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Thread: Kimber push pin / firing pin safety block...

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  1. #1

    Kimber push pin / firing pin safety block...

    This topic seems to be beaten to death.. but I have a few points..

    So Kimber added the firing pin safety. Seems like a fair bit of safety added.. but I am very disappointed with the implementation.

    1) You can only buy the parts from Kimber. This includes the firing pin, the firing pin block, firing pin block spring and the push rod.

    2) You can only inspect the firing pin block by removing your rear sight.

    Only being able to buy from Kimber really irks me. I called them today to ask about the push rod and they said it is about $12.00. It seems that you should disassemble a 1911 completely, at least once in a while.. and if you accidentally lost the silly little push pin... Kimber is the only place in the universe you can get it. It isn't even listed on their website... so you have to call them.

    I also asked him if there is any special maintenance for the stupid firing pin block since you can't really get in there easily to 1) replace the spring 2) get any old lubricant out 3) replace the stupid thing should it get worn down. He basically said that it should last the life of the gun and just to wiggle it in and out with lubricant to free up buildup.

    Now while I can imagine that it probably would last a long time... a nice feature of the 1911 is that you can completely strip it down and replace pretty much any part you want from a huge assortment of manufacturers.

    And what if Kimber goes out of business or sells the company to a different group that decides at some point that they don't want to keep making this silly part? Seems unlikely... but they are forcing all kimber users to trust that they will always be able to provide this part!

    Anyway.. I am definitely removing the stupid thing. I don't really see a legal issue. Shooting someone for whatever reason would generally not have anything to do with the firing pin safety. The only case you could get in trouble is if you actually dropped it and somehow hurt someone... but since most other 1911s don't have this feature... why should I worry?

    The only sad part is that I have to leave the stupid push pin in there to keep the sear and disconnector properly spaced. I guess I have to buy a bunch of silly push pins from Kimber and file the tips (It is really annoying to try to put the slide back on the frame upside-down and have the push pin block you. Turning it the other way makes the internals shift and you sometimes have to fiddle around to get the barrel link back into place).

    Does anyone know of a way to do away with the push pin? Is there some part that some manufacturer makes that would fit in this position so that the sear and disconnector are decently spaced? I guess if I could find some sort of oblong spacer of the right size... I could put it in there... it is just sad to have a frame that forever wants a silly set of proprietary parts. Why Kimber? Why?
    Last edited by by a moderator; 30th September 2008 at 12:00.


  2. #2
    This is news to me...let me see if i understand this.

    If i were to COMPLETELY remove that firing pin stop/plunger/spring nonsense from the slide, and then remove the push rod from the frame, the sear and disconnector would no longer be aligned correctly?

    arent the sear and disconnector in a kimber located in the same place as in any other 1911? would i be able to replace the sear and disconnector with, say, cylinder & slide parts, or does kimber use some kind of proprietary geometry on their ignition components to accommodate the swartz safety? i obviously wouldnt put it past them, as the presence of the swartz safety in the first place is both nonsensical and unnecessary.

    I'm a bit confused, obviously. 1911 Tuner needs some kind of emergency contact, like the Bat-signal or something. I hope he can sense my desperation.

  3. #3
    That is the way I understand it. Although... I do not have any other 1911s to compare it to nor have I tried to leave the push rod out. There is a little cutout in the frame to allow for the push rod. I have always presumed that the sear and disconnector are standard size/shape and that the push rod sits next to them. I suppose it is possible that the sear/discon still have enough metal to sit okay... but I would think it isn't ideal as the spot for the push rod has kind of sharp/square edges.

    It does bother me that I could easily lose this piece and have a worthless gun... at least until I get around to buying it from Kimber... or remove the rear sight to get rid of the block.

    It does seem though that it would be fairly easy to find or make a metal spacer with a hole that could fit there.

  4. #4
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    I am nowhere near being an expert on Kimbers or the Swartz system, but I think whoever told you that, has got it wrong. The Colt Series 80 system leaves a gap when the levers are removed from the frame, and need a shim to fill up this area, if you want to remove the Series 80 safety. But the Kimber firing pin safety works from the grip safety, so I do not think there is anything near the sear or disconnector that can cause problems.
    John Caradimas SV1CEC
    The M1911 Pistols Organization
    http://www.m1911.org

  5. #5
    I have to disagree. It is true that the Kimber/Swartz style firing pin safety uses the grip safety to activate it.. not the trigger. This however does not preclude it affecting the sear/discon positioning. Without disassembling... the push pin sticks up right next to the disconnector... where it can meet with the slide if you activate it when trying to remove the slide.

    In my Kimber... the push rod sits on the sear pin right next to the sear and disconnector. There is a little milled out section that you place the push rod into. It has sharp milled edges... and while the sear and may have enough "footing" to actually function... my guess is that it will wiggle if the push pin is not there.

    When I get to my Kimber tonight... I can check this. If Kimber actually designed the frame to allow for the pin to be removed... and still function properly... kudos to them. I have a big doubt about that though.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by absynthe49
    ...I don't really see a legal issue....
    Personally, I wouldn't remove a safety device because of possible legal issues -- at least on a gun I might use for self defense.

    The subject was discussed extensively in this thread: http://forum.m1911.org/showthread.ph...6&page=1&pp=10

    DVC
    adapt, improvise, overcome
    "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.", Carl Sagan
    "One should shoot as quickly as one can -- but no quicker.", Jeff Cooper

  7. #7
    Yeah.. the legal issue is a point.. but the idea of my gun using parts that I can only get from Kimber makes me put it aside.

    Let's say that someone breaks into my house.. I have my gun... and he comes running at me with a crowbar and I shoot him. I purposefully pointed it at him and shot. The firing pin safety seems to have nothing to do with this scenario because... even if it were in the gun... it still would have fired and hit the intruder. Logically.. it seems very strange for a jury to say that I am a murderer because I removed the safety.

    I would imagine if the case was a little less clear cut... say we were in the yard and he was 30 feet from me and it was questionable if he was coming at me... I would be potentially in trouble because I decided to shoot.

    I guess things that happen in courtrooms aren't always logical... so perhaps having the safety removed would not be ideal. It does however seem that when you shoot a person.. you are taking responsibility for your decisions.. that seems to be the big issue. If you are well justified in shooting someone.. I would think a decent lawyer could spell it out to the jury that the firing pin safety was designed for when you drop the gun... not for preventing you from shooting the gun when you pull the trigger.

    It seems to me that if you used the gun in a manner that would have made the firing pin block irrelevant.... how could it missing affect you? "The defendant pull out his gun, pointed it at the intruder, and pulled the trigger". It seems that the firing pin safety would not have stopped you from shooting someone so how can the pin block being removed have changed the situation? It seems that the only real issue is whether you were justified in shooting a person.

    I guess you would be in trouble though if you dropped your gun on it's muzzle from some height, it went off and hit some innocent bystander. In that case... removing the safety does seem like something you could be held liable for.

    I would think you need a decent lawyer to explain to the jury that just because it is a safety device does not mean it affected the situation. If it was in the gun when it was used... the outcome would have still been the same.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by absynthe49
    I guess things that happen in courtrooms aren't always logical... If you are well justified in shooting someone.. I would think a decent lawyer could spell it out to the jury that the firing pin safety was designed for when you drop the gun... not for preventing you from shooting the gun when you pull the trigger.

    It seems to me that if you used the gun in a manner that would have made the firing pin block irrelevant.... how could it missing affect you?
    Frank is an attorney, with many years of practice under his belt. He is not YOUR attorney, so you certainly don't have to listen to his advice, but I respectfully suggest that you not discount it completely.

    You ask, "How can it affect me?" That was right after you wrote, "I guess things that happen in courtrooms aren't always logical." Doesn't that answer your own question? Juries are usually persuaded not by logic but by emotion. Any attorney on a "mission" or "crusade" can portray the removal of a SAFETY device as (a) the act of an irresponsible person, and (b) the act of a "gun nut" who was out to create a hair-triggered killing machine. Yes, your attorney can try to counter such arguments with logic. One side or the other will prevail.

    My view is ... why GIVE the other side something with which to attack me? I own some pistols with Series 80-style safeties. I even carry a couple. I have no intention of removing those devices, even though I have the parts and the skills and the knowledge to do so. I just think it would be foolish. On the other hand, given my "druthers" I would "druther" purchase a 1911 that didn't have either a Swartz or a Series 80 firing pin safety.
    Hawkmoon
    On a good day, can hit the broad side of a barn ... from the inside

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by absynthe49
    I have to disagree. It is true that the Kimber/Swartz style firing pin safety uses the grip safety to activate it.. not the trigger. This however does not preclude it affecting the sear/discon positioning. Without disassembling... the push pin sticks up right next to the disconnector... where it can meet with the slide if you activate it when trying to remove the slide.
    You know, you may be absolutely right. As I said, I've never seen the Swartz mechanism in real life so I can't comment with any degree of certainty.
    John Caradimas SV1CEC
    The M1911 Pistols Organization
    http://www.m1911.org

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by absynthe49
    ...Let's say that someone breaks into my house.. I have my gun... and he comes running at me with a crowbar and I shoot him. I purposefully pointed it at him and shot. The firing pin safety seems to have nothing to do with this scenario because...
    That's all covered in the thread I referred you to. I go to some length to describe why that's not the point. I see no reason to repeat all that here.

    But one thing I will comment on. Whenever someone comes up with a hypothetical to support an argument as to why this isn't an issue, he seems to tells a nice, clean, simple "good shoot" story. Unfortunately, things aren't always that neat. Real life can be messy, and if you're on trial in the first place, the DA or grand jury didn't think it was "good shoot." So try this one on for size.

    A guy in a parking lot 7 yards away from you is looking at you and making threatening gestures in your direction with a large butcher knife he's holding in his right hand. He shouts that he wants your money. You're holding your gun drawn in low ready and order him to drop the knife and go away.

    At your trial for manslaughter you testify as to that and then say that in response to your order, he begins to raise the knife and move toward you. You further testify that you were in fear of your life, you could not effectively retreat because your back was to a group of closely parked cars, so you believed that you had no choice but to shoot. You shot several times, and he crumbled, dropping the knife as he fell. He never moved again and was dead when the EMTs arrived

    However, an eyewitness testifies that the alleged assailant had actually broken off the attack before you fired. He had dropped the knife and started to turn away, and only then did you shoot.

    And the forensic pathologist testifies that, based on the entrance wounds and position of the body, he was turning away toward his left when he was shot. Also, given the nature of the wounds, he would have most likely have retained his grip on the knife when he was shot, although it's not impossible that he would have dropped it.

    Now your lawyer has to explain or overcome the eyewitness and the forensic pathologist to solidify your claim of self defense. It's also very useful to your case for the jury to believe your account of what happened and the way you perceived things. Do you think that whether members of the jury see you as a solid, responsible citizen or as a gun nut who irresponsibly tampers with a safety device that the maker of the gun thought was important enough to incorporate to make the gun safer to handle would make any difference in how they evaluated your testimony? Do you really want your lawyer, in addition to having to deal with the testimony of the eyewitness and the pathologist, to also have to try to explain to the jury why it was reasonable and not irresponsible of you to remove the safety device?

    In general, the less you have to explain, the better off you are.

    DVC
    adapt, improvise, overcome
    "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.", Carl Sagan
    "One should shoot as quickly as one can -- but no quicker.", Jeff Cooper
    Last edited by Frank; 30th September 2008 at 12:57.


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