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Old 09-14-2016, 11:51 PM   #1
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Adjusting my 1911

I'm really pleased with the way my "Brand X" 1911 is coming along. I bought it years ago with the intent of "doing something" with it, but I shot it a few times and set it aside.

But recently I've been reenergized about 1911's, so I pulled it out of the safe and threw some money at it. In another post I talked about replacing the GI sights with Truglo's. That issue is now sorted out, and it's WAY better than original.

I've never "worked on" a 1911 because it seemed intimidating. But the Brand X needed an ambidextrous safety, so it only made sense to work on the trigger, as well.

The safety was an eBay special, and is pretty simple. It needed a little filing and cold-blue, but now it's working as intended. For me, a 1911 requires a high grip with the thumb over the safety. That's fine, but this safety has a sharp corner. It might be an irritant. Only extensive shooting will tell. That's ok; the UPS dude dropped off a thousand rounds of .45 on the front porch today.

The trigger on this gun was originally about 6 pounds 5 ounces. That's just not right. So I took everything apart and polished everything that needed polishing, including the sear and the hammer. That got me a pound. But I wanted more.

So I started playing with the spring, according to recommendations I found on the interweb. Specifically, the bloke recommended a trigger pull of 8 ounces for the disconnector, and a total of 16 ounces for the disconnector and sear. I went a bit heavier, because his goal was a little lower than my own. The result was a trigger pull of 4 pounds 5 ounces. That's what I was shooting for.

There is about 0.040" of take-up, a clean break, and a maybe 0.050" over travel. This is just my guess, as I'm not measuring it. The trigger has some up/down movement that you wouldn't expect in a high-zoot gun, but it's not terrible.

So the bottom line is that the gun now meets my expectations. Maybe I'd like a different safety, and it could really benefit from a different grip safety, maybe with some extra beavertail.

But this is just a "play" gun. It's better now that it ever was, so I'll shoot it for now, and maybe someday in the future throw some more money at it.
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Old 09-15-2016, 05:26 AM   #2
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Nice work Russ, project guns can be a lot of fun and a great learning eperience.
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Old 09-15-2016, 10:32 AM   #3
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Lets see it put together
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Old 09-15-2016, 01:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by azguy1911 View Post
Lets see it put together
What? I was hoping someone would come over after work and do that ;-)
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Old 09-15-2016, 03:03 PM   #5
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Looks like you are working on the good kitchen counter top. Does Mrs. RustyIron know???
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Old 09-15-2016, 07:32 PM   #6
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When you're as good a husband as Mr. Iron, you get a lot of latitude. I'll start another thread shortly and share another picture with you. Timid husbands might wet their pants. Be warned.

The following pictures are for Mr. AZ--a semi-finished gun.

The eBay ambidextrous safety was ok, but the edges and serrations were sharp, there was a pointy corner, and they were freakishly long. So tonight I took them to the bench grinder and shorted them up about a quarter inch. Then I filed them down to get rid of the edges and provide a more pleasing shape. Then came the emery cloth, and then the buffing wheel. I also polished the detent surface. Everything is much better now.

The grip safety isn't quite right for a high grip, so I'll see what's available that will work with this hammer.
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Old 09-15-2016, 08:37 PM   #7
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Nice work on the Rock Rusty, feels good don't it. I've had some minor problems or wanted changes done to a few of my 1911s, but like you I don't send them back. I fix it myself.
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Old 09-15-2016, 10:06 PM   #8
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Smile Enablers all of you!

Nice work Rusty! You guys are making me braver all the time.
I would like to add a ambi safety to my Eclipse 10 someday but first I think I will buy an Ed brown sear jig with stones and a shim. I have six 1911's now and I have watched the videos on how to do triggers I think I can handle it I also want to get that plastic pistol block or whatever it is called so disassembly and reassembly is easier. I have most of the punches and drifts already maybe all of them not sure I bought a set for building AR's a while back. Not trying to hijack your thread Rusty I am just easily excited when it comes to talking firearms! Especially 1911's!
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Old 09-15-2016, 10:47 PM   #9
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Do it, Tom.

I was apprehensive about the 1911's because... well... because that's the way I've always felt since I was a kid. Before yesterday, I never took one completely apart. Today I still can't do it blindfolded... or even fast for that matter. But it's simpler than you might think.

Aside from one pin, the sear, and the disconnect, it's completely a no-brainer. The only part that was confusing was the disconnector and the sear, so I took a picture before pulling it apart.

Putting it together was easy, but I had to do it a couple times. One time I forgot that the grip safety goes in with the regular safety. Another time I got the spring in a little bit crooked. Another time I wasn't sure the trigger was in right, so I took it apart again just to be sure. It's no big deal because do-overs are allowed, and each time you get smarter.

The cool thing is the more you work on it, the more you understand, and the more ideas you have for making it better.

And if you goof it all up, you can always take the bag of parts to the gunsmith.

Rob
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Old 09-15-2016, 11:33 PM   #10
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Thank you for the encouragement. It is more a matter of putting together a comprehensive list of the tools I need to order I also need to order some specialty tools for cleaning and servicing my two non Kimber rifles I recently have purchased. Also found out I need a lee factory crimp die or two for .308 and .556 Not to mention my larger due bills start in October and do not stop until December tenth I believe. You know truck reg. truck ins. home ins. property taxes. On top of all that I must be ready to take advantage of any deals I find on firearms cause here in the Golden State you never know when or if the next deal will come along. I think I am finally winded. Thanks for listening!
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