1911 sear breaking


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Echo9
March 2, 2010, 09:46 AM
Has anyone ever heard of a (pre-series 80) 1911 discharging because the sear or another component broke while the chamber was loaded? I've looked but so far haven't found any documentation.

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Avizpls
March 2, 2010, 10:04 AM
am i gonna shoot my balls off? I have a smartcarry & a kimber....

Echo9
March 2, 2010, 10:15 AM
I sincerely hope that you do not shoot your balls off, but that doesn't really answer my question.

FullEffect1911
March 2, 2010, 10:29 AM
I've asked that same question a while back, hope this old thread helps:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=416018

Echo9
March 2, 2010, 10:38 AM
Actually I already know that the hammer will fall if the sear breaks (or "disappears"); I'm just wondering if anyone's actually heard of a gun firing that way or actually seen it happen.

rcmodel
March 2, 2010, 12:58 PM
No.
But then again, I've only been carrying, shooting, and working on them for 45+ years.

The vast majority of sear problems I have seen were the result of someones overzealous use of a file or stone trying to do a trigger job they had no idea how to do properly.

rc

REAPER4206969
March 2, 2010, 03:00 PM
No...

lilidiot
March 2, 2010, 03:04 PM
I would seriously rethink that with all the crappy MIM sears they are using in today's crappy clones. Just my thoughts

rcmodel
March 2, 2010, 03:14 PM
SO, how many broken MIM sear related NG's / AD's do you personally know of?

rc

SlamFire1
March 2, 2010, 03:40 PM
Is this good enough?

http://thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=6249212&postcount=103

When I was stationed at FLETC in the 1980's we received a report of a state police officer (It might have been Michigan) who was attending a La Maze class with his wife. He was carrying a 1911 in condition I and the report stated that the 1911 discharged through the chair with no one being injured on its own! (It should have been easily verified if the trooper left it in its fired condition, with an empty casing in the chamber and the safety engaged.)

I was at a loss as to how this could occur and asked our armorers about it. They explained that the thumb safety blocks the sear, not the hammer and if a poor trigger job had been done it is possible for a 1911 to have an AD with the safety on.

The quote I remember was, "To be safe the .45's hammer hooks must not be shortened." I had no clue since I was trained to diagnose and fix wheel guns and not semi-autos. (Semi-automatics were, at that time, banned from being carried on duty.)

Since that time Colt has come out with a firing pin block as have other manufacturers which should make a Condition III carry much safer.

Now that I am retired, if I were to carry a 1911 that did not have a firing pin block, I would use a holster with a safety strap (Probably a thumb break style) that would not permit the hammer to inadvertently fall on the firing pin.

Respectfully,
kent



Member



Join Date: July 19, 2008
Posts: 20 Quote:
If the sear hook on the hammer were to break, the sear would be captured by the half-cock notch preventing an accidental discharge. The stud that locks the sear will also not allow the hammer to fall if the safety is engaged.

Eddie, that brought back a memory. When the NRA authorized semi-automatics in PPC competition I decided that I'd give it a try. We had a bunch of match 185 grain SWC FMC in the bunker and the armorer had just finished a 1911 that would group into 1.5" at 50 yards. I practiced diligently for weeks before the match. At the match I was assigned the far right firing point so that my empty casings wouldn't rain down on other competitors. I had been averaging 1984 out of 1500 which wouldn't win, but would be great fun in any case.

Match one was 12 rounds in 25 seconds at 7 yards and then at 15 yards. Seven yards was all X's which was a good start. The NRA required that the semi-auto be shot empty before any reload so that the range officer could see that it was empty during the reload. At 15 yards I fired the first six, dropped the magazine into a large bucket, reloaded and when I pressed the slide release the slide shot forward as did the hammer which was immediately followed by a very unexpected "Bang." The UD stuck the target in its right arm. I somehow got the remaining five into the ten ring, but only barely as I was shaking.

I was quite down-trodden as we went back to score. It was buddy scoring and a police woman next to me scored it 240. (Perfect score) It was not easy to point out the arm shot. (Score = 230)

I hoped I could still post a respectable score, but I had to align the sights each time I dropped the slide, (Just in case) and my front sight was a blur for the rest of the match since I couldn’t stop shaking.

The armorer inspected the .45 and stated that he had reduced the half-cock notch to protect his trigger job, and when the slide went forward the hammer followed and sheared the notch.

He then put it in the Ransom rest with five rounds in the magazine and pressed the trigger. What followed was a complete surprise. It went “full auto” with four of the five rounds going over the trees!

I felt quite badly about the match score, but I was very grateful that the 1911 hadn’t gone full auto during the Regional.

Respectfully,
kent

rcmodel
March 2, 2010, 03:47 PM
No, not good enough.
The OP ask about broken sears causing AD's.

Not crappy trigger jobs causing ND's.

Like I said in post #6, all of them I have personally seen in about 45 years have been caused by crappy trigger jobs, not broken sears.
Just like those two examples.



rc

lilidiot
March 2, 2010, 03:54 PM
SO, how many broken MIM sear related NG's / AD's do you personally know of?

rc
Hey guys the resurgence of the 1911 though clones are some pretty guns, but lets get realistic the design is 100 years old and antiquated. Even our military has abandoned them. There are far better pistols out there and .45 bullets are not the only ones that kill people. When have you ever seen a military functional repeating .45 caliber rifle. The M1 and M14 were .30 caliber or 7mm and the current military rifle is .22 caliber or 5mm.

lilidiot
March 2, 2010, 03:57 PM
No, not good enough.
The OP ask about broken sears causing AD's.

Not crappy trigger jobs causing ND's.

Like I said in post #6, all of them I have personally seen in about 45 years have been caused by crappy trigger jobs, not broken sears.
Just like those two examples.



rc
Just because you did not see it doesn't mean it did not happen. I didn't see the Lunar Mission Take Off but I know we landed on the moon a few times.

Just saying!

Walkalong
March 2, 2010, 04:09 PM
Hey guys the resurgence of the 1911 though clones are some pretty guns, but lets get realistic the design is 100 years old and antiquated. Pure sillyness. It is still one of the most copied and sought after designs, simply because it is so good, regardless of how "old" the design is.

REAPER4206969
March 2, 2010, 04:12 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzHqqTmSnC0

lilidiot
March 2, 2010, 04:41 PM
Did you also know that JMB invented the .380. 9mm Kurz years before the 1911 ever came a long also. What about the .25 auto as well and long before the 1911 patent of the .45.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Browning

1911Tuner
March 2, 2010, 04:42 PM
Even our military has abandoned them.

Actually, that's not true. Read up on the MEU/SOC program. There are a good many still in service, with more in the offing.

There are two important reasons why the military went over to the Beretta M9/92 pistol in large numbers.

One was simple logistics...with probably a little politics thrown in...to have ammunition commonality with our NATO allies. Everybody except us had a 9mm service pistol.

Two...and probably the most important...was economics. The largest percentage of 1911s and 1911A1 pistols in our armories were flat worn out, and replacement parts were getting short.
Colt...their last remaining contractor from WW2...hadn't maintained the production capability to meet demand for another military contract, and had sold off much of their machinery and tooling anyway...so the cost to retool and ramp up their production capabilities would have made the guns so costly to produce, that it wouldn't have been possible and stay within budget.

The Berettas were there in large numbers, and the production capability was in place to produce more at a cost that the allocations could absorb.

ForumSurfer
March 2, 2010, 04:47 PM
but lets get realistic the design is 100 years old and antiquated. Even our military has abandoned them. There are far better pistols out there

Guess that is why some government, entities military and law enforcement use (or should a say rely?) 1911's from Kimber and other manufacturers.

Not saying the 1911 is the be all, end all of gun designs...I'm just saying it isn't antiquated or abandoned. I love my 1911 and carry it daily concealed. I also love my new Gen4 Glock. Is either better overall? Nope, both perform certain tasks very well. Since my 1911 is dead reliable in my experience and I shoot accurately with it, I carry it for self defense. I'm not fighting evil zombie hordes, so 8-9 rounds on a platform I am comfortable and accurate with will do me just fine.

orrwdd
March 2, 2010, 04:51 PM
Has anyone ever heard of a (pre-series 80) 1911 discharging because the sear or another component broke while the chamber was loaded? I've looked but so far haven't found any documentation.
I thought that was what the half-cock notch was for??? To catch the hammer if something broke.

Bill

1911Tuner
March 2, 2010, 05:14 PM
To address the OP's question..To wit:

Has anyone ever heard of a (pre-series 80) 1911 discharging because the sear or another component broke while the chamber was loaded?

I've never heard of it.

A few years back, I arranged a little demonstration for a guy who was a little skeptical over Condition One carry.

I removed a full 1/8th inch from the sear crown with a Dremel cutoff wheel, and installed it in a gun. Not only did it hold full cock, but functioned normally for over 30 rounds before the hammer started to follow. During fire, it never doubled or burst-fired. When it finally started to follow during a reload...after a couple dozen attempts...the half cock caught it every time.

Then I removed the hammer hooks from the hammer...thumbed the hammer back past the full-cock position and let fly. The half-cock never failed to stop it in 10 tries.

lilidiot
March 2, 2010, 05:18 PM
It can't catch a broken sear that fell of the hammer hooks. Now think about that. There would be nothing to catch if the sear edges broke. Now I have seen a lot of broken sears in the service when the south paws had to carry them at half cock. Maybe Browning thought everyone was right handed like Walther also did...:uhoh:

Zerodefect
March 2, 2010, 05:24 PM
The .mil is actually picking up new 1911's for certain groups of Marines. Not going to say i agree, I'd rather have a Glock 21.

lilidiot
March 2, 2010, 06:17 PM
The G19 would be a better choice in my opinion. NATO ammo capability.

1911Tuner
March 2, 2010, 06:21 PM
It can't catch a broken sear that fell of the hammer hooks.

And yet...it did catch. Not once, but several times. What are we to make of that?

And Browning considered the half-cock to be a safety position. It's specifically mentioned in the patents, if you'd like to go see.

1911Tuner
March 2, 2010, 06:32 PM
. Now I have seen a lot of broken sears in the service when the south paws had to carry them at half cock.

No branch of the military that I'm aware of authorized anyone to maintain a 1911 or any other weapon with a chambered round unless action was immediately in the offing...and none authorized half cock at all...even though it was and is a de facto safety position as defined by Browning's patents.

lilidiot
March 2, 2010, 07:00 PM
I guess the left handed military in South east Asia never got the memo from Browning. The only way to perform guard duty was at half cocked and it was a very common practice while I was there. I am also told by my WWII friends that it was done in Europe as well by lefties.

I guess the inattentiveness to left hand users was another Browning 1911 design flaw like the over stressed pegged on plunger tubes and frame mounted ejectors. Now tell me how many you have re-staked back on. I even bought the jig from Brownells to redo mine. Contrary to popular opinion I don't feel the 1911 is the end all be all of handguns.

I also don't feel you need to shoot someone with a marble sized 1/2 inch hunk of lead to stop him either. We also won some wars with out hollow point bullets as well and we are not doing too awful bad in the Middle East with a 3/8 size hunk of lead either. It seems to be all subjective and I keep an open mind.

I am a firm believer that the 9x18 Makarov was the best military pistol ever designed and put into service. The again that's just me!

1911Tuner
March 2, 2010, 07:23 PM
I guess the left handed military in South east Asia never got the memo from Browning.

Well nowwww. Hmmmm. The only "guards" I ever saw carryin' pistols were MPs and SPs...and they weren't authorized to carry with a hot chamber....cocked and locked...hammer down on a hot chamber...or half-cocked on a hot chamber. Garrisoned troops on watch generally carried rifles...and unless it was on a fire base perimeter...they had to be carried with an empty chamber, too.

Oh...and I said that Browning did consider the half-cock to be a safety position. Read more carefully. The Army Ordnance Board didn't, and never authorized it...neither in the field nor in the TO&E. Of course, the farther from Battalion you get, the looser the rules are, and men will do what their gut tells'em to...but there was never an authorization to carry one in that condition as you're suggesting. Your duty Sergeant may have okayed it...but he did so in violation of the regs.

Now, if you were Air Force...all bets are off. ;)

Contrary to popular opinion I don't feel the 1911 is the end all be all of handguns.


Nor do I...but that's not germaine to the discussion. The question was about sear breakage...not what we consider to be the best pistol.



Anyway...back on topic. The sear can break off a full 1/8th inch of the crown, and the half-cock will catch it and stop the hammer. We're assuming the original captive half-cock, and not the redesigned stop shelf as seen on the Series 80 Colt hammers and others of the same ilk.

lilidiot
March 2, 2010, 07:39 PM
Frankly, the pistols we got in Vietnam were so worn and dilapidated that safeties would fall down under their own weight or were frozen or broken so just about all of the guys carried at half cock and hoped the grip safety would hold.

All in all they were still better than the Colt M16 a poor excuse of a rifle that was a jamomatic. Chinese AK 47s was held in high regard and ammunition was plentiful as well. Roll em and strip em was the order of the day on patrol.

1911Tuner
March 2, 2010, 08:06 PM
I understand. I saw a few like that myself...mostly the ones that were procured rather than actually issued. The issued pistols...what few there actually were...were in pretty good shape. I was one of the guys who helped to see that they were.

As for the M16...Good weapon for garrison troops and airfield guards. Not so good in the field unless kept clean and wet with oil. I even disassembled and cleaned magazines almost every day. Much preferred the M14, but they didn't ask me. It was more like:

"You choose this weapon!"

"Yes Master Gunny!"

"Outstanding!"

Echo9
March 2, 2010, 11:59 PM
So....... "no" then?

The Lone Haranguer
March 3, 2010, 12:05 AM
If the sear breaks and the trigger was not pulled, shouldn't the half cock catch the hammer?

Echo9
March 3, 2010, 12:22 AM
No. The sear is the part that actually gets caught in the half-cock notch. If the sear is no longer there, there's nothing for the half-cock notch to engage.

HisSoldier
March 3, 2010, 01:24 AM
Under what circumstances does the sear disappear entirely? How do you do that? At what point do rational people agree that a gun is safe under normal wear and tear? If you throw a gun into a rock crusher and it doesn't go off 2 out of 10 times?

1911Tuner
March 3, 2010, 06:55 AM
Under what circumstances does the sear disappear entirely?

Indeed!


Just for what it's worth...I've never seen a sear catastrophically fail in nearly 50 years with the 1911 platform. I've seen a couple of the old Thompson Auto ORdnance cast sears chip the crowns...discovered during detail strip for cleaning...but since the guns continued to function normally...there was no telling how long they'd been in that condition.

I've tried to break sears...both machined steel and MIM...by laying them concave side down on an anvil and hitting them with hammers. Bent, but not broken, and certainly not shattered. I did see a picture of an MIM sear with a crack in one of the legs, but again...no malfunction occurred as a result.

The 1911's sear simply isn't under enough stress to shatter or just go away suddenly. It's not that fragile. We can do the "What If Shuffle" until pigs fly in the attempt to discredit all factual evidence if we want to...but it still won't alter the facts except in the minds of a few.

gglass
March 3, 2010, 02:47 PM
lilidiot
Hey guys the resurgence of the 1911 though clones are some pretty guns, but lets get realistic the design is 100 years old and antiquated. Even our military has abandoned them. There are far better pistols out there and .45 bullets are not the only ones that kill people. When have you ever seen a military functional repeating .45 caliber rifle. The M1 and M14 were .30 caliber or 7mm and the current military rifle is .22 caliber or 5mm.

Are you trying to give your forum name some meaning?

The reason that the dropped the M1911A1 was due to a deal to appease our NATO allies, which gave us the Beretta M9. This was not done because the 1911 design was antiquated.

When the FBI sourced a new handgun for their elite Hostage Rescue Team in the late 90's, they would not accept anything but a 1911... Does that sound like a handgun that is antiquated? If it is so antiquated, why do nearly all of the US army and Marine elite forces and even police SWAT teams choose the M1911? If given a choice, most real professionals will choose a 1911.

WIKIPEDIA
Some military and law enforcement organizations in the United States and other countries continue to use (often modified) M1911A1 pistols including Marine Force Recon, Los Angeles Police Department S.W.A.T. and L.A.P.D. S.I.S., the FBI Hostage Rescue Team, F.B.I. regional S.W.A.T. teams, and 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment—Delta (Delta Force). The Tacoma, Washington Police Department selected the Kimber Pro Carry II or Pro Carry II HD as optional, department supplied weapons available to its officers.

The Springfield Custom Professional Model 1911A1 pistol is produced under contract by Springfield Armory for the FBI regional SWAT teams and the Hostage Rescue Team. This pistol is made in batches on a regular basis by the Springfield Custom Shop, and a few examples from most runs are made available for sale to the general public.

SlamFire1
March 3, 2010, 03:03 PM
The reason that the dropped the M1911A1 was due to a deal to appease our NATO allies, which gave us the Beretta M9. This was not done because the 1911 design was antiquated.

Well it all depends on who is writing the requirement document, does it not?

I talked to the guy who claimed he "wrote"* the Joint Operation Requirements Document, and he thought the M1911 was antiquated. Or something to that effect.

The military specifically wrote the requirements to exclude the M1911. And it was not because they wanted the pistol.

* No one person writes a Requirements Document but if you are in charge, you can have a big influence.

SSN Vet
March 3, 2010, 04:01 PM
the pistols we got in Vietnam were so worn and dilapidated

and 20 years later they wound up in the small arms lockers of many naval vessels for their 4th life....

as for NATO compatibility, when you look at the ratio of US troops to "allies" in both Iraq and Afghanistan, I think they should be the ones who worry about being compatible with us.

Occam's Razor
March 3, 2010, 04:58 PM
Frankly, the pistols we got in Vietnam were so worn and dilapidated that safeties would fall down under their own weight or were frozen or broken so just about all of the guys carried at half cock and hoped the grip safety would hold.

All in all they were still better than the Colt M16 a poor excuse of a rifle that was a jamomatic. Chinese AK 47s was held in high regard and ammunition was plentiful as well. Roll em and strip em was the order of the day on patrol.There was fairly recently a poster on thefiringline.com who's sole mission in life seemed to be denigrating the 1911. He also spoke of his horrible experiences with it in Viet Nam. I don't suppose you have any aliases do you; like for example Boomer9mm?

1911Tuner
March 3, 2010, 05:03 PM
I talked to the guy who claimed he "wrote"* the Joint Operation Requirements Document, and he thought the M1911 was antiquated.

Wow! Somebody that finally claimed that they were somethin' besides a Marine Force Recon Special Forces Navy Seal Sniper? Now I've heard it all...

Anyway...The fears of a sear shattering are unfounded. Go to a gunsmith and ask him for a take-off sear and go beat on it with a hammer to see what it takes to even crack one. Then, decide for yourselves if you believe that keeping one under a cocked hammer will cause it to fail in such a manner as to cause a discharge.

Walkalong
March 3, 2010, 05:10 PM
An aside...Just curious lilmf, why the name change to lilidiot?

gglass
March 4, 2010, 09:14 AM
SlamFire1
Well it all depends on who is writing the requirement document, does it not?

I talked to the guy who claimed he "wrote"* the Joint Operation Requirements Document, and he thought the M1911 was antiquated. Or something to that effect.

The military specifically wrote the requirements to exclude the M1911. And it was not because they wanted the pistol.

* No one person writes a Requirements Document but if you are in charge, you can have a big influence.

Well, according to sources including this one, the US Army and Marines are still pretty infatuated with the 1911 today. Maybe your "guy" just simply has an opinion to bolster his theory.

Garrett, Rob, "Army Marksmanship Unit: The Pipeline for Spec Ops Weapons", Tactical Weapons Magazine (Harris Publications, Inc.)

Due to an increased demand for M1911 pistols among Army Special Operations units, who are known to field a variety of M1911 pistols, the Army Marksmanship Unit began looking to develop a new generation of M1911s and launched the M1911-A2 project in late 2004. The goal was to produce a minimum of seven variants with various sights, internal and external extractors, flat and arched mainspring housings, integral and add-on magazine wells, a variety of finishes and other options, with the idea of providing the end-user a selection from which to select the features that best fit their missions. The AMU performed a well received demonstration of the first group of pistols to the Marine Corps at Quantico and various Special Operations units at Ft. Bragg and other locations. The project provided a feasibility study with insight into future projects. Models were loaned to various Special Operations units, the results of which are classified. An RFP was issued for a Joint Combat Pistol but it was ultimately canceled. Currently units are experimenting with an M1911 platform in .40 which will incorporate lessons learned from the M1911 A2 project. Ultimately, the M1911 A2 project provided a test bed for improving existing M1911s. An improved M1911 variant becoming available in the future is a possibility.

SlamFire1
March 4, 2010, 10:53 AM
An RFP was issued for a Joint Combat Pistol but it was ultimately canceled.

Don't know why but I would be very surprised if a new RFP for a new pistol is ever authorized.

An improved M1911 variant becoming available in the future is a possibility.

The possibility of an improved M1911 variant replacing the existing side arm is close to 0.001%

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