How to fix a “soft” safety

Some time ago I wrote a post on “a hard safety vs. a soft safety“. Now I find out that the safety on the 1911 wasn’t working properly. My 1911 has been in the shop for other reasons but when it came back, my gunsmith said he noticed the issue and he’d fixed it.

Ideally, the rear plunger rests in a small indent on the the thumb safety. It keeps the safety on until enough downward pressure moves it to the off position. My S&W 1911 either didn’t have an indent or it was in the wrong place. To fix the problem, the gun was partially disassembled: the slide was removed and the plunger spring was removed. The safety was put in the correct position to be “on” and a long drill bit was passed through the plunger tube and into the safety. Bingo! The indent is now perfectly placed.

My gunsmith told me to bring it back if I wanted to tighten it up. The drill bit was dulled so he’d have to take it back to his machine shop to sharpen the bit again to make the indent deeper. Clearly my safety is made of some very hard material. Once I get to shoot it, I’ll make that decision (and maybe get pictures of the process).

I’m just thrilled to hear a “click” now when I put the safety on or take it off. I honestly thought this was the way the gun was supposed to work.

Although the gun was in the shop for other reasons, it was worth the trip the the gunsmith to get a problem fixed I didn’t know I had. I’m pretty excited about that!

If’ you’d like some visuals, here are the parts typically inside the plunger tube (from here)plunger tub spring This is where they go in the plunger tube (from here)Plunger TubeAnd here is how the plunger tube lines up with the safety to make it go “click” (from here)

Plunger and safety