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First Time 1911 Owner: New Barrel, New Sear, New Hammer...

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by Doughnutman_923, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. Doughnutman_923


    Jun 20, 2011
    I am not an experienced 1911 owner/tinkerer, but after owning this relatively cheap platform I am certainly a dedicated convert from Glocks. I have put it upon myself to trade/buy/sell/borrow firearms until I have a vast understanding of how multiple platforms and system integrate sears, hammers, connectors, firing pin safeties, springs, disconnectors, bells & whistles, and all of that hooblah into a synchronization of working parts that makes up our firearms. :thumbsup:

    So, here it goes.

    I recently bought a new Storm Lake barrel for my (used) Taurus PT1911AR.....then I decided I didn't like the hammer safety since I didn't even have the key, and didn't want one nonetheless, so I bought a Wilson Combat Value Line hammer and Sear... because they looked nice. :whistling:

    When I assembled the pistol and tried to work the action and dry-fire a problem reared it's ugly head... The hammer would follow the slide to half-cock almost everytime I racked the slide. So, I held the slide back and pulled the hammer about .025'' and it would engage so I'm thinking "The sear is too long...or disconnector problem?"

    Makes sense... I guess.

    I was brain-storming: Disconnector problem? Sear Too long? Hammer Hooks too short? Hammer hooks angled over/under 90 degrees? "Shew, just what I needed.." After about 2 days I finally decided to begin some ameture gunsmithing.

    The hammer hooks appear to be in good shape and cut at the right angle. :tongueout:

    Took the Grip Safety off noticed the disconnector was doing it's job just fine.

    On to the sear!

    Paying careful attention to the angles on the sear I began to stone it on the engaging surface and the secondary angle going about 5 strokes and then reassembling the pistol to check-fit. It was pretty neat to feel the hammer engage even so slightly closer each time I assembled until it was to the point of racking the slide (slowly) would do the trick.

    Ran out back and put 38 rounds of Hornady 200 Grain, XTP's through her. Accuracy is good, function is good, trigger pull isn't too heavy or gritty or too light and I do believe I have a mighty fine beginner 1911 now!

    Thanks for the read.
    Have a nice day!

    -Doughnutman :cool:
  2. jakebrake

    jakebrake cracker

    Jan 11, 2011
    too close to philly
    1911s are a mixed blessing in that respect. parts usually fit for all makes...


    when they don't,'ve begun your education...

    welcome to school, new kid!:wavey:

  3. countrygun


    Mar 9, 2012
    Sounds like me a lifetime ago. The 1911 bug can be very educational. Like jake said, the good news is, that being a standardized design most aftermarket parts kinda fit, the bad news is most after market parts "kinda" fit.
  4. I had begun my "home gunsmithing" education on a glock and a mossberg 500. Also played with an M91 for a while, then I decided, I wanted to learn the 1911 platform. There's alot of hooplah about them, and I was never really partial to them. My problem wasn't the gun, but the 45ACP. Just not a fan. So I wanted one in 9mm, but I didn't want the 8-10 shot capacity you find in them, so I went double-stack.

    Picked up a Bul M-5 for $400 from GB;
    Then, I went to town. It didn't come with magazines, so I got some. Then, it wouldn't feed from said magazines. There's only 1 company in the states that imports them, so it couldn't be faulty mags, since I couldn't try others. Polished the feed ramp and barrel throat, runs like a top. Stoned and polished my hammer/sear for a nice 4lb trigger. Fitted an ambi safety (lefty), and there's alot to those, just like a trigger job. Fit an over-travel stop on my stock trigger, and reduced the take-up. Then I did the frame work, stippling and blending.

    Only thing I haven't done to this is change the sights and re-finish it with something else besides cold-blue. The GI sights work for me, and the finish works decently. Sometimes I gotta knock the surface rust off with some steel wool and re-oil it. It's worse in the summer, winter it's a non-issue.

    The idea was to learn the 1911 platform, and now I feel like I know it enough to diagnose problems with others. Its a great firearm, and I use this for IDPA.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
  5. Doughnutman_923


    Jun 20, 2011
    Good to be here! :wavey:

    I think my next will be a Beretta.

    That thing sure has some character! Looks awesome. :cool:
  6. It is absolutely amazing, and people trip out on it. Guys in my club with $1400 race guns ooo and ahh over my trigger, reset, and stock. Plus, it holds 18+1.

    If you haven't tried the browning hi-power, they're also a great pistol. You can never have too many SA semi's, and the BHP trigger can be as good as a 1911, with a little work. I'd recomend that over a beretta if you like to play with em, and I think the ergronomics are better on the BHP. I'm not much a fan of DA/SA guns, though. That comes from shooting IDPA where you have to start with DA/SA guns hammer down, but then you can still shoot it in SSP. I shoot glock when I want to shoot SSP. Not saying it's bad at all, they're also a great, reliable, accurate pistol. I just like the BHP more, and there's almost as much parts availability for them as the 1911.

    Also, the way the trigger works through the slide, is a trip. I was amazed at it for the first few hours, and it's still odd to me, but an interesting design. It was one of John Browning's last designs, (I know he didn't finish it, and had little to do with the final design) but it's iconic, and believed by many to be one of the best 9mm's ever.


    I'm also really partial to JMB's designs. I also have an auto-5, the first semi-auto shotgun. Another amazing design, in it's complex simplicity.

  7. gajones06


    Jul 26, 2011
    What magazines does the bul take? I'm interested in one...

    Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine
  8. Glock_en_speil


    Jan 12, 2011

    You've just discovered one major difference between the Glock and the 1911. As you well know a Glock rarely requires a gunsmith, only an armorer. As far as the 1911 goes there are no major parts that can be dropped in. They all require fitting by a professional gunsmith or a very experienced hobbyist who has also invested in the specialized tools needed to get the job done.

    As was mentioned above because of the standardized parts in the 1911 platform there are times when certain parts may drop in but if they are not properly fitted they won't work as well as they should and they likely won't for as long as they should either.

    For sear work many professional 1911 pistolsmiths use a stoning jig which allows them to get just the right angle. You can find these at the usual online shooting supply outfits in case you are interested. It's great that you were able to get your gun working and I'll definitely give you credit for taking this on without much knowledge of the platform and without a jig but be careful in the future because things can easily go very wrong. Stay safe! :)
  9. They have their own. Some say there's a way to make para magazine work :dunno: I got mine from;

    All America Sales, Inc.
    8884 Hwy 62, West
    Piggot, AR 72454, USA
    Tel: 870-544-2809
    Fax: 870-544-2695

    They're between $28 and $35 each, can't remember exactly. There's 2 different floor plates also, the round ones are the ones that fit flush. There's a triangular one that's "hi cap" but they don't fit flush to the frame. They're 20+1 though. Want more info, feel free to PM.
  10. Doughnutman_923


    Jun 20, 2011
    I was very interested in the BHP at one point in time. I had almost forgotten about it! Thanks for reminding me. I will definitely choose the BHP over a Beretta is the price is right. :cool:

    Also, fine looking auto-loader ya got there. I really like design and placement of the shell holder.

    Oh, don't I know it. I ruined a spare sear that I had acquired with the gun because I went to work at it with the philosophy of "If I polish here, here, and here... everything will work smoother!" but it's not as simple as that and I had no clue that the engaging surface and the secondary angle had to work together with the hammer hooks and is was a total Charlie-Foxtrot. I now have a better understanding of just how tight the tolerances of those angles can get and how easy someone who doesn't know what they're doing can mess it up!

    I'm learning a lot, and that is exactly why I got the pistol. :cool:
  11. I got this BHP (It's an Argentinian FM, made from Belgian machinery) for $300, and it came with extended ambidextrous controls, and night sights. I couldn't pass it up. The finish is tore up, but IDC about that.

    The shell holder I made after seeing something similar on, but theirs used straps around the gun, and the auto-5 is a long recoil action. Straps would impede the barrel recoiling, and could cause a malfunction. So, I made this instead and mounted it to the forend. Perfect when you need that extra makeup shot.

    I used a fantastic guide, I think it was on, of this dude who was building a 1911 from the frame up. He covered everything, without special jigs. As you know, it's possible to get great results with less than perfect tools, it just requires more time and attention to detail. One of the best tools I had was a sharpie. It's a poor man's dykam (or whatever it's called). Color the part, block it down with stones, then check clearances. Also perfect way to see how parts are interacting, when they scratch it off. You can see if your engagement surfaces are straight or not, then adjust. Slow, methodical work, but great results are possible.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  12. Doughnutman_923


    Jun 20, 2011
    Dang, that's a good price. New BHP's are around $700-$900 range. My want for an H&K USP .45 or a Sig would be right around there, I guess it comes down to what I like better that day I get the $$$$ and decide to go looking. :whistling:

    Wow, that's pretty innovative!
  13. My dad had an FM when I was a kid, so I was already predispositioned to have a fondness for them. I also don't like the BHP cut on the slide. The slab-sided FM's have the 1911 cut, which I feel has that "old school" look. Some guys feel that they're "just a clone" and sub-par to the FN's or brownings. More on it here.

    Here's the thread I made on the work on my auto-5, so I don't fill your thread with my work :whistling: Trying to not thread jack you, lol.

    And, here's the build thread on my 1911, in case you wanted to see more of that :rofl:
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012