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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ran across a post over on the S&W board talking about a firing pin issue causing an AD during a match. I debated dragging it back here but decided we can always just let the thread die and it just might result in a problem being avoided.

Anyway this was posted 11/14/03 at 6:52pm.

http://www.smith-wessonforum.com/ubb/Forum10/HTML/003497.html

There was a recent post on another part of this forum talking about Dan Wesson M1911s and how good they are. They may be good, but a friend of mine who is an IDPA Expert class shooter had an AD with a Patriot that was at least partly related to the external extractor, and it could happen on other such pistols with external extractors and adjustable sights. Here's what happened...

Third stage of a local shoot. Friend charges his pistol, it doesn't feed properly, he takes out the mag, shakes the jammed round down into the chamber, and lets the slide go forward to chamber the round, knowing that the external extractor will snap over the rim. BANG! Gun goes off in a safe direction, thank God. Examines gun, nothing obviously wrong - friend swears his finger was off the trigger. I believe him - this guy is good and he doesn't make mistakes like that.

I take his gun home and try to replicate situation (empty gun, of course). Finally get the answer. The top of the firing pin stop has been milled off to accomodate the adjustable rear sight. No internal extractor to help keep it in place. It can't move down because of the frame, but it's loose enough to move up. At the end of the second stage, my friend pulls trigger on empty chamber, as required. Firing pin moves forward of the stop, firing pin stop wiggles up and traps firing pin forward - now there's a fixed firing pin protruding into the chamber. Third stage start - failure to chamber since pin is in way, jiggle cartridge into chamber, release slide, and gun goes off. After it cycles, firing pin goes back where it should be, and it looks like nothing's wrong. Dry, I made this happen twice.

Believe me, I then checked every 1911 I have. No other case of loose firing pin stop, but I don't have an external extractor gun. For the record, Dan Wesson seemed very interested in this when I called, but I don't know if they've done anything about it. Please check your 1911s if you dry fire or compete where you dry fire at the end of a stage.

Buck
 

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Very interesting

I'll be very interested to hear what DW has to say about this. I would hope it's not a problem across the board with the DW's.

I've not had any problems with the Expert i've had in this manner but then again that may just be luck..

Jeff.

PS: I'm glad you brought this thread back, it's something i think DW owners should be aware of even if it turns out that it's not a "common" problem across the board.
 

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Interesting. The firing pin stops on many DW Majors, Sevens and Patriots that I've looked at seemed quite loose. It didn't matter whether there was an internal or external extractor. Some of the firing pin stops were cut far more than needed for these adjustable sight DWs. My one real issue with the DWs has been the FP stops. Compare fit and finish of a Colt FP stop to the DW Major FP stop and you'll see what I'm talking about. From what you've said, this small part may have caused a very dangerous situation.

Regards,
Sam
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well I was going to leave this alone if no one responded but since y'all did...

I got a bit curious and decided to see if RZ-42 could do what was described even with an internal extractor. Sure enough the FP stop can go above the level of the FP and contact the bottom of the rear sight. In fact if you have the slide upside down without the FP in place the stop will slide right through to the sight by gravity.

I took a picture of the situation but it should be noted that I made it occur by hand and not by dry-firing.



 

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That should warrant an immediate recall.
 

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Holey crap. Thanks!! I shoot competition with my 2 DW's and they require a dry fire after each stage also. I'm glad you posted this.
 

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Just as a follow up to Parker D's test.....I checked out five Dan Wesson 1911s. If the pistol manually duplicated Parker D's example of a locked forward FP, as pictured, I list it as a "Yes". If the locked forward firing pin could not be duplicated manually, I listed it as a "No". All five DWs had adjustable rear sights. A notation is also made about the type of extractor the model is using.

Razorback LTD Edition: Yes (Internal extractor)

Patriot Expert Stainless: Yes (External extractor)

Pointman Seven Stainless: Yes (Internal extractor)

Second Pointman Seven Stnls: Yes (Internal extractor)

Pointman Major Stainless: NO (Internal extractor)

Four out of five DWs checked could be manually manipulated to lock the FP forward.

In my opinion, the extractor has nothing to do with the issue. The issue, in my opinion, is a poorly fit firing pin plate.

Regards,
Sam
 

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Scratchy......

The slide cuts are too narrow to fit a factory Colt #1 FP stop on my Patriot. The #1 FP stop plate will fit on my Major. The DW factory FP plate is really loose in the DW Patriot slide cuts.

Regards,
Sam
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
^^^

Well it'll be a bit as I'll order one this week. So with shipping and my lazy butt getting around to it... :D

But I'm starting to question whether a tighter fitting FP stop is the entire repair. It seems to me that with the top of the slide open like that you risk vibration overcoming your interference fit (which you can't make all THAT tight or you'd never get the gun apart). And peening the top of the slot won't work as the FP stop is flush in the normal position

Does anyone have a 1911 by another manufacturer that has Bomar type sights? If so, is the top of the FP stop slot open? If it is then I suppose a tighter fitting stop will work. If it isn't then perhaps new slides or some sort of securing strap may be necessary for these DW's. See if the tops of the slots are not open then that would mean that no one knows for sure that interference is sufficient to hold the FP stop in place. If they are open then that would suggest that interference is plenty or we'd have been hearing about this a lot over the years.
 

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Parker D.....
I just checked a mil-spec FP stop on the Patriot. It slips in and is a little loose.

Why couldn't you use a punch near the top of the cut to tighten up the fit?

Regards,
Sam
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
^^^

Since the top of the FP stop was even with the top of the slot I was thinking that peening the tops of the slot would force the FP stop too low in relation to the FP itself which wouldn't work for obvious reasons.

A few minutes later came the realization that you could just file down the stop where you peened the slide and get your location back along with positive retention that didn't rely on friction to keep the stop from riding high. Going low is not as big an issue as the gun will jam before a discharge. Still not what you want but better than having a potential illegal Class III firearm :)

While the AD that started this occurred after a dry-fire it seems to me that the potential exists for it to occur at any time and be quite the surprise.
 

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RZ #43

I just checked RZ #43.
As others have found, the FP stop is loose in the slide.
On the other hand, I couldn't repeat Parker's test.
My rear sight is adjusted down low enough, that the FP
stop can't rise high enough to hold the FP in a forward position.
Guess it's time to fit an oversized stop, anyway.
Thanks for the heads up.
 

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I checked the FP stop on my PMA-B (internal extractor of course, cut for Bomar sight) to see if I could make the mentioned malfunction happen. So far it doesn't appear to be a problem since my FP stop fits snugly, and there doesn't appear to be enough space under the rear sight blade to allow it to move up far enough to cause it to happen. I''ve tried to move the stop up far enough to cause the firing pin to jam and can't do it, so this model is probably safe. I can clearly see where the potential for trouble is however, and Dan Wesson does need to address the issue.
 

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Checked my 4 DWs, 2 of them do this 2 don't. All 4 have loose stops that drop right out, and can slide down and trap the FP if the FP is pushed fwd.

The 2 that had the pblm of going UP are the patriot and the pointman major 9mm.

Note that this has never happened to me in live fire nor in dry firing (as far as I know).
 
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