Trigger job Hammer Follow help

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Trigger job Hammer Follow help

Post by Recurvist22 on Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:51 pm

Ok, so I just finished my first 1911 trigger job. I've done plenty of them on glocks, czs and rugers, but this was my first foray into the 1911. The gun is a Les Baer Concept II that had a horribly gritty and creepy trigger pull. So I purchased an Ed Brown sear jig, the stone set from brownells with the medium India and done ceramic stone. The only thing I really touched were the sear and hammer. The I lightly cleaned up the sear's primary and secondary angle, and lightly touched the hammer hooks. The hooks didn't get much because they seemed smooth and square, so most of the time was spent on the sear. It got polished until I had a nice uniform primary angle, then I used the same .02 shim to grind a secondary angle approximately 1/3  of the primary which is what I see recommended most. I redid this a couple of times with varying thickness of shims, but no matter how I made it, there was always some creep. So I measured the sear from the bottom of the sear pin hole to the primary angle of the sear measured .449. So I purchased an Ed Brown perfection sear, and gave the edge the same treatment, and installed it, this time I had a very crisp, creep free pull, but when I drop the slide, I have hammer follow. I do not have hammer follow if I hold the trigger back while dropping the slide, and I do not have hammer follow if I hold the trigger all the way forward (grabbing it from both sides and pulling it forward towards the muzzle) when dropping the slide. This doesn't happen when I fire the gun(because the trigger is held back) but it does happen when I release the slide without the trigger held. I measured this sear and it measures exactly .460. So with the short factory sear I hAve a creepy trigger pull, with the longer one I have a crisp pull with hammer follow. Any suggestions you guys have would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Trigger job Hammer Follow help

Post by jglenn21 on Mon Sep 26, 2016 7:00 pm

does it follow thru if you are feeding a round.


most often if the hammer falls your sear nose is not seating against the hammer legs evenly.. use some Dykem or a magic maker and paint up the sear nose.. then see if you have even fit by dry firing it twice.
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Re: Trigger job Hammer Follow help

Post by Recurvist22 on Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:42 pm

Yes it follows when seating a round, but it doesn't fire, usually it just falls to half cock, luckily it hasn't fallen all the way on a live round yet. I'll check with the dykem (black magic marker for me) and see how it looks

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Re: Trigger job Hammer Follow help

Post by Tim:H11 on Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:51 pm

Ok, what I think is going on is one of two things or possible both. 

One: when you say it doesn't follow when the trigger is held in place then that tells me it's "trigger bounce" causing the hammer follow. The disconnector is too close to (or in contact with) the sear and when the slide goes home it jolts the gun throwing the trigger back some. There's no space there so it bumps the disconnector into the sear and it trips out of full and into half cock.

Holding the trigger forward keeps it from bouncing back, and keeping it held back keeps the disconnector for resetting upward to complete the link between trigger and sear. 

If you were to dry fire the gun, and hold the trigger down, rack the slide just enough to get the hammer into half cock. Let go of the trigger. If it does not click or reset then you probably don't have enough take up in your trigger and trigger bounce is likely the problem. 

Stone the sear legs (the face that comes into contact with the disconnector) to greater that distance between the sear and disconnector. A little at a time and check. 

Two: could be a sear spring imbalance or not properly tuned. Plenty of that info on this forum.
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Re: Trigger job Hammer Follow help

Post by Froneck on Tue Sep 27, 2016 5:22 am

One thing you have to understand is as you stone the sear is gets shorter. The angle of engagement between the hammer hooks and sear change as sear length changes.  Slight changes can be adjusted with the spring pressure. However if the angle is too far off you develop what most call trigger bounce.  Another issue can be the disconnector.

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Re: Trigger job Hammer Follow help

Post by jglenn21 on Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:40 am

Tim makes a good point about pre travel.. if you have a pre travel adjust on your trigger loosen it up a bit.

Be sure the sear  arm on the trigger spring has enough pressure. You can add some just to see if you have it to light.

Failing all of that you need to look closely at your sear/ hammer engagement. Best way I have found is to use pins  that allow you to see the engagement outside of the frame..Brownells sells them..
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Re: Trigger job Hammer Follow help

Post by Ed Hall on Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:26 pm

jglenn21 wrote:...
Failing all of that you need to look closely at your sear/ hammer engagement. Best way I have found is to use pins  that allow you to see the engagement outside of the frame..Brownells sells them..
I like to use the original pins through the hammer and sear into their respective holes on the side of the frame.  This ensures the hammer and sear are at the distance they will be in that frame, unless of course the holes in the frame aren't truly perpendicular.  But, then, that's another problem...

To the original question, how much does the parallelism of the primary sear surface to the hammer hooks surface affect this, if any?.

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Re: Trigger job Hammer Follow help

Post by Jon Eulette on Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:39 pm

The parallelism typically does one of two things; both hammer hooks fully contact sear (good...parallel) or one hammer hook is making contact (not good...not parallel). This is assuming good hammer and sear that are true/unaltered. But normally even a one hook engagement won't follow. Tons of pistols out there like this. Several factors can contribute to hammer follow. 2# conversion trigger job doesn't just fall together, actually is more work than 3.5# trigger job. Conversion slide velocities are much faster than 45 slide. Hammer bounce is common when trigger job is done wrong.
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Re: Trigger job Hammer Follow help

Post by Froneck on Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:33 pm

There are quite a few factors involved. Pin Parallelism, Pin hole size in the frame, Pin hole location, Pin size plus  hole size and location in the sear and hammer. To add to the complex issue is the disconnector engagement with the sear, does the "paddle" touch both sides of the sear legs and how the disconnector contacts the trigger. It may contact the trigger bow on one side or the other which give reason for the trigger bows that have the dimple so as to contact the disconnector in the center. Are just  some of the factors. Some try to measure parallelism by measuring the distance between the Brownells type pins on either side but that measures only one direction furthermore the long pin size compared to hole size can alter actual measurement. Lot of this can explain the difference between the 2 sears mentioned in addition to the difference in length.
 The shooter attempting to do a trigger job should understand that buying the handy dandy sear stoning fixture is not going to create a perfect trigger pull at his first attempt. Too often the shooter thinks he did well to find other issues such as the one described develop. I can't begin to tell how many times I have be given a gun to feel a great trigger that someone just did yet feel all kind of problems. Usually I simply agree with the shooter rather than tell him he has a lousy trigger pull unless I feel something that is potentially dangerous The trigger "Bounce" is as Jon mentioned an indication of an incorrect trigger job.
 Most check the weight to see if it will hold legal weight but never check the actual release weight, if they do, not check repeat ability. A wad gun weight that drops the trigger at varying weights though greater than 3.5 pounds does not help the shooters score.


Last edited by Froneck on Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:46 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Trigger job Hammer Follow help

Post by Recurvist22 on Tue Sep 27, 2016 5:52 pm

Wel in the midst of taking everything apart to dykem the sear and hammer surfaces, I noticed that the new sear and its black coating weren't moving freely like the old one was. I guess the coating is just thick enough to prevent it from moving freely. So I gently polished the sides of the sear so that it moves freely. Then I found that my sear pin is slightly bent. Not much mind you, but enough so that it doesn't slide in the frame smoothly like it should. So I've ordered one of those and now I've gotta wait on it to get here. After cleaning up the sides of the sear the hammer follow is still present, so I'm going to look again at the engagement surfaces now that I've put some dykem on them. And I'll await my new sear pin. Also, I know that buying my handy dandy jig isn't going to make me a trigger smith over night but I've gotta start somewhere lol I just happened to start with an expensive one instead of doing a bunch of cheap ones first. I don't mind paying my dues to learn, but with no good gunsmiths really close by, I'm stuck teaching myself and asking for help on here. And by the way, thank you to everyone who's helped out, I really appreciate it. Hopefully the new sear pin and seeing if the sear/ hammer surfaces are making good contact will help out.

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Re: Trigger job Hammer Follow help

Post by Froneck on Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:02 pm

I don't want to be over critical but you should not be using Dykem. Dykem is a layout material, it dries rather thick and will form globs when the surfaces rub together. It's prime use is for layout. Coloring the surface so that lines made with a scribe can be easily seen. A magic marker is a better choice, the material made for the purpose of checking engagement is Prussian Blue.

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Re: Trigger job Hammer Follow help

Post by Recurvist22 on Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:26 am

Magic market is exactly what I used, mainly because I didn't want to buy a can of dykem and since it's not sold anywhere around here I would've had to order it anyways lol but a good old sharpie works pretty well and cleans up easily with alcohol lol. My sear surfaces showed pretty even contact. Tim:H11 ended up nailing my particular problem...my new sear legs were .025 thicker than my old ones. After thinning them down some, the hammer follow issue went away completely and I now have a much crisper trigger pull with no hammer follow. Admittedly it's probably not a good gunsmith quality job, but it's light years better than it was before. Thanks again to everyone who helped out, I really appreciate it.

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Re: Trigger job Hammer Follow help

Post by DavidR on Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:11 pm

When you test for follow, you are putting a dummy round in the chamber and using the slide release to drop the slide? It is important not to drop slide on a empty chamber. Next are you sure the sear is not touching the hammer because the trigger over travel screw is to far out? hold the hammer back while holding trigger pulled and slowly lower hammer you will feel the rubbing if it is then just back out the OT screw till it falls smooth.
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