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Discussion Starter #1
I'm perfectly happy with a trigger in the 2.5 to 3 # range. Something Tim told me a couple of years back that I've come to see as a truism is that pull weight is not so critical as lack of creep and cleanliness of break. I really didn't know what a good trigger was until I started some of Charlie's guns.

I reckon I'm spoiled now, I just won't put in a lot of trigger time on a gun with a crappy trigger.
 

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Re: Softer-recoiling 1911

Know what you mean Walt, I got spoiled by Air Force triggers too. I don't care what anybody says, except for one man, I think the Air Force had the best Armorers/Smiths of any of the services. Me, I'm real picky about pre-travel too.
 

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Re: Softer-recoiling 1911

Retmsgt. said:
Know what you mean Walt, I got spoiled by Air Force triggers too. I don't care what anybody says, except for one man, I think the Air Force had the best Armorers/Smiths of any of the services. Me, I'm real picky about pre-travel too.
Well, I'm looking forward to GS, time spent among folks from whom I can learn is time well spent say I.

But be advised, the range is run by a Marine (and his wife). They are particularly amused by handloads that are capable of igniting the terrain between the bench and the berm :)
 

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Re: Softer-recoiling 1911

The guns I built all had 0.020" hooks which was the prescribed height for the AFPG. Back then all we had were GI hammers that were probably 0.040 and we had to file them down using a 0.020 feeler gauge. That is one of the hardest jobs ever with a file because it is so easy to get one lower than the other. Later we were able to do it on a surface grinder.

Once upon a time I could give you a 2 1/2 lb trigger that would not double on the 38 Super conversions or 22 conversion units but you did need to hold the hammer when you dropped the slide
 

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trigger 2

I think maybe you just gave proof to my strong belief... "you can't buy (gimmick) good shooting"

I never did get good at the DA/SA transition mostly because my only duty auto was DAO. I got some training using the concept of prepping the trigger but not enough to be comfortable with it.
 

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Re: Softer-recoiling 1911

Once upon a time I could give you a 2 1/2 lb trigger that would not double on the 38 Super conversions or 22 conversion units but you did need to hold the hammer when you dropped the slide

That's cheating Charlie!!!!!!!!!

Wanna cheat? If you raise the center leaf from it's nominal .417 height to .421, you'll drop at least a pound off your trigger pull. But, if you're already at 3 pound or less it's a recipe for Full-Auto operation.
 

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Re: Softer-recoiling 1911

Now,now Charlie let's not be ......Petty!!!!LOL!!!
 

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Re: Softer-recoiling 1911

Gee, charlie, in the days before we could get the new, wire-EDM cut parts, I managed .018" high hooks no problem. but I used a milling machine and a brand-new (dedicated) carbide cutter.

Put the hammer in the vise and indicate the flats level. Bring the cutter in to clean the toolmarks on the flats. Then just "kiss" them to clean the hook faces. Drop the table .018" inches and top the hooks. Done, except for the deburring and cleanup.

But the day I test-fired a 1911 I had just dropped Chip McCormicks hammer and sear in to, I put away the cutter and never cut another hammer. Why bother?
 

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Re: Softer-recoiling 1911

I could cut hooks in less time that it would take to set up the dial indicator, but you are totally right about the McCormick parts... or maybe Cylinder/Slide

A few years ago at Kimber I watched them do hammers a dozen (?) at a time on a surface grinder.

I wonder if you could even find 0.040" hooks today?
 

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Re: Softer-recoiling 1911

Most I've seen in the last four or five years Charlie has been around .030.
 

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Re: Softer-recoiling 1911

Patrick Sweeney said:
But the day I test-fired a 1911 I had just dropped Chip McCormicks hammer and sear in to, I put away the cutter and never cut another hammer. Why bother?
Yep, those were damn good right out of the package. I've been installing them for about 20 years now and I've yet to see one returned. And they are the dreaded MIM...the slaying of yet another sacred cow. Count me as one big fan of the CMC hammer/sear set; they've never let me down.

Edit - Oh, but aesthetically I've always really prefered the old school Commander hammer look rather than the elongated slot; just pure aesthetics.
 

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Re: Softer-recoiling 1911

I use alot of the Wilson Combats myself. Good Hammers, even the less expensive Value-line hammers are pretty good. EGW makes a really good one but, if you have to fit you'll be stoning forever. I don't know what kind of steel they use for their parts but, it's as hard as a Diamond!
 

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Re: Softer-recoiling 1911

Retmsgt

I also use the Wilson Combat hammers and sear, though there are others that are also good. While there is nothing wrong with the MIM parts, most of the ones I have messed with are VERY hard, making them a pain to work with when it is needed.

Regarding the dialog on the 2.5 pound trigger pull being more or less guaranteed to go full auto in a 45 ACP. I, and others, have played with properly set up triggers in this weight range and none of us, "as of yet", has experienced this. The fail would require that the sear did not return to the hammer hooks, at least sufficiently so as to not slip off the hooks. I hear this fail attributed to "sear bounce". There is always some degree of bounce between two objects that collide, but sear bounce is a constant based on the speed of the sear, dictated by the sear leaf spring, hitting the hammer hook notch face. In brain storming sessions between myself and other mechanical system designers about the interactions here, there are variables that can cause this full auto occurrence. The cause here is indeed related to the lack of sufficient sear return spring leaf tension, which determine how quickly the sear can accelerate into the hammer hooks as the hammer follows the slide in its returning to battery. The variable though, is the relative speed of the slide as at is coming forward, which is faster with hot loads, due to slide to frame impact...or "bounce"...that imparts additional acceleration to the slide ...which is why the 1911 can function without a recoil spring, other than the obvious need to manually operate the slide to chamber the first round. The result is that the hammer is attempt to following the slide at this faster rate, and there does indeed come a point where the sear spring tension is insufficient to accelerate the sear fast enough to engage into the hammer hooks at all, or at least sufficiently so as to stop the hammer and then slide into full engagement under sear spring tension.

As I mentioned, I would NOT set up a gun for a client with a trigger less than 3.5 pounds...nor am I personally inclined to habitually shoot really hot loads with a trigger less than 3.5 pounds, as I want the trigger pull with those loads to be representative of what I would use in a social encounter gun. Plus there are the litigation reasons...the courts and expert witnesses seem to have concluded that 3.5 pounds and above is good, and that anything less is then referred to as a "hair trigger" and bad, at least in the 1911. For the cast bullet loads I am running in the dedicated Caspian, the 2.5 pounds is safe. That said, I have fired some 500 plus rounds of full power loads in this gun, as much as anything, to see what would happen, plus the fact that I enjoy shooting the thing. I have examined guns belonging to other folks who have fired thousands of rounds in 1911's with triggers this light, some intentionally set that way by the owner, and others that where that way for unknown reasons, without the owner realizing just how light the trigger was.

One other factor that might play a part, at least in my own guns, is that I run a 20 pound hammer spring for the softer pull it affords me, but which could "maybe" contribute the hammer not actually following the faster moving slide, i.e., the forward hammer acceleration and speed is never fast enough to over run the sear. Of course, maybe I and others have just been lucky so far.

There is also the possibly that a proper 2.5 pound trigger is just not light enough to cause the full auto phenomenon with full power loads in a 1911. It is sort of academic really...I will NEVER set up a gun for a client with a trigger less than 3.5 pounds.

In passing, regarding the 20 pound hammer spring, I have tested this on every primer I could lay hands on, GI issue and otherwise, and a weak hammer/firing pin strikes is absolutely NOT an issue, even with the heavier firing pin return springs I run in all my guns.
 

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Re: Softer-recoiling 1911

Kevin Gibson said:
[quote="Patrick Sweeney":32c3rteb]But the day I test-fired a 1911 I had just dropped Chip McCormicks hammer and sear in to, I put away the cutter and never cut another hammer. Why bother?
Yep, those were damn good right out of the package. I've been installing them for about 20 years now and I've yet to see one returned. And they are the dreaded MIM...the slaying of yet another sacred cow. Count me as one big fan of the CMC hammer/sear set; they've never let me down.

Edit - Oh, but aesthetically I've always really prefered the old school Commander hammer look rather than the elongated slot; just pure aesthetics.[/quote:32c3rteb]

If I remember correctly, the original CMC hammers and sears were cut from barstock by wire EDM, not molded. He didn't get into the MIM process until he helped spec out the parts for the Kimber.

I agree that a Commander hammer with a chamfered hole is darned handsome. It took a while for the "Nastoff" pattern* to grow on me. As the elongated holes go, I really liked the Heinie teardrop pattern. The latest hammers that that have all of the odd asymmetric lightening cuts leave me cold.

It might actually be worthwhile for someone to do a test as to how much the lighter hammers actually cut locktime. There was a 1950s or '60s American Rifleman article where Berdon or Dinan tested the difference between a wide spur, narrow spur, and another with absolutely no spur (nearly cut flush to the back of the slide). As I remember it, the reduction in locktime was minimal.

*Given his lawsuit against Springfield Armory, the irony is that Nastoff wasn't the first to elongate the hole. I have a 1978 article that shows a Jim Hoag pistol done the same way. The author even mentioned that it was becoming Hoag's "trademark". Another pistolsmith, John Spilbourgh was also making the same modification by the early '80s.
 

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Re: Softer-recoiling 1911

Daniel Watters said:
*Given his lawsuit against Springfield Armory, the irony is that Nastoff wasn't the first to elongate the hole. I have a 1978 article that shows a Jim Hoag pistol done the same way. The author even mentioned that it was becoming Hoag's "trademark". Another pistolsmith, John Spilbourgh was also making the same modification by the early '80s.
IIRC, "Stevie Wonder" sued Colt. Right after the ads for that item appeared a bunch of us at a match were laughing about his trying to claim credit for the feature. Then along came Steve, we set him up and then commented about his stealing anothers work. He stomped off steaming and, as far as I know, never spoke to any of us again. No loss.
 

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Re: Softer-recoiling 1911

Sean, I set up a SA for a customer once, this was years ago. With my standard 4 lb. Trigger. When I do this I automatically install a Colt sear-spring. Almost two years later he walks in the door saying he has a problem. Seems his SA went full-auto on him. He was shooting with some friends when his trigger-pull went light on a round. When he fired the next round it went. He handed me the gun and I checked the trigger, a little under 2.5 lbs. First thing I asked was, has anybody been tinkering? He said no, so I told him I'd look at it. Took me two days to find the problem, the spring-leaf had somehow backed off and the Disconnect wouldn't raise. Bent it back to close to where it should be and checked the pull, 4.2lbs., checked the overtravel, fine. turned the screw 1/2 turn in and the Hammer wouldn't drop. Reset it and checked the pre-travel, fine nice click as the trigger reset. Test fired three magazines of WWB through it with no problems and called him back. As far as I know, it's still shooting good.

Big puzzlement is why it didn't just drop to half-cock. I checked the hammer, it was fine still had nice,sharp-cornered, 90-degree hooks at .023. Half-cock was fine. Sear looked fine, no rounding or broken/chipped engagement points. I could tell nobody'd been in it for a while as it was pretty grimey.

Oh, he stated that he'd put over 3000 rounds through it before this happened.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Re: Softer-recoiling 1911

Retmsgt. said:
Big puzzlement is why it didn't just drop to half-cock. .
I'm not much of a pistol mechanic, so this may seem an odd question, but do intermittent problems occur with firearms that aren't ammo related?

Is it possible for an anomaly to occur and then just go away because a piece of debris entered, then left the mechanism or an environmental condition changed?
 

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Re: Softer-recoiling 1911

When I took LFI-II, guy shows up with a big-name gun he'd just gotten back the day before the class, and he hadn't even test fired it. I think he said it cost $2200 or $2400, which was a LOT of money for a 1911 in 1989. In the FIRST shooting session, it goes FA on him--not every time but enough to get everybody's attention. Of course he didn't bring a backup or spare so he ended up shooting the class with one of Mas's (or one of the local club guy's) loaners.

Meanwhile, I'm shooting a homemade, low-buck LW Commander clone I built on a Fed Ord Ranger frame, Essex slide, and surplus GI and lowest-bidder generic parts, shooting my own handloads. It's perking along just fine and the only bobble I had with it was one--one--"position four" stoppage on day four. Forgot to mention I'd put 500-800 rounds through it before the class, and I hadn't cleaned it. It was kind of a "torture test." :wink:

It was obvious to me that the big-name-gun guy didn't have enough tension on his sear spring, and I told him I'd be glad to fix it for him in about ten minutes. "Oh no," he says, "You're not effing around with my 24 hundred dollar gun." And I kept my mouth shut but I'm thinking, one, Hell, fella, it ain't working now, anything I could do would have to make it better, and two, I'm the guy shooting the homebuilt gun that's running like a top, maybe I know what I'm doing. But piss on 'im, let 'im shoot a loaner.

I think he finally let Mas or some local smith that Mas approved of finally lay hands on it, because he actually got to shoot it some on day four. I got a huge kick out of the whole incident. And haven't had a whole lot of faith in "big name" gunsmiths ever since. :lol:
 

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Re: Softer-recoiling 1911

[Is it possible for an anomaly to occur and then just go away because a piece of debris entered, then left the mechanism or an environmental condition changed
In a word... yes. Don't forget that Murphy's law was invented for firearms... 8)
 
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