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Hi All.

I have a a pair of series 70 (no firing pin block) 1911's that I enjoy shooting. I was wondering about what would happen if the notch on a 1911's hammer breaks while the hammer is in cocked & locked mode. Would the sear catch on the half-cock notch, preventing an inadvertent discharge?

Also, what happens in the even that the tip of the sear breaks when the hammer is in the fully cocked position? Would the gun discharge?

Please note that I'm not meaning to stir up any controversy regarding the benefits or disadvantages of a firing pin block - I would just like to know what might happen if the notch fails on the hammer or the tip fails on the sear.

Thanks in advance!
 

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The short answer is yes. The "half-cock" notch is part of the safety system John Browning designed into the gun. If for any reason the hammer falls off the sear, the hammer fall will be arrested by "half-cock" notch. So whether the failure is at the hammer or at the sear, the half-cock notch is designed to keep the hammer from striking the firing pin by catching on the sear.

To expand on the safety of the Browning design, he clearly understood the concept of redundancy and separation. He built in redundant safety features into the 1911 but each of these safety features are separated from the other so that any failure of one will not adversely affect the function of the other. In the cocked and lock mode, it is one of safest weapon available.

On the other hand, if you look at the Glock design, it is an accident waiting to happen. A single failure will render all their advertised safety features inoperative.
 
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