1911Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Administrator
Joined
·
73,850 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently noticed while comparing the new FP safety on my Kimber to drawings of the old pre-WW2 Colt Swartz safety, that Kimber basically copied it! It's a really good safety system, as it locks the FP from movement until the grip safety is depressed yet is more simple and doesn't affect the trigger pull. My question is, why won't Colt just ash-can the poorly-designed Series 80 safety and re-introduce the Swartz design?

For those who don't know, just prior to WW2 Colt began introducing the Swartz safety into their 1911 line. When the war broke out their production was of course all for the military, without the Swartz safety per mil-spec. But it was never re-introduced after the war, for some odd reason.

------------------
D. Kamm
USGI 1911 pistols website http://www.geocities.com/M1911_M1911A1

[This message has been edited by dsk (edited 07-15-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,387 Posts
The Swartz design was way ahead of it's time - imagine thinking about safety in 1937, but I think Kimber owners will find out quickly why Colt replaced it.

First of all, it makes the gun quite difficult to detail strip to clean. The original guns had to have the rear sight removed for full takedown. Do the Kimbers? I understand Kimber no longer recommends complete detail stripping by the owner in the Series II guns for this reason. The 80 Series isn't hard, it just takes a time or two to learn it properly.

Secondly, the Series 80's remain safely locked until you actually pull the trigger. This prevents a damaged or defective sear, hammer, etc, from creating a dangerous condition. With the Swartz, once it's in your hand, it's no longer "on safe".

It looks to me that Kimber had little choice - the safety firing pin lock is used in ALL modern semi-auto handguns, and the new "drop tests", etc, in some states mandated some form of firing pin lock. Glad to see they went with it anyway - safety is important, and the firing pin lock will make the 1911 design intellectually acceptable to many people who otherwise would never carry "a cocked pistol".

Warmly, Col. Colt

"Beware of Counterfeits and Patent Infringements"
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
73,850 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, the FP block drops down through the rear sight dovetail on the Kimber as well. But I disagree with the notion that it makes detail stripping more difficult. The FP block in the slide isn't likely to accumulate crud for quite a few thousand rounds, and once it gets to the point where you can't flush it clean with Gun Scrubber any more just remove the rear sight and clean it. Regarding the plunger inside the frame, it's no harder to reinstall that the two Series 80 levers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,684 Posts
I took the frame apart on a series II, but not the slide, figured it'd be the same as the 80 series. Wierd. I'm in the habit of taking the firing pin out when cleaning, but most people aren't, so not a major thing I guess.

The point that it's activated off of the grip instead of the trigger is right. All other guns work their's off the trigger pull and it's the best method IMO. BUT, since the chance of a discharge is so minimal without the safety, I don't think it's a major deal. I know a few people that used the same method Springfield now uses, the lightweight firing pin with the extra power FP spring also.

Though I assume it's been thoroughly tested, I would think the same amount of force from a fall, could also push the grip safety in, disengaging the block. Since this would be simulataneous with the fall, I can't see it firing, but who knows.

Colt is the only one that can say why they didn't readopt the Schwartz, but Kimber actually borrowed a gun with teh schwartz safety to copy it :)
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
73,850 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You can still remove the firing pin and extractor on a Kimber Series II. The only parts that can't be easily removed are the FP block and spring. Removing the FP is much like on a Series 80 Colt, except that you can't just conveniently lock the FP forward using the plunger. You have to push in on both the FP plunger and the FP while sliding the FP stop plate down. Removing the extractor however is conventional.

Anyway, here's a closeup of the unit:



------------------
D. Kamm
USGI 1911 pistols website
http://www.geocities.com/M1911_M1911A1
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top