1911 problems....


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Vic
July 19, 2006, 12:02 AM
Directed to 1911TUNER or others most knowlegeable on 1911's.
Like 1911 Tuner, I think a 1911 should function reliably within it's designed limits (purdy don't do it for me either). I built the one pictured (attachment) this last winter. It holds an acceptable group even though the nut behind the trigger needs tightened up a bit (I know this dog will pull 4" @ 25yds, maybe even 2" if I work on it).On with the problem...Grip safety inoperative (stays engaged). I built this on an Essex frame, Brazilian slide, GI 1942/3 barrel, and a AO parts internal parts kit. I've replaced the grip safety with a new SA take off, the sear spring was replaced by a brownells, the disconnector has been replaced with a brownells, the hammer was replaced by a GI wide spur. Even after replacing nearly all internals, the grip safety will not work as advertised. I've ruined 2 sear springs looking for the sweet spot with no luck. I believe that the disconnector should be DOWN (disengaged) until the grip safety is depressed, rasing the disconnector with the middle finger of the 3 fingers on the sear spring. The disconnector seems to stick a little when I push it up and down with my finger (I feel resistance). For lack of knowlege of the internal operating of the 1911, I'm not seeing the problem. Maybe someone can direct me on the internal operational relationship of the 1911. I've got a good handle on the upper (hand fitted barrel bushing etc), but this one has been driving me nuts. It's not the parts themselves, I replaced them all with high quality parts. If someone could give me 1911-101 on the lower, it would be appreciated.:eek:

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RogersPrecision
July 19, 2006, 01:16 AM
Tuner is your huckleberry!
He'll be around shortly.
No one can help via long distance better than him.
:)

Old Fuff
July 19, 2006, 04:03 AM
I agree with Chuck's observations concerning Tuner... :)

Before going too far, I would suggest that the Essex frame might be at the root of your troubles. It is not unsusal to find that critical holes, such as the one for the safety lock (manual safety) are mis-located, and therefore component parts have to be modified - sometimes extensively - to work. I would start by trying the grip safety you want to use in another "better quality" frame (borrowed if necessary) to see if it works. If it does you have a strong clue concerning what's wrong.

Vic
July 19, 2006, 04:24 AM
I had a feeling someone would say that. Being I had to do some polishing to get the thumb safety to operate properly (the hole was off a little)...it would stand to reason.:uhoh:

medmo
July 19, 2006, 07:00 AM
Vic,

I must be having problems with reading comprehension because I'm not getting it. Okay, I think you have a problem with the grip safety functioning. What is the problem? Most grip safeties come over sized and have to be fitted.

Azrael256
July 19, 2006, 07:28 AM
Vic, I recommend picking up a copy of Kuhnhausen's 1911 book. You'll find a section on grip safeties with some cutaway photos that show you just exactly how the parts mate.

I agree with medmo. Grip safety spur is too long, and it's riding on top of the trigger stirrup. A little dressing on the end of the spur is a normal fitting procedure. You might also check the trigger stirrup for length. The engagement surface (where the end of the disconnector rests) should sit flush with the frame, or be set into it just a tad. If it's sticking out, it will block the safety and can create a dangerous condition.

AnthonyRSS
July 19, 2006, 10:13 AM
I think you may have your theory a tad crooked.
All the grip safety does is block the trigger when the grip safety is NOT depressed. When the grip safety is depressed, the arm pivots upward allowing the trigger stirrup to slide under the arm.
The sear spring allows the grip safety to return to the UNdepressed position. The grip safety shouldn't have any bearing on disconnector function.

Canuck-IL
July 19, 2006, 10:19 AM
I would suggest that the Essex frame might be at the root of your troubles.

'morning Fuff...

I know the hole mislocation was a common problem with Essex for a long while...do you know if it still remains an issue with current (CNC) production? I've stripped one and had friends w 2 other frames all produced in the last year ... those at least were right on.

Thanks
/Bryan

Old Fuff
July 19, 2006, 11:09 AM
I've replaced the grip safety with a new SA take off, ...

While it is true that many new grip safeties (as well as some other parts) come oversized at critical fit points, this one apparently was a "take off," that had been previously fitted to another gun. While this does not mean that it would work in a second one it does suggest that the cause of the problem might lie somewhere other then the safety itself. The reported bind with the disconector could also be caused by a mis-located hole. If we were dealing with something other then an Essex frame (that has a reputation for mis-located holes and other dimensions) I would be less likely to be concerned about this point. As it is, it would be the first thing I'd check out.

BBBBill
July 19, 2006, 11:14 AM
...I believe that the disconnector should be DOWN (disengaged) until the grip safety is depressed, rasing the disconnector with the middle finger of the 3 fingers on the sear spring. ...
Not so, grasshopper! The disconnector should always be under spring tension. It is down only when pushed down by the disconnector rail. Reassemble the gun minus the grips and thumb safety so that you can observe the function/interaction of the working parts, the trigger bow and grip safety in particular.

Old Fuff
July 19, 2006, 11:41 AM
Canuck-IL:

I haven't done anything with Essex parts (frames and slides) lately, but it is my understanding that while they have improved there may still be some dimensional problems. These components are investment cast. There is nothing wrong with top quality castings - a point proven by both Caspian and Ruger. But quality castings depend on quality tooling, and for a long time Essex tooling was not the best. CNC machining cannot necessarily save a bad casting. Unlike a forging, a casting does not have all of its surfaces machined.

Anyone who wants to build up their own gun from parts - especially if using aftermarket frames and slides - should first purchase a full set of drawings - excellent ones are available from Nicolaus Associates at (www.nicolausassociates.com) and they have a five-star recommendation from the Old Fuff.

Thereafter do what too many manufacturers donít Ė inspect the parts for defects, and mis-located dimensions and holes. If it they arenít right return them before you invest any time and effort, and probably void any warrantee by working on (whatever).

In the distant past one could be reasonably sure that parts would be "to print." Today that is far less likely to be the case. Too many makers are doing their own thing.

Canuck-IL
July 19, 2006, 02:46 PM
Fuff...

Thanks for the comments and the link.

/Bryan

Old Fuff
July 19, 2006, 06:07 PM
Another possibility I just thought of is that the little slot in the bottom of the frame that holds the sear/disconector/grip safety spring may be a little too high or low. This sometimes occurs in Essex frames, and if the spring is either too high or low the disconector won't work correctly. Again a set of blueprints and a dial caliper will quickly come up with the answer.

Vic
July 20, 2006, 08:57 AM
I've actually considered that because if I lower the mainspring housing...works as it should which means pressure is wrong on the sear spring. I'll be mulling this on my next few days off. You guys are full of great info! Helps me to sort this out and gives me things to look at that I don't think of. Hand me that ball peen so I can hit myself in the head for buying this frame. I bought this frame last October, so it is a recient mfgr. The problem with CNC and robotics is that if any elements in the process change...so do the end results. If the operator isn't on the ball, quite a few bad parts get out the door before a correction is made. I used to operate/maintain a FANUC paint robot and I can tell you that frequent adjustments were required. The robot does the same thing every time...period. It's other elements that cause errors (tooling/fixtures/material demensions).

BBBBill
July 20, 2006, 12:09 PM
...I've ruined 2 sear springs looking for the sweet spot...
...I've actually considered that because if I lower the mainspring housing...works as it should which means pressure is wrong on the sear spring...
Do you know how to properly tune a sear spring? You can change the tension easily. A little goes a long way. If the slot is mislocated, the tip of the spring will not match up properly with the disconnector. There are/have been springs available that are a little bit longer. Old Fuff's comment on measuring the slot location is right on. It can be relocted to correct the problem.

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