Sear engagement problem?

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by 1952Sniper, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. 1952Sniper

    1952Sniper New Member

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    I considered that, but I wanted to avoid it unless it was absolutely necessary. For starters, I don't like sending off my firearms to strangers. I'm paranoid that way, I guess. But I had called the Armscor phone number and got a BAD feeling about sending it in because their secretary was very difficult. She barely spoke English (she sounded Pakistani?) and didn't seem too cooperative. She just said to box it up and send it to the repair department with a note about what was wrong with it. I dunno, I just don't like doing it that way, without being able to talk to the actual person who would be doing the repairs and having him take my name and address. I'd just feel better knowing that I was getting some personal attention, but the secretary didn't want to let me play that game. So I'll just fix it myself if that's how they want to be, even if it costs me a few bucks more.
  2. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    1952, I hear you...sending it back to the guys to fix it who were the SAME guys who MADE it that way in the FIRST place makes me uncomfortable too...make it RIGHT the first time!


    And having qualified 'smiths in the REPAIR department (if they DO) to diagnose and perform warranty repairs while you have low or no skilled workers MAKING them in the first place, and poor "QC" in place to KEEP them from coming back seems like bad business...

    It's kind of like cars, I do a LOT of driving in company cars, and cars wear and BREAK (but a LOT less than they used to!). I DREAD when a "new one" breaks "under warranty," because 90% of the time the leasing company makes me take it to the DEALER, where the repairs ALWAYS take longer, and many times are NOT done well....while OFF warranty, I can take it to anybody that will bill them, and I have a shop I TRUST, and it gets fixed quickly and RIGHT...
  3. 1952Sniper

    1952Sniper New Member

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    OK... Here's the deal.

    I received my parts yesterday and started installing them. But I ran into some snags. I purchased a new hammer and sear (Wilson Combat "value" line), new disconnector, new hammer strut, and new sear spring. These are not "drop in" parts by any means. When I installed the new disconnector and sear, the thumb safety will not seat all the way. The safety "lug" hits the sear. I would have to file some material from the back of the sear in order to get the safety to go in.

    So I tried using my original sear with the new disconnector and new hammer. The safety will seat all the way in the frame, and so I put it back together. But now the safety will not engage. When I pull the hammer back to full cock and try to flip up the thumb safety, it won't go up. Considering that it's still the original safety and the original sear, the only thing I can figure is that the new hammer is causing a problem now.

    The good news is that even though I can't engage the safety, at least the hammer is not "following" the slide when I rack it. It stays back where it's supposed to. And the trigger pull seems the same, or perhaps even a bit lighter than it did before.

    But the rear of the hammer is "bottoming out" on my grip safety. I don't want to have to Dremel material off of my grip safety, so I'm thinking I'll have to install one of those beavertail grip safeties which hopefully has more clearance for the hammer than the original GI style grip safety. Is this correct? Do the aftermarket beavertail grip safeties have more clearance for a "commander style" hammer?

    But my main issue right now is the thumb safety issue. It's obvious that SOMETHING is not right in there. And with the pistol put back together I can't see what's hitting what. I want to take the original sear back out and be able to use my new Wilson Combat sear.

    So here's my plan, and please tell me if it's the right thing to do:

    1. Buy a beavertail grip safety to accommodate the new hammer.

    2. Reinstall the new disconnector and new sear, and file the back side of the sear just enough so the safety can fully seat itself in the frame. This will be a trial-and-error process. File a little bit, then test fit. File a little more, and test fit again.

    3. Hopefully this might fix the thumb safety issue, but once I put everything back together and cock the hammer, if the thumb safety won't flip up, what do I do then? Would it still be the sear that needs to be adjusted? Or does the hammer have anything to do with it? I can't see where the safety would be touching the hammer at all, and as far as I can tell, should only be blocking the sear from rotating. So if the thumb safety won't flip up, should I simply remove more material from the back of the sear in the same place I was filing before?

    Please help me understand what's going on here. As it is right now, with my original sear still in there but with the new hammer, the only reason I can think of that the safety wouldn't engage is that perhaps the sear is rotated a little differently than it was with the old hammer (due to slightly different measurements on the new hammer engagement surfaces), which means the bottom rear of the sear is rotate BACK a little further than it was, which is blocking the safety from being able to lock into the "safe" position.

    Does this make any sense? Please let me know if I'm leaving something out or if there's anything unclear about my description.
  4. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member

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  5. stash247

    stash247 New Member

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    The hammer 'following' is almost always a sear engagement problem, and usually, poor hammer notch geometry, or metallurgy.
    The grip safety, and thumb safety, are, by their function, and interaction with the trigger(grip safety), and sear, (thumb safety), seldom 'drop in' parts.
    Brown, Wilson, and others have done all they can to make these parts trouble free installations, but they are working from the perspective of JMB's original, 'on the split' dimensions, not the working toleranced dimensions of several dozen aftermarket manufacturers. Accordingly, some gunsmithing is often required, for proper functioning.
    Brownell's #59 catalog is out. Get one. They offer several DVD's, and VCR's, on, basically, 'How it works', for the 1911. How can one make a malfunctioning machine function correctly, without first understanding how it is supposed to function?
    This pistol was designed, and built, by an old but clever guy, using a lead pencil, and a file, with an exceptionally good knowledge of geometry, but it ain't rocket science, just, good geometry, that makes it run!
    WARNING: An increase in knowledge, on your part may bring on a perceived 'need' for more tooling, parts, or weapons. This is a common side effect. Also observed are an increase in ammunition consumption, and a burning desire for greater accuracy; these are relatively harmless, and normal side effects!
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