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DIY 1911 Trigger Job


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I have a desire to learn so I would like to take a current 1911 and clean up the trigger and make is slightly lighter. 

 

I am looking for advice on jigs, files, stones. 

 

I am pretty mechanically inclined so I am not afraid to take this job on but I am defiantly looking for anyone's input that has done a trigger job or does this for a living.

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1 minute ago, Steve RA said:

If you only want to make it "slightly lighter" you should be able to accomplish that with just spring adjustment.

I know a lot of people that have tried that and they all have their hammer randomly going to half cock. 

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1 hour ago, americanbrosinarms said:

It is more about learning the process and getting an understanding of the process. 

 

Making the trigger better is a plus to that process. 

 

Have you seen Deep River Customs in the Vendor Tent?  They have a 1911 trigger class coming up.

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Buy some Colt replacement leaf springs in case you overtweak one.

 

As you've gathered I'm sure, there's a good bit to know about 1911 triggers.  It's not rocket science but it's very easy to create an unsafe trigger.

 

The videos above are good.

 

Get really comfortable with frame detail stripping and reassembly.  That helps a lot.

Edited by GunBugBit
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4 minutes ago, GunBugBit said:

Buy some Colt replacement leaf springs in case you overtweak one.

 

As you've gathered I'm sure, there's a good bit to know about 1911 triggers.  It's not rocket science but it's very easy to create an unsafe trigger.

 

The videos above are good.

 

Get really comfortable with frame detail stripping and reassembly.  That helps a lot.

 

Thanks for that advice detail stripping and reassembly isn't an issue, over the last two years I have solely shot single stack in USPSA.  I have fit new safety's to the guns and changed sights no dozens of handguns.

 

I probably will buy all new EGW parts just so I the event that I do goof up somewhere I still have the factory parts. Or in the unlikely chance I sell it I can put it back to factory. 

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2 minutes ago, americanbrosinarms said:

 

Thanks for that advice detail stripping and reassembly isn't an issue, over the last two years I have solely shot single stack in USPSA.  I have fit new safety's to the guns and changed sights no dozens of handguns.

 

I probably will buy all new EGW parts just so I the event that I do goof up somewhere I still have the factory parts. Or in the unlikely chance I sell it I can put it back to factory. 

I have some specific thoughts on 1911 trigger jobs since I just finished up my latest two.  Feel free to PM me.

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5 hours ago, americanbrosinarms said:

 

Thanks for that advice detail stripping and reassembly isn't an issue, over the last two years I have solely shot single stack in USPSA.  I have fit new safety's to the guns and changed sights no dozens of handguns.

 

I probably will buy all new EGW parts just so I the event that I do goof up somewhere I still have the factory parts. Or in the unlikely chance I sell it I can put it back to factory. 

 

Good choice on the EGW parts. They make a great platform for great triggers. 

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On 6/19/2019 at 12:51 PM, americanbrosinarms said:

I have a desire to learn so I would like to take a current 1911 and clean up the trigger and make is slightly lighter. 

 

I am looking for advice on jigs, files, stones. 

 

I am pretty mechanically inclined so I am not afraid to take this job on but I am defiantly looking for anyone's input that has done a trigger job or does this for a living.

 

Installed the EGW kits in a 2011 and a 1911 along with Colt sear springs.  Ended up with 3# in one and 2 3/4# in the other after sear spring adjustments.  And, I did not have to replace the thumb safety in either pistol!

 

Very pleased with the results!

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If you're installing EGW parts, you're probably better off not messing with the sear nose or hammer hooks and instead concentrating on polishing mating surfaces and adjusting the sear spring (the flat one that goes under the ms housing).  Chances are you're not going to improve on what they've done, and more than likely, will make a mess of it.  But if you want to learn and are willing to toss some parts in the process, then go for it.  The true radius jig seems to work ok, but most experienced smiths use fixtures that allow you to adjust the angles and the depth of cuts.  I've been using a Power Custom fixture for 20+ years and still find it to be the best tool for the job.  Plus it works on lots of other guns too.  On the hammer spring, most will recommend 17 lb (or lighter) to get the pull weight down.  But using a 19 lb spring will give you a crisper, cleaner breaking trigger and more positive reset. 

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17 hours ago, ltdmstr said:

  I've been using a Power Custom fixture for 20+ years and still find it to be the best tool for the job.  Plus it works on lots of other guns too.  On the hammer spring, most will recommend 17 lb (or lighter) to get the pull weight down.  But using a 19 lb spring will give you a crisper, cleaner breaking trigger and more positive reset. 

 

I had a Power Custom fixture but didn't like it.  EGW makes good stuff.  My vote is for the 19# mainspring.

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I measured the factory sears in the 2011 and 1911.  Both were .405".  Called EGW, and all their Hard Sears which are included in their Ignition Kits are manufactured .405".

 

John Harrison's TR Sears are also .405".

 

These sear dimensions allowed me to replace both ignition kits without altering the thumb safeties.

 

👍

Edited by HOGRIDER
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On 6/19/2019 at 11:51 AM, americanbrosinarms said:

I have a desire to learn so I would like to take a current 1911 and clean up the trigger and make is slightly lighter. 

 

I am looking for advice on jigs, files, stones. 

 

I am pretty mechanically inclined so I am not afraid to take this job on but I am defiantly looking for anyone's input that has done a trigger job or does this for a living.

 

I am selling 8 DVDs with over 15 hours of instruction.  

 

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I gather that quite a few guys go with a 17-lb hammer spring combined with extended firing pins to avoid light strikes.  I went this route with some new guns lately.  I left full tension on the sear leg of the leaf spring and let off tension on the disconnector leg.  I put a couple of ounces back on the disconnector leg because pretravel felt too dead, even though the gun functioned perfectly.  I like at least a little springiness in pretravel, which doesn't take much spring pressure when you're working with a very light bow/shoe like the STI.  Now I'm at 2 lbs 2 oz with both guns I did this to.  Beautiful.

Edited by GunBugBit
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I think the 17# hammer spring will work fine with soft primers.  Since I have Les Baers in my arsenal, I can't shoot Federal primers because I ran into problems with breech face erosion.  I had to switch to Winchester and CCIs and started getting light strikes with the 17# spring.  I changed to a 19#er and have had no issues with these guns.

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12 minutes ago, Joe4d said:

titanium hammer strut  and MS cap, 17# will light off Wolf primers.

Full disclosure....my 17# spring may have been worn out.  

 

My concern with a titanium hammer strut is it chewing up the MS cap.

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