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Old 01-06-2020, 03:30 PM
ElectroMotive ElectroMotive is offline
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Default De-Cocking De-Cockers

I like the idea of my 3rd Gen being capable of de-cock only. I'm the same way when it comes to my pizza guns. Right now, the only de-cocking 3rd Gen I have is a CHP 4006TSW. It seems qualified folks like @BMCM are capable of converting safety only guns to de-cock. Apparently I am not the only one, and am late to this boat as it seems de-cocking parts have dried up.

But.....

I haz a machine shop. With CNC. Though I am not a machinist, I have friends that are. As it is now, we are making new S&W J, K, L, and N cylinder latches that are similar, though much lower profile, to the old Ed Brown releases that are unobtanium right now. In fairness, these latches shouldn't be too difficult, but I am concerned about the slide mounted de-cocker as it is an internal piece, critical to the function of the heater.
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Old 01-06-2020, 03:35 PM
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Piece of cake. First, Numrich......then contact BMCM. Voila....decock only. I installed one on my 5906 a couple of years ago. They work great, if you like the "decock-only" feature.

And, if you discover later you're not a fan, it's not like a sex change.....you can always go back.

Safety Lever (w/ Decocking Spring) | Gun Parts Corp.
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Old 01-06-2020, 03:55 PM
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If you start manufacturing parts for 3rd gen guns, you may need a wheelbarrow to carry the money to the bank.

The nervous nellies here alone should keep you busy the first year. There seems to be a fascination with spare parts, or the percieved lack of them.

I don't understand it as in 30 years of shooting 3rd gen guns, much more than the average enthusiast, I've broken 3 parts. A mag catch on a 4516 made of cheap MIM, a sideplate which lost a prong after 9K rounds through the gun and a nylon value line mag catch which wore down - in the same 9K round count gun.

But I like the decock only feature and have it on my 4566s and my carry 4513TSW. If you start making the parts I will buy at least two sets to convert my 4506-1 and a LNIB 4513TSW I found in the safe. Good luck! Keep us aprised of your progress! Regards 18DAI
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Old 01-06-2020, 03:58 PM
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^^phenomenal post^^

Read it twice!
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Old 01-06-2020, 04:02 PM
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I have some extra spring decockers if interested I make good deal haha if interested? For small guns like 9/.40s
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Old 01-06-2020, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armorer951 View Post
Piece of cake. First, Numrich......then contact BMCM. Voila....decock only. I installed one on my 5906 a couple of years ago. They work great, if you like the "decock-only" feature. And, if you discover later you're not a fan, it's not like a sex change.....you can always go back.

Safety Lever (w/ Decocking Spring) | Gun Parts Corp.
Don't forget, armorer951, even though this spring loaded decocker is for 9/40 pistols only, the user must also source a right side safety lever for a 10/45 model.

The 9/40 right side lever will NOT work with the spring loaded decocker.

Other than that, it's a 1/8" slot, 3/16" long by .040" deep with a 1/16" hole drilled toward the rear.

I've done all mine on a $50.00 HF drill press.

Easy, peasy!

John
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Old 01-06-2020, 05:54 PM
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News to me. The ambi lever from the original OEM safety body on my 5906 fit the slot in the new decock only safety body just fine. I did configure a support on the back of the lever, if that's what you are referring to, but I'm not sure it was necessary. Seemed to work fine w/o the support.
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Old 01-06-2020, 06:24 PM
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After being pushed down, the lever/safety comes back up to the "fire" position by itself. (spring assist)
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Old 01-06-2020, 06:27 PM
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The benefit is that the decocker lever is not able to be left in the downward position. The pistol is ALWAYS ready and capable of trigger pull & BANG, assuming a magazine in place and a chambered round.

With typical S&W DA/SA 1-2-3rd Gen, the safety lever swept downward and left there leaves you with a pistol that effectively has an on/off switch with the switch left in the off position until you move it up to fire.

Myself, the traditional design doesn’t rile my feathers but in hindsight, a spring loaded decocker seems like a great upgrade and a better way to skin the cat.
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Old 01-06-2020, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armorer951 View Post
News to me. The ambi lever from the original OEM safety body on my 5906 fit the slot in the new decock only safety body just fine. I did configure a support on the back of the lever, if that's what you are referring to, but I'm not sure it was necessary. Seemed to work fine w/o the support.
Yes.

The 9/40 right lever will fit but without the "lump" on the back side of the 10/45 lever, the springer safety body can move slightly to the left during firing and the firing pin can then bind on the safety body and lock up the action.

Without the safety body plunger and spring (which the springer decocker lacks) there is nothing to keep the springer centered, other than the lump on the 10/45 right side lever.

And yes, I've thought about making a lump for the 9/40 lever out of J-B weld or some such, but it was easier for me to source the 10/45 lever.

It may not do it every time, and it's only an embarrassment at the range, but in a life or death situation....

John
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Old 01-06-2020, 06:35 PM
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Since the needed lever (the lever only) costs north of $50 American dollars at Numrich, I decided to make a small pad for mine out of copper. I didn't realize the safetly assembly would move during firing. Thanks
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Old 01-06-2020, 06:51 PM
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Well, phooey...

Last I checked, Numrich was OOS. As to the levers, there's a shop here locally that had a bunch made. I think he wants $20 each.

Google: Lee's Gun Parts in Irving, TX
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Old 01-06-2020, 07:08 PM
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We first got decock only 4566s - part of an overun for a NC University Police Department - in 2004/2005??....

Our agency policy was to use the decocker/safety on our previous 3rd gen pistols as a decocker only. IE, once in the holster push the lever up so the gun was ready to fire, on the draw.

The decock only mod made this one less thing to remember to do or worry about. All my PC pistols have it, except for the Shorty 45 MKII.

Amd my soon to arrive Recon 45 is similarly equipped. Regards 18DAI
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElectroMotive View Post
Well, phooey...

Last I checked, Numrich was OOS. As to the levers, there's a shop here locally that had a bunch made. I think he wants $20 each.

Google: Lee's Gun Parts in Irving, TX
What size are you looking for ? Small or large ?
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armorer951 View Post
Piece of cake. First, Numrich......then contact BMCM. Voila....decock only.
Does he need the slide only or the whole pistol? The 'smiths in my area are either not willing or "We'll figure it out."

"We'll figure it out?" Ummm... not on my slide.
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:48 PM
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And, if you discover later you're not a fan, it's not like a sex change.....you can always go back.
What..? You mean you can't get them sewed back on..
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Old 01-07-2020, 01:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armorer951 View Post
Since the needed lever (the lever only) costs north of $50 American dollars at Numrich,
I agree. Numrich can be high on a lot of stuff, but ever since the 2nd Gen models and the screw attached right side lever (which seemed to get lost at an alarming rate) to the 3rd Gen models that still do occasionally jettison one, S&W's price for those right side levers seemed high for what they were.

Quote:
I decided to make a small pad for mine out of copper.
A very elegant solution!

Quote:
I didn't realize the safety assembly would move during firing. Thanks
You're welcome.

John
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Old 01-07-2020, 01:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElectroMotive View Post
Well, phooey...

Last I checked, Numrich was OOS. As to the levers, there's a shop here locally that had a bunch made. I think he wants $20 each.

Google: Lee's Gun Parts in Irving, TX
If you are talking about right side safety levers, that's a GREAT price!

John
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Old 01-07-2020, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishslayer View Post
Does he need the slide only or the whole pistol? The 'smiths in my area are either not willing or "We'll figure it out."

"We'll figure it out?" Ummm... not on my slide.
He will need the whole pistol as he needs to check the timing on the gun to make sure it doesent fall the hammer to fast before blocking the pin IIRC on what hes told me...
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Old 01-07-2020, 07:40 AM
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These are the ones I have...
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De-Cocking De-Cockers-20200107_061601-jpg   De-Cocking De-Cockers-20200107_061610-jpg   De-Cocking De-Cockers-20200107_061614-jpg   De-Cocking De-Cockers-20200107_061616-jpg  
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Old 01-07-2020, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by armorer951 View Post
And, if you discover later you're not a fan, it's not like a sex change.....you can always go back.
This is an excellent observation in a thread about de-cockers.
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Old 01-07-2020, 01:03 PM
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As to what I need:

Eventually I will find a pair of 4506-1s. One of you will trade me your 4506-1 for my 4516-2. And I like having two of everything, so I need two de-cocking doodads for the 4506.

I would like to have one for my 3913 and one for my future 5903.
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Old 01-07-2020, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armorer951 View Post
News to me. The ambi lever from the original OEM safety body on my 5906 fit the slot in the new decock only safety body just fine. I did configure a support on the back of the lever, if that's what you are referring to, but I'm not sure it was necessary. Seemed to work fine w/o the support.
When the decock-only assembly was first produced it was a LE-only option that required slide machining at the PC. The 9/.40's used the 9/.40 ambi levers and the .45's used the .45/10 ambi levers.

As production of the full-size TSW's was underway, they added the necessary machining to the slides at the regular factory during manufacturing.

By the time of my next armorer recert, they'd made a change in the armorer manual and class discussion of the decock-only option, telling armorers that when installing the decock-only on the 9/.40's they needed to order a .45 ambi lever.

The reason given was because they'd discovered the assembly might shift a bit left inside the slide in the 9/.40 slides, and if it shifted the wrong way the firing pin might hit against the inside of the assembly and potentially impede the pin and reduce impact force.

The .45 ambi levers had an extra bit of metal on the back that acted as a spacer, preventing the assembly from moving in the narrower 9/.40 slides.

Here's a pic of the 9/.40 levers (left) and the .45 lever (right). The pin punch points to the added material on the back of the .45 lever that acts as a spacer, limiting the lateral movement of the assembly inside the slide.


As soon as I got back from that class I checked my 3913, which used the decock-only assembly. I found that I could push the assembly left a bit.

I called one of the factory LE customer service guys and asked to order a .45 ambi lever & plunger, explaining the reason and what we'd just been told in the recert class. The guy hadn't heard of the change to use the .45 ambi lever in the 9./40 guns when using the decock-only assembly, but sent me one, along with the newer plunger. The older 9/.40 ambi levers used a semi-round headed plunger with a shoulder cut and a narrower head than the newer levers. The newer plungers were flat headed and cylindrical, and without the shoulder (for added strength). The wider plunger won't fit in the recess of the older levers, and trying to use the old plunger in the new levers makes for an improper, loose fit.

After the new lever and plunger arrived and were installed, I could no longer feel any lateral movement of the decock-only assembly in the slide.

Replacing the original manual safety assembly typically requires replacing the sear release lever, whether it's another manual safety assembly or the decock-only assembly. The reason is replacing the assembly usually changes the tolerances between the top of the sear release lever and the assembly body, which can change the decocking "timing". The sear release lever is typically fitted (filed) to put the decocking timing within proper spec for each particular gun with its manual safety or decock-only assembly.
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Old 01-07-2020, 04:04 PM
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This is an excellent observation in a thread about de-cockers.
Thread winner!
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Old 01-07-2020, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
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If you are talking about right side safety levers, that's a GREAT price!

John
I'm lost in this thread. Do the right side safety levers that were reproduced have the large hole for the screw and the bar on the back to engage the shank of the safety? Would they work on the 439 or just later stuff?

Froggie
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:16 AM
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Why do the single sided decock safetys not have the lateral motion mentioned above? Or do they?

I was considering going with the decock only mod and cutting off the right side flush to be a single side decock only. If it can move, that may be a bad idea.

Rosewood
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Old 01-08-2020, 09:04 AM
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Why do the single sided decock safetys not have the lateral motion mentioned above? Or do they?

I was considering going with the decock only mod and cutting off the right side flush to be a single side decock only. If it can move, that may be a bad idea.

Rosewood

The manual safety body is installed into the left side of the slide, and cannot move any further to the right after being fully inserted because of the profile of the left side lever body itself.

The "single sided" safety body still has a slight amount of lateral movement, even after the firing pin is in place. This is normal.
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Old 01-08-2020, 09:09 AM
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I think he is asking why, if the decock-only versions can move left during firing, does the normal manual safety not do the same?
It was mentioned to me to resolve this issue, and BMCM came through and helped me, but why is the firing pin no sufficient in retaining the safety body in place?

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Old 01-08-2020, 09:43 AM
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Either manual safety body can only move a very small amount latterally after the firing pin is in place. (after assembly)

The amount of this lateral movement corresponds with the gauge between the firing pin and the firing pin cavity in the slide, and the firing pin hole in the lever itself. This movement is typically approx .020"-.025".
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Old 01-08-2020, 10:04 AM
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So why then is it possible for the decock-only assembly to move left in such a way as to potentially prevent firing?
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Old 01-08-2020, 10:21 AM
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I'm not sure. My guess is that it is because the ambi-safety configuration is, or can be, manipulated (pushed on) from both the left and right sides. Consequently, if the installed lever on the right side is not properly supported as Fastbolt indicated in post #23, there is a possibility that the lever could move laterally to the left enough (and stay to the left) to interfere with the motion of the firing pin.

I would think the engineers at the factory would also be concerned about potential wear on the firing pin stem from the repeated contact with the safety body when the lever on the right side is regularly used. (left handed user) The ideal scenario is for the safety body to stay put in the center of the slide as much as possible. There has to be some gauge there for the safety assy to work properly, but not excessive movement side to side....hence the need for the tab on the right side ambi lever.

This is obviously not an issue with the single sided (non-ambi) safety because it is not (cannot be) manipulated from the right side.
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armorer951 View Post

This is obviously not an issue with the single sided (non-ambi) safety because it is not (cannot be) manipulated from the right side.
So if your statement is correct, then if I mill off the right side of the decocker flush, then it should work fine, since you will not be manipulating it from the right??

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Old 01-08-2020, 11:29 AM
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This was my thinking exactly^^
I have many single-sided safety pistols with never a problem of any kind, and certainly none related to the safety.
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:38 AM
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That's correct. In that scenario, it would behave just like the original OEM single sided safety body.

Another option to milling the existing ambi safety body would be to replace your original ambi safety with an early safety body that used a screw to secure the lever (or a single sided one if it could be found) This would maintain the integrity of your current ambi safety body. The right side lever on the replacement, if there was one, could be removed and the screw returned to the assy without the lever in place.
An 8x32 pan head hex drive screw could also be used if the original phillips head screw was unavailable.
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Old 01-08-2020, 12:08 PM
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Old 01-08-2020, 01:57 PM
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The manual decocker body, whether ambi or not, has a spring loaded plunger in a drilled recess on the left side. These components impart the 'clicks' as the lever is actuated and by the way the surface where the plunger bears against the slide inside the decocker bore is angled, the plunger & spring pulls the decocker body to the right.

The spring loaded decocker body lacks these parts so it requires the 45xx ambi lever that fastbolt described to keep the body properly located/centered within the slide. Otherwise the decocker body is free to shift left. While the firing pin will keep the decocker body from leaving the pistol... having the decocker body bear against the firing pin may cause a light strike or misfire and worse yet if there is sufficient slop back there I can envision a case where the decocker body shifts left far enough to disengage the return spring, that would tie things up quite nicely

This is also why you don't see any single sided spring loaded decockers.

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So why then is it possible for the decock-only assembly to move left in such a way as to potentially prevent firing?
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:09 PM
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So, the answer to my question if I can safely put a single sided decocker only on my Gen 3 is No.

Thanks.
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armorer951 View Post
That's correct. In that scenario, it would behave just like the original OEM single sided safety body.

Another option to milling the existing ambi safety body would be to replace your original ambi safety with an early safety body that used a screw to secure the lever (or a single sided one if it could be found) This would maintain the integrity of your current ambi safety body. The right side lever on the replacement, if there was one, could be removed and the screw returned to the assy without the lever in place.
An 8x32 pan head hex drive screw could also be used if the original phillips head screw was unavailable.
I have to say, those pan head phillips are awfully cheap and ugly. Looks like some shade tree gunsmith hacker installed it. Hard to believe it came from the factory that way. I would definitely go with a hex head or something like that instead if I was using one.

Rosewood
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:12 PM
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All that being said. If you want to convert to the decocker only, you need the decocker body and a .45/10 right side decocker lever to complete the job correctly.

Rosewood
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:15 PM
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Just had a thought. If I truely want the single sided decocker, I could buy the decocker body, mill the right side flat, then drill and tap the right side and install a fender washer just big enough to cover the decocker and overhang the slide with a pan head hex screw of course.

Man, that would look like ****, but I bet it would work....

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Old 01-08-2020, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armorer951 View Post
...

This is obviously not an issue with the single sided (non-ambi) safety because it is not (cannot be) manipulated from the right side.
That would be my guess, since the right side of the standard assembly (no ambi lever) is flush with the right side of the slide, and there's no protruding "right side" that can easily be pushed leftward. Nor is there a right side lever to be pushed down (and inward) for decocking.

They didn't make a big deal of it during subsequent classes, but just said that the decock-only assembly required the use of the .45 lever in the 9/.40 guns.
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:38 PM
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If there's no lever on the right side of the new de-cock only, spring loaded safety body (slot for the lever removed) you wouldn't need anything on the right side to secure the safety body. You would still have to deal with what remains of the small plunger hole that would be in the right side of the safety body after the milling operation.
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
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You would still have to deal with the small plunger hole that would remain in the right side of the safety body after the milling operation.
Nah, it will fill up with lint soon enough...
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Old 01-08-2020, 05:56 PM
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I used to cut it off and thread the hole, the run a stainless machine screw in there and sand it flush. Looked pretty good till I broke my tap in one and left it like that.
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