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Thread: Thumb Safety Stuck in Off Position

  1. #1
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    15th May 2012
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    Thumb Safety Stuck in Off Position

    I have a Para P14 frame that has run just fine for some time with parts stripped off a Springfield GI 1911. I started a process to upgrade a few parts and now my safety is stuck in the off position and can’t come out. I’ve looked at quite a few threads on the subject and tried everything I saw, but with no resolution. Here are the symptoms and things I have checked:

    1. Slide is off.

    2. MSH and sear spring are off.

    3. The only “new” parts in this configuration relative my last known good configuration are a new Wilson Bulletproof commander hammer and sear.

    4. The safely plunger housing is not the issue; it is an integral part of the frame.

    5. The commander hammer and GI grip safety move freely under their own weight.

    6. Trigger position does not seem to matter.

    7. If I force the safety up as hard as possible it does put some pressure on the hammer, enough to keep it from rotating under its own weight, but hardly what I would consider binding.

    8. The disconnector moves with the slightest push with a tool.

    9. I’m used to the safety being able to be worked out with the “sweetspot” right about the point where the “point” on the safety is exactly aligned with the plunger and depresses the plunger to its maximum level.

    10. The safety will wiggle just a bit up and down with what I would consider a normal amount of force against the plunger but stops abruptly before it rotates far enough for the point to align with the plunger in the normal removal position.

    11. With the hammer fully to the rear, I should at least be able to engage the safety, but I can’t get it to move far enough. It feels a bit like trying to engage the safety on a fully assembled pistol without having the hammer cocked.

    12. I got it in there with just finger pressure with a bit more force and jiggling than normal, but still it went in by hand, so why can’t I get it out?
    I hope this description is clear enough to be useful. I’m out of simple ideas.

  2. #2
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    25th September 2011
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    I've been down that road a few times. Usually, in my cases, the thumb safety needed just a tiny bit more fitting to the sear. If you got the safety in the gun, you can get it out. Extra wiggling usually get there. Someone I "know" eventually resorted to a light tap with a short aluminum rod on the bottom of one particularly stubbon thumb safety.

  3. #3
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    Somehow, you managed to get the safety past some point of interference. The problem now, is that the same point of interference is going to make it difficult to determine where that "sweet spot" is for getting it back out again.

    I would assemble the sear spring and mainspring housing to provide the necessary tension to make sure the sear is seated as far as possible into the full cock hammer hooks.

    Depending on where the point of interference is, it may help to work the hammer up and down within its full cock position while pushing upward on the safety. Or try tapping the safety upward lightly.

    If you can get the safety to move upward slightly, then try tapping lightly on the end of the pin to see if it is aligned for removal. Repeat, with small upward movements, until you locate that "sweet spot" again.

    -
    Last edited by megafiddle; 14th April 2019 at 20:55.


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrenean View Post
    I've been down that road a few times. Usually, in my cases, the thumb safety needed just a tiny bit more fitting to the sear. If you got the safety in the gun, you can get it out. Extra wiggling usually get there. Someone I "know" eventually resorted to a light tap with a short aluminum rod on the bottom of one particularly stubborn thumb safety.
    Thanks for the advice. I do have a light gunsmithing hammer with interchangeable faces (one of my best $12 purchases) I can try lightly tapping the safety upward to get to the "sweetspot", but at the moment I can't even get close using finger pressure.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by megafiddle View Post
    Somehow, you managed to get the safety past some point of interference. The problem now, is that the same point of interference is going to make it difficult to determine where that "sweet spot" is for getting it back out again.

    I would assemble the sear spring and mainspring housing to provide the necessary tension to make sure the sear is seated as far as possible into the full cock hammer hooks.

    Depending on where the point of interference is, it may help to work the hammer up and down within its full cock position while pushing upward on the safety. Or try tapping the safety upward lightly.

    If you can get the safety to move upward slightly, then try tapping lightly on the end of the pin to see if it is aligned for removal. Repeat, with small upward movements, until you locate that "sweet spot" again.

    -
    I'm going to try tapping the safety upward (see above post). I have already tried every currently possible position of the hammer and it made no difference, however, I am wondering if the hammer is unable to go far enough back. The commander hammer goes far enough back to be stopped when it hits the G.I. grip safety tang. I'm wondering if I grind or cut the tang on the grip safety to allow the hammer to go back further, this may be the solution. I'm not too upset about sacrificing this part because the point of the whole project was to eventually replace it with an Ed Brown beavertail. Could this be the solution?

  6. #6
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    The commander hammer requires a modification to the GI grip safety. You need to cut a relief in the grip safety so that the hammer can travel far enough back to cock. You can find examples of the cut online. Apologies, it is waayyy past my bedtime else I would locate a picture of the cut for you.

  7. #7
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    Found a picture on the ezine review of the 1911 Combat Commander, https://ezine.m1911.org/showthread.p...mbat-Commander :
    1991_Comander007.jpg

    You can add that cutout using a dremel and files. Take your time as a dremel will, as you expect, heat the safety making it impossible to hold. If you resort to tapping, use one hand to hold the hammer back, another hand to depress the grip safety while tapping on the bottom of the safety with your other hand.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for that pic and the suggested procedure. I can use rubber bands to keep the grip safety depressed and the hammer pulled back while I tap. If the initial tapping does not solve it, I will start
    Dremeling away the tang, where the hammer contacts and try tapping again. Rinse and repeat until something other than the tang is stopping the hammer travel.

  9. #9
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    Files are probably safer while the GS is installed. No need to have a dremel walk over to your slide's tangs.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrenean View Post
    Files are probably safer while the GS is installed. No need to have a dremel walk over to your slide's tangs.
    If you mean the frame's tangs, those are out of the way, they have already been cut down to .25" radius around the GS pivot hole to fit the Ed Brown GS. I have not been able to try any suggestions yet, as I have been away from home.

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