Main spring replacement
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Author:  Calum [ Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:26 am ]
Post subject:  Main spring replacement


Took my Armi Sharps to the range yesterday. After capping off, noticed the hammer was very loose. A quick inspection showed the the mainspring had just snapped. Replacement (and spare!) are on their way from Dixie, however I have a question on the actual replacement process.

When the spring is in place, there is a small screw between the two leaves on the inside of the lock plate. I'm assuming that screw should be removed before placing the spring and then re-installed afterwards.

Does anyone have any words of wisdom about the process? I've only done it on my Pennsylvania long rifle (flint) before. I do have a second Armi Sharps so have a ready guide of where things should go/how they should fit.


Author:  Calum [ Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Main spring replacement

Very pleased to say that the replacement process was a success, although the air around the work area turned a dark blue early in the process and remained that way for some time... :o

I incorrectly stated that the screw was between the leaves, in actuality, it goes below them and provides tension to the lower leaf. Remove it prior to installation, after the spring is in, compress the leaves together and install the screw.

Definitely have a main spring vice if you are going to do this (I didn't, and used vicegrips with leather between them and the spring to avoid marking it). Even with the proper tool, I don't know that I'd recommend it "in the field". A small vice with padded jaws (to hold the lock steady) was a definite bonus. The process was much more difficult than replacing the mainspring on my Traditions flinter.


Author:  Bill Skillman [ Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Main spring replacement


Must be something about mainsprings and Armi Sports. I attended the Jackson-Cascades event the last weekend in August, falling in with Co. 'B' 2nd USSS. My comrade in arms, Brendon, had deployed with the rest of the skirmishers, when he hollered over to the Lt that his rifle 'stopped working'. Since I had been pulled from the line to serve as Battn bugler, I tossed him my Shiloh--(should have seen him grin!) and strapped his rifle across my back.

After returning to camp we set my rubber blanket under a tree and stripped the lockplate off (his hammer exhibited the same 'floppyness' yours had) to diagnose the problem. We discovered the upper part of the mainspring had snapped off 1/2 inch past the bend that separates the lower. More interesting, the mainspring was rusty and appeared to be made from an inferior grade of steel (compared to the originals, Shilohs and Peds I'm familiar with). All of the rest of the parts on the lockplate were still clean and well blued. Fortunately, Brendon was able to get a new mainspring installed at the event (Jackson being the Midwest's largest CW muster has its advantages).

I would suggest those who own Armi-Sports to remove the lockplate and inspect the mainspring. If it is rusted, I would consider rebluing it and stocking an extra one--better yet, see if you can fit a Ped or original mainspring to your arm. The metal on Brendon's was very coarse (the steel at the break looked like a cluster of metal chunks clumped together) and brittle--not spring steel one would expect to be used on a part that is constantly compressed and released. I can't rule out that the part came from India or Pakistan.

Bill Skillman
Randolph Mess-USSS

Author:  Calum [ Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Main spring replacement

Thanks Bill.

And actually, I would suggest periodic inspections of the inside of the lock for any make rifle. Mine didn't show any of the symptoms that Bill described, just a clean, sudden break (no rusting/corrosion on any part of the break) at the bend.

On mine, an original spring fit the lockplate fine (that's all Dixie had, so I took the chance). I did have to inlet the stock slightly - the original spring is a hair longer than the repro spring.


Author:  NearSighted [ Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Main spring replacement

I had some time off this week and started "winterizing" some of my equipment. Well, I took Cain out of his case and instantly knew something was wrong. Tiny metallic clicking sounds emanating from the triggers send a leaden feeling down my throat, and as they flapped about uselessly I knew what was coming.

Yep, opened up the unfortunate truth was revealed, my mainspring had divided itself into two pieces. I was actually stunned at how bad it looked, it had literally corroded black. I had taken everything apart after Hale and put it back together and it simply didn't look bad then. I had thought that I was taking good care of it, but apparently not...

The metal was coarse, as described above.

I contacted VTI gun parts, but they aren't going to have any more in stock until spring. Fortunately, I already have decided to purchase a spare, and will receive it at Remembrance Day, but I'm pretty upset that I'm currently "unfieldable".

Can anybody else name a source for Armi-Sport mainsprings?

Author:  Calum [ Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Main spring replacement


Try Track of the Wolf (www.trackofthewolf.com), I'm told that you may have to call them. That is one suggestion that I received after the fact with mine.

My Sharps is also an Armi Sport, and the original mainspring that I got through Dixie Gun Works fit and work well. As I noted though, I did have to inlet the stock slightly (a couple of milimeters, easily done with a dremmel).

Good luck!

Author:  NearSighted [ Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Main spring replacement

If, having purchased an original from Dixie Gun Works, I should ever want to return a reproduction (for some unknown reason) mainspring to the rifle would the inletting prevent or hinder this?

Author:  Calum [ Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Main spring replacement


Assuming that your rifle needs the same amount of inletting that mine did to clear the spring, there would not be any issue at all returning to a "manufacturer's" spring. The clearancing is all hidden by the lock plate. To my knowledge, springs were never longer than the lock plate were never used, so the cavity will always be concealed as long as care is used doing the modification to the stock.

To use a bad modern analogy, think of having a doughnut spare on your car. You can replace it with the full size tire at any point, and at need, put the doughnut back on without any modifications needed. This is because the wheel well has the clearance for the full size tire, so any smaller tire (that matches the lug pattern, etc) will work.


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