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  #1  
Old 04-06-2011, 01:51 PM
RxWatcher RxWatcher is offline
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PT1911 frame breakdown

By request here is a frame breakdown walkthrough.

Lets get started!

The tools you will need are a large allen wrench for your grips (mine take a 2.5mm), a small allen wrench to use as a push-pin (the small allen supplied with your Taurus should work), a center-punch, a hammer, and a small flat-blade screwdriver. If your 1911 uses different screws for the grips, you will need the appropriate tool.



Start by removing the magazine and safety checking the firearm to ensure it is unloaded, then proceed removing the slide from the gun in the usual manner. You can refer to this thread for more info. You do not need to break the slide down.



Once the slide is removed, I like to engage the thumb safety so I don't drop the hammer on the frame, or you can hold the hammer, pull the trigger, and ease the hammer down gently so it rests on the frame.

Remove the grips from the frame using the allen wrench or correct tool. The frame is milled hollow so if you need to, you can reach into the mag-well and push the grip up to pop it off.



Once the grips are removed, you can lift off the passenger (right) side safety lever. It may be tight, so you can use the screwdriver to pry it up if need be.





Cock the hammer back, if you had previously relaxed it, and move the driver (left) side safety lever to in between "safe" and "fire" and begin to pull it up.



BE CAREFUL when prying this out, as the safety plunger in the plunger tube is under spring tension and once the safety is clear of the plunger it will fly out.

The safety also holds in the grip-safety beavertail, so once the safety is removed the beavertail will fall out.



If the slide stop and safety plungers and their adjoining spring do not slide out of the plunger tube when you tilt the frame down, you may need to insert the small allen wrench in the tube from the front and push them out.



They look like this when together.

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"The frightening thing about [humans] is their utterly mindless determination to do whatever mindless thing it is they are determined to do."
- Douglass Adams, RIP

Last edited by RxWatcher; 04-06-2011 at 03:42 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-06-2011, 01:51 PM
RxWatcher RxWatcher is offline
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While we have the safeties out, lets note something of importance. Look at the ends of the rods the safeties have. Notice how one is notched and the other is bladed.



They mate like so in the frame.



And this is what allows the passenger (right) side safety to actuate and hold tight to the driver (left) side safety. It is important that these mate solid and thusly never get damaged.


Moving on, at this time you want to relax the hammer down to rest on the frame.



And focus your attention on this pin holding the mainspring housing (backstrap) in place.



Use the centerpunch and hammer to press the pin out from the driver (left) side, but don't punch it all the way out. Get it about 2/3 through.



The mainspring housing is under heavy spring tension from the hammer strut, so I suggest gripping the frame like so.



And pulling the pin the rest of the way out by hand. Then, let pressure off of the mainspring housing an let is slide off a little.



Now you can slide it completely off. Notice where the hammer strut engages the mainspring in the housing, and notice how the pin is rounded on one end and bevelled on the other.



You can set these aside now. The mainspring housing shouldn't have to be opened ever except to replace the mainspring, which should never go bad. However, it is done by removing a small pin near the top and allowing the assembly to come out of the top. It is very strong spring under considerable tension, with a plunger on top and a guide on the bottom.
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"The frightening thing about [humans] is their utterly mindless determination to do whatever mindless thing it is they are determined to do."
- Douglass Adams, RIP

Last edited by RxWatcher; 04-06-2011 at 03:43 PM.
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  #3  
Old 04-06-2011, 01:52 PM
RxWatcher RxWatcher is offline
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In the back of the frame you can see a 3 fingered spring. If I remember correctly, it's just called a sear spring but it acts on more parts than just the sear so I like to call it by physical description.



It simply lifts out.



Also note on the bottom of the 3 fingered spring that there is a bent in section. This fits into a groove in the frame.



In the back you are now looking at the sear, disconnector, hammer spurs, and trigger bow.



To begin dismantling the inner mechanism, turn to the passenger (right) side of the frame and locate the hammer pin.



It removes from passenger to driver (right to left) side, and it should push out easily as it's not pressed in. The hammer and firing pin plunger lever should fall out of the back of the frame.



Also note that the pin is flared on one end, this is what keeps the pin in the frame when assembled.

Now find the smaller sear pin on the frame and remove it as you removed the hammer pin.



The trigger bar lever, sear, and disconnector will drop out of the back of the slide.



(note, only the Taurus PT1911 and Colt series 80 will have the trigger bar lever and firing pin plunger lever. Yours may omit them or have a different system)

You can set these aside for now.
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"The frightening thing about [humans] is their utterly mindless determination to do whatever mindless thing it is they are determined to do."
- Douglass Adams, RIP

Last edited by RxWatcher; 04-06-2011 at 02:43 PM.
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  #4  
Old 04-06-2011, 01:52 PM
RxWatcher RxWatcher is offline
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The magazine release is easily removed with the small screwdriver.



Just press down and turn the lock 90 anti-clockwise. If it doesn't turn, try pressing in the magazine release a little from the other side. The magazine release lock inside should turn easily, then snap into place. Once snapped in place, the magazine release will easily remove out the passenger (right) side of the frame.





After the magazine release is removed, the trigger assembly simply slides out the rear of the frame.



Now the frame is completely disassembled.


While we have the mechanisms apart, lets note how they interact.



This is how the sear, disconnector, hammer, and trigger bow line up inside the frame. You can see that the hammer spurs are caught by the sear, the disconnector sits inside the sear, and the trigger bow acts on the disconnector. The disconnector engages 2 small fingers on the sear, and when the trigger presses back into the disconnector the disconnector in turn presses back on the sear. When the sear pivots, it releases the hammer.
What isn't apparent, though, is that in this setup if the trigger is held down the hammer will not be caught by the sear. So the disconnector, literally, disconnects as the slide of the pistol is retracted. The disconnector moves down under slide pressure, and the sear disengages its 2 small fingers from the disconnector. The slide cycles, the hammer returns, and the sear catches it, while the disconnector, under trigger pressure and slide pressure from above, remains down and out of the way.
When the slide returns to battery, the disconnector is still held down and out of the way by the trigger, and when the trigger is released it slides forward and up to engage the 2 fingers on the sear again. This makes an audible "click" you can hear at the range when you release the trigger after firing the pistol.
This is also why the disconnector has a large, square shaped hole in the center. It isn't improper wear, it is designed that way for the purpose of disconnecting.

If you want to see this in action, there is a really cool animation here. I recommend hiding everything except the hammer and strut...




This is how the Taurus and Colt series 80 firing pin safety system works. It's a basic lever system that acts off the trigger bow. Then the trigger is pulled, the bow presses the trigger bar lever which lifts up the firing pin plunger lever. The plunger lever acts on the firing pin plunger in the slide.



So quite literally the firing pin cannot be released unless the trigger is pulled, or unless these lever components somehow become jammed up, which is highly unlikely.



Assembly can be a bit tricky, start with placing the trigger assembly in the frame. If you want to now you can install the magazine release simply by dropping it into place and turning the lock clockwise 90 until it clicks into place. Again, you may need to push the magazine release up a little from the opposite side.
Next is the sear, disconnector, and trigger bar lever (if required) and it's important we know how the inner components line up in the frame so we don't put something in backwards. A handy mental tool is to put the components in the right order on an allen wrench, and line them up with the correct hole in the frame.



It will take some fiddling to get them in, however. I recommend placing the sear on the disconnector, laying the frame on it's side, and maneuvering them into place while inserting the pin on the driver (left) side of the frame. Use an allen wrench or the screwdriver to help you line them up, and the pin will fall right into place. Once the sear and disconnector are in place, slightly retract the pin and insert the trigger bar lever. This may take a bit of fiddling as well, but this is the hardest part of the entire breakdown (trust me on that).

Once the trigger components are in place, do the hammer and firing pin plunger lever.



It will be much easier, and I recommend putting the hammer in, sliding the pin in, and then inserting the firing pin plunger lever from the top. You can see the slot it goes into quite easily. It is also a lot easier to get into place than the trigger bar lever.



Once you get those in place, test the firing pin plunger lever system by holding the lever down and pulling the trigger. It should press upwards easily.
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"The frightening thing about [humans] is their utterly mindless determination to do whatever mindless thing it is they are determined to do."
- Douglass Adams, RIP

Last edited by RxWatcher; 04-28-2011 at 03:02 AM.
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  #5  
Old 04-06-2011, 01:53 PM
RxWatcher RxWatcher is offline
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Now it is time to install the 3 fingered spring. The little bent section at the bottom fits into its groove in the frame, and it simply sits in place. If you are unsure of the orientation, the curved finger should be on the passenger (right) side and face you as it interacts with the grip safety beavertail. The driver (left) side finger has a bend at the top and interacts with the sear. The center finger interacts with the disconnector.



Make sure the hammer is in the uncocked position and hold the 3 fingered spring down with your finger, and while doing this start to slide the mainspring housing into the frame. When it gets close enough, guide the hammer strut into the mainspring, and once they are correctly positioned, slide the mainspring housing all the way up and into place. Once it is there, push the pin in from the driver (left) side, rounded end first.



Insert the slide stop and safety plungers and their spring into the plunger tube from the rear, remember the correct orientation.



Cock the hammer. The grip safety beavertail has a nub at the bottom and will have to be inserted over the mainspring housing. The best way to get it into place is to grip it like so.



And then just give it a gentle squeese.



Now take the driver (left) side safety lever and start it into the hole. It will hold the beavertail in place, and you will see the angle it needs to be in to enter the frame (again, between "safe" and "fire").
Once you get it more or less in place, press it in gently until you get here.



Get something small (I used my small allen wrench) to push in the safety plunger while pressing down on the safety lever.
USE CAUTION because if you slip that plunger will come shooting out and go accross the room.



Now it should push down all the way.



I would immediately engage the safety so you don't accidentily drop the hammer on the frame.
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"The frightening thing about [humans] is their utterly mindless determination to do whatever mindless thing it is they are determined to do."
- Douglass Adams, RIP

Last edited by RxWatcher; 04-08-2011 at 12:38 AM.
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  #6  
Old 04-06-2011, 01:53 PM
RxWatcher RxWatcher is offline
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Now go to the passenger (right) side of the frame and insert the remaining safety lever. Slowly work it down, twisting it back and forth as you do. You will feel it engage the other safety lever. Remember those notches? We want to mate those together without damage to keep the safeties working flawlessly.



Once you feel it engage the other safety, grip the frame between your thumb and index finger and squeese tightly.



The safeties should press together and sit flush with the frame. If you can't squeese tight enough to get them in all the way, I would get a padded vice and very slowly and very gently tighten them into place. If you go too tight they may rub the frame causing issues, or you may overstress the notch and groove and crack the safety levers rendering the ambi safety useless.
I'd say it's better to leave a tiny gap between the safety lever and the frame than to risk them being too tight.

Once the safety levers are in place, install the grips, and install the slide. But we aren't done, we need to function check the weapon.

Safety check to ensure it is unloaded, and point it in a safe direction. If you are uncomfortable dry firing your pistol, get snap caps, but I'll tell you right now that dry firing a 1911 does not harm it. Believe me or not, I won't be offended.

Cock the hammer if it isn't done already, and disengage the safety. Without squeesing the grip safety beavertail, pull the trigger. It should not pull and the hammer should not fall.
Engage the safety, squeese the beavertail, and pull the trigger. It should not pull and the hammer should not fall.
Disengage the safety, and pull the trigger, dry firing the gun, and hold the trigger down. While holding the trigger down, cock the hammer and release it. The hammer should not catch.
While still holding the trigger, cycle the slide. The hammer should be caught in the cocked position, and when you release the trigger you should hear the disconnector click. Pull the trigger and the hammer should drop.

If all of this went according to plan, you assembled your frame correctly. Give yourself a pat on the back, pack up for the range, and go shoot some stuff!



Thanks for reading, and thanks for the support!
-RxWatcher.
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"The frightening thing about [humans] is their utterly mindless determination to do whatever mindless thing it is they are determined to do."
- Douglass Adams, RIP

Last edited by RxWatcher; 04-06-2011 at 03:38 PM.
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  #7  
Old 04-06-2011, 08:25 PM
keebler keebler is offline
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very nice !! thanx, for taking the time to photograph and post
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  #8  
Old 04-13-2011, 10:08 AM
SauerGrapes SauerGrapes is offline
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Great job and thanks! I'm going to strip mine down this weekend.
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  #9  
Old 04-13-2011, 08:21 PM
RxWatcher RxWatcher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keebler View Post
very nice !! thanx, for taking the time to photograph and post
Quote:
Originally Posted by SauerGrapes View Post
Great job and thanks! I'm going to strip mine down this weekend.
No problem. Forums are very much give-take. I like to give more than I take a lot of the time.
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"The frightening thing about [humans] is their utterly mindless determination to do whatever mindless thing it is they are determined to do."
- Douglass Adams, RIP
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  #10  
Old 04-14-2011, 11:45 AM
SauerGrapes SauerGrapes is offline
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Very nice! RX thank you for doing this. I already did the slide break down and your directions were right on.
The extractor tunnel was filthy. Nice to be able to maintain my 1911s the way I would like to.

Thanks again.....
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  #11  
Old 04-27-2011, 08:47 PM
boutaswell boutaswell is offline
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Excellent and right on time also. I just purchased a new trigger and was unsure exactly how to remove the mag release. Great series of pics. It's bookmarked for future ref if needed.
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  #12  
Old 05-03-2011, 11:43 PM
CalebR CalebR is offline
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Thanks for the write up and pictures.


However I must have messed up somewhere. The trigger bar lever is "working" but does not retain tension like it used to. All of the tests you listed at the end of your post went fine but I can hear the lever moving around when I shake my gun.


Also when I used to field strip the lever bar would stick up when putting the slide back on and now it just falls back down.


Any ideas?
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  #13  
Old 05-04-2011, 04:43 PM
CalebR CalebR is offline
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Took it to the range and it worked fine. I guess the old tension I thought was there was probably just grease or dirt making it feel firmer than it is now.
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  #14  
Old 05-05-2011, 04:19 AM
RxWatcher RxWatcher is offline
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The plunger-lever should move freely, any rattling you hear is probably just from play in the parts. As long as it passed the function check and worked fine I wouldn't worry about it.

Mine falls back down by itself if I pull the trigger with the slide off the frame...
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"The frightening thing about [humans] is their utterly mindless determination to do whatever mindless thing it is they are determined to do."
- Douglass Adams, RIP
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  #15  
Old 05-05-2011, 02:18 PM
Aleksei Aleksei is offline
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Many thanks, been having trouble with my PT1911 and the GSG 1911 and now I know why, it's me I'm looking forward to doing it right this time.
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  #16  
Old 05-05-2011, 07:02 PM
CalebR CalebR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RxWatcher View Post
The plunger-lever should move freely, any rattling you hear is probably just from play in the parts. As long as it passed the function check and worked fine I wouldn't worry about it.

Mine falls back down by itself if I pull the trigger with the slide off the frame...
I see that now, thank you!
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:05 PM
DaddyBearMedic DaddyBearMedic is offline
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Great post! One thing to add, with a series 80 pistol, Hammer fall's only half the equation, you have to make sure the firing pin parts work too. The pencil test works great. First, clear your pistol (no magazine, no round in the chamber), Then close the slide. Drop a pencil in the barrel of the pistol, cock the hammer and dry fire it. The pencil should fly out of the barrel in whatever direction you pointed your pistol (if up, it may only fly about a foot or so, you can catch it with the other hand) or about 3 feet if pointed level sitting on the couch. Hope this helps. If the pencil doesn't shoot, check your firing pin stop parts (the lever on the sear/disco pin, and the other part on the hammer pin, and the plunger and spring in the slide). Hope this helps!
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  #18  
Old 03-09-2013, 01:31 AM
RxWatcher RxWatcher is offline
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Good to know!

And, thanks for the bump.




I'm still amazed this hasn't been stickied, it has helped so many people already...
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"The frightening thing about [humans] is their utterly mindless determination to do whatever mindless thing it is they are determined to do."
- Douglass Adams, RIP
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  #19  
Old 03-11-2013, 01:01 PM
Palehorse_RSO Palehorse_RSO is offline
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Thanks for posting.

The STI link clearly illustrates the disconnector function.
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  #20  
Old 04-02-2013, 10:44 PM
liljoejoe54 liljoejoe54 is offline
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Great write up! I just picked up my Taurus PT1911 and this is going to be very useful!
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