View Full Version : Safety question

February 7, 2000, 05:50 PM
I posted this on the handguns/pistolcraft
forum, but I think it got lost in the
larger debate over liability issues
and the 1911.

My question is, assuming proper and safe
gun handling, is there a mechanical
reason that a government model would be
less safe with a light trigger of say
three pounds or slightly less?
Does such a trigger pull imply less
metal to metal contact, for example?

Would such a trigger weight cause the gun
to be more prone to discharging if
bumped, jarred, or accidently dropped?


James K
February 7, 2000, 06:45 PM
In the normal way of lightening a trigger pull, there is not less metal-to-metal contact at rest, but there is less sear engagement. A good trigger job should not be easily jarred loose, and engagement is not the whole story, but obviously a sear that moves say, .006 inch, to release the hammer will be safer than one that moves only .003 inch. Sear and hammer notch angles are important, as well as the strength of the sear spring and the strength of the hammer spring (mainspring).

As long as the half cock notch is intact, the gun should not fire even if the hammer is jarred off full cock. There is a remote possibility of discharge if the gun drops far enough and at the right angle to allow the firing pin to move forward and fire the chambered round.

Obviously, the best way to prevent such accidents with a 1911 type auto pistol is either to not chamber a round, or to keep the gun "cocked and locked", until ready to fire.