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Posted: 4/25/2002 10:22:36 PM EDT
I was replacing some parts on my Colt 1911 tonight and have a little problem with one part. This was my first time ever breaking a 1911 down, (all the way to the trigger) and I did it with no instructions or help. I got it all back together, and was feeling pretty proud of myself. I was practicing my trigger pull (dry firing), and I racked the slide back a couple times, and it caught. The slide would not go home. I investigated and noticed that a spring loaded piece was catching underneath the slide. I did not mess with this piece at all when I took the gun apart, and I didn't even touch the slide, except to take it off and on the frame. I guess it just worked its way loose.

I cannot figure out how to get this piece back in now?? I don't know the name of the part, but I have some pictures of it below. I'm sure it's easy, but I just don't have a clue. Somebody please help me out.

Thanks!

http://www.gotbeer.net/images/slide/slidepiece.jpg

http://www.gotbeer.net/images/slide/slide.jpg

http://www.gotbeer.net/images/slide/slide2.jpg

http://www.gotbeer.net/images/slide/slide3.jpg

http://www.gotbeer.net/images/slide/slide4.jpg

http://www.gotbeer.net/images/slide/slide5.jpg
Link Posted: 4/26/2002 4:06:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/26/2002 4:09:39 AM EDT by Ross]
That's your firing pin safety. It blocks your firing pin unless the trigger itself is actually pulled, which pushes up on the thingy and allows the firing pin to go forward through the clearance cut-out in the middle of the pin.

I don't know for sure, but I'd say you'd probably need to remove the firing pin and then put the firing pin safety in it's hole, then reinsert the firing pin. You may have to push up on the pin while you do all this. Knowing Colt it will take three hands to accomplish.

This is just a guess as to how to get it back in, but it's probably a pretty close one. You may have to take out the extractor or something as well, or instead of the firing pin. In the end, that firing pin is going to have to come out for that safety to get back in there.

Good luck and let us know what really worked. As I said that's just my guess, so I'd like to know for sure.

Ross

edited to add- Why it came out if you didn't touch the slide...who knows? Maybe it was already out and just stuck with dirt or somthing that you cleaned off? Strange things always happen when you take guns apart. At least you didn't have etra pieces.

Link Posted: 4/26/2002 6:39:26 AM EDT
I'm gonna play with it some more at lunch today, and see what I can figure out. I'll try removing the firing pin.
Link Posted: 4/26/2002 6:40:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/26/2002 6:45:46 AM EDT by Flashbang1]
Very easy.
Pull the extractor back out about 1/8", the saftey firing pin plunger will go in now. While holding it in its hole push the extractor back into the slide untill flush with the back of the slide. The plunger is now installed properly.
Now when you install the firing pin you must push the safety plunger down with your thumb while sliding the firing pin in its hole.

Ok I didn't notice before but now I see you have the firing pin in already. This is part of your problem. Remove it by pushing it in with a punch then slide the firing pin stop down and out.
Now you can install the the safety plunger as described above.
Link Posted: 4/26/2002 6:47:49 AM EDT
I just stuck it in there for the picture. I did try removing the firing pin and extractor lastnight, but I still couldn't get it. I'll try to do it exactly as you guys have posted, and see if that works. I just may not have had the right technique or something!
Link Posted: 4/26/2002 7:48:08 AM EDT
May as well take the rest of the slide apart at this point. Then you can see the relationship of all the parts, while cleaning them. That plunger should not have came out unless the other parts were removed too...time to do a little inspecting, me thinks.
Link Posted: 4/26/2002 8:15:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By anothergene:
May as well take the rest of the slide apart at this point. Then you can see the relationship of all the parts, while cleaning them. That plunger should not have came out unless the other parts were removed too...time to do a little inspecting, me thinks.



I agree 100%.
Link Posted: 4/26/2002 9:30:41 AM EDT
I'll definately inspect it! My dad is a gunsmith, so I'll have him check it out. I just won't see him til Sunday, and wanted to fix it myself. This was the first time I have ever broken a 1911 down this far, and I had it back together, until that plunger popped out. Still learning every day!
Link Posted: 4/26/2002 7:48:46 PM EDT
It looks like there is a small piece on the extractor that holds the plunger in. It appears to be broken off! I'm guessing that is why I can't get it to go back in. I'm going to the Tampa Gun Show tomorrow, so hopefully I'll be able to pick another extractor up.

I asked around, and it sounds like that plunger isn't even needed for the pistol to function. Most people said they throw them out as soon as they get the gun. It's just another piece to malfunction.

I put the pistol back together, minus the plunger, and it appeared to function fine. I stuck a pencil in the barrel, eraser first, and it launched the pencil out, so it appears to be functioning fine. I wouldn't trust my life with it, until I have fired it though.

Boze
Link Posted: 4/26/2002 8:17:40 PM EDT
It's not uncommon for folks to remove the series 80 firing pin plunger, firing pin and extractor to be replaced with series 70 firing pin and extractor.
Link Posted: 4/27/2002 1:16:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/27/2002 1:56:55 PM EDT by anothergene]
The series '80 firing pin & extractor do the same thing as the series '70...differing in only the cut outs for the plunger. The two levers in the frame are still moving when trigger is pulled, can be ignored or replaced with spacers. Now your gun COULD go off if dropped on the muzzle, like any other 1911 type, made for the last 90+ years. The other thing is the hammer...the series '70 has a half cock notch, the '80 has a "shelf", that if the trigger is pulled in that position, will drop the hammer. (just a short distance) I see you have two hammers in the pictures showing, so you have something to work with. Have fun at the gun show!
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