View Full Version : 1911 Problem

July 31, 2013, 08:23
I have an Essex Arms 1911 clone that has recently developed a problem. After a 1000+ rounds of relatively trouble free operation (it does not feed 200gr SWC that well), it just started to fail to drop the hammer all the way. I bought this as sort of a parts kit many years ago - it was the frame, slide and a Colt series 70 barrel and was fairly well rusted and chewed on by somebody who had little knowledge or control of metal working tools. I bought a bunch of the small parts from Brownells and if I remember correctly, they were all stuff like Wilson Combat or similar quality. So now it has sort of a melted look to it, parkerized and as I said has been very reliable and accurate as well. I do carry this once and awhile and so shoot it on a regular basis, maybe once a month or so just to be sure that it works and to rotate the ammo. But on the last trip to the range, every now and then, when I pull the trigger the hammer only goes to half cock and of course the gun fails to fire. I have tried adjusting the trigger overtravel screw with some success it seems in that it seems to be working now. But I am not convinced that I really fixed it and since it is a sometimes carry piece, I need to have total confidence. I looked in Kuhnhausens book but this particular problem does not show up in the trouble shooting section. In fact, I can find no mention of the issue in the book anywhere. So what is the cause for this kind of problem? I am going to replace the hammer pivot pin just because.

July 31, 2013, 10:00
It is the overtravel stop screw. Do not closely adjust these on a carry gun, for just the reason you encountered.

The stop in the trigger was preventing the sear from being rotated enough for the halfcock notch to clear. Many hammers have a halfcock that is "taller" (farther from the center of rotation) than the fullcock hooks, particularly if the hooks have been stoned down for an improved trigger pull.

An alternative, which I usually do, is to either stone back the lip of the halfcock notch ten thou or so for clearance, or do a mod on the notch like the right-hand hammer in this pic:


July 31, 2013, 17:23
Thanks Shlomo. I did some tweeking on the overtravel screw and the problem seems be gone now. Curious why it changed though as I think I loctited the screw in place. Your hammer mod is interesting and I will try that sometime.