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Very stiff 1911 thumb safety - suggestions?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by leadcounsel, Apr 27, 2011.

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  1. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    My Springfield TRP has an extended ambi thumb safety. It is VERY stiff to lock into position and also stiff to take off the safety. Pushing against gravity, up, is unusually difficult. My other 1911's don't seem to be this stiff.

    It is a new and realitively unusued handgun. Is this just a 'break-in' issue or is there something else that is going on?
     
  2. MCMXI
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    MCMXI Contributing Member

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    Are you comfortable disassembling the pistol? If so, it should be easy to see if the thumb safety is fitted properly or whether the spring/plunger that engages the safety is binding in the plunger tube.

    Take a look at this article .... I found it very helpful when I installed an Ed Brown thumb safety in my Kimber.

    http://www.brazoscustom.com/magart/0601.htm
     
  3. 0to60

    0to60 Member

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    I just bought a SA mil spec and I've got the same issue. The thumb safety is HARD to actuate. The only thing that you're working against is the plunger, though; its not like there are a lot of internal things that are fighting you. I'm guessing the divot in the safety that the plunger pushes into is too deep or the plunger itself is too pointy, something like that. I'm hoping that if I sit there actuating it over and over, it'll loosen up a bit.

    Another thing, when I disassemble it completely, removing the safey is DIFFICULT. In youtube videos, it looks like people just push it out (mine is not ambi like your's), but mine requires the flat of a screwdriver and a lotta working to get it to come out. I'm hoping it just needs to be broken in or something.
     
  4. MCMXI
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    MCMXI Contributing Member

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    The safety has to be fitted correctly to the sear. If it's hard into the sear, it may be hard to engage and disengage. If it were my pistol, I'd remove the thumb safety, remove the plunger and spring and then reinstall the safety to test. At least that way you'd know where the problem is.
     
  5. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    If you can isolate which side it's sticking on, that'll help. Do you see signs of it dragging anywhere, on the frame or the slide? Take the right side off (as you're looking at it from behind the gun) and see if it still sticks on the left.


    If it's not dragging anywhere, there could be a problem with the pin in the plunger, or the spring could be hanging up somewhere in the tube. Take those out, carefully, as they'll fly across the room, and inspect them. The spring isn't supposed to be a very heavy one. Check the thumb safety plunger for any rough spots. Put both sides of the thumb safety back on without the plunger tube springs and pins.

    Does it flip up and down with no resistence? If not, locate the resistence as it drags across the frame or receiver somewhere. Nothing? Likely at this point the problem is with the contour of the shoulder where the plunger engages it. It's probably at too radical a radius. Not much can be done for that, if it's the cause. You could try to re-work the radius with a file. Better option is to let the company fix it.
     
  6. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    If it was me, just for fun, I would buy a new safety, spring and plunger. None of the parts are really expensive, and it would be nice to have spares anyway. I would buy all three and test them one at a time to see if I could isolate which one is sticking. I would guess that the safety touches more parts than anything else involved, and that it is too tight against one of the surfaces it contacts. Maybe a little bit of lapping would loosen it up, but if you're like me.....a little bit of lapping can turn out to be too much. This is why I would just buy a new one. :)
     
  7. WC145

    WC145 Member

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    Or, considering you put out a good chunk of money for you TRP, you could always call Springfield and have them make it right. Their customer service is excellent. When I had issues with a new Loaded I returned it to them and they made the repairs and also some upgrades. It took two weeks from the day I sent it to the day I got it back and it's been perfect ever since. Plus they pay fo shipping both ways.
     
  8. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Do a quick test.

    Overcock the hammer slightly past full cock and try to engage it. If it moves into place easily...move it back into the "FIRE" position and watch the hammer closely. If the hammer moves forward, you need to remove a little more material from the point that blocks the sear.
     
  9. 0to60

    0to60 Member

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    That did it! It was the plunger, just like I suspected. Once I removed the plunger/spring, my safety was buttery smooth and came out just as easy as in the 1911 teardown videos I'm watching on youtube.

    So now, any suggestions on how to push the plunger down while removing/replacing the safety? I'm using a small screwdriver, but I am getting some scratches.
     
  10. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Good call, 1858! It's usually somethin' simple.
     
  11. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    A razor blade maybe?
     
  12. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    Slip a credit card behind the safety to depress the plunger while working the safety back into place. It will engage and you can slip the card out without scratches.
     
  13. Prodigal

    Prodigal Member

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    That is an awesome link with some great info. Thanks for that. Came across this thread in a google search and it helped a lot in my fitting a new thumb safety. Thanks again
     
  14. Jaxondog

    Jaxondog Member

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    Nice work 1858 and great link also.
     
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