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Need Help Selecting A File For Thumb Safety Installation


mpssrh

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I have to fit a new thumb safety to a full-size 1911. This will require removing some material in order to allow the safety to interface with the sear.

 

(1) I am unsure about what file to use. Please help me.

 

It is important that I do this correctly. I am planning to use to use the existing safety as a guide to where and how much metal to remove. (I can carry this to the gunsmith with no problem, but I would like to do this myself. If this is something that I should not attempt, please tell me.)

 

(2) If you have advice about how best to go about this (i.e., technique), please share it with me.

 

Thanks for any and all input. 

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Good info here:

http://www.brazoscustom.com/magart/0601.htm

 

I use smooth cut mill file for a lot of work, including fitting safeties.  You can get smooth cut files in a lot of configurations.  Check out the Nicholson file catalogue and you can buy from amazon or places like MSC or Zoro.   Having some different stones also is nice for when you want to remove just a tiny amount of material and want a very smooth surface.   

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a cheap set of needle files that work well. Go slow and use a marking medium (I use a sharpie) to help keep track of where you're removing and need to remove material.

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Pretty much any small flat file will work. Just go slow, a couple extra strokes will can ruin your new safety. 

 

TK

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Some of my favorite all around files for little items such as the safety and the 1911 barrel lugs are a 4mm wide, 6 inch, #2 swiss file or a #2 or #4 pillar file. Lots of companies sell them. They're very handy and comfortable tools to use...and a lot nicer than the really cheap and thin harbor freight needle files. With quality files it seems like its easier to make nice parallel cuts without having the tool flex and twist. That said you could get by with the latter.

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I used a hammer squaring file to fit a single-sided thumb safety and it made what I thought was the perfect cut. I don't remember where I read about it originally.

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