Springfield RangeOfficer Trigger Issue

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Springfield RangeOfficer Trigger Issue

Post by bgw45 on 8/23/2013, 3:27 pm

I purchased a RO and performed my normal checks when at the store... lock-up, bushing, frame & slide fit. The intended use of this pistol is for range use as a poorman's bullseye weapon. All seemed good except the trigger. I thought my gunsmith will be able to take care of that so I made the purchase. Took the RO home and cleaned/lubed it and off to the gunsmith.

Here is where the fun starts. My gunsmith called me a week later and reported something unusual. The smith has done wonders for me in the past so I listen to him carefully. He stated that the stock trigger could not be set lower than about 4# as the pistol would slam fire on slide closing. He switched the modified trigger ( which I assume he stoned and polished ) to another RO in his possession and the modified trigger from my RO worked as intended ( safely ) in the frame of the other RO.

Here is what we are thinking...... could it be the pin placement is different in my frame as compared to the "other" RO frame and if it is what should be done? Could diagnosing the pin hole placement issue be as simple as testing to see if the pin holes line up with his armorer's block? Wouldn't that be an easy way to check?

Now that the Pistol have been modified it will not be covered by warranty so what we are going to try to do is this........ purchase forged parts with a taller sear along with a new hammer and "re-try". All this and the pistol has never fired a shot since purchased.

I posted this in another thread ( not in the GS thread ) and was PMed and advised I would get a better response from the experts. Thanks

Your thoughts.....

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Re: Springfield RangeOfficer Trigger Issue

Post by spursnguns on 8/23/2013, 3:58 pm

There are many causes of a hammer following the slide down.  Frame/pin locations would typically not be the first place to look.  Nonetheless; if you would clarify:
 
     Did your RO do it before your smith worked on it?
 
     You use the word “trigger” …. do you really mean the “sear”? .... or all the internals?
 
     What exactly did your smith do; hone the sear, re-cut the hammer hooks, polish the disconnector, etcetera?

As an aside; Springfield Amory’s custom shop will not go below a four pound pull with their own pistols using their own stock internals.  To do so; they require that the MIM parts be replaced.  This is not the cause of your problem, but has other implications.

Jim
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Re: Springfield RangeOfficer Trigger Issue

Post by Larry Lang on 8/24/2013, 9:37 am

spursnguns wrote:There are many causes of a hammer following the slide down.  Frame/pin locations would typically not be the first place to look.  Nonetheless; if you would clarify:
 
     Did your RO do it before your smith worked on it?
 
     You use the word “trigger” …. do you really mean the “sear”? .... or all the internals?
 
     What exactly did your smith do; hone the sear, re-cut the hammer hooks, polish the disconnector, etcetera?

As an aside; Springfield Amory’s custom shop will not go below a four pound pull with their own pistols using their own stock internals.  To do so; they require that the MIM parts be replaced.  This is not the cause of your problem, but has other implications.

Jim
This is  exactly what I came up with when doing trigger work on a friend's RO. I did the "etcetera" and was rewarded with doubling and hammer following when dropping the slide using the slide latch. I ended up replacing the hammer and removing 2 coils from that fonky hammer spring. If I were to build a lower for a Marvel I would start with a different gun and a quality bag of parts.
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Re: Springfield RangeOfficer Trigger Issue

Post by Rob Kovach on 8/24/2013, 10:20 am

Larry,
 
With your experience what was the cause? So the sear wasn't making positive contact with the hammer hooks, but holy crap, it should have at least hit the half-cock notches instead of doubling or following.  Are the sears flattened out so as the sear follows the hammer the edge of the sear isn't riding flush against the hammer?
 
Did either of you discover the root cause of the malfunction?
 
Another question: would there be any reason not to use an upgraded C&S sear on the stock hammer if all of the safety functions work?
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Re: Springfield RangeOfficer Trigger Issue

Post by DavidR on 8/24/2013, 11:17 am

Slam fire? Sorry but you need a new smith, it shoiuld never do that if put together right, your gun was test fired from springfield so it wasnt like that when it left the factory, get your gun back and find someone else to fix it. worst case it should only need a new sear,
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Re: Springfield RangeOfficer Trigger Issue

Post by Rob Kovach on 8/24/2013, 1:12 pm

Since the smith was left unnamed I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, and since Larry had the same problem that had me giving the smith the benefit of the doubt also.

However, my first thoughts were exactly what David R said.  A safe 1911 trigger job should not be elusive.

The parts worked together safely from the factory.  So, is the sear cut too short now, or have the hammer hook angles been changed to allow the sear to slip away?

Maybe he took so much tension off the leaf spring that it doesn't hold the sear against the hammer properly.

Either way, it's scary--and a good bullseye 1911 smith isn't going to have to scratch his head to figure out the problem.
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Re: Springfield RangeOfficer Trigger Issue

Post by Dr.Don on 8/24/2013, 2:06 pm

A slamfire, doubling, or hammer dropping all the way on slide release are all unacceptable.  However, I have seen lot's of bullseye guns (even from well known smiths) which would drop the hammer to half cock when released, especially on an empty magazine or no magazine.  Often this results from the inertia of the trigger, which floats in the frame, bumping the sear when the slide goes home.  You can determine whether this is the case by holding the trigger FORWARD while releasing the slide and finding that it doesn't happen. 

 In the case of a bullseye gun, not a carry gun or even an IDPA type gun, I don't consider a fall to halfcock on slide release to be particularly problematic. In bullseye you can avoid it by either holding the hammer back during slide release or depressing the trigger during slide release, in which case the disconnector prevents the sear bump/hammer follow.  If you think about it, having the trigger depressed during slide release is exactly what happens when the gun cycles after a shot.  But again, I'm only talking bullseye guns here, which are handled very deliberately on the line.  And the hammer should never fall all the way to a fired position.

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Re: Springfield RangeOfficer Trigger Issue

Post by bgw45 on 8/24/2013, 6:42 pm

Gentlemen, I thank you so much for your input. My smith is a young man and admittedly states that he does not know it all. He is going to write up the incident for me so I can get more detailed information for you experts to consider.

I pick up the weapon Monday and will know more how to answer your questions at that time.

I live in the Ft. Worth/Dallas area. If you could refer me to a qualified smith in this area I would appreciate it. I'll answer some of the questions Monday evening.

Thanks

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Re: Springfield RangeOfficer Trigger Issue

Post by Cort on 8/25/2013, 6:50 am

I have used Buddy Chapman in Lone Oak, TX to build a wad gun from a Springfield Mil-Spec 1911 and to build a dedicated lower for my Marvel from a bare, Caspian frame.  He does good work.  I have also used the gunsmith at Gunmaster in Plano to upgrade a Colt 1911 with several aftermarket features.  He knows what he is doing too.  I would take your Range Officer to one of those two smiths.
 
Cort


Last edited by Cort on 8/25/2013, 11:26 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Springfield RangeOfficer Trigger Issue

Post by JLK on 8/25/2013, 8:00 am

+ 1 Buddy Chapman
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Re: Springfield RangeOfficer Trigger Issue

Post by BE Mike on 8/25/2013, 9:01 am

Buddy Chapman knows his way around a 1911.
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Re: Springfield RangeOfficer Trigger Issue

Post by bgw45 on 8/25/2013, 2:48 pm

Thanks for the info on Smiths. I'll post again when I have more to share.

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Re: Springfield RangeOfficer Trigger Issue

Post by DavidR on 8/26/2013, 9:43 am

Dr.Don wrote:A slamfire, doubling, or hammer dropping all the way on slide release are all unacceptable.  However, I have seen lot's of bullseye guns (even from well known smiths) which would drop the hammer to half cock when released, especially on an empty magazine or no magazine.  Often this results from the inertia of the trigger, which floats in the frame, bumping the sear when the slide goes home.  You can determine whether this is the case by holding the trigger FORWARD while releasing the slide and finding that it doesn't happen. 

 In the case of a bullseye gun, not a carry gun or even an IDPA type gun, I don't consider a fall to halfcock on slide release to be particularly problematic. In bullseye you can avoid it by either holding the hammer back during slide release or depressing the trigger during slide release, in which case the disconnector prevents the sear bump/hammer follow.  If you think about it, having the trigger depressed during slide release is exactly what happens when the gun cycles after a shot.  But again, I'm only talking bullseye guns here, which are handled very deliberately on the line.  And the hammer should never fall all the way to a fired position.
Sorry but i disagree, a 1911 that cant hold the hammer on a slide drop test is not safe. No reputable  gunsmith should ever let a gun go back to a customer in that condition. First when a hammer drops, the sear impacts the half catch notch and keeps it from doubling or going full auto.This damages the sear and over time will ruin the sear. Hopefully the gun has not had a smith set up the trigger job using  a 80 series hammer as they have no safety half catch, that gun will double or go full auto if the hammer follows if the part is in a series 70 style gun. I do trigger jobs alot and there is no reason for that to be accepted. Safety should be the main priority when you are competing side by side with others.
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Re: Springfield RangeOfficer Trigger Issue

Post by spursnguns on 8/26/2013, 9:53 am

+1

"Hammer follow" is unsafe and should never be accepted.

If this condition was indeed induced by a pistol-smith; he is a hack to be avoided.

Jim
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Re: Springfield RangeOfficer Trigger Issue

Post by Jon Eulette on 8/26/2013, 10:05 am

A common problem I've been seeing with some newer pistols is the disconnector hole in the frame (top) is off and that the bottom feet of the sear is making contact with the paddle on the disconnector (not fully clearancing enough). Both of these issues can cause the hammer to follow down to half cock. Another thing I've seen causing issues is the Clark 4 leaf sear spring having a leaf (the trigger leaf) that interferes with the disconnector. Doing a trigger job is more than just stoning a hammer and sear, it requires addressing relationships between all the parts. Also just because it holds 3.5# doesn't make it a good trigger!
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Re: Springfield RangeOfficer Trigger Issue

Post by Colt711 on 8/26/2013, 5:51 pm

It seems as if the drop to 1/2 cock was pretty common in years past. I'm speaking here of having seen Clark and/or Giles guns which would do it. The comment that it wouldn't happen when loaded was offered on occasion.

I don't know if this was acceptable to those smiths or not? Quite possibly they were OK when shipped but adjusting (later) by those not well versed in the procedure might have caused the trouble?

In those days the good guns were mostly found in BE. Before the .22 conversions the lightest triggers (in the 1911's) were  the .38's @ 2.5. Today lighter triggers are used in the other disciplines. Is it a case of if needed it will be done? Dimensions are better controlled by better equipment today which is a help.

Were ballguns rejected if the hammer fell to 1/2 cock during inspection?

Ron

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Re: Springfield RangeOfficer Trigger Issue

Post by Rob Kovach on 8/26/2013, 10:55 pm

My first year at perry, my pistol developed a condition where it would go to half-cock on one of the tests--it doesn't matter--ballgun or wadgun, both CMP and NRA recorded the serial number and I was told that I could not fire that pistol until it was fixed.  After it was fixed (for free by the Marines' gunsmiths) I had to get it rechecked by both the NRA and CMP prior to shooting.
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Re: Springfield RangeOfficer Trigger Issue

Post by bgw45 on 8/27/2013, 11:28 pm

Update from the GS: He stoned the original Sear using an Ed Brown Sear Jig. After not getting the results he wanted He then bought a Brownells tool steel hammer and sear. Using the Ed Brown Jig. He then needed to modify the Safety to assure the new parts would work together correctly. He still could not get the trigger pull under 4# 10oz.

I took the pistol to another GS and he wanted to install new cylinder & slide parts ( hammer, sear and disconnector ), new mainspring housing, new lower tension mainspring.

I tested the pistol and it appeared to be safe. I then put about 30 rounds downrange. Shot some decent groups. Now I need to determine whether it is worth the $225 further investment. Undecided. May need a third opinion.....

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Re: Springfield RangeOfficer Trigger Issue

Post by Rob Kovach on 8/28/2013, 4:29 am

Can you ask the first smith for more details on which safety he modified and what he did.  That is scary.
I can't think of a modification to a safety that would make a hammer and sear work together "properly" in a safe way.

My crystal ball says the new gunsmith isn't the right choice either.  I use Cylinder & Slide drop in trigger kits because I don't own the stones or jigs to do the hammer and sear work.  Since you have that nice new tool steel hammer and sear installed in your gun, you don't need another new hammer sear and disconnector. (unless your new gunsmith only knows how to drop in a C&S trigger kit to get the trigger pull weight down)

If my crystal ball is right, and the C&S drop in kit ends up closer to 4lbs again, is this new smith going to recommend more new parts?

I don't like the part about the gun "appearing" safe.  Do all of these safety checks to be SURE everything is still safe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxPxxYhZj1o

I'm going to look at my buddies RO to see about the mainspring housing so I know what your are saying is different about it.  A lighter mainspring can help reduce the weight of the trigger pull as the hammer won't be putting as much force against the sear.

If that new tool steel hammer and sear have a trigger that feels nice and smooth, but is just too heavy, order an 18 lb mainspring for your gun and try that.  Do ALL of those safety tests from the video after you are done and let us know how that turns out.

After that, if that doesn't get you where you are happy with the gun, I think you should bring it to one of the previously named Bullseye gunsmiths.
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Re: Springfield RangeOfficer Trigger Issue

Post by LongSlide on 8/28/2013, 6:27 am

Rob Kovach wrote:Can you ask the first smith for more details on which safety he modified and what he did.  That is scary.
I can't think of a modification to a safety that would make a hammer and sear work together "properly" in a safe way.
....

If my crystal ball is right, and the C&S drop in kit ends up closer to 4lbs again, is this new smith going to recommend more new parts?
...

I'm going to look at my buddies RO to see about the mainspring housing so I know what your are saying is different about it.  .
Anytime you do trigger work (i.e. modify sear and hammer interface), the sear legs can alter position when sear is seated against hammer hooks, typically rotating them away from the thumb safety.  You are supposed to check the thumb safety after any sear/hammer work to ensure it still blocks the sear with zero movement, refitting or replacing as necessary.

I love the C&S kits!  I have one at 3.5# and it's the best trigger I've ever shot; everyone comments on the trigger that shoots it.  Spanked the RO's stock trigger like a four year old in K-Mart.  But I can understand the 2nd smith's desire to put in known good parts at this point, not knowing what the 1st smith did to the existing parts.

The RO has the ILS in the mainspring housing; I had to replace mine to get rid of the intermittent heavy/light pull.  The ILS lock would sometimes rotate under recoil, partially engaging, and rubbing on their special mainspring cap/hammer strut.

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Re: Springfield RangeOfficer Trigger Issue

Post by DavidR on 8/28/2013, 9:45 am

A new sear, that has a different profile can either cause the slide safety to not fit, be too loose, if to tight you must remove some metal from it so it fits. I wouldn't trust either of these smiths.
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Re: Springfield RangeOfficer Trigger Issue

Post by Colt711 on 8/28/2013, 1:17 pm

DavidR wrote:A new sear, that has a different profile can either cause the slide safety to not fit, be too loose, if to tight you must remove some metal from it so it fits. I wouldn't trust either of these smiths.
I have found over a good no of years that BE guns, smiths, and shooters are a small specialized group. Find a smith that builds BE guns for experienced BE COMPETITORS  and stick with him! I emphasize competitors as their guns have to perform. Reliably. There are a lot of club or sometime shooters who have shot just enough matches to have a card and are eager to provide advise.

Shipping pistols is a pain in the derriere but it can be a necessity. Over the years I have owned a number of BE  pistols. Every one of them has had trigger work by a real  'smith at some time or other. I have always found these fellows by getting recommendations from those who  shoot and compete a lot.

I may be putting word in David R's mout but I think that is what he is advising, as have others.
Ron

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Re: Springfield RangeOfficer Trigger Issue

Post by bgw45 on 8/28/2013, 2:50 pm

Gentlemen, thank you for your input. You have given me several options and I appreciate your time. Now I must decide what to do. I'll post when I get an update.

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Re: Springfield RangeOfficer Trigger Issue

Post by DavidR on 8/28/2013, 3:04 pm

where do you live, there may be a good smith close by
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Re: Springfield RangeOfficer Trigger Issue

Post by bgw45 on 8/28/2013, 10:32 pm

The suburbs of Ft. Worth, TX

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Re: Springfield RangeOfficer Trigger Issue

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