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Thread: Problems With 1940 Luger

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    2

    Default Problems With 1940 Luger

    Hello,

    I recently purchased a 1940 P08. It's all matching but has been reblued, and I only bought it to use as a shooter. A few problems with it, and as this is my first Luger and I'm by no means an expert, I thought I'd ask for some input.

    -First, in the sideplate, the pin will not go flush against the inside of the plate. It seems to butt up against the inside-side of the sideplate before coming against the bottom of the plate and no amount of force will make it go flush (admittedly, I haven't used more force than was required to pop it out in the first place).

    -Second, when I release the toggle and let it go into battery, pull the trigger and nothing happens. I'm not sure if the trigger is not being set or if the toggle going into battery is touching off the firing mechanism. None of the parts (bar, sear, sear spring) look to be bent or worn. This happens almost every time. I haven't had the time to get to the range so I haven't tested with a live round to see if it's touching off the firing mechanism or not. I've disassembled the gun entirely, cleaned and oiled, and the problem has only gotten worse -- not once since I did so has the trigger set when I release the toggle. When I work the toggle with the upper removed from the frame the sear does set...Does this indicate that the issue in with the bit in the sideplate? Also should add that the sideplate had not been taken apart at the time I disassembled and cleaned the rest of it.

    -Finally, and perhaps the most annoying -- the center toggle pin falls out. The tiny vertical axle pin that I suppose is meant to hold it in place is sheared off -- I assume whoever reblued the gun didn't notice the pin and sheared it off by hammering out the center toggle pin. I've given it (the vertical axle pin) a few experimental taps with a punch and hammer and it hasn't budged one iota. Any advice on getting it out? Even though the gun has been reblued and I plan to use it as a shooter, I'd rather replace that tiny pin than buy a mismatched toggle, but darn is it in there but good.

    If pictures would help I can provide them. Thanks!

    -Scott

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Centennial/Colorado
    Posts
    457

    Default

    Welcome to the forum and Lugers. I'd need a picture to understand your "side plate pin" issue. That said, any issues with the side plate and/or the parts attached to it most definitely can cause reset issues; my guess is the trigger level is not properly engaging the sear plunger because something isn't seating correctly. So yes, I'd guess they are related.

    You might also take a look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHh9prVMYpM for proper side plate parts configuration. It can take significant pressure to get the trigger lever pin to seat properly. Other videos show proper field strip/reassembly - I guessing that something on your pistol has not been reassembled correctly.

    To remove recalcitrant pins I use this method: http://forum.lugerforum.com/showthread.php?t=36571
    as often pins are a bit stuck and I don't feel good about slamming away on punches due to risk of marring.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    2,980

    Default

    If the side plate S pin was in once it will go back-but one leg is longer than the other- try turning it around.

    Make a starter punch for the toggle lock pin, it will move.
    03man - Don Voigt
    Luger student and collector
    Looking for DWM mil.side plates- 14,17,45
    Art. luger rear sight slide # 03

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thanks for your help so far. I've gotten the sideplate assembly back together (just took a slightly harder tap with a brass punch and mallet than I had been giving it before).

    The other issues -- I'm almost certain now that letting the toggle snap into battery is touching off the firing mechanism rather than just failing to reset the trigger. When I let it into battery and remove the sideplate, and press the sear, it has already been touched off.

    Speaking of the trigger, I forgot to mention before that this has what I would consider a hair-trigger. Very little travel and only perhaps 2 lbs of pressure required. I've had the trigger out and cleaned the spring (which was fairly grungy), didn't help anything. Pictures of the trigger at ease and fully depressed attached, if that shows anything.
    20170320_122904.jpg20170320_122916.jpg

    I have a few other thoughts on the firing mechanism issue. The sear spring might be worn out -- I bent it a bit and it held the new bent.20170320_122839.jpg

    I just ordered a new one from Numrich, along with a new trigger spring. If the sear spring is sprung out, I assume that could be causing the issue I'm having?

    Another thought I had is perhaps the shoulder on either the firing pin or the sear (or both) are too worn down to catch on each other. They look okay to me but again, this is my first Luger and I'm by no means a gunsmith.
    20170320_122759.jpg20170320_123112.jpg20170320_123208.jpg

    I swapped out the firing pin and recoil springs for the "heavy" grade springs from Wolff. it definitely goes into battery with more authority than before, but now letting it go into battery touches off the firing mechanism every time, as opposed to most of the time with the old springs. Does this suggest anything about which part might be failing?

    And finally just for the hey of it, here's a pic of the sheared off vertical pin in the center toggle (not terribly clear, I apologize, if you look at the upper inside you can kind of see how the vertical pin is flush with the inside of the toggle). Tried a bit more to tap it out, hasn't budged. I think I will put it on the drill press. The center toggle pin keeps edging out and catching on the side of the upper, preventing it from going all the way into battery, so I definitely need to get that vertical pin out and a new one in.
    20170320_123436.jpg

    Thanks!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    2,980

    Default

    Good try on the pictures, if they were in focus we could see the pin! Yes, you have to get it out and then a new one in to hold the pin in place.

    It is beginning to sound like someone "improved" the trigger pull on your luger, you may need a new sear bar only or a bar and striker.

    Put the weaker spring back in and see if you go back to the way it was before- if so, then you need to order parts- sear bar and striker- may as well get both and save on shipping.
    03man - Don Voigt
    Luger student and collector
    Looking for DWM mil.side plates- 14,17,45
    Art. luger rear sight slide # 03

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Centennial/Colorado
    Posts
    457

    Default

    Well if the firing pin is still not working correctly after the side plate is correctly assembled, consider having a pro look at is as there is a safety issue.

    As far as "touching off" the firing mechanism when it goes into battery, could you describe what is happening in more detail? Do you hear a click when it touches off? Or, is the firing pin never engaging the sear?

    The sear spring should hold the sear flat and tight against the receiver when the weapon is in battery but the round not yet fired. In normal operation - when the trigger is depressed, it causes the trigger lever to push on the side of the sear plunger. That pressure will cause the rear of the sear to pivot away from the frame, releasing the tang on the firing pin which then snaps forward to fire the round.

    Verify the sear spring and sear operation is OK by removing the side plate and rocking the sear bar around its pivot point; it should require side pressure on the front of the sear to rock the sear away from the receiver.

    To test the entire action I suggest you remove the side plate and magazine but keep everything else intact and cycle the mechanism manually. The gun will then operate as if it had live rounds. Consider placing a snap cap in the chamber as dry firing Lugers is not recommended. Cycle the action slowly and observe if the sear is engaging the tang on the firing pin. Manual cycling should c0ck the firing pin. You can test if it is c0cked by pushing the front of the sear inward (toward the receiver), so as to rock the sear - the firing pin should release. It's interesting BTW that a Luger can be fired with manual pressure on the sear, even without the side plate and even if the receiver is removed from the frame.

    It's much easier to show this than write it, sorry for the long post.

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