1911: Why does hammer follow start happening?


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firestarter
August 4, 2008, 02:09 AM
Ive seen a number of threads saying that their 1911 fired after dropping the slide. This got me concerned cause I cannot afford for that to happen to me. I keep my ser70 1911s stock and clean so is there any chance that could happen to me? They never did that before but I just want to make sure the first time never happens. If I change my sear spring to Wolff could it happen?

Or should I just switch to series 80's for the peace of mind. Thanks.

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freakshow10mm
August 4, 2008, 02:10 AM
More of a fit between sear and hammer.

firestarter
August 4, 2008, 02:13 AM
Hey freakshow thanks for the reply. If they were normal to begin with, could they get worn out from use that hammer follow could start happening? Thanks again.

freakshow10mm
August 4, 2008, 02:13 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FN3eoQfKGNk

freakshow10mm
August 4, 2008, 02:21 AM
Yes, that's usually how it happens. The sear wear from normal use beyond a certain point. The hook doesn't have enough material there to hold the hammer at full cock, so the hammer follow, usually to half cock, but if that is worn too you get a slam fire possible.

Steve C
August 4, 2008, 02:32 AM
I've only owned one pistol that had this problem and that was a Star PD many years ago. The hammer would follow to the half cock position if the slide was dropped without a loaded magazine in place. With a magazine and chambering a round the slide speed was reduced enough that the hammer wouldn't follow. The gunsmith that fixed it said the sear engagement notch needed to be cut a bit deeper. Never had any problems like this with higher quality Colts or other makes of semi auto's.

I would say most of the guns that develop this problem later in their life is a result of lots of wear, poor or amateur gunsmithing. I would think that hammer follow would start to show up well before setting of a round when its chambered if it was due to simple wear and tear. As far as changing springs to avoid the problem, my advice would be "don't fix things that aren't broke." As always use proper gun safety when chambering a round and keep the muzzle down range or pointing somewhere safe.

roadrash 1
August 4, 2008, 04:55 AM
With a 1911, the hammer can start to follow the slide if,you let the slide slam forward repeatedly from slide lock.Always ease the slide forward unless the slide is stripping a round off the magazine!

wetidlerjr
August 4, 2008, 07:34 AM
I had two issues with "hammer follow" in two different Colts that was fixed by the bending of the proper sear spring leg on one and replacing the sear spring on another.

First,drop slide with the trigger held back. If your hammer follows then increase the tension on the left leaf of the sear spring.
Second, drop your slide, not holding trigger back. If your hammer follows then increase the tension on the center leaf.

dmazur
August 4, 2008, 07:56 AM
Or should I just switch to series 80's for the peace of mind.

I'm not sure a Series 80 would provide any additional peace of mind. Occasional "functional tests", with an unloaded gun, might make one feel a little better.

The one I'm thinking of is to push, firmly, on the hammer with the trigger pulled, following a slide cycle. This checks to see how well the disconnector, sear and hammer are working. It is only a check, as it isn't done at actual speed, but if you can force the hammer to fall, something's worn.

The Series 80's have additional parts (as you know) that provide a firing pin safety. If you have the trigger pulled, these parts are "out of the way" so the gun fires normally. IMO, a worn sear/hammer hooks would drop the hammer, Series 80 or not. The next notch should catch it, unless the disconnector has totally failed.

As I understand the design, the firing pin safety was to remove the slight possibility of discharge when dropped on the muzzle. Which usually required a 4ft drop onto concrete.

If you put thousands of rounds through your 1911, you could have a competent gunsmith "change parts" to get rid of the worn ones. I have no idea when this would be a good idea. 20,000 rounds?

On the other hand, if you're worried about hammer release when it's cocked and locked, the Series 80 does offer additional safety against ADs, as the trigger isn't pulled when the gun is holstered. The thumb safety blocks the sear (and hammer?) and the grip safety blocks the trigger, so the design is pretty foolproof as is. Adding the firing pin interlock says, "Well, in case all of that other stuff fails, at least the firing pin can't move."

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