1911Forum banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,463 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My take on the series 80 safety is that it would prevent an unwanted discharge of the weapon in the case of a gun dropped muzzle down or a failure with the sear or hammer, (hammer hooks shearing off, etc. ???). Is this correct. Is the series 80 worth the trouble in a carry configuration?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
18,583 Posts
The short answer to this question: NO.

In a properly set up 1911, the series 80 style safety is overkill and unnecessary. In a pistol that already starts out with many intricate parts, it only adds that much more intricate detail. And those parts are subject to breakage...consequently putting the pistol out of action.

The 1911 in its basic form as we know it today, already has 3 distinct safety mechanisms. The disconnector, the grip safety and the frame mounted thumb safety. Of course when handled by a trained human, it has a fourth and arguably the most marvelous and best safety of all, the mind. A mind that controls the trigger finger and thus the fire control mechanism of the weapon. No amount of mechanical safeties can ever replace that key component.

The 1911 (series 70 style) already carries with it more safeties than just about any other weapon system going. If one believes that yet another safety is needed on this pistol, he would be well served to never load said pistol and instead carry a hammer.

This is my opinion. Feel free to disagree.

[This message has been edited by LW McVay (edited 10-30-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
I`m sure it was done too make the lawyers happy..times like these, everyone wants too sue over something..but if you have an 80 series pistol, don`t remove the FP safety..you could get sued.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
474 Posts
It was done to keep GIs from shooting themselves in the foot.

There's nothing safer than a cocked-and-locked Series 70.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
843 Posts
Lawyers or no lawyers, the series 80 parts are there for the same reason that Ruger revolvers have transfer bars and S&W revolvers have rebound levers; to help prevent an accidental/negligent discharge. I don't have a problem with that. My series 80 Colts have been every bit as reliable as earlier earlier ones. As with every other time this topic is raised, let the flames begin!
-TR
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
479 Posts
Well, the 1911 was around alot of years before the series 80 set up, and are still being made in the series 70 style, that being said, i have two series 80s and they do have an extra saftey that will not allow the firing pin to move forward unless the trigger is depressed..


[This message has been edited by Citizen_Gilmore (edited 10-30-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,137 Posts
The real answer is yes and no.

Yes because the scumbag lawyers pushed their bull and Colt wisely covered their a$$.

No because for 60+ years there wasn't a prob I've seen proof of.There are 2 reasons a pre 80 series will fire: you disengage the safeties and pull the trigger or drop it muzzle first from over 12ft.At 5'11",I haven't had mine go off when I dropped it.I do believe in Wolff's extra power FP spring though.But then again,there are idiots born every minute,and they can regularly f*#& up a wet dream.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
real simple, true story: a friend and I were riding around in a country that allowed open carry (or concealed, for that matter) with permits easily obtained, even for foreigners (which we both were). He had a cocked and locked 45 (pre Series 70) in a belt holster, and we were riding around in the countryside on very bumpy terrain, in his old 'deaux chevaux' ("2 horsepower") citroen. Tinny type, very basic car. His 45 suddenly went off, and the ensuing aftermath was hysterical, as we thought we were being fired upon. When things calmed down, we saw that the bullet went through the floorboard, etc
and caused no real harm - i.e, thanks goodness the car wasn't built that solidly to allow any ricochets. We checked the pistol out very carefully, couldn't make it fire, all the safeties worked. Make a long story short (I know it's too late for that now!) the damn thing hit muzzle first on some part of the car and fired, even without the grip safety being depressed AND with, before it fired, the thumb safety ON. Conclusion? I like the Series 80.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
18,583 Posts
mon1911,
Meaning no disrespect to you or anyone else that likes the Series 80...notice though I did say "a properly set up 1911". From the sound of it, you buddy probably didn't have one properly set up.

Despite my dislike for the Series 80 style, I realize that there are those that do like them. To each his own in that case.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,305 Posts
I prefer pistols without them; and that goes for the 1911 - and the Browning Hi-Power.

In the Hi-Power it makes the gun very difficult to fieldstrip - takes three hands to remove and replace the firing pin. That is not my idea of a service pistol.

In either case, I agree with the observation that they are excess/moving parts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,395 Posts
All good points, but I still believe a weak judicial system in this country is still the bottom line (frivolous lawsuits).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,030 Posts
If the series 80 system were all that good, all producers of 1911s would have installed them. These parts are there for politians and lawyers--and that includes the likes of Massad Ayoob and his constant endorsement of such systems.

A properly maintained 1911--change the damn firing pin spring, when you change the recoil spring goes a long way to making the pistol safer. Weak FPSs lead to interia discharges.

In twenty plus years, through several trips into Apache territory, several abn operations, carried daily and having nearly 1 million rounds through numerous makes and models of 1911s; I have yet to have one go bang without wanting it to. 1911s don't go bang if they are maintained; or trigger is applied.

series 80 is more parts to go bad, same with the PC Kimber Series II parts. Apply safety between ears first and all other parts fall into place.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,684 Posts
Enough people complain/ complained about the S80 parts that it'd be silly for others to do it. When Kimber introduced their SII, they tried to make sure everyoine knew it didn't change the trigger pull.
SA does the same thing with their EP FPS and Titanium firing pin.
I've not seen a pre-80's drop & go off (since they have to hit just right, and the gun's balance makes that unlikely) but a couple local PDs had problems with the Walther PPK and also a pre-FPB Beretta 84. Gun's can go off if dropped.

For me, the S80 stuff doesn't matter either way. It hasn't failed to my knowledge in a 1911, and I see no reason to demonize Colt for having an additional measure of safety. Heck, at least they didn't put a little plunger in the middle of the trigger and call it a trigger safety :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,313 Posts
As for the "need" for a Series 80/Firing Pin Safety. To those who say "if it was such a good idea, why don't the other manufacturers use it?", I would simply refer you to Kimber's new Series II Schwartz firing pin lock guns, and Springfield's "finger's crossed" cheap fix titanium firing pin with a stronger spring. Apparently macho has finally succumbed to appropriate, intelligent engineering.

As for the US Military's opinion - the US Military Services rendered their judgement on the safety of the 1911 design carried "cocked and locked" pretty much from Day One - they absolutely forbid the practice! "You may only carry this weapon in the holster hammer down on an empty chamber." They had lots of field experience with hundreds of thousands of GIs to go by. (I wish I could be persuaded that the general public was smarter than the average GI - but we all know better.)

More to the point - NO MODERN DESIGN BY ANY MAKER - not HK, not Glock, not SIG, Kahr,etc, - today lacks a firing pin lock. All are decended from Colt's patented 1937 design. Colt came up with the Schwartz Lock and put it into production before WWII to meet an obviously known operational (not legal at that time) need, long before there even was a "Trial Lawyers Association." Frivolous lawsuits got you disbarred before WWII.

WWII, tradition and inertia - along with a much different attitude on acceptable levels of risk delayed it's introduction until 1983, but today tens of thousands of Colts and ParaOrd pistols are out there "taking care of business" every day just fine with their firing pin locks in place.

Malfunctions of the system are no more likely or common than a failure of any other part in the gun. The operator does need to be aware of how to properly reassemble his pistol after detail stripping (or stop at field stripping, like most modern autos require) and to not mess with trigger overtravel unless actually he knows what he is doing. (Our pistolsmith always reverses the overtravel screw in triggers that have them, and lock tights them after they are properly set.)

The Colt Government Model is NOT a "complex mechanism". It is simplicity itself, requiring only it's own parts to completely disassemble it. The addition of only four parts to render it drop AND parts wear/failure safe (sear/hammer wear) is pretty elegant engineering, if you ask me.

Those of you who want the older design - peace be with you. You better buy one soon - or like Springfields. Personally, I find a lot more peace of mind knowing my gun can only discharge when I pull the trigger.

Warmly, Col. Colt

"Beware of Counterfeits and Patent Infringements"
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,129 Posts
Originally posted by Bluetooth:
Anybody ever have the series 80 parts cause a problem? Is that even possible?
Gunsmith caused problems.

trigger with over travel screw tooo close and not allowing the firing pin block to move out of the way. Overtravel screws Need staking or locktite!
Firing pin stop not relieved for the upper lever.
Rear sight blocking the plunger partally. sometimes on adjustable sights and you wouldn't know till the sight was all the way down.

User
improper assembly (always drop a pen in the bore and make sure it goes for a ride when your done)

Problems
The relief cut in the frame if toooo wide allows the sear to move into the relief cut. If the sear is slightly inside you will feel it in the trigger as the sear pushes past the edge. On rare occasions, you can not pull the trigger. It can hold the sear captive.
the relief cut leaves less support for the sear pin on the right, Sometimes (more often in ss) the sear pin bends causing problems.

If you pull the trigger slowly again the block may not move out of the way and cause light hits. Take an older (un altered) gun apart and look at the dings around the plunger as the firing pin smacks it going by.
If you pulled the trigger hard it would not be an issue.

AND
cutting half of the disconector track away leaves the hammer to pean the remaining rail badly. (often they are off center and this makes an already bad situation worse.) You won't usually see it in 5000 rounds but as the round count goes up It can and is a problem.

geo ><>
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
18,583 Posts
Originally posted by Bluetooth:
Anybody ever have the series 80 parts cause a problem? Is that even possible?
Yes they have, and yes it is more than possible.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
2,895 Posts
Originally posted by George Smith:
User
improper assembly (always drop a pen in the bore and make sure it goes for a ride when your done)
Just a tip, test the FP with the slide installed but before you install your mainspring housing. Pull the trigger and press on the firing pin with a punch to make sure it moves - take your finger off of the trigger and make sure it is locked. This way, if you did put it together wrong, the hammer won't cause those little dings on the plunger and you won't have to knock that pin out again if you do need to get back in there to fix it.

Just one question: How many of you worry yourself to death over the "series 80" parts in your Glocks, Rugers, Beretta's, S&Ws adn SIGs??

I have yet to see or fix a problem on FACTORY series 80 safeties. Any gun can get butchered by a hack and you can't blame that on the series 80 parts.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,545 Posts
It was done to keep GIs from shooting themselves in the foot.
No offense, but this one was really begging for a correction. Government Issue 1911A1s were never equipped with the Series 80 parts. Further, as Col.Colt has already observed, "cocked and locked" carry was never sanctioned by the military in the first place. That sort of makes this entire issue rather academic, doesn't it?

My take on the matter is that the parts DO serve a legitimate purpose -- even if most of us can (and do) get by just fine without them. I don't consider them a necessity by any means, but for a carry gun, I think they can be a real asset. Call it a subtle "peace of mind" issue if nothing else.

Some will certainly disagree with this statement, but aside from those cases where parts were improperly reassembled following a detail strip, I have NEVER seen -- or even heard about -- a single FTF that was attributable to a failure of this system. Those who rant to the contrary to the tune of having seen "several" such problems are simply stretching the truth IMO. Either that, or they just aren't presenting all of the facts.

An infrequent shooter or an amateur pistolsmith with an incomplete grasp on the interrelationship of parts in a Colt CAN indeed set himself up for a failure, but self-induced malfunctions fall into a completely different category as far as I am concerned. Given a competent operator and proper maintenance, those Series 80 parts will go completely unnoticed for the life of your pistol. I can take them or leave them, but in the end I think we have to be fair about this and say that -- firing pin blocks or not -- Hartford's guns work just fine. Under these circumstances, I don't see how a guy can lose by having an extra margin of protection.

Chuck

[This message has been edited by StormMaster (edited 10-31-2001).]
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top