Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Did A Little Bit Of Gun Fixin Tonight...

...and am happy that I finally did it. I am not very confident of myself when it comes to fixing things around the house and such but if I have some decent instructions I will try my hand at some simple gun repairs now and then. I found a decent video on YouTube to illustrate what I wanted to get done so set out to give it a try.

A few weeks ago, I ordered and received a new safety switch for my Remington 870 Express Synthetic that had a J-Lock safety switch. I had planned to use the old spring and plunger but had problems, all operator caused no doubt, when trying to switch the J-Lock out with the new one. It is an understatement to say that disappointment cloaked my countenance when the safety spring for sprung the first three times I tried to replace the safety. The first time, it didn't as much spring out of the hole it belonged in but instead got stuck on the end of my Glock disassembly tool. I thought it must have flown out though and looked around for a couple of minutes thinking it had sprung only to find it stuck on the end of the tool. Man, did I feel like an arse. As for the Glock disassembly tool, that's what I used to ty to depress the spring enough to replace the retaining pin that holds it in place.

I tried again but the next two tries, the darned spring sprung out of that hole like a rocket. The first time it shot out, I could not find it but my brother-in-law Hans, whose place I was at while trying my hand at changing the safety, found it after several minutes search. Then it sprang a second time, hit me in the sleeve, and I figured should have fallen close by on the floor but was nowhere to be found. We looked for quite some time and I looked again later and again and again. Finally, I just gave it up for lost figuring it went down one of the floor mounted heating vents. That was about 2 or 3 weeks or so ago. Since then I thought about why that happened and figured the Glock disassembly tool was just too wide to depress the spring while giving the retention pin enough room to get in above the spring and hold it sufficiently before I could push the pin all the way through. What I needed was something to just push down on the edge of the spring on one side thereby giving the retention pin enough room to slide in on the other side and hold the spring down unassisted. Then the pin could just be pushed all the way into place without the tool blocking it. Of course, I also need a new spring to replace the one that I lost.

I wound up ordering two of the little and necessary coil springs from Remington. Luckily, I paid attention to the other parts that seemed to go with it. My synthetic 870 Express had a plunger under that spring. A narrow portion of the plunger on one end actually sat inside the coil of the spring and the wider part, on the other end, sat on the safety button's innards and acted as a click stop sort of thing that held the safety switch locked in place snuggly in either the fire or safe position; the spring gave it the necessary tension. (What can I say but that I am not a gunsmith and am explaining I as best can.) I note that the plunger in my gun was not shown on the website as being part of the current parts available for the safety. What was available was the 870 detent ball, aka: a ball bearing, that seemed to replace the plunger and that was listed as for "all models". So, I ordered one of them too. When they arrived, the spring looked longer than the old one but I cannot be sure without the old one for comparison. The ball bearing was much less in height than would have been the plunger or at least the half of it that did not fit inside the coil of the spring, so I figured that was why the spring may have been longer. Thus, I opted that I would go with the all bearing. Any way, it all had arrived and needed to be inserted but, of course and as usual, I procrastinated.

Finally got around to trying to replace that J-safety with the new one tonight. I used a narrower tool to push down on the spring, which gave the retention pin enough room on one side to hold the spring in place thus allowing me to remove the tool to make room to push the pin in all the way while the pin held the spring in place enough not to let it be sprung. In other words, the spring did not fly out this time and the operation was a success. In fact it was rather simple once I used the right sized tool to depress the spring as it should have been from the beginning had I given it a bit more thought at the time.

The happy result is that I once again have a fully functioning Remington 870 Express Synthetic or maybe I should say I think I do. I only bought this one a short time ago and have not test fired it yet but from what I know of these shotguns, it appears to function perfectly. I'll give it a try one weekend soon or bring it back to my brother-in-law's place for Labor Day weekend to have a blast with it then (or both).

All the best,
Glenn B
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