bought a new old 1911 but...

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bought a new old 1911 but...

Post by armouredbear on Mon May 21, 2012 10:37 pm

so, i just purchased a late 50s vintage clark longslide from a fellow in texas. i thought i had asked all the questions that i should about the pistol, the finish, the slide-to-frame fit, what kind of ammo it ate, and the like. when i got it (well, when my dad got it - he's keeping it in arkansas for me now while i wait for my 90 waiting period between guns to lapse), it had been used but not abused, it was tight and seemed to have all the indications of being a beautiful old-school iron sights gun. but, turns out the grip safety doesn't work consistently. the hammer can be dropped by pulling the trigger even when the grip safety is not depressed. this is my first 1911, so i don't know how big an issue this is. i'm also not with the gun right now, so i don't know the specifics. i'm just kind of bummed out that it apparently just came down to me not asking the specific question to find out that there was something specific wrong with the gun. i mentioned it to the seller and his response was that they did not test fire the guns and had bought 500 or so from the estate of a collector. end of discussion. i'm not looking to get something for nothing, or anything like that. it just struck me as less-than-stellar customer service. i paid serious money for that pistol (and traded another gun), so to have it need work just leaves me cold. i know that clark will put it back to as-new if i take it down there, but that's more $. just needed to get that off my chest. end of whine.
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Re: bought a new old 1911 but...

Post by Bryan Coyle on Mon May 21, 2012 11:12 pm

A minor bit of peening on the GS arm will possibly transform it to a consistent block when not depressed. I've seen brand new units with the same issue.

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Re: bought a new old 1911 but...

Post by David B on Tue May 22, 2012 12:59 am

Once you get it in hand, let's have a look-see, I doubt it's serious.

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Re: bought a new old 1911 but...

Post by armouredbear on Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:16 am

ok, so now i am in the same place as my new (to me) clark. as explained, the grip safety does not consistently engage. i can break down the gun, but i'm not sure what to look for when i do. thoughts?

there is also a small plastic bushing that seems to connect the recoil spring to the guide rod that is cracked on the outside.
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Re: bought a new old 1911 but...

Post by David B on Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:47 am

The tang of the grip safety blocks the travel of the trigger by contacting the rear of the trigger bow and preventing it from moving rearward. The trigger or GS tang might be too short. See the animation here : you can change what is shown and hidden to see just what you want to see.

http://www.m1911.org/1911desc.htm

A welder that is good at welding small things could add material to the GS's tang. The GS could also be replaced, but I imagine you will want to keep the gun orginal if it is now. I have an extra GS or two I could part with.

Is the finger of the sear spring that actuates or pushes rearward on the body of the GS bent and not pushing the GS back hard enough to engage it?

Can you post or email some pictures of the gun, GS, and trigger?

The plastic piece sounds like a Shok-Buff, and aftermarket addition, and if so, my recommendation is to throw it away.

http://shopwilsoncombat.com/Shok-Buff-Recoil-Buffers-1911-Package-of-6/productinfo/2B/

You can form your own opinion with some reading of other's opinions.

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=32612

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Re: bought a new old 1911 but...

Post by BE Mike on Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:11 am

I'm no gunsmith, but I've lengthened the tang on a grip safety by placing it flat on an anvil and hitting it with a steel hammer. More than one stroke was required.
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Re: bought a new old 1911 but...

Post by Colt711 on Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:19 pm

Don't be discouraged by a minor problem. I have silver soldered a small piece of metal on several grip safeties to solve the problem.

The advice given above is all good. A Shok Buff is hardly needed on a LS with normal BE loads.

Ron

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Re: bought a new old 1911 but...

Post by armouredbear on Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:56 am

ok, so little update. the gun shoots beautifully - way better than i do. i'm having some minor occasional issues with a round not going into battery and the slide not closing all the way, but i think that's my reloads, which i'm totally new to.

i'm going to send it off to clark for a tune-up and to have them fix the grip safety (my dad wants to give me an early Christmas present ). when i talked to them today, they said i might want to have the old steel trigger replaced with an aluminum one to keep the hammer from falling to half-cock when i drop the slide on a new magazine. i was taught by the captain of my pistol team to always keep my thumb on the hammer when dropping the slide anyway, so it never worried me. would you guys have that replaced if you were already having the pistol serviced?
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Re: bought a new old 1911 but...

Post by BE Mike on Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:16 am

armouredbear wrote:ok, so little update. the gun shoots beautifully - way better than i do. i'm having some minor occasional issues with a round not going into battery and the slide not closing all the way, but i think that's my reloads, which i'm totally new to.

i'm going to send it off to clark for a tune-up and to have them fix the grip safety (my dad wants to give me an early Christmas present ). when i talked to them today, they said i might want to have the old steel trigger replaced with an aluminum one to keep the hammer from falling to half-cock when i drop the slide on a new magazine. i was taught by the captain of my pistol team to always keep my thumb on the hammer when dropping the slide anyway, so it never worried me. would you guys have that replaced if you were already having the pistol serviced?
I would, because it doesn't cost that much extra and I don't like arguing with my pistolsmiths. They know more than I do. They'll return your old trigger if you don't like the aluminum one.
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Re: bought a new old 1911 but...

Post by Rob Kovach on Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:23 am

don't get discouraged. I was hanging out near the USMC Pistol team trailer at Camp Perry, and they were fixing all of the exact problems you are talking about on pistol after pistol. You wouldn't believe how many people were having the same problems as you. Those pistol smiths weren't even phazed by it. Just adjusting on the problem with stones and tools until it was fixed---then on to the next pistol.
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