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Schwartz safety, please explain...

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I see this 'schwartz safety' mentioned quite a bit here but I am not very familiar with pistol parts terminology, so I don't understand what exactly it is. Would someone care to explain in laymans terms to me what this feature is and why exactly it get's a bad rap? I am thinking about either a new Kimber or SA 1911 and am trying to get all my ducks in a row before I make the purchase.

Thanks in advance for your time.
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The Swartz type safeties are firing pin safeties that are unlocked by depressing the grip safety. Currently, the S&W 1911s and Kimber series II guns have Swartz safeties. The problem that can occur is when the timing of the grip safety releasing the firing pin lock is after the grip safety releases the trigger bar. When this happens, the hammer falls but the firing pin safety still has the firing pin locked. You get a click instead of a bang. Part of this problem is also due to tolerances and slop, you could depress the grip safety one way and the gun will go bang, then you depress it another way and it goes click.

Not all Kimbers or S&W have problems. Many if not most run perfectly well, but enough of them do have issues that problems are not uncommon.

My personal preference is I don't want to risk a carry gun going click instead of bang, I will not buy a gun with a Swartz type safety. The Colt series 80 safety is entirely different and does not suffer from these potential timing problems.
 

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Thirston said:
I see this 'schwartz safety' mentioned quite a bit here but I am not very familiar with pistol parts terminology, so I don't understand what exactly it is. Would someone care to explain in laymans terms to me what this feature is and why exactly it get's a bad rap? I am thinking about either a new Kimber or SA 1911 and am trying to get all my ducks in a row before I make the purchase.

Thanks in advance for your time.
It is a safety that blocks the firing pin from moving forward. When you grasp the pistol, the grip safety raises a rod that moves the block out of the way of the firing pin. Therefore, this safety does not affect the trigger pull.

I believe that point is to prevent the already unlikely possibility of the pistol firing when dropped. I have had two Kimbers (now one) and have never had a problem with the Series II safety. I think the major objection to it is that it is something that can go wrong, and is not necessary in the first place. If I had bought a Kimber before the Series II, of course I would not be trading it in for one with the Series II safety, but neither do I find it an issue that prevents me from buying, shooting, and liking Kimber 1911s.

Hope this helps.
 

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At what expense or trouble can this be bypassed or removed from the series II Kimbers? I've seen people talk about replacing it with an $8.00 Brown part, what's that all about?

Thanks for the intro to the schwartz safety, I think I grasp the concept little better now.
 

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I thought I heard you can bypass it by replacing the firing pin with a "Series I" or Series 70 firing pin, but I have no idea if this is true or not.
Nor do I know of any safety problems doing this may cause.
 

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m1match said:
... The Colt series 80 safety is entirely different and does not suffer from these potential timing problems.
I beg to disagree. I've seen at least 10 Series 80s with timing problems that prevented the gun from firing. More than that have had some degree of timing issues that left chewed up firing pins. I prefer the standard GI / Series 70 setup, but either the Colt S80 or the Swartz can be set up to run properly.
 

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Many posters here have indicated that a series 70 firing pin will do the trick. I haven't tried it, I just removed all the Schwarz safety parts and tossed 'em, but that involves getting the rear sight off the slide.

For the price, I'd order the series 70 firing pin and see how that works. It doesn't have a notch in it for the Schwarz safety parts to engage.

Good luck!

John
 

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BBBBill said:
I beg to disagree. I've seen at least 10 Series 80s with timing problems that prevented the gun from firing. More than that have had some degree of timing issues that left chewed up firing pins. I prefer the standard GI / Series 70 setup, but either the Colt S80 or the Swartz can be set up to run properly.
Timing problems from the factory, or ?
 

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RickB said:
Timing problems from the factory, or ?
Most were. A couple were modified before I got hold of them, so I can't say what caused their problems. The net result was similar on all. The firing pin lock plunger had not cleared by the time the hammer fell causing light strikes and sometimes failure to fire. Colt had a couple different levers available to correct that for a while, but no more. I had the levers TIG welded and recut them on the last one I did. That was an experiment and I don't know if that would be looked on with any favor by the real pro smiths. I would probably just pull the offending parts and install a filler plate now. When they are working properly, it's easy to screw them up with improperly adjusted overtravel screws. I've seen the plunger hole so out of spec (poor machining) that the FP plunger will not stay in the slide. Again, that was on a fairly new gun. Owner sold it in disgust. I bought it for a great price, pulled the S80 parts, installed a plate, and never looked back.
Still, I'm not afraid to own/carry an S80 with properly functioning parts. It all goes to correct engineering, correct material, and correct execution. If any one of those is off, you've got a potential problem.
 
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