View Full Version : overhaul handgun

February 20, 2009, 02:51 PM
So if I am to overhaul a 10-year-old hand gun, what do I need to do?

Replace fire pin, guide-rode-spring?????:confused:

James K
February 20, 2009, 03:33 PM
What kind of gun? What is it doing that you think it needs an overhaul? How many rounds have you fired in those years?

Like most mechanical items, you generally replace parts when something indicates new parts are needed, not on some schedule. (Yes, I know, some folks replace springs every ten minutes whether needed or not; I am talking about normal folks.)


Ohio man
February 20, 2009, 09:47 PM
I have to agree with Jim, some peaple just like to tinker.

February 20, 2009, 10:07 PM
I've got a S&W K-22 target revolver with factory-installed McGivern front sight bead that my great aunt bought new in 1936 for $38. I have the original red box and receipt to prove it. In 1960, when I was 9 years old I became the first person ever to fire it. (If I'd understood anything about collector's value then, I never would have). It still shoots great. Nothing has ever been replaced.

In his book, Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting, Ed McGivern showed before and after groups from that same model weapon when he sent it in for a factory overhaul at something like 200,000 rounds, IIRC. (Maybe it was just 100,000, but the bigger number sticks in my head for some reason; its been awhile since I read that book.) In any event, it illustrates how well a gun can keep going. The low power and soft lead projectiles in the .22 LR won't punish a gun much, so this may well be the best case.

Based on Sierra tests, .308 barrels are shot out in 3,000 to 3,500 rounds (CR or SS, respectively). That matches my experience the the M1A. Hotter rounds shoot out even faster, with some of the monsters like the .300 Baer having trouble going much over 1000 rounds. They represent the worst case need for maintenance. When you change a barrel you usually don't have to do anything else, though it is usually the time at which bedding gets looked over or refreshed and dimensions and firing pin protrusion and other gauging is repeated just to be sure all's well.

James K
February 20, 2009, 11:50 PM
I have seen a number of people recommend changing the M1911 recoil spring every 1000 rounds, and for a while there seemed to be a contest to decide who changed them more often. Last I heard, the winner was a guy who said they should be changed every 100 rounds. I think he worked for Wolff.


February 21, 2009, 01:07 PM
Age should not be used to determine maintenance, use or abuse will govern work need to be done. If concerned change the recoil spring (it is cheep and can not hurt ). Strip the pistol down fully and clean and inspect all parts for ware and base any work to be done on this inspection. Good Luck ---Bill :)

February 21, 2009, 03:01 PM
While regular replacement of mechanical components is very common when it has been demonstrated that "X" number of cycles indicate imminent failure, I don't think that's the case with most gun components.