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1911 broken firing pin plunger lever

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Bandit67, Sep 5, 2018.

  1. Bandit67

    Bandit67 Member

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    The firing pin plunger lever is broken on my Remington 1911 R1. I'm trying to decide if I should replace it or get the Spacer and convert it to the Series 70 style and eliminate the firing pin block. I do not carry this gun for self defense. It's a range gun only. I'm leaning towards the conversion. What do you think I should do?
     
  2. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    Sounds like you already have a spacer, it just needs some fitting. My Colt has the Swartz, my Ruger does not, and I don't care until it's time to reassemble.

    I am curious to know how it broke. . .
     
  3. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

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    The original design did not have the firing pin block. What was good enough for the government is good enough for me.

    Note that the spacers come in different thicknesses. Measure the depth of the cavity and get the appropriate spacer. You should probably also replace the notched firing pin, the notched extractor, and the notched firing pin stop. Replacing the firing pin spring is also not a bad idea.

    Simply replacing the broken part would be cheaper than doing a proper conversion to eliminate the firing pin block.

    BTW, calling a gun without the firing pin block a "Series 70" is a misnomer. Yes, the Series 80 has the firing pin block, but all versions before that did not. The main original identifying characteristic of the Series 70 was the collet (spring fingers) bushing. Just say that you are converting it to a "non-Series 80."
     
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  4. imashooter

    imashooter Member

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    I'd go the commonly known way (albeit a puristically - incorrect used term / who cares?) conversion to a series 70. Less is more.
     
  5. Rock185

    Rock185 Member

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    If I'm not mistaken, the Remingtons use the Colt Series 80 type firing pin safety system. I too wonder what caused the plunger lever to break? I've used series 80s since they were introduced, carried one every working day for several years, was an LE armorer,etc. I've never seen a plunger lever break. In fact, I've not seen an unmodified firearm with the series 80 type FPS fail to function as designed. I'd just replace the broken lever.....ymmv
     
  6. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I use this pistol only as a target pistol. This Kimber has the Schwartz firing pin block. It came down to paying extra to mill the rear sight down, to have the sight rail, or remove the rear sight and firing pin block. I removed the firing pin block. I did not remove the plunger from the trigger mechanism and that makes reassembly of the slide and frame a kluge. If you grasp the grip, the plunger raises, and that blocks the slide. This is the only 1911 that I have with the Swartz, and I have to remember this one acts different.

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    I have had the firing pin plunger (block) drop down and jam a Colt series 80. I consider this unacceptable in what might be a self defense gun.

    u6M6EhW.jpg

    aRiF7bE.jpg

    The plunger dropped while shooting the pistol, that prevented the slide from moving forward, and the cause was not obvious. I had to drop the magazine, clear the feed ramp, and puzzle out why the slide was not moving forward. This did not take minutes, but it took time. Then I had to find something pointy to push the firing pin forward and push up the plunger, to get the plunger back in place. While the series 70 action will fire if dropped from a sufficient distance on its muzzle, which is one reason for the firing pin blocks, removal of the firing pin block eliminates a failure mechanism in the operation of the pistol.

    I do not consider these firing pin blocks necessary for a pistol which will be only used at the range, such as this Kimber. Whether you want the firing pin block in a self defense gun, that is your choice. You can buy spacers that take the place of the lever, and that sounds like the best choice to me.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
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  7. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Colt had 3 different size levers, if i remember correctly??

    If replacing, get the correct Remington one, if more then 1 is available?
     
  8. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
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  9. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Changed picture title. I thought it was spelled with a Sch. I will probably get this wrong again. Great patent link.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
  10. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    Heck, I'd just pointed it out on Monday ( https://www.thehighroad.org/index.p...t-1911-in-9mm-but-which.840701/#post-10912763 ). I was kind of thinking you were doing it on purpose.

    It's really helpful for folks when doing a search to use proper terminology and spelling. However, folks have butchered the Swartz spelling for so long you can probably find it with it spelled incorrectly. It is after all a guys name, and he does deserve proper credit.
     
  11. Bandit67

    Bandit67 Member

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    Thanks for the input guys. I measured the lever and ordered the correct spacer.
    To squelch your curiosity it broke while my son was reassembling after cleaning it. The lever must have been in the up position and he forced the slide on. I was sitting at my reloading bench about 6 feet away and I heard a funny "ping". Ugh. Pulled the slide back off and noticed the lever was broken. Found the broken piece on the floor nearby.
     
  12. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Nope, I thought it was Schwartz. And if I had been an Immigration Officer at Ellis Island and Mr Swartz had come across my Immigration Desk, I would have written down Schwartz, because that's how sounds. Incidentally, When Senator Ed Muskie's ancestors came to Ellis Island, the Marciszewski family was told that their new American name was "Muskie". And it probably was a good thing, Marciszewski is a hard name to pronounce, and spell! The fill in ballets would have been contested.
     
  13. WC145

    WC145 Member

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    You're Colt most likely has the Series 80 system, it's not the same as the Swartz system that Kimber uses. However the Swartz safety was first tried by Colt back in the '30s so there is a chance that you have one of those very rare examples.
     
  14. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    You're right, I had Schwartz and the Series 80 crossed up.
     
  15. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    Swartz!

    You're killing me, man.
     
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  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    My father says they (Officials at Ellis Island) got our last name wrong. I know mine doesn't match my grandfathers birth certificate. Stuff happens, and not everyone is good at transposing information, it is definitely not one of my strong points, I have to double check myself.

    The 1911 firing pin safety is always a heated debate.
     
  17. HisSoldier

    HisSoldier Member

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    I agree with the notion that calling non trigger safety 1911's series 70's is wrong, it's one of those identifying phrases that is complicated no matter how it's stated. An "Original 1911" may mean straight MSH among a few things changed in the later 1911 A1, there is room for confusion there too.

    Perhaps "Non-lawyer" works. :D
     
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