home > Phoenix Arms HP22A last round magazine hold open and other useful information

Phoenix slide hold open after last round and other helpful information


lrho side by side comparison (discontinued)

lrho type

Holds rounds Component Quick E-reload capable Hammer always stay cocked Flick safety to chamber Reliability Pull slide back after last round Must buy one per mag Requires cutting grinding Install difficulty Availablility
catcher LRHO round
steel or brass round
9 aluminum/brass no yes yes yes yes yes no easy  unavailable
http://www.ephotobay.com/image/lrhosetth.jpg lrho set unavailable slide catcher round kit 9 aluminum/
yes yes yes yes no ready for two mag no easy unavailable
follower hold open


10 plastic/metal no yes yes yes yes yes no between easy and hard unavailable
saftey slide release hold open

safety/slide stop

10 metal/steel yes, fastest yes yes n/a, no field test (New theory suggest mod may increase frame strength, no more crack frame.)   no no yes hard unavailable

Most LRHO kit requires no grinding, marring, twisting, folding or altering your pistol or magazine in any way, no field stripping to install all the parts that come with the kit. Leaves your pistol in original condition.

Magazine disconnect disabler shim/key features:

  1. pressing the magazine release button allows the magazine to drop free
  2. clear the chamber whether the magazine is in or out. 
  3. helps clear jam
  4. field strip without the magazine inside.
  5. use the magazine to field strip. (The magazine helps unlock the stripping pin.)
  6. use the magazine to align the spring when putting the slide back in (if you have no other choice.)
  7. target practice single shot without the magazine.
  8. simply unplug shim (to revert back) to make the pistol child proof once again.

    "Because often, some rim fire pistol have an offset firing pin, the firing pin will strike the edge of the chamber when empty. It will start to peen the chamber and cause a burr to form." Symptoms of burrs are when the shell won't extract or a round won't chamber completely.

Some have reported that after 700rds you may crack the slide rail therefore this kit doesn't modify the pistol and your warrantee is likely covered by Phoenix.  A modified pistol may void its warrantee. Simply unplug the mod kit from the pistol and your pistol is unchanged. Frame cracking is another issue. Check out our shock absorbing guide rod.

"they're a great gun if you don't abuse them don't dry fire it, I broke 2 firing pins doing so, and it dinged the chamber to where it wouldn't reliably feed." 
-chevrofreak (thehighroad.org)


If I have two magazines, do I need two followers, where do they install?

Yes. If you have two magazine, you'll need two followers.  The follower is inserted inside the magazine from the bottom.

Does the kit hold the slide back after the last round is fired?

Yes. It will hold the slide back after the last round. It's intended to prevent dry fire only. After the slide locks back after the last round is fired, it will appear almost like a jam. Simply follow the procedure for clearing a jam. By pulling the slide, engage the safety then dropping the mag. 

I don't understand how this can work, can you explain?

A stainless steel rail embedded on the follower holds the slide open after the last round is fired. A dowel is fitted on top of the metal to help take on the impact. 

http://www.ephotobay.com/image/dovetail.pngCross section view. "M" shape anti-jam design.

Will this follower damage my pistol over time?

It's highly unlikely that it'll damage the part of the slide that strips a new round. That part (called the breech face) is made of case harden steel and more likely will crush the follower if the gun is ever tossed or dropped to the ground after the slide locks back. The breech face won't even show a scratch because of its superior strength over the follower.

What are the types of last round hold open for the Phoenix out there?

There are three versions for the Hp22. 

  1. Safety/slide stop hold open for hp22, hp25 (fastest reload, simple operation, lowest overall cost, an industry standard but requires mod to pistol. Isn't available for sale.) link
  2. A follower lock back,  as seen on this current page. Great for eliminating dry fire.
  3. A slide catching anodize aluminum round/slug. (Easy install. The stand alone round is rock solid, fool proof and installs easily. Works instantly. Behaves similar to a standard LRHO, only when buying the full kit, except that the user has to first flick the safety prior to dropping the mag. Fast reload.) 


Which mod kit is best?

The best one is probably the slug to prevent dry fire or to let you know you're out. Other alternatives are:


Why can't I load more than 9 rounds, even before the mod? Why don't they give it more space for that 10th round?

The magazine was originally design to hold more than 10. Therefore, it should be a little easy to get the 10th round in there. The follower, if made of steel, allows it to hold more than 10. Since it's plastic, it now holds only 10 on purpose. Some magazine are noticeably bad ones which makes them hard to get that 10th round in. For those magazines, you might try plunging the follower down with a #2 pencil with the eraser end all the way down into the magazine. Keep plunging it as far as it will go with an aggressive rapid motion for about 1/4 of a minute. This often breaks it in.  The 10th rounds should now load easily if this works. This could be caused by a piece of dirt or burs stuck on the follower from the factory or a bad follower or a bad base plate. The rapid motion clears the burs or seats the spring. If it's not caused by burs, a drop of oil may help.

IMPROPER INSTALLATION: If you can't load 10 rounds then it could be a sign of an improperly seated spring. This is bad news because the magazine grip could come loose from the vibration of live firing. This often will cause the spring, the grip, the follower and all rounds to come crashing down onto the floor. Some owners will usually want to blame this on a cheap pistol while that's not the case. The proper way to fix this is to take out the spring and go to step 3 below under Installation steps.  But this could be tricky. 


Other unrelated but important questions.

Is it safe to keep a round in the chamber on a phoenix arms hp22?

Short answer: Yes if your hp22 is properly maintained with all safeties on.

In our opinion, only if the hammer is fully un-cocked (not half-cocked) and either the main safety near the grip is engaged or the firing pin block is engaged. If you're likely to drop the pistol from a high location then use the firing pin block to stop the firing pin from striking the ammo. Be aware that the firing pin block is known to wear it out and could go limp suddenly. This could mean that it could lock you out in the middle of a shot or switch to fire when you don't want it to - but there's a fix, see How do I fix the firing pin block.  

(Sidenote: We're not sure how high to drop the pistol from a high location onto a hard surface while its fully un-cocked to be able to ignite the primer. If you're unsure and want to be on the safe side then engaging the firing pin block is a good idea, especially when climbing a ladder/stairs or on a balcony. If the firing pin block is in good condition then engaging this switch alone (while fully un-cocked) should be okay.)

   Safety tip 1:   DECOCKING: Always decock the hammer in a mechanical three-stage sequence as a habit of being safe. This only requires one hand. Engaging the firing pin block is the first of three stages. Since there have been many accidents involving decocking, the three-stage is built in to the Phoenix pistol partly for that purpose. *Make good use of it.* The last two stage decocking is a simple process but hard to explain in this page.

In our opinion, one hand decock is much safer because one hand is much more stable and easily controllable than with two hands. And because your right thumb can also act as a hammer block (buffer) while decocking. 

   Safety tip 2:   POINT BARREL in SAFE DIRECTION: Never decock the hammer or fiddle with the trigger while your other hand is in front of the barrel (loaded or not....) you may never know since the author of this page has been hit and hospitalized by not following this rule as a kid.

Does it hurt to dry fire phoenix arms hp22?

Yes. Even while the firing pin block engaged.  However, many will agree that a few dry fires wouldn't hurt. Read the dent tip box (below, right) for more info.

How do I remove firing pin spring from the phoenix arms hp22?

Using the smallest SAE hex key you could find that'll fit snug, (we'll update the hex key size soon) simply unscrew the set-screw counter clockwise on the slide rear plate. Remove the plate and remove the firing pin and the firing pin spring by shaking them out. Make sure to clear debris from the set screw and make sure the hex key goes all the way in before twisting the key. Stop twisting the hex key if the screw isn't budging or if the hex key appears loose (or too much play, wiggle). You can ruin the tool or the screw if you force this tiny screw. Find a bigger size hex key and try again. If the screw looks dry, spray WD-40 then wait a few minutes then retry.

http://www.ephotobay.com/image/firingpinwear.png http://www.ephotobay.com/image/firingpinassembly.png

DENT TIPS: If there is a dent on the barrel from dry firing, the firing pin is probably worn internally. You might want to stop dry firing.  Installing a new firing pin should stop further barrel denting. Ignoring this problem may only make the dent bigger. A dented barrel could cause a fail-to-feed and/or fail-to-extract or, in rare cases, cause a brass-case blow-out. A case blow-out could mean a hard-to-get-out stuck casing.

  DRY FIRE:   HOW TO DRY-FIRE PRACTICE. Dry firing is okay if:

In order to get a real feel for trigger travel, simply place a balled up paper grocery bag or newspaper into a size of pinto bean then place it on the firing pin's rear part of the gun then dry fire without worry of metal wear. The hammer strikes the paper, but not the firing pin.   WARNING  Don't put live ammo in the chamber. Don't pick up a gun then dry fire without first visually confirming that the hammer is blocked. This should not be used solely for childproofing.

 WARNING   DON'T FORGET to remove the paper before storing the gun away. 

 CAUTION:   Don't dry fire while the firing pin block is engaged. The firing pin block system may wear out and could be dangerous.  

Take down lever stuck. How do I remove the slide when the slide is severely locked up (a.k.a. severe lockup, or slide won't open or close)? 

With two magazine one on each hand, use the plastic grip end of the magazine onto both sides of the take down lever. Next, push the magazines onto the take down lever hard at the same time towards the exit of the barrel. While while at the same time, pushing the front end of the barrel down into the frame (You won't need a third hand. Just press the barrel onto the carpet floor at an angle.) Stop pushing the barrel and the take-down lever when feel the barrel is coming apart. If the magazine isn't strong enough, use two metal tools (not steel) with a square-end instead, making sure not to scratch the frame. The spring may be damaged in the process. This is something to be done by a professional, but it wouldn't hurt to try.

Severe lockup can occur from an improperly installed spring or it didn't have a mini guide rod.  Many people will often skip an important step regarding the spring coil ending (which can prevent a severe lockup) when installing the spring. The instruction to properly install the spring can be found inside the HP22(25) factory users manual or the guide rod installation manual. 


Why is the firing pin block safety loose? How do I fix the firing pin block? 

The symptom is when the gun won't fire after the first round or thereafter. This is because the firing pin block engages on its own during live fire. The user is baffled, believing the round is a dud when actually the firing pin block unexpectedly engages by gravity and vibration. This could be a hazard when this is your only life-support pistol. This could be spotted before the symptom shows up by recognizing that firing pin block switch is much loose or more flimsy than normal. The block switch shouldn't drastically wiggle when it's on FIRE. This is most likely cause by severe vibrations wearing out the firing pin block system in conjunction with a constant flicking of the switch, someone dry firing too many times with the switch engaged or an out-of-spec assembly to begin with. 

To fix this, remove the back plate with a hex key then use a flat-end needle or micro flat-end screw driver to the remove the firing pin block spring [diagram.] Once removed, bend the spring back to normal then reinstall. Inspect to make sure there isn't any more play. You won't likely find this spring for sale.  There is a cell-phone video of one person showing how to do this on Youtube, but we don't have that link.

Finally, you may want to reduce the vibration or keep the the firing pin block switch from jiggling back and forth when you're going thru many shots. If it jiggles, temporary tape it up to keep it from jiggling while you go thru hundreds or thousands of rounds at one time. Some people will go all-out and super-glue this switch in permanently. But that could be dangerous because this is a drop safety. It keeps the firing pin from striking the primer when the pistol is dropped from a high location. 



How to install a Phoenix follower

(These in depth instructions are updated regularly with safety precautions and troubleshooting not included instruction manual. It's highly recommend for follower kit owners to read.) 

Tools required:
(1) nail  (1-1/4"x 1/16", note:   does not work well with any nails thicker than this)  
(1) 22lr round

Disassemble steps:

  1. To remove the follower, install only one round into the magazine.
  2. Plunge and hold a small nail into the magazine grip hole then slide the grip towards the front. Newer magazines needs to be pushed harder.
  3. Once the grip begins to move, pull out the nail. Continue to slide the grip out all the way then pull the grip out.
  4. Remove the spring assembly 
  5. Shake out the follower. After 1 to 20 shakes the follower should drop to the floor. Do not  bend the magazine with any other tools, other than what's include with the kit to remove the follower. See troubleshooting for additional help.

Installation steps. 

  1. Drop a new follower in facing the same direction like when it was removed.
         refresh page to see image http://www.ephotobay.com/image/followright.png
  2. Insert the spring facing the spring's highest point to the rear of the follower, like the picture below. Reverse the spring base plate if it's facing the wrong way. 
  3. Push several spring coils into the base plate. 
  4. Then push the base plate into the magazine until it stay put. If they won't stay put, hold it there then slide the grip in the same way it came out. You may need to push a nail into the base plate to jog it.
  5. Load ten rounds into the magazine. The 9th and 10th should automatically lock it on its own often by noticing a 'click.'  If it won't load 9 or 10 rounds see troubleshooting for help. Don't go to step 6 until this step is complete.  For the Hp25 magazine, push the included shim in between the grip and the magazine to lock the base plate. (Hp25 lrho followers and Hp22 followers are two different parts.)
  6. For your protection, flip the firing pin safety on the slide (near the hammer) down to block the firing pin.
  7. Put the magazine into the pistol then feed all the rounds into the chamber. (Point the muzzle in a safe direction (see warning bottom of page***) and avoid looking directly inside the ammo docking bay while the slide is in sudden motion. Manual cycling is not a good habit to do but in this case it's a necessary check for a failure-to-feed. Be cautious.)  After the tenth round is ejected, the slide should stay open.
  8. Pull the slide back a little bit further then engage the safety with your right thumb. (This pistol won't eject the magazine unless the safety is engaged.)
  9. Press the magazine release then remove the magazine.
  10. Insert a fresh, loaded magazine. Lower the safety and a round should go into battery.

      Precautions:    Don't use the pistol to fire any rounds until you can load up to ten rounds on step 5. Once you can load ten rounds then you can load as few rounds as you like. 
refresh page to see image http://www.ephotobay.com/image/stepsinstall2.jpg


What it does and doesn't do: Locks slide back after the last round is fired. Doesn't lock back similar on what you find in a typical pistol. To do that you need the other "last round slide stop hold open"  (http://hp22aparts.mypress.onl..../hp22LRHO.html) with some hacksaw skills. That kit may not be available for sale. 

What it's used for:  Prevents dry fire. Easy chambering a round at the range. Designed with the female user in mind. 



Troubleshooting most common magazine problems:


 Problem   probable causes  solutions
Won't load more than 8 - 9 rounds.  Magazine spring isn't aligned and seated into the base plate. Remove the spring and base plate and reinstall. Make sure several coils are pushed into the base plate prior to inserting the spring into the mag. * See step 3.
The magazine grip won't stay locked. Magazine spring isn't aligned and seated into the base plate. Remove the spring and base plate and reinstall. Make sure coil is pushed into the base plate prior to putting it into the mag*
Failure-to-feed, follower isn't feeding ammo. Follower is binding or weak spring. Also see 'not feeding last round.' Remove the follower and reinstall. Try machine oil or silicone spray on the inner magazine inner walls to smooth out dryness, dirt or rust. Caution: remove most traces of sitting oil once evenly coated to prevent severe dust collecting.
Can't engage the factory safety after last round. User may be unfamiliar with the way it works.  Try pulling the slide back harder and hold it there for a second or two then engage the safety switch. Countless people have snipped off a small portion of the safety to prevent any problems.  
Not feeding last round. Worn, cracked follower. Stop using follower and contact seller for a warrantee replacement.
Can't remove the magazine grip. New magazines are typically harder to take apart.  Try pushing the grip parallel to the barrel a little harder. Take out the nail and continue pushing once the grip budges. Then pull the grip out.
Can't remove the follower. Either magazine or follower may be distorted. Use two sticks from both side of the magazine to push out the follower. example drawing
Ammo overshoot barrel then gets stuck pointing to sky. Magazine may be defective.  Try bending the magazine feed lips (bullet guide lips) inward tighter so it gets a tighter grip on the ammo. If bent too tight the ammo may not chamber. 

* In the factory assembly process, after the magazine is fully assembled, a rod (a #2 pencil) is used to plunge the follower all the way down the magazine well to lock the grip and align the spring (or to seat them.) This is a one-time process.






 Shooting safety guidelines for this mod kit:  

  1 .     Shoot with a normal stance. Which is at eye level at arm's length and horizontal, or parallel to the surface of the Earth. Eye protection is recommended.

  2 .     Bystanders should be behind the shooter, not beside the shooter or beside the gun being fired. 

  3.      Shoot with a standard velocity ammo on the last round. Avoid using high velocity ammo on the last round, or avoid using hyper/high velocity altogether.  

  4 .     Don't use a follower that shows signs of cracking, distorted or fails to feed. 

  5 .     Always decock the hammer in a three stage sequence whenever there is a live round in the chamber. Engaging the firing pin block is the first of three stage.

  5 .     Always wear goggles. In rare cases, if you're didn't get hit by the flying broken hammer, a bullet bounce back, a stray shell, you could get hit by the safety switch or the grip when the frame splits in half. 


  Manual cycling safety warnings:  

  1. Manual cycling with a bad, rusted extractor or firing pin may cause the extractor or the firing pin to fire the gun unintentionally. Always point the gun in a safe direction. A direction where no one is around. Use snap caps if you have them.

  2. Check to make sure you can move the firing pin or the extractor back and forth with your finger nails. It should move easily and not appear frozen from rust, corrosion, syrup (Cola drinks spilled on it) or etc. 

  3. Make sure to throw out ammos with its bullet sunken in that had occurred during manual cycling, which rarely occurs on a 22 round. Avoid manual cycling excessively.

  4. A magazine misfeed during manual cycling or during shooting (such as overshooting the barrel or ammo jam) may ignite the ammo then send off brass projectiles. Wear safety goggles. Recommend aiming at the ground during manual cycling, with the pistol's chambering bay pointed away from you. See "Ammo overshoot barrel..." under troubleshooting.

  5. There are other accident scenarios that we can't foresee. It's up to the owner to use common sense.


  Disabled magazine disconnect personal safety warnings:   

  • Disabling the magazine disconnect may allow an opponent who has a hold of your gun to use it against you. Your children may injure themselves or others. On the other hand, there are several dangers to yourself, your family while the magazine disconnect is still intact: 
  1. a gun with a magazine disconnect will prevent you from defending yourself if you gain control over your gun with no magazine.
  2. you must quickly find the magazine in the dark in an emergency if you accidentally lose the magazine. 
  3. an accidental discharge may occur if you're not familiar with it then spends a long time trying to clear the chamber
  4. you can't engage in any type of self defense speed reload with the magazine disconnect intact.  
  5. clearing a jam in some cases, can be difficult or impossible. 
  6. trying to clear a severe jam can pose a risk to yourself or others. To clear, try this: You release the mag, and while you slowly slide it out you push the safety down.
  7. some may find the mag disconnect very complicated for self defense while under stress (e.g. female users) and may be tempted to throw the gun
  8. attempting to throw a useless gun at the assailant may cause the gun to go off at yourself or bystanders 
  9. expect more moving parts that may suddenly fail
  10. expect some resistance trying to pull out the magazine
  11. may not be 100% child proof, see example below

  • Child proofing: Some people will remove the magazine to prevent a child from having control over the gun. Children or curios teens may shove household articles into the pistol's magazine slot allowing the safety to drop, and the gun able to be fired...even after the articles are later removed. Guns should be kept away from children, when you're not around. 

  • Confusion: Disabling the magazine disconnect can confuse some people who believe they can't pull the trigger without the magazine inside. Warn others of your mod. Avoid letting them handle your gun without you around.

  • After looking over the facts, only you can decide whether or not to disable the mag disconnect. We can't decide for you.












last updated 2013

copyrighted 2013