Wednesday, February 14, 2007

1911 Thumb Safety

Above is the safety I pulled out of the Commander. It appears that it may take massive reconstruction to make a new safety fit this gun.

I've become ever more confused by the 1911 thumb safety. I've replaced the ambidextrous portion on one pistol, but haven't worked the balls up to actually fit one myself. Here's the one I pulled out of a Commander:

I'm at a loss as to how one goes about fitting one of these. It seems that there is no standard, no principle, and no textbook when it comes to this sort of thing. They all look fucked up to me.

Be super careful with that! I've done a couple now, and it's very easy to mess it up. Have a look here and here for starters.

It kinda looks like your old one had some grinding on the wrong surface. But then some more grinding on the right surface.

You gotta be careful not to take to much material off. If you do, you'll have to get a new part and start over. The safety check I was taught was the following:

1. with the new safety installed, fully cock the hammer and engage the thumb safety.

2. with the SAFETY STILL ENGAGED and NO AMMO ANYWHERE NEAR THE GUN, pull the trigger about 2x as hard as normal.

3. hold the gun with the hammer near your ear and very slowly and gently pull back on the hammer. If you hear a little click, it means the sear moved when you pulled the trigger, you've botched the job, and you need a new thumb safety to start over with. If this happened, try it a few times, as it should be repeatable. The click is slight, but very noticeable, you can't get a false positive.

Good luck!

One more point: Of the two safeties I've installed, the Ed Brown was a snap to work with, very nice metal and could be filed or stoned. The Chip McCormick was super hard and ate my file for lunch. Could only be stoned.
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