1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

1911 hammer follow

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Dogsoldier, Jan 5, 2003.

  1. Dogsoldier

    Dogsoldier Well-Known Member

    I finished putting together a 1911 the other day. The frame is Essex, the slide STI. The trigger group is made up of a Cylinder & Slide CNC already fitted sear, hammer and disconnector set with the recommended spring set. I took the gun to the range for the first time on Friday. Chambered the very first round and the gun went off. Good thing I am very annual when it comes to range safety. The gun let go in a safe directiom... But let me tell you, I almost needed to change my shorts. :what:

    I tried it again, everything the same. One round, release the slide from the slide release. This time, okay. Loaded two rounds...okay, loaded a full mag...FULL AUTO! (Kinda cool because I was ready for a problem, but still not a good idea) Now, I can get the hammer to follow the slide pretty easily. I have cocked the hammer and pressed on it to see if it is jumping off the notch. That's okay. It seems to be doing this only after the side is allowed to fly home.

    I broke out the Kuhnhuasen book and looked under hammer follow. It said to replace the disconnector. I have also heard that an imporoperly set (tension) sear spring could do the same thing. And to add to my confusion, the sear-hammer engagement could be off.

    Anyone have anything else that should be checked? Help and comments very welcome.
  2. Traveler

    Traveler Well-Known Member

    Unless Essex has changed their frames I always found the hammer & sear holes to be at the far end of the tolerence for distance apart. This can cause problems.

    I'd take a close look at the relationship of the parts using a set of dummy pins.
  3. Pistolsmith

    Pistolsmith Well-Known Member

    The condition you describe is usually caused by a trigger that is too loose in the grip frame raceway. It should be free, but not loose enough to tap the sear during recoil. Adding a four leaf sear spring is a certain cure. A slight tweak on the bow will usually correct the problem if adjusting the sear spring does not do it.
  4. ejudasf

    ejudasf New Member

    I didn't want to start another thread

    I have a question. On a 1911, if the safety can be engaged, (on), with the hammer down, Does that make the gun "un-safe"?

    The safety does block any sear travel when cocked.

    After the pistol is cocked, and safety engaged, and trigger pulled, the hammer will not fall, or will you feel any movement. When the safety is removed, the hammer will not fall untill presure is applied to the trigger.

    thanks for any input on this.
  5. Traveler

    Traveler Well-Known Member

    A properly fit thumb safety will not go into "safe" position unless the hammer is cocked.
  6. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Hammer followdown will not usually cause the pistol to fire. You may have a condition of the slide going into battery jarring the sear out of engagement enough to allow the hammer to fall all the way. If it is hammer follow down, the problem is almost always a too short or worn disconnector, but I would look at sear engagement first.

  7. ejudasf

    ejudasf New Member


    The hammer is already down. the safety can be engaged while the hammer is down. What would this be called? and would this be considered unsafe?

  8. KMKeller

    KMKeller Well-Known Member

    Go ahead, you can say "anal".:D
  9. SCarruth

    SCarruth Well-Known Member

    There he goes again, cramming up these decent websites with stupid questions. Oh brudda

    Ay joto do well at the match, shouldn't matter about your safety as long as it works
  10. Ebbtide

    Ebbtide Well-Known Member

    This is called "bad".

    There is something very wrong with your 1911 if you can engage the safety with the hammer down. Have a competent gunsmith check it out ASAP.
  11. Traveler

    Traveler Well-Known Member

    This thread is a good example of why I don't recommend people do their own gunsmithing.:banghead:
  12. Dogsoldier

    Dogsoldier Well-Known Member


    Hey! I is a publik skool gadute.

    Just another fine example of not proof reading...:neener:
  13. Dogsoldier

    Dogsoldier Well-Known Member


    I don't know if I am causing your distress. But if you don't want to help, maybe you should jump out of these threads. I placed what I felt is a reasonable question. Were you born with all the knowledge to be a competent gunsmith? Do you have some sort of racial memory concerning firearms that mere mortals are not endowed?

    People learn by asking questions. I have been around firearms all my life. I was not interested in smithing until recently. When everything should work, and it doesn't, a reasonable person asks. The whole purpose of this board, and dare I say, the internet, is to share information?

    Come on, people do and ask what seems to you to be silly questions are serious to them. If you can claim to be the sum of all knowledge and get :banghead: when a newbie or novice asks a "dumb" question, then you are obligated step aside or share your wisdom.
  14. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member


    I have tried to answer your questions in an appropriate manner and give you information you seem to need. IMO, Traveller has a point and, while he may have been too abrupt, I think your response was out of bounds.

    I suggest you buy some books on the 1911 type pistol and also examine and use as many as you can so you will know how they work. I don't mind sharing information, but you seem to want a complete gunsmithing course on a web site, something no one can give you on this or any other forum.

    There are books and video tapes on the 1911 and there are gunsmithing schools that can give you hands on experience. You might look into them.

  15. Dogsoldier

    Dogsoldier Well-Known Member


    I was going to let this pass, yet there is somethings that need to be said. Thank you for the reality check. I respect your opinions and value them. The same goes for Traveler. Additionally, Traveler, your answer was fair and polite, my apology.

    FWIW, I am a pretty fair hand when it comes to working on firearms. What befuddles folks like me is when everything checks out and things still go wrong. None of us can claim to have seen everything. I see places like thiis as a chance to brain-storm problems.

    I follow Kuhnhuasen like the bible when building 1911's. I also like the Wilson book. How would you proceed if everything checks out okay and still have a problem? Most of us do not have inventories of parts to start swapping this or that in an attempt to correct a problem .

    The gentleman with the safety question did make think that he was out of his league. If you folks hadn't answered, my recommendation would have been take the gun to a gunsmith.

    Okay with that said, peace in our times?

    Oh, in case anyone was wondering, I found the problem. The sear spring had a crack about 1/16 below the middle and left finger. I couldn't see it until pressure was put on the spring out of the gun. Strange stuff.
  16. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Hi, Dogsoldier,

    OK, truce. Kuhnhausen's books are fine (other than that he doesn't know how the pistol works), but you need some experience to really understand him sometimes. Also, he has tools I used to only dream about, either because they didn't exist or because I didn't do enough 1911 work to justify the cost.

    We all have had those guns where everything seems OK but the darned thing just won't work. There is usually a reason, but on some guns nobody can really find it. For example, those little .22 and .25 guns like the Davis, used to drive me batty trying to balance the springs.

    The 1911 type is deceptively simple. The design is actually more complex than it would seem and some things just are not apparent. For instance, Kuhnhausen shows the barrel and slide remaining motionless, in full lockup, until the bullet exits. Not so. The barrel begins to move from recoil the instant the bullet begins to move, so the barrel is actually moving while the bullet is still in it. Because the barrel-slide unit is heavier than the bullet, unlocking won't occur until the bullet leaves the barrel, but the gun works by recoil, not cartridge pressure, no matter what . (If the barrel is blocked so the bullet can't move, the gun will not function.)

  17. Dogsoldier

    Dogsoldier Well-Known Member

    Agreed about Kuhnhausen. I felt he didn't show all the movements for simplicity of the illustrations.
    But, only Jerry knows for sure.

    Okay, that's all for me for now. Never fear there will be :banghead: questions to come in the future! :neener:

Share This Page