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1911 sear and hammer jigs?


vgdvc
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Hello. Does anyone out there have recommendations for a good sear and or hammer jig for prepping 1911 trigger components. I'm considering the Ed Brown sear jig to use in tandem with the Brownells hammer file and polishing stones. Advice is certainly appreciated ,thank you.

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7 hours ago, mwray said:

The Chuck Warner TR jig is my fav

This.  Stay away from the Ed Brown or similar jigs.  They are not precise enough.  You need a TR jig.  You can buy one from Harrison Custom, Brownells trigger track stone and sear and hammer testing pins.  You definitely do not need a file for hammer work.  The trigger track stone is plenty good enough.

 

If you don't want a True Radius on the sear nose, bite the bullet and buy Marvel jig.

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20 minutes ago, zzt said:

This.  Stay away from the Ed Brown or similar jigs.  They are not precise enough.  You need a TR jig.  You can buy one from Harrison Custom, Brownells trigger track stone and sear and hammer testing pins.  You definitely do not need a file for hammer work.  The trigger track stone is plenty good enough.

 

If you don't want a True Radius on the sear nose, bite the bullet and buy Marvel jig.

Just read an interesting and informative article put out by shooting Illustrated on this jig. In your experience with the radius angles allowed do you know if it's possible to achieve a safe 2 pound pull with a 17 lb mainspring and proper sear spring modifications? Thanks

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Just read an interesting and informative article put out by shooting Illustrated on this jig. In your experience with the radius angles allowed do you know if it's possible to achieve a safe 2 pound pull with a 17 lb mainspring and proper sear spring modifications? Thanks

You can achieve a safe 1.5# pull with a 19lb MS with little to no stone work
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5 minutes ago, mwray said:


You can achieve a safe 1.5# pull with a 19lb MS with little to no stone work

Just by modifying the first and secondary sear angles as per instructions with the jig kit?....that's great!

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You can actually go lower than that safely, although I'm not sure you want to.  If you buy a "standard" sear it should be cut to .404".  That isn't going to work with the standard TR jig.  So you will have to buy the Pro model that lets you cut sears from .402" to .405".  https://shop.harrisoncustom.com/hd-806-true-radius-pro-sear-stoning-jig

 

The easiest way to do this is to buy the plain .404" version and use the EGW Extra Long Nose Sear.   It comes without a secondary cut and a couple thou of material to remove.  Cut the secondary and you are done.  If you don't want to buy the jig an do it yourself, Harrison sells a sear with a True Radius already on it.

 

Then put the Brownell's trigger track stone in a vise.  put the hammer hooks on the stone an evenly move the hammer along the stone.  If you bought an EGW hammer, you'll only be polishing the hooks.  If you buy the Brownell's testing pin set, you can see if the sear is engaging the hooks evenly.  If you don't hvae the pins, mark the hooks, assemble the gun and dry fire a dozen times.  Disassemble and inspect.  If the marker is worn off evenly, you're done.  If not it's back to the stone to straighten out the hooks.  It's very simple to apply a slight bit bore pressure on one side to remove material there.

 

BTW, you can ignite CCI (hardest cup) with a 17 lb mainspring and a SS firing pin, even with an extra power firing pin spring.

Edited by zzt
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8 hours ago, zzt said:

You can actually go lower than that safely, although I'm not sure you want to.  If you buy a "standard" sear it should be cut to .404".  That isn't going to work with the standard TR jig.  So you will have to buy the Pro model that lets you cut sears from .402" to .405".  https://shop.harrisoncustom.com/hd-806-true-radius-pro-sear-stoning-jig

 

The easiest way to do this is to buy the plain .404" version and use the EGW Extra Long Nose Sear.   It comes without a secondary cut and a couple thou of material to remove.  Cut the secondary and you are done.  If you don't want to buy the jig an do it yourself, Harrison sells a sear with a True Radius already on it.

 

Then put the Brownell's trigger track stone in a vise.  put the hammer hooks on the stone an evenly move the hammer along the stone.  If you bought an EGW hammer, you'll only be polishing the hooks.  If you buy the Brownell's testing pin set, you can see if the sear is engaging the hooks evenly.  If you don't hvae the pins, mark the hooks, assemble the gun and dry fire a dozen times.  Disassemble and inspect.  If the marker is worn off evenly, you're done.  If not it's back to the stone to straighten out the hooks.  It's very simple to apply a slight bit bore pressure on one side to remove material there.

 

BTW, you can ignite CCI (hardest cup) with a 17 lb mainspring and a SS firing pin, even with an extra power firing pin spring.

Good detailed info. Watched a few YouTube of this jig in use. It does seem to be a good option. I'm curious if any modern day bigger name 2011/1911 Smith's are using this radiused contact surface method.

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They are not going to say.  It's a no brainer for the home hobbyist, or a gunsmith who wants a good trigger job fast.  Time really is money when you are a gunsmith.  Hint:  there are enough of them out there that EGW makes a special long nose sear so even the ole non-pro jigs can be used.  Do you think they would do that if they only sold 100 a year?

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16 minutes ago, vgdvc said:

Good detailed info. Watched a few YouTube of this jig in use. It does seem to be a good option. I'm curious if any modern day bigger name 2011/1911 Smith's are using this radiused contact surface method.

 

The Power Custom tool lets you cut both primary and secondary surfaces at any depth and any angle.  And it cuts correctly, not with a radius.  Also works for other makes/models with different adapters.  The end result is a clean, light, crisp trigger with a standard weight spring and reliable ignition with any brand primer.  Many people use the radius approach and light springs, then have to use long firing pins, soft cup primers, etc. to get reliable ignition. 

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4 minutes ago, ltdmstr said:

 

The Power Custom tool lets you cut both primary and secondary surfaces at any depth and any angle.  And it cuts correctly, not with a radius.  Also works for other makes/models with different adapters.  The end result is a clean, light, crisp trigger with a standard weight spring and reliable ignition with any brand primer.  Many people use the radius approach and light springs, then have to use long firing pins, soft cup primers, etc. to get reliable ignition. 

Given the same gun are you saying a radius  prepped sear with the TR pro would give a lighter primer strike than traditional prepped sear done on a Power Custom unit?

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3 minutes ago, vgdvc said:

Given the same gun are you saying a radius  prepped sear with the TR pro would give a lighter primer strike than traditional prepped sear done on a Power Custom unit?

 

I'm not sure about the TR tool, since I've never used one.  I do know a lot of people are using them in combination with light springs to get the pull weight down.  That results in the ignition problems I mentioned as well as a soft, mushy trigger with poor reset feel.  If you do the angles right, you don't need light springs to get the pull weight down.  You also have a crisper break, more positive reset, and no ignition problems.

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I use the TR jig for many of my sears.  It is quite simple to use and gives perfect results.  Cut the secondary for a 'normal' trigger or don't for a roll trigger.  With a secondary, the trigger 'feel' is indistinguishable from a perfect conventional trigger job.  BTW, with the TR jig, the 'angles' can't be wrong.  That is the entire reason for it's existence.  There is zero variance as the sear moves across the hammer hooks.  That is not the case with planes on the sear nose.

 

The nut jobs with the 15 lb (or lower) mainsprings, Ti FPs and Federal primers just don't know how to do a proper trigger job.  That's with TR or conventional sears.  TR is not the problem.   I'm not in the light spring crowd.  I usually run a 19 lb mainspring, an extra power FP spring and a SS FP.   That setup fires CCI primers (hard Cup).  I have no problem getting a perfectly reliable sub 2 lb trigger with that setup.  The only exception is a 9mm Open gun.  I run a 17 lb mainspring in that so it will eject minor loads.  It still fires CCI 500 primers.  FWIW, I set all my triggers (except bullseye) to 2 1/4 lbs.

 

A TR sear is the easiest way for a beginner to get a good trigger, simply because you cannot go wrong.  If you don't mind assembling and disassemling the gun a bunch of times, you can get by with just a stone to dress the hammer hooks in case the pin holes are not where they belong.  A conventional trigger job requires more tools and a lot more expertise.

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Not saying the TR jig is the wrong way to do it.  Although I would say the light spring route is not the way to go.  The reason I prefer the Power Custom tool is it allows you to adjust both angles on the sear nose as well as the break point.  And also it can be used with other firearms.  So if, for example, you want to do SW revolvers, all you have to buy is an adapter.  The TR tool probably works fine if you follow zzt's approach. But the Power Custom tool is more versatile, and will give the best result for a conventional trigger job.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have done at least a hundred 1911/2011 trigger jobs using the Marvel jig with great success. To me, that jig is worth every penny it costs. 

 

For what its worth I only use EGW sears and hammers as well. Great parts manufactured with consistently high precision. Doing good long lasting trigger jobs start by using good parts.

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I started out using Cylinder & Slide trigger kits.  They are made by Extreme Engineering.  I tried an EGW kit and found it to be better.  Since then I've been using EGW parts as my first choice.  I'm not knocking EE.  I'd use their parts again in a heartbeat if I couldn't get EGW in time.  I've also used the Harrison Custom TR sear.  Perfect.

 

Here is a tip I stumbled on by accident.  I always start with an EGW sear (the whole kit actually).  I like them.  Lately I discovered, of the three sears I've used, you remove the least material from the Thumb Safety when fitting.  An EE Ultra Low Mass sear requires you remove a little move.  The HC sear requires still more.  So if you wear out your TS from use and dry fire, you can restore its function by going to an EE sear.  If that is not enough, go to the HC sear.  

 

I found this out by accident.  My main Open gun failed safety check at a Level III match.  It had all SVI internals.  I shot the match with my backup gun.  When I returned home I installed an EGW kit and a new EGW ambi-TS.  Both were spare sets I always keep around.  Good to go.  Then I had a rush job and needed an EGW kit.  Backordered.  So I took the newly installed kit and TS from my open gun, reinstalled all the original SVI internals except the  sear.  I used a HC TR sear I had laying around.  Fortunately I remembered it was pretty big.  The thumb safety worked again.  All safety checks passed.  

 

Great.  I put the recovered EGW parts into the repair and everything worked.  On a lark I decided to see if the TS would work in a gun fitted with EE parts.  It did not go in.  So I learned an inexpensive way to extend the life of a thumb safety.  An ambi safety is a LOT more expensive to replace than a sear.

Edited by zzt
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6 hours ago, zzt said:

I started out using Cylinder & Slide trigger kits.  They are made by Extreme Engineering.  I tried an EGW kit and found it to be better.  Since then I've been using EGW parts as my first choice.  I'm not knocking EE.  I'd use their parts again in a heartbeat if I couldn't get EGW in time.  I've also used the Harrison Custom TR sear.  Perfect.

 

Here is a tip I stumbled on by accident.  I always start with an EGW sear (the whole kit actually).  I like them.  Lately I discovered, of the three sears I've used, you remove the least material from the Thumb Safety when fitting.  An EE Ultra Low Mass sear requires you remove a little move.  The HC sear requires still more.  So if you wear out your TS from use and dry fire, you can restore its function by going to an EE sear.  If that is not enough, go to the HC sear.  

 

I found this out by accident.  My main Open gun failed safety check at a Level III match.  It had all SVI internals.  I shot the match with my backup gun.  When I returned home I installed an EGW kit and a new EGW ambi-TS.  Both were spare sets I always keep around.  Good to go.  Then I had a rush job and needed an EGW kit.  Backordered.  So I took the newly installed kit and TS from my open gun, reinstalled all the original SVI internals except the  sear.  I used a HC TR sear I had laying around.  Fortunately I remembered it was pretty big.  The thumb safety worked again.  All safety checks passed.  

 

Great.  I put the recovered EGW parts into the repair and everything worked.  On a lark I decided to see if the TS would work in a gun fitted with EE parts.  It did not go in.  So I learned an inexpensive way to extend the life of a thumb safety.  An ambi safety is a LOT more expensive to replace than a sear.

Good info. Thanks for sharing. Btw what safety check failed?

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The hammer fell to half cock when pulled with the TS on.  I NEVER pull the trigger that hard when testing.  Now that I know they do, I'll do the same.  Just one more reason to use an EGW hammer.  The half cock notch is only in the center, so they cannot mess up your sear face or hammer hooks with an over zealous testing.

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1 hour ago, zzt said:

The hammer fell to half cock when pulled with the TS on.  I NEVER pull the trigger that hard when testing.  Now that I know they do, I'll do the same.  Just one more reason to use an EGW hammer.  The half cock notch is only in the center, so they cannot mess up your sear face or hammer hooks with an over zealous testing.

This is off topic from the op but since we mentioned safety check does anyone know with certainty if a hammer that would drop from the half cock position when trigger is pulled is grounds for failing a safety check? I have heard controversy amongst experienced shooters. Some saying only the primary safety, thumb safety, need be fully working in limited/open. Not grip safety and ok if half cock catches.

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The grip safety does not have to function.  The thumb safety must.  If the hammer falls when the trigger is pulled AND the thumb safety is engaged, it fails the safety test.  It doesn't matter whether it falls all the way, or to half cock.  The thumb safety did not prevent hammer movement, so it is a safety failure and that gun cannot be used in a match until repaired.

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Got it. But if thumb safety test works,then hamner is lowered to half cock notch and it catches but then after trigger is released then pulled again falls  from half cock position is that a fail?

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