1911 Thumb Safety

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by CC45, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. CC45

    CC45 New Member

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    My 1911 thumb safety is stiff when I engage it. It is hard to push down to release it. Can I snip that small plunger spring to make it smoother when I put the safety on & off? Thanks
  2. Country101

    Country101 Active Member

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    Is this a new gun? If it is new, I would oil it and use it for a while to see if it breaks in. A little stiff aint bad. It should have a good crisp break and hold fairly solid. I dont want mine flipping off if it brushes against something. At the same time, you shouldnt have to crank down on it to get it to move. snipping the spring slightly might help, but it wouldnt take much. If it needs it, I would advise taking very small bites. If you go too far you will need a new spring.

    Unless it is hard to operate(meaning not just a little stiffer than you like) I would recommend just letting it wear and oiling it. If it is too hard to operate, you might trim the spring ever so slightly after making sure there are no other issues and cleaning and oiling.
  3. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Pull the safety. Remove the plunger. Put the safety back in. Try it. Still stiff? Plunger wasn't the problem. Works real easy? Looks like it was the plunger/safety interface.

    Look at the face of the safety. Is there a burr that might be catching on the plunger? Look at the face of the plunger. Is there a burr that might be catching on the safety?

    If it turns out that it is the plunger/safety interface, and there are no burrs on either piece, I'd still do like Country suggested and work it for a while and see if it wears in.

    I like a very distinct "on/off" with mine. My Kimber's safety is so easy that if I lay it in the glove box, with the safety on, just the motion of driving a few miles will take the safety off. That's not good.
  4. CC45

    CC45 New Member

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    Yes Country, It is new. I will oil it & see if it breaks in. I do have another spring if I snip to much off but I will wait awhile to see if the oil works. Thanks.
  5. CC45

    CC45 New Member

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    Alpo
    I Checked & no burrs. I took the plunger spring out & the safety is loose & smooth. I put back the plunger spring & it becomes stiff again so it is the plunger spring. I will do what Country says & let it wear in . Thanks
  6. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    Be very careful when you try and loosen the safety on a 1911, if you carry it cocked and locked, my recommendations is " leave it alone ". JMHO which always errs on the side of safety.While you don't want a safety that requires a hammer to disengage, neither do you want one that flips off with a touch of your thumb. A hard safety is much better than a " loose" one.
  7. Country101

    Country101 Active Member

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    Springs can weaken with repetitive use, so time may be the cure here. As Alpo and RJay have said, it should have a distinct engagement. And I agree that it is better a tad hard than loose. You might, in your spare time do some drills and practice thumbing the safety to help loosen it up. Little drills are good at building muscle memory as well. We do some dry fire drills at work when we are at the range and it really suprises me how much they help.

    I would recommend Silver Bullet Gun Oil as well. Awesome stuff, if you are in the market or willing to try something. There are several people on here that now sell it for good reason. You can do a quick search for it if you would like some info or reviews.
  8. CC45

    CC45 New Member

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    Country
    I used a bit of Hoppes oil just on my fingertip & rubbed the spring with it. It seems better now. I will leave it as is. Thanks for the help.
  9. Country101

    Country101 Active Member

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    Good deal.
  10. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member

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    I usually take a Dremel tool with a pointed attachment and slightly teardrop the hole where the plunger rests.
  11. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Nice tip Sam. I do the same with a needle file. ;)

    CC your thumb safety is just fit tight and thats exactly how you want it. Take the safety out and remove the grip safety and reassemble it without the grip safety. this way you will be able to see where the thumb safety engages the sear. you want contact and it will break in over time. Do not clip your plunger spring, not only will it decrease the tension on the thumb safety but it will also reduce the tension on the slide stop and you will start getting mid magazine hold opens. Just clean it, lube it and shoot the hell out of it.. :)

    Take it from a guy thats turned more than one perfectly good 1911 thumb safety into a trigger pull decocker.. :eek:

    Its all part of the learning curve.. Gunsmithing is a trade that has to be learned with the hands just as well as the mind..
  12. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Such fine points often depend on how much effort is put into quality control at the factory. I have seen safeties badly made, spring plungers with sharp "tits", badly made sears, all contributing to that kind of "safety" problem. The spring, in fact, is IMHO the least likely source of the problem and cutting it may be just masking the trouble.

    Jim
  13. CC45

    CC45 New Member

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    Thank you for the advice. I am going to leave it as is. Over time it will fall into place. It is a brand new gun so I won't tamper with it. The bit of Hoppes helped
  14. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Go put 200 rounds thru it and check back. I bet itll be much improved by then.
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