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About six years ago I got a well-worn police trade P220 from Summit Gun Broker. It wasn't in terrific shape, but not terrible either. Lots of holster wear, rails kind of beat up, and bone dry, all of which I had pretty much expected.

I cleaned it up, swapped grips a couple of times, replaced the recoil spring, used lots of slide-glide to keep the frame rails from getting any worse, and it's been an on-again, off-again range toy since then. I've put less than 500 rounds through it since I bought it.

Fast forward to Last night... while one of my son's friends was firing it, the magazine release popped out of the frame.

I clean and inspect all of my guns after firing, and probably would have noticed a major fracture, but haven't paid a ton of attention to that location, so maybe I missed a hairline crack. At first I thought maybe it was because one of the armorers who had it previously assembled the magazine catch incorrectly, but the stop was in the correct orientation when it came out, so I guess it just got battered enough to break through.

I did find a photo I took just after I bought the gun and there was no obvious wear in that location when it arrived. I've never detail stripped this one or touched the magazine catch on any of my SIGs, so at least I can rule out user error on my part.

Before/after/detail photos if anybody is interested:




All of the other times I've heard of this happening was somebody screwing up the assembly, but that doesn't look like the case here. Other than a new-to-me 7-round magazine he was firing at the time, there's nothing about this gun that was any different from how it arrived. So I guess I'm going to have to chalk this up to bad luck and move on.

I was halfheartedly looking for a "beater" P-series that I could use as a learning platform anyway, since I've never completely detail stripped any of my others (the deepest upgrade I've done is a SRT install) so I guess I got my wish. I wasn't trusting my life to this gun or anything, so for a range toy it's not the end of the world to flip the mag catch to the right side. And if any of my SIGs was going to break it was going to be this one I suppose, but it was still an unpleasant surprise.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: tp1l,
 
Posts: 215 | Location: Pittsburgh, PA | Registered: August 13, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Unflappable Enginerd
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Serious bummer. Frown

Other than swapping sides I'm not sure what else can be done for that...


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Posts: 4418 | Location: Headland, AL | Registered: April 19, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I had remembered reading about this issue in the past (again, almost always caused by user error, not what appears to have been general fatigue) and the consensus was that it was far too delicate a place to fix with a TIG weld, and nothing other than that was likely to hold.

Honestly, I think it's bad karma. I just got done saying in the "Okay...so what's your LEAST favorite SIG pistol?" thread that my P220 was my least favorite, if only by virtue that it has to be one of them and I really do like all of the SIGs I still own. Obviously its feelings were hurt and this is what I get in return. :-)
 
Posts: 215 | Location: Pittsburgh, PA | Registered: August 13, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Thank you
Very little
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Contact Sig, all they can tell you is there's nothing they will do, who knows they might fix it/replace it...



 
Posts: 15444 | Location: FL | Registered: November 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have seen this happen before on used Sig Classics where the previous owner (or current) tried swapping the release from left to right and installed it incorrectly.
 
Posts: 2841 | Registered: April 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Graniteguy:
I have seen this happen before on used Sig Classics where the previous owner (or current) tried swapping the release from left to right and installed it incorrectly.


Yeah, I'd heard stories of that as well. In this case I'm pretty sure that's not what happened, given that there was no visible damage around the magazine catch when I received it.
 
Posts: 215 | Location: Pittsburgh, PA | Registered: August 13, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I thought I saw something similar here in the last month.
Page 6, http://sigforum.com/eve/forums...0601935/m/8290093174
 
Posts: 5839 | Location: MI | Registered: May 22, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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Just installing the magazine catch in upside down won’t cause it to break out of the frame. It will jam the catch in the depressed position, but it is the misguided attempts to correct the problem by forcing the catch out that result in breaks like the one pictured. All that happens immediately and not later.




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 42268 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You should be able to salvage the pistol by reversing the catch to the right side of the pistol. Hit the release with the trigger finger rather than the thumb. I routinely do this as I have relatively small hands. Years ago I was shooting an IDPA match with a .357 Sig P239. Going for a speed reload with the gun in normal configuration struck me as risky. With the heavy slide and the small comparatively light grip frame it seemed that the gun might flip out of my hand. Reversed the mag catch and never looked back/
 
Posts: 199 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: August 27, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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quote:
Originally posted by 357p239:
Reversed the mag catch and never looked back/


I discovered the advantages of using my trigger finger to release the magazine decades ago when I got a P7M13. That was one of those, “Why aren’t they all like this?” moments and whenever it’s been possible that’s how I’ve done it ever since. But although I proselytized like a preacher trying to convert the heathens for a number of years, I never convinced anyone else that it was the proper way to do things and finally just gave up. Fortunately, though, it seems most modern guns permit switching the mag catch between sides (probably for left-handers who shouldn’t need to), so that is some progress.




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 42268 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
quote:
Originally posted by 357p239:
Reversed the mag catch and never looked back/


I discovered the advantages of using my trigger finger to release the magazine decades ago when I got a P7M13. That was one of those, “Why aren’t they all like this?” moments and whenever it’s been possible that’s how I’ve done it ever since. But although I proselytized like a preacher trying to convert the heathens for a number of years, I never convinced anyone else that it was the proper way to do things and finally just gave up. Fortunately, though, it seems most modern guns permit switching the mag catch between sides (probably for left-handers who shouldn’t need to), so that is some progress.


Interesting. I have ridiculously small hands, and the thumb controls on almost any gun I've ever handled are an uncomfortable reach for me... but I had never considered swapping the sides of the mag release. I don't do any competitive shooting, so all of my reloads have been low speed and stress. Flipping the mag catch is an obvious choice in this case if I wanted to actually use the gun again, but now I'm thinking that it may be more of a feature and less of a bug.

Between that and the opportunity to do a detail strip on a gun that's inoperable anyway just for the practice, I'm feeling less bad about this whole thing now. Who knows, maybe this will convince me to swap on all of my SIGs?
 
Posts: 215 | Location: Pittsburgh, PA | Registered: August 13, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Making the best of things:



I've got everything but the hammer stop removed from the frame. A new hammer reset spring is on the way (not that mine is broken, but I read that it's a part that wears quickly on the P220 and figured why not replace it) and once that arrives I'll reassemble... with the mag catch on the right side of course.
 
Posts: 215 | Location: Pittsburgh, PA | Registered: August 13, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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After a thorough cleaning and some time spent re-watching Bruce Gray's armorer's video, I started the reassembly.

Things went off the rails right from the start when I slipped installing the magazine catch on the right hand side of the frame and the mag catch lock and its spring flew out across the room. That "inspired" me to do some impromptu cleaning, and I was lucky enough to find both tiny parts after only a moderate amount of profanity.

Things went pretty well after that. As I mentioned before, while I had this picture in my head that I'd never done a real detail strip before, over the years I've replaced or removed just about every part but the hammer and magazine catch in the frame and the breech block from the slide.

All of the frame parts were pretty easy, I just took it slowly and carefully each step of the way. The sear was a huge pain to install given that I didn't use the "stick it in place with a glob of slide-glide" trick I'd used when installing a SRT, but I got it in there eventually. I always get the hammer strut installed wrong the first time (I think I catch the wrong notch on the top) but that was to be expected and easy enough to fix.

The firing pin is beat up a little bit where it hits the safety slide. I should probably replace it eventually, but it's not so badly galled that it will affect function yet. I also had so much trouble getting the outer firing pin retaining pin back into the slide that I decided discretion was the better part of valor and swapped in the old pin set. It's not recommended, but given that I'll need to replace the firing pin anyway I wasn't too worried about it.

Dry-fire function and safety checks are 100%, the mag release works fine (of course) on the right side of the frame, and I'm looking forward to getting it back to the range for some real testing. After playing with if for a while, I'm not sure if I like or dislike the release on this side. It's different, and I can see how it is arguably better, but I'm not sure I'd want my carry gun configured this way. Nice to have the option though, and as mentioned above, it was a silver lining to this whole debacle.

Thanks again to all for the advice!
 
Posts: 215 | Location: Pittsburgh, PA | Registered: August 13, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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Congratulations on a successful project! Smile




“The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”
— Bertrand Russell
 
Posts: 42268 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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