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Old January 19, 2013, 11:07 AM   #1
dsol
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Join Date: January 19, 2013
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Need help with old Iver Johnson top break 38 S&W

I picked up an old 3rd model Iver Johnson top break hammerless 38 S&W a while ago. The nickle plating was coming off and looked terrible but actually shot okay. I have come up with an oversized mold and have a quantity of brass, found some dies at a gunshow and have played with it. Then I decided to take it all down to strip off the nickle and duracoat the sucker. It looks great now, like a new gun but I have a problem.

I cannot get the damn thing back together. I removed the trigger and hammer and kept everything together. I am pretty competent with my hands and normally good with mechanical thingies but this has me stymied. I foolishly dropped the little cylinder hand and transfer bar before getting a good picture and now cannot get them back together in proper orientation with a little wire spring. Then how do it get it back up in the frame, does the hammer go in first or afterwards. I got in over my head here and cannot find a diagram.

There are some drawings floating around out there, but none show that little wire spring and how it is orientated or the proper way to reassemble the trigger, cyl hand, transfer bar and hammer inside the frame. Can anyone help out there? I have spend many hours on google looking for that one drawing that will help but to no avail...
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Old January 21, 2013, 03:10 PM   #2
xtriggerman
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Im not familiar with your model but can tell you that 90 percent of the time, you need to make up slave pins to "pre assemble" the trigger unit with a slave pin that has a nice tapered edge on the end that will "find" the frame hole as you tap in the frame pin or push through the frame screw. When atempting anything like this, folks need to take pictures of each assembly as it moves from the main frame. Back tracking reassembly is made more tolerable. In the pre digital days, you took notes and drew diagrams! If your near mid state NY, drive over n we'll put her together.
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Old January 21, 2013, 05:17 PM   #3
dsol
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Join Date: January 19, 2013
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Nowhere near NY, down in southern Indiana near Louisville KY. When I disassembled it, I kept the trigger assy together and foolishly thought I could keep it that way. Failed to take a photo, didnt make a diagram, ect... I guess I thought I could find what I needed on the internet if necessary. That will teach me.
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Old January 22, 2013, 04:20 PM   #4
James K
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OK, let's talk about the trigger guard and sear. You will need what is called a "slave pin" (a term I am told is not politically correct and should be called a "helper pin"). This is of a length the width of the trigger guard and holds the sear and sear spring in place while installing the trigger guard. Once the trigger guard is installed, the "helper pin" is driven out by the rear trigger guard pin.

Now to the hand/trigger/lifter assembly. First, the hammer lifter and transfer bar are the same part. The spring must push the hand forward and the lifter back at the same time. The spring goes around the pin in the trigger (there is a gap) and the short end has a bend that goes into a small hole in the hand, with the other end bearing on the lifer. Assemble the whole thing out of the gun and get it working before you try to assemble it into the gun.

Then install the hammer without its spring. Pinch the hand and lifter together and insert the trigger/hand/lifter assembly into the gun with the hand and lifter up between the hammer and the frame.

Use a work pin (a tool a bit smaller in diameter than the trigger pin, but longer, so you can easily remove it) to hold the trigger in place so you can work the action. Make sure everything works, then drive the work pin out with the trigger pin.

The last thing to go in is the mainspring (hammer spring).

Jim
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Old January 22, 2013, 04:59 PM   #5
dsol
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Join Date: January 19, 2013
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That is a great description! Thank you very much.
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Old February 18, 2013, 09:34 PM   #6
nsfdave
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I also have a 38 safety hammer. My issue is that when cocked in single action mode, when the slack is taken out of the trigger and u put pressure on the trigger to fire, it slips back into double action mode and the pressure of the hammer is put on the trigger instead of tripping the sear. I am assuming that this is not supposed to happen? I am thinking that the sear is being tripper prematurely before the double action notch has cleared the corresponding notch on the hammer and the hammer is catching on the notch for double action. Would this be correct?
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Old February 21, 2013, 12:03 AM   #7
James K
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Sounds like the single action sear is worn, its spring is broken, or the hammer notch is worn. The result is that there is too little force required to release the hammer so it falls onto the hammer lifter (transfer bar) rather than falling properly.

Many guns depend on the muscle of the trigger finger for things to work right. If the trigger pull is hard enough that the finger keeps pulling after the sear is released, all is well. But if the pull is very light, the sear and hammer lifter will interfere with the hammer and the result is what you have,

Jim
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