(Sometimes things just don’t work right)

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All manufacturers design their products to operate under a wide variety of conditions. However, they cannot test every possible situation. We have complied troubleshooting information for products of various manufacturers here. These are by no means complete and we always recommend that you contact the manufacturer should you have any questions about their product. 

Information on these guides has been compiled from original manufacturer documents when at all possible which include Owners and Armorer manuals. 

AR 15 troubleshooting guide Most semi-automatic rifles operate using the same or in a similar method. However, each manufacturer has their own troubleshooting procedures. However, use this AR 15 troubleshooting guide to help you start working through any issues you may encounter. The AR 10 is extremely similar (the AR 15 is a redesigned AR […]


1911 Troubleshooting Guide Most semi-automatic pistols operate using the same or in a similar method. However, each manufacturer has their own troubleshooting procedures. However, use this 1911 Troubleshooting Guide to help you start working through any issues you may encounter. Don’t forget to visit our 1911 Field Strip, Frame Disassembly and Reassembly as well as our 1911 Slide […]

Beretta 92 FS

We have compiled a list of DOD recommended procedures for troubleshooting the most common issues in the following tables. This is by no means a complete list of troubleshooting steps but is a good starting point for the most common issues that you may encounter. 

Sig Classic P229

The Sig Sauer Classic Pistols are equipped with drift adjustable fixed Sights that consist of a rear sight and a front sight blade. Learn more about doing a sig classic sight adjustment here!

Sig P220

Most Sig Classic Recoil Springs are color coated so that they can be identified. However, what happens when you need to replace them and the color has worn off over the years? This Sig Classic Pistol Recoil Spring Color Guide will help you find the correct replacement. 

Glock 23

We have compiled a list of the Glock recommended procedures for troubleshooting the most common issues in the following tables. This is by no means a complete list of troubleshooting steps but is a good starting point for the most common issues that you may encounter. 

Smith and Wesson M&P

I have compiled a list of the Smith and Wesson recommended procedures for troubleshooting the most common issues with the M&P9, M&P40, M&P357 and M&P45 pistols in the following tables.

Sig P220

I have compiled a list of the Sig Sauer recommended procedures for the Classic Pistols in the following table. This is by no means a complete list of troubleshooting steps but is a good starting point for the most common issues that you may encounter. 

Sig P220

In Filming the Sig Classic Series we point out the difference between the old and new style of trigger bar springs and that they install exactly the same. However, the question can the old and new style of Sig Classic Trigger Bar Springs be used interchangeably still remains.

Since time is limited in our videos we figured that we would answer that question here.

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P226 Hammer Strut Disassembly – Works for P229, P220 and other Sig Classic Pistols. 

While filming the Sig Classic Disassembly video, I show you the method I use for disassembling the old style of Hammer Strut Assembly. This can be found on the older Sig P226, P229, P220 and other Sig Classic Pistols. The Sig Armors manuals does not go into detail on how to take the Hammer Strut Assembly apart. I highly recommend that you not take this assembly apart unless you need to.

Sig’s directions are as follows for the P226, P229 and P220:

  1. Remove the right grip plate and the left grip plate
  2. Lift the mainspring seat until it is free from its mounting in the frame
  3. Remove the hammer strut assembly from the frame
  4. Remove the mainspring pin from the hammer strut

NOTE: When relaxing any tensioned spring, wear adequate eye protection and use caution!

   5. Separate the mainspring seat, mainspring and hammer strut

For reassembly, reverse the sequence used for disassembly.

As you can see, there is no real guidance on how to do this and we can tell you that the mainspring is under a considerable amount of pressure. The only thing in the above directions that we found useful was that warning about using eye protection and caution.

Let’s start with what you will need:

  1. Your Hammer Strut Assembly (obviously)
  2. 11 Inch Zip Tie (don’t go cheap use a high strength one something like 50 lb)
  3. Hammer
  4. 5/64″ roll pin punch
  5. Magnetic parts tray (to catch the Mainspring Pin when you punch it out if you use the vice)
  6. Vice (at least a 4 1/2″)
  7. Padded Vice Jaws (I did not use them in the pictures or video so that I could get clean pictures and video)
  8. Eye protection


Start by wrapping your zip tie around the strut assembly like the pictures below

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Make sure that you have the zip tie around the top of the hammer strut, almost like the point is going to pierce it. Doing this will protect the end of the hammer strut when in the vice, as well as grips the zip tie so that it does not slip off on you.

Now that the zip tie is in place, you can put the hammer strut into the vice and compress the spring. You will need to push down onto the strut assembly since it will start to jackknife on you. When the hammer strut assembly starts to jackknife, you will need to tighten the zip tie again.

Now that the spring is compressed, pull the punch out that holds the Mainspring Seat onto the assembly.

Once that is removed, be extremely cautious as the zip tie is the only thing holding the tension of the spring.

Put your assembly back into the vice and slowly compress it a little more. Now that the assembly is compressed, grab as much of it as possible with your hand. Be careful to hold the assembly tight to keep parts from flying (they are going to want to do this) and cut the zip tie.

The hammer strut assembly is not taken apart.

Remember that this procedure can be done on other Sig Classic Pistols like the P226, P229 and P220. 

If you would like to see a video on how to do this, see our Sig Classic Old Style Hammer Strut Disassembly and Reassembly Video


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Polymer80 subcompact build adventure

Overall the Polymer80 build is arguably the easiest of the 80% builds. However, that doesn’t mean that my Polymer80 subcompact Glock build went flawless. One of the biggest problems with the build is the directions. In our Polymer80 PF940SC completion using a drill press video, I am able to show you how to mill out the barrel block, as well as, the slide blocks using a drill press instead of using a Dremel. However, this is where the real adventure begins.

Polymer80 – Milling

On my speeds and feeds calculation, I calculated the mill will need to spin at 7800 rpm. However, my drill press maxes out at just over 3000 rpm. I knew that this would give me a lot of tool chatter and leave a less than perfect finish. So I decided to mill a little higher and take the rest off with the Dremel.

The second problem that I ran into was that the mill that comes with the kit is not long enough to cut out the barrel block. The chuck of my drill press rubbed on the front of the jig and you can see the damage on the jig. Fortunately, the jigs are single use and plastic. Even with the problems of the mill, I was able to finish the build with a Dremel and get the gun to the range and have a successful test firing.

P80 Jig Damage from MillI opened a ticket with Polymer80 on this situation and included pictures. It took them just over a week to get a response and they admitted that there are problems with their directions and advise on what drill presses that they recommend. Even though I didn’t really qualify for a warranty on the frame, they did warranty the frame and sent me a replacement. I had to cut the frame in half and send them pictures. I did purchase this frame from Brownells, however, I am not sure if I could have it covered under their satisfaction guarantee.



When I received the replacement, I began working on it so that I could show the completion using a Dremel. During the build of this second frame, I ran into a problem that the frame was not in the jig correctly when I drilled the holes. 

When I discovered the problem, I moved the frame in the jig and drilled the holes again and everything fit. However, this left me with a problem of having holes in the frame that didn’t need to be there.

Fixing the oops

Not being one to let a good disaster go to waste, I immediately went directly into how to fix an oops video. I bought some fast setting JB Weld and went to town fixing my screw up. I used the Dremel on one side of the frame and a hobby knife on the other so that I could show you two different methods of clean up the excess JB Weld that built up on the frame. 

The frame does have a texture that will be damaged from sanding down the JB Weld but I was not too worried about this since I am going to Cerakote the frame and the sand blasting that I needed to do would blend these areas to look normal.

When using a sanding drum on a Dremel to remove the excess JB Weld, you do want to go slow, use the finest grit and the lowest setting possible to maintain control and minimize gouging damage to the frame. When cleaning up the excess, using a hobby knife definitely keeps gouging down but took a little longer than the Dremel method (It took me about 6 minutes on one side). If you keep the knife blade at a shallow angle, you will find that the KB Weld will easily “scratch it off” and keeps the gouging damage to a minimum.

Fixing frame damage

When I was finished fixing the holes I wondered if you could fix damage from a slip of the Dremel when removing the tabs on the frame. Using the cut frame that I now had from the warranty replacement, I went into how to fix frame damage video. This is where I took a Dremel sanding drum to the frame and did a cut on the back. From there I filled in the damage with JB Weld and sanded it down.

The repair went well and the JB Weld adhered to the frame better than I had expected. Unfortunately, I did not film the testing of how well the JB Weld adhered to the frame. I took a pair of pliers and twisted, pulled and pried at the replied area. Eventually, I got it to break free but it took a lot of force. I plan on taking the frame that I repaired the holes on and make the same cut and repair. Once the repair is completed, we will take that frame out to the range and test fire the gun again to see how the repair actually holds up. 


Overall I had a lot of fun with this project even though there were some problems that came up during the build. However, I think that the problems actually made this a more enjoyable project in the long term. If you are looking at getting into 80% building, I definitely recommend that you start with a Glock build as they are pretty easy, parts are plentiful and they require the least amount of tools to complete. You can complete a frame with a Dremel (forget using a drill press), Drill and some sandpaper.  


Waterproof 4 pistol case by Cedar Mill Fine Firearms.


The 4 pistol case by Cedar Mill Fine Firearms is a US-made product that protects guns, gear and electronics from shock and water.


See what happens when we load this case up with 4 Sigs and throw it in a lake as well as drop it from 8 feet.


If you would like to know how I came about my recommendation visit my article named Adventures with the four pistol case from Cedar Mill Fine Firearms located at


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