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How 1911 safetys work...

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by John Holbrook, Oct 29, 2006.

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  1. gb0399

    gb0399 Member

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    I wish I had seen this yesterday, spent 5 hours reverse engineering and fitting after market wilson combat parts to a springfield champion
     
  2. Jimmy Su

    Jimmy Su Member

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    Installing an ambi safety?

    Hi guys I'm a complete newbie here, and about to be new into the 1911 community. I've looked around and I'm really interested in the SA Mil-Spec and Loaded designs. One thing I've noticed is the Mil-Spec does not come with a ambi safety and I'd like a ambi since I'm a lefty. How difficult would that be to do, and how much would I be looking at spending?

    ~Jimmy
     
  3. mike_w

    mike_w Member

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    hi im new here but i just recently bought a SA 1911 9mm it came with a ambi safety but doesn't feel like its in right... well im sure its in right but it doesn't fit it hits the sear what is usually done about this? take a file and take a little bit off the safety wheres it hitting? or no

    *edit* so i just went ahead and filed some off the safety got to the point where i was sure what had to be done figured out that if i filed some off that side where it hits the sear it wont affect how it sits on the hammer but i tried to get some pictures in case anyone has this issue. they were taken with my phone so they suck but the side that is up was filled down some

    oh yea the pictures at the beginning of this thread don't seem to show up not sure if i have to register with that hosting company or what
     

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  4. Dream Catcher

    Dream Catcher Member

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    i just saw this and all this time im always in condition 1 believing that the thumb safety blocks and essentially stops the hammer from falling down :(
     
  5. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Nup. The thumb safety doesn't block the hammer at all. The best that it can do is to impede the hammer a little via the plunger's engagement to the safety...but that won't stop it.
     
  6. Dream Catcher

    Dream Catcher Member

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    that got me really thinking of my condition 1 carry, so if ever the sear breaks, the best hope i can have is the half cock notch?
     
  7. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    I once arranged a demonstration for a nervous 1911 carrier. I deliberately removed a full 1/8th inch from the sear crown...which is highly unlikely to happen during carry...and the gun not only held full cock, it functioned normally for about 3 dozen rounds. When it did start to follow, the half-cock stopped it every time.
     
  8. Dream Catcher

    Dream Catcher Member

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    thanks for this very good piece of information. :)
    so i guess as my existing sear still works, i think it's too premature to change sear for a more well known brand.
     
  9. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Just for a little more FWIW/FYI...

    I've got a pair of early 1991A1 Colts, bought in the fall of '91 and the late winter of '92. One had an MIM sear and disconnect and the other a machined sear and disconnect.
    The guns have been through one complete refitting, and are both on their 3rd barrels. They've seen something in excess of 360,000 rounds collectively over the years...and they're both still operating on their original sears. One has its original disconnect, and the replacement came as a result of wear...not breakage.

    While I can't say that this performance will be representative of all 1911s, or even Colts in particular...it does tend to allay many fears of sudden or catastrophic fire control parts failure. The sear is actually a pretty durable part, assuming that it's made of decent stuff. Good MIM can be very good, just as bad MIM can be very bad. The hard part is being able to tell one from the other just by looking. As a rule, if the MIM part lasts for 500-1,000 cycles, it'll likely last for the life of the gun and beyond. If it's going to fail, it usually fails early.
     
  10. Dream Catcher

    Dream Catcher Member

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    after reading this Designed to be carried Cocked and Locked: Not! and the diagram here it seems half-cock is a safety feature and i find it more tempting as mode of carry except that the inefficiency of returning into that condition after a stressful engagement.
    and
    i noticed upon checking, there's a small thumb safety part that touches the hammer and that what gave me the wrong impression all this time that the thumb safety somehow blocks the hammer.
     
  11. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Just to keep this thread up to speed on that half-cock question...

    and although it will draw screams from the tactical/you might drop ithe gun set...


    and even though I've never used the half-cock as a carry safety...

    and I've made this point earlier...

    The original captive half-cock notch interlocks the sear with the hammer, positively blocking any movement by both that would result in firing the gun. It also prevents the trigger from moving rearward, thus disabling the entire fire control group...solidly and absolutely. In fact, the harder you pull the trigger, the more soildly the sear and hammer are locked up.

    If that doesn't qualify as a "safety" I'd like to know what does.
     
  12. Dream Catcher

    Dream Catcher Member

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    incidentally this reminds me of this article Sight M1911A1 in contrast stated "....The stud that locks the sear will also not allow the hammer to fall if the safety is engaged....."
    going back to half-cock, if i can only find a way how to 'present' in a very efficient way i prefer the half-cock carry plus the advantage of unfamiliarity if someone able to grab and use it on me.
    speaking of which, what could be the threshold of hammer trauma to get an AD
     
  13. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    He was wrong. If you can find an old hammer that's too worn or damaged to be used, you can put it to the test. (I did it years ago)

    Remove the hooks and the half-cock notch completely. Install it in the gun and thumb it back so that the safety will engage. Let it slip so that it'll mimic falling from the sear releasing it...and watch the safety.
     
  14. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    How about the 1911-style pistols that have a "half-cock" shelf that will stop the hammer if it slips during thumb-cocking but are not true notches that engage the sear tip? (I am thinking specifically of the Paraordnance.)
     
  15. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Carl, the stop shelf was first seen on Colt Series 80 hammers, and it does arrest the hammer if it falls from causes other than deliberately pulling the trigger. Unlike the captive half-cock...it's not a safety position because the trigger can be pulled and the sear will release the hammer. If Para's location for the shelf is like Colt's, the hammer can't get enough momentum to fire a primer...at least in theory...but I've never trusted it completely, so I consider it as a last chance AD prevention in the event of a hammer that gets loose.

    Althought the general wisdom is that the captive half-cock isn't a safety...was never intended to be a safety...and should never be used as one...I've got my doubts. For one thing, Browning did design the half-cock to the a safety postion on all his other hammer guns prior to the 1911, and the actual function of the half-cock seems to indicate that it was designed to be a safety position.

    It locks up and disables the whole fire control group, and the gun can't be fired until the hammer is returned to full cock. If that doesn't meet the requirements for a safety, I don't know what does.
     
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