picture and realized that I was trying to put the sear in the wrong location.

I actually found a way to reassemble without even dealing with the hammer and the hammer spring.

Stephen, thanks very much for your suggestion about using the magazine.
When I read this, a light bulb went off in my head. Great suggestion.

Below, I have tried to spell out the steps that I used as clearly as possible. They do involve using the magazine, first to hold
the sear spring in place, then to hold the sear spring and the sear in place, without ever manipulating the hammer.

Just to be sure that this process worked, I disassembled and reassembled the sear system 3 times using this process.
No big deal, once I worked this process out in my head.

No special hammer tools, no extra pressure on the hammer. The hammer wasn't even involved.
The difficult part is the patience you need to withdraw the drift bunch in very small increments
and to tap the sear pin each time so that the seating of the sear pin does not mess up the alignment
of the frame, sear pin hole in the sear, and the ejector.

Bruce Krell

================================================== ================================================== ==

Browning HiPower Sear Reassembly

Insert the sear spring into its proper position.

Insert an empty magazine on top of the sear spring to a point just below where the sear will eventually cover the spring. This will hold the spring depressed in place.

Insert and hold the seer in place in its proper position with the large edge over the top of the sear spring. This requires a bit of pressure, but not much. I didn’t have to hold the hammer back at all.

Seat the magazine the rest of the way into the grip. This holds the sear spring and the sear in their correct locations.

Rotate the extractor upwards so that the extractor is in its correct location.

Hold the frame in your left hand and depress the seer with your left thumb so that the hole for the sear pin is fairly well aligned with the holes in the frame. This does not require much pressure and does not require any retentive pressure on the hammer.

On the right side of the frame, insert a drift punch. While holding the sear in place with the left thumb, carefully work the drift punch all the way through the extractor and the sear and out the other side of the frame.

Lay the frame on its right side on a table with the punch off the table and the handle of the punch out in open space and downward.

For the next steps, you need extreme patience and sensitivity. You will be moving a drift punch VERY SMALL INCREMENTS and lightly tapping the sear pin deeper into the sear pin hole. If you try to force this too fast or too hard, the alignments will get messed up. You will likely bend the sear pin and have everything fall apart.

Slowly withdraw the punch a small amount, just enough to seat the sear pin. The tip of the punch should NOT go very deep when withdrawn as this will cause the holes in the sear and the frame to become misaligned.

Seat the sear pin by hand into the sear pin hole.

Withdraw the punch a very small amount again.

Lightly tap the sear pin to move into the extra space vacated by the punch.

Repeat this process slowly and carefully until the sear pin is fully seated.

Test the sear pin with the punch to make sure that none of the sear pin extends out beyond the sear pin hole by laying the punch along the frame over the end of the sear pin. Perform this test on both sides of the frame.
Old 10-29-2010, 08:01 AM   #8
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: NE PA
Posts: 8
I use 2 wooden clothes pins...1 to hold the hammer back and one inserted thru frame to hold sear spring. Works every time..

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