Hammerli chamber

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Hammerli chamber

Post by Steve B on 12/2/2014, 7:39 am

I've got a question for those who shoot the Hammerli 208/215 series of pistols.  Do you have a specific regimen for maintaining your chamber to prevent light strikes?
Now, I'll give the history...  I purchased an unfired 208S last winter (again, thank you Ed Hall for helping with the trigger adjustments).  The gun has seen some Wolf MT and S&K ammo, but it's main diet is Eley Target, Club and Match.  If the chamber isn't brushed every 20-30 rounds I'll get an occasional light strike, the case head will show a light firing pin mark that isn't deep enough to start ignition.  As a result I've tried to make it a habit to swab the chamber with some Kroil and brush it with a bent 6mm or 25 cal bore brush after every range session.  During a range session I'll brush the chamber every 2 to 4 strings which has virtually eliminated the light strikes.  But, to me, this seems a little excessive.  Just wondering if I could be doing something that is causing this issue?  Any advice is appreciated.

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Re: Hammerli chamber

Post by BE Mike on 12/2/2014, 8:19 am

Sometimes a ring of lead gets built up where the rifling starts. See if you can't scrape out the chamber, paying particular attention to that area. I would also check the firing pin. IIRC, there were some soft firing pins installed in the 208s at one time. If none of that works, call Larry at www.larrysguns.com and get his advice.
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Re: Hammerli chamber

Post by Jon Eulette on 12/2/2014, 8:50 am

Wow, I've never heard of a Hammerli being finicky like that. I put over 100K rounds through one and never had a misfire/alibi. I finally had the firing pin break just before I got rid of it. I don't remember the chamber being especially tight either. The most common problem I see with .22 pistols is the walls of the chamber getting a build up that needs SCRUBBED to clean. This build up prevents complete chambering and results in light hits. 20 to 30 shots is terrible before a misfire. I would recommend cleaning chamber and boltface extremely well and then shoot it till it misfires. Another thing i would try even though it sounds fairly new is to double that firing pin isn't broken. Just push firing pin forward and watch the nose come out of the slide. If it's broken it'll normally be twisted off center.
Jon
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Re: Hammerli chamber

Post by Ed Hall on 12/2/2014, 9:58 am

A couple things come to mind from my early experiences and one was mentioned by MIke (and, Jon) - check the firing pin.  The soft ones can be identified very easily by looking at the back end with a good light.  Lock the slide back, shine a light into the area and look at the tail end of the firing pin.  A soft pin will show a definite flattened appearance.  A broken one will normally stay protruding when the back resets after a manual press forward, but under fire, it can float quite effectively and still function "most of the time."  If you do have a soft or broken one, let Larry know.  He has replaced the soft ones in the past for free.

Next would be to try a new mainspring.  These are available from Larry and I'm not sure, but I think he is making these stateside now, so the price is more reasonable than when they were coming from Europe.

Now, for something a little different - I suffered the exact same trouble with mine many years ago, without finding a true cause.  I did, however, find a solution, in that I replaced the mainspring with a generic piece of spring that was a little stronger.  I have never found an exact source for the spring I used, but often listed the dimensions* whenever I posted anywhere about this change.  I have not experienced any more light hits in the many years since swapping to the current spring.  I had tried new springs from Hammerli, but only the current one gave me the desired results.  I will also mention, though - I have broken several pins over those years.  Was it because I dry fired a lot, or because the mainspring was stronger?  I don't have the answer, but I always consider wear/breakage as an acceptable price to pay for training.


*The spring I have in my Hammerli 208s has the following dimensions:

wire size - 0.050 inch
spring outside diameter - 0.250 inch
12 coils per inch
16 coils total

This spring does not match the Hammerli dimensions and therefore it doesn't fit the recess in the magazine catch, but it does fit within the channel with no restrictions and is short of solid with the hammer at its extreme arc.

I have searched for these dimensions, which seem quite generic to me, without success.  I would welcome the info on where some spring stock of these dimensions might be available.

P.S. Glad the adjustments worked well...

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Re: Hammerli chamber

Post by Steve B on 12/2/2014, 10:05 pm

Thanks for the advice fellas.  Here's a few pictures of the firing pin.  I'm not sure what it should look like so please critique.


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Re: Hammerli chamber

Post by Ed Hall on 12/2/2014, 11:31 pm

I can't be sure, but it does look flattened to me in these pictures.  I won't be able to get you some pictures of a good one until at least Thursday, but maybe someone else could get something posted.

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Re: Hammerli chamber

Post by BE Mike on 12/3/2014, 9:33 am

My photo is poor compared to yours, but it looks like your firing pin is decidedly flattened compared to mine. I've fired many thousands of rounds  through my pistol, since I bought it new.
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Re: Hammerli chamber

Post by Steve B on 12/3/2014, 9:48 am

BE Mike wrote:My photo is poor compared to yours, but it looks like your firing pin is decidedly flattened compared to mine. I've fired many thousands of rounds  through my pistol, since I bought it new.

Your firing pin appears to be rounded around the perimeter where the hammer would strike it.  Mine is very flat.  Sounds like I need to give Larry a call.  Thank you gentlemen!

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Re: Hammerli chamber

Post by BE Mike on 12/3/2014, 12:31 pm

You are right about the firing pins Steve B. I'd say, once you get the firing pin replaced, you'll not have any problems for many thousands of rounds. Mine is the most reliable .22 pistol I've ever owned. The most accurate, too.
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Re: Hammerli chamber

Post by jwax on 12/14/2014, 5:12 pm

I agree that that pin is flattened! Mine has thousands of rounds on it, and it is still domed, like a new firing pin.

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Re: Hammerli chamber

Post by Steve B on 12/14/2014, 10:21 pm

I sent photos to Larry's guns and they felt similarly.  A new firing pin is on the way.

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Re: Hammerli chamber

Post by Ed Hall on 12/14/2014, 11:41 pm

Steve B wrote:I sent photos to Larry's guns and they felt similarly.  A new firing pin is on the way.
Use a high quality punch of a matched size to drive out the retaining pin.  You have to give it a good start and a poor quality punch won't handle it.

Let us know the outcome...

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Re: Hammerli chamber

Post by Steve B on 12/18/2014, 6:17 pm

Thanks Ed.  Just the reason I needed to buy a set of Starrett punches!

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Re: Hammerli chamber

Post by Steve B on 12/18/2014, 6:20 pm

Well.  Looks like that firing pin might have been a little soft...
New one on the right, original part on the left in both photos.


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Re: Hammerli chamber

Post by BE Mike on 12/19/2014, 1:00 pm

Steve B wrote:Well.  Looks like that firing pin might have been a little soft...
New one on the right, original part on the left in both photos.

Wow! Ya think? Glad you found the problem. I foresee a lot of years of trouble free shooting with your Hammerli 208s.
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