P3AT firing pin reassembly

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by balrog, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. balrog

    balrog New Member

    8
    Jan 8, 2011
    I cleaned my P3AT this morning, and decided to clean the firing pin channel as well, for the first time I have owned the pistol.

    I backed out the firing pin screw with an allen wrench. It appeared to have lock tite or something equivalent on it. I then removed the firing pin and firing pin spring. I cleaned the channel, firing pin, and spring.
    '
    When I reassemble this i have 3 questions:

    First, the small cut out on the firing pin goes up right?

    Second, if I tighten the firing pin screw up too much (ie, until all loose play is tightened up out of the screw), it appears to lock the firing pin in place and prevent it from moving. How do you know when you have the firing pin screw tightened up enough?

    Third, should I put some fresh lock tite on the firing pin screw since it seems to have come that way from the factory?

    Thanks in advance for the help!
     
  2. jtbinvalrico

    jtbinvalrico New Member

    4
    Jan 8, 2011
    Great forum...long time lurker and P3AT owner....

    The screw serves two purposes. First, it retains the flat spring that works with the extractor. Second, as you tighten that screw, the tip of it enters the firing pin channel.....Imagine that screw poking into the firing pin channel, now visualize the slotted end of your firing pin being retained by that screw tip within the channel as it moves to and fro. Think of the slot on the firing pin as a place for the tip of that screw to rest in.

    As you place the firing pin into the channel, make sure that the slotted end is going to align properly, which will allow the screw to enter the channel and do its job. Begin turning the screw while pressing the firing pin in. There will come a point where the pin will move back and forth against the spring, but you will no longer have to hold it in with your finger or other object. Once you are certain that the screw is not binding on the firing pin shaft, you can finish tightening it.

    If you've tightened the screw and the firing pin won't move, the gun won't work because the firing pin is being seized up by that screw. When done right, the pin will spring back freely, will remain in the channel, and the screw will be tight.
     

  3. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    Texas
  4. balrog

    balrog New Member

    8
    Jan 8, 2011
    I am pretty sure I have the slot in the FP oriented properly, but if I tight the screw in all the way (ie, until it stops turning), the FP will bind and does not move when I press on it.

    Is the FP screw supposed to be screwed in tight? If I tighten it all the way, the FP binds. If i back it out about 1/4 turn, the FP moves normally.
     
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel New Member

    Feb 6, 2005
    Eastern Kansas
    I answered your question over on THR a couple of hours ago.

    It seems to me you are still not getting the FP back in right.

    If the screw was the right length and not binding the FP before you took it apart?
    It stands to reason it is still the right length, and should not bind when you put it back in.

    rc
     
  6. balrog

    balrog New Member

    8
    Jan 8, 2011
    RC,

    How do I know the screw was in tight before i disassembled it?
     
  7. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    Texas
    Agreed. From the link I posted above:

     
  8. balrog

    balrog New Member

    8
    Jan 8, 2011
    I drew a line with a Sharpie on the back of the FP opposite of the slot so I could make sure it went into the FP channel in the proper orientation.

    Also, with the FP out of the FP channel, I can screw the FP screw all the way through the channel to the point that it nearly touches the opposite side of the channel.
     
  9. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    are you screw in a button head screw or a straight thread allen?

    for the button head screw (2G model) you align the slot to face where the screw threads, which is about 30 degrees to the side AND compress the spring till the end of the firing pin is flush with the slide. tighten the screw to 6-10 inch-lbs wich is just two fingers on the short arm of an "L" allen wrench. a drop of loctite, nail polish, or even elmers glue on the threads would be nice. you should then release and the pin extends slightly and you can push it in and out easly

    for the straight thread allen (1G model) the same for align slot with the screw, which is straight up and compress the spring and screw the allen in until it touches the firing pin THEN back it off 1/4 turn. You MUST use a thread sealant on the allen screw.
    again the FP should extend only slghtly (but can not be pulled out)
     
  10. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    you have the straight thread allen screw 1G model
     
  11. balrog

    balrog New Member

    8
    Jan 8, 2011
    Ok problem solved i think. Is the straight thread allen screw an older version? I believe that is what I must have. I know I have a very early P3AT.

    I did what is described above... i backed the screw off 1/4 turn and Lock Tited it. I then took it out into the backyard and fired about 50 rounds with no problems of any kind.
     
  12. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    Texas
    Good catch JFB! I wasn't thinking about it possibly being a first gen gun. :-?
     
  13. balrog

    balrog New Member

    8
    Jan 8, 2011
    So just to clarify, the slot on my firing pin should point straight up, correct?
     
  14. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    Yes.

    also to clairify, I took some measurements of the firing pin cut out and the allen threads.
    the cut out is about 0.080" deep
    the allen screw is a 6-32, thus 0.031" per turn
    this gives 2.5 turns engage ment with the screw touching the pin
    backing it of 1/4 turn gives 0.008" clearance.  this is very adaquate for smooth operation
    However, any damage to the last thread would close up this clearance

    the 2G button head screws give the equivlant of backing off 1 turn
    this allows the pin to rotate slightly and allow for significant thread damage before losing the clearance to allow smooth operation

    so I would increase the back off to 1/2, not to exceed 1 turn
     
  15. balrog

    balrog New Member

    8
    Jan 8, 2011
    Can I upgrade to the newer screw? Or does that require modification of the slide also?
     
  16. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    I was thinking the similair.

    what would you think of a button head in the center of your slide.   I'm thinking it would block the sights

    I don't have a 1G to get any measurements from, but you might be able to spot face so the screw head would be flush with the top of the slide
    [​IMG]
     
  17. jtbinvalrico

    jtbinvalrico New Member

    4
    Jan 8, 2011
    .....I'm still envious that you can walk out to your back yard and test your fixes.....the rest of us have to wait for a range day ;)
     
  18. balrog

    balrog New Member

    8
    Jan 8, 2011
    Its one of the perks of living in the middle of know where... and to be honest, it wasnt really the back yard. It makes my wife mad when I shoot back there because she is afraid I might kill her cat. So I actually walked out into the woods about 50 yds.