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Old March 15, 2014, 10:34 PM   #1
LivewireBlanco
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1911 hammer falling out of battery?

I think I have a problem. A 1911 hammer should not fall if the trigger is squeezed and the barrel is pushed back making it out of battery, correct? My Springfield is falling to half cock when I do this.
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Old March 15, 2014, 10:45 PM   #2
James K
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If the slide is back far enough that the barrel is unlocking, pulling the trigger should do nothing. That will usually run about 3/16", but can be less depending on the gun.

Jim
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Old March 15, 2014, 10:51 PM   #3
LivewireBlanco
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Oh no, we are talking like half to three quarters of an inch back and hammer falls to half cock.
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Old March 15, 2014, 11:09 PM   #4
gyvel
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First suspect is the disconnector.

After that, a sear spring that is too light.

Next would be improper modification of the sear notch on the hammer.

All of this assumes the innards aren't choked up with a bunch of crud or dried oil.

And by "Springfield," I assume you mean one of the recent guns from the commercial endeavor, not an original from the U.S. armory at Springfield, Mass?
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Old March 15, 2014, 11:38 PM   #5
LivewireBlanco
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Yes this is a 2005 GI model that has about 4000 rounds through it and has been to the custom shop fo trigger work before. Could it be time for new springs? I've replaced the recoil spring a couple of times but thats the only one.
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Old March 16, 2014, 10:18 AM   #6
Dixie Gunsmithing
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The disconnector and sear on the 1911 can act up if really dirty, and that is the very first thing to check. When the slide is pulled back, the disconnector is pushed down by the slide, and it should keep the trigger bar from, via the disconnector, from pushing in the sear. However, I have seen these, when dirty (or worn), that did not act correctly, and allow such to happen.



When the disconnector is pushed downwards, by a cam notch underneath the slide, and the trigger pulled back, the trigger bar supposed to push the disconnector under the sear, not moving the sear at all, and when the trigger is released, the disconnector, under its spring pressure, supposed to move forward and up, allowing it to come in contact with the sears bottom cam face, so it can be fired, but only once the slide is forward, in battery, so the disconnector can rise up into its notch.



From the image above, you can see that the disconnector is mounted on a pin, but has a oblong hole in it, check that that hole is clean, and that the disconnector works freely, up/down, and forward/aft.

If the gun is clean, suspect a worn or bad disconnector/spring, sear/spring, or hammer notch.


Last edited by Dixie Gunsmithing; March 16, 2014 at 10:26 AM.
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Old March 16, 2014, 12:25 PM   #7
hoghunting
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Great illustrations, Dixie, thank you for taking the time to post those.
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Old March 16, 2014, 12:45 PM   #8
Dixie Gunsmithing
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hoghunting, you're welcome.

To be added to the above:

It should be noted that the disconnector can still trip the sear if the slide is barely brought backwards, as the cam on the disconnector has to be mashed down far enough, by the slide notch, in order for the bottom of the disconnector to clear the sear. This amount of slide movement is not very much, maybe 1/16"-3/32" just to guess, without measuring it. If it is over this, especially to where the barrel lugs are unlocking, the disconnector shouldn't hit the sear.
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Old March 16, 2014, 01:57 PM   #9
Dixie Gunsmithing
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A couple more pics to help explain. Notice the amount of slide movement between the two red lines, and compare that to the thickness of a rim on a cartridge.


1911-Disc by matneyw, on Flickr

And a cut-away showing the assembly, disconnector pushed down, less the slide:


1911wip7xt3 by matneyw, on Flickr
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Old March 16, 2014, 05:23 PM   #10
LivewireBlanco
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Wow! Thanks for posting all of those great pics and going over them in detail. I was wrong in saying that it only falls partly out of batter, it will fall when it's wayyyyy out of battery, to the point I can almost see inside the chamber of the barrel. Also, it doesn't fall to half-cock but it rests on half cock after hitting the slide.

I tried holding the trigger down when the slid is all the way back and seeing if the hammer would follow the slide and it didn't. Could it be worn springs or crud build up causing all of this?
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Old March 16, 2014, 06:09 PM   #11
Dixie Gunsmithing
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LivewireBlanco,

You have a problem then. As you can see, the slide movement is not very much at all in where it can do this, but no more than this, as the barrel is still solidly locked to the slide.

When the disconnector is pushed down, the bottom pad that pushes against the sear, should just miss where it hits the sear, and go underneath it when pulling the trigger with the slide back.

If the gun is new, I would say it is a mis-fitted disconnector, or maybe the sear or disconnector wasn't machined correctly. In this, I mean that the bottom ears on the sear stick down too low, or the top of the pad on the bottom of the disconnector is too high, and can't clear the sears ears. The only other thing could be that the cam lobe on top of the disconnector is too short, and doesn't allow the disconnector to travel down far enough when the slide pushes it down.

I take it that the hammer will stay at full cock when pushing against the hammer with your finger, or lightly tapping it with a screwdriver handle, etc., and the trigger not pulled? If it does, then I would say the hammer and sear engagement is okay, and the problem lies with the disconnector not doing its job of disconnecting the trigger from the sear, when pressed down.

If dirt or crud was to get between the body of the disconnector and the inner walls of the sear on either side, it could be enough to cause the sear to move, even though the disconnector was depressed low enough to where it should work. In essence, it could cause them to stick together.

Last edited by Dixie Gunsmithing; March 16, 2014 at 06:22 PM.
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Old March 18, 2014, 10:29 PM   #12
LivewireBlanco
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So the final culprit...crud in the underside opening of where the disconnect goes not allowing it to fully come up. Cleaned it all out and she's good as new!
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Old March 19, 2014, 07:37 AM   #13
Dixie Gunsmithing
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LivewireBlanco,

Great! That is why I always say 'clean first' on these, as I have seen this a few times. You can see that the way Browning had the disconnector go through the sear can cause issues, and dirt can sure foul one up in this design.
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Old April 12, 2014, 02:50 PM   #14
coonhound66
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Those are great pics Dixie, thanks from me too
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