Newby with double fire issue

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djmeier
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Newby with double fire issue

Post by djmeier » May 20th, 2018, 1:36 pm

Hi, folks. I spent a fair amount of time trying to acquire the right light handgun for my wife's security. We are both elderly. She has the courage to use a self defense pistol and I wanted her to feel secure with a firearm in the event I become incapacitated or simply check out. In this process, I purchased a p 64 from an online auction. It sure feels good in one hand.

But, here's the problem. I familiarized myself with the piece, loaded a clip and walked into the woods to fire it. On the first trigger pull, it fired...and immediately fired a second round. That's not a good thing!

Later, I took it to a remote range by myself to fire in a controlled way. It repeated the double firing trick but only intermittently...perhaps once in every other magazine. I then found a source of new parts in Poland, ordered most all that were offered and then sent the pistol and parts to my trusted gunsmith, a friend of some 40 years. To my dismay, my friend passed away before addressing the issue.

So, gentlemen, I have a dangerous pistol, a few extra new polish parts (sear and a couple of springs included) and an insecure wife. And, I need advice. I have always been pretty mechanical and have no fear of working on firearms, although my experience is only with manually operated sorts.

Yesterday, before stumbling on this site, I dropped the pistol off with a local amateur gunsmith and am thinking I'll call him and have him hold off messing with it. Anybody have a thought on cause of double fire issue?

I'd also like to hear what the attraction is in metal grips, if someone is willing, and perhaps a summary of reasons for swapping out springs.

Thaks to all for being here. Dave.

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Re: Newby with double fire issue

Post by Ketchman » May 20th, 2018, 2:43 pm

Sir, congrats on finding the brother hood here, you should find an answer to all your questions given the cumulative knowledge here.
First, do you have any ides if the guns original springs have been swapped out for lighter ones or if any other 'smithing has been done on he gun.
My bet is that the double fire issue is not from anything being wrong with the gun but the difference in the double action and single action trigger pulls. The stock double action is around 25 lbs and the single action is around 4-6lbs. The difference is so great that the user often fires a second round simply because they are trying to hold onto the weapon from the recoil and accidentally grip it too hard, thereby causing the second discharge. This is possibly why it only happens infrequently. Have someone else, perhaps someone of greater hand / arm strength fire the gun and see if it does the same thing. Changing out the stock hammer spring to a Wolff's spring of 18-20 lbs will make the double action much better but, depending on the gun and /or user, may make the single action trigger pull too light for your taste. This has happened with quite a few owners, a good friend of mine for example who is also a member here, OG17 who ended up selling his due to the single action being too light for his tastes.
Call the amateur smith off and have him do nothing to this gun immediately. If your going to rely on this gun for self defense only have a professional smith do the work.
And finally, if I may make a suggestion sir, find another sidearm for your wife for her defense, this gun is not extremely pleasant to shoot for most people and is especially unpleasant for those with reduced hand and forearm strength. That being said, while this little beastie is indeed very cool and reliable, it's manners may not make good friends with your wife and therefore she will not be inclined to shoot it much and if she is to rely on it for defense she needs to be familiar with it and not afraid of it. MY experience is most females do NOT like to shoot this gun due to the recoil.
I would suggest a revolver in .327 Federal Magnum or perhaps in .38 Special, just not an Airweight or Lightweight in either one as they tend to bite the hand holding them. Ruger's LCR is a great one for starters. And the revolvers are much more a point and shoot platform negating some of the possible problems with a semi auto and making a better defense tool for someone who only wants to have it for the moment of need and is not interested in practicing much. Or perhaps the new S&W Shield in .380 as I understand the recoil impulse is quite soft.
I am not trying to say the P-64 is a bad gun, I carry mine frequently and just yesterday put 50 rounds through mine at my local range and let the RO put a magazines worth through it. She is an experienced shooter and she said "No Thanks" after 6 rounds because of the recoil and I have the Polish Iron grips on it which help with recoil a lot. Shirley is 5' 2" tall and she might go 105lbs. She did say that the gun had a lot going for it as far as a carry gun because of size, concealability and the rounds power but it would not be for her.
I hope you get the issue with yours figured out and that it is not a trigger or sear problem, and only let a pro fix those if your not familiar with the guns internals. And may I suggest looking into the Polish iron grips, they are the number 2 modification to do for this gun after the recoil and hammer springs.
https://www.polishirongrips.com/
Please let us know how this works out for you.
Last edited by Ketchman on May 21st, 2018, 12:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Ketchman
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Re: Newby with double fire issue

Post by Ketchman » May 20th, 2018, 3:08 pm

djmier, I am sorry I forget the spring question. Swapping out the springs usually involves both the recoil and hammer springs. These can be had at Wolff Springs, https://www.gunsprings.com/POLISH%20/P6 ... D49/dID196. My suggestion is to get the recoil spring calibration pak as it gives you 3 springs and you can choose which is right for you. These will help some with recoil. And get the hammer spring pak also as it too gives you a choice of 3 weights to choose from to make the trigger much easier to pull. Most members here opt for the 18lb spring, some say the 17lb spring allows the magazine to drop free on the last round but I use the 17lb and have never had that issue.
These will make your gun much easier to use.
As far as metal grips, I am unfamiliar with metal ones unless your speaking about Russ's Polish Iron grips. He is a member here and they are the best thing since gunpowder, get them. I have the V 5.0 version in soft polymer and I will not put anything else on my P-64 unless Russ manages to make better than these. They eat up recoil and spread it better across the web of your hand. Awesome stuff there.
Hope this answers your questions, and welcome aboard.
Inspiration: The momentary cessation of stupidity.

"As in all life, the odds are 6 to 5 against"--- Ketchman

"The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there."
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djmeier
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Re: Newby with double fire issue

Post by djmeier » May 20th, 2018, 7:47 pm

Really good response Ketchman. I do have a little confession. I do own a Walther PPK in .380, but like it so much I couldn't bear to put it in her night stand. So, I bought her a new revolver in 327 Federal magnum (or milder .32's) I liked it so much I decided it bucked too much for her and out it in my gun safe. Then, I noticed the p 64 was quite inexpensive and might be just right for her. But, I liked the look and feel so much that it should be carried. Well, my Mary won't ever carry, you know.

So, this idea of finding a home defense pistol for Mary is turning into something of a collection...a real problem. But, I sure am going to continue working on it until I get it just right.

Now, you might be right about the double fire being a combination of super light trigger pull and my own flimsy grip. So, if I want to increase the single action trigger pull, will I need a new sear to start with? I think I have one. Or, is that not the place to start. You see, I kind of doubt that I would ever get too concerned about the double action pull. I would pretty much load the chamber and just cock the hammer to start. I think, anyway. Thanks again, Dave

And, I was wrong calling my gun smith an amateur. He is somewhat new to me, but has a good reputation as a self-made smith. I trust him. And, he will wait until I learn some more from you guys before he opens it up.

Thanks, again, Dave.

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Re: Newby with double fire issue

Post by Granpooba » May 20th, 2018, 8:38 pm

Sorry to say, I have nothing to offer on your double fire issue, even though I do own two P-64's.

My " personal " offering is on what your wife may be comfortable with a personal defense carry firearm.

Even though a little pricey I do own a Sig Sauer P-938 SAS and she may love this firearm. BUT !! My favorite carry firearm is the good ole RUGER LCP, with extended magazine and loaded with Critical Defense ammo.

Many folks I know have switched over to the LCP to carry as the .380 ammo has come a long way for defense. It is a light firearm and easy to conceal. I have personal carried it in just about every pocket of clothing that I own and nobody knows I am carrying.

If possible, I would find a dealer that lets you demo firearms before purchase and have your wife try them. I am quite sure that she would like the LCP. And even though I have no experience with the LCR, she might like that as well.

Once again it is my PERSONAL opinion that the P-64 was not meant to be a concealed carry, personal defense firearm. It is a heavy firearm and was meant for military and police use.

Only reason I own two of them is because, I am POLISH. I need not say anymore !

djmeier
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Re: Newby with double fire issue

Post by djmeier » May 20th, 2018, 10:45 pm

Granpooba, I came very close to buying the Ruger LCP a couple of years back. I opted for the LCR instead on the basis of it's simplicity and it's ability to fire a range of .32 cartridges. I was kidding a bit earlier about not giving it to my Wife. I do think it a good choice for her, especially in a light round.

It is difficult to separate my personal preferences from what would be best for her. I appreciate the observation that p 64 carries a pretty good kick, made by Ketchman, I think. I'd lost track of that factor in my quest to make the gun operate as I thought it should. Now, I believe I should abandon trying to fit her with that firearm. In fact, the recoil issue becomes more pronounced with our advancing age, now passing eighty. So, I'll work her back to the LCR or, perhaps, the Walther PPK .380.

That decision now made, I can focus on increasing trigger pull on the p 64 to increase my confidence in it's safety. Thanks, Men.

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Re: Newby with double fire issue

Post by Ketchman » May 21st, 2018, 12:09 am

Djmier,
I am not aware of a way to increase the single action trigger pull weight as the pull weight with the stock sear is so light so replacing it with another stock sear will not get you anywhere in that direction. Short of making a custom sear to increase the SA pull weight, an action that would make the gun a bad choice for concealed carry / self defense due to legal problems if you had to use the gun as you have now modified the fire control group, the only method I can think of is to increase the hammer spring weight which would make the double action pull even heavier!
My suggestion for finding a defensive gun for your wife is to take her to a well respected and trusted trainer and leave her with that person for awhile and they will guide her to make her own choice as to what fits her hand, her hand strength, her recoil tolerance and her wants. She will be happier with the outcome if she can make the choices. There is a retired County Sherrif in my area that works at a sporting goods store now part time. He works the gun counter and whenever a female I know asks about buying a gun I tell here to go there and see Steve and he always takes very good care of them and gets them setup with what fits them not what he wants them to have. That would be my suggestion for solving that problem.
Inspiration: The momentary cessation of stupidity.

"As in all life, the odds are 6 to 5 against"--- Ketchman

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djmeier
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Re: Newby with double fire issue

Post by djmeier » May 21st, 2018, 9:02 am

Good morning. The light trigger pull on this piece is still my main concern. I don't own one of those measuring devices from Brownell, but would bet the gunsmith holding the pistol does. I think it makes little sense to talk of a dangerously light pull without measuring it. I'll arrange for that and report. But, I don't think it will reach four pounds. If it does, I'll admit that it's my technique.

I now see what the reference to Iron Grips is about. Thanks for that link. I'll certainly consider those grips when and if I gain confidence in the pistol.

I also think your suggestion is wise to have Mary select her own firearm with the assistance of a trusted counselor. There is something to "owning" your firearm, isn't there? And, I may be unfairly standing obtrusively in the process. She could take along with her those from here that she might consider as possible fits. But, be free to select something that she might find more comfortable than these. Thanks for that suggestion.

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Re: Newby with double fire issue

Post by Curly1 » May 21st, 2018, 11:42 am

Welcome to the forum DJ
Laugh Hard and Often.

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Re: Newby with double fire issue

Post by Ketchman » May 21st, 2018, 11:57 am

DJ I wish you luck in resolving your problems and hope we have been some help to you. Please let us know what your trigger weight on SA turns out to be and if your smith finds a way to increase the weight, that knowledge would benefit quite a few of us here. Good luck sir.
Inspiration: The momentary cessation of stupidity.

"As in all life, the odds are 6 to 5 against"--- Ketchman

"The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there."
Jeff Cooper

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Re: Newby with double fire issue

Post by GuitarmanNick » May 23rd, 2018, 7:04 pm

The DA trigger pull on my P-64 is too high for my scale and probably about 15 lbs. With the SA trigger pull at 3.0 lbs, the difference is extreme compared to most other pistols. Even so, I have not found the SA pull to be too light. That said, I do not think that I would like it any lighter.
Good luck in your quest. Enjoy the journey!

djmeier
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Re: Newby with double fire issue

Post by djmeier » May 24th, 2018, 9:59 am

I expect Wolf springs to arrive in the next few days. When they do, I'll measure present trigger pull in both SA and double A and report. I need to confirm that my new parts include a sear. But, if so, and if trigger pull reads as light as it seems, I'll see that the sear is replaced along with the spring replacement. Then, we'll measure again, record and test fire. Thanks for the input.

In the meanwhile, I'll figure out a better way to have Mary select a home defense pistol. Thanks for that, too. Dave.

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Re: Newby with double fire issue

Post by GuitarmanNick » May 30th, 2018, 2:11 pm

For my daughter, the best home defense gun is a .38 special. No hassles. Simply point it and squeeze the trigger. I would keep things as simple as possible for anyone not well versed in firearms. She can handle it very well and I am reasonably sure that she would be okay should she need to use it. Anything that requires more than point and shoot would probably not go as well.

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Re: Newby with double fire issue

Post by Curly1 » May 31st, 2018, 5:07 pm

+1 on the .38 special.

Get a speed loader also, easy to use once you know the mechanics of it.
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