Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Santa's Workshop

Having nothing particular planned to do on Christmas Day, I slept in and was just getting around to deciding what stress-free and relaxing things  would occupy my day when the in-laws called.  A dinner invitation; not twelve hours after we left their house last night.   If you don't make plans for Christmas Day, plans will be made for you.

That one phone call eliminated all the possible big projects and all the jobs that couldn't be left incomplete without dire consequences.  I thought about loading some of this or some of that but just wasn't in the mood and finally settled on tackling a small job that I had left undone more than fifteen years ago.  It hadn't made a difference so far so if I didn't get it done by dinner it probably wouldn't be a big deal.

Sometime back in the mid-1990s, Precision Small Parts started making a clone of the Baby Browning.  They called theirs the PSP 25.  Later the name changed to Precision Small Arms and PSA 25.  Mine is the PSP rendition.   It had a terrible trigger and the extractor had a sharp edge that was causing it mis-feed when I got it.  I had taken it apart to clean up the rough spots.  I just couldn't get the danged thing back together again.

The problem wasn't that I didn't know how it went back together.  I just couldn't get my fat fingers to maneuver one particular spring back into place.  I didn't have the right tools and couldn't decide what the right tool would be so I put the whole mess in a zip lock sandwich bag and stuck it in the back of a drawer in the reloading room.  It just sat there until today.

Everything went back together just fine until I got to the troublesome spring again.  I had my fifty-cent set of forceps and was confident that I could get it back in place but enough years have passed that I didn't remember how it went back in anymore. 

This is part of a diagram at Numrich Gun Parts Corp's site.  That squirelly, double-coiled spring identified as "19" was the tricky part.  The diagram showed me the proper orientation but there's still a problem.  It looks like pin #18 goes through the sear (#17) and then through the top coil of the spring.  I put it back together that way and it didn't work.  The free end on the top part of the spring stuck out past the sear into the magazine well.  The magazine wouldn't seat and the sear wouldn't move when I tried the trigger.   A closer examination of the gun made it obvious that the spring needed to go on a pin that is part of the safety lever (#16).  It is built into the back end of safety lever and you can't see it on the diagram.

It was a little harder to get the spring into the right place but the forceps did the trick.  I added a snazzy set of white grips that made it about twice as fat as its supposed to be.  Seriously.  With those grips on it, its fatter than my Kahr PM 40.   Its not something that I carry anymore so it doesn't really matter but its a LOT fatter.

My brother in law  found a range close to his home so I may load up a pile of .25 ACP and join him there one day soon.  I've never seen anyone shooting a .25 ACP at a range before.  I'll be able to tell my brass apart from everybody else's.

Christmas dinner was good.  The in-laws were watching some movie about the birth of Jesus and that sparked conversation about which actors played which roles in which movies.  Father-in-Law was trying to think of a Western with Steve McQueen and Yule Brenner but didn't think it was The Magnificent Seven.  The Lovely Bride said "not that war movie with Clint Eastwood and the tank."  I said "that was Kelly's Heroes and the bald guy was Don Rickles."  She says "no, the big guy."  I said "Telly Savalas" and she said "yes, that's him."  I agreed that Don Rickles and Telly Savalas are both bald but also suggested that although being bald was necessary, it wasn't sufficient to make either of them Yule Brenner.  Somehow, that ended the conversation and Father-in-Law and I found ourselves wiring a set of air horns under the hood of his truck. 

Money is too tight for presents at our house but I still got a Baby Browning (clone) for Christmas and got to spend time with good folks.  Many a Christmas has been worse.

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