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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Maybe my recent experiences can add some understanding of this problem and help some one else.

My 232 takedown lever was extremely hard to operate every time I came home from the range, 100 rounds or so. If I would have gone 200 rounds I would guess it might lock up tight in the assembled position. Rotating it repeatedly with the movement available while flooding the bottom cavity of the frame with lighter fluid, and purging the area with a can of compressed air proved to be the best method of restoring somewhat normal operation of the lever and stop. The problem was finally determined to be that the detent pin was getting stuck in the bore that houses the spring and pin, presumably by dirt or grit.

I finally decided to do a complete dissassembly of the lever, stop, and detent. Drove the lever out of the frame and stop, removed the detent spring and pin. No identifiable crud was found in the sping/pin cavity but I cleaned thoroughly with lighter fluid and Qtips. Installed the lever and stop minus the detent and found the lever swings freely in the frame with no interference. Measured up the pin for possible fabrication of a replacement as parts are getting scarce for the P232. Reassembled detent cavity with a generous dab of white lithium grease, and then applied more grease covering the area between the detent and stop, hopefully to exclude the minute dirt that seems to be infiltrating the detent bore. The lever and detents function perfectly now. I havnt shot it yet since the teardown and cleaning, more on that in the near future, maybe tomorrow.

Takeaways from all this.

1. Why so little dirt causes this problem is unknown. Going forward my maintenance routine will include applying grease to the detent area for lubrication and to create a barrier for any foreign stuff working down alongside the detent pin.

2. If the lever is not returning completely to the horizontal/assembled position, DO NOT FIRE IT! The stop must be resting in contact with the frame to transfer the "Hit" it takes when the slide reaches rearward end of travel directly to the frame. If the lever isnt fully up, and the stop against the frame, the lever shaft will be taking the blow, likely contributing to some of the broken levers we are hearing about. (IMHO)

3. The lever and detent removal certainly isn't part of normal user maintenance, but it wasn't at all difficult either. The whole project, including measuring, picture taking, and pondering took maybe 45 minutes. It could be performed again in about 15 minutes I suspect.

Hope this helps someone! I would really really like to see some pictures of a broken lever if anybody has repaired their own. It appears that if the lever were to break then the lever handle would need to be Dremeled off, shaft driven out, stop manipulated to takedown position with a screwdriver or special tool, and dissassembled normally after all that. (Hope I don't write a post later on all that though!)
 

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I don't have exact dates but yours was manufactured later than mine (S265918) which has had no problems associated with the take-down lever. My only dissenting opinion is the liberal use of grease IMO that would attract and collect more debris/particles created by firing. I would also ask you as to what ammunition you were using, that seems to be what created and resulted in the particles, the ammunition I've used has been very clean in the past and I've used several manufacturers. Just wondering to see if any others have thoughts about the ammunition.

Your access to and ability to manufacture your own replacement parts is great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't have exact dates but yours was manufactured later than mine (S265918) which has had no problems associated with the take-down lever. My only dissenting opinion is the liberal use of grease IMO that would attract and collect more debris/particles created by firing. I would also ask you as to what ammunition you were using, that seems to be what created and resulted in the particles, the ammunition I've used has been very clean in the past and I've used several manufacturers. Just wondering to see if any others have thoughts about the ammunition.

Your access to and ability to manufacture your own replacement parts is great.
The ammunition is definitely suspect! Recently its been range-for-sale reloads. The liberal grease use is admittedly a compromise. The extreme application this first time is more intended to prove the dirt theory true or false. Ive got so much over the detent nothing could possibly enter the spring chamber. A much smaller amount may be used in the future. These all being sliding parts, grease may be the right lubricant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Range report

Finally had a chance to check out the P232 at the range after the detent removal and cleaning. After 100 rounds (approx) of range reloads there is no compromise of the takedown lever operation. 100 rounds would have rendered the lever almost seized in place before the removal and greasing. I intentionally used white lithium grease so as to evaluate just how much, if any, debris was collecting in the frame cavity, and post range inspection shows no dirt that I can determine. For now, keeping the detent clean and liberally greased seems to be the solution for my particular problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Update on takedown lever fix

Now several months, and about 250 rounds later, the takedown lever on my 232 still operates perfectly. The white lithium grease used shows no visible dirt at all, so this area of the frame doesnt actually accumulate any debris to speak of. I'm gonna call this one solved! Thanks for everyones interest, and feel free to contact me if you have a question I could help with.
 
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