SA 1911A1 Hammer/Sear problem


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ShaiVong
December 4, 2004, 03:48 PM
For some reason my sear doesnt seem to be holding the hammer back on my 1911A1. If I bring the slide all the way back and let it snap forward, the hammer rides with the slide to the safety stop. It only happens if I bring it all the way back and let it snap forward, or if I use the slide lock lever to let it snap forward. I just completely disassembled it, and all the parts seem to be in great condition, no bad wearing.

Any idea as to what the problem may be? Last time I took it out shooting it worked fine (barring numerous FTE problems from cheap silver bear ammo), I noticed this problem when I was dry firing it.

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1911Tuner
December 4, 2004, 04:10 PM
Howdy ShaiVong,

A few things come to mind...

Bad hammer hooks or incorrect sear primary angle.

Weak or overtweaked sear spring.

Do this test to confirm somethin' for me...

Cocke the hammer and dry-fire the gun...but hold the trigger back. Rack the slide by hand to cock the hammer again and let it snap forward while keepin' the trigger pulled. (ouch)

If the hammer doesn't fall, you've probably got sear spring issues. If it does, things are likely a little more involved.

Standin' by..

ShaiVong
December 5, 2004, 01:43 AM
I will do that test 1911; but if my memory serves me, it will fall. I initially was alarmed because I thought it might go FA; but the hammer does fall when the trigger is held back, and it hits the saftey stop.

ShaiVong
December 5, 2004, 02:05 AM
OK. I took the spring and bent the 3 different pieces just a tad in the direction that they are curved (to increase the force), and now the hammer cocks much more 'positively' i guess is the word I would use; and the trigger break is slightly heavier.

However, the problem still persists. Still rides forward when the slide is allowed to snap.

1911Tuner
December 5, 2004, 03:23 AM
Okay..Sounds like this one ain't gonna be simple.

You may have worn hammer hooks...or hooks that have been cut too short during a trigger job...or cut to an oversquare attitude, which tends to spit the sear out of engagement...like a camming surface instead of a capturing engagement.

If you have access to a dial indicator, you can test it.

Clamp the pistol in a vise firmly enough to prevent movement, but not so tight that you damage it. Cock the hammer and zero the indicator on the spur. Slowly squeeze the trigger and watch the indicator needle. If it moves toward the negative side of zero, your hooks are bad.

It also may be as simple as a weak or broken mainspring. Some triggersmiths will install a light mainspring in order to shave off every ounce possible, but
light mainsprings don't fight the inertial bounce of the hammer as they should.

As nearly as I can tell from what you've described...I'm gonna make a call on bad hammer hooks. Time to go see a smith.

Luck!

Tuner

JeffC
December 5, 2004, 04:36 AM
Dang Tuner, don't you ever sleep? :evil:

Sad part is Springfield and Kimber just refuse to put extra meat on their hammer hooks. This is where Colt has the advantage in my opinion.

Bill Z
December 5, 2004, 08:33 AM
Could be a short sear also, and I've seen a few Springers with the holes way out of alignment too.

stans
December 5, 2004, 08:49 AM
If I bring the slide all the way back and let it snap forward, the hammer rides with the slide to the safety stop. It only happens if I bring it all the way back and let it snap forward, or if I use the slide lock lever to let it snap forward.
Is this to say that you let the slide slam shut on an empty chamber? If so, then the sear and/or hammer hooks are damaged. The only time you let the slide slam shut on an empty chamber is when testing for hammer follow after performing a trigger job. Even then, you only do it three or four times, then never again.

When the slide slams on an empty chamber, the hammer tends to bounce on the sear and this ruins the nice, sharp engagement surfaces. It basically rounds them off. It also puts undue stress on the lower locking lug on the barrel and the slide stop pin.

1911Tuner
December 5, 2004, 09:08 AM
Bill Z said:

Could be a short sear also, and I've seen a few Springers with the holes way out of alignment too.
__________________

Very good points, and absolutely true. Though I haven't run into hole misalignment in any of the recent Springfields with hammer follow issues,
I've heard of a few who have..and I've seen one short sear in a friend's new
Loaded Model. We prepped and slipped in a Nowlin Pro-Match sear...checked it out...and cured the problem. Lucky, Lucky, Lucky! A little breakaway angle and the gun was happy, happy, happy.

Stans brought up a very good point too. Letting the slide go on empty is bad JuJu...and for all the reasons that he stated.

I've seen guns that would follow every time on empty, and never when feeding. Problem is, that eventually they'll follow when feeding too...and they can't be trusted. They might work perfectly for thousands of rounds and suddenly go burp without warning. Not a concern if you can guarantee that you'll have a solid grip on the gun every time you pull the trigger or reload...
but I can't promise that. Can you?

Luck!

Tuner

Dave Sample
December 5, 2004, 05:27 PM
Tuner is going to hate me on this one. Metric 1911 from Brazil has bad hammer /sear engagement. This is not safe to fire and should go to a competent pistiolsmith. I rarely try to drum up business for these pals of mine, but in this case, I think it should be fixed by a Pro. The height of the hammer hooks has nothing to do with this problem. I have seen guns with0.015 hooks that are reliable and I would bet that Tuner has , too. I set mine at 0.019 and then fit the sear to the hooks. I think that it either needs a a professional trigger job and or new parts installed if these parts can't be saved. Just my opinion.

1911Tuner
December 5, 2004, 05:48 PM
.015 hooks? :eek:

Not on one of MY pistoles Cap'n. Nossiree Bob!

Only problem I've noticed on past Springfields is the hole locations for the hammer and sear pins. It was intermittent, though...Some were on the money, some were barely in-spec, and some were off the scale. The seem to have a handle on it recently. Likely better fixtures for the drillin' operation. Every one that I've checked lately...since the introduction of their
WW2 GI Model...has checked good across pins from the slidestop hole and from each other on two axes. Gotta draw some triangles and do the trig
on those last two. Arc tangents and sines and cosines and alla that crap.
I might see if I can work it out with a geometric theorum later...just fer funsies. :cool:

They're within ordnance specs though. After that, it's all up to the sear length and the primary angle.

Cheers!

Dave Sample
December 5, 2004, 06:03 PM
I haven't looked at SA for many years, Tuner. I will take your word for it. Also I would like to think they are better guns than they were back then. When I first saw them, they were like Brazilian Norincos. Let us hope that they are much improved.

1911Tuner
December 5, 2004, 06:15 PM
They're MUCH better than they were even 5 years ago, Cap'n. I had given up on'em until I started hearin' good things about the WW2 GI clones. I
tried one out...got the inside story...and procured one for my very own.

After a little light tweakin' and upgraded small parts, I'd carry it back to the 'Nam without drawin' a breath.

Now if they could just find a vendor that can supply'em with consistent extractors and ejectors, they'd cause some sleepless nights over at Colt,
I garon-dagnab-tee.

stans
December 6, 2004, 06:58 AM
0.015" hammer hooks? Yeah, I tried that.....once. That hammer is now in my bag of useless parts. I prefer 0.019"-0.020" deep hammer hooks these days. I'm just not as brave as I used to be. :scrutiny:

Wichaka
December 6, 2004, 02:19 PM
Around .023 for me please..........I really must have lost my nerve!

I ran into a TRP a few months back that would not take an after market sear. After messin' with it for a few days, I lined up the 3 different sears that I tried and found the stock SA sear had some weird maching to it.......I'm guessing they did that to compensate for the pin holes being out of spec? And the pin hole wouldn't match up with the other sears as well......

So I left the stock sear in it and fit it better for the trigger job.........

But am gettin' in a Colt GM 1965 vintage to work on..........oh can hardly wait to actually work on somethin' that is more than likely in spec..........

Have been doin' too many Sa's lately.........gets old after awhile.

Dave Sample
December 6, 2004, 09:59 PM
I did not mean to imply that Tuner would have 0.015 hammer hooks in any of his guns, but since he has seen a lot more guns than I have, I thought perhaps he had seen one or two and replaced tham, of course. I do not have any to show you because they go out in the trash and I never give them back. I used to use 0.018 but have gone up to 0.019 just to be safe in my old age.

txgho1911
December 6, 2004, 10:35 PM
Is it possibly related to some of these out of spec parts you know of?
I have experienced on 2 maybe 3 instances of the suprise double tap. If I knew it was coming I could have some fun. Otherwise I kept going and not experienced that again. Never a follow down. Has not happened after initial 500-750 rounds. One idea explained to me before was a loose grip in the pistol. The recoil motions energy was felt by hammer sear and hooks. Any truth to that ?

stans
December 7, 2004, 07:49 AM
One idea explained to me before was a loose grip in the pistol. The recoil motions energy was felt by hammer sear and hooks. Any truth to that ?

Not if the fire control system is properly tuned, at least in my limited experience. I have successfully set up one of my 1911's with a 3.5 pound trigger, never a follow down, never a double or worse. Nowadays I prefer a 4 pound pull and my 1911 with the 3.5 pound trigger now sports a sane 4 pound trigger. My finger can barely tell the difference. A crisp, clean breaking trigger will always feel lighter than it really is and a crisp and clean 5 pound trigger will feel better and lighter than a gritty 3.5 pound trigger.

1911Tuner
December 7, 2004, 08:02 AM
Yep stans.

I used to play with those things. I've gone as short as .016 without problems...and have tweakedandtweakedandtweaked until I got a couple down to under 3 pounds without the burp experience...but that was done on toys and I've since learned better than to do that...even on a toy. I prefer
.025, 89 degree hooks nowadays, thank you.

There's a local smith who has gained a little notoriety for completely reliable
2-pound triggers in these critters. The lad is talented and patient beyond all reason. He stays so busy with trigger jobs for the local gamers that he barely has time to spend with his young family. He is completely honest and
always asks: "What are going to use the gun for?" If the answer is carry/duty/defense...he takes the time to explain to the customer that he
strongly advises against taking it under 5 pounds. If the customer insists, he has them sign a waiver stating that he...the smith...has notified the owner that the trigger job is intended strictly for the target range and not recommended for a duty weapon. Not because the job will likely fall apart...but because it's too light for the intended purpose.

Cheers!

ShaiVong
December 11, 2004, 03:45 PM
OK. Do you think it would be worth buying a new hammer/sear and spring kit? I know you can buy them from brownells and such. Anyone have a brand/model reccomendation?

ShaiVong
January 3, 2005, 05:44 PM
I bought a new leaf spring, hammer, sear and extractor. I swapped out all the parts but the safty wasnt working right. It was really hard to move and quite spongy. I removed the sear and put the old one back in and now it all works perfect.

I'm low on 45 ammo so I shot all I had left (about 40-50 rounds) with zero stoppages. This leads me to believe that it was in fact my extractor that was causing the 1-2 stoppages per mag I was getting.

Thanks for all your help guys!

R.H. Lee
January 3, 2005, 05:53 PM
I bought a new leaf spring, hammer, sear and extractor. Where did you get them? Are they machined as opposed to MIM? And they dropped in and fit?

ShaiVong
January 3, 2005, 08:46 PM
this is my invoice:


207-800-120 80012 MCCORMICK SERIES 70 SEAR 1 8.01 8.01
207-870-110 87011 MCCORMICK SERIES 70 HAMMER 1 16.72 16.72
965-011-290 R29 SEAR SPRING 1 3.20 3.20

I'm positive they could have benefited somewhat from hand fitting, but I have NO idea how to do that so I just dropped them in. Like I said before, the sear was giving the thumb safty problems so i took it out. Had I been a competent smith I'm sure I could have done something to make it work.

Edit:

I forgot, I had to bend the extractor just a bit to make it work. It came with instructions for fitting.

Wichaka
January 4, 2005, 05:27 PM
Yer safety will have to be fitted to the sear. Anytime you change the safety and/or sear, that needs to be checked. After fitting the safety to the sear, there should be no more than .005" movement from the sear when pulling the trigger. If there is, re-weld........or get a new safety and start over.

cidirkona
January 4, 2005, 07:08 PM
I think we should play a little game of "Stump 1911Tuner" because I dont' think it can be done...

-Colin

R.H. Lee
January 4, 2005, 07:22 PM
After fitting the safety to the sear, there should be no more than .005" movement from the sear when pulling the trigger. That right there is beyond me. Maybe I'll buy the parts, though, and see if they fit/work together in the frame.

Jammer Six
January 4, 2005, 09:14 PM
Riley, he was telling you how to tell if it works.

If what you say is so, and that's beyond you, then you won't be able to tell if what you buy works.

R.H. Lee
January 4, 2005, 10:04 PM
If what you say is so, and that's beyond you, then you won't be able to tell if what you buy works. If it goes "bang" everytime, I figure it works. :p I have no idea whether it's .05" or .000005" 'cause that's not my field of expertise. I'll do one helluva tax return for ya though. :neener:

Wichaka
January 5, 2005, 02:14 AM
All aftermarket safeties I've tried have had to be fitted, because they make the lug oversize.........so it can be fitted to the particular sear.

I'll make ya a trade.........I'll fit your safety, you do my taxes? :)

Dave Sample
January 5, 2005, 03:24 PM
Stump Tuner? If you do he will lock the thread!

R.H. Lee
January 5, 2005, 03:38 PM
I'll make ya a trade.........I'll fit your safety, you do my taxes? Yes, if I could figure out how to get the pistol to 'ya and it's more or less an equal barter. Now if you're running a big company with thousands of employees and have lots of offshore bank accounts, etc., we'd have to talk some 'boot'. :p

Jammer Six
January 5, 2005, 04:24 PM
If it goes "bang" everytime, I figure it works.

Yup, so did I. Common mistake.

Going "bang" every time you have a safety on is frowned on at our range, but I can see how it could be okay at an accountant's range. :neener:

Wichaka
January 5, 2005, 09:03 PM
Dave Sample: Stump Tuner? If you do he will lock the thread!


Which is better than someone putting out bad information.

1911Tuner
January 5, 2005, 09:17 PM
Dave Sample: Stump Tuner? If you do he will lock the thread!
*******************

ROFL...You stump me about twice a week, Cap'n. I can't figger where you come up with some of this stuff... :rolleyes:

Dave Sample
January 6, 2005, 07:57 PM
"Well................................butter my butt and call me a Biscuit!"

Wichaka
January 6, 2005, 10:10 PM
Sorry Dave..........not into that type of thing.

You need to post that on the 'alternative forum'........... :neener:

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