View Full Version : Help! Slide release backing out of frame

June 6, 2002, 11:44 AM
The gun in question is a Helwan automatic, an Egyptian copy of the Beretta model 51, or Brigadier. It's been worked over by a local gunsmith..nicely tuned, springs and sights replaced, unsightly markings, except for serial number, removed, the whole gun beautifully refinished. He also seems to have made some mistakes, all easily fixed except for the slide release working itself out of the gun with every shot.

The design is common enough; see BHP or 1911. Slide release lever is attached to a pin that passes through the frame. Well, every shot moves it a little to the left. Three or four rounds and the part has moved too far for the magazine follower to engage it, which results in the slide locking on the magazine follower when the mag runs empty, and nicely jamming the gun. Anyone have any ideas on how to fix this?

Taking it back to the gunsmith is pretty much out of the question. I tried, only to have him do nothing with it for three months, and lose some parts besides.

James K
June 7, 2002, 10:42 PM
Honestly, I don't feel like unlocking the safe and taking mine apart, but IIRC, there is a mousetrap spring that is held onto the left side of the frame with a screw and provides tension to the slide stop. It keeps the slide stop in the down position while firing and the stop should not then be able to come out. It sounds like your spring is missing, broken or out of place.

(Note: this was edited when I decided to check and found that I was thinking of the wrong gun in the original response.)


June 11, 2002, 10:17 PM
Thanks for the reply.

That particular spring isn't the problem, I think. All it does is keep the slide release under tension, pulling the lever down when it's not in contact with magazine follower.

I've already replaced the spring, and the screw holding it in place. Didn't help.

Joe Portale
June 13, 2002, 10:29 AM
This may be a reach, but have you checked the pin diameter? The smith may have polished it and took away too much metal. Also, if he was doing any polishing on the body, the hole may have been opened up.

Just a thought.

James K
June 14, 2002, 07:16 PM
I checked a Beretta, and there is no secret. The only things holding the slide stop (which is also the trigger pin) in place is the spring and the close fitting of the parts, plus tension from the trigger return spring. I had no problem in firing a couple of magazines, but I suspect that if the parts were not so closely fitted, the slide stop could work loose as described.

I have no answer except to maybe increase the friction by flattening the trigger pin. Maybe the spring could be bent inward to help. It would appear that the Egyptian makers didn't hold as close tolerances as the Italians.

I don't know that an Italian slide stop would be better, as I don't know which part(s) might be out of spec.

A gunsmith might be able to drill and tap a hole in the right hand end of that slide stop and insert a screw, or slot the pin part for a small wire spring. Either would be expensive and tricky, but might be the only way.