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Thread: Ria 1911 accidental discharge

  1. #1
    Join Date
    27th December 2020
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    Ria 1911 accidental discharge

    Hello all. I have a ria 1911 that I have expireneced 2 AD with. Both times I had a round in the chamber, hammer down. The first was when storing in my personal truck I believe the hammer snagged and caused the round to fire. The second I had it holstered, bent/crouched down and the round fired, this time grazing my jeans, left powder residue on my drawers and the round hit the floor. Needless to say that this is unsafe and unacceptable to me. My concern is, is carrying in the 2nd position causing this. I had felt it was safer this way than cocked and locked. I just don't understand what had caused this. Any thoughts or guidance is much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    24th December 2006
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    Is the firearm altered in any way?

  3. #3
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    27th December 2020
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    It's a m1911a1

  4. #4
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    3rd September 2018
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    I carry in "condition 1", so I've never encountered a situation like yours. I'm glad nobody got hurt. In the 1970s I worked with a guy who had a Smith & Wesson #39 in his waistband with no holster, with the hammer down and safety off. The hammer snagged on the strap supporting the Jolly Jumper that his little toddler was riding at the time. He felt the snag and turned his torso, which released the snag and the hammer fell. Fortunately for all the discharged round didn't injure anybody.
    i sold all my handguns. . . . . . . . . . except for the 1911 style pistols in .45 ACP.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton View Post
    Is the firearm altered in any way?
    . Not to my knowledge

  6. #6
    Join Date
    24th December 2006
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    Not a answer.
    How's the firearm been altered any in fashion?
    At the time of discharge was your hand upon the firearm?
    Drawing, Holding, Adjusting?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    2nd June 2004
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    Terra
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    "carrying in the 2nd position"? By this, are you referring to carrying with the hammer down on a loaded chamber?

    Back to basics. The 1911 has an "inertial" firing pin, so (unless the firearm is defective) the firing pin at rest does not contact the primer and striking the hammer cannot make the gun fire. To fire from a hammer-down position, the hammer must be drawn back far enough to gather enough energy to set off the primer, and then the hammer must be dropped. How far back the hammer must be pulled is not a constant. Different hammers have different weights/masses. Different firing pins have different weights/masses. Firing pin springs aren't all the same -- Wolff Gunsprings sells extra strength firing pin spring to help protect against exactly what you experienced. Lastly, different primers may be easier to set off than others -- the instructions for Lee presses, for example, tell you to use their automatic primer feed trays with only one or two brands of primers, because those primers are harder than others and thus less likely to set off a chain fire situation if a primer gets skewed and crushed during the operation.

    I would suggest that you do some testing, preferably with the same brand and, if possible, the same batch of ammo that had the discharges. Do this at a range, with the pistol pointed down-range at the backstop. Load up one round, and experiment to see how far back you can pull the hammer without engaging the half-cock rest. Pull it back to just before the half-cock is engaged, and drop the hammer. See if the pistol fires. repeat several times. Based on your history, it probably will fire. If it does, you will know the mechanism that caused the incidents. Then you need to do something to ensure that it won't happen again.

    In your second incident, I'll guess that the hammer probably snagged on a belt loop or some part of your clothing. So you need to address the factors that allow the pistol to fire if the hammer drops from somewhere short of the half-cock notch.

    Your experience demonstrates that hammer down on a loaded chamber is not an inherently safe carry mode. The U.S. military manual of arms for the M1911A1 calls for most carry to be with a loaded magazine and an empty chamber. Only in situations where enemy action is considered "imminent" does the manual of arms call for loading the chamber. In those situations, the mode of carry is cocked and locked.

    If you absolutely aren't comfortable carrying cocked and locked, and your experiments confirm that the pistol will fire if the hammer drops from a partially-cocked position, then your choice is to either carry with an empty chamber and practice "Israeli draw," or modify the pistol. You can buy a light-weight firing pin and a Wolff extra-heavy firing pin spring. Install those, and repeat the experiment of trying to make it fire when the hammer is dropped from the partially-cocked position. That might be all you need to do.

    Does your RIA have a spur hammer? If so, you might install a Commander style "rowel" or "ring" type hammer. That's possibly a bit less likely to snag on clothing.

    You could also install a lighter hammer (main) spring. I think Rock Island uses a standard 23-pound hammer spring, so you could try a 19-pound spring along with the lighter firing pin and heavier firing pin spring. You can go even lighter on the hammer spring. But ... go in increments, because as you make all the fire control parts lighter, you will eventually get to where the ammo won't go off even when the hammer drops from the full-cock position. What you need to do is to thread the eye of the needle and find the sweet spot where you don't get a discharge from partial cock but you always get reliable ignition from full cock.

    Personally, I would install a Wolff extra power firing pin spring and carry cocked and locked.
    Hawkmoon
    On a good day, can hit the broad side of a barn ... from the inside
    Likes (7) :
    DubbleURX (7th February 2021), Gruntshooter (21st January 2021), Mark75H (26th January 2021), MuyModesto (28th December 2020), PolyKahr (16th January 2021), Rick McC. (28th December 2020), Sergio Natali (29th December 2020)

    Last edited by Hawkmoon; 27th December 2020 at 17:25.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    27th December 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton View Post
    Not a answer.
    How's the firearm been altered any in fashion?
    At the time of discharge was your hand upon the firearm?
    Drawing, Holding, Adjusting?
    At the time of discharge I had crouched down, my over shirt covering the firearm, I reached to adjust the holster and firearm. It discharged. The trigger was not pulled, the holster completely covers the trigger. A friend nearby helped making sure I wasn't injured and said that my over shirt was caught inbetween the hammer and frame. The spent round did not cycle out of the chamber.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    16th December 2007
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    Maine
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    I would not carry that firearm ever!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    2nd October 2006
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    Weeki Wachee, Fl
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    Well, itís fairly obvious that your current favored mode of carry is less safe than carrying your pistol in condition 1. If that seems unsafe to you; carry your pistol unloaded, around your house in condition one until you become comfortable carrying it that way.

    Youíre one lucky man to have experienced two negligent discharges without injuring yourself or anyone else. THEY WERENíT ACCIDENTAL, BUT NEGLIGENT, BECAUSE YOU CHOSE TO CARRY YOUR PISTOL IN AN UNSAFE CONDITION. TWICE!

    You need to go buy a lottery ticket, because youíre the luckiest man that Iíve ever heard of.
    "Sights are for the unenlightened."

    Rick

    IDPA Certified Safety Officer
    Likes (8) :
    DubbleURX (7th February 2021), Gruntshooter (21st January 2021), jjfitch (13th January 2021), MuyModesto (30th December 2020), Norton (29th December 2020), PolyKahr (16th January 2021), Sergio Natali (29th December 2020), slohunter (29th December 2020)

    Last edited by Rick McC.; 28th December 2020 at 23:16.


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