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  #1  
Old 11-29-2019, 05:40 PM
trckdrvr trckdrvr is offline
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Thumb Safety Adjustment

Geez Colt..Is it really that hard?

When I pickup to look at a Colt pistol, new or used, I confess the single first thing I do is cock the hammer and flip the thumb safety on/off several times. If it doesn't do a clean and clear simple CLICK/CLICK I set it down and walk away.

I cant even begin to calculate how many Colt pistols over my almost 60years I have thought about buying while glassing them in a display case..only to feel a awful binding stiff no CLICK thumb safety.

It is gotten so bad over the years I think I have looked at more of them that DONT engage properly than those that do?

My New model Mustang I literally didn't think the thing Cocked/locked because it would NOT even engage when hammer was cocked..
After shooting it and having extractor problems and sending it back to Colt for repairs I asked the guy on the phone to take a look at the thumb safety while repairing the extractor..He did..and I received the little pistol back and it now operates with a clean CLICK/CLICK like it should have.

I while back wanted to buy a Delta as I have always wanted one, I looked at a new $1000 pistol and the thumb safety felt like it was binding and only half engaged?

Today I went to look at a Defender..the store had 2 New defenders still in box/plastic and the salesman handed my the first one and I cocked the hammer and could not even engage the thumb safety with my thumb?
I had to 2 hand the gun and use both thumbs..I ask salesman what the heck?
He shakes his head at me like I'm doing something wrong..then he cant hardly engage it either?..He says what the heck this is not supposed to be like this? let me go get the other one from the back..
He gets the other one out and we unbox it and it is even worse that the first one?



So I have to ask?..What the heck Colt? I love your guns but this one simple thing cant be that hard to do correctly?
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  #2  
Old 11-29-2019, 06:04 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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Two parts on a 1911 have to be fitted by hand: the thumb safety and the extractor. Colt fails miserably at both.

Fortunately I would rather have those two parts under-fitted than over-fitted. The fancy new CZ 1911A1 I bought a few years ago had a safety that was over-fitted and I went through hell trying to get it replaced. At least with an under-fitted one I can take a file to it and finish the assembler's job for them.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #3  
Old 11-29-2019, 07:10 PM
fnfalman fnfalman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trckdrvr View Post
Geez Colt..Is it really that hard?

When I pickup to look at a Colt pistol, new or used, I confess the single first thing I do is cock the hammer and flip the thumb safety on/off several times. If it doesn't do a clean and clear simple CLICK/CLICK I set it down and walk away.

I cant even begin to calculate how many Colt pistols over my almost 60years I have thought about buying while glassing them in a display case..only to feel a awful binding stiff no CLICK thumb safety.

It is gotten so bad over the years I think I have looked at more of them that DONT engage properly than those that do?

My New model Mustang I literally didn't think the thing Cocked/locked because it would NOT even engage when hammer was cocked..
After shooting it and having extractor problems and sending it back to Colt for repairs I asked the guy on the phone to take a look at the thumb safety while repairing the extractor..He did..and I received the little pistol back and it now operates with a clean CLICK/CLICK like it should have.

I while back wanted to buy a Delta as I have always wanted one, I looked at a new $1000 pistol and the thumb safety felt like it was binding and only half engaged?

Today I went to look at a Defender..the store had 2 New defenders still in box/plastic and the salesman handed my the first one and I cocked the hammer and could not even engage the thumb safety with my thumb?
I had to 2 hand the gun and use both thumbs..I ask salesman what the heck?
He shakes his head at me like I'm doing something wrong..then he cant hardly engage it either?..He says what the heck this is not supposed to be like this? let me go get the other one from the back..
He gets the other one out and we unbox it and it is even worse that the first one?



So I have to ask?..What the heck Colt? I love your guns but this one simple thing cant be that hard to do correctly?
The thumb safeties had been particularly bad the last two years.
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  #4  
Old 11-29-2019, 08:36 PM
TRSOtto TRSOtto is offline
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I get the frustration. You buy a gun, it oughta be fitted correctly. But it doesn't bother me as I swap out the thumb safety on just about every 1911 that I buy and replace it with an Ed Brown extended tactical thumb safety.
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  #5  
Old 11-29-2019, 09:02 PM
Deyomatic Deyomatic is offline
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The thumb safety on my Colts are great...the Springfield is a different story.
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  #6  
Old 11-29-2019, 09:09 PM
Totally Tactical Totally Tactical is offline
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I ran into this about 6 months ago.
Safety needed about four more file strokes and worked great after that.
If you know how to fit a safety, it isn't a deal breaker.
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  #7  
Old 11-29-2019, 10:43 PM
hirdlej hirdlej is offline
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I've been through a few colts over the years and finally the one I recently picked up (colt classic) had a thumb safety just like you were describing. I had to remove it and spend about 30 minutes carefully dressing it with some small files. Probably had to remove and reinstall the safety about 30-40 times but it's easy with the slide and thumb safety spring/plunger removed. Once I got it sorted out, it works like buttah.
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  #8  
Old 11-29-2019, 11:12 PM
Mark Robinson Mark Robinson is offline
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I've had to adjust the thumb safeties on probably half of the Colts I've bought in recent years. I've gotten good at it, but it shouldn't be necessary. It's always the same, just a few strokes with a file on the sear engagement lug and then I polish with a stone. It would take Colt another minute or so per gun to get it right.

To be fair, the Dan Wesson Vigil I examined recently had a thumb safety so stiff it took both hands to move it to the on safe position.
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  #9  
Old 11-29-2019, 11:34 PM
megafiddle megafiddle is offline
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I would guess it's just cheap quality control.

Make the thumb safety engagement an interference fit, and you can be sure the safety is blocking the sear.

Make the thumb safety engagement proper, and you can't easily tell how far it is from failure without further investigation.

-
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  #10  
Old 11-30-2019, 09:09 AM
mickeyd mickeyd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsk View Post
Two parts on a 1911 have to be fitted by hand: the thumb safety and the extractor. Colt fails miserably at both.

Fortunately I would rather have those two parts under-fitted than over-fitted. The fancy new CZ 1911A1 I bought a few years ago had a safety that was over-fitted and I went through hell trying to get it replaced. At least with an under-fitted one I can take a file to it and finish the assembler's job for them.
This ^^^
Iíve received new Colt 1911s with nicely fitted TS and a few that were tight.
A few proper swipes with a jewelers file they can be fit nicely.
Never a reason for me to decline a gun, which many are purchased through GB.
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  #11  
Old 11-30-2019, 08:06 PM
hirdlej hirdlej is offline
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The thumb safety in my Colt Classic was so hard I had to spend a lot of time filing it to get it "just right". I was really surprised at the effort it took to bring that flat edge down. It wasn't just "a few strokes" but several minutes with a fine set of files that I keep for working on small parts.
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  #12  
Old 11-30-2019, 08:21 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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...And yet the thumb safety on my Classic was fitted just fine from the factory. Three years ago I bought a stainless S80 that needed the thumb safety fixed. It seems Colt has two employees fitting these things. One knows what they're doing, and the other one either doesn't know or doesn't care.
__________________
Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #13  
Old 12-01-2019, 09:41 AM
voodooranger voodooranger is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsk View Post
Two parts on a 1911 have to be fitted by hand: the thumb safety and the extractor. Colt fails miserably at both.

Fortunately I would rather have those two parts under-fitted than over-fitted. The fancy new CZ 1911A1 I bought a few years ago had a safety that was over-fitted and I went through hell trying to get it replaced. At least with an under-fitted one I can take a file to it and finish the assembler's job for them.
can you discuss the difference between under and over fitted?
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