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Discussion Starter #1
I recently picked up a new HK45 thanks to Mike at Cross Creek Guns, it was a variant 1 DA/SA. I also bought the HK45 LEM conversion kit from TopGunSupply and using the videos/instructions from other forum members managed to convert from DA/SA to LEM without too much trouble. It took me maybe a couple of hours to do the conversion, taking my time, as I am not an expert. The only real issue I had was the video at one stage mentions 'at this point don't pull back the hammer as you'll need to start over again', naturally the video mentions this after I had pulled back the hammer! For anyone looking to convert to LEM I would say it is fairly straight forward even for someone with limited experienced at doing more than just a field strip.

Variant 1 DA/SA HK45











And after the LEM conversion (notice external safety removed and different hammer). The Viridian X5L Gen 2 light/laser does not come as part of the LEM conversion :wink:







First Range Visit (and failure)

I usually field strip, clean and relube all new firearms I receive, however with the HK45 I just took it to the range straight out of the box (other than the LEM conversion). I had dry fired it a few times as both DA/SA and LEM to check that the basic function seemed to work. At the range I shot 20 Speer Gold Dot 185g HPs and 155 Federal Champion 230gr FMJ. I did notice that my forearms were covered in black particles, which I've not had with any of my other firearms which means either the Federal Champion I was using is very dirty or the factory lube was causing the particles.

When I went to pull the trigger on the 156th round of Federal Champion there was a 'click' instead of a 'bang'. I tried again, with the same result. I tapped, racked. Same thing.... I took out the magazine, tried the other magazine... same thing. I checked the manually ejected rounds and it didn't look like the primer was being struck. I tried a couple more rounds, click, click.

I assumed that something had gone wrong with my LEM conversion, and that the recoil had caused something to move inside. I packed up and headed home to investigate, disappointed and irritated that I had 'broken' my HK45.

When I got home, I looked at the HK45 before field stripping it. I think I saw the firing pin sticking out, however as it was my first ever real firearm failure I didn't recognize the significance at the time, and by the time I had field stripped and cleaned the HK45 the firing pin was no longer sticking out. It was only later that I had a faint recollection of the firing pin being visible when it shouldn't be.

Googling and searching the forum didn't seem to suggest that there were any known problems similar to what I had experienced, and after the field strip and clean the firing pin seemed to be working properly. I colored the back of a snap-cap with a silver Sharpie pen and checked that the firing pin was striking the snap cap. All seemed to be working fine although I'd have to wait until the next range visit to be sure.

Second Range Visit

Today I went to the range for the next visit, not entirely certain the HK45 would 'behave'. I only had a chance to put 64 rounds down range as I was predominantly needing to train with my Walther PPQ, however all seemed to work well with the HK45, and while I only shot a few rounds I had no black particles on my forearms.

I'll do a much longer session with the HK45 at the range next time as I want to ensure there are no failures with a single range session shooting 500 rounds without cleaning. However I am a little happier now.

I'm still not entirely sure as to what caused the initial problem, it doesn't seem to be caused by my LEM conversion which is a relief. While I believe I saw the firing pin exposed when it shouldn't be I can't be 110% certain this was the case. If it happened though I can only assume that the black particles caused it to happen somehow. I will however ensure that I clean any new firearms before going to the range in the future.

Walther PPQ & HK45

While they are obviously different firearms, I bought the HK45 as it has a similar magazine release to the Walther PPQ which is my standard firearm. So a few photos of the 'cousins'.







You can read my review of the Walther PPQ here if you are interested

:)

TheWombat
 

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Congrats on the HK45. You should have cleaned the gun before taking it to the range the first time. What you thought was grease wasn't grease. It's anti-corrosion material that gets put on from factory. However, I am not sure if that caused the failures.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the comments, I'll post back once I have another 500 rounds down range as to whether the issue has returned or not.

In terms of triggers, I like the light LEM on the HK45, however having shot the HK45 and then the PPQ I still rate the PPQ trigger as better.

:)

TheWombat
 

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If I had to guess, I would say to much gunk in the action, whether it be cosmolene or whatever. HK pistols, like the Glocks, are designed to function with only a small amount of oil, like a drop or two, in just the right places. Too much oil+ powder= cement. Let me know how it goes next time.
 

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I did notice that my forearms were covered in black particles, which I've not had with any of my other firearms which means either the Federal Champion I was using is very dirty or the factory lube was causing the particles.
Federal champion burns dirty ... their eagle line is much better.
 

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With the crud getting on your arms, I'd say that the FP and the FP safety got gunked up. A good cleaning should have fixed it. The shaken confidence is certainly understandable, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Update and some photos following today's range visit.

I shot 40 Speer Gold Dot 185gr followed by trying the Federal Ammunition 230gr FMJ (WA5233) again. This is the same ammunition I used the first time and it burns a bit dirtier. I wanted to see if the issue was repeatable after having field stripped and cleaned the HK45 following the earlier range visit. For a battlefield firearm it should be able to handle this ammunition and my other .45 firearm has not had issues.

After 150 rounds I was getting more confident that the 'failure' was cured however on the 191st shot there was a 'click' instead of a 'bang'. I unloaded the firearm and checked the firing pin, as expected it was visible. I packed up and headed home.

I've included photos below of how the firearm looked.











Also a video:

[video]http://s1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd412/AlexanderIanHall/HK45/HK45%20firing%20pin%20issue/?action=view&current=MVI_0512.mp4[/video]

After taking the photos I manually pushed in the firing pin 'plunger' that the hammer strikes and the firing pin went back to working normally and I was not able to replicate the issue with the firearm field stripped. Overall I do not have confidence in my HK45 at present, however I will try another range trip with different ammunition to see what happens. Frustrating :90: !

I will only use Oil when reassembling this week, normally I use some Slide Glide light on the rails, exterior of barrel etc.

I will go to the range next week and just shoot Speer Lawman ammunition to see if the issue persists.

TheWombat
 

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Update and some photos following today's range visit.

I shot 40 Speer Gold Dot 185gr followed by trying the Federal Ammunition 230gr FMJ (WA5233) again. This is the same ammunition I used the first time and it burns a bit dirtier. I wanted to see if the issue was repeatable after having field stripped and cleaned the HK45 following the earlier range visit. For a battlefield firearm it should be able to handle this ammunition and my other .45 firearm has not had issues.

After 150 rounds I was getting more confident that the 'failure' was cured however on the 191st shot there was a 'click' instead of a 'bang'. I unloaded the firearm and checked the firing pin, as expected it was visible. I packed up and headed home.

I've included photos below of how the firearm looked.











Also a video:

[video]http://s1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd412/AlexanderIanHall/HK45/HK45%20firing%20pin%20issue/?action=view¤t=MVI_0512.mp4[/video]

After taking the photos I manually pushed in the firing pin 'plunger' that the hammer strikes and the firing pin went back to working normally and I was not able to replicate the issue with the firearm field stripped. Overall I do not have confidence in my HK45 at present, however I will try another range trip with different ammunition to see what happens. Frustrating :90: !

I will only use Oil when reassembling this week, normally I use some Slide Glide light on the rails, exterior of barrel etc.

I will go to the range next week and just shoot Speer Lawman ammunition to see if the issue persists.

TheWombat
You either have a damaged firing-pin, or you have gunk in your firing pin channel. Most likely, it is gunk in the firing pin channel. Either way, you need to remove your firing pin (super easy to do in about a minute), check it, and clean the channel.

The primary way that the fp channel gets gunked-up is from people spraying stuff into the fp hole in the breachface, or by inadvertantly pushing lube, cleaner, and crud into it when cleaning the breachface. Clean it out really well, lube it lightly just to seal the pores of the metal, and then wipe all the lube out of it before you reassemble it. . . same treatment for the firing pin itself. Do not leave it wet at all with lube, and in the future be careful never to spray anything into the hole nor allow any crud to get into it when cleaning the breachface. Do this, and you will not likely have to ever go in there again (at least not for many, many thousands of rounds).
 

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Put a small drop of oil on the firing pin block (The older style FPB used to have a notch in it to allow that drop to easily pass by it into the firing pin channel).

Also, you might want to check this: With the weapon field stripped, lay the slide down with the bottom facing up.
1) Hold down the firing pin block and push the firing pin in from the rear a couple of times. You should be feeling smooth, consistant, resistance from the firing pin spring. If it feels gritty, weak, inconsistant, etc. There's a problem.
2) Push in the firing pin block followed by the firing pin in, then release the firing pin block before releasing the firing pin. The firing pin spring should have enough strength to push it back into place and you should be able to see and/or hear the firing pin block snap back into place.

Choice of ammunition is not the issue. Something is happening inside of that slide. There are a few possible issues: A broken/weak firing pin spring or crud in the firing pin channel binding it up, are the first two that are coming to my mind. Short of taking it apart, these two tests are the best diagnostic.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
You either have a damaged firing-pin, or you have gunk in your firing pin channel. Most likely, it is gunk in the firing pin channel. Either way, you need to remove your firing pin (super easy to do in about a minute), check it, and clean the channel.

The primary way that the fp channel gets gunked-up is from people spraying stuff into the fp hole in the breachface, or by inadvertantly pushing lube, cleaner, and crud into it when cleaning the breachface. Clean it out really well, lube it lightly just to seal the pores of the metal, and then wipe all the lube out of it before you reassemble it. . . same treatment for the firing pin itself. Do not leave it wet at all with lube, and in the future be careful never to spray anything into the hole nor allow any crud to get into it when cleaning the breachface. Do this, and you will not likely have to ever go in there again (at least not for many, many thousands of rounds).
OK - firing ping removed, cleaned and replaced. Will see how next weekend's range trip goes

thanks!

TheWombat
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Big thanks to orfeo and bordercop! Looks like removing the firing pin and cleaning the firing pin channel has fixed the issue.

I've since shot 560 rounds of (dirty) Federal Champion without cleaning in-between and no 'clicks rather than bangs'. My confidence in my HK45 is increasing again however I'll wait till I've shot a few hundred more rounds before the HK45 takes a place in my home defense.

Unfortunate that the issue occurred, however it gave me the opportunity to get to know the HK45 a bit more intimately.

:)

TheWombat
 
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