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Stop gap solution to broken hammer? (1911)

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by NWcityguy2, Feb 16, 2013.

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  1. NWcityguy2

    NWcityguy2 Member

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    Part of the hammer on my Dan Wesson 1911 broke of while shooting at a competition today. The gun is under warranty and I have contacted DW asking them to mail me a new hammer so I can have it installed by a local gunsmith. There was a fire at the DW factory though and they are not running at full capacity as of right now so there might be a wait in getting my issue resolved one way or the other.

    In the mean time is there any reason for me not to file/sand off the rest of the broken loop and just leave myself part of the top for decocking? The broken spur catches on my clothing. Thanks.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. EmbarkChief

    EmbarkChief Member

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    Can't see any issue with doing so IMOP.
     
  3. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    Boy-o-boy... While shooting for the time being in that configuration might be OK, I certainly wouldn't suggest de-cocking on a loaded chamber with it. I might even try going full-pakistani and filling the void with JBweld in the meantime and watching for separation, assuming it is not going to be sent back.

    As far as warranty, I should think shooting it would not be an option if you have to send the pistol back or at a minimum - the hammer.
     
  4. twofifty

    twofifty Member

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    Is that hammer cut from bar stock or is it MIM?
     
  5. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    If it's steel, I'd tig weld and file.
     
  6. NWcityguy2

    NWcityguy2 Member

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    The pistol isn't going back to the DW factory for repairs. That fire they had was months ago and they aren't even back up and running. I would shutter to think of adding my 1911 to the back of the current line. Especially because I compete almost every weekend with it and it is my only handgun I compete with.

    JB weld seems like a good idea though, better than filling off a bunch of metal.

    Decocking it isn't a problem even if it had no spur at all. Besides, there is no point to decocking a 1911 on a loaded chamber anyway. I don't think I've ever done that.

    The hammer was made by Ed Brown so I'm assuming it was made from bar stock. I haven't counted my primers in a while but the gun shouldn't be too much above 15k. Given that one small part didn't work right from the factory and two more have failed I'm not very impressed with Ed Brown parts.
     
  7. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    That's the end result of MIM suffering impact stresses. What many people don't realize is that the hammer on the .45 caliber pistol is slammed violently back...bounces off the grip safety...and falls back to the center rail in the slide. Stir in a radically upswept grip safety tang, and a thin-walled rowel hammer...and it's a matter of when and not if.

    Here's another possibility.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. rondog

    rondog Member

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    I'd just buy another hammer at the LGS and move on. If/when DW sends a replacement, put it in the spares box.
     
  9. MarshallDodge

    MarshallDodge Member

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    The same thing happened to our DW CBOB a few years ago. My wife was carrying/shooting it the time and didn't even notice it till we came home from the range. Since we subscribe to the only way to drop the hammer on a 1911 is by pulling the trigger method, and she carries cocked and locked, it had gone unnoticed.

    I called DW and they had a part out to us in a couple days and it dropped right in.

    If you are going to carry the gun then I would be concerned but for range/target use it should run fine.
     
  10. 98Redline

    98Redline Member

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    I would probably use this as an opportunity to upgrade the part. An EGW hammer would probably be my choice. As it is you will need a gunsmith to properly fit the replacement hammer. Get a quality new part and be done with it.

    http://www.egwguns.com/ignition-parts/egw-hd-hammer/
     
  11. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    There may be reasons to lighten the hammer (I am not sure I can think of any), but that is a reason not to lighten it too much. As thin as that was, I don't know if even a forged part would have stood up. Even parts designers don't know how much stress that hammer takes.

    Jim
     
  12. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    DW probably buys the hammer from another company, so your wait may not be that long.
     
  13. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Yeah. The hammer takes a beating. I think that Colt is fully aware of it, since they still use blanked, finish machined barstock hammers while most of the others have been using castings and MIM for some time.
     
  14. Old Shooter
    • Contributing Member

    Old Shooter Member

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    This. No reason to do a Homer Simpson repair on a nice gun like your DW.

    You can find a good, quality replacement hammer at a LGS or even order off the web and have the gun up and running quickly.

    When the DW part comes in you can install it if you want to keep it "all DW" and then you have a fitted spare ready in case the same thing happens again in the future.
     
  15. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    I seem to recall that this was an...if not common, at least far from unheard-of problem with DW 1911s back in the 08-09 timeframe.

    I thought that DW had a new part number that addressed this issue. IIRC, the first two digits of the s/n are the year of manufacture.

    If it is under warranty, I would let DW deal with it. If not, I would buy a quality hammer and go that way. In the mean time, I would not do any stop-gap measures.

    Just my .02.
     
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