(originally posted on 'TFR' forum at somethingawful.com)
I upgraded my Hi-Power today, by which I mean I traded in my Charles Daly Hi-Power clone for a used but awesome Real-Deal Browning HP "Practical".
Anyone got details on these proof marks?
In honor of this occasion, I've recorded the process of removing the single dubious feature of the Hi-Power - the magazine disconnect – using the Willie Coyote school of gunsmithing.
Without going into too much detail, the main reasons the magazine disconnect is a pain are that it keeps standard magazines from dropping free and can cause the trigger to feel very gritty and rough (especially when using parkerized magazines). Some people will find that they do not need to follow all of the steps detailed below. I found that getting the mag disconnect out of my Charles Daly was significantly easier than getting it out of the Browning.Originally Posted by Speedy Lawyer-speak
That little “T” shaped plunger visible in the front of the mag well is what we’re taking out.
are the hi-precision instruments that we’re going to use to do it. (not shown: brass and steel punches)
Field-strip your specimen and remove the grips
While not strictly necessary, I found it easier to remove the magazine release than to fight against it. Removing the release is a simple thing, so I recommend it.
Just take a small screw driver
and gently (GENTLY) try to turn the screw to the left while slowly pushing the release button. You will find that the screw doesn't turn at all until it suddenly rotates about 1/4 turn. You can’t see it while you do it, but there is a notch that accepts a flange on the screw. Once you fit the flange into the notch, the release will fall right out.
Take a dowel or something similar and place it under the trigger such that it supports the trigger and fits entirely within the trigger guard. I found that a .357 mag aluminum snap-cap fit perfectly. There should be a pin visible on the trigger just below where it comes out of the frame; we’re going to drive that pin out using something handy. A nail will work, but a punch would be better.
I found it easier to control the punch if I shortened it a bit. They’re cheap, so I wasn’t worried about having to get a new one.
It turns out the brass punch was a bit too soft...
…so I used a steal one. Which I’ve read you shouldn’t do, but it worked.
Save the pin for reinsertion when you’re done
Knock out the trigger pivot pin using a brass punch and drive from right to left (the right side should be obviously tapered). Use something to prop the frame up so that the pin has room to fall out. The SMART way to do this is to use a bench block or a wooden block or with a hole drilled into it so that the pin can fall into it. I used the snapcap from earlier.
IMPORTANT: the magazine disconnect is under spring pressure, keep a hold on it or be prepared to get hit in the eye or have it fly across the room (or at least your workbench)
The trigger assembly will rotate out of the bottom of the frame.
With a little jiggling, you should be able to maneuver the assembly to a point where the magazine disconnect plunger points away from the frame and has room to be removed.
You may need to remove the trigger assembly and wiggle (or remove) the tripping lever/trigger lever (the black thing that sticks up from the trigger and presses the sear lever) if you find the disconnect plunger doesn’t come out on its own.
If you remove the trigger assembly, it is easy to drive the small pin back into the trigger. This isn’t necessary, but it retains the ‘stock’ look of the pistol and plugs a hole that crud could theoretically enter.
Reverse these steps to reassemble your pistol, perform a function check, and marvel at the improvements in trigger pull and mag droppy-free-ness.
1) have good punches
2) if concerned about displaying serial numbers, it's easier to physically cover the marks on the gun before you start your work rather than try to edit 30+ pictures when you're finished.
3) make sure your nails are trimmed before showing them to the Internet.
Next time on Televiper Happy Fun Basement Gunsmith time, we’ll turn this:
Into something substantially more awesome.