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Old December 25, 2012, 11:43 PM   #1
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Join Date: December 24, 2012
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fn browning 1922 clip disassembly?

I recently acquired an fn browning 1922 (t.c. subay turkish officer's model) chambered in .380. It's a great gun in great condition with almost all of the blued finish intact. I have field stripped and cleaned the gun (which internally looked as though it had not been cleaned since the '40's). I want to disassemble the clips for cleaning, but have been unable to find instructions for doing so on the internet. Can anyone offer a link to good clip disassembly instructions or videos? Thanks for your time.
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Old December 26, 2012, 11:36 AM   #2
James K
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Most clips with solid base plates can be cleaned this way:

Using a brass or aluminum rod, push down on the follower until it is just above an inspection hole. Slip a punch, nail, or similar tool under the follower to capture the spring. Turn the magazine upside down and shake it until the follower drops free and can be removed. Then release the spring. Clean the magazine as needed with spray cleaner, sonic tank, swabs, hot water bath/spray, etc..

To reassemble, insert the spring until its top end is below the feed lips, then push down on the spring with the rod. Again capture the spring. Install the follower and release the spring. Be careful to press down on the follower when releasing the spring to keep it from slamming into the feed lips.

Also when you remove the spring note the top; many mag springs are different on the top from the bottom.

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Old December 26, 2012, 12:11 PM   #3
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I simply clean detachable magazines (and most times entire pistols, sans grips) via giving them a swim-'n-swirl in a pail of clean kerosene (from a Hess gas station).

The kero leaves a nice oily residue that acts as a rust preventitive internally, but I usually wipe down exteriors with an oily rag, too.

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Old October 7, 2015, 03:23 PM   #4
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These magazines are not like most magazines made these days with a pin holding the follower. You will need a small dowel rod, two small punches and a thin piece of wood or metal about the size of a cotton swab. First you depress the follower all the way down using the small dowel rod. This also can be done using bullets. Insert the small punch through one on the witness holes near the bottom. I use the third one up from the bottom.

Once done turn the magazine over and remove all the bullets (if using that method). When the bullets (if using that method) are completely removed you will notice the follower is still on top of the spring inside.

You have to then use your object about the size of a cotton swab through the witness hole below the follower to move the follower up to the top. The follower is more or less an L shaped piece of metal. Part of the L goes behind the spring to keep it from coming out.

Once it is loose from the spring it will be easy enough to remove. To remove the spring you will need the other punch to place in the holes above the the one near the bottom. You remove one punch at a time from the bottom and place it in a hole about the others in the holes. When you get the punch to last hole you need to cover the top with your hand before pulling the punch. The spring is still under tension and will go flying if you do not do this.

The you can clean the inside of the magazine, the spring and follower itself. Reassembly requires the spring must be depressed enough for the follower to be easily slide into place above the spring. I use a bullet on top of the spring to depress it to about the second witness hole. Then place a punch through the witness hole.

The last half loop of the spring goes to the front of the magazine. It will stick up higher on front side prior to being depressed. When inserting the follower make certain the to loop of the spring is under the front part of the magazine follower. Once this is done then remove the punch and the magazine is ready to go.

PS The first time it take awhile perhaps 30 minutes to accomplish this procedure. I do not clean my magazines very often.
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Old October 7, 2015, 03:37 PM   #5
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Where did you find a T.C. Subay? They're a pretty rare 1922.
As always, YMMV.
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Old October 8, 2015, 09:35 AM   #6
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Merbeau's post is spot-on.

The only thing I would add is a clear caution note that, in my experience, the magazine springs are NOT symmetrical front-to-back or top-to-bottom. The magazines can be assembled with the spring turned incorrectly, which will result in improper feeding.

The second-to-last paragraph talks about this but doesn't make it entirely clear.

Hint: Put a dab of paint, fingernail polish, or typewriter correction fluid on the front top of the spring before you take it all the way out. This will provide a clear and simple guideline for reinserting it properly.
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Old October 8, 2015, 11:39 AM   #7
Mike Irwin
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I've always just flushed mine out with brake parts cleaner.
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Old October 9, 2015, 02:02 PM   #8
Join Date: May 21, 2013
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Good point on magazine spring

That was a good point about the magazine spring. When I remove mine I always lay it the way it comes out of the magazine but for sure they are different top to bottom and could easily be switched. Marking it with some nail polish, etc. is a good suggestion.

When I acquired mine, which by the way is a 1946 Danish Contract model the grip safety was a little sluggish so I ventured into removing it and the magazine latch. Fortunately there was no rust and I cleaned the spring, grip safety and magazine latch with good ole Corrosion X and then spent 45 minutes trying to get the two parts reassembled. There was no way after using a punch to remove the pin on the frame and then after removing the grip and magazine latch to see how/where the spring fits. The cleaning, however, made the grip safety much smoother.

I also slugged the barrel and it came out at 0.3086 which is the European Standard and not the American of 0.312 diameter.

Had good luck using 71 gr. Berry's plated bullets and re-sizing them with a 0.309 Lyman sizing die. The gun will also feed Carolina Cast 75 grain RNFL bullet that he sells in 0.309 diameter. Winchester Autocomp seems to do well in my gun.

PS When taking the grip safety apart be careful not to let the magazine safety spring or safety catch spring fall out - when I attempted to remove the grip safety it was done over some white butcher paper.

Last edited by merbeau; October 9, 2015 at 02:14 PM. Reason: Forgot one thing
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1922 , browning , clip , fn herstal , magazine

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