Folks who are friends with me on Facebook know I did something foolish this past weekend. Even though I really should know better; even though I am in the business; even though there's plenty of evidence against it; I did something stupid:
I field-stripped a Ruger Mark III.
I know, I know. I'm funny like that. You tell me I shouldn't do something, well, that's like waving the red flag in front of the bull. I had instructions. I had tools. I had an afternoon ahead of me...
I should have known better. It came apart pretty much exactly like the directions said it should. I got the four main groups separated, cleaned, and oiled with no problems.
Then I attempted reassembly.
The barrel went back on the grip assembly easily. The spring went into the bolt easily. The bolt even went into the barrel easily. Then I tried to get the mainspring housing back in and all hell (figuratively) broke looks.
Apparently, they're not kidding when they describe the steps that must be followed in order to get things back in place. I missed something (I think it was inserting the magazine to pull the trigger, now that I think about it) and when it all went back together, the bolt stuck open and the trigger wouldn't release the hammer.
At some point - I think it's when I grabbed the industrial-size screwdriver with the intent of prying the mainspring housing out of the pistol the hard way - I carefully zipped the Ruger in a pistol rug and put it in the safe. I had reached the point where any further action would have resulted in actual damage to the firearm, and despite how angry I was, I didn't want that.
I cleaned another gun (actually just ran a boresnake through an AR upper that I'm breaking in, that's about all I was good for at that point), took a nice, long, hot shower, and then did a little reading up on the Mark III on the 'net. Went downstairs into the workshop with a clear mind and took another look at the Ruger.
Now, I still don't know what I did to free up the mainspring, but it freed up and I was able to get the Ruger disassembled again. This time I took careful note of the position of things (and inserted the magazine), and was able to get it all together correctly. A couple function checks (including dry-firing a rimfire, which sets my teeth on edge even though they say it's okay) later and it was fine.
"A man's got to know his limitations." Dirty Harry, Magnum Force. Smart, smart words, and ones that we would do very well to heed. It's taken me a long time to get to this point, and even at that, I'm still working on it. I could tell the frustration level was getting to a point where I wasn't going to be able to do anything constructive, and was FAR more likely to result in something destructive. I took the most sensible route and walked away.
Kinda wished I'd done that more often, but I guess that's how I got to this point...
That is all.