View Full Version : How to reduce pull weight of a 1911?

June 15, 2002, 02:20 PM
I haven't tried messing with the sear spring yet. The current pull on one of my 1911s is about 4 pounds. How would I be able to get it down into the 3# range by adjusting the sear spring? Which "leg" do I tinker with?

June 15, 2002, 07:15 PM
Four pounds of pull is about as light as you should go on most 1911's. To go lighter could invite the hammer to follow the slide when the slide slams forward and possibly go full auto. If you must have that three pound pull, take it to a gunsmith. Just my two cents and seeing a lot of home brewed gunsmithing accidents.

June 15, 2002, 07:49 PM
Agree with Stans.
Unless you know well what you are doing........don't.


Art Eatman
June 15, 2002, 10:47 PM
First, get a copy of "Hallock's .45 Auto Handbook". Dunno if the price has gone up, but it used to sell for $11.95.

I have always matched the sear spring to his pattern, for reliability.

Now: First, buy at least one new hammer spring. Next, cut about a half a coil at a time from your old spring. Reassemble and test the trigger pull after each cut. Don't cut more than two coils, or you get into weak-spring territory and could have misfires from the primer not being hit hard enough.

After each cut, test to see if the hammer "follows" when you release the slide to freely fall into battery. (Without the trigger held back) One result of "following" is that the hammer can't hit the firing pin hard enough to ignite the primer. If the trigger is held back, the hammer can't follow because of the action of the disconnector.

But without having something like Hallock's book to go by, don't do nuttin'!

:), Art

June 17, 2002, 03:12 PM
I already have a 18# mainspring installed. I polished my hammer and sear down to about .020". The interface is smooth. I did all my safety checks and test firing. My trigger pull has minimal creep. Not totally creep free. I'm okay with that. With all that I'm down to about 4-4.5 pounds.
I know the ins and outs of 1911s but I've never "bent" any part of the sear spring.

Harley Nolden
June 18, 2002, 07:44 AM
It has been my experience that if the leaf spring is bent to reduce the trigger pull it will eventually go back to it's original configuration or close to it.

As the rest have said, "if you don't know" take it to a plumber.

I have always angled the sear to change trigger pull, create a "roll off trigger" "two stage trigger" "mushy soft tirgger" or sharp and crisp trigger. Now adays they have sear cuttin jigs that can help you do this, howver in my day we did it by hand, and eye, no jig. :D


June 19, 2002, 08:17 PM
NEVER cut coils from a coil spring to change its spring rate.

Less than 3.5-4 lb trigger pull is asking for disaster.

Harley Nolden
June 20, 2002, 06:33 AM
I agree with rocklobster. 3.5 lbs can be used with wad cutter, hoewver, 4 Lb for hard ball. Trigger wgt for National Match (hardball) competition is 4lb if my memory serves.
In my opinion 3.5lbs for hard ball is not safe.


June 20, 2002, 10:01 PM
Mr. Nolden is correct.

June 22, 2002, 12:11 AM
4LBS is as low as I would go too, it is low enough for any practical purpose in my opinion. You can go lower if you really want to, but bear in mind that you will have maintenance issues. It will need periodic tweaking to keep it functioning at lower pull. The battering it undergoes will cause it to follow after some shooting. 2.5# is as low as anyone can get one to function, and it will only last a couple thousand rounds, maybe 10K if it is a perfect job, before it needs tuned again. Send it out and have it worked, or order another hammer and sear to replace the ones you "test" on. Beware too that full auto is possible if it is not set just right, load one at a time in the mag, then two then three.

June 22, 2002, 11:28 AM
I know someone who was chasing that elusive light pull with a 1911. Seems the gun went full auto and there was a fairly serious injury. It took a few months of rehab to regain use of his thumb. You be the judge, is it worth it?

June 22, 2002, 03:28 PM
I read about putting Moly on the sear nose, the disconnector (where it meets the trigger bow, and where the sear spring rides on it) the trigger slot in the frame, and the ends of the sear spring where they meet the sear and the disconnector.
I tried it and it lowered my trigger pull about a 1/4 pound.
Must add that the trigger was smooth before all this: no creep and no rough spots.
Try it, you may fimd the answer you're looking for without runnin any undue risk.