A buddy and I were talking the other day about High-Standards and he told me he had a Hamden Victor. One thing lead to another and the issue of the frames cracking on some of the Trophys and Citations came up and he asked me if the same problems occur with the Victor frames. I told him I didn't know and that I would try and find out. So, have any of you guys seen the frames crack on the Victors? Thanks. RRM
I have two of the old Hamden,Victors with many rounds of HV22LR has gone through them without any cracks. However, I recommend changing all springs, and especially the recoil spring to
a 6&1/2 lb spring to these old Victors.
I am shooting mainly the CCI, Standard ammo now.
A good source for changing the springs is to send slide to Jaybar for quick and good service.
One of the Victors had to have the rear sight springs replaced, which is a good thing to do if the windage knob is not correct.
It is recommended to use mainly the standard velocity in these great, old pistols.
The word is that all "Big Button" framed guns can crack their frames. Since the frames are interchangeable between most models I would think that means the Victor as well.
The potential for the problem can be minimise by keeping a fresh recoil spring in the gun at the 6 or 6.5 pound weight and shooting only STD VEL ammo. The measurement is take when the recoil guide rod is pulled into the slide so as to be even with the bolt face. It is basically the force of the spring on the slide with the slide all the way back. You can measure it with the slide off the gun and a trigger pull gage or with the slide on the gun and the slide held back just before it hits the frame (force to hold slide all the way back without the slide touching the frame slide stop abutment), also with a trigger pull gage. When that meausurement gets below 6 pounds then put in a new spring.
Most ammo says what it is on the box and only a few show the velocity. The box should say "22LR Standard Velocity" on it somewhere.
It is tough to say what the velocity is because it depends on whether it is tested out of a rifle or pistol and what barrel length was used. In the CCI line (and I have no idea of what the ammo is test in ??) CCI lists the following velocities and other manufacturers will probably have the same testing procedurte but who knows for sure:
Standard Velocity 22LR.....1070 FPS (their name is Standard Velocity)
High Velocity 22LR............1260 FPS (their name for this ammo is Mini-Mag)
Hyper Velocity 22LR .........1640 FPS (their name is Stinger)
It is difficult to find standard velocity ammo. For example the two Walmarts in my area stock AutoMatch but it is not standard velocity. They do not carry anything marked standard velocity or anything with a velocity below 1050 fps. CCI is very good about marking their ammo but most others that I have found are not. Wolf Match Target and Wolf Extra are standard velocity but they are not marked in any fashion. I bought a case of Aguila std. vel. from CMP and the individual boxes or bricks are not marked but the corrugated case was. I no longer buy high velocity ammo because tests have shown that std. vel. is more consistant and I find that to be true.
I just purchased a Hamden-built 106 Citation and have the same concerns about finding standard velocity ammunition. I found that the Midway web site lists the velocity and muzzle energy of each of the rimfire loads they sell. So I as able to research and choose the brands and standard velocity loads that were available at my local dealer even if they didn't list the velocity on the box.
I will look at replacing the recoil spring with a Wolf spring before I take the 106 to the range. Any things I need to know about the disassembly to replace the spring?
If you take the grips off (and you don't have to to change the recoil spring) be aware that the slide lock lever will fall out of the frame. I has a tiny little spring that gets lost easily and gets deformed by not being careful when you reinstall the lever and the grips. Buy a few of those spring when you get the recoil springs from Brownells. I think they are sold in a pack of five and believe me you'll need all five eventually.
The recoil spring has to be removed from the slide with the slide off the gun. The recoil spring is retained by a plug on the breech face that is held in by a tiny pin. It is removed with a small diameter punch from the top or bottom of the slide. Hold your finger over the plug so that it doesn't get launched across the room when the pin is removed. Replacement is a little tough as the spring has to be compressed by pushing in the small plug while securing the plug with the pin. If you compress the spring and plug to flush with the breech face then stick a punch in the pin's hole you will retain the plug and spring. Then install the pin from the opposite side of the slide, pushing the retaining punch out in front of the pin. You are using the punch to retain the plug and spring while you insert the pin from the other side. I find a padded bench vise handy to hold the slide while installing the spring and plug but I am carefull to NOT distort the slide by tightening the vise too much.
Thanks for the detailed answer on the spring replacement. I'll take my time, commit your instructions to memory and study the schematic more before I tackle the task.
I will eventually need to remove the grips because a previous owner sanded the thumb rest off the left grip panel (perhaps to make it more like a 1911). I'll order the extra springs. I will look for replacement High Standard factory style grips, but also may "spring" for some Herrett's. Any suggestions.
For what it's worth....as a Connecticut native I grew up in the 50's and 60's longing for a High Standard, but I could only afford a Ruger (another CT product). It's nice to finally have a part of my home's manufacturing heritage. I'm excited to see if I can match the accuracy potential of the pistol at the range.
On the recoil spring, if you pull slide back and check tension with a trigger gauge, will this give you the correct lb tension of the recoil spring. I have five ranging from a 102 to a ml victor and all feed well. I would like to check the tension of the spring before I start replacing. Untill reading this site I shot mostly hv ammo in all of them. I have never replaced a spring, but some may have been before I bought them. Only had the 102 new. I have two 106s and one 107 and the ml.
Following is an edited posting that I submitted a while back when someone was concerned about Winchester Dyna-points and whether they were standard velocity or not. It addresses a few of of the concerns about using not using high velocity.
BTW I recommend replacing the recoil spring every 15,000-20,000 rounds since they do wear thin from use and the wearing leads to about 1/2 pound loss of measured compression for every 15K-20K rounds fired. Replacing the spring is very cheap insurance against a catastrophic frame crack.
Don't let the quoted muzzle velocities confuse you. They are usually quoted in reference to a rifle barrel that is 18" or more in length. The important consideration is muzzle energy since that translates according to Newton's third law into the "for every action their is an equal and opposite reaction". Muzzle energy of the bullet = "the action", slide rearward motion = "the opposite and equal reaction". Most high velocity ammo lists at 1250 fps out of a rifle barrel and 1050 fps from a pistol barrel. Most standard velocity ammo lists at 1150 fps from a rifle and 950 from a pistol.
Muzzle energy for high velocity ammo from a rifle is about 140 foot-pounds, in a pistol that translates to about 100 foot-pounds. Standard velocity ammo generates about 117 foot pounds of energy at the rifle muzzle and 80 foot pounds at muzzle of a pistol. All of the above assumes a standard 40 grain bullet.
The important number for comparative puposes is the muzzle energy which translates directly into slide velocity. High Velocity ammo has 25% more muzzle energy than Standard Velocity ammo when fired in a pistol. That means that the slide is smacking the recoil butress 25% harder each time the slide reaches its maximum rearward position. The frame absorbing this energy directly through the butress is what leads to frame cracking in Big Button guns.
Winchester lists the following ballistic info for their ammo:
Super-X (high velocity):
MV rifle :1255 fps, ME rifle :140 f-p
MV pistol :1060 fps, ME pistol :100 f-p.
T-22 (standard velocity):
MV rifle :1150fps, ME rifle :117 f-p
MV pistol :950fps, , ME pistol : 80 f-p.
To make a long story a little longer Dynapoint ammo has exactly the same ballistics as the T-22 standard velocity so you can consider it to be Standard velocity.
The recoil spring acts as a buffer to the slide impacting the butress. Make sure that you've got a fresh recoil spring in your Victor in any case. I recommend replacing the spring you have in the gun with a 6 pound variable rate heavy duty spring from Wollf. . You'll find instructions on how to change the spring on my web-site: http://home.roadrunner.com/~jbarta/otherstuff.html