Trick for re-installing 1911 thumb safety?

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Trick for re-installing 1911 thumb safety?

Post by Dipnet on Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:30 pm

I just installed a short trigger on my 1911 to accommodate stubby fingers, which I've been wanting to do for years, and boy did it ever make a difference, especially in rapid fire. Don't know why I procrastinated on this modification.

Now I would like to know if there is a proper procedure for re-installing a 1911 thumb safety, i.e., whilst controlling the plunger tube spring-rod from hell?

My apparently inept method was, with the hammer in the cocked position, to depress the plunger rod with a flattened rod (stolen butter knife, cut and filed, positioned beneath the thumb safety), and sort of fumble the thumb safety back in. I've found it all goes back together better when I install the sear spring and hold it in place with the mainspring housing. But still, about 3 of 4 times, thumbs in the way, the thumb safety slips in but not correctly (will not flip up), or the flattened rod (ex-butter knife) slips off the plunger, causing the plunger spring assembly to fly off into the 5th dimension, followed by certain utterances.

I have another pistol I want to do the same for and thought I might ask for help as the thumb safety seems possessed by demons. The hand fitting and polishing of new trigger went well, but the business of adjusting the left and middle arms of the sear spring was so frustrating because of my fumbling with the thumb safety every time I needed to make a little bend in the spring. Arrrggghhhh. I have one plunger spring assembly in the nether world of reloading room; probably will find it in a year or two.

I have a dog-eared copy of Jerry Khunhausen's manual. Thanks, dipnet
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Re: Trick for re-installing 1911 thumb safety?

Post by STEVE SAMELAK on Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:02 pm

An expired credit card is about the right thickness & won't scratch the finish
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Re: Trick for re-installing 1911 thumb safety?

Post by jglenn21 on Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:53 pm

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Re: Trick for re-installing 1911 thumb safety?

Post by LenV on Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:24 pm

I don't put the spring/plunger back until I have finished adjusting sear spring. When happy with adjustment I pull the safety out just enough to slide the spring and plunger underneath. I put it in place with a jewelers screwdriver. When I get close I start putting pressure on the safety and when the plunger gets past it clicks into place. I have also used my very thin pocket knife to do the same thing in the field.

Len
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Re: Trick for re-installing 1911 thumb safety?

Post by Rob9mmshooter on Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:49 pm

If you do this a lot Brownells makes a tool which is a small tube with a grip handle the tube stays on the rounded end of the plunger.  You could make one out of a piece of small diameter tubing if you can find the tubing.  Worth the money if you do it a lot.

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Re: Trick for re-installing 1911 thumb safety?

Post by rreid on Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:53 pm

A WD-40 straw works for pressing the plunger. Doesn't slip off.
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Re: Trick for re-installing 1911 thumb safety?

Post by Black_Talon on Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:03 pm

The spring itself is supposed to have a slight kink in it. This holds it into the plunger tube by friction so that it doesn't go flying off into space. Make sure your spring is kinked in the middle, if it's not, order a new one.
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Re: Trick for re-installing 1911 thumb safety?

Post by jglenn21 on Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:55 pm

or simply take a set of wire cutters and slightly crimp the middle of the spring.. I have a small set that I use on all my plunger springs
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Thumb safety tricks

Post by Dipnet on Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:19 pm

Wow,
Thanks much for the useful suggestions. I fear not the thumb safety. dipnet
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Re: Trick for re-installing 1911 thumb safety?

Post by SmokinNJokin on Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:28 pm

I used a credit card for a while but they wear out fast. This thing is awesome for it. http://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/handgun-tools/takedown-tools/armorer-tool-prod26727.aspx

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Suggestions helped big time: thanks

Post by Dipnet on Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:28 am

Compatriots:
received another short trigger and installed it on my Rock River; easy with suggestions this time around. Thanks big time, dipnet
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Re: Trick for re-installing 1911 thumb safety?

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