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Old February 17, 2020, 09:11 PM   #26
2wheelwander
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Well, its apart. Dad soaked it in acetone 3 times keeping it over a floor register for heat before he came over. Wrapped it in a towel to keep it from evaporating as best he could. It began to budge. Took it to my bench and we were able to drive out the pins. Everything was sticky. Took it to my ultrasonic cleaner and with the hottest tap water I could muster and with the heat on high, best it got to was 51 C. I'm too lazy to look up the F conversion. Used Sam's brand industrial cleaner (purple gallon bottle) and she came out sparkling. I don't believe the ultrasonic cleaner and my soap would have done the job. Hitting it with acetone, keeping it wet, and getting some heat to that I believe was the key.

Shown is a gel left behind by the acetone. Obviously glue. What line of Gorilla glue he used, I don't know, but there was glue in there. Fortunately he used it judiciously just as you should when lubricating a few points in a gun and it wasn't globbed in there. I think that saved us.




Gel like substance left behind. This pic we would find out was a primary reason the barrel would not release. He had put glue in those lugs. We drove out the pins holding the trigger group together and ended up using a drift to hammer those lugs loose. Once those broke free she came right off. Glue in these lugs I believe was 99% of our problem.




The end of this spring shows some glue that did not dissolve.


All cleaned up out of the ultrasonic cleaner. There were zero adverse affects to the bluing.



Now, for another problem. I ran everything metal through the cleaner to be on the safe side. All came out looking like new. Youtube and online schematics helped us get it back together with a light coat of gun oil on everything and a few drops where things move. However, pulling the hammer back only results in a successful cocking some of the time. I can push on the lever and it will drop a cocked hammer. If I assemble the trigger to the receiver with the hammer cocked the trigger will drop the hammer, sometimes as I'm installing it, but I can't get the hammer to cock with the trigger group installed. I thought maybe the barrel needed to be installed to function, that's not it and required drifting back the lugs again to remove the barrel.

I can use a punch to manipulate things to get the hammer to cock and use a punch to drop the hammer as if the trigger were there. There is a spring that pushes 'fore end lug' up into battery in front of the hammer I deduced may be weak and stretched it just a tad. Couldn't tell if it really made a difference or not. I should also add that running things though a cocked hammer, dropped trigger and trying to cock the hammer (won't stay back) will not open the barrel. That requires driving out pins and disassembly again to get the barrel off.

We spent 3-4 hours with it tonight between cleaning and multiple disassemblies. Walked away to sleep on it and await a brilliant revelation why such a simple mechanical device is defeating us. I'm thinking its a weak spring, scoured the scheme looking for a piece we may be missing, I'm just not getting it.

If worse comes to worse we'll pay someone smarter than ourselves to figure it out or send it to Thompson for a spa makeover.

It has a .35 Remington barrel on it, which I've never seen before. Kinda unique maybe.

I really hope no one ever needs this thread in the future, but I've honestly had fun defeating the initial problem. Maybe relieved our first attempts were successful is a more accurate way of putting it. I'm no gunsmith but I do enjoy tearing into something simple and trying to fix it. Don't send me your old Python for a make over anytime soon, but I do enjoy tinkering with the simple stuff. Made all the better doing it with my Dad.
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Old February 18, 2020, 01:50 AM   #27
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Quote:
best it got to was 51 C. I'm too lazy to look up the F conversion.
124 degrees F
Quote:
It has a .35 Remington barrel on it, which I've never seen before. Kinda unique maybe.
Nope. Kinda common in the 1970s and 1980s.
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Old February 18, 2020, 12:18 PM   #28
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Dad called Thompson today. They are sending a few parts they suspect may be an issue. If that doesn't work we'll send it in.
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Old February 19, 2020, 11:29 AM   #29
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I'm glad you actually got the acetone to work. I was skeptical of it working out with PU. Once in a resin it can attack, acetone usually forms a gel, then, because acetone is miscible with water, it makes subsequent ultrasonic cleaning possible.

A couple of suggestions: After doing anything involving water-based cleaning, the usual instruction is to apply a water-displacing oil. WD-40 works for this, though I have found that if I leave it on and sitting for an extended period, it eventually gets a bit tacky and dust sticks to it, so I remove it afterward with mineral spirits. I generally prefer LPS2, which is also water-displacing, but which leaves behind a corrosion inhibitor (smells the same as the old Birchwood Casey Sheath, which seems to have been replaced by Birchwood Casey Barricade, a less odiferous product. Barricade also claims to displace water and meet all sorts of test standards for corrosion prevention so it might be a better choice. I simply haven't tried it to confirm this.

When I can, after a water-based treatment I boil the disassembled parts in distilled water for a few minutes. Upon withdrawal from the water, I shake the loose drops off and the retained heat quickly evaporates the rest and leaves a thin (you can see it if held to light at the right angle) layer of bluing on any bare steel that isn't stainless. It's not enough to prevent corrosion for any length of time but is enough to prevent rust from starting faster than you can apply a water-displacing oil. I got to do this when I discovered hints of rust could appear on freshly Parkerized parts after a cold water rinse and before I got water-displacing oil on it to get the water out of its pores.
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Old February 19, 2020, 06:29 PM   #30
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Good tips Unclenick. I also try to keep the water as hot as possible heating the part. Like you said, water evaporates pretty quickly, but it isn't a cure all. I have an air compressor nearby and hit the nooks and crannies with that, then oil.
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Old February 19, 2020, 09:33 PM   #31
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On air compressors, spray a few seconds to purge of water that may have accumulated in the tank before you hose down your part.

Thanks for the lessons everyone.
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Old February 20, 2020, 10:28 PM   #32
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. and trying to cock the hammer (won't stay back) will not open the barrel. That requires driving out pins and disassembly again to get the barrel off.
Am I reading this correctly?

You can't open the action by cocking the hammer?

Or is it that the action won't open when pulling the release lever?

The two should be separate operations. If you haven't handled the Contender before it can be difficult to open. I have some friends that couldn't open mine after several attempts. They were not happy when I popped it open with little effort. But I have more practice than they did.
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Old February 21, 2020, 08:04 PM   #33
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Big Al this may be part of my problem, but pulling the hammer back does not engage the trigger either. The trigger will always trip the hammer, but the hammer does not always cock the trigger.

I will play with the release. This is my first experience with a Contender so ignorance may be at play here.
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Old February 22, 2020, 12:09 AM   #34
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Check for small amounts of the residue in the corners of the lugs and trigger/seer contact points. Wouldn't take much to bugger up the works.
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Old February 22, 2020, 04:09 PM   #35
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The trigger will always trip the hammer, but the hammer does not always cock the trigger.
That is correct. The hammer does not reset the trigger, the trigger is reset with the grip/release lever. It's a one-shot deal, you pull the trigger, you have to squeeze the release lever to reset the trigger. You can pull the trigger without cocking the hammer, too, and you have to squeeze the lever to reset the trigger. It's a Contender thing.
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Old February 23, 2020, 08:48 PM   #36
big al hunter
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. Big Al this may be part of my problem, but pulling the hammer back does not engage the trigger either.
I thought about it some more. It seems to me you may not be sure how the action works. The bottom of the trigger guard is the release lever. When you pull the lever on the bottom of the trigger guard back towards the grip the entire trigger guard moves a little, thus releasing the barrel. After you close the action, the hammer should function again as Scorch stated above.
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