1911 Safety Function Test

This is a discussion on 1911 Safety Function Test within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have a new Kimber Ultra Carry II. I read the sticky about the safety function test and my gun passed, but there is another ...

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Thread: 1911 Safety Function test

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Ron's Avatar
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    1911 Safety Function test

    I have a new Kimber Ultra Carry II. I read the sticky about the safety function test and my gun passed, but there is another aspect to safety testing a 1911 I found on another site, which if I performed it correctly, which I believe I did, my gun failed.

    So, I need advice from members who are familiar with this additional test to decide if my gun is really unsafe and needs to go back to the factory.

    The other aspect of the safety test described is after you do the basic safety test with the thumb safety, which my gun passed, that you then disengage the thumb safety and pull the hammer back slighty. If you hear a click, then that site says your gun is unsafe because the
    safety is allowing the sear to move slightly out of engagement with the hammer. When I did that, I heard a click.

    They also say you should do the same test with the grip safety.My gun passed that test, but when I did the further suggested test, ie, with the grip safety not engaged I pulled the hammer back slightly
    and again heard a click, which they say means the gun is unsafe for the same reason.

    Can I please get some advice from members who are knowledgable about this. Is my gun unsafe or not?

    Thanks.
    "It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."

    J. R. R. Tolkien

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  3. #2
    JD
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    Are you sure the test was valid for a Kimber Series II? The "testing" procedure differs from one version of 1911 to another.

    Where (link?) is the other procedure that you were using?

    I don't see how the grip safety would have anything to do with hammer and sear travel as IIRC it only blocks the trigger from being pulled.

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    Distinguished Member Array Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    Are you sure the test was valid for a Kimber Series II? The "testing" procedure differs from one version of 1911 to another.

    Where (link?) is the other procedure that you were using?

    I don't see how the grip safety would have anything to do with hammer and sear travel as IIRC it only blocks the trigger from being pulled.
    JD,

    I am not sure. The site is Cylinder & Slide, Inc.(safety checking a 1911).

    Do you guys own a series II Kimber? If so, could you run the test and see what happens with your gun. After you cock the hammer, engage the thumb safety and try pulling the trigger, then disengage the thumb safety, put the hammer close to your ear, and pul the hammer back slightly. Do you then hear a click? If so, the safety test I gave you the site for suggests that the gun is unsafe.

    Thanks for your help.
    "It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."

    J. R. R. Tolkien

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    JD
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    Ok, really stupid question, but I need to ask: Are you sure that what you're hearing is the sear making a click and not just that your manipulating the hammer too much so that the hammer is making contact with the upswept portion of the beaver tail?

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    Distinguished Member Array Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    Ok, really stupid question, but I need to ask: Are you sure that what you're hearing is the sear making a click and not just that your manipulating the hammer too much so that the hammer is making contact with the upswept portion of the beaver tail?
    Well, I am quite sure I am hearing a "click." I can't swear that it is the sear making the click, but I really don't think that it is the hammer making contact with the beaver tail. I think that it would be a different kind of sound.
    "It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."

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    Distinguished Member Array Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    Ok, really stupid question, but I need to ask: Are you sure that what you're hearing is the sear making a click and not just that your manipulating the hammer too much so that the hammer is making contact with the upswept portion of the beaver tail?
    I forgot to ask if you found the site I referred to?
    "It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."

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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    ...I don't see how the grip safety would have anything to do with hammer and sear travel as IIRC it only blocks the trigger from being pulled.
    I think JD is correct - the grip safety should have nothing to do with the hammer and sear or thumb safety.

    I want to give this some thought.
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    Distinguished Member Array Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    Ok, really stupid question, but I need to ask: Are you sure that what you're hearing is the sear making a click and not just that your manipulating the hammer too much so that the hammer is making contact with the upswept portion of the beaver tail?
    Guess what, I just went back and redid the test very, very carefully, and your question turns out not to be stupid at all. It was, indeed, the hammer making contact with the beaver tail.

    Sorry to have troubled you by my inexperience, but when I first did the test several times, it did appear that it was the sear making the click, and I got very nervous about continuing to carry the Ultra.

    Thanks very much for your help, JD.
    "It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."

    J. R. R. Tolkien

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    Here's the Cylinder & Slide, Inc. link:

    Safety Checking a 1911


    When youíre wounded and left on Afghanistanís plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

    Rudyard Kipling


    Terry

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    I think JD is correct - the grip safety should have nothing to do with the hammer and sear or thumb safety.

    I want to give this some thought.
    I'm still confused, even after reading the text from C&S' website. Maybe I'm just not looking at it the right way, I guess I need to go look at the STI animation some more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    Guess what, I just went back and redid the test very, very carefully, and your question turns out not to be stupid at all. It was, indeed, the hammer making contact with the beaver tail.

    Sorry to have troubled you by my inexperience, but when I first did the test several times, it did appear that it was the sear making the click, and I got very nervous about continuing to carry the Ultra.

    Thanks very much for your help, JD.
    No worries, that's what we're here for.

    Edited to add:

    1. I'm not saying that the info on C&S' website is incorrect.
    2. If you do the above mentioned test, make sure you're not moving the hammer to far back to hit the grip safety
    3. There's nothing wrong with wanting to make sure your gun is working correctly.



    I just didn't think that Ron's gun had a sear/hammer fit issue as it's still a relatively new gun, and while I've had more than my share of Kimber issues, I don't think I've heard of them shipping guns with incorrect hammer/sear fit.

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    Ahhh, I just read the C&S safety check - I see what they're talking about now.

    I get the impression we're good with the first test - the thumb safety check.

    If I'm understanding this correctly, our issue is with the grip safety check. The sole function of the grip safety is to prevent the trigger from moving rearward enough to engage and possibly release the sear. Normally the grip safety tang would prevent the trigger from even contacting the sear. So the grip safety check is to determine if the trigger is being correctly blocked by the grip safety.

    The check is to release the thumb safety and pull the trigger with the grip safety released. If the grip safety allows the trigger to move too far rearward, it can move or even release the sear depending on how much trigger movement is allowed. Hence what the goal is, is to press the trigger, release the trigger, then pull the hammer rearward and listen for a click. If the trigger contacted the sear enough to move it, when the hammer is pulled rearward the sear will return into the fully engaged position and produce a click. Presumably, if no click is heard, the grip safety is good.
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    Distinguished Member Array Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    Ahhh, I just read the C&S safety check - I see what they're talking about now.

    The check is to release the thumb safety and pull the trigger with the grip safety released. If the grip safety allows the trigger to move too far rearward, it can move or even release the sear depending on how much trigger movement is allowed. Hence what the goal is, is to press the trigger, release the trigger, then pull the hammer rearward and listen for a click. If the trigger contacted the sear enough to move it, when the hammer is pulled rearward the sear will return into the fully engaged position and produce a click. Presumably, if no click is heard, the grip safety is good.
    Tangle, now I'm confused. When you wrote "The check is to release the thumb safety and pull the trigger with the grip safety RELEASED," did you mean "RELEASED' or activated? If both the thumb and grip safety are released and you pull the trigger wont the trigger move all the way rearward and release the hammer?

    I thought the test was to release the thumb safety, but activate the grip safety, pull the trigger and release it and then pull the hammer rearward to listen for the click.

    What am I still missing here?
    "It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."

    J. R. R. Tolkien

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    I said "release the thumb safety" and I should have said "disengage the thumb safety". But released is correct for the grip safety. If the grip safety is released, i.e. not depressed, it is suppose to stop the trigger from moving rearward enough to engage the sear.

    Sooooo, if the thumb safety is off or disengaged, and the grip safety is not depressed, the hammer should not drop when the trigger is pulled because the grip safety is not depressed and blocks the trigger travel.

    However, it could be that the tang on the grip safety is too short to keep the trigger from engaging the sear. Hence if you pull the trigger with the thumb safety disengaged and the grip safety released, i.e. not depressed, the trigger may have enough travel to move the sear. So if the sear moved, the friction between the hammer and sear will hold the sear in it's 'moved' position when you release the trigger. Now, if you pull the hammer rearward, the sear will return to it's normal position and produce a click. If no click is heard, we assume the sear didn't move.
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    Distinguished Member Array Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    I said, "release the thumb safety" and I should have said "disengage the thumb safety". But released is correct for the grip safety. If the grip safety is released, i.e. not depressed, it is suppose to stop the trigger from moving rearward enough to engage the sear.

    Sooooo, if the thumb safety is off or disengaged, and the grip safety is not depressed, the hammer should not drop when the trigger is pulled because the grip safety is not depressed and blocks the trigger travel.

    However, it could be that the tang on the grip safety is too short to keep the trigger from engaging the sear. Hence if you pull the trigger with the thumb safety disengaged and the grip safety released, i.e. not depressed, the trigger may have enough travel to move the sear. So if the sear moved, the friction between the hammer and sear will hold the sear in it's 'moved' position when you release the trigger. Now, if you pull the hammer rearward, the sear will return to it's normal position and produce a click. If no click is heard, we assume the sear didn't move.

    Got it. My misunderstanding. Thanks for the clarification, I really appreciate it.

    Ron
    "It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."

    J. R. R. Tolkien

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