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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 1/1/2006 5:57:53 PM EDT
I'm getting ready to take my Kimber in for ambi-safety conversion so that I can use this awesome gun for CCW (I've been carrying an HK P2000 for awhile now). I have a few questions for you seasonsed 1911 guys.

1.) It seems that people routinely replace parts in 1911's (springs, etc) a LOT more frequently than other guns. Is that a wrong impression, or is this gun truly that sensitive?

2.) I fully intend to carry cocked & locked (otherwise, what's the point), which I'm comfortable with given the multiple safeties on the 1911. One thing I'm curious about is how do you de-cock this weapon? I'm not comfortable with thumb-dropping the hammer on a loaded chamber. Enough attempts at that and eventually I'll shoot a hole in the floor of my house. Is the proper way to unload the weapon first?

3.) If the answer to #2 is to unload the weapon before decocking, I won't be doing that very often. That said, is it detrimantal to leave this thing cocked and locked all the time? (Someone is going to say "Now you know why we routinely replace parts in these guns" )

Thanks guys, and Happy New Year!
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 6:09:07 PM EDT
1 - I generally replace the recoil spring every 2000 rounds. I usually replace the firing pin spring at the same time because they come together in a set.

2 - You don't need to drop the hammer for any reason on a 1911. If you try to drop the hammer you will eventually ND the weapon.

3 - It's not going to hurt it to leave it cocked and locked.

Link Posted: 1/1/2006 6:14:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By M4arc:
1 - I generally replace the recoil spring every 2000 rounds. I usually replace the firing pin spring at the same time because they come together in a set.

2 - You don't need to drop the hammer for any reason on a 1911. If you try to drop the hammer you will eventually ND the weapon.

3 - It's not going to hurt it to leave it cocked and locked.




Thanks. So if I'm leaving it cocked and locked all the time, shouldn't the hammer spring be replaced routinely as well? Theoretically, it should fatigue just as fast as (or faster than) the FP and recoil springs, right?
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 6:18:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/1/2006 6:20:36 PM EDT by bigsapper]

Originally Posted By kcobean:
Thanks. So if I'm leaving it cocked and locked all the time, shouldn't the hammer spring be replaced routinely as well? Theoretically, it should fatigue just as fast as (or faster than) the FP and recoil springs, right?



Not sure of the specific answer to your question, but the hammer spring is not a coiled wire spring like the firing pin spring and the recoil spring. That might have a bearing on longevity.

ETA:
The three-fingered leaf spring at the bottom of this pic is the hammer spring.
www.kerensky.net/pics/series2/disassembly/013.htm
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 6:21:42 PM EDT
Constant compression is not what wears out a spring, expanding and contracting multiple times wears out springs. Or so I'm told when it comes to loaded magazines.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 6:34:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By bigsapper:

Originally Posted By kcobean:
Thanks. So if I'm leaving it cocked and locked all the time, shouldn't the hammer spring be replaced routinely as well? Theoretically, it should fatigue just as fast as (or faster than) the FP and recoil springs, right?



Not sure of the specific answer to your question, but the hammer spring is not a coiled wire spring like the firing pin spring and the recoil spring. That might have a bearing on longevity.

ETA:
The three-fingered leaf spring at the bottom of this pic is the hammer spring.
www.kerensky.net/pics/series2/disassembly/013.htm



Um, the flat spring you refer to is acutally the sear spring.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 6:49:33 PM EDT
Thanks, using his terminology so as not to unnecessarily confuse.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 6:55:09 PM EDT
Good advice has been given.

Regarding the below, 1911s do not wear things out any faster than any other pistol, they just are easily customized due to the number of them out there, the huge aftermarket, etc.



1.) It seems that people routinely replace parts in 1911's (springs, etc) a LOT more frequently than other guns. Is that a wrong impression, or is this gun truly that sensitive?
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 7:22:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2006 8:00:34 PM EDT by hobbs5624]
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Link Posted: 1/1/2006 7:25:53 PM EDT
Every 2000 rounds or 20,000? I have put 2000 rounds through a 1911 in a weekend and its had many more than that through it since with no probs I cant imagine repalcing springs every 2k rounds
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 7:33:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/1/2006 7:34:52 PM EDT by Backstop]
The time I replace springs is measured in years. And I shoot a lot.

Preventive maintanence is one thing. Fixing something that isn't broken, or about to break, isn't for me.

I have 2 Custom Classics I. They get rotated between carry and shooting every month - give or take a little.

About every 2 months, I take it all apart and look for cracks, abnormal wear, etc. Other than that, I'll wait until I have a problem to replace something.

Shoot them.

Enjoy them.

EDIT:

Banish the word 'decock' from your 1911 vernacular, sir. It's not needed.

Link Posted: 1/1/2006 7:48:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2006 8:00:40 PM EDT by hobbs5624]
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Link Posted: 1/1/2006 7:58:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By hobbs5624:
Well actually, bigsapper, the spring that is compressed by a cocked hammer is the hammer spring, or mainspring. It IS a coil spring, like the firing pin or recoil spring. Now, some may disagree, but I have seen many 1911s that spend most of their lives cocked and locked with no detriment. I have a 1911 that stays cocked and locked at my home. It's been that way for close to a decade, and it's fine. The spring in your link is the sear spring, and a ocked and locked 1911 barely moves that spring.

Regarding other springs in the gun, there are so many people out there who don't replace them ever, and the guns run fine as long as they are quality 1911s with properly tuned extractors. The gun design is not less reliable or more sensitive to spring fatigue than any other.

You have probably noticed that there is a lot of mention in forums like this one about changing springs, but it's more likely because many 1911 enthusiasts like to practice preventive maintenance. 1911 enthusiasts are a strange bunch. Many of us tend to fix what's not broken, and many of us tend to be very concerned with having a gun that is at optimal performance levels. I am no exception, and I'm always looking at ways to improve on what I have. Think of spring changes like changing the oil in your car. It's just cheap insurance, and most 1911 owners do it. People with Glocks, Sigs, Berettas, HKs, etc. should do it too, but you don't hear a whole lot about it since there finding the springs is usually not as easy as finding 1911 stuff.



Not only am I not a 1911 expert I didn't even sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Thanks for the correction. Got a pic of the hammer spring? I don't recall encountering it when disassembling my pistol.

My 1911s stay CnL all the time, whether in my safe or when I'm carrying. I've never replaced any springs in any of my 1911s.

Good, informative post , BTW.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 10:58:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By jcp:

Originally Posted By bigsapper:

Originally Posted By kcobean:
Thanks. So if I'm leaving it cocked and locked all the time, shouldn't the hammer spring be replaced routinely as well? Theoretically, it should fatigue just as fast as (or faster than) the FP and recoil springs, right?



Not sure of the specific answer to your question, but the hammer spring is not a coiled wire spring like the firing pin spring and the recoil spring. That might have a bearing on longevity.

ETA:
The three-fingered leaf spring at the bottom of this pic is the hammer spring.
www.kerensky.net/pics/series2/disassembly/013.htm



Um, the flat spring you refer to is acutally the sear spring.



A little off topic but....So looking at the STI animation of the 1911 firing cycle, that three-fingered spring is used to a) engage the firing pin block (is it also the trigger spring?), b) release the sear (or whatever you'd call it such that the sear is rotated allowing the hammer to fall), and c) provide the spring tension for the grip safety. That sound right?
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 4:54:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2006 8:00:55 PM EDT by hobbs5624]
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Link Posted: 1/2/2006 6:46:34 AM EDT
Thanks for the corection and explanation.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 7:12:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By hobbs5624:
bigsapper, you got me laughing. I don't have apic to put up now because my two year old has managed to hide my camera. Here is a link to Brownells schematic. It's part 57. It is in the mainspring hiusing, and if you decide to take it apart yourself to look at it, use caution. That little spring is very powerful, more so than the recoil spring. Use a vise and eye protection. It's probably a 22lb spring, though they can vary.

www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/schematics/schemmfg.aspx?schemid=141&m=3&mn=Colt%c2%ae&model=Government+Models+

kcobean, I didn't look at the animation, and I think the answer to your question is yes, sort of, but....There are three fingers on the sear srping, and there are even ones with a split center finger, making it four. The right finger, as viewed from the rear, puts pressure on the grip safety to keep in in the out, or engaged position. The left most finger is the sear finger, and keep pressure on the bottom of the sear, causing the nose to rotate back in order to catch the hammer after the trigger is pulled and the gun cycles. The middle finger puts pressure on the diconnector, pushing it both forard and up. The disconnector contacts the back of the trigger bow, so the spring also puts forward pressure on the trigger. There is a firing pin block on Series 80 1911s, but it is not affected by the sear spring.

When you pull the trigger, it pushed the diconnector back. The bottom of the sear legs is behind the disconnector, and the trigger, disconnector, and sear move in unison to release the hammer. Once the hammer falls and does it's thing, the gun cycles in recoil. The top of the diconnector, which was resting in a little cutout in the slide, is pushed down into the frame by the slide during recoil. As the diconnector moves down, the sear is allowed to move freely, and that sear spring pressure makes the top pf the sear rotate back. The hammer, which is rotated further back than the full cock position, roates back down when the slide cycles forward, and it's caught by the sear which now has rotated back because it's free of the disconnector. Once the hammer is caught by the sear and the slide is forward, the diconnector will pop back up to be in front of the sear again as long as there is no trigger pressure. I'm sure what I said is much more understandable in the STI animation, but that's basically what happens with the sear spring.



Yep, this was perfect! Thanks. It's quite a mechanical process when you pull the trigger on this gun.
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