A blog by Bob Rich. Squirrel Hunting, Henry Rifles, Reloading, Range Shooting and More!

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Learning to assemble the AR-7 trigger assembly... the hard way

I screwed up bigtime tonight. What started out as a quick gun cleaning before hitting the sack almost turned into a minor disaster. After doing the usual cleaning and oiling of the barrel, I decided that I might as well remove the bolt to give that a quick going over as well. The Henry manual says that removing and cleaning the bolt is a normal cleaning procedure, and since it looked easy I decided to give it a shot.
Removing and cleaning the bolt is easy, IF you don't screw up like I did tonight. I hope this post stops you from making the same mistake. The bolt slides right out after removing the charging handle, and connected to the bolt are two long 'action springs' which feed into the back of the bolt. The other end is held together with a plastic part called the 'action spring guide', which I'm holding in the second photo.

If you look closely into the receiver, you'll see the action spring guide jammed in the back.

Here's the action spring guide removed. The two action springs that come out the back of the bolt slip over the two posts on this part, giving the springs rigidity.

Now there are two things to remember when reinstalling the bolt. First, hope you charged the action before taking out the bolt or it won't go back in unless you use a screwdriver or something to push down and cock the hammer. Second, when reinstalling the bolt, tilt the forward side that the barrel screws into DOWN. If you don't (which I didn't), the 'action spring guide' will slip off the springs, rotate in the back of the receiver and become almost impossible to remove. My only option was to remove the sideplate. It's only held in by one screw, but I'm warning you, BE CAREFUL! The action is under spring tension and the pin that the' hammer/trigger spring' is supported by is held in place by a hole in the sideplate. Once you remove the sideplate, the pin is only held in place on one side. Breath on it and the trigger group explodes, throwing parts in all directions! If you look at the picture below, you'll see the hammer/trigger spring with the hammer pivot pin to its right which it wraps around. The black part is the hammer which the spring is twisted around. Now, the trick is to wrap the spring correctly around the hammer, slide the hammer pivot pin in the center, and get it back into position. Not easy when you are trying to compress the spring, slide it into position and push the pins into place all at the same time. It took me about an hour to get it back together, all the time wondering what the gunsmith was going to charge me to put this mess back together.

 
How do I get this spring back into position?!

Thank you Lord.

The way I did it was to put the spring, hammer and hammer pin all together. I then slipped the two ends of the spring over the pins sticking out of the trigger as you can see in the photo. Holding that assembly in position in one hand, I rotated the hammer assembly and managed to get the pivot pin into the hole that's in the receiver. Lastly, I put the cover back on and positioned the upper part of the hammer pivot pin into the hole that's in the side-plate. I couldn't believe that it was actually back together and everything appears to be working correctly. I hope I never have to do that again.

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