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Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 
 1911 safety fitting, how close is close enough? 
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Real Name: David
I spent some time today filing on my safety to get a better fit. I spoke with Dana during the NY Shoot so I had a pretty good idea of how to go about it. I've managed to move the safety so it pivots almost but not quite up flush against the frame which translates to probably close to 1/8" of travel from where it started (pivoted up into the notch, but not very far at all). I know that the pistol is already safe, and I also know that if I file too much, the safety's ruined. So, I'm probably a fat half millimeter away from pivoting all the way up to touching the frame:

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My question is, is this close enough, or should I continue to file down the sear stop pad a bit more?

One thing I learned today, trying to file it down with the 1200 grit diamond hone I was using would probably have taken me a couple more months since I was removing so little material. The other consequence of this was I couldn't see any progress because the changes were so small. I found a nice little triangular file in a hobby shop last night, and it allowed me to make this progress.

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Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:12 pm
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I would definitely follow up with Dana on this. Sounds like you already know the Go Slow rule. It's a lot harder to add metal than to remove.

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Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:50 pm
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Yep, ask somebody who knows. Paging Dana


Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:53 pm
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I don't mess with such things in regards to my 1911's, i know a guy with a Blackhammer. He beats my 1911's into proper submission for me.

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Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:35 pm
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“The difference between a good fitting safety and poorly fitted safety is one file swipe” -Bob Rodgers

Looks like you got it!
Does it make a “click” sound when you move it up and down?
Does it feel like a click when you move it? Or does it still feel squishy or like you hitting a very firm wall?

Is the sear moving when the safety is engaged? This is the most important question.

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Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:19 pm
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dreadi wrote:
“The difference between a good fitting safety and poorly fitted safety is one file swipe” -Bob Rodgers

Looks like you got it!
Does it make a “click” sound when you move it up and down?
Does it feel like a click when you move it? Or does it still feel squishy or like you hitting a very firm wall?

Is the sear moving when the safety is engaged? This is the most important question.


It makes a very satisfying click when pushed into and out of position. I think I'll leave it where it is. I still need to check the movement of the sear.

I think I've also got the magazine release freed up sufficiently that I'm just let it wear itself in.

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Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:28 pm
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From what you have shown in the picture, your question concerns the OUTER fit of the safety lock, and not the internal part.

As it has been said...does the safety function correctly? To test this, first CLEAR THE PISTOL. Is it safe? Yes? Good.

Now, CLEAR IT AGAIN. (Yes, sounds repetitive...but do it anyway.)

Engage the safety lock. Does it move smoothly? Does it engage positively--as it was mentioned above, you want that definite "click" of the safety engaging.

If it engages correctly, now--MAKING DARNED SURE THE PISTOL IS CLEAR---engage that safety lock, point the pistol in a safe direction and try to fire it. I mean, REALLY pull that trigger. You know about measuring torque, right? Inch pounds, v. foot pounds? Well, you want to apply about 50 ASS-pounds of torque to that trigger.

The hammer should NOT move. Not even a bit.
The safety should NOT move. Not even a hair.
You should feel NO mush or slop in the trigger at all.

If ANY of those conditions exist in ANY degree, STOP. Do NOT load the pistol. Take it to a competent gunsmith (I think one's posting in this thread...hint, hint... :wink05: )

If the steps above check out good, then go to the next step. This is to disengage the safety, with the pistol pointed in a safe direction. The hammer should NOT move and DARNED sure shouldn't drop. The safety should disengage smoothly and positively. Now, pull your trigger. The hammer should drop with a clean trigger break.

I'm totally out of gunsmithing now, except for myself...but I've built 1911's a few times. The fitment of the safety lock to the slide is something else, and takes some simple contouring and refinishing. For that less-than-a-hairline flawless fit, take it to a good gunsmith (I wonder who???? :bigsmile: ) and they can do it right.

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Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:29 pm
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