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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A while back, I was at my local gunshop, chatting with the gunsmith there.
He told me that the proper way to handle an unloaded 1911 is to keep the trigger depressed (after making sure the gun is emtpy of course) if racking the slide and returning it to battery on an empty chamber. He told me to do this to preserve the life of the sear.
I never bothered to do this, because I don't want to get in the bad habit of keeping my finger in the trigger guard when I'm not actually shooting.
What do all of you think of this? Is this bad advice, or should I do as he says?
 

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IMO that is terrible gunhandling and an AD/ND waiting to happen.

The quality of materials and heat treat available on modern high quality hammers and sears, (if fitted to reasonable dimensions) is so great that the need to 'protect the sear" is obviated.

JMHO, YMMV

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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Steve Morrison on 2001-07-09 14:15 ]</font>
 

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Go to a Jarrett class and this is what he teaches. This is one thing I didnt take home with me...

Tom
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I've disagreed with this practice in several different threads in both forums (here and "over there").

If you continue this practice, sooner or later, instead of pulling the trigger and dropping the slide, you WILL drop the slide and pull the trigger. Sure hope you don't have a round chambered.

Bad, bad habit to get into IMO.
 

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Actually your gunsmith and Jarret are correct. Pulling back the trigger does save the sear.

No matter the quality of the components in a 1911 (now or 80 years ago) the tolerances are not made to take a slide slamming home on a empty chamber.

Another way to solve the problem is hold the hammer back physically while dropping the slide.

This is darn hard to do with the current beavertails and commander hammers though and makes it even more difficult to do safely. Much easier and safer on a GI version grip safety and spur hammer.

Dropping the slide full force on an empty chamber, enough, will wreck any trigger job no matter what parts used or who did the work.

Now, do I do this?

Sometimes I hold the trigger back when I am shooting personally. Do I teach either technique in a shooting class? No. I do teach both techniques in the gunsmithing class.



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dane Burns on 2001-07-09 14:44 ]</font>
 

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Okay, dumb question time . . . why would you want to drop the slide at full force on any empty chamber, anyway?

The reason for using the slide release or slingshot is to allow the slide to develop enough energy to strip a round off the magazine and seat it properly.

If you're not seating a round, why not overhand the slide and ride it forward gently? That's the way I do it after cleaning or doing an "unload & show clear." Just ease the slide forward into battery.

Am I missing something?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey Dane, does it help at all to slowly release the slide back into battery when the chamber is empty?
I only drop a slide full force when loading a live round into the chamber. Whenever the gun is empty, I ease the slide back to place.
 

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I don't drop a slide full force EVER on purpose without chambering a round.

As far as holding the hammer back or the trigger depressed while loading a fresh mag and dropping the slide, I have done that, on occasion TESTING new guns, on the range by my self .

The practice originally started to save GI issue gun's hammer and sears in the military. From there the bulleye shooters started trying to save their delicate trigger jobs while loading on the line for the next string and avoiding an AD from hammer follow.

J.M. Browning, Todd Jarret and your gunsmith were/are smart guys. They know how a 1911 works internally and how to avoid damage to the internals of a 1911. That was one question. They were entirely correct in their statements.

Part two of your question Ken would seem to be is this a good practice for shooting a 1911. My suggestion is no. But there are several qualifiers. Do you need to protect a valuable trigger job, Jarrett as an example. Do you want to avoid hammer follow while loading in a "tight" environment? Your home as an example or where a AD will get you DQ'ed? Yes again. When I function test customer's guns? Yes again.

The reason I don't address it in a self defense class is it's not an appropriate skill for everyone. The reason I do address it in a gunsmith class is because you need to understand how the 1911 works internally and the wear points and obvious weaknesses of the design. .018" in hammer hooks is not much of a margin to work with sometimes.


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dane Burns on 2001-07-09 16:07 ]</font>
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Steve,
Actually, I was referring to holding the trigger back. I would actually never want to do that when loading a loaded mag in the gun.
My local smith does that when he is racking the slide back and forth on an empty magazine. I guess he does this to minimize the impact of the hammer hook and sear.
I still have not gotten into this practice, cause I reasoned that good habits are more important. But I'm just wondering if in the long run, racking the slide and easing the slide forward back into battery is detrimental to the sear and hammer hook.
 

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But I'm just wondering if in the long run, racking the slide and easing the slide forward back into battery is detrimental to the sear and hammer hook.
NO, not in any way. Easing is the operative word. So much for the "smart" gunsmith :grin:
 

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You can always replace a damaged or worn sear. You might not be able to replace whatever you damage with an AD/ND.
 
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