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I posted over on the Colt Revolver forum that I broke the main spring in the M1917 New Service and sked were I might purchase a replacement. Well, over the weekend I found one. The manual (TM 9-1295) states "With the hammer in the forward position, replace the main spring so that the notch end engages the hammer stirrup.". Easier said than done! I tried for over an hour to replace the spring. Is there a trick to replacing the spring? What magical ritual must I perform or incantation must I utter to get the spring into position?
 

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Get some offset long nosed jewelers pliers or hemostat type pliers and depress the V spring with them-then as the spring depresses just below the hammer stirrup,flip the stirrup forward(with a toothpick or the end of a small screwdriver or whatever else will fit ),and clear of the spring hook and remove the spring. Use opposite procedure to put new spring in.
 

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No trick. Compress it with angled needlenose pliers, insert it into the grip frame, put the V bend in the notch, flip the hammer stirrup over the fingers and release the pliers. :cool:

 

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Since you did not have the luxury of taking the mainspring out (as it was broken) Jerry Kuhnhausen says " compressing the spring first allows removal without bind or torque". Old style springs are going to be more brittle and he recommennds centering your tool for the conpression then "hold the compression and unhook the connector fingers from the hammer stirrup. Then remove the spring. I'm assuming the reverse will work to reassemble. Best money invested is offset needlenose pliers and a pair or 2 of hemostats have always come in handy.
 

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I made a little tool that makes NS mainspring a snap. It's from a piece of 1/8 x 1/2" scrap about 3 inches long. End cut off square, I made a cut, fork-like with parallel sides a little over 1/4" wide and about 3/8" deep. It is centered in the 1/2" and one of the 'jaws' is tapered on the outside about half its thickness.

To remove a mainspring, the tapered end is stuck between the elbow end of the spring and the rebound lever. With it straddling the spring you slide it up toward the hammer end. After the link is freed, at the end of the spring you turn it (or lean it) so that it holds the spring compressed between the jaws of your tool.

You can then carefully lift out the spring just by the tool alone. I leave it that way till I'm ready to put it back in. To keep handling from knocking it loose and sending it off into the blue yonder, I put it in a little plastic envelope.

To install a spring the first time, the reverse of above should work.

I'll try to take a couple pix and post them, probably tomorrow.
 
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