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Old 09-06-2017, 04:03 PM
ontargetagain ontargetagain is offline
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Default 1911 Trigger work in general.....1st timer

Well I guess I am looking for a project and to learn about trigger work on a 1911. I have a chance to buy a new inexpensive 1911 brand X that can certainly use some trigger work to get it to my likings.................

I have done trigger work to several revolvers and am not afraid of taking things apart to learn. I would like to get the feel of the steps to improve trigger release and reduction on a 1911 in a safe manner of course

I am thinking having an Ed Brown sear jig may be a good safe dependable start, just wondering too about using an aftermarket sear spring or working with the one provided?
Assuming MIM hammer and sear I wish to stay with them instead of replacing them with a set .

Let's just say I am working with a $400 new 1911 (Taurus) as a project gun to see just how good things can get.....or not

Any input from those that do their own 1911 work, I've got broad shoulders so don't be shy LOL
Karl
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Old 09-06-2017, 04:25 PM
OKFC05 OKFC05 is offline
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I am not a gunsmith. There are two ways to make a gun cheaper: 1. use softer metal which is cheaper to buy and easier on the tools and 2, do less fitting.
My worry about working on cheap parts is that no amount of fitting will make soft parts last. Nor fix a crooked frame.
A friend of mine worked and worked on a Taurus and kept buying aftermarket parts until he finally gave in and let my gunsmith take a look at it. Verdict: put all the original parts back in and sell it cheap. The frame was crooked. Caveat emptor.
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Old 09-06-2017, 04:38 PM
Pisgah Pisgah is offline
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Get a $400 RIA instead and you won't have to mess with the trigger...
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Old 09-06-2017, 04:57 PM
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Get Jerry Kuhnhausen's books first. Best place to learn from.
For a gun the RIA is good as is a base model SA Inc, Colt or Ruger.
I would say pony up (no pun intended) and get a base gun that already is cut for sights front and rear and has a beavertail frame from the factory. Colt's new ones are undercut under the trigger guard from the factory as well. If you buy a GI type with small rear sight cut and staked on front sight as well as standard grip / grip safety you will inevitably wish it was cut for aftermarket sights and want a beavertail. Once you send it out for those services you will be in it for more than you would if you had just gotten it that way to start.

Here are a few I would consider (after I bought Jerry's books)

http://www.colt.com/Portals/0/Specs/2017/o1070CCS.pdf

Ruger® SR1911® * Centerfire Pistol Model 6700

1911 Range Officer(R) .45ACP Pistol | Best Steel Frame Handgun

Rock Series: Rock Island Armory | Armscor International, Inc
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by OKFC05 View Post
I am not a gunsmith. There are two ways to make a gun cheaper: 1. use softer metal which is cheaper to buy and easier on the tools and 2, do less fitting.
My worry about working on cheap parts is that no amount of fitting will make soft parts last. Nor fix a crooked frame.
A friend of mine worked and worked on a Taurus and kept buying aftermarket parts until he finally gave in and let my gunsmith take a look at it. Verdict: put all the original parts back in and sell it cheap. The frame was crooked. Caveat emptor.
So that would mean start with seeing if you have a straight frame on any 1911
Your point will be taken into consideration, thanks!
Karl
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Pisgah View Post
Get a $400 RIA instead and you won't have to mess with the trigger...
There isn't many a pistol that I don't work the trigger I just haven't yet done my own 1911, last trigger job I paid for on the 1911.
I will also take a look at RIA offerings in that price range perhaps, thanks for the suggestion.
Karl
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:12 PM
apollo99 apollo99 is offline
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One of the first thing I do is get the Wilson Combat complete spring kit. Not the best , but all complete and of very good quality. There is so much that comes into play as far as a trigger job, the hammer, sear, trigger and even the pins and if they are drilled correctly in the frame. Also the trigger bow and the slot in the frame it goes into must be massaged. The hammer hooks and sear angles are very critical, too much and you'll get creep, too little or at a bad angle and it get a dangerous condition. I did a great trigger job on a on a lower end 1911, it did feel great for about 1200 rounds, than the softness of the parts came into play. I do commend you for taking on this task. With a little time and patience you could get a great trigger on the $400 1911. Also adjusting the sear spring and the extractor is an art in it's self. Go a little at a time and keep testing with each little bend.Once you get the relatively easy trigger down, it will be time start the barrel and bushing, then slide to frame fit. An inexpensive gun is a great canvas to start with,as long as the holes are aligned properly.
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:12 PM
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Forgot to mention when it comes to 1911 the Cylinder and Slide hammer / sear/ disconnector kits are hard to beat.

1911 Hammer Sets

Again though I would stress on getting the books and make sure you know how the parts are supposed to be before you start swapping anything on any of them.
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:16 PM
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Default 1911 30 second trigger job

1. Remove the grips and apply a drop of oil to the hammer-sear contact.

2. Cock the hammer, apply 3# of pressure to the hammer, squeeze the trigger.

3. Repeat step #2.

4. Install grip panels.

The 3# pressure on the hammer indicates less than a hard push. the hammer-sear contact point is burnished by removing the high spots. It works every time to reduce trigger pull by 1/4 to 1/3 original value. This is a "perception counts" not a 100 times statistical study. YMMV, but it was free. And I have done this to all my SA 1911s, that's more than five.
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dusty3030 View Post
Get Jerry Kuhnhausen's books first. Best place to learn from.
For a gun the RIA is good as is a base model SA Inc, Colt or Ruger.
I would say pony up (no pun intended) and get a base gun that already is cut for sights front and rear and has a beavertail frame from the factory. Colt's new ones are undercut under the trigger guard from the factory as well. If you buy a GI type with small rear sight cut and staked on front sight as well as standard grip / grip safety you will inevitably wish it was cut for aftermarket sights and want a beavertail. Once you send it out for those services you will be in it for more than you would if you had just gotten it that way to start.

Here are a few I would consider (after I bought Jerry's books)

http://www.colt.com/Portals/0/Specs/2017/o1070CCS.pdf

Ruger® SR1911® * Centerfire Pistol Model 6700

1911 Range Officer(R) .45ACP Pistol | Best Steel Frame Handgun

Rock Series: Rock Island Armory | Armscor International, Inc
Thanks for the research info, I have the Jerry Kunhausen revolver book, I will look into the 1911 edition too.

To sum it up I'm not looking to make a $800-$1200 gun out of a $400 gun, I am looking to extract as much from the trigger work and learn and hope to make it shoot like a $1200+ gun. Minimal parts, maximum effort if that makes sense?
Thanks much
Karl
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apollo99 View Post
One of the first thing I do is get the Wilson Combat complete spring kit. Not the best , but all complete and of very good quality. There is so much that comes into play as far as a trigger job, the hammer, sear, trigger and even the pins and if they are drilled correctly in the frame. Also the trigger bow and the slot in the frame it goes into must be massaged. The hammer hooks and sear angles are very critical, too much and you'll get creep, too little or at a bad angle and it get a dangerous condition. I did a great trigger job on a on a lower end 1911, it did feel great for about 1200 rounds, than the softness of the parts came into play. I do commend you for taking on this task. With a little time and patience you could get a great trigger on the $400 1911. Also adjusting the sear spring and the extractor is an art in it's self. Go a little at a time and keep testing with each little bend.Once you get the relatively easy trigger down, it will be time start the barrel and bushing, then slide to frame fit. An inexpensive gun is a great canvas to start with,as long as the holes are aligned properly.
Thanks for the encouragement. I did my Shield 45 and realized a lot of little areas that gave me a much better trigger overall than I expected.
You mention messaging the trigger slide channels etc and yes that all comes to mind as areas of gain, polish, don't remove material!
I would guess there is more to gain on an inexpensive gun than a much more expensive gun, cosmetics aren't a concern on this project, it's a learning experience
I am taking note of your warning on soft parts not holding up, for the same reason I suppose they also break in faster? It's about $100 to put in a good hammer and sear so that makes the $400 gun already a $500 gun

Hmmmm, many things to consider overall............
Thanks much
Karl
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:58 PM
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First off a 1911 is a simple & easy design to work with and parts are abundant and reasonably priced should you have an "ooopps".

Secondly, to smooth up a 1911 is relatively straight forward and there are a plethora of books sand videos to learn from.

The Ed Brown Jig is excellent, well made and works like a charm but BEFORE you buy it, see how your 1911 does before stoning away at the Sear. There are many things that can be done first as in de-burring the trigger bow, trigger channel, adjusting the 3 finger spring, lightening the Main Spring, etc. before you get into actual stoning. If you feel your Trigger pull is not where you want it after other work is performed, then yes the Ed Brown Jig is the one I'd recommend.

I've done all my Colt's with great success and have only had to Stone one of them. I have not worked on a Taurus so I don't know what their quality is like. When it comes to 1911's I'm a Colt man.
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Engineer1911 View Post
1. Remove the grips and apply a drop of oil to the hammer-sear contact.

2. Cock the hammer, apply 3# of pressure to the hammer, squeeze the trigger.

3. Repeat step #2.

4. Install grip panels.

The 3# pressure on the hammer indicates less than a hard push. the hammer-sear contact point is burnished by removing the high spots. It works every time to reduce trigger pull by 1/4 to 1/3 original value. This is a "perception counts" not a 100 times statistical study. YMMV, but it was free. And I have done this to all my SA 1911s, that's more than five.
Hey hey hey, that sounds like a short cut............LOL
I have heard something like this before, I guess it is a way to accelerate the wear on hammer/Sear mating surface. I gotta see the guts though
I was shocked when I handled the Taurus, I have never ever seen such a 'dry' gun, there was not a drop of lube showing anywhere and the barrel/slide grooved area was almost a 'powdered' type dry with friction. I felt sorry for it
Thanks for the input............you have been kind in the past as we enjoyed a lengthy conversation on the Model 52 S&W......
Karl
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chief38 View Post
First off a 1911 is a simple & easy design to work with and parts are abundant and reasonably priced should you have an "ooopps".

Secondly, to smooth up a 1911 is relatively straight forward and there are a plethora of books sand videos to learn from.

The Ed Brown Jig is excellent, well made and works like a charm but BEFORE you buy it, see how your 1911 does before stoning away at the Sear. There are many things that can be done first as in de-burring the trigger bow, trigger channel, adjusting the 3 finger spring, lightening the Main Spring, etc. before you get into actual stoning. If you feel your Trigger pull is not where you want it after other work is performed, then yes the Ed Brown Jig is the one I'd recommend.

I've done all my Colt's with great success and have only had to Stone one of them. I have not worked on a Taurus so I don't know what their quality is like. When it comes to 1911's I'm a Colt man.
All you say makes good sense. I have a Lyman trigger gage so that will be helpful but I also know how a trigger that is smooth can feel much lighter. My revolver triggers spoil me, I hope to get the feel and learn the 1911. You are correct, if I have an oooops it won't be the end of the lesson, it will just be another lesson to make me move forward.
Thanks for your continued support on my threads, much appreciated sir!
Karl
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ontargetagain View Post
All you say makes good sense. I have a Lyman trigger gage so that will be helpful but I also know how a trigger that is smooth can feel much lighter. My revolver triggers spoil me, I hope to get the feel and learn the 1911. You are correct, if I have an oooops it won't be the end of the lesson, it will just be another lesson to make me move forward.
Thanks for your continued support on my threads, much appreciated sir!
Karl
I like your attitude! That's how we all learn - and some mistakes will be made during the process but we can't fear them. The most important thing that can come out of a mistake is learning from them.

Again, I'm not familiar with Taurus 1911's but if you get the pull in the 3.00 - 3.5 lb Range and smooth with no creep, you should be good to go. Any less than 3 pounds and you could be subject to "slide follow".

Another hint (this is how I do it but there are many other methods too) for lubrication is, I use a very very thin Oil (Rig #2 Oil - MidwayUSA 4.5 oz. can or spray can) for the inside components only. The Rig #2 is like water, evaporates quickly leaving behind lubrication and rust prevention but will NOT remain oily to attract powder residue or gunk and dust. For the Slide, Barrel, Locking Lugs, and Recoil Spring & Guide Rod I use Rig +P Grease. While it is a true Grease it is not too thin and not too thick, stays put, an excellent lubricant and I also like the fact that the Rig #2 Oil contains Rig +P in solution so the two are compatible should they co-mingle. Been using this "Rig lubrication method" for over 40 years with no hitches. Not to say other products won't work equally as well, this is just my method.

Good luck with your project and please let us know how you make out. Oh, one other thing...... when adjusting (bending) the 3 finger spring go a little at a time so you don't over do it. Leaf Springs don't like to be bent back and fourth too many times.
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