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Old November 7, 2019, 11:18 AM   #1
Rapidrob
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Need Expert help on Iver Johnson top break .32

I was given an Iver Johnson top break hammerless .32 S&W revolver.
It had a broken trigger spring as you'd expect.
The pistol is in very good condition with a bright shiny bore. Being a fan of the .32 "short" pistols since the 60's I want to get this pistol going again, but there is a problem I just cannot get rid of. Please read and understand what I'm about to write and not just jump onto "its the trigger spring", please. It is not.
I purchased the Wolf trigger spring pack kit and fitted the leaf spring into the trigger guard/frame bottom. The new spring fits very well,does not bind and returns the trigger to "home" with no effort at all.
I have completely disassembled the pistol and cleaned it in my ultrasound tank and oiled it as needed.
I have polished all the internal parts and they are now very smooth and mesh very well.
The problem,I think is the main spring for the hammer it too strong.
When the trigger is pulled back and dried fired, it will not return to "home" without a push on the back of the trigger shoe towards the front of the frame.
Now, if I remove the main spring from the frame of the pistol,and point the muzzle towards the floor, and pull the trigger all the parts move so smoothly its like a hot knife through butter. When the trigger is released it moves to "home" by the trigger spring with no problem at all. The spring has at least one pound of force returning the trigger. If I double up the Wolf spring with two springs the problem is still there adding the extra force to return the trigger does not help.
Somehow, the main spring is causing the hammer to drag on trigger re-set. As I push the trigger forward, you can see the main spring being pushed back by the hammer about 1 MM and is causing a binding force the trigger spring cannot overcome without my help.
The main spring is very strong but is smooth to pull the hammer back with the trigger. The sear behind the trigger seems to "feel" as if that is where the bind is occurring,but it is not there if the main spring is removed. The sear has been polished and its pin and the holes for the pin are nice and round free of any burrs.The sear does not bind.
I have fired the pistol and lock up is as new.
The hammer strikes the primer with a lot of force. Far more force than any other revolver I own.
I ordered a replacement main spring and am thinking if it too is too strong for the trigger/sear/pawls to reset, I was going to thin the sides of the main spring to reduce the force of the main spring. The spring may also be a little too long?
Perhaps this will allow the parts to move more freely if it is shortened or the force lightened??
What ideas do you have for me to try?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IJ32B.jpg (102.6 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg IJ32C.jpg (115.5 KB, 32 views)
File Type: jpg IJ32D.jpg (106.1 KB, 28 views)
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Old November 7, 2019, 11:09 PM   #2
Drm50
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I don't know what causes the problem, I never cared enough to find out. What ever it is I don't think it is the main spring. I have seen this many times in original IJs in from well worn to mint condition. Most times if shooting DA if you slipped your trigger it will reset and single action it won't. I purely hate to take IJs & H&R Saturday night specials apart. I made slave pins for them but would like to see an assembly jig they used in plant.
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Old November 8, 2019, 12:35 AM   #3
Rapidrob
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I too have been using slave pins to align the parts as I'm testing for problems or assembling.
This pistol will only fire in double action and the pull is excessive.
If I remove the main spring all the parts move smoothly and the trigger resets.
I have the time to play with the main spring and the other parts to try to figure out why there is the slight drag preventing the trigger from reseting on it's own.
The pistol does not appear to have been shot much in it long life. The parts show no signs of mechanical wear. The original finish is long gone.
When I fired the pistol the accuracy is very good sending all five shots touching one another into the target. I'd like to get the pistol operating as it should just to shoot the pistol for fun.
Thank you for the reply.
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Old November 8, 2019, 06:44 AM   #4
Geezerbiker
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A friend of mine brought one of these over for me to look at. I'm sorry I that I helped him with it. It was a b*ch to take apart and put back together and in the end I told him there was no way in hell I would recommend shooting it.

Hang it on the wall for a decoration. That's it's best use...

Tony
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Old November 8, 2019, 11:24 AM   #5
4V50 Gary
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It may not be the spring but the action is hanging up on something that makes the trigger return bad. Without looking at it, I can't tell what it could be though.

Remember, the springs are factory and are designed to work in a certain way. Playing with the springs with aftermarket may create new problems.
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Old November 8, 2019, 12:30 PM   #6
Rapidrob
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I've been playing with the parts this morning and it almost seems the sear is dragging on the bottom of the hammer during the reset.
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Old November 9, 2019, 10:59 PM   #7
4V50 Gary
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If it worked before and nothing is broken, it is reassembled incorrectly.
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Old November 9, 2019, 11:33 PM   #8
Rapidrob
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The pistol did not work before, that is why it was given to me. It sat in a Gunsmiths back room in a can for the last 50 years.
I did take it to the range today. I fired 50 rounds of my hand loads at a steel gong set at 25 yards.
The pistol is very accurate with all hits going into a silver dollar sized group at 4 o'clock in the gong.
I had to reset the trigger each time between shots.
The hammer is dragging on one of the components, but only when the mainspring is in the frame.
I had to reset the trigger each time. I may make a jig and lay out the parts to see which is dragging a little.
The gunsmith gave up decades ago as it not being worth his time.
.
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Last edited by Rapidrob; November 10, 2019 at 09:32 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 10:28 AM   #9
SGW Gunsmith
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One good way to actually see, where parts are interfering with one another is to paint those parts with a black permanent ink magic marker. Then work the trigger several times and wherever you find shiny marks, that's obviously where the interference is. Stone those areas carefully and then retry the trigger.
Can be a tedious process, but it will work for you.
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