Is there a problem with my 1911?


June 2, 2004, 08:23 PM
I had a newly-built 1911 pistol made mostly from Ed Brown parts. I believe my gunsmith did a splendid job building it. I made some safety checking on the pistol and it went out okay.

- Performed Thumb safety check by doing the following: cock hammer, engage safety and pulled the trigger and the hammer didn’t drop. Then disengaged the thumb safety and the hammer still didn’t drop. Guess this is OK.
- Performed Grip Safety check by doing the following: cock the hammer, thumb safety off, grip safety off, pulled the trigger and hammer didn’t fell off. Guess this is OK again.

This is where the concern exists. While holding on to the gun with the grip safety depressed and the thumb safety off, with my trigger finger off, I proceeded to rack the slide back and release it. I was just thinking of probably loosening up the tight fit. After racking the slide and releasing it (like a slingshot) on the 15th time, the hammer went into half-cock. I then proceeded to fully cock the hammer and went into racking the slide like a slingshot. After a couple of tries, the hammer went into half-cock again. Is this normal or should I pay my gunsmith a visit again? Thanks for all your help guys.

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June 2, 2004, 08:27 PM
No, this is not normal and you should see your gunsmith again.

June 2, 2004, 09:04 PM
No, its not normal and can be caused by dropping the slide full speed on an empty chamber. Don't do that on a 1911. Unless you had a light trigger job, it seems a bit premature for damage but you never know. It makes the hammer bounce a little and can damage the it may have done. Always have a round or snap cap feeding from a magazine if you want to drop the slide or ease it down. Better let the smith take a look unless you are comfortable at checking the sear and hammer yourself.

June 2, 2004, 09:12 PM
I may be wrong here, but I have always heard that this was a sign of a poorly done trigger job.
I used to own an AMT Hardballer that had a shade tree trigger job done on it and it did the same thing. I didn't worry about it at the time. It functioned fine. But today, I would have it fixed.

Old Fuff
June 2, 2004, 09:59 PM
As a general rule you should ease the slide down when there is not a cartridge feeding from the magazine. That said, if the hammer-hooks have been cut back too far, or if the trigger pull is under 4 pounds you can expect the hammer to follow down when you drop the slide in the manner described. Depending on what the "smith" did you may have to replace the hammer if too much metal was removed from certain places. Same with the sear. On the other hand making a slight bend in the sear spring may cure it - at least in the short term.

June 2, 2004, 10:27 PM
Is it possible that something must have been damaged in the gun (sear, hammer or whatever)? Can the probelms still be corrected without buying anymore parts? Thanks again.

Jim Watson
June 2, 2004, 10:32 PM
The sear or hammer hooks may be chipped or rounded over. Let the gunsmith look at it and replace as required. Consider it part of your tuition.
And don't slam the slide on an empty chamber of a tuned gun. Might be ok on a seven pound trigger milsurp, but not a custom piece with shallow, sharp hooks and sear.

June 3, 2004, 01:07 AM
Oh great. Shame on me. I even used a s-7 tool steel for the sear and I just wasted it. Thanks for the replies, guys.

June 3, 2004, 06:59 AM
The few times you got the hammer to drop probably didn't "waste it", but just don't make a habit of lettin a slide fly on an unloaded tuned gun. Do your safety check again and make sure everything still functions ok. If so, you're probably fine.

Note I said "probably" twice. If you lean towards caution, you might just have the smith take a look-see, ...probably.

Jim Watson
June 3, 2004, 07:57 AM
Well, you might not have wasted it. There is a little margin for a good man to rework it if it is not beat up too bad. Maybe a little stoning and a little more searspring will fix it. Just know that slamming the slide is something the gunsmith might do ONCE to be sure he has enough engagement and spring for normal handling and firing. It is not an owner test or exercise.

June 3, 2004, 09:32 PM
Thanks guys. Now I know what to put on my list of "don'ts" with respect to handling guns. The gun is already sent for checking with my gunsmith. Hope he doesn't scream on me.:D Thanks folks.

June 3, 2004, 09:44 PM
The gun is already sent for checking with my gunsmith. Hope he doesn't scream on me. Thanks folks.

Good choice. :)

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