Ken's Drop-In Trigger Group


June 9, 2004, 03:01 PM
I just had one of the most enjoyable weekends that I can remember. Ken Rainey and his lovely wife came all the way up from Mississippi to visit for a few days. I now consider them family at a distance. Ken is the image of the slow-walkin, slow-talkin southern boy who never gets excited or rattled until it's time to get that way, and Della is a true Southern Belle. Gracious and genteel in her speech and manners, and never without a smile...ever...not even when she's mere seconds from strangling Ken.

Of course we went to shoot a few hundred rounds, and we had an interesting experience. Ken had upgraded an older Kimber Classic a few months ago, and had a little problem with hammer follow. We E-mail tagged back and forth a few times, and the problem was resolved...or so we thought. He reported that the pistol was still a little lighter in the trigger than he was comfortable with..though he had fired about 250 rounds through it without a problem, and one of the first things that we did was to open it up for a look-see. I did all the standard things...bent the sear spring legs forward a little...Cleaned up the hammer hooks and checked'em for even engagement on the sear...Stoned a little off the backside of the sear to get the hooks to sit a little deeper in the hammer. The trigger felt a little better to him, so off the the range we went early Monday.

About 2/3rds of the way through the ammo, he had a stoppage. The hammer had followed to half-cock. A second try gave him a followdown to the slide. He unloaded the gun and handed it to me for a check. I got it to follow to the slide...but the odd thing was that it would only do it when the trigger was pulled...which is exactly backward. :scrutiny:

I loaded 3 rounds in a magazine...tripped the slidestop, got a grip on the gun, and pulled the trigger. 3 rounds went downrange so quick that it sounded like one shot. NOT good...We burned up the rest of the ammo playing with it, and headed home to fix it. It was a long ride for Ken...He kept muttering about how he'd screwed it up tryin' to make it better..

Here's what I found:

The disconnect was making very light contact on the bottoms of the sear legs. When the sear tried to reset, it got stopped on the tips of the hammer hooks, setting the hammer up for a jar-off...and it worked rather well.

I used my hammer hook file to knock a little off the top of the disconnector paddle to keep it from touching the sear legs, and scraped the timing slot in the slide a little deeper to restore the disconnect's contact area with the sear when the disconnect was in the fire position.

Then I noticed something strange about the sear spring...The center leg had a slight kink about an eighth of an inch from the top. It was barely touching the 48 degree angle on the back of the disconnect...keeping it from fully resetting. That little kink in the spring was resetting the disconnect just on the edge of the sear legs...and the two problems
worked together to virtually insure a full-auto 1911 pistol. I hadn't noticed the kink before...probably because I wasn't looking for it...but I had noticed that the slide was extremely hard to hand-cycle, especially with the hammer down. Odd...but I didn't really think about it until the burst-fire started.

The center leg of the spring looked to be about a 32nd inch shorter than a stock Colt spring (estimated) and the only thing that I can figure is that when the disconnector was pushed down by the slide, the tip of the spring got into a bind with the angle on the back of the disconnect...and it kinked the spring ever-so-slightly...Just enough to put the convex part of the kink against the disconnect, and push it back up about a fourth of the way...right on the corners of the sear legs.

I replaced the sear spring with a good one. The trigger pull felt about a pound and a half heavier, and the hammer follow and burst-fire were gone. The more I study on it, the more I think that the sear spring was more responsible than the disconnector dragging on the sear legs. Now, if I can just figger out exactly where to put that kink.... :D

The moral of this story is:

It just might drop in and work...but don't bet on it.

Wish I'd had a camera to capture the look on his face when that pistol took off... :D

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Ken Rainey
June 11, 2004, 01:27 AM
Yep, we made the trip and got the T-Shirt. Friends, this here 1911Tuner is just can just "see" the gears a spinnin' in his head when he's on the hunt for the problem at hand in these pistols....and when he "morphs down to a millimeter" to stand and watch whats goin' on inside the action, well, it's a sight to behold.

Now, he's giving 'part' of the story on that machine pistol that I somehow managed to create - yeah, my facial expression - just a true look of disbelief and disgust in my work when that hammer followed to halfcock and then all the way down - did turn into a "What in tha Hayll!?" look - complete with eyes widened and mouth hangin' open.......I musta been a sight 'cause 'ol Tuner just looked at me and started laughing - hard, we're talkin' tears in the eyes....and kept on - ever time he'd 'ripped' off a mag full! Then, almost every single time when I'd try it, the dang thang would only hammer follow and he'd laugh hard again and say "let me see it", and sure enough, he could stroke that trigger just right and there'd go a mag full or a three shot burst at his will - he's good at that for some reason, hmmm,.....oh yeah, previous experience (hoo rah!).

Well, like he said, he rubbed her in all the right places and got her doin' right and she's waiting for another range trip as we speak.

Fellas, when he speaks of those collie dogs, he tells it like it is...they are something else - if you didn't know they were dogs, you'd swear they were people, each with their very own unique personality but committed to the group AND family......I was fortunate in that they accepted my friendship and made me to feel at home with 'em......matter of fact, I'm kinda missin' the way 'ol Sassy would come up to me and position herself just where I could rub her on the back the way she liked it - yep, made me feel right at home.

Almost forgot the coffee - no wait, the TURBO COFFEE - it'll flat pick you up and set you in gear - it'd make a cajun man stand and take note to see what a mountain man can do with his grounds, coffee grounds that is.

My sincere thanks to the 'Tuner and his family for making me and mine feel as much at home and as welcome as we could......I just believe I'll claim him as kin myself!

Lookin' forward to the next time,
cousin Ken

June 11, 2004, 08:22 AM
Howdy Cousin! Glad ya'll made it home still married and in one piece.

Go ahead and tell'em the rest of the story...The part about me shootin' ya in the side of the head.:rolleyes:

My female Collie flirted shamelessly with Ken, and that let me know that he was a good ol' boy on account of the fact that if a man's got meanness in
him, Sassy will spot it in about 5 minutes, and she won't have nothin' to do
with him...NOTHIN! The boys will keep their distance too, and when approached by a such a man, they'll back up and show their teeth. I
trust the dogs' judgement of character. They ain't missed yet, even though a few people have slipped in under my radar in the past.

My dogs liked him right off the bat, and that's good enough for me.

The boys flirted with Della, but especially my big one.(97 pounds) He's a real sucker for the ladies, and never fails to get plum silly over 'em. He'd go home with Kelie's niece without so much as a backward glance at the man who cut and tied his cord and sat up for two nights keepin' him breathin'...Thanks Scoot!

Welp...Gotta git crackin' here. I'll check back in a while.



Ken Rainey
June 11, 2004, 07:08 PM
Hows that sayin' go.....Trip to North Carolina $$$$, Parts to make .45 go full auto $$$$ (accidental, of course), Gettin' shot by a guy you met over the internet, PRICELESS.

Actually, it went like this; we set up the three steel plate silhouettes at various distances to practice our draw and fire at multiple targets.....the range table was off to the right of the shooters position but evidently not far enough from the plates. Tuner had loaded up and was ringin' steel as I reached for my pistol, still in it's case. Just as I pulled the pistol out - SMACK up side my head - felt like someone wacked me in the head with a small metal rod right in front of my left ear, OUYOUCH!....felt of my head and the blood was a tricklin' down my cheek - I was like: What the heck was that?? Tuner looked over and saw me touching my head and looking at my hand at the blood - ok, it didn't bleed that much but still....we figured it must have been some lead splatter that kicked up a piece of rock and sent it sailing into my head - just couldn't (didn't want to) believe it could've splattered lead that far. Well, it stopped bleeding shortly and we went on with our practice and then "The Experience": The full auto .45 (see above)

Fast forward to late Wednesday night. After we got back to MS and unloaded the truck and the Harley, give them a bath and put everything in it's rightful place, I finally eased into the shower and noticed that the spot in front of my ear was still swollen a good bit under the little split I had acquired from the rock or whatever smacking me in the head that Monday morning - well, I finally started to realize that I might just have brought home a souvenire from our range session - when Tuner said he'd supply the ammo, he meant it!

Well, I made my way down to the local hospital ER and got a picture took of my head and sure enough, I was packin' extra lead....
I couldn't convince my friend's wife (a paramedic) to cut it out for me, so I went to see a local Doc the next morning.....Dr.'s Office visit went something like this: "The Doctor is all booked this morning, could you see a Nurse Practioner?" Well, yeah, if she can cut out a piece of lead and sew me back up...handing my xrays to the receptionist....look of shock and confusion on her face....she takes the xrays and says "I'm gonna show these to the Dr., I'll be right back"......30 seconds later - "He'll see you in just a minute".......OK, Thanks. After a shot of xylecaine (sp), he slipped right back into the original entrance wound, looked around for a minute and pulled out my prize - the nurse dropped it in a plastic container with a little peroxide and give me a tetnus (sp) shot and he closed me up and handed me a script for some antibiotics and I was on my way out - less than 45 minutes tops - including paying the bill and all the office personel passing the cup around for a looksee at the bullet that come out of my head!

The Good Lord was watching out for me that day and I've thanked him repeatedly:)

Now, don't go feelin' too bad Tuner, it WAS an accident, right?
:scrutiny: I, mean, I know you liked my scooter and all, and you was kinda eyeballin' one of my pistols, but...naah, it was an accident, I just know it.....:)

'Course, if you want to send me a little sumthin' to make me feel better, I seem to remember a 'never used' safe queen layin' round.....;)
(just kidding).......

And that, mah frens, is the rest of the story!


June 11, 2004, 07:33 PM
Dayummmm! Kenneth, mah fren...That was less than 3 inches from your eye! God was standin' in front of ya that time, brother.

Now...Cousin Ken ain't told the whole thing yet. When that splatter hit him, it wasn't a tiny piece of lead that hard cast bullets normally turn into.
It was big enough to ring his bell pretty good, and I could tell it shook him a little. Boys and girls, WEAR EYE PROTECTION. If that thing had hit him
in the eye...or even if it had hit him over his carotid artery, we mighta had
tragedy on our hands.

We were about 25 feet from the steel that the lead bounced off of...and I've been hit by splatter more times than I can count in that bay, but it's never drawn blood. Most of the time, it didn't even sting.

Well...seein' as how I DID shoot him in the head...and seein' as how it WAS
my ammo...I guess I'll hafta get my heart right on that Colt that he's
lustin' after so bad.

Tuner....signin' off for the night.

Ken Rainey
June 11, 2004, 11:13 PM
Ohhhh,:) You say you gonna give me a little more consideration on that Colt:D ......I just got off the phone with my friend who's wife is the paramedic and he said she talked to the Doc about it and he told her it went all the way to the bone!:uhoh:.......(tryin' to work this for all I can!)

Them some stout bullets you got there - guess my noggin was just a little harder than your castin's:p ..... you might need a little more hardner in'em!

Cousin Ken

June 12, 2004, 07:31 AM
Dang! That far huh? Does this mean we can call ya..."Bonehead"...?:p
With the angle that was on that steel plate, I still don't see how it bounced
a piece back at your head like it did...

Among the things that Ken saw on his visit:

Pilot Mountain...from the pinnacle. Some of you may know it better as
Mount Pilot...Deputy Barney Fife's Saturday night party spot. On
a clear day, you can see the entire Yadkin Valley from up there.
Pilot Mountain was there 3/4 billion years before the first life forms crawled out of the primeval slime. Fossilized critters have been found up there that
are so old, they can't carbon-date'em.

Mt. Airy...aka Mayberry, NC. Yes. There really is a Floyd's Barber Shop...
and it was there before Andy Griffith was born.

A stretch of one of the 4 oldest mountain chains in the world...
The Blue Ridge.

A talking dog...Sassy will occasionally say words that you can understand,
and they're appropriate responses to the questions that she's asked.
All of the Collies understand English perfectly, but so far, she's the only one
that's spoken it. It wouldn't surprise me to someday overhear the 4 of them having a conversation in English. I think they're playin' dumb to
stay one step ahead of us...Sometimes, when ya ask her about somethin' that she'd rather not talk about, she ignores ya or just grins and changes the subject... No. We didn't teach her that trick.

He got to see a soccer-playin' Collie...though he didn't feel much like
showin' off that day, he dribbled the ball for'em a couple of times, and
shot it with the side of his muzzle... No. We didn't teach him that trick.

He saw that a 1911 won't malfunction with a limp grip...even fired upside down. He got to see one function without an extractor, and if the ammo had been truly hardball spec, it wouldn't have jammed on that last round.

He learned that an AR-15 firing pin really is an ideal armorer's tool for a
1911...and then he sweet-talked me outta one.:p

Cheers cousin!


Ken Rainey
June 12, 2004, 07:26 PM
And for a Grand Finale' he showed me the "knack" of puttin' the plunger assembly back in the tube and slippin' the thumb safety back in like there's nothin' to it ! (that AR 15 firing pin is the nuts) Let me tell ya, this mans' got the techniques down pat fer sure.....he can manipulate a 1911 like them nascar pit crews can change tires - he's smooth and fast and it's done right! Shoots like that too - greased lightnin' and accurate - glad he's kinfolk!:D

Yep, real live talkin' dogs - like I said, if you didn't know they was dogs, you'd swear they was people.

I'd always wanted to go to "Mayberry" since I was a kid, and Tuner's lovely wife led us straight to all the stuff I wanted to see- man, I hope them pictures come out! Thank Kelie again for me.


June 12, 2004, 07:38 PM
Ken said:

I'd always wanted to go to "Mayberry" since I was a kid, and Tuner's lovely wife led us straight to all the stuff I wanted to see- man, I hope them pictures come out! Thank Kelie again for me.

She just read it and says you're mighty welcome, and wants to know if we oughta call ya Cousin Barney now that you've been Mayberried and all...

Ken Rainey
June 13, 2004, 05:53 PM
Now that you mention it, "Cousin Barney" might just be appropriate after all;)

I've been called Barney before, albeit sarcasticly at the time, when doing an arrest - usually an intoxicated individual.....but I just grinned and took it as a compliment! I picked up on his lone bullet carry and tote an extra bullet in my pocket 'just in case' as well as for grins (for me) when somebody makes a comment like "You got your bullet with ya?" it always gets 'em when I say Yep, and pull it out of my pocket and show it to 'em.

Cousin Barney

June 17, 2004, 06:46 PM
This thread has made slipping into the Gunsmithin forum more than worth it.

Ken Rainey
June 17, 2004, 09:00 PM
Hey Cousin Tuner, All my pics come out good (Big Grin). I took the pistol to the range yesterday and ran 52 assorted rds thru it without a hitch (or burst fire!). Right before I left I noticed that the firing pin was getting stuck inside the channel when dry firing??? I'd wiggle the firing pin that was protruding from the breech face and it'd snap back in place??? Took it apart and cleaned and polished the firing pin head and firing pin stop hole and I can't get it to do it again..........:confused:

Thanks again,
Cousin Ken

June 18, 2004, 04:14 AM
Cousin Ken said:

Took it apart and cleaned and polished the firing pin head and firing pin stop hole and I can't get it to do it again.

Well...Thassa good thing, ain't it?

Did the FP stop drop and stop the pin from poppin' back in place...or was the pin itself stickin' in the channel?

Ken Rainey
June 18, 2004, 01:27 PM
I don't * think* the stop has the new extra power firing pin spring in it and you snugged it up a little bit when I was there - but, anything is possible.......I just fig'rd it had just enough crude around the stop's hole to make it catch instead of slippin' back into the hole but it could have been a combination of that I think about it, it would seem likely that something was holdin' it back or catching it - it was a little nasty but nothing that should have caused it to stop - that firing pin sure does go farther into the chamber when it's empty than I had thought it would.

'course, we did find were just the littlest bit of somethin' in the right (or wrong) place can cause amazing things to happen!:uhoh:

Cousin Ken

June 18, 2004, 08:48 PM
Howdy Cuz,

Thinkin' might be the result of 350 rounds of that nasty
ammo I anted up for ya to play with. Cast lead with soft lube makes
for some pretty sticky cack that works into every nook and cranny.

Just a thought. Keep'em clean!


June 19, 2004, 08:18 AM
You definately got that right Tuner. I dont care what caliber it is, in every one soft lube gunks up the works.

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