Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Any Type of Failure That Could Result in a 1911 Cocked/Locked Hammer to Drop?

    I carried a Glock 30 for quite a long time, before switching to my Dan Wesson CCO. Regardless of what I carry, I do so with a round chambered. At every cleaning, I always do a function check, and confirm that the safety and grip safety work as intended. Still, I can't help wondering if there's any single mechanical failure in a 1911 that could cause the hammer to fall with no operator intervention. Thanks!
    "I don't care what went wrong. I beat the snot out of it until it works" - Clint Smith

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    Default Re: Any Type of Failure That Could Result in a 1911 Cocked/Locked Hammer to Drop?

    Removing a series 80 firing pin safety or not having the correct angle on the sear (trigger job) could cause the hammer to fall unintentionally. It is a tried and true system, in my opinion. If everything is as it should be, it hard for this to happen, unless you bump the safety off with your hand unintentionally. Even then, there is the grip safety backup. Doing a function check like you are talking about is probably a very good habit to have. JMHO
    BCM and Glock...for a bigger pile of 'cold dead hands' brass.

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    Default Re: Any Type of Failure That Could Result in a 1911 Cocked/Locked Hammer to Drop?

    I saw a movie some years ago (name of it eludes me, may have been FX) where the cop that carried the 1911 always let the hammer down by hand before he reholstered. This happened three or four times in the movie and he did that each time. I thought it was interesting.
    BCM and Glock...for a bigger pile of 'cold dead hands' brass.

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    Default Re: Any Type of Failure That Could Result in a 1911 Cocked/Locked Hammer to Drop?

    Thanks. I never decock a loaded pistol that isn't equipped with a decocker. Though, I too have seen it done. In fact, I think I saw Hickok45 do it in one of his videos. In a safe place/at the range, maybe. Otherwise though, it's not something I'd do. I agree, that with both safeties confirmed working, it seems unlikely, if not impossible. I gotta say though, carrying a sa/da gun (decocked - hammer down), or a striker fired gun, does feel safer.
    "I don't care what went wrong. I beat the snot out of it until it works" - Clint Smith

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    Default Re: Any Type of Failure That Could Result in a 1911 Cocked/Locked Hammer to Drop?

    Quote Originally Posted by marks View Post
    I carried a Glock 30 for quite a long time, before switching to my Dan Wesson CCO. Regardless of what I carry, I do so with a round chambered. At every cleaning, I always do a function check, and confirm that the safety and grip safety work as intended. Still, I can't help wondering if there's any single mechanical failure in a 1911 that could cause the hammer to fall with no operator intervention. Thanks!
    A worn or overly modified sear can cause the hammer to drop unannounced or just after cocking.

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    Default Re: Any Type of Failure That Could Result in a 1911 Cocked/Locked Hammer to Drop?

    Quote Originally Posted by 300WM View Post
    Removing a series 80 firing pin safety or not having the correct angle on the sear (trigger job) could cause the hammer to fall unintentionally. It is a tried and true system, in my opinion. If everything is as it should be, it hard for this to happen, unless you bump the safety off with your hand unintentionally. Even then, there is the grip safety backup. Doing a function check like you are talking about is probably a very good habit to have. JMHO
    The M1911 didn't have any firing pin safety in military service, and Colt didn't introduce the Series 80 firing pin safety until approximately 1981 or 1982. By that time there were literally millions of 1911s around with no firing pin safety -- and many of those sold today still don't have a firing pin safety. Removal of the Series 80 parts does nothing but convert a Series 80 pistol back to the original design -- it cannot "cause" the hammer to fall.

    The grip safety does not block the hammer, but the thumb safety does. So, if you carry in Condition 1 (cocked and locked), in order for the hammer to fall due to malfunction first the sear would have to either break or move off the hammer, AND the thumb safety would have to be mechanically disengaged by the same event, since it blocks both the hammer and the sear.

    Unlikely in the extreme.

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    Default Re: Any Type of Failure That Could Result in a 1911 Cocked/Locked Hammer to Drop?

    Yes, that scenario would seem to be an extremely unlikely combination of events. Thanks very much!
    "I don't care what went wrong. I beat the snot out of it until it works" - Clint Smith

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    Default Re: Any Type of Failure That Could Result in a 1911 Cocked/Locked Hammer to Drop?

    If you modidfy any pistol design it can accidental fire. The cocked and locked set up seem fail proof in that you need release the slide saftey, then press the beaver tail saftey and then press the trigger. It seems fool proof but anything designed by man is never "fool proof" just the nature of the beast.

    Granted I like the Beretta setup better safety wise but Glocks/Xdm/M&P/SR9 and 1911s are ready to Go! setups are great when its time to Go!
    Last edited by Neko456; January 11th, 2012 at 02:05 PM.

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    Default Re: Any Type of Failure That Could Result in a 1911 Cocked/Locked Hammer to Drop?

    Few things that will make the hammer drop on the 1911:

    1. Racking the slide over an empty chamber to do dry firing. The constant slamming of the slide over an empty chamber will damage the sear spring. That will in time either cause the hammer to drop to half cock or drop all the way.

    2. Unskilled trigger adjustment by Century Arms or any Dremel weilding 'gunbungler' with the goal being a trigger pull under 3 lbs. Changing the mating surfaces on the hammer and sear will give you a full auto suprise when you DON'T need one.

    3. Disconnector failure. As that part can wear out it will either cause hammer follow or full auto time. Don't forget to do your function check on this item.

    The disconnector function check is 2 operations. ALL SAFETY CHECKS ARE DONE WITH A CONFIRMED EMPTY WEAPON WITH NO MAGAZINE IN PISTOL AND VISUALLY INSPECTED CHAMBER!!!

    Step One:

    With slide retracted, and locked to the rear, depress trigger and release slide. Hammer should NOT drop.

    Step Two:

    With slide forward in battery, depress trigger and rack silde to rear about 1 inch, and allow slide to go foward. Again the hammer should NOT drop.

    The 1911 is a very robust design, and in spite of its age it is a very safe pistol, IF you use your brain, unlike Glock users :P


    As far as lowering the hammer over a live round....DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!

    The hammer will slip past your thumb, and hit the firing pin and kaboom. Hole, one each in whatever the muzzle was in front of.

    Its either carry Condition One, round in pipe and thumb safety engaged OR Condition Three, hammer down over an EMPTY chamber.

    If you find yourself in a vehicle or aircraft that either is running over empty and extremely rough terrain or has a nasty habit of crashing go Condition Three. Don't ask me how I know about that last one ok? :P
    gotta love her ;)

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    Default Re: Any Type of Failure That Could Result in a 1911 Cocked/Locked Hammer to Drop?

    Quote Originally Posted by gold cup abuser View Post
    Few things that will make the hammer drop on the 1911:

    1. Racking the slide over an empty chamber to do dry firing. The constant slamming of the slide over an empty chamber will damage the sear spring. That will in time either cause the hammer to drop to half cock or drop all the way.
    I'm good there. I don't do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by gold cup abuser View Post
    2. Unskilled trigger adjustment by Century Arms or any Dremel weilding 'gunbungler' with the goal being a trigger pull under 3 lbs. Changing the mating surfaces on the hammer and sear will give you a full auto suprise when you DON'T need one.
    No mods of any kind have been done.

    Quote Originally Posted by gold cup abuser View Post
    3. Disconnector failure. As that part can wear out it will either cause hammer follow or full auto time. Don't forget to do your function check on this item.

    The disconnector function check is 2 operations. ALL SAFETY CHECKS ARE DONE WITH A CONFIRMED EMPTY WEAPON WITH NO MAGAZINE IN PISTOL AND VISUALLY INSPECTED CHAMBER!!!

    Step One:

    With slide retracted, and locked to the rear, depress trigger and release slide. Hammer should NOT drop.

    Step Two:

    With slide forward in battery, depress trigger and rack silde to rear about 1 inch, and allow slide to go foward. Again the hammer should NOT drop.
    Excellent info. Thank you. I'll perform this at every cleaning.

    Quote Originally Posted by gold cup abuser View Post
    The 1911 is a very robust design, and in spite of its age it is a very safe pistol, IF you use your brain, unlike Glock users :P
    I have no issue with the Glock design. Assuming no mods/trigger job, don't pull the trigger, and it won't go bang. Nothing to think about (in terms of taking it off safe) in a moment of crisis.


    Quote Originally Posted by gold cup abuser View Post
    As far as lowering the hammer over a live round....DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!

    The hammer will slip past your thumb, and hit the firing pin and kaboom. Hole, one each in whatever the muzzle was in front of.
    Never do it, and wouldn't attempt it, for the reason you state.

    Quote Originally Posted by gold cup abuser View Post
    Its either carry Condition One, round in pipe and thumb safety engaged OR Condition Three, hammer down over an EMPTY chamber.

    If you find yourself in a vehicle or aircraft that either is running over empty and extremely rough terrain or has a nasty habit of crashing go Condition Three. Don't ask me how I know about that last one ok? :P
    Fair enough.

    Again, great info. Thanks for sharing. I have no problem wrapping my head around what you've said, and what I already knew/suspected, so I suppose that in my case, it's the "visual" of the hammer cocked and under spring tension that leaves me feeling it less "safe" than say my Glock 30 (or any Glock for that matter).
    "I don't care what went wrong. I beat the snot out of it until it works" - Clint Smith

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