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BHG123

Just purchased S&W 3913, couple maintenance questions

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I just purchased a used Smith and Wesson 3913, in decent condition.  It is not the LS, but it is DA/SA.  Overall, this is a great little gun, and I think it is worthy of replacing my M&P PC Shield as my carry gun but I want to get the bugs worked out first.  I think it needs a little, hopefully minor work and I am hoping someone here might have some quick answers for me.

(1) Failure to return to battery

It looked like someone did not use it for a while and it needed a clean and lube.  I shot it prior to the clean and lube, and I had intermittent failure to return to battery issues where I just had to gently push the slide about 1/8 inch to continue firing.  I did a clean and lube with Lucas oil.  My BF also thinks the feed ramp may need some smoothing. 

I took it back to the range after the cleaning, and no more issues with failure to return to battery.  I am not sure if the clean/lube was the only problem.  I am going to get a new recoil spring.  I am hoping that I really do not need to do much with the feed ramp.

(2) Take up in Single Action mode

The Take up in SA mode is gritty, not smooth, almost feels like it is "hitching".  If I shoot and do not let the SA trigger back out, no issues.  If I shoot DA, no issues.  It is only if I let the trigger take up all the way out before firing in SA mode, that I get that gritty, not smooth feeling.  Any ideas of what this might be?  Also, the safety feels a little gritty.  I am wondering if I just take the Lucas Extreme Duty Contact Cleaner to the trigger assembly and safety, if that will do the trick.  I am not sure if I should do this without removing the firing pin, and that looks like quite the project on this gun.

Any ideas, feedback, are welcomed. 

D6C0CBD3-C708-4AA3-B714-6AC95C9A9B4E.jpeg

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Congratulations on a fine pistol!  :up: Back in the early days of CCW I carried its blue brother, 3914, for a couple of years. That's one I really regret selling. :wall:

I think you're right. Probably just needs a really good cleaning and some use.  Field strip it and take the grips off. Soak it if possible or otherwise hit it with a good spray cleaner in all the nooks and crannies. If you know how, detail strip it. Excellent idea on changing the recoil spring. 

If that grittiness doesn't go away, give it a little time, shoot it and see if it'll work out on its own.  You might also try the old trick of just dry firing it a lot to work the parts in. I've known people who would just sit in front of the TV and sort of absent mindedly keep cycling the trigger for hours to smooth out a DA action. If that doesn't work, it may require a gunsmith's attention. But anyway, you've made an excellent choice. enjoy it. ;)

 

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49 minutes ago, Grayfox54 said:

Congratulations on a fine pistol!  :up: Back in the early days of CCW I carried its blue brother, 3914, for a couple of years. That's one I really regret selling. :wall:

I think you're right. Probably just needs a really good cleaning and some use.  Field strip it and take the grips off. Soak it if possible or otherwise hit it with a good spray cleaner in all the nooks and crannies. If you know how, detail strip it. Excellent idea on changing the recoil spring. 

If that grittiness doesn't go away, give it a little time, shoot it and see if it'll work out on its own.  You might also try the old trick of just dry firing it a lot to work the parts in. I've known people who would just sit in front of the TV and sort of absent mindedly keep cycling the trigger for hours to smooth out a DA action. If that doesn't work, it may require a gunsmith's attention. But anyway, you've made an excellent choice. enjoy it. ;)

 

Any idea if I spray soak with the Lucas Extreme Duty or Ballistol and get it on the firing pin, are they going to leave enough oil residue to shorten the life of the firing pin?

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Honestly, I've never worked with either product. So I don't know what kind of residue they may leave behind.  I doubt they'll do any damage to parts. Just dry it out real good. If possible, blow it out with compressed air. Then lube it well. 

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Well, just did a much heavier cleaning around the trigger and safety mechanisms.  I put a lot of lube around the long metal parts that connect the DA trigger to the hammer, there was some friction there.  The DA trigger pull is still fine, the SA is not "hitching" in the rest anymore, but the reset still has 2 clicks before breaking.  I wonder if that is how it is meant to be?

I lubed and worked the safety, it is feeling a little better. 

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These are awsome weapons and extremely well made. Remove the grips id you are comfortabke with that and hise it out very well with gun scruber or similar solvent. If it was carried but not well maintained a really good cleaning is all that should be needed. 

It sounds like your return to battery issues are solved so I'd not polish anything.

Lube it well with a quality light oil and shoot it. 

The two clicks you are feeling on reset should go away with the thourough cleaning and use.

The rexoil spring is a great idea, they were rarely replaced and it is a wear item.

Good luck. Its an awsome gun. 

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Most of the hitch on Gen 3 smiths is their firing pin block safety letting you know its there. The parts tend to be roughly machined and they have a generous spring rate. They will inprove with use, but removing the block, alternate spring if you can find it and polishing will pretty much make that go away.

As this is not a new gun, you may want to also get a new recoil spring so you have a known baseline given it had failure to battery. Being dirty makes it worse of course, but its cheap and the symptom suggests its prudent on a new to you gun.

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I have a Kahr P 9 which is about the same pistol. I looked at a 3913 and have been looking for another. I really liked the one I looked at, but did not know if I could find another magazine, as it only had one. It is an older model Smith, but a really good one. I came home and did a computer search and found I could find magazines and went back to get the pistol. It was gone so I have looked for months. 

Finally just settled on an MP 9C 2.0. Congrats on your find. They are fine Pistols even if you need to spend money to get it reworked. 

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My thought on the return to battery issue is that the magazine spring is worn enough that the cartridge is getting out early and not slipping under the extractor; and the recoil spring may be worn enough that it may be contributing.   I'd get a set of replacement mag and recoil springs and start from there; also make sure your mags are clean and dry at the same time you replace the mag springs.

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On 12/19/2019 at 3:06 PM, Erich said:

Most of the hitch on Gen 3 smiths is their firing pin block safety letting you know its there. The parts tend to be roughly machined and they have a generous spring rate. They will inprove with use, but removing the block, alternate spring if you can find it and polishing will pretty much make that go away.

Yes, the firing pin block safety, good call.  I will have to find out what it looks like and check on it.  The gun is definitely used, so there should be no breaking in necessary.  But cleaning, maybe the safety is what is grinding, clicking.

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About a week ago, I did get a replacement recoil spring and a new old-stock S&W OEM magazine.

The new recoil spring was almost 3/4" longer than the original I was replacing, and MUCH stiffer.  I do not know if the original was just that worn, or if the new recoil spring is heavier duty.  Anyway, I crammed the new spring in, it was difficult, but it seems to work.

I shot about 6 rounds in the backyard.  It seems to group better, could be just me though. No issues with the new magazine.

I am going to try to put more rounds through the new setup this weekend, and do more comparisons with my PC Shield.  I will report back on findings.

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Tried the new magazine and recoil spring.  Both functioned perfectly!  I put the 3913 up against the PC Shield again, hoping my grouping would be better with the 3913, but it was about the same as before.  I think my problem is the rear sight dots on the 3913 are much harder for me to see than the fiber optics on the PC Shield.  I am going to do a little glow paint on the 3913, and make the dots slightly bigger and give it another try.  I am almost confident with the gun enough to carry it, except for that little clickyness in the single action take up.  I need to check that out again.

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Been my experience, if you paint the front sight, apply a coat of white before your permanent color. It will make the red redder, or the green greener, or the orange oranger. I learned that from experience. One thing though, thoroughly clean all the oil from the surface of the ramp or the paint will not stick well. 

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On 12/22/2019 at 7:08 PM, BHG123 said:

Tried the new magazine and recoil spring.  Both functioned perfectly!  I put the 3913 up against the PC Shield again, hoping my grouping would be better with the 3913, but it was about the same as before.  I think my problem is the rear sight dots on the 3913 are much harder for me to see than the fiber optics on the PC Shield.  I am going to do a little glow paint on the 3913, and make the dots slightly bigger and give it another try.  I am almost confident with the gun enough to carry it, except for that little clickyness in the single action take up.  I need to check that out again.

It’s an older design. The Shield my just be more inherently accurate, than the 3913. 

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