View Full Version : HK USP captive recoil spring c-clip replacement advice?

06-20-2008, 11:30 AM
Hey guys, just wondering if anybody has any tips on how to get these off or put them back on. I am talking about the little c-clip that holds in the washer that the recoil spring sits against at the front of the captive recoil spring assembly. I have an HK USP45 Expert and have searched here and elsewhere including on hkpro. By searching I have found the following:

- They are a [female dog] to get off.
- The recoil spring is not usually in need of replacement

I'm not a member on hkpro, I could sign up, but I figured I'd ask here first. I have a replacement recoil spring from Wolff in the next spring power weight up and have a couple of replacement c-clips being sent out from HK right now. Basically, with cheaper ammo, it is failing to cycle all the way fairly often. Not a problem with top quality stuff or +p loads, but with Wolfe (about 1in20 shots), Aguila (about 1in5), or Miwall reloads (maybe 1in2) the pistol will eject fine and start to chamber a new round but fail to close the action that last 1/8". A quick firm palm tap on the rear of the slide does the trick, but I gather that replacing the recoil spring should remedy the issue. I have already replaced the o-ring and that helped, but the prob hasn't gone away.

In any case, if anybody else has done this before and has any words of wisdom they would be appreciated.
[I am also posting this same question in the gunsmithing section.]

Thanks in advance guys,

06-20-2008, 12:06 PM
Get a small socket wrench that is big enough to go thru the spring rod but small enough to catch the C-clip. Just tap it with a hammer and it's on. That's how I installed my replacement C-clip when mine came off.

06-20-2008, 12:28 PM
FYI, that clip is not necessary.

So if you are going to be swapping springs often, it is easier to leave it off.

06-20-2008, 10:59 PM
Thanks for the advice guys, My real problem at this point is how to get it off though:confused:

Josh, thanks for the heads up. I read that it was not needed. Never really gave it much thought though. No plans to swap springs often though so I think I'd rather have it there and not have my recoil spring and washer trying to shoot themselves across the room when I field strip the pistol.

Mecam, thanks for the tip on installation, sounds easy enough. How did you get it off though?? I have been trying with my smallest pairs of needlenose pliers and snap ring pliers but I just can't seem to get any purchase on the thing. Any advice?

Thanks again all,

06-20-2008, 11:07 PM
Mecam, thanks for the tip on installation, sounds easy enough. How did you get it off though?? I have been trying with my smallest pairs of needlenose pliers and snap ring pliers but I just can't seem to get any purchase on the thing. Any advice?

Mine came off during normal usage. You might need a bearing puller or some tool like this.

http://www.10374.com/temp/ht.jpg (http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXM088&P=0)

06-21-2008, 3:07 AM
I have an H&K USP 40c and that little C clip "disappeared" about 2 years ago while shooting the gun. When I field stripped the gun for cleaning, I saw the problem. I managed to re-assemble the gun and it works without the C clip, but re-assembly takes about 3 hands and I only have 2.

I called H&K and they said they would send a couple of the replacement C clips, but they failed to do so. I called back but kept getting the voice mail of the guy who said he would mail the C clips. And he didn't return my messages, so I finally gave up on that.

I have gotten better at assembling the gun without that part, mainly through practice. But it is a source of annoyance that I have to do it. I suppose if I ever did obtain a new C clip I would have the same difficulty as other posters in figuring out how to attach it. It looks like it might take a special tool, which only the H&K plant would have.

06-21-2008, 6:13 AM
You have to pry the clip off, sometimes resulting in its destruction. If you
do get it off, it has to be crimped/re-bent back on.

06-21-2008, 8:10 AM
I have always just used a pair of either needle nose or regular pliers and just pressed them off. Place one end against the legs and the other against the rod and press. Sometimes twisting of the rod is required.

You can get replacements at the hardware store. Just take the part down there and see which one fits. Its just and E clip.

06-21-2008, 10:29 AM
I must have an old style clip. It is shaped like a c-and has a tiny gap.
Looks like its time for an up-grade.

07-04-2008, 1:21 AM
Well, got 'er done a couple days ago. HK shipped me free of charge a new pair of c-clips

(they came in a plastic bag, wrapped in bubble wrap in a comically large ~13"X11"X2" FedEx box. They would have fit in a non-padded envelope, padded would have been a nice touch, this giant box is just funny. I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth here, big thanks to HK for the quick, friendly service on the clips, but i just thought it was funny to send two clips smaller than half the size of a dime in such a huge box:D)

Back on topic:
Skip at Far West Guns here in SB was able to manipulate the old one off where my butter fingers couldn't. He just used a little flat head screw driver and a lot of patience while we were shooting the breeze about other stuff. One second it was frustratingly hopeless (for fear of applying too much force and marring up the guide-rod), the next second it was off.

I saved it as a backup, put on the new Wolff spring (1 size more powerful) and the new ring popped on quite easily using mecam's socket trick (worked like a charm - thank you:)). I wish I had taken a picture of the new spring next to the old, worn out, permanently compressed original - huge difference.

Suddenly the slide has much, much more resistance - in a good, new gun sort of way. I really like the much more positive feel of working the slide. I Haven't been able to shoot it yet though with the absolutely out of control wild fire (The Goleta "Gap Fire") burning 4 miles from my apartment :eek: which started right next to the local gun club (club is not burnt and I don't think had anything to do with it- it started on other side of the ridge, in the opposite direction from where you shoot and down by a popular spot for hiking, bouldering, camping, beer-drinking-while-sunset-watching, and hippie/college-kid-psychadelic-drug-taking). Hopefully I'll have a chance to try it out this weekend if I can make it down to Ojai.

Anyways, thanks for the help guys. If I don't post again in this thread, you can safely assume the pistol is back to shooting like it should:D


07-04-2008, 7:29 PM
sorry I'm a little late on posting this after the fact now, but did you have a problem with failure to feed? extract? or was it that the slide would not lock back?
Failure to lock back on last round is usually a mag spring problem.
Failure to feed is very rare and just pushing the the gun harder with higher power ammo does not sound like a great solution. Also, the standard spring should handle +P just fine. +P is less that 5% more charge than standard SAMII ammo, and should not be any problem for a USP. (yes, I know HK manual does not recomend it but practical experience with +P... it runs fine)
all that said, happy shooting! Great gun!