November 18, 2007, 11:58 PM
I am planning on purchasing my first pistol next week, a Taurus PT1911. I have read bad things about MIM parts, basically that they are subject to fracturing with no warning. I have also read on message boards that the sear on the PT1911 is MIM.
1. If the sear failed due to being MIM, it's possible the half cock notch would fail to catch it, depending on how it fractured. Would the series 80 safety prevent a discharge if the hammer fell? It seems like it would, since the firing pin channel is blocked until the trigger is pulled (I think that's how the series 80 safety works?).
2. Would this also make condition 2 perfectly safe, since a blow to the hammer would not transfer to the firing pin unless the trigger was pulled?
I know I'm reaching here with hypothetical questions like this, but I like the peace of mind of knowing the ONLY way it is physically possible the gun will fire is by a pulled trigger.
Thank you for your time, any responses will be appreciated.
November 19, 2007, 12:07 AM
1. If the sear failed due to being MIM, it's possible the half cock notch would fail to catch it, depending on how it fractured. Would the series 80 safety prevent a discharge if the hammer fell? It seems like it would, since the firing pin channel is blocked until the trigger is pulled (I think that's how the series 80 safety works?).Yes, the Series 80 FPS (firing pin safety) would prevent a discharge in this instance, as would the Kimber Series II FPS and the SW1911 FPS.
2. Would this also make condition 2 perfectly safe, since a blow to the hammer would not transfer to the firing pin unless the trigger was pulled?The trigger must be pulled to lower the hammer into Condition 2. The danger comes from placing the FPS equipped 1911 pistol in Condition 2, not in carrying it in Condition 2.
From Syd's page (http://www.sightm1911.com/Care/1911_conditions.htm) (he says it better and quicker than I can): "Condition Two is problematic for several reasons, and is the source of more negligent discharges than the other conditions. When you rack the slide to chamber a round in the 1911, the hammer is cocked and the manual safety is off. There is no way to avoid this with the 1911 design. In order to lower the hammer, the trigger must be pulled and the hammer lowered slowly with the thumb onto the firing pin, the end of which is only a few millimeters away from the primer of a live round. Should the thumb slip, the hammer would drop and fire the gun. Not only would a round be launched in circumstances which would be at best embarrassing and possibly tragic, but also the thumb would be behind the slide as it cycled, resulting in serious injury to the hand. A second problem with this condition is that the true 1911A1 does not have a firing pin block and an impact on the hammer which is resting on the firing pin could conceivably cause the gun to go off, although actual instances of this are virtually nonexistent. Finally, in order to fire the gun, the hammer must be manually cocked, again with the thumb. In an emergency situation, this adds another opportunity for something to go wrong and slows the acquisition of the sight picture."
Is "Cocked and Locked" Dangerous? (http://www.sightm1911.com/lib/tech/cockedandlocked.htm)
November 19, 2007, 07:30 AM
The chances of having a sear fracture are remote .... But possible.
I worry that in this unlikely event the crack may occur through the area where the pin hole is - either there or just above it. In that case there would be nothing to stop the hammer from following all of the way down, presuming that it was cocked in the first place.
If this should happen when the grip safety was depressed on some models that use that safety to work a firing pin block, the pistol would probably fire. In the case of the Colt Series 80 the trigger would have to be fully depressed, and this would seem to be less likely.
MIM parts are as good as the manufacturer's quality control, and the gun manufacturers that use them usually buy these parts from an outside vendor. The reason they use them is because they cost less then a similar part machined out of tool steel. This may make their bean-counter's happy, but as for myself, the sears, hammers, and safety locks in my pistols are all made the old (and well proven) way.