Hammer hooks...how low can you go?


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JeffC
December 13, 2004, 10:41 PM
I bought a hammer and sear for a Colt Combat Target model, I was expecting .023-.025 hammer hooks that Colt uses but instead this hammer had .016 deep hooks. I would have never bought it if I knew the hooks were that thin.... Is this common in Gold Cup type guns? The last Gold Cup I had was an early 80 series with a spur hammer.

So I figured I'd at least give the set up a try in one of my pistols and surprisingly it had a good crisp trigger pull, not too light. I was sure that the hammer would fall just by breathing on it :rolleyes:. I even flicked the hammer umpteen times and no following, then dropped the slide 'twice' and only 'twice' still no following. I coated the sear and hammer hooks w/ magic marker and the sear is getting solid full patch contact all the way across.

I've had factory hammers that had .019 to .020 hooks, and once or twice I even had one with hooks that were .018 deep but .016 deep on the hammer hooks? Seems dangerous to me...

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Onmilo
December 14, 2004, 12:25 AM
The hammer will be fine as long as you use it with the provided sear.
The two parts have been dimensionally matched and are safe as a set.
Some very light stoning and the set shoud be ready for use.

Wichaka
December 14, 2004, 02:16 AM
I like a bit more meat on mine........around .023" please.

Jammer Six
December 14, 2004, 03:35 AM
Wichaka, can you get four and a half or five pounds with .023 hooks?

stans
December 14, 2004, 06:08 AM
It's not just the depth of the hooks that creates the trigger pull, it is the fit and finish of all of the fire control parts that makes the pull. You can have 0.016" deep hammer hooks and have a seven pound pull and it can be gritty if the springs are not properly tuned, the engagment surfaces are rough and uneven and the disconnector, sear, and/or trigger have rough contact spots on the receiver. There is a huge misconception that you need minimum engagement depth to get a good trigger. With more engagement depth you might get a little more creep, but if the parts all fit together properly and are well polished, you won't notice it one bit.

Wichaka
December 14, 2004, 12:21 PM
Ya........what stans said............

People tend to think that a lot of parts needs to be swapped out to get a good trigger..........'taint so.

I like .023 hooks, but its hard to find an after market hammer that has more than .020" I can get 4lb triggers with .023" hooks, and still use the stock sear spring & 23lb main spring.

I prefer my triggers at 4 3/4lbs +.............although I've done some 5lbers, that felt a lot less.............

HSMITH
December 14, 2004, 08:32 PM
I like them like Wichaka does, at LEAST .020" and 4.5 pounds to 5 pounds in pull weight. I have had a couple guns with 2.5 pound pulls, and .014" or so hooks. I made some of them that way myself, and some I paid good money to have done. They don't last, at least in my guns I had hammer follow and/or multiple discharges within 20K rounds, some of them inside of 10K rounds. I also think that the pull weight and quality changes over time when you have the short hooks. I had one gun with .020" hooks and an honest 3 pound pull, it lasted to 50K rounds that I know of and was consistent from day one until I sold it. I know what works for me, and what I can count on. YMMV.

JeffC
December 14, 2004, 09:17 PM
I like 'em with plenty of meat too, the whole reason I bought this hammer and sear was because it was Colt parts, I've always thought Colt had only good meaty .025+ hooks.

Do you think this was a fluke, or did Colt actually intend on these hooks being .016?

There is zero evidence of someone filing the hooks down, whether it was on purpose or not this was a factory job.

1911Tuner
December 15, 2004, 04:44 AM
Howdy Jeff,

The hammer was probably one that slipped through the cracks. I've never seen a stock Colt hammer with hooks shorter than .025 inch.

You CAN make the hooks longer with a file or a mill...I prefer a mill...but one thing to be aware of is that doing so causes the sear to rotate further into the hammer. When it rotates, the primary angle doesn't sit at the same attitude that it did, but rather noses down. The hooks and the primary no
longer "agree" and the primary will require recutting to regain correct engagement with the hooks. Of course...if the hammer is out of spec,
cutting the hooks to correct length may allow the sear to rotate just enough to actually bring it into agreement...No way to tell until ya do the deed and look at the engagement under a magnifying glass....but I wouldn't bet on gettin' that lucky.

Hope this helps.

JeffC
December 16, 2004, 12:28 AM
I took the plunge and filed and stoned the hammer today, took a long time I might add.... I got the hooks down to .025 then squared them off. Feels like a good "rolling" trigger but I couldn't get the inside angle to stay a sharp 90 degree corner. Tomorrow I'll put a secondary angle on the sear, since I couldn't cut the inside corner as sharp as I wanted. I'll let you know how I make out.

JeffC
December 16, 2004, 09:10 PM
As you stated Tuner, the hooks do not "agree" now. The sear will have to be re-cut but I hate to rush it and foul it up so I'll do it when I'm having a slow day.

Bladeandbarrel
December 17, 2004, 12:03 AM
The hammer was probably one that slipped through the cracks. I've never seen a stock Colt hammer with hooks shorter than .025 inch.

Thats funny as every new one I have seen and ALL the new, unused GI forged, replacement hammers I own have less than .025 hooks.

What is the GI spec on hammer hooks? maybe all 5 of my new, unused GI hammers are out of spec?

JeffC
December 17, 2004, 12:15 AM
Anthony, the 3 series 80 Colt Gov't model's I've owned all have had .025 hooks. I don't recall what my GoldCup's hooks were though.

Never had any new G.I. hammers, what do yours measure out to?

1911Tuner
December 17, 2004, 05:54 AM
Anthony asked:

>What is the GI spec on hammer hooks? maybe all 5 of my new, unused GI hammers are out of spec?<
**********************

Ordnance specs are .030 plus/minus .003 inch, but most new hammer hooks generally run from .027-.032 inch with .025 being an absolute minimum
acceptable for service grade pistols. I've seen some with hooks that are as high as .035 inch. Below minimum, the hammer was rejected unless all other specs were within the acceptable range...and the hammer was deemed serviceable for match pistols. Above the maximum spec, and it was a simple matter of using a feeler gauge and a stone to "Bring them in" if desired.

At least...those were the criteria put forth when I was spendin' my spart time around the armory, pickin' the brains of the old salts and botherin' Gunny. :cool:
____________________________

Anthony stated:

>>Thats funny as every new one I have seen and ALL the new, unused GI forged, replacement hammers I own have less than .025 hooks.<<
*********************

The thing about "New, Unused" USGI anything is that most of the really good stuff has long since dried up, and most of what you'll find in surplus lots or
gun shows is actually Ordnance Department reject parts. The reasons for rejection can range from finish to specs...and the spec rejected part can
be anything from "Tweakable" to completely unuseable. The most often encountered rejected, still-in-the-wrapper parts are extractors sears, and disconnects. Caveat Emptor.

The rumor is that: (From a pretty reliable source)

Before the government contracts ran out, Colt had produced tons of parts in anticipation of a new contract that never materialized...Remington Rand probably did too. When the new contracts didn't come, they satisfied the military's spare parts requirements, and used the overrun in their commercial pistols until the lots were exhausted...probably sometime in the mid to late 60s...and I have a suspicion that they even sold some of them to the highest bidder. It's really hard to know at this point, but I've run into a few early Springfields that had small parts that looked suspiciously like genuine USGI
stuff. There's really no telling where many of them wound up...and there's no telling where the arsenal rejects finally came to call home, either. One of our
historians may have more accurate or more verifiable information on this.

So...Your parts may well be out of spec as far as the Ordnance Department is concerned, but completely serviceable for civilian use with a little careful fitting and attention to detail...and possibly just as they are.

Bladeandbarrel
December 18, 2004, 12:14 AM
It is my undertsanding that US GI replacement parts were made well into the 1990's to service pistols in the system. I have sears in the foil pack from 1991 with contractor and cage numbers that are prettier yhan 99% of the aftermarket parts out there. I think the majority of new items out there are overrun "surplus" or pilfered. Some are probably rejects as well although it is hard to say.

I too have seen early SA's with a mismash of parts. Mostly brazilian surplus I would guess but a bit of everything.

The commercial parts drying up in the 60's holds some water for Colt parts, but not Rem Rand, Ithaca, and the others that made a bazillion parts during the great hate. Probably one reason at the gun shows you see fewer Colt parts (checkered safety/slide stop) than the others.

I bought the brownells file because so many of my "new" hammers ahd short hooks. The GI's were pretty short, so were most of the Colts and most of the aftermarket ones favored one side. Lots of junky parts out there.

I am going to measure some more hammers and get back to you all.

Bladeandbarrel
December 18, 2004, 12:26 AM
I went back and measured my hooks a bit more precisely.
Tuner is on the money.

I have about 10 unused, serrated spur, GI hammers and all but one were at least .025. The majority were a bit more, one was .031.
I have some Colts that are all over the place and these are what I remembered measuring.

Looks the the GI hammers are spot on and I stand corrected.

Measure away gents.

1911Tuner
December 18, 2004, 09:12 AM
Anthony said:

It is my undertsanding that US GI replacement parts were made well into the 1990's to service pistols in the system.
*******************

I've heard of those parts...but haven't seen any. Wish I COULD find
a few late-production USGI parts! I'd be in dire straits with my credit
card provider... :eek: :cool: The only thing is, that without good
data to verify that the parts were actually made by who the wrappers say they are, it's tough to know if they're genuine or counterfeit.

A case in point is the "GI Contract" magazines being peddled on ebay by one Alaskan reddogg. The numbers look right and the picutres look good...until you get the magazines. I got sucked in by that one a few years back. If you haven't seen these magazines, PM me with an address and I'll send you one. Only the followers were serviceable...barely.

The spec issues with reject hammers that I've run into has usually been
cosmetic, and doesn't affect the function one bit, but occasionally the
pin hole is mislocated or sized wrong. Most of these parts can be "adusted"
to make them functional...but it's always best to keep your dial caliper and a
few ground pins handy so you can verify the specs.

JeffC
December 18, 2004, 06:41 PM
Update:

I grabbed a handful of sears and played the dating game with a few hammers. I black markered all of them and fitted different combos till I got good engagement.

So instead of me cutting the sear I found one with a primary angle that "agreed" with my new Colt hammer.

All is good :).

1911Tuner
December 18, 2004, 07:13 PM
Outstanding! Ya got to see firsthand how "Select-Fitting" works. It's all in how the tolerances stack. Now, if you're lucky enough to have grabbed one that the disconnect will work with :uhoh: ...you're golden. :evil:

JeffC
December 18, 2004, 11:27 PM
Disconnector?!? .... D'OH! :D

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