Krebs "hammer & trigger pin retaining plate" review
"Bendy Paper Clip Thingy", "Shepherd's Crook" or plain "Hammer & Trigger Pin Retainer Spring", there are many names for the spring that prevents your trigger group from falling out. The most appropriate name we found however is the "Ex Wife Spring"; once you take it out it will make your live hell. This review describes an alternative to the original pin. The "Krebs Custom Guns Hammer and Trigger Pin Retainer Plate AK-47"
Original WASR-10 Part: the Shepherd's Crook
Michail Kalashnikov once said; "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple." When he said this he was of course talking about his invention the AK-47. Like all other AKM's the WASR-10 is very to work on. There is however one part that takes the fun right out of working in the action. The "Shepherd's Crook" is a wire spring that folds under your hammer pin, past your trigger pin to you safety lever cross bar. It rests in a groove in both pins and prevents them from falling out. If you remove it your hammer and trigger pins will slide to the left which allows you to extract your fire control group.
Removing the original Shepherd's Crook is easy enough; just remove your safety lever and you can pick it right out. Replacing it however, can be a royal pain. Although it is by no means impossible it can be pretty frustrating to align it just right in the two pins and then get it around get the safety lever and seat the safety lever. It's doable, but not quick and very annoying. The Krebs retainer plate replaces this spring with a simple plate that has the same function but, unlike the spring, is easy to mount. Why didn't Michail think of this...
What can we say; it Krebs, its quality. High Grade steel that seems to be heat treated and not brittle. Is comes with a slight kink, to prevent it from rattling around too much we think. Not much else to say.
Figure 1: Original Spring vs. Krebs Retainer Plate.
Droppin' It In.
Installation is simple. These are the steps.
1.) Remove the action cover.
2.) Remove the recoil spring.
3.) Move the Safety lever up under a 90 degree angle and then remove it.
4.) Pick out the original Shepards Crook and forget about it.
5.) Place the open end of the retainer plate against the left side of the action and then slide it down into the hammer pin groove.
6) Now slide the plate down into the groove on the trigger pin. Replace the safety through the hole in the retainer plate.
7.) Now test the your assembly skills by using a punch (like that one in your butstock cleaning kit) to try and push out the hammer and trigger pin. If you can't push them out your assembly skills are WASR-10.COM approved.
8.) Finally replace your recoil spring and receiver cover and you are done!
Figure 2: Installing the Krebs Pin Retainer Plate in the WASR-10.
The hammer and the trigger pin seem move around a little bit morer than with the Shepards Crook (which was under more tension allowing it to keep the pin in place tighter). However a little play is what the WASR is all about and on our test WASR the pins will NOT come out with the Krebs Retainer Plate in place. So it serves it purpose while being easy to remove and replace.
Unless you are really into keeping your WASR original or you are sure you will never even remove any part of the action including the safety switch, we recommend you buy this part. As it make reassembling the action a breeze while still being just as functional as the original pin. You could probably buy a lower quality plate for a few bucks less, but since this plate is less than $10 why bother going with lower quality. Sure the plate feels a bit loose than the original pin, but this does not impact the performance of the rifle.
We give this part a 5 out of 5!
If you want to know more about the "Krebs Hammer & Trigger Pin Retainer Plate", click here: Krebs Custom USA