Thursday, June 3, 2010

Roll pins and extractors Part 2 - or working with the right tools makes every job easier.

Well, thanks to a Migraine, I ended up staying home from work today. A trial of Treximet worked pretty well, and FedEx showed up with my roll pins and punches, so today seemed as good a day as any to finally finish the tear down, clean up and reassembly of my XD.

First thing I did was go out to the garage and fabricate the extractor removal tool. I used an old Hex key I found in the rusty tool pile (another project) and with my angle grinder took the end of the body down until it fit between the extractor and the frame, then used a dremel with a cutoff disk to cut in the hook. This actually took too attempts as my first hook was too thin and bent. Here's the finished product below, it worked like a charm.

Pretty its not, but it got the job done. To pull the extractor on an XD, after removing the striker assembly, you need to pull a small pin thats nested behind the rear block. You also need to keep a thumb on the striker block because its spring loaded, and it will go flying. In the pic below you can see the head of the pin to the right of the striker channel

Once you pull the pin and release the striker block, using the proper tool for the job, you simply slide the extractor remover between the extractor and the frame and wiggle back and forth while exerting a bit of up pressure and she comes out pretty easy. Below you can see the fully removed assembly.

Its worth noting that in this picture I displayed the striker block backwards to its normal orientation to display the groove in the side. Before I'd done all that of course, I'd pulled the striker assembly - which I did a few days ago, which is when I realized the roll pin was broke. Here's a shot of the entire assembly.

From left to right you have the buffer spring, the striker itself, roll pin, loaded chamber indicator, striker spring, plastic retaining channel and the retainer block, which sits on the shooter end of the firearm. I can say that with some unexpected practice, removing the assembly, and reassembling the assembly is a hell of a lot easier then it was the first time.

Once the extractor was removed I used one of my new punches to remove the loaded chamber indicator from the top of the slide. Here's a pic below.

(I have no idea why blogger refuses to orient the picture correctly - but you at least get the idea.)

Finally, with all the hardware (except the sights) removed we have two shots of the slide. Top and bottom.

On the top here, you can see the slot for the Loaded chamber indicator, where it and the spring sit - the pin is driven in from the side.

On the underside above, you can see the channels for the extractor, striker block, and the striker channel.

Overall its a pretty simple operation - with the right tools. I did a throughal cleaning using both Hopps 9 and finishing up with alcohol after the hops had dried off - I find rubbing alcohol works pretty well, it doesn't damage the finish, and drys quickly after you've wiped an area clean. As I suspected the loaded chamber indicator and the extractor had a lot of unburnt powder/carbon scoring. Quality time with a scraper, the above cleaners and a lot of patches and cotton swabs got both areas cleaned right up

Before I started putting eveything back, I test fit my new roll pins. As promised I did have to vice them down because they came too wide - and here the 2 is 1 and 1 is none rule came into effect as it took three trys before I got one fitted right that I was comfortable with driving it in place. The new pin seats a lot harder then the origianls and I think is a little heavier. But I think I like the tighter fit (the old one came out with hand pressure the first time, and went back in the same way.)

Once I had the pin driven back out, I lightly oiled everything, and starting with the extractor, and then working back through the block pin and striker assemblys reassembled everything with the loaded chamber indicator being last. After test fit, and then setting the pin, I verified that the indicator now has a much better range of travel.

I only dry fired it once after full re-assembly, but the snap sounds right again. It was a fun project, all told, and I learned quite a bit about how this particular firearm functions. Hopefully this weekend I can get it down to the range and run a couple mags through it as a live fire test - but overall I'm quite pleased with the results.

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