TRIGGER JOB ON 1911 - ASSESSMENT


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johnny blaze
November 10, 2006, 01:42 AM
I purchased a Michigan Armament 45 awhile back. The trigger pull was pretty good, but not up to what I was used to (S&W revolvers)
I decided to do the work myself. I posted on here several times during the project. I received alot of help, and also some negative comments, as I knew absolutely nothing about a 1911.
I thought that I would share this with others who may be considering doing this same project.
I did not want to try to do the trigger and sear myself as I did not have proper equipment to do the grinding and cutting. I decided to go with a complete trigger kit from Fusion. It came with about everything that you need to really clean up the trigger.
I went to the library and picked up all the books that I could find on gunsmiting the 1911. I studied them until I got a really good feel on how eveything worked.
I stripped down the pistol, and really could not believe how easy it was.
I installed the new trigger, hammer and sear. I had a few small problems, but with a little help, I figured out what was wrong.
I installed a new mainspring, and leaf spring.
I reassembled the pistol, but the hammer would not come back far enough to cock the pistol, as it was hitting the standard grip safety. Several people told me that it was standard knowledge that you cannot use a commander type hammer with a standard grip safety. Several others gave me suggestions as to which grip safety that I would need. I decided to go with a Kings drop in grip safety (no cutting).
The first time that I fired it I loaded just one round in the mag. The second time I loaded two rounds, and so on. I just wanted to make sure that the pistol would not go crazy on me.
I was absolutely amazed how smooth and light the trigger pull was. I fired a total of 10 rounds at 50 ft, and had a group of 4 inches.
The trigger kit did the job. I have fired alot more rounds through it and it is very smooth.
As I said before, this was new to me just like the first time that I tore a car engine apart, or the first computer that I took apart to repair.
Just thought that I would share my experience as it turned out pretty well. Of course, everyone may not have these same results.
A big thanks to everyone who gave me advice during the project.:D
This site is great!!!;)

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Sunray
November 10, 2006, 02:12 AM
"...the grinding and cutting..." There shouldn't be any grinding or cutting involved in a trigger job. Polishing the mating parts and changing the springs is all that is necessary.
A minimal trigger job is to clip 1/4 turn off the mainspring and polish the mating parts. Note: It's polish not the removal of any metal.
"...a group of 4 inches..." Change your ammo. Handloads being best.

RogersPrecision
November 10, 2006, 11:19 AM
Uhhhhhhh....
Clip 1/4 turn off the mainspring.......what does this do?
:confused:

1911Tuner
November 10, 2006, 11:26 AM
Concur with Raja. Best leave the mainspring be.

RogersPrecision
November 10, 2006, 01:15 PM
I'd wager a guess that the poster has either never done this or never measured the resultant difference.
'Clip' suggests using dykes or wirecutters. I've never seen a mainspring soft enough to be clipped with anything but the very best pair of very large dykes.
1/4 turn is not going to affect the poundage of the spring to ANY measurable degree, especially because every mainspring that I've seen has closed ends. The last coil or two are wound very tight, very close to the coil beneath it.
This sounds like one of those 'gunshop' legends. All smoke and no fire.
Prove me wrong. Measure the pull weight with a stock spring and one so modified.
'Polishing' the mating parts is a good recipe for trouble. Just how is this polishing done? With a Dremel or with fine stones in a suitable fixture? One man's polishing is anothers grinding.
Sorry to take such a hard line here, but there is a ton of bad info already on the 'errornet'. We need to use caution when advising on triggers.

mete
November 10, 2006, 03:11 PM
Please no Dremel for trigger jobs. Polish with fine stone , by hand with proper fixture .Leave the spring alone. Smooth is always more important than light. Never too light to cause reliability problems !!

1911WB
November 10, 2006, 08:05 PM
There is no problem substituting a lighter mainspring for the factory one if you don't go too light. I would stick with 20 lbs.- factories are usually 23#. except for the SA ILS system which is 28# I believe. A lighter mainspring will reduce the trigger pull weight slightly. Also, polishing the inside of the mainspring housing can be helpful.

1911Tuner
November 10, 2006, 09:55 PM
"Nothing wrong with lighter mainsprings."

No such thing as a free lunch. When one thing is changed, many things change.

Cheers

Kruzr
November 10, 2006, 10:17 PM
'Clip' suggests using dykes or wirecutters. I've never seen a mainspring soft enough to be clipped with anything but the very best pair of very large dykes.
Gotta agree with Chuck here......while a dyke could try to use some dikes to cut a mainspring, it would take a very large dyke, sometimes referred to as a bull dyke, to cut a spring with a pair of dikes. :D

Sorry Chuck, I but I once wrote a memo to a state's environmental review board about relocating some "dykes" and got an amusing call back from the chairperson................. so I just couldn't resist. :evil:

There are so many different 1911 weight mainsprings available on the market, I don't see why one would cut one to adjust the spring weight.

RogersPrecision
November 10, 2006, 10:36 PM
I once worked in a Tool and Dyke shop.........
:uhoh:

1911Tuner
November 11, 2006, 08:46 AM
Tool and Dyke...:rolleyes: Pretty good.

Anyway...back to the topic!

Of all the kitchen-table operations done by those with little or zero experience, the two that get most folks into trouble are "Ramp and Throat" jobs and "Trigger Jobs." Not saying that a first-timer can't do it with safe and satisfactory results...but usually not.

A little polishing...a LITTLE...carefully done and without altering critical angles
is about all you want to do without the knowledge and the equipment needed.
Surprising how much cleaner a trigger can be without venturing into these areas. If a clean/smooth 5-6 pound trigger is still too much for you to bear, I'd recommend that the next step should be to go to a trigger man...one whose specialty is wicked light triggers on 1911-pattern pistols.

Do it wrong, and it's probably a matter of when...not if...that you'll learn just how fast the cyclic rate is on Browning's Baby. Hint: It's faster than the old Mac-10, and can cause a world of hurt unless you have a firm grip on it. The problem is that it sometimes doesn't give any warning that things are about to turn informal...and even when it does, many people ignore said warnings and forge ahead.

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