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Old 08-02-2010, 05:38 AM   #10516
Aurelius
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdmove
By the way, I wore out my ancient Dan Wesson .357 mag revolver. Used to shoot a lot of 200 meter metallic silhouette competition, and also 100 meter, and some bowling pin matches too.
jn
I bought this Freedom Arms Model 97 with the intention of competing in the IHMSA Revolver class.



The gun is built like a bank vault and very accurate. Unfortunately its tolerances are so tight that it will foul up in no time, and it's a major PITA to disassemble and clean. By the 40th round (if not sooner), the cylinder will start to bind, making it useless for the second relay. Also, if you're not careful to seat primers flush, even the slightest protrusion can cause the action to jam.
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:09 AM   #10517
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There are a bunch of ex-German Saxony Police trade-ins that have been refurbished by HK, and making the rounds for sale at various dealers. These are the P7 PSP (Police Self-Loading Pistol), and the cheapest of the P7's. They are sold in condition A, B, and C, and pricing is kind of all over the place, but generally you can find Condition C's for $500-600, and each step up in condition runs around $100. Functionally the guns have all been in excellent condition, so the biggest difference is cosmetics and whether or not they have all the accessories (cleaning tools, extra mag). In reality, the rating seems quite arbitrary, as I've got a Condition C that I bought from HK Specialists that looks as good or better than the "A" at my local shop. Some of these guns have more desirable markings than others, and some have had markings milled off, which I personally find very undesirable.

The P7M8's are rarer and more collectible than the PSP's. They have a larger trigger guard, and a couple of other changes from the PSP (heat guard and they moved the magazine release). These are typically priced around $1200.

There are a few other special models that are even more collectible (.40 cal, .22, original special finishes).

All of them shoot more or less the same, which means unbelievable accuracy and very soft recoil. They all heat up quickly and become uncomfortable to shoot after four fast mags, so if you want to do a lot of range shooting with a P7 you should buy a couple of them. Magazines are pretty expensive ($80-90).

It seems like the best bet is to buy a PSP Saxony police trade, either a B or C condition, and have it refinished. I got lucky and got a C that looks nearly new. Buy one, you'll love it!







Quote:
Originally Posted by wannaklr
Hi Guys,

Been looking at the P7's from H&K. I've seen some real price differences and I'm curious about what I'm not seeing. The local Gander Mtn has one for $679.00 but it looks worn. Then I see these three versions from HKSpecialist. Does anyone have a reason I shouldn't seriously look at the $539.00 version?

http://www.hkspecialiststore.com/ind...Page_Count=All


$939.00


$539.00


$529.00


I just like the oddness of this gun. Don't know why but it just works for me.
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:15 AM   #10518
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josephvman
There are a bunch of ex-German Saxony Police trade-ins that have been refurbished by HK, and making the rounds for sale at various dealers.
Grrr. I have wanted one of these for 30 years. Between this thread and the watch thread, I'm gonna have to get a job.
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:21 AM   #10519
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:34 AM   #10520
HardCase
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurelius
I bought this Freedom Arms Model 97 with the intention of competing in the IHMSA Revolver class.



The gun is built like a bank vault and very accurate. Unfortunately its tolerances are so tight that it will foul up in no time, and it's a major PITA to disassemble and clean. By the 40th round (if not sooner), the cylinder will start to bind, making it useless for the second relay. Also, if you're not careful to seat primers flush, even the slightest protrusion can cause the action to jam.
Interesting, I'd never thought of that. Nor have I ever shot a IHMSA match. Would a guy not have time to clean between relays? You say it's a major PITA, and I confess to having never owned, fired or even handled a Freedom Arms revolver (although I've seen a few and have heard they are fine guns) primarily because I simply do not like nor feel comfortable with the grip and handling of SA revolvers of the old Colt Peacemaker design, but what does cleaning one entail other than pulling the pin, removing the cylinder, and brushing it out?

I have noticed that all revolvers can tend to begin binding up from high round-count use, much moreso than a semi-auto. Grains of unburned powder get into the ejector, between the cylinder and barrel, into the cylinder cuts, etc., and after a point they need to be cleaned or at least brushed out. Semi autos can sometimes run 500-800 rounds without needing any attention.
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:09 AM   #10521
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Originally Posted by HardCase
Interesting, I'd never thought of that. Nor have I ever shot a IHMSA match. Would a guy not have time to clean between relays? You say it's a major PITA, and I confess to having never owned, fired or even handled a Freedom Arms revolver (although I've seen a few and have heard they are fine guns) primarily because I simply do not like nor feel comfortable with the grip and handling of SA revolvers of the old Colt Peacemaker design, but what does cleaning one entail other than pulling the pin, removing the cylinder, and brushing it out?
There isn't enough time between relays to do it. Here's what happens. The cylinder is held in place by the pin, which in turn is secured to the barrel by means of a screw. You remove the screw, expecting that the pin will simply slide forward, but it won't. After firing the gun 30+ times, it will be wedged in there so tightly that the only way to get it out is to pull back the hammer, insert an allen wrench or a thin screwdriver, and tap the pin out from behind. Since the allen wrench can't go in straight, it will only go in so far before it starts bending and gets stuck. At this point, you'll need to tap it back out and insert an even thinner allen wrench which has enough flex to push the cylinder pin all the way out. This will permanently bend the allen wrench. You'll need to clean all the accumulated gunk off the cylinder pin, which means removing the cylinder pin shroud. The cylinder itself needs to be cleaned pretty thoroughly, including the hole the cylinder pin fits through prior to reassembly. Unlike most cylinders, FA's are designed for a flush fit between the cartridge base and cylinder face, so you'll also need to carefully scrub out all six countersunk holes. If you don't, the cartridge may protrude just slightly, causing the cylinder to jam. Lead deposits tend to pile up on the breech end of the barrel, so you'll need to clean that off as well before reassembly, or the cylinder may jam. Like I said, its a major PITA. I could shoot my Ruger revolver for days without cleaning it, and there would be no problem. FA braggs that their guns are designed to tolerances of 1/1000", compared to the industry standard of 4/1000". The problem of course is that tolerances that tight can't handle even a modest amount of dirt without causing everything to seize up.
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:16 AM   #10522
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurelius
There isn't enough time between relays to do it. Here's what happens. The cylinder is held in place by the pin, which in turn is secured to the barrel by means of a screw. You remove the screw, expecting that the pin will simply slide forward, but it won't. After firing the gun 30+ times, it will be wedged in there so tightly that the only way to get it out is to pull back the hammer, insert an allen wrench or a thin screwdriver, and tap the pin out from behind. Since the allen wrench can't go in straight, it will only go in so far before it starts bending and gets stuck. At this point, you'll need to tap it back out and insert an even thinner allen wrench which has enough flex to push the cylinder pin all the way out. This will permanently bend the allen wrench. You'll need to clean all the accumulated gunk off the cylinder pin, which means removing the cylinder pin shroud. The cylinder itself needs to be cleaned pretty thoroughly, including the hole the cylinder pin fits through prior to reassembly. Unlike most cylinders, FA's are designed for a flush fit between the cartridge base and cylinder face, so you'll also need to carefully scrub out all six countersunk holes. If you don't, the cartridge may protrude just slightly, causing the cylinder to jam. Lead deposits tend to pile up on the breech end of the barrel, so you'll need to clean that off as well before reassembly, or the cylinder may jam. Like I said, its a major PITA. I could shoot my Ruger revolver for days without cleaning it, and there would be no problem. FA braggs that their guns are designed to tolerances of 1/1000", compared to the industry standard of 4/1000". The problem of course is that tolerances that tight can't handle even a modest amount of dirt without causing everything to seize up.
Yikes. Sounds as though Freedom Arms got a bit carried away in their over-engineering on that one.
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:31 AM   #10523
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurelius
There isn't enough time between relays to do it. Here's what happens. The cylinder is held in place by the pin, which in turn is secured to the barrel by means of a screw. You remove the screw, expecting that the pin will simply slide forward, but it won't. After firing the gun 30+ times, it will be wedged in there so tightly that the only way to get it out is to pull back the hammer, insert an allen wrench or a thin screwdriver, and tap the pin out from behind. Since the allen wrench can't go in straight, it will only go in so far before it starts bending and gets stuck. At this point, you'll need to tap it back out and insert an even thinner allen wrench which has enough flex to push the cylinder pin all the way out. This will permanently bend the allen wrench. You'll need to clean all the accumulated gunk off the cylinder pin, which means removing the cylinder pin shroud. The cylinder itself needs to be cleaned pretty thoroughly, including the hole the cylinder pin fits through prior to reassembly. Unlike most cylinders, FA's are designed for a flush fit between the cartridge base and cylinder face, so you'll also need to carefully scrub out all six countersunk holes. If you don't, the cartridge may protrude just slightly, causing the cylinder to jam. Lead deposits tend to pile up on the breech end of the barrel, so you'll need to clean that off as well before reassembly, or the cylinder may jam. Like I said, its a major PITA. I could shoot my Ruger revolver for days without cleaning it, and there would be no problem. FA braggs that their guns are designed to tolerances of 1/1000", compared to the industry standard of 4/1000". The problem of course is that tolerances that tight can't handle even a modest amount of dirt without causing everything to seize up.
friggin bummer, sounds like they were made for hunting instead of competition.
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:33 AM   #10524
Aurelius
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HardCase
Yikes. Sounds as though Freedom Arms got a bit carried away in their over-engineering on that one.
I called Freedom Arms and spoke with their head tech guy about these issues, and he suggested that I send back the gun so they can shave down a portion of the cylinder pin. In theory, this should provide enough clearance so that the cylinder won't bind from gas deposits and powder residue on the pin. At this point I'm thinking of just selling it.

Another design problem with FA's is that they incorporate a safety block which slides into a groove in the hammer when the trigger is pulled back. This piece of metal is what actually makes contact with the firing pin. Here's the odd thing about their design: only about 1/3-1/2 of that metal part slides up far enough to come in contact with the firing pin. FA assures me that this is not a manufacturing error - it was actually designed that way. The result of repeated strikes is that it eventually flattens half of the firing pin, causing it to stick in the frame! The folks at FA were nice enough to send me a new firing pin for free, but I can expect the same thing will eventually happen again.
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Aurelius screwed with this post 08-02-2010 at 08:40 AM
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:37 AM   #10525
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friggin bummer, sounds like they were made for hunting instead of competition.
You would think so, but for the fact that FA's dominate the IHMSA Revolver Class, and come with sights made specifically for IHMSA competition.
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:55 AM   #10526
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Originally Posted by Aurelius
You would think so, but for the fact that FA's dominate the IHMSA Revolver Class, and come with sights made specifically for IHMSA competition.
so is everyone else having similar problems? I would think so.
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:38 AM   #10527
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so is everyone else having similar problems? I would think so.
I suspect its much like it is when people pay a lot of money for a motorcycle which turns out to be crap. Instead of admitting that, they busy themselves by trying to justify their purchase decision.
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:42 AM   #10528
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Originally Posted by Aurelius
You would think so, but for the fact that FA's dominate the IHMSA Revolver Class, and come with sights made specifically for IHMSA competition.
That's interesting......what powder were you using in your 357 handloads? I ask because when I was shooting a lot of IPSC I eventually stopped using Unique, which was a long-time favorite of mine, because it was so dirty. I switched to 700X and then eventually to Universal which left a lot less residue and unburned grains laying around the action and working parts of the guns. This was for a 40S&W and 45ACP, not 357, although those powders, being similar in burning rate to Unique, would work in that caliber too.
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:59 AM   #10529
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That's interesting......what powder were you using in your 357 handloads? I ask because when I was shooting a lot of IPSC I eventually stopped using Unique, which was a long-time favorite of mine, because it was so dirty. I switched to 700X and then eventually to Universal which left a lot less residue and unburned grains laying around the action and working parts of the guns. This was for a 40S&W and 45ACP, not 357, although those powders, being similar in burning rate to Unique, would work in that caliber too.
I tried a number of different powders to see if any would solve the problem of fouling. Nothing did, so I settled on H110, which seemed to be the most 'flexible' in terms of the loads it will work well with. Unfortunately all of my reloading manuals date back to the 1980's, so there are bound to be some new powders on the market that I'm not even aware of, and which may work even better.
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Old 08-02-2010, 10:08 AM   #10530
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also wonder if there is some molly dealio to coat the pin and stuff with to keep that galling thing from happening so early.
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