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Old 01-10-2021, 08:58 PM
imarangemaster imarangemaster is offline
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Default A question of safety selectors 3rd gen vs 2nd gen

I am not a fan of the ambidextrous safety on the 3rd gen guns. My original 469 had a delightful single left side safety selector that was flatter than the full size Second gen.

I could pick up another 6906 selector and mill off the left side, but was wondering is a 2nd gen selector would work on w 3rd gen 6906? Thanks in advance.

My current 6906 came with the full size slide release thumb piece instead of the slim line of earlier compacts. I had a spare in my parts box, and milled it down to just 2 serrations instead of 4 or 5 of the full size, so it doesn't stick out so much.

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Old 01-10-2021, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imarangemaster View Post
I was wondering is a 2nd gen selector would work on w 3rd gen 6906?
Yes, I put an early 669 single-sided safety body on my CS9. I had previously installed it on my 3913 - 3913 impulse buy with a twist
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Old 01-10-2021, 09:41 PM
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Thanks! That's what I wanted to know.
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Old 01-11-2021, 03:14 PM
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If all you have is a 2nd gen single side safety, then yes, it will work.

But there are also single side 3rd gen safeties, and that is what I use when converting an ambi to a single side.

John
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Old 01-11-2021, 03:20 PM
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Couple years ago we had a southpaw forum guy that had two single siders and I swapped him ambi 2nd Gen decockers for his single siders.

Both parties thrilled, cost was a couple bucks for postage and no parts altered.
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Old 01-11-2021, 04:30 PM
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I ordered a single side gen 2 from Numrich. They are out of stainless, so I got blued. I have a blued MIM hammer, so black is OK. I already trimmed a spare stainless slide stop I had into a flat configuration.
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Old 01-11-2021, 05:18 PM
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Filing a couple of steps off of a slide stop or safety lever is a quick expedient to a thinner pistol.

I've done a few myself, considering that the full thickness levers are in greater supply and typically at lower prices than the early "slimmed" levers.

A quick shot in the blast cabinet (or a little touch with the scotchbrite) will have a stainless levers looking original, but getting the cold blue to look good on the blackened ones can be a little tricky...

I prefer to use 3rd gen safety levers on the 3rd gens only because the 2nd gen levers have 8 (IIRC) shallower steps and 3rd gen levers have 5 steeper steps.

And to my delicate aesthetic sensibilities , the earlier levers look out of place except when found on the earlier guns.

Of course, for the ultimate in thinness, I eliminate the levers altogether!

John
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Old 01-11-2021, 06:09 PM
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I got the flat 469 safety lever on the way.
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Old 01-11-2021, 08:15 PM
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The 3rd gen manual safety assembly can be installed on a 2nd gen pistol, but ...

Replacing any manual safety assembly changes the dimensions and relationship between the bottom of the assembly body and the top of the sear release lever (installed in the frame).

That means the decocking 'timing' change may change, and usually a new sear release lever has to be fitted (foot filed) to make sure the decocking timing is within the necessary spec.

Decocking timing is critical because you don't want the hammer to decock and fall too early (hitting the firing pin, even if blocked by the FP safety plunger), nor do you want a situation where it's outside the recommended range at the other end, meaning the hammer won't decock when the safety lever is lowered.

It's not that filing and fitting a new sear release is a particularly difficult thing to do. You just need a 6" pillar file and a small vise, and know how to file straight and level, but you also need to know how to disassemble the frame to replace the lever. That usually means disassembly, filing a new lever, reassembly, checking the timing, disassembly, filing again, reassembly to check the timing again, etc ... until proper timing is achieved. Naturally, "1-too-many" file strokes can end up ruining a new lever and make you have to start over again with another new one.


Checking the timing can be done using 3 different (specific) numbered metal drill bits as Go/No-Go "gauges" (the non-cutting shank ends), positioned under the L/side safety lever at specific spot in the slide's machined recessed lever space, looking for the Go/No-Go range to be achieved.

How familiar are you with disassembly and assembly of 3rd gen guns, and skilled with simple tools?

Got a local smith familiar with fitting a new lever on a 3rd gen gun?
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Old 01-11-2021, 08:22 PM
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I was a military and LEO armorer. Been to a few armorer schools (Glock and Beretta), also. I do know my way around firearms....

I have had 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Gen Smiths since 1978, and been working on them since. First thing I do with a new (used) one is to completely break it down, clean, and generally replace springs with Smith OEM replacements. I wasn't sure if 2nd and 3rd safeties were interchangeable.

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Old 01-11-2021, 09:04 PM
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Youse two guys are practically neighbors!

John
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Old 01-11-2021, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imarangemaster View Post
I was a military and LEO armorer. Been to a few armorer schools (Glock and Beretta), also. I do know my way around firearms....

I have had 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Gen Smiths since 1978, and been working on them since. First thing I do with a new (used) one is to completely break it down, clean, and generally replace springs with Smith OEM replacements. I wasn't sure if 2nd and 3rd safeties were interchangeable.
Nice. You ought to be good to go, then.

If you don't want to 'eyeball' the decocking timing (like they used to teach in the classes), and want the sizes of the metal bits, use my email and I'll send you the list and pics of their use.

Yep, replacing the 2nd gen manual safety assembly with a 3rd gen assembly, if only to get rid of that annoying sheet metal screw ambi lever attachment method, is doable. Not an uncommon question, either.

Naturally, the way the Parts-is-Parts replacement works in the Smith's, especially with the older machinery used to make those parts, you may come across some particular manual safety assembly that might not be an optimal fit in your particular gun. I had an older single side manual safety assembly I was going to install in a 3rd gen once, but it was just a bit too sloppy in that particular slide for my liking, so I didn't use it. I had lots of ambi assemblies, but only that 1 stainless single side assembly. That was why it was often handy to have some bins of extra parts back in the days of the 3rd gens.
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Old 01-12-2021, 12:49 PM
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When I was in the midst of my “Franken-Smith” project, I ran into problems with the decock function as I tried various ambi units on various slides and tried to “mix and match.” In my case the solution, as suggested by new friends here, was to swap out the sear disconnect lever. The bottom line is that even though the parts are designed to be interchangeable, there are sufficient manufacturing tolerances to sometimes need parts matching or adjustments to be done. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes not. Just FYI, I ended up with a Gen 3 safety on my 439 slide and a Gen 2 safety on my 915 slide... go figure!

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Old 01-15-2021, 03:19 PM
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Well heck! Got the 469 safety and there is no hole in the barrel for the spring and detent! Is their a difference between early and late 469 levers?
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Old 01-15-2021, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imarangemaster View Post
Well heck! Got the 469 safety and there is no hole in the barrel for the spring and detent! Is their a difference between early and late 469 levers?
Pics of the new safety body?
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Old 01-15-2021, 03:41 PM
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Looks like they have some model 52 safety bodies in the mix - Safety Help
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Old 01-15-2021, 04:46 PM
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No detent spring and hole anywhere.
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Old 01-15-2021, 08:35 PM
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It's frustrating. I could throw it in the drill press, I suppose, and drill my own. IIRC, the 59s had slide mounted spring and short detent for the safety selector.
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Old 01-16-2021, 02:15 PM
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Sent it back to Numrich with clear explanation that it is not a 469 selector, but rather an earlier one. Also was clear about the correct one has a detent hole.
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Old 01-16-2021, 04:19 PM
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Damn. Annoying, but it can happen. I had to return a part to the same company for being the wrong part, too. Close, but no cigar. It can happen when a company picks up new, new/old stock or used parts and they disappear into the bowls of inventory, being labeled by people who may not have close knowledge of them. It doesn't help that we're talking about an "obsolete" model line, either.
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Old 01-16-2021, 04:34 PM
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I sent it back to get the correct one, but I also sourced one elsewhere. I can think of worse things than having an extra! Maybe my 4006 needs a single side, or even sell the second one.
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Old 01-16-2021, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
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I sent it back to get the correct one, but I also sourced one elsewhere. I can think of worse things than having an extra! Maybe my 4006 needs a single side, or even sell the second one.
Yeah, I only have 2 extra single-side safety assemblies. I never cared for the single-sided assemblies, so most of the spares I ordered and collected were ambi assemblies.

One of them is a newer production stainless one which I think I removed from my CS45S when I had the slide machined to accept the then-new spring-loaded docker assembly.

The other one is an older blued/carbon steel single-side assembly I picked up somewhere along the way. The wear ring of bare steel showing on the cylinder make me suspect it came from a well-used 2nd gen gun, but I got it as part of another armorer's old stash of spare/old parts.

I have a fair number of early 3rd gen used stainless ambi's, with the old-style shouldered, flat-head plungers and ambi levers (to fit the smaller plunger flat-head, semi-rounded & shouldered plungers of that vintage). They're the older cast/machined stainless, versus MIM stainless.
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