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Discussion Starter #1
Letting the slide fall with no round chambered on a 1911.....

For defensive training I was taught to rack the slide and let it fall back, even when empty...this was to build up a subconscious reflex action so I dealt with the firearm the same time all the time......I can understand the principle of building a subconscious reflex, especialy in times of stress (ie combat) but listening to others, it appears that treating a 1911 in this manner can cause damage.This worries me.

Can someone explain to me why this shouldnt be done to a 1911 and what damage could be caused and what effect this damage would have?
How can I check to see if I have caused any damage (ie what do I look for).
Finaly, if damaged, is this permanent, or is it something that can it be fixed?

Thanks.
 

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If you're slingshoting the slide,it's not as bad as from slidelock,but still bad.It does 2 things.One is it beats the parts on lockup.The other is it can ruin a sear and hammer if it is tripped.When the slide slams at lockup,the gun jumps foward but the trigger wants to stay.If it hits the disconnector it can trip the sear,causing the hammer to slam the halfcock notch.This is something that is more of a concern on sub 4lb pulls,but it can happen above that with poorly fit or worn parts.If you really want to practice this way,buy some dummy rounds (not snapcaps).It will greatly help the gun.
 

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Let me guess, you attended Marty Hayes' FAS courses? He's basically a good guy, but his teachings heavily favor the Glock. Nobody I know who trains with a Glock uses the slide release, as it is way too small to reliably use under stress. Given the light recoil spring tension in a Glock you can snap the slide shut with an empty chamber on those all day long and never hurt them. But I don't recommend doing it on a 1911 if it can be helped. Snapping the slide shut a few times won't hurt anything, but doing it on a regular basis can peen over contact surfaces or break the slide stop pin after awhile.

I find a lot of trainers are overly opinionated, like their way is the ONLY way. Like I said Marty is overall a very good guy and a decent trainer. But he heavily favors Glocks and DAO Smiths to the point where it seems he's always trying to get everybody in his class to adopt a manual of arms unique to those pistols. He was trying to force me to adopt a hold where I'd keep my trigger finger curled up above the trigger guard, which of course would put my fingertip right on the slide stop button of my 1911. His idea was that during a brawl the added leverage of the fingertip would help keep somebody from ripping the gun out of my hands. Yeah right, like my fingertip can withstand the force of somebody trying to twist the gun away! But when I told him that would pop the slide stop out and lock up my gun, his answer was to ditch the 1911 and go with a Glock since "they don't have that problem". I finally decided the better idea was in the future to ditch the trainer instead.

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D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
http://www.geocities.com/M1911_M1911A1

[This message has been edited by dsk (edited 10-17-2001).]
 

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It's like inserting a round in the chamber by hand and then dropping the slide, it's not a suggested practice. The action of the slide picking up a round from the mag acts as a buffer when the firearm goes into battery. This will also quickly ruin a trigger job. This procedure (dropping the slide on an empty chamber) is usually done as one of several "safety checks" on the firearm. If done and your hammer falls you need to have the firearm checked by a competent gunsmith immediately! I had a 1911 go full-auto on me with a ten round magazine full of hardball ammo. It was quite an experience! If you believe that there was any damage, take it to your local "smith" and have him check it out.

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies so far.
Rex....thanks, I have just aquired dummy rounds for this purpose and now use this for training.
dsk..... I have never attended any of Marty Hayes courses.....
Trigger and hammer appear ok.....I go through the usual suggested safety checks after I re assemble after a field strip, no apparant problems at this time.
Thanks.
 

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Rex,

What you described is exactly what my Sistema does when I release the slide w/o a round to chamber. About 90% of the time the hammer falls to half-cock. The hammer has never done this when firing live ammo.

Now that I know what is happening, my next question. Is this a "dangerous" problem that needs to be corrected OR is it just a sign of an old, surplus 1911 that has its quirks?

Have a good one
 

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T_Smith, that means the hammer/sear engagement on your Sistema is questionable. If you can, have a gunsmith look at it. My feeling is that the hammer hook is just badly worn. Either that or the sear nose is badly rounded. A new sear will be easy to find. If it ends up being the hammer, you can get a similar one that looks like your old hammer from King's Gun Works (or Brownells).

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D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
http://www.geocities.com/M1911_M1911A1
 

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FAS4, glad to hear of your decision,you'll be too.If you're kind of anal like me,a shockbuff is great on a Gov't,but it's trial and error on the shorter ones (sometimes on a Gov't too).

T_Smith,what dsk said.It's hard to say now if it was a spring or hammer/sear prob.Have someone that knows what they're doing recut the hammer and sear to clean them back up.A spring adjustment or replacement is likely,and is usually the cure for hammer follow.Shouldn't cost over $50 IMO.

[This message has been edited by rex (edited 10-17-2001).]
 
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