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Old 08-04-2017, 01:06 AM
MattyD380 MattyD380 is offline
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Default So I broke my sideplate assembly...

...on the super nice 4516-2 I just picked up today:

So I broke my sideplate assembly...-image1-jpg

I was putting the grip back on (after cleaning) and noticed the "little springy piece of sheetmetal behind the grip" sticking up vertically--which I'd never seen before on a 3rd gen. So either I broke it or it was already broken when I got the gun.

Assuming I can find another one...

How hard is this to replace? Armorer job? Or something a noob can handle? Looks like I'll have to take out the sear and all those little levers in the back of the gun. Doesn't exactly look easy. I have another 4516-2 and I may consider swapping the intact part into the new gun. Maybe.

Also...

Is it shootable/functional? It's still locking the slide back (hand cycling). Any serious functional concerns with shooting it?

Thanks...

Last edited by MattyD380; 08-04-2017 at 01:09 AM.
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Old 08-04-2017, 01:21 AM
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S&W part #108600000 - good luck.
EDIT
Some threads indicate the earlier part #106990000 will also work.

Last edited by jsbethel; 08-04-2017 at 01:50 AM.
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Old 08-04-2017, 02:16 AM
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Originally Posted by MattyD380 View Post
How hard is this to replace?
I haven't done it but I thought you could save a lot of work by using a long punch (of appropriate diameter) to push the pin out (from the right side opening) & keep all the internal parts together & in-line on the punch. Then use the new sideplate's pin to push the punch out while keeping everything aligned?? Somebody correct me if that's wrong, or wishful thinking.

That part# 108600000 also fits about (20) other models. Numrich is out but you might keep checking back.
Sideplate Assembly Gun Parts | 343510A | Numrich Gun Parts

Numrich does have the earlier model part# 106990000, if you want to try it:
Sideplate Assembly Gun Parts | 362550 | Numrich Gun Parts

.
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Old 08-04-2017, 05:44 AM
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Try Midway. Be advised that there is one for sale on Ebay too. These run about $11 to $17 depending on whos selling it. One for a 4506-1 or 4513TSW will work too.

BLUEDOTS method is the easiest to do and something you could do yourself if you have the punches. There is YOUTUBE video showing how to do it. But he makes it look easy. Good luck! Regards 18DAI
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Old 08-04-2017, 06:17 AM
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Default sideplate assembly

Call S&W. Thought I was having a problem with assembly on my 4506 and they sent me one free of charge. Turns out, I was not having a problem-just wear and tear. > 4,000 rounds thru it
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Old 08-04-2017, 01:47 PM
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Looking at your picture... That broken side plate you have there is in fact the older version being p/n 106990000. Midway has those in stock. It might be worth your time to call S&W as they may have the updated version on stock p/n 108600000. however the old one will do fine in a pinch.

BLUEDOT37 is spot on...Replacing it is fairly straightforward. First of all do not pull the sear pin. Use an appropriately sized punch to keep the hammer and levers aligned as you push out the old sideplate/hammer pin from right to left. Then use the new sideplate/hammer pin to push out the punch back out. If you don't have a punch, a piece is straight rod or fat wire will do like a chunk of coat hanger wire for example or the butt end of a small drill bitt.

Lastly you need to snap the two prongs over the end of the sear pin taking care to not bend them. Look closely and you'll see the sear pin is slightly beveled on the and below that is a turned groove to receive those prongs. Support the pin flush with the right side of the frame on something solid such that it protrudes from the left side of the frame. Then, close to the pin head press down on the prongs gently until they spread slightly and snap into the groove. I've done this with my thumbnail before in absence of a tool however a small block of hard wood seems to work best although I often use whatever is close at hand the wood handle on a chip brush or a chunk of plastic. As I recall, the armorers tool kit includes a small hardwood wedge for this purpose among others. Good luck and let us know how it turns out. BTW, I'd not recommend shooting the thing until you get the sideplate replaced. You'll have problems with the slide stop either engaging randomly or not at all.

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Old 08-04-2017, 03:11 PM
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Get the part number 106990000 that's in stock at Numrich Gun Parts. It will work fine. Actually, it looks a little better against the grip than the newer revision/design.

From now on, be careful with the side plate. They are getting hard to come by. Most of damage to them occur when replacing the grip.

It appears, since one of the fingers is broken off, that you can simply use a punch to push the side plate out without having to remove the sear pin. You leave the punch in the frame to keep everything in place. Then, you can insert the new side plate while helping push the punch out. The sear pin will probably stay in place. You can slightly push it in from the left side of the frame so that it's flush. Then line the fingers up so you can snap the them over the groove in the sear pin. Here is how to do that. Place your left thumb tight against the fingers of the side plate while holding on to the grip/frame (be sure the fingers are still lined up with the sear pin. Then you use a plastic hammer to smack the sear pin (it will be sticking out a bit) from the right side while keep the left thumb tight against the fingers. The sear pin should "snap" right over the head of pin into the groove. Sounds a little tougher than it actually is.

You can also search for other postings that are around about this subject, especially by Fast Bolt. Good luck.
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Old 08-04-2017, 03:38 PM
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Post #37

New acquisition-5906 (I broke it already)

Typically, it's the rear leg of the sideplate that's most most frequently damaged (tweaked, bent or snapped off).

The most common cause is improper installation of the factory grip.

That's usually because when someone is inattentive when installing a factory grip ...

... while they're busy trying to spread the front of each side of the grip (but still engage the frame window tabs on each side) ... keeping the main spring plunger captured in the backstrap's base ... pivoting the grip to be positioned to slide up the frame ... etc ... they may not realize the left top/front edge of the grip may have caught under the bottom edge of the front sideplate extension. (The top corner of the L/F grip ought to move around, up and over the sideplate, sliding up past it without catching on it.)

If the grip corner has caught under the bottom edge of the sideplate, then pushing the grip the rest of the way into place can exert unwanted & improper leverage against the front of the sideplate, forcing the front of it upward. This causes the sideplate to pivot around its pin, but which means the rear leg (prong) of the sideplate can't move forward (rotate) because it's captured by (behind) the head of the sear pin. Something's going to give as you push harder to seat the grip, and it's often the rear leg of the sideplate. It's as strong as it needs to be to do its job, but not so strong that an inattentive armorer (or anyone else) can't damage it when subjecting it to unintended stresses (which don't normally occur when the gun is being normally used).

If one of the 3 levers, the hammer or one of the "Jesus" springs under the levers (on each side of the hammer in DA/SA guns)slips loose, reassembling the frame can become a task for someone who is familiar with doing it.

Have the replacement done by a smith familiar with the 3rd gen guns if you're unsure of installing the repair part properly. Lot's of critical parts are held in place by the sideplate pin, and their proper functioning is vital for safe, normal operation.
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Old 08-04-2017, 06:41 PM
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Thanks so much for all the helpful, detailed feedback, guys. This is a great forum. Great people.

So I went ahead ordered the 106990000 part from Midway. Based on what I've seen, the part is officially supposed to be the newer 108600000... but as BMCM said, it looks like it has the older part anyway. So hopefully it'll work.

I did find an in-stock listing for a 4505 sideplate:

Smith & Wesson Sideplate Assembly S&W 4505

Since a 4505 is essentially a black 4506-1 (right?) one would think it would have the newer sideplate design. Unfortunately, their ecommerce system seems to be screwed up--wasn't able to put in payment info. I'll give them a call Monday.

Also appreciate the advice on installation. The idea of pushing the punch through the hole to retain the levers is reassuring; I think I can probably handle that. And thanks for the wake-up call on grip reassembly, Fastbolt. I honestly had no idea (as you point out) there was a risk of damaging that part. I've done it a handful of times on my other 4516 and 3913... never had an issue. But I recall this one being a bit more obstinate going back on the frame... which was more than likely the grip ripping the sideplate off the sear pin. Whoops.

Well... I guess I'll wait to shoot it. I was looking forward to getting some rounds through it this weekend. The gun really is nice. It's not mint... but it's close. The action has a tighter, crisper feel than my other 4516-2. I think it's newer production (has a VCE serial; my other 4516 has a VCA serial).

Another difference is that the newer gun has a black ejector--one of the levers is also black on right side as well (not sure which is the firing pin block lever).

Anyway, thanks again. I will update when I get the part.
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Old 08-04-2017, 06:58 PM
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De nada.

FWIW, the ejectors and firing pin safety plunger levers could come in either plain stainless or black finish/carbon steel, depending on the time and vendor, as I recall. I've gotten both types at various times over the years when I've ordered new parts, and I've got both in my various guns.

Ditto the extractors. Sometimes when ordering from the LE parts contact I'd be asked if the finish/color of the part mattered to me, as they might have one in stock but the other back-ordered, apparently.

In the slide stop lever & manual safety assemblies, the newer parts were either plain "white" or black, but were both stainless MIM. One was just given a blackened finish after final machining.

I sometimes forget some of the details I've been told at various times over the years.
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Old 08-04-2017, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fastbolt View Post
De nada.
. . . .

I sometimes forget some of the details I've been told at various times over the years.
It's perfectly understandable since, when it comes to 3rd Gens, "You've forgotten more than most of us will probably ever know."
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Old 08-05-2017, 12:07 AM
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Great advice, (youtube sure,) get a book that explains how to take it apart, and get it back together. Simple exploded views can get you there too.
You WILL be getting more, so NOW is the time to learn. Maybe you'll want to put in Wolf +&- springs, you'll need to know how to do that. Clean/smooth/lube, (not firing pin,) everything up while it's out.
I've been using Q tips with an end cut off for a push/slave pin for side plates. "Generally" a hammer and punch isn't needed for a side plate. Sear and trigger pins are different.
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Old 08-05-2017, 12:53 AM
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In my recent attempt to go back and reinsert all of the original pics I once put in the other thread's post (#37), the first one got mixed up with another one. I recently had to change over from PB to a new hosting service. (PB wanted money to let members post pics on 3rd party sites, which is why all of my older pics have been disappearing/not longer linked in other threads.) The time and effort to copy and download all of my older pics from PB wasn't nearly as simple as I'd hoped (probably some amount of user error involved ), and I hope I haven't mixed up any other pics while moving all of them over.

I just went in and replaced the first pic in post #37 in the other thread with the correct original pic. It should make more sense now when you look at it and the following pics.
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Old 08-05-2017, 01:15 AM
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I'm sure it was covered at some point but I can't recall what the difference was in the old then updated side plate versions. I bought several some years back from Jack First and I don't know which I have
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Old 08-05-2017, 02:20 AM
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Here is a good video series to check out.
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Old 08-05-2017, 09:05 AM
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I really like the feel of the factory straight Delrin grips, but they are a pain to get off and on. I am fanatical about cleaning my guns so the grips come off every time I clean my 5903. Seeing that broken piece makes me think a Hogue grip is in my future. I've had them on other 3rd gens and I didn't hate them.
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Old 08-05-2017, 11:36 AM
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Thanks for the input, guys. Fastbolt - I read through your instructions from older thread--the updated pictures help. I think I understand everything.

I've got some work to finish today (i.e., the kind that actually pays me) but I'm tempted to try cannibalizing the intact part from my older 4516 and installing it in this new gun. Between the instructions here, and the videos, I should have everything I need to know. Only thing I don't have is a rubber/non-marring mallet to dislodge the sideplate from sear pin. Hopefully Ace would have something like that.

I would of course install the sideplate I just ordered in the old gun, once it arrives. But if all goes well, maybe I can get the new gun out to the range tomorrow after all.

Anyway.. thanks again for all the advice. I will assess the situation in more detail later to decide if it's a challenge I want to undertake.
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Old 08-05-2017, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by MattyD380 View Post
Thanks for the input, guys. Fastbolt - I read through your instructions from older thread--the updated pictures help. I think I understand everything.

... Only thing I don't have is a rubber/non-marring mallet to dislodge the sideplate from sear pin. Hopefully Ace would have something like that.
...
Don't use a rubber mallet to remove the sideplate for repair. The soft rubber will cushion the blow against the pin's head more than a simple hard plastic mallet. A hard plastic yellow plastic mallet from a hardware store was what came in the older armorer kits. (Now plastic & brass combo hammer, I think?)

You only need to "snap" the left end of the sear pin ("Headed" end) to the right, down flush with the left side of the frame, to clear the old sideplate.

With a normal sideplate that isn't broken, a simple short brisk "whack" to the left end of the sear pin, with the plastic mallet, will snap the pin out from between the legs of the sideplate, putting it flush with the left side of the frame.

Besides, from the pic you posted of your 4516, you don't need to move/whack the sear pin, anyway, as the rear leg is already broken off, freeing the sideplate from being captured by the sear pin's "headed" end. You can simply rotate the front leg slightly forward, if need be, away from the pin.

When installing a new sideplate it's also important to make sure the right end of the sear pin is flush with the right side of the frame, the "headed" end of the pin (left) sticks up out of the left side of frame far enough to properly capture the legs of the sideplate. This is easily done by sitting the right side of the frame on a hard, flat surface (or on top of an armorer's block or wedge (aka - maple wooden door stop). Just like when you support one side of the rear/bottom corner of the grip while installing the grip pin (more simple whacking with the yellow plastic mallet).
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Old 08-05-2017, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
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Don't use a rubber mallet to remove the sideplate for repair. The soft rubber will cushion the blow against the pin's head more than a simple hard plastic mallet. A hard plastic yellow plastic mallet from a hardware store was what came in the older armorer kits. (Now plastic & brass combo hammer, I think?)

You only need to "snap" the left end of the sear pin ("Headed" end) to the right, down flush with the left side of the frame, to clear the old sideplate.

With a normal sideplate that isn't broken, a simple short brisk "whack" to the left end of the sear pin, with the plastic mallet, will snap the pin out from between the legs of the sideplate, putting it flush with the left side of the frame.

Besides, from the pic you posted of your 4516, you don't need to move/whack the sear pin, anyway, as the rear leg is already broken off, freeing the sideplate from being captured by the sear pin's "headed" end. You can simply rotate the front leg slightly forward, if need be, away from the pin.

When installing a new sideplate it's also important to make sure the right end of the sear pin is flush with the right side of the frame, the "headed" end of the pin (left) sticks up out of the left side of frame far enough to properly capture the legs of the sideplate. This is easily done by sitting the right side of the frame on a hard, flat surface (or on top of an armorer's block or wedge (aka - maple wooden door stop). Just like when you support one side of the rear/bottom corner of the grip while installing the grip pin (more simple whacking with the yellow plastic mallet).
Thanks for the excellent explanation. Describing it as a "snap" to dislodge the sear pin makes it very clear. I think I got it.

And yes... on the broken sideplate, I realize there is no hammer necessary. However, my impatient nature has me thinking about removing the good sideplate from my other 4516, and installing it in the newer, nicer, tighter 4516 I just got. So... it would seem that would require a tap.

New part arrives on thursday. So I might just wait until then (and not mess with the old gun). But man... that seems like a long time to wait when you've got a shiny new gun begging to be shot

If I can find a suitable hammer/mallet around here, I'll probably give it a try. Otherwise, I'll just wait.

Thanks for input.
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Old 08-05-2017, 09:38 PM
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The $3-$5 clear yellow plastic head, wooden-handled "hammers" at ACE hardware work just fine.

When I say "snap" the sear pin head out from between the sideplate legs, I mean you smartly smack the head of the pin (flatly), causing it to snap down (to the right side of the frame) through the legs on each side of the pin.

I also mean you never try to manually "spread" or "pry" them apart from around the sideplate legs. That's another way those legs get bent or tweaked, or broken off. A bent one that doesn't support its side of the sear pin can be just as bad as one that's broken off, if it isn't containing the sear pin and allows the rest of the sideplate to pivot and shift. That can change the tension between the slide stop lever plunger and the small angled front plate of the side plate, which means functioning problems can occur.

Using the end of a flat wooden wedge (or wooden cleaning brush handle), when you press the bottom of the sideplate legs downward onto the head of the sear pin, like in the pics I posted, the legs will snap apart just enough to allow the sear pin head to pass between them. Then, they'll snap around and be captured in the recessed groove of the head of the pin (because the head sticks up just enough for the legs to capture the pin's groove, as long as you have the right side of the pin flush with the right side of the frame).

Somebody online once posted some pics and video showing how they leave the sideplate captured between the legs, removing the sear pin with the sideplate. As an armorer, it can be sufficiently tricky enough to position the sear on the sear pin, by itself, with its tail against one side of the sear spring and the other end positioned under the hammer ... and then slowly insert the sideplate's pin through the 3 levers and the hammer, and not let one of the "Jesus" springs jump loose from under the levers.

There's a trick to holding the FP safety lever and the sear release lever together, as a pair, and slipping them into the right side of the frame ... without having the FP safety lever's forward sharp point snag and pull on the little spring (sending it out of the frame, to end up in the land of lost socks). Some armorers like to use a punch as an 'assembly pin' (not fashionable to call it a 'slave pin' anymore, apparently), and install the 2 levers on the right 1 at a time, but it can be done holding them together, in just the right position relative to each other, and slipping them into the frame as a "pair", with a slight S-shaped wiggle (to clear the FP safety lever's point past the top coil, and under a machined spot in the frame).

MUCH easier to demonstrate, than to try and describe (as evidenced by the above confusing description), although the "wiggle" takes some practice. The first time the senior armorer demonstrated it to me, I could only shake my head and go back to trying to slip them into the recess 1 at a time.

Then, after enough bench hours dedicated to it, I reached the point where I was told by another couple of armorers that I made it look like a magic trick, and it impressed people in subsequent armorer classes. The former senior armorer was a crusty, unrelenting task master.

Sorry for getting off topic.

Later ...
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Old 08-07-2017, 02:34 AM
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The first time I replaced a sideplate assembly was by trying to keep everything in place with a brass punch, but things didn't go so smoothly and I wound up having to put all the pieces back in. I found the Youtube video in the earlier post to be helpful with this, but Fastbolts method is the one that really worked for me. Punching the sear pin out with a plastic hammer and using a flat piece of wood to snap the sideplate legs back on is the way to go.

It can be daunting at first, but after a few times re-assembly gets pretty easy. If you ever decide to try and fit/adjust a sear release lever, it will pretty much guarantee mastery of sideplate installation.
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Old 08-07-2017, 02:10 PM
MattyD380 MattyD380 is offline
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The $3-$5 clear yellow plastic head, wooden-handled "hammers" at ACE hardware work just fine.

When I say "snap" the sear pin head out from between the sideplate legs, I mean you smartly smack the head of the pin (flatly), causing it to snap down (to the right side of the frame) through the legs on each side of the pin.

I also mean you never try to manually "spread" or "pry" them apart from around the sideplate legs. That's another way those legs get bent or tweaked, or broken off. A bent one that doesn't support its side of the sear pin can be just as bad as one that's broken off, if it isn't containing the sear pin and allows the rest of the sideplate to pivot and shift. That can change the tension between the slide stop lever plunger and the small angled front plate of the side plate, which means functioning problems can occur.

Using the end of a flat wooden wedge (or wooden cleaning brush handle), when you press the bottom of the sideplate legs downward onto the head of the sear pin, like in the pics I posted, the legs will snap apart just enough to allow the sear pin head to pass between them. Then, they'll snap around and be captured in the recessed groove of the head of the pin (because the head sticks up just enough for the legs to capture the pin's groove, as long as you have the right side of the pin flush with the right side of the frame).

Somebody online once posted some pics and video showing how they leave the sideplate captured between the legs, removing the sear pin with the sideplate. As an armorer, it can be sufficiently tricky enough to position the sear on the sear pin, by itself, with its tail against one side of the sear spring and the other end positioned under the hammer ... and then slowly insert the sideplate's pin through the 3 levers and the hammer, and not let one of the "Jesus" springs jump loose from under the levers.

There's a trick to holding the FP safety lever and the sear release lever together, as a pair, and slipping them into the right side of the frame ... without having the FP safety lever's forward sharp point snag and pull on the little spring (sending it out of the frame, to end up in the land of lost socks). Some armorers like to use a punch as an 'assembly pin' (not fashionable to call it a 'slave pin' anymore, apparently), and install the 2 levers on the right 1 at a time, but it can be done holding them together, in just the right position relative to each other, and slipping them into the frame as a "pair", with a slight S-shaped wiggle (to clear the FP safety lever's point past the top coil, and under a machined spot in the frame).

MUCH easier to demonstrate, than to try and describe (as evidenced by the above confusing description), although the "wiggle" takes some practice. The first time the senior armorer demonstrated it to me, I could only shake my head and go back to trying to slip them into the recess 1 at a time.

Then, after enough bench hours dedicated to it, I reached the point where I was told by another couple of armorers that I made it look like a magic trick, and it impressed people in subsequent armorer classes. The former senior armorer was a crusty, unrelenting task master.

Sorry for getting off topic.

Later ...
Thanks for the extra advice. The snap definitely makes sense. Honestly, though, I think I'm gonna chicken out and just wait for the part to arrive later this week--thereby precluding the necessity for percussive activity. But I appreciate the insight. If and when I need to do it, I know what needs to be done.

I watched Bluedog's videos of him disassembling/reassembling the frame... and I think what he does pretty much mirrors your description ("slave" pins and all). When he removed the sideplate pin, the sear pin came out along with it... as well as all three levers, the sear, hammer and disconnector. I mean, I see how everything goes together... but actually having the dexterity to line all that stuff up and keep it together during assembling is another matter. So, I guess if you want all that stuff to stay in the gun, you first dislodge the sear pin from the side plate so the sear pin stays put.

Anyway, hopefully installing the new sideplate won't be too much of an issue. Based on your description of the process, I'm not too worried. Thanks.
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Old 08-07-2017, 02:16 PM
MattyD380 MattyD380 is offline
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So I broke my sideplate assembly... So I broke my sideplate assembly... So I broke my sideplate assembly... So I broke my sideplate assembly... So I broke my sideplate assembly...  
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The first time I replaced a sideplate assembly was by trying to keep everything in place with a brass punch, but things didn't go so smoothly and I wound up having to put all the pieces back in. I found the Youtube video in the earlier post to be helpful with this, but Fastbolts method is the one that really worked for me. Punching the sear pin out with a plastic hammer and using a flat piece of wood to snap the sideplate legs back on is the way to go.

It can be daunting at first, but after a few times re-assembly gets pretty easy. If you ever decide to try and fit/adjust a sear release lever, it will pretty much guarantee mastery of sideplate installation.
Yeah, putting aligning all those pieces during assembly looks fairly daunting. Kudos for being able to do that. If I use my "slave pin" correctly as I replace the sideplate pin, hopefully everything will stay in place and I won't have to pick up all the pieces.
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Old 08-07-2017, 05:17 PM
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De nada.

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... When he removed the sideplate pin, the sear pin came out along with it... as well as all three levers, the sear, hammer and disconnector. I mean, I see how everything goes together... but actually having the dexterity to line all that stuff up and keep it together during assembling is another matter. So, I guess if you want all that stuff to stay in the gun, you first dislodge the sear pin from the side plate so the sear pin stays put.
...
FWIW, that's definitely NOT the way armorers are taught to do it. It's unnecessary, and can actually complicate both disassembly and assembly. The first time I saw it done (in a video) I thought it was probably something dreamed up by someone who hadn't been taught how to properly - and easily - disassemble/assemble the frames.

Granted, there are always little tricks and tips that clever & experienced armorers develop, and can then pass along in the occasional recert class (which can then be passed along in later classes by the instructors), but those are typically ways to make something easier, not more difficult.

Things like using the factory grip, reversed and standing on its base, with the trigger guard and dustcover facing into the front/top of the grip, which results in the grip supporting and holding the frame upright (making it sort of a '3rd hand' for some manipulations done during assembly).
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:46 PM
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De nada.



FWIW, that's definitely NOT the way armorers are taught to do it. It's unnecessary, and can actually complicate both disassembly and assembly. The first time I saw it done (in a video) I thought it was probably something dreamed up by someone who hadn't been taught how to properly - and easily - disassemble/assemble the frames.

Granted, there are always little tricks and tips that clever & experienced armorers develop, and can then pass along in the occasional recert class (which can then be passed along in later classes by the instructors), but those are typically ways to make something easier, not more difficult.

Things like using the factory grip, reversed and standing on its base, with the trigger guard and dustcover facing into the front/top of the grip, which results in the grip supporting and holding the frame upright (making it sort of a '3rd hand' for some manipulations done during assembly).
And luckily, I managed to avoid the cascade of levers, sears and disconnectors. The largest punch I had fit just right in the hole, and retained everything perfectly as it pushed out the broken sideplate pin. New sideplate pin went in just as easy.

I ran into one minor... anomaly... I had to nudge the sear pin over from the right side of the gun, to get the prongs to fully seat in the groove on the head of the pin. I think maybe I pushed the sear pin down a bit when I initially pushed the prongs onto it.

I took it to the range right afterwards and put 150 rounds through it. Zero issues. Locked back every time. Shot some very nice, well-centered groups.

So I broke my sideplate assembly...-img_2723-jpg

Part of that center group was at 15 yards, part at 10 yards (plus some random double taps above). I'll take that any day. Really glad I sprung for this one. Love the gun.

One thing I did notice...

When I reassemble the gun, I have to push in the little plunger on the slide stop lever--otherwise it won't clear the little leaf-spring-ish part of the slideplate. My guess is that's because it's not "officially" the correct part. The leaf spring part is less angled than the one on my other 4516. The part I installed was supposed to be for a 645... so I looked at my 645... and it's exactly the same. No big deal, though. It functions perfectly when shooting. Works for me.

Anyway, thanks again for all the advice. This would have been a much bigger ordeal had I not had this support. When I get some time this weekend, I'd like to do a more thorough writeup of my 4516 impressions thus far.

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Old 08-09-2017, 11:33 PM
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Glad to hear it worked out fine for you.

It's not unusual for the sear pin to shift a little. Hence, supporting the right side of the frame (and the end of the pin) on a firm, flat surface so the pin doesn't shift when installing the sideplate. The sideplate retains the pin as much as the pin retains the sideplate, once they're snapped together. Then, there's the grip to keep both parts inside the frame, too.

It's not unusual for an occasional slide stop lever plunger to have to be slightly depressed (I use the edge of my thumbnail as I push the lever into place) so it can move past the outer edge of the sideplate's little angled plate. Oddly enough, I've noticed it to occur more often in the .45's than the 9/.40 frames.

Sometimes the outer edge of the sideplate, being rounded, will catch the head of the plunger and compress the spring, letting the plunger head slip in front of the sideplate, with just a little more pressure pushing against the side of the slide stop lever assembly. Tolerance stack, I suppose.

An important part of the slide stop lever assembly is for the 90 degree angle to exist between the lever and the body's frame pin. Armorers used to be told to check for any inward/outward bending over time, especially if higher pressure ammo was used in LE guns (meaning +P & +P+ loads), as recoil forces could sometimes cause that after enough time.

While I've been told the factory uses (or used to use) a "lollipop" gauge to check for the gap between an assembled gun's outside frame and the inside of the slide stop lever, armorers weren't given any spec info about the gauge or the size of the gap. One of my first instructors suggested taking a "normal" thickness card stock business card, folding it over in half, and that it ought to fit between the inside of the lever and the outside of the frame. Imagine the variance in card stock, though.

He said the if the lever bent inward too much, that over time it might drag increasingly more against the frame, but that it wasn't a problem unless the drag reached a point where the lever wouldn't rise.

He said if the lever spread outward too much, that it might reach a point where the lever's plunger would no longer remain against the front of the sideplate, and that could cause functioning problems.

Back then armorers were taught how to position the lever assembly in a vise and use the supplied lead babbitt to judiciously, careful whack the lever,in which ever direction was necessary, and restore the 90 degree relationship of the lever/pin. In subsequent armorer recerts they started telling armorers to just replace any out-of-spec lever assembly. The reason offered hinted at armorers possibly having damaged lever assemblies, since the class was only so long and couldn't install all of the skills that might be needed for more difficult "adjustments" of parts.

That was about the same time they started recommending no longer ordering the separate plungers, springs and roll pins to "repair" a slide stop lever assembly with a broken or missing lever spring or plunger (or roll pin?!? ), but to just go ahead and replace the whole assembly. I once had to order what turned out to be a revised slide stop lever plunger (style/size) & spring for an older 4006 another agency had sent over for repair. The CS LE guy had to look up the assembly and find the revised parts, by new number, so he could send me the parts, as they were much less expensive than the whole assembly, and the existing assembly was the older plain stainless finish version, instead of the current black finish they would've had to send at that time.

This is all fine if you have a bunch of slide stop lever assemblies in your parts drawers, but those are becoming harder to find nowadays.

I'd not be surprised if some regular smiths experienced with working on 3rd gen guns might use their greater breadth of knowledge, skills and experience to use their babbitt sometime to "adjust" a tweaked slide stop lever, or maybe an armorer who was trained no later than the 90's. Dunno.

We're well into the era of "plug 'n play" pistols folks.

That's also been responsible for shortening most factory armorer classes from days down to hours (or 2-3 days, at most, for the more complicated guns). Modern manufacturing is producing parts that don't require hand-fitting to the same extent as old guns did, or even at all.

Armorers are just armorers, meaning we diagnose, identify and perform simple field repairs. Armorers aren't near the same thing as trained and licensed gunsmiths. Gunsmiths are ... well, gunsmiths.

Sorry for the sidetrack. Glad, again, that your gun is back up and running for you.
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Last edited by Fastbolt; 08-09-2017 at 11:35 PM.
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