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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently purchased my second AMT Hardballer (Irwindale manu.) and although my first (Covina manu.) has been an excellent piece, this one has a few quirks. I had it at the range Thursday and when I would release the slide with an empty mag the hammer would follow about 70% of the time. While firing there was never a problem. I also noticed that, "from the safety notch", the hammer will drop if the trigger is pulled. I inspected the hammer and find that it only has a ledge(?80 series) and no notch like my earlier AMT. There is no firing pin safety in either of these AMT Hardballers so why no notch in the Hammer? Should I replace the hammer? And what do I need to adjust or replace to stop the following problem? The gun has a Wilson Combat FL guide rod and 18.5lb spring, ambi thumb safety, and a 298 grip safety. Do the hammer and sear have to be replaced together? Thanks.
 

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I would suggest taking it to a gunsmith pronto. Just because it isn't a problem when firing doesn't mean it won't turn in to one - my bet is that it will.

Also, the notch in the hammer IS NOT A SAFETY in the typical sense of the word. The hammer WILL still drop if you pull the trigger. That notch is there to stop the hammer from hitting the firning pin, should your sear break, or disengage itself from the hammer accidently. This notch would catch the falling hammer.

It is most likely a worn/incorrect hammer/sear combo that is causing the problem.

I would always change hammer and sear together, and allow the new parts to "seat" in to each other. There are several "drop-in" hammer/sear kits, that usually require just a slight bit of fitting or polishing.

Again, my first advice would be to take it to a 'smith, before you risk having your gun go full-auto when you are least expecting it.
 

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If this only happens when the slide is dropped on an empty chamber, it is a trigger problem. However, if you screw around with it and drop it hundreds of times it will turn into a general problem.
Completely detail strip the grip frame. Put just a very slight amount of outward tension on the trigger bow so that it stops slamming into the sear on that empty chamber drop. The problem will disappear.
If you want to verify that it is not a hammer/sear problem, put the parts on a gauge and check for rounding out of the edges of the cut on the hammer.
If the problem persists, add a slight amount of tension to the trigger and sear spring leaves. The hammer spring housing digs into the sear spring and sometimes de-tensions the carefully set up tensions after a number of rounds. It may help to put a very slight radius on the inner edge of the housing where it contacts the spring.
In any event, don't panic and start taking bad advice about changing parts. It is the trigger that is the culprit here; Colt discovered this in 1954 and designed in a separate sear spring booster in the Gold Cup to take care of the problem. You can also obtain 4 leaf sear springs that will keep a constant tension on the sear during the trigger rap, but the intelligent cure is to add just a very slight drag to the trigger bow...not enough to increase the trigger pull perceptibly, but enough to stop the searwhack due to inertia.
If you want to verify that it is a trigger problem only, lock back the slide, jam the trigger in the forward position by pressing on the front side of it and release the slide lock. The hammer drop will not happen.
 

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Funny you should mention that...

After a detail strip and de-greasing recently, I discovered the same problem...Freaking of course, I called my friend that described an almost exact fix...I haven't had the chance to tell him that the problem had started after I removed ALL lube from the frame and parts...After re-installing some grease in a couple places it(the follow) disappeared...amazing...

There really are very close tolerances involved aren't there?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The fix. I posted this problem on several boards and this board got the least traffic yet I got about the same answers as where to start and what to look for. The cause as most stated was due to trigger bounce. I cleaned and relubed the gun but reassembled it with the factory recoil spring and can't make the hammer follow now. I guess if it ain't broke don't fix it. I would still like to add a light weight trigger though. I will go slow and ask a lot of questions. Thanks for all the help.
 

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As a follow up to John, I've come across a couple pistols with insufficiant take-up in the trigger. I try for .040" or so. Take-up is the lightly tensioned (or slack) travel the trigger has just before the resistanse is felt that leads to releasing the sear. With a fairly heavy (physical weight) trigger and little or no take-up I have seen 4+lb trigger pulls suffer from hammer fall.
 
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