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Series 80 safety parts missing

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by njl, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. njl


    Sep 28, 2000
    A friend is having trouble with a Colt series 80 commander occasionally light striking and not setting off primers on the first attempt. He's had a local gun smith try resolving the issue. They've replaced the mainspring, firing pin, firing pin spring, and finally the barrel. It's still doing it, just not as frequently.

    I've noticed that all his primer strikes are way off center, but some are so light I'm surprised they went off, and some are nice deep ones that look like you'd expect a struck primer to have.

    While examining his gun, the only odd thing I noticed was it is a series 80, but the FP safety plunger is gone as is the plunger lever. From a bit of googling, it seems like this isn't so unusual, and is commonly done by people who think you can't get a good trigger out of a series 80. He says he didn't do it and has no idea who did. He's the original owner, but has had several shops work on it over the years.

    Assuming the FP safety parts having been removed has nothing to do with it, what else might cause this? The ammo being shot is factory new, Winchester and Federal...whatever he finds at Walmart.
  2. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr DirtyThirty fan CLM

    Nov 24, 2005
    First, and most importantly, find a new GunSmith! QUICK, cause the one you are
    using is completely useless!
    ou can get the missing parts, or you can get a spaced that must be installed
    when the lever is removed. Without the lever there is a space left allowing
    the hammer to strike the fifing pin off center. In time the hammer will also
    damage the hammer pin.

    Below is a link for the shim that must be installed if the firing pin safety is
    I have a Colt Commander with the safety installed, it's triger is flawless.

  3. njl


    Sep 28, 2000
    I should have taken a picture of the frame. I can't remember now if it had one of those spacers or not. There was something about inline with where the plunger would have been, but it didn't stick up at all.

    Looking at some more images online showing how the parts all fit together, I think what I saw in the frame must have been one of those spacers. I don't think the trigger bar lever would be high enough in the frame to be what I saw.
  4. ArmoryDoc


    May 14, 2006
    You could have an improper barrel link or improper fitting of the barrel. Mark a new, unfired round at the very edge of the rim with a permanent marker. Feed it into the barrel with the mark either straight up or down. Fire the round and see if the strike is high, low, left or right of center using the mark as your orientation point. If it's high or low of center you most likely have an incorrect link or fittment of the barrel.
  5. Rumbler_G20


    Dec 5, 2011
    N. Florida
    That spacer beside the hammer is mandatory if the "safety" has been removed.

    With that said . . . you have two issues. I believe that Doc up there ^^ nailed the second one dead center (little pun intended).:embarassed:
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2012
  6. CaptJim

    CaptJim Lifetime Member

    Jan 3, 2007
    NC Coast
    I have also had a Series 80 Colt. It was a Gold Cup NM and had the safety intact. The trigger was as good or better than any of my 1911's without a FP safety.

    Many folks remove the FP block after disassembling it because it is a royal pain to reinstall, and some mistakenly think it will enhance trigger function if removed.

    Generally, it is not good practice to remove or disable any safety feature from a firearm. If your smith removed the parts without your direct order, in IMHO he was not living up to professional standards.

    My advice, if you have no good smiths in your area is to send the gun to Colt and let them reinstall the missing parts and test fire to assure that there are no other problems.