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Old May 22, 2020, 07:28 PM   #1
Aguila Blanca
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1911 triggers

According to the Ordnance Department drawings, the trigger shoe for the M1911A1 was steel, and was attached to the trigger bow by crimping in two locations.

The newer 80 series Colts use an aluminum trigger shoe. First question: Does anyone know what would be an appropriate aluminum alloy for use as a trigger shoe?

Second question: There's no crimp visible from the sides of the trigger shoe. There are two round-ish indentations in the back of the shoe that effectively close up the slot the bow fits into. Does anyone know how that operation is accomplished? Is it just a different crimp, or is it TIG welded inside the slot?

Thanks.
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Old May 22, 2020, 09:30 PM   #2
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Old May 23, 2020, 10:32 AM   #3
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Early M1911A1 triggers were a one-piece affair, fully machined.
Are you trying to make a trigger, or ?
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Old May 23, 2020, 01:53 PM   #4
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I would think the trigger is pinned to the bow.
What you are calling the shoe is actually the trigger. Any aluminum alloy could be used if pinned in place. For that matter, plastic could be used.
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Old May 23, 2020, 08:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickB
Early M1911A1 triggers were a one-piece affair, fully machined.
I have reprints of the Ordnance Department drawings from two different sources. The trigger bow and trigger pad are separate parts in both sets. There are several revisions to each, but for both sets the original drawing date is 1942.

No I'm not trying to make a trigger. I'm much too lazy to do that when I can buy triggers for reasonable prices. I'm just trying to understand how the manufacturing process evolved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill DeShivs
What you are calling the shoe is actually the trigger.
The Ordnance drawing calls it the "pad." Most folks of my acquaintance call it the shoe.
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Old May 24, 2020, 07:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
. The trigger bow and trigger pad are separate parts in both sets. There are several revisions to each, but for both sets the original drawing date is 1942.
Jerry Kuhnhausen refers to the unit as the trigger assembly. He notes that it has two to four parts depending on whether it is adjustable or not (Finger piece/pad, bow, an assembly pin on some triggers and an adjusting screw on some.) “Trigger bows and finger pieces are assembled by pinning, staking, or brazing.”
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Old May 24, 2020, 09:10 AM   #7
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You raise a good point AguilaBlanca. Darn if I know. The manufacturing process and materials used is always interesting.
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Old May 24, 2020, 10:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Early M1911A1 triggers were a one-piece affair, fully machined.

I have reprints of the Ordnance Department drawings from two different sources. The trigger bow and trigger pad are separate parts in both sets. There are several revisions to each, but for both sets the original drawing date is 1942.
The one-piece, fully machined trigger may have lasted only until 1942 (my Colt is a '42), to be replaced by a "stamped" trigger.
The stamped trigger appears to be two parts, with the bow staked to the shoe, creating the round-ish depressions.
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Old May 24, 2020, 01:06 PM   #9
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I would sure like to see pictures of a one-piece 1911 trigger assembly!
Making one would be an exercise in futility.
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Old May 24, 2020, 01:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickB
The one-piece, fully machined trigger may have lasted only until 1942 (my Colt is a '42), to be replaced by a "stamped" trigger.
The stamped trigger appears to be two parts, with the bow staked to the shoe, creating the round-ish depressions.
The late model trigger I have in front of me is clearly two pieces, but the profile of the pad doesn't match that shown on the Ordnance Department drawing. And the pad is aluminum, not steel as called for in the Ordnance drawing.

If I am reading the Ordnance Department drawing correctly, the two pieces were to be crimped together from the sides, with one crimp above the bow and one crimp below. Those crimps would be visible from the sides. (I don't have a vintage military trigger to examine, so I'm guessing.)

The trigger I have looks more like a hot, round, small diameter iron was applied to the rear face of the pad, one above and one below the pad. I can't tell if the depressions were created by pressure, or of they are TIG welds.
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Old May 24, 2020, 01:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill DeShivs
I would sure like to see pictures of a one-piece 1911 trigger assembly!
Making one would be an exercise in futility.
http://www.sightm1911.com/blueprint/m1911a1_blue.pdf

Scroll down. The last print in the set is the one-piece trigger drawing.
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Old May 25, 2020, 03:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
The late model trigger I have in front of me is clearly two pieces, but the profile of the pad doesn't match that shown on the Ordnance Department drawing. And the pad is aluminum, not steel as called for in the Ordnance drawing.
And just where did that "late model" trigger come from?? And, are you sure???

Aluminum says to me "NOT a GI trigger" And, if its not a GI trigger, why would you expect it to match GI Ordnance drawings?? '

Lots and lots of people have been making "1911" parts for some time now. IF it came with a label with a FSN (Fedral Stock Number) its probably a GI spec part.

If it didn't, it could be almost anything.
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Old May 25, 2020, 03:59 PM   #13
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I was sent pictures of a fully machined 1911 trigger.
I can't imagine anyone making them that way, but they did!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1911 machined trigger.jpg (33.6 KB, 16 views)
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Old June 1, 2020, 03:54 PM   #14
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Had to put my way back hat on. Like 1964 time frame.That line you see in the drawings is where the trigger with the short U was welded to the long trigger bar on the curve. Look at your trigger picture very closely you can clearly see the U’s connection point to the trigger bar. A little notch on the edge on both sides of the bar. Some were actually polished at the weld. Sometimes while resetting the clearance for the mag, the bar weld would break loose. You give a gun to an 18 year old and it might come back in a sack or with pieces and parts bent. I just replaced the trigger with a new one to keep the old rattle traps running.
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Old June 1, 2020, 04:26 PM   #15
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Bill D,
I do not suggest I know how they machined that one piece trigger.

I have worked in an R+D shop where we had to be able to figure out how to make just about anything.

For a friend,I recall making the linkage for a Luigi Franchi double,from the button to the triggers.It was a complex,thin walled part.

It takes strategy!!

How in the heck am I gonna...And confidence.

Always,you have to be able to hold the part,stabil,and you need surfaces that may be flat,square,etc to fixture on.

One I used sometimes was to leave attaching tabs,that suspended my designpart within the blank.I'd cut them when the part was essentially complete.
Or,you can leave the part attached to a base,and slice it off with a lotting saw.

I ran a big 1950'sbroach machine for a while. Those machines are amazing.

I don't know that the trigger was a candidate for a broch,but the profile of the inside of the bow and the pad projection could be ground into a broach,and the brach pulled through the part. You'd have the shoe details to complete.

Something like an AR reciever extension would be a lot of work,idexing on a mill. On a broach,you drop a stepped bushing in the fixture,load the broach and pull it thru. Seconds! Its done.
Capital investment in volume production is expensive,but you can produce affordable parts.

If you MUST have a one off machined one piece trigger, the Master of a Bridgeport can ake just about any geometric part....

But the trigger might cost $ 7000 time and material.
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