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MF Policeman .25acp Firing Pin Spring?

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shoggoth80
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MF Policeman .25acp Firing Pin Spring?

#1 Post by shoggoth80 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:30 pm

Hey all. My buddy picked up this odd little pistol. Fracais Policeman. .25acp. Guessing it was made in the 30s. Real goofy little thing. Double action only. I think 6 shots, and the first shot has to manually be loaded into the chamber, then it'll cycle the rest from the mag. Really space age ish looking for its time. Tiny pocket gun.
Problem is that ignition is unreliable. It'll fire some, take second strikes on others, and on an occasion or two, just not set off the primer. I suspect weak firing pin spring. Mechanically everything seems to be kosher otherwise.

Sound like the right track? Numrich doesn't have any, Wolff doesn't have any. Any other sources to check? Didn't look at Midway, as I don't think they'd have it (checked for spring kit, and just spring through Google...no luck). Is this something that could be made or improvised?

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Re: MF Policeman .25acp Firing Pin Spring?

#2 Post by Popeye » Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:55 am

Image

The Le Francais "Police" model was manufactured from 1914 to 1938.

All Manufrance Le Français pistols used simple blowback action. The return spring was located vertically in the grip, ahead of the magazine well. It was connected to the slide with dual rocking levers, located below each grip panel. When slide recoiled, these levers pivoted back and compressed the return spring. The barrel was connected to the frame by the pivot below the muzzle and by the simple catch below the chamber (breech).

There was no extractor, and spent cartridges were thrown out of the barrel by gas pressure. Dud or unfired cartridges were extracted manually, often with the help of the cleaning rod or other similar object. Since there was no normal way to manually cycle the slide, user had to release the barrel lock (push the lever, located above the trigger on the right side of the frame), and then tip the rear part of the barrel up, exposing its breech. Once barrel was tipped up, user was able to load cartridge directly into the chamber or manually extract unfired cartridge.

The only standard way to fully load the gun was to manually load the round into the chamber and then insert the full magazine. To facilitate faster reloading, some models were fitted with spare cartridge loop at the magazine base. This loop held additional cartridge which user had to hand load into the chamber before inserting the fresh magazine. Magazines were of single stack design, magazine release was located at the base of the grip.

The trigger was of double-action only type, striker fired. No manual safety was provided.

A couple of videos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8mHFd2m-ME

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjK-n9phB5A
(Fast forward until about the 6:30 mark)

Talk to your gunsmith. He should have some springs stashed away that will work.
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shoggoth80
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Re: MF Policeman .25acp Firing Pin Spring?

#3 Post by shoggoth80 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:24 am

We don't really have a gunsmith. There's been a coupe people he's used, that haven't exactly been...proficient. If you read my post on muzzleloader repairs you might get an idea why we're ok with tackling this ourselves with some internet guidance and a dose of caution.

We found enough data to load, charge, fire etc. The general battery of arms. Thanks for the video! I'll review that over the weekend. Gun cycles fine, just has the occasional light strike causing a FTF. Peppy little thing though. Wouldn't expect as much pop from it as it puts out. Next time I catch him awake, I'll make him take pics so I can share them.

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Re: MF Policeman .25acp Firing Pin Spring?

#4 Post by Popeye » Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:46 pm

Pull the firing pin and its springs out of the pistol. Thoroughly scrub the firing pin channel. There's no telling what kind of crud has accumulated there during the past 100 years. Clean the firing pin and its springs. Examine the firing pin, its springs and the firing pin channel for burrs, unremoved compacted crud and other 'problems'.

If everything is clean and unmarred, grab either end of the spring and gently stretch it (you only need to lengthen it by a couple of millimeters). This is NOT a fix but if the pistol now fires reliably you know the spring is the problem.

The reason I told you to talk with a gunsmith is because most are pack rats and will have, at least, one drawer of springs. All you need is a spring, not his labor. You need a spring of similar internal and external diameter. Too long doesn't matter as the spring can be trimmed to length.
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Re: MF Policeman .25acp Firing Pin Spring?

#5 Post by shoggoth80 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:55 pm

Right. Find something close and work to fit.

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Re: MF Policeman .25acp Firing Pin Spring?

#6 Post by Zeliard » Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:51 pm

Yeah, think you're gonna have to just find something that works and go with that in this case.

There are some grips and magazines for sale on Gunbroker:

http://www.gunbroker.com/Pistol-Parts/B ... rds=French
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