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I do not want to start a flame war or get into a "luv em" - "hate em" debate about FPS but....I am look for actual experiences.

Has anyone every seen any incident where a 1911 had a failure of the thumb safety, the grip safety AND the hammer notch safety that led to an accidental discharge, but a firing pin safety would have saved the day?
 

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Been there and done that.

Holding a 1911, grip safety depressed, slide locked back so no thumb safety required, reload a magazine, release the slide and the hammer followed the slide down and fired.

A series 80 firing pin safety would have prevented that AD, since I didn't pull the trigger- didn't have to. :)
 

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I related an incident on another thread in which a 1911 was somehow dropped while a relative was getting out of his car. It fell approximately 2 feet and discharged in the parking lot of a convenience store. I don't know any other details, but it stands to reason a FP safety would have prevented it.
 

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Irishlad said:
Been there and done that.

Holding a 1911, grip safety depressed, slide locked back so no thumb safety required, reload a magazine, release the slide and the hammer followed the slide down and fired.

A series 80 firing pin safety would have prevented that AD, since I didn't pull the trigger- didn't have to. :)
The existing half-cock notch should have prevented that AD too. Was the finger on the trigger? If so a FPS wouldn't have done any good either.
 

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dsk,

Finger definitely wasn't on the trigger. Just a normal reload so to speak.

However, this was in my younger years, so the two other times the hammer followed the slide down, the half cock notch did work...just not on the third time.

I should have attended to the problem the first time, definitely the second time it followed, but having never experienced this before, I thought perhaps, my finger was on the trigger or I was doing something else wrong, etc.

A gunsmith replaced the hammer and disconnector which solved the problem.
 

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Irishlad said:
dsk,

Finger definitely wasn't on the trigger. Just a normal reload so to speak.

However, this was in my younger years, so the two other times the hammer followed the slide down, the half cock notch did work...just not on the third time.

I should have attended to the problem the first time, definitely the second time it followed, but having never experienced this before, I thought perhaps, my finger was on the trigger or I was doing something else wrong, etc.

A gunsmith replaced the hammer and disconnector which solved the problem.
Bad worn out parts are always bad news. Series 80 FPS are
the flimsiest parts ever put in a 1911. So, the FPS would fail
much more quickly than hammer.

I never liked the Series 80 FPS, and I will never like it. I don't
like Swartz safety either.

thanks

Jae
 

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My carry gun is a series-80, and I have NEVER had a problem with the FPS.

The FPS actually helps makes removing the firing pin easier. If you push the firing pin all the way in, the FPS will hold it there and make removing the retaining plate a breeze.
 

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Issues with flawed FPS designs aside, I look at a FPS much in the same way that I look at air bags in a car. They are a little extra insurance, but that doesn't mean I won't drive a car without air bags. If it has them, great; if not, fine. The seat belt does most of the work anyway. Same thing with a 1911. If the gun is in proper working order and you don't make a routine habit of dropping your guns on concrete you shouldn't have to worry. I feel the time I'm most likely to fumble and drop my gun is when I'm in a panicked attempt to grab it because somebody else is after me. In that case, if the gun ends up on the ground I may as well bend over, and kiss my toosh goodbye on the way down anyway.
 

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maxmanta said:
My carry gun is a series-80, and I have NEVER had a problem with the FPS.

The FPS actually helps makes removing the firing pin easier. If you push the firing pin all the way in, the FPS will hold it there and make removing the retaining plate a breeze.
Yeah ... but you have to clean the goofy plunger, and detail
stripping a series 80 pistol is a pain in the a$$

thanks

Jae
 

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To me, detail-stripping a Series 80 isn't a PIA at all. Losing that tiny little plunger spring is, however.
 

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If a firing pin safety had no utility, how come Colt had engineered one and started installing them in the late 1930s? I'd say the problem had always been there and was well known by then, or no one would have bothered to dream up a solution, let alone alter guns that "didn't need altering".

Today bottom feeding liability lawyers drive safety engineering - but in 1937 there wasn't much happening at the Trial Lawyers Association. If you were dumb enough to drop it back then, it was assumed that getting shot was your fault for dropping the gun, not the gunmakers!

As for "flimsy" Series 80 parts, the Colt and ParaOrd Series 80 guns (now numbering in the hundreds of thousands) have had the Series 80 parts as standard since 1983 - twenty years now - and somehow they don't seem to be breaking down the doors at our gunsmithy with "Series 80 induced problems". Certainly much less common than extractor or magazine problems, for example.

Any part in any gun can fail, and statistically will if there are enough of them, but if anything, the Series 80 parts are about the least troublesome in the gun.

People can, however improperly assemble the gun (a training issue) or they can adjust the overtravel screws on aftermarket triggers wrong so that the plunger isn't lifted high enough to fire. To be fair, you can keep a Series 70 gun from firing the same way as well.

The 1911 is a thinking man's gun - it requires a bit of intelligence to get the most from it and dolts need not apply. (We have Glocks for them.) The Series 80 parts don't really change that equation, if you're up to managing a 1911 properly in the first place.

Like dsk, I have guns of both kinds, which I keep in good repair and haven't given me any trouble so far. But if one were to suffer a parts failure or hit the concrete, I'd rather it be a Series 80. And since I wear mine in an inside the pants holster, I take some comfort in that little firing pin lock plunger.

Ask Massod Ayoob, a for real courtroom "Expert Witness" on firearms and deadly force shootings how he feels. He thinks firing pin locks are THE way to go.

The good news is, you can still buy either one. Colt currently makes both. So, peace be with you, either way.

Warmly, Col. Colt

"Beware of Counterfeits & Patent Infringements" - from a mid-1850s Colt Newspaper Ad. More True today than 150 years ago!

PS - dsk - a little dab of heavy grease in the end of the plunger will retain that spring just where you want it. Simple fix. cc
 

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To answer your question. No. I have not personally witness such an incident. As to FPS for 1911's. I could take them or leave them.
 

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At the risk of being severely flamed, Massad Ayoob has,IMO,also said a lot of things that do make sense. The way I see it is that if an FPS system doesn't compromise the reliability of a pistol, its a good thing. I have several Series 80's, and the FPS has never been a problem. Same with a Kimber. I'm willing to admit that I'm only human, and therefore I will make mistakes. I like the idea of an FPS if I should ever, for whatever reason, drop a 1911 in Condition 1. Lastly, I fully agree with Ayoob regarding the inadvisability of deactivating an FPS system. Even if you don't buy the idea that it would reflect badly in a criminal case, I think it would be an absolute nightmare to defend against in a civil suit.
 

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A friend of mine, and it was a Para so an S80 FPS did save the day. He was putting himself back together after using the restroom, and had a drawing grip on it (thus the grip safety was depressed) to adjust it and its holster. Note that it was still holstered, so trigger guard and trigger were fully covered (Mitch Rosen ARG).

For some reason he's not clear on -- and he'll freely admit this was stoooooopid -- he wiped off the safety with his thumb as if to draw. The hammer dropped b/c the mechanicals weren't up to snuff.

S80, so no *BOOM*, and as I said he'd just finished using the restroom, so nothing left in his bowels with which to mess his britches. :D

I see a lot of "the S80 parts add complexity and will break, disabling the gun" posts, but I have yet to see a "my S80 system broke, disabling the gun" post -- not even a "I heard of a guy whose S80 broke, disabling his gun" post...

Gotta go with Col. Colt on this one: This started out as one of those time will tell things, and the S80 has had 20 years now. The next S80 system breakage I hear of, will literally be the first.

OT1H:

Lawyer-proof safety? Yes.

More for liability/litigation reasons than real ones? Arguably.

OTOH:

Has saved the bacon when other parts wear/break? I've posted one more example that it has, than I've heard of it breaking...


D.
 

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Once again however, somebody was using/carrying a 1911 in poor working order. Related to my original comment, an air bag in a car is a poor substitute for working brakes.
 

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dsk, in specific I agree with you that it was in poor mechanical condition. I also agree that if 1911s are kept in good working order, FPSes are superfluous (barring that one-in-twelve-bazillion "dropped exactly square on the muzzle" thing), so I'm not exactly disagreeing with you in general, either.

But I've seen more accounts of trigger/sear/disconnector/safety problems (only a handful of those, mind) than I have of S80 problems (as for right now, zero) so I'll opt for one.


D.
 
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How bout just not dropping your weapon.

Take some responsibility and be more careful.

Why should I have to deal with all these additional and un-necessary safety devices just because people can't take responsibility for their own actions?

JMHO
YMMV

No flames intended.

Oh and BTW, no I have never personally witnessed that type of failure.
 

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Even the very best of us can f--ck up at times, especially when we are doing something we have done many, many times before without mishap. Mr. Murphy is always just around the corner.
 

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A few quick thoughts. How much since does it make to say stop wearing uncomfortable seat belts - don't have an accident. Nobody plans on an accident. I think the same is true of FP safeties.

Every modern firearm has a firing pin safety. They work and to be more specific the series 80 works well. I wish Caspian would make a series 80 compatible frame and slide.

The majority of shooters do not know they are carrying a gun with a defective part until it causes a malfunction. This is the very time you want a redundant safety.

The "half-cock" notch does not serve as a safety for every possible scenario of a gun being dropped. The FP safety closes the door on virtually all the possibilities not covered by the half-cock.
 
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