Hammerli 208s vs marvel conversion

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Hammerli 208s vs marvel conversion

Post by SW-52 on 11/27/2017, 1:16 pm

hi,i see lot of reviews about Hammerli 208s,very interesting and beautiful pistol. i want to know what is the best option between conversion(my next project) and 208s and pros and cons between hammerli 208s and conversion.
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Hammerli 208s vs marvel conversion

Post by Bullseye_Stan on 11/27/2017, 1:44 pm

I have looked at a couple of the Hammerli 208 pistols, a 208 and a 208s.  IMO, the main issue is finding one that is not worn out - and by worn out I mean having a cracked frame.  Apparently, even though the Soviet designers are excellent, the recoil spring needs to be replaced every 5-10k rounds.  If not, the spring wears, becomes weak, and the slide bangs on the frame and produces crack(s) (actually, its the recoil spring guide that hits the frame).  So, the issue becomes finding one of these finely manufactured pistols that have been well cared for if shot considerably - or finding a safe queen.  For whatever reason, the 208 is a very sought after pistol with prices to reflect the limited quantities - I wouldn't mind having one in good shape.  I think there are still some gunsmiths alive that work on the 208, but not many.  Larry's guns in Maine sells spare parts and is a good resource for those pistols.  Some of these Hammerli 208s pistols sell for more than a new FWB AW93 which, as a shooter - who is going to shoot the pistol, is not appealing.

Alternately, buying a Nelson conversion requires some patience (12 weeks) and some minor spring tuning.  If shooting the 45 well is a goal, the Nelson is a good choice (IMO).

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Re: Hammerli 208s vs marvel conversion

Post by SW-52 on 11/27/2017, 2:25 pm

Bullseye_Stan wrote:I have looked at a couple of the Hammerli 208 pistols, a 208 and a 208s.  IMO, the main issue is finding one that is not worn out - and by worn out I mean having a cracked frame.  Apparently, even though the Soviet designers are excellent, the recoil spring needs to be replaced every 5-10k rounds.  If not, the spring wears, becomes weak, and the slide bangs on the frame and produces crack(s) (actually, its the recoil spring guide that hits the frame).  So, the issue becomes finding one of these finely manufactured pistols that have been well cared for if shot considerably - or finding a safe queen.  For whatever reason, the 208 is a very sought after pistol with prices to reflect the limited quantities - I wouldn't mind having one in good shape.  I think there are still some gunsmiths alive that work on the 208, but not many.  Larry's guns in Maine sells spare parts and is a good resource for those pistols.  Some of these Hammerli 208s pistols sell for more than a new FWB AW93 which, as a shooter - who is going to shoot the pistol, is not appealing.

Alternately, buying a Nelson conversion requires some patience (12 weeks) and some minor spring tuning.  If shooting the 45 well is a goal, the Nelson is a good choice (IMO).
i bought a used marvel unit with .647 proof buttom at 50 yards in super excellent condition. the high standards have the cracks frame situation because hv ammo.
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Re: Hammerli 208s vs marvel conversion

Post by Jon Eulette on 11/27/2017, 2:28 pm

Trigger, trigger, trigger! Triggers are what make the gun a winner. The 208 or 208S trigger is superior to the 1911 trigger (and I've got a great one). I shot 120k rounds through my old 208 and had the firing pin break somewhere around 100k. I have also shot conversions and like them. But I always go back to the Hammerli. "Speed cost money, how fast ya wanna go?"
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Re: Hammerli 208s vs marvel conversion

Post by SW-52 on 11/27/2017, 2:35 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:Trigger, trigger, trigger! Triggers are what make the gun a winner. The 208 or 208S trigger is superior to the 1911 trigger (and I've got a great one). I shot 120k rounds through my old 208 and had the firing pin break somewhere around 100k. I have also shot conversions and like them. But I always go back to the Hammerli. "Speed cost money, how fast ya wanna go?"
Jon
thanks jon. this hammerlis are very special,classic and famous for 2 stage trigger in 208s.
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Re: Hammerli 208s vs marvel conversion

Post by Chris Miceli on 11/27/2017, 3:14 pm

P240 has a better trigger than my 208s =]
Just throwing that out there.
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Re: Hammerli 208s vs marvel conversion

Post by Bullseye_Stan on 11/27/2017, 4:00 pm

I'd like to see a photo of a High Standard frame crack; just trying to envision where that would occur.  My High Standard and Mitchell frames are fairly heavy.  I am the type who will replace recoil springs and shoots standard velocity ammo, but it's good to know about any defects or possible defects.

I found out about the frame cracking on the Hammerli 208 via websites and internet hearsay.  Upon inspection, the 208 I purchased had a  crack in the frame at the recoil spring base - where the guide rod would impact the frame (note the spring is not round in several spots from wear).  It was obvious by the slide wear the pistol was shot considerably.  Also, I could not figure out how to remove the recoil spring (without damaging it).  It may be rare, but considering countries outside the USA sell the used Hammerli 208 for ~$700 - I think there is a reason for that.  Maybe not.

Here is a photo of the frame crack in the Hammerli 208 I briefly owned:




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Re: Hammerli 208s vs marvel conversion

Post by Jack H on 11/27/2017, 5:01 pm

"I'd like to see a photo of a High Standard frame crack"






Other side cracks with continued abuse
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High Standard Frame Crack

Post by Bullseye_Stan on 11/27/2017, 5:09 pm

Thanks!  I envisioned the battering of the slide on the ejector caused the crack.  Any theories on what causes the crack to form there?

p.s. I am a High Standard fan.

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Re: Hammerli 208s vs marvel conversion

Post by Jack H on 11/27/2017, 5:57 pm

Weak, worn recoil spring and/or HV ammo.  Those are the culprits.

The slide batters the lug at the frame rear. 



Just like with a mechanics slide hammer, something has to give eventually.  The original Hamden and E. Hartford frames were not heat treated well.  That and without the soft ammo and keeping the recoil spring fresh, the battering tries to rip the rear half of the frame from the barrel laden front half.  First the right side, then the left. 

I was told by my mentor who learned from Joe Benner easing the rear corner of the magwell helps like any stop hole in material also I guess easing the edge below the slide stop will help too.  That and spring maintenance.  And only shoot SV ammo
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Re: Hammerli 208s vs marvel conversion

Post by Bullseye_Stan on 11/27/2017, 7:00 pm

Thanks again Jack.  That makes sense.  I have a heat treating oven, but without knowing the alloy it would be a risky venture to try and heat treat my frame.  I'll keep an eye out for battering of that lug and look into easing the magwell corner with a stone or file.  I think my rear lug looks OK for now, but it's good to know what can happen.




I'll now return this thread to it's original content.


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Re: Hammerli 208s vs marvel conversion

Post by CR10X on 11/27/2017, 8:39 pm

If you visit the typical firing line today in our area, the split is generally even for Pardini, Hammerli and .22 conversions, with a smattering of older Model 41's and a few of the older High Standards. 

The Hammerli 208 pistol and variations ("s", 215, etc.) are generally excellent bullseye pistols.  The AMU still has many and does a good bit of modifications as well.  

The frame cracking is generally overblown, but there are some, just like High Standards, etc.  

And Marvels, Advantage Arms, etc., also have their issues from extractor cut wear, to slide cracks, to barrel attachment lug shearing.  

Nothing is perfect, and nothing is sufficiently foolproof for a truly dedicated fool.  

In any event, you will not go wrong trying out a Hammerli if you like the trigger (and the options it provides).  You will not go wrong with a conversion if you like a 1911 trigger and do not try to get it too light.  I recommend staying above 3 pounds (3.5 for me) as that provides the added benefit of preparation for the CF / .45 match.

Let the discussion and sowing of opinions continue. 

CR 

PS: I find it interesting that someone could not figure out how to remove a Hammerli 208 recoil spring?  Simply take a thin screwdriver, press in and turn the recoil spring guide until the tab clears the cut out and remove. Is there an variation that I am not aware of?

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Re: Hammerli 208s vs marvel conversion

Post by Chris Miceli on 11/27/2017, 9:08 pm

I have noticed a twang recoil feel from the 208, so far out of all the 22s I’ve tried I like the recoil feel of the steel slide marvel and the aw93
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Re: Hammerli 208s vs marvel conversion

Post by Steve Brown on 11/28/2017, 4:35 am

Chris Miceli wrote:I have noticed a twang recoil feel from the 208

Did it have a scope (dot) mount?  If so, which one?  A BME mount on mine will cause that, not so much with the Madore.

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Re: Hammerli 208s vs marvel conversion

Post by Chris Miceli on 11/28/2017, 6:28 am

Steve Brown wrote:
Chris Miceli wrote:I have noticed a twang recoil feel from the 208

Did it have a scope (dot) mount?  If so, which one?  A BME mount on mine will cause that, not so much with the Madore.
Knapp, a fellow shooter mentioned that’s just how the 208 feels. I guess I could try irons ? The madore is a lot of steel
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Re: Hammerli 208s vs marvel conversion

Post by Bullseye_Stan on 11/28/2017, 6:52 am

CR10X wrote:
PS: I find it interesting that someone could not figure out how to remove a Hammerli 208 recoil spring?  Simply take a thin screwdriver, press in and turn the recoil spring guide until the tab clears the cut out and remove. Is there an variation that I am not aware of?

It would have been nice if simply putting a screwdriver in the recoil spring guide and turning would have worked.  Or if the guide spring retainer could have been rotated. The recoil spring guide (or spring retainer) had no such tab or slot for a screwdriver.  I researched all the online manuals and websites to figure out that conundrum.  I called Larry's in Maine, but they weren't of much help in this matter. The later model 208 and 208s have more complete manuals (available online) that describe the recoil spring removal.  Those techniques didn't work.  The pistol I received came in a well used Flambeau plastic pistol case.  This was a early 1970's 208.  In the previous owners defense, if you can't figure out how to remove the recoil spring, it's difficult to replace.

Had I cut the spring and removed it, the disassembly - while not documented - would have probably become clear.  Instead, I returned the pistol.  All the parts at Larry's appear to be for the 208s (including recoil springs), which I found has subtle differences from the 208.  That was my experience.  I found a 208S, made in the 1980's with plenty of slide wear.  The dealer didn't want the pistol disassembled for inspection before purchase - and I declined purchasing that 208s.

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Re: Hammerli 208s vs marvel conversion

Post by CR10X on 11/28/2017, 7:02 am

Like I said, that's a variation that I've never seen before.
Can you PM me the dealer?
Thanks.

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Re: Hammerli 208s vs marvel conversion

Post by Froneck on 11/28/2017, 7:22 am

I talked to the Hammerli smith while at Perry back when Hammerli did send support personnel. I was told the main difference between the 208 and 208s was the hammer and sear. The difference was to reduce hammer sear pressure and give the mating surfaces longer life.Also that the 208s hammer and sear will fit the 208. Also the addition of that stupid looking safety knob, if my memory is correct it was added to meet import requirements.

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Re: Hammerli 208s vs marvel conversion

Post by SW-52 on 11/30/2017, 8:40 am

Chris Miceli wrote:P240 has a better trigger than my 208s =]
Just throwing that out there.
P240 looks great!
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Re: Hammerli 208s vs marvel conversion

Post by SW-52 on 11/30/2017, 8:42 am

CR10X wrote:If you visit the typical firing line today in our area, the split is generally even for Pardini, Hammerli and .22 conversions, with a smattering of older Model 41's and a few of the older High Standards. 

The Hammerli 208 pistol and variations ("s", 215, etc.) are generally excellent bullseye pistols.  The AMU still has many and does a good bit of modifications as well.  

The frame cracking is generally overblown, but there are some, just like High Standards, etc.  

And Marvels, Advantage Arms, etc., also have their issues from extractor cut wear, to slide cracks, to barrel attachment lug shearing.  

Nothing is perfect, and nothing is sufficiently foolproof for a truly dedicated fool.  

In any event, you will not go wrong trying out a Hammerli if you like the trigger (and the options it provides).  You will not go wrong with a conversion if you like a 1911 trigger and do not try to get it too light.  I recommend staying above 3 pounds (3.5 for me) as that provides the added benefit of preparation for the CF / .45 match.

Let the discussion and sowing of opinions continue. 

CR 

PS: I find it interesting that someone could not figure out how to remove a Hammerli 208 recoil spring?  Simply take a thin screwdriver, press in and turn the recoil spring guide until the tab clears the cut out and remove. Is there an variation that I am not aware of?
Thanks for the recommendations!
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Re: Hammerli 208s vs marvel conversion

Post by Steve B on 11/30/2017, 5:36 pm

I love my 208S.  This was purchased after years of shooting a conversion.  The trigger is phenomenal...  This one will put 10 Eley Match rounds in 3/4" at 50 yards from my RR.  These LGI grips virtually duplicate the feel and angle of the 1911.

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Re: Hammerli 208s vs marvel conversion

Post by Chris Miceli on 11/30/2017, 7:25 pm

Steve B wrote:I love my 208S.  This was purchased after years of shooting a conversion.  The trigger is phenomenal...  This one will put 10 Eley Match rounds in 3/4" at 50 yards from my RR.  These LGI grips virtually duplicate the feel and angle of the 1911.
I think you need a new barrel my 22 barrels will do that with SK
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Re: Hammerli 208s vs marvel conversion

Post by BE Mike on 12/1/2017, 7:56 am

I went from Ruger MKI, to Hi Standard Citation, to Hi Standard Victor (both pre Texas pistols). After getting the Hammerli 208s my scores began to climb and I shot my PB of around 886 (I'm too lazy to look it up), with mine. I have a Marvel conversion and it is a great little product, but like Jon says, the trigger is the big difference. I haven't had any malfunctions with the Marvel (other than magazine related) nor have I had any appreciable malfunctions with the Hammerli 208s.
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Re: Hammerli 208s vs marvel conversion

Post by SW-52 on 12/1/2017, 1:32 pm

Steve B wrote:I love my 208S.  This was purchased after years of shooting a conversion.  The trigger is phenomenal...  This one will put 10 Eley Match rounds in 3/4" at 50 yards from my RR.  These LGI grips virtually duplicate the feel and angle of the 1911.
Beautiful Pistol.
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Re: Hammerli 208s vs marvel conversion

Post by willnewton on 12/1/2017, 8:40 pm

Chris Miceli wrote:I have noticed a twang recoil feel from the 208, so far out of all the 22s I’ve tried I like the recoil feel of the steel slide marvel and the aw93
That twang must be from shooting with your pinkie extended.   Laughing 

I have both a 215 and Nelson and Marvel conversions. 

The 208/215 is the best if you were just going to own one pistol for BE right now and can swing it.  Later when you buy a 1911, you can get a Nelson.

If you have a 1911, get a Nelson.  Then later, you can buy the Hammerli.

It is not a matter of which is best, only which one you buy first. 

Previously, I shot the 215 better by MANY points and it was my goto pistol.  However, I recently bought and installed some Nill adj. match grips on my Nelson conv. and took it out to league night.  In my first two league nights with the conversion, I have set a personal best total the first week and a new sustained fire best score the next.

The guns are much closer in feel now, but the Hammerli trigger is unlikely to be matched in a conversion, ever. That opinion is not a dealbreaker by any means,  I hope I always have both.
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