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Old February 10, 2010, 01:27 PM   #1
41mag10mm
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SA 1911 GI trigger pull

I purchased a SA 4" Champion last weekend at a gunshow and really like it. It's a very plain no nonsense 1911 which I can carry and abuse without having to worry. First let me say that I don't intend to make major enhancements to it. I'll probably replace the sites with Novak 3 dot just to give me an easier site picture, and would like to improve the trigger. According to my handy dandy RCBS trigger pull scale, it currently breaks at 8lbs and I'd like to get it down to maybe 4.5lbs.

It has been many years since I purchased a 1911 so I've been surprised by the number of options currently available. There are several hammer/sear replacement combos available from Brownells that are reasonably priced and designed to improve trigger pull. I'm curious as to opinions and/or experiences with these drop in solutions.

Thanks
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Old February 10, 2010, 01:43 PM   #2
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Congrats on the Champion... I've always liked that gun.

Most of the name brand drop-in kits will give you what you want. Better surface finishes, small angle and release point changes vs. your stock parts. If you've ever detail stripped a 1911, swapping out the parts is no big deal.

You may find that after a break-in, you're (stock parts) pull weight drops and the pull smoothes out a bit... if you got that kinda time.

Cheers,
C
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Old February 10, 2010, 02:28 PM   #3
41mag10mm
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Thanks Creeper. I'm in no hurry and love the idea of more range time to "break in". I'm sure that given time all the internals will mesh and smooth out. I just don't think I can get the trigger pull down to the break point I'm looking for. I have detail stripped 1911's in the past and have no qualms with installing the drop in parts myself. I have a hammer stoning jig I bought a long time ago but only have the guides for Ruger and Smith revolvers. I could get the guide for the 1911 but it only provides for one angle of the hammer. This is the jig from Power Customs if you are familiar with these. I've looked at Brownells online catalogue and it doesn't show a guide for the sear, so I would end up just working on on side of the equation. I'm not going to attempt to stone the sear without somehing to maintain the proper angle.
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Old February 10, 2010, 02:50 PM   #4
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If it was mine... I'd detail strip it, eyeball the hammer and sear with a loupe and decide if perhaps just a polish and pinpoint lubrication might be a first step. Sometimes a smoother, slicker feel is all you really need.
I've also seen parts that simply require a few light passes with a fine ceramic stone to sharpen up the release points and you're good to go.

If on the other hand, the surfaces look like they were machined by a buck-toothed beaver, or the angles are so misplaced that you can't bring them into spec... then drop-in parts might be your only course of action.

Never know 'till you take a look... you could see it all in about 5-10 minutes from now 'eh?

C
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Old February 10, 2010, 03:47 PM   #5
41mag10mm
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Quote:
you could see it all in about 5-10 minutes from now 'eh?
Trouble is, I'll need to finish up with the job today before I can get to it. My employer has the strange attitude that his people need to work for him from 8 to 5 everyday. I've tried to get him to see reason, but he just won't budge.

You have an excellent point. I'll pull it down and take a look. I bought fine, medium and course stones with my jig years ago so I might as well take a look. I could certainly use the cost savings for something else.
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Old February 10, 2010, 04:15 PM   #6
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If the trigger does indeed pull 8 lbs. lubing and dry firing and breaking it in will not improve the situation. That is an excessive pull weight by anyone's standards. You really should consider having a proper trigger job done by a competent smith or call Springfield and complain loudly. I have heard they will fix a pull that's that heavy for free. Drop in parts some times will drop in and help and sometimes will not drop in or improve the problem. There are simply too many variables on the manufacturing tolerances from gun to gun. The sear and the hammer need to be fitted to YOUR frame or else it is basically a crap shoot as far as what you end up with. The price of one of those "drop in trigger kits" is about as high as what an honest smith will charge to do it right. But don't give up and just live with it, the joy of a properly set up 1911 is one of life's greatest pleasures. Brownells does have sear jigs for a 1911. The first thing I would recommend is to buy Jerry Kuhnhausen's Shop Manual. With it and a hammer and sear jig and correct stones you should be able to get an acceptable pull. Good luck.
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Old February 10, 2010, 05:17 PM   #7
41mag10mm
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Great feedback guys. I did order the book from Brownells this afternoon. I considered calling Springfield but decided against it. I'd actually prefer to solve this myself as I already have most of what I need. Obviously having a good reference book applies to my current project as well as future problems I may encounter. One thing I don't have is a pistol smith in my area that I trust. If anyone knows a good smith in the Greensboro area of North Carolina I'd be interested to know. I used to live about 10 minutes away from Teddy Jacobson in Sugarland, Texas, but alas...
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Old February 10, 2010, 09:30 PM   #8
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Before you do anything read Jerry Kuhnhausen's 1911 shop manual. It will pay for itself just by saving you the cost of mistakes and over cutting parts. And I know what you mean about not having any smiths you can trust around. There's more hacks out there now than there was twenty years ago when I first got into it.
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Old February 11, 2010, 03:39 AM   #9
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+1 on the break-in idear. They do respond well to that.

I just might add that you might clear it & make safe, then, try quite a few 'Ruger Style' push off's. Somewhat lightly push forward on the hammer as you effect the trigger action (pull the trigger). The trick is to do this when it's dry and not hard enough to damage anything- but yet hard enough to put advanced break-in on the engaging parts. Does that make any sense? It honestly helped a whole lot on my SA GI.

* "Ruger Style Push Offs" Supposedly, a Ruger employee advised one of my Officers to try that on a Blackhawk and I found it to work on a few other applications.
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