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Old 02-21-2012, 11:44 AM   #1
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Replacing thumb safety on 1911

I wish to change out the original small thumb safety on my Colt 1911 commander for a thumb safety which has a larger area. It is not an ambi but only single like the original.
I appreciate any advice you can offer.

Last edited by 4thHorseman; 02-21-2012 at 12:54 PM.
 
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:45 PM   #2
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You will have to "fit" the new safety to your pistol. Metal will have to be removed. If you have never done this I reccomend;
1. Have a gunsmith do it.
2. Have a friend who has done it show you how to do it.
3. During tear-down remove the thumb safety BEFORE you remove the grip safety!

George M.

Last edited by George M.; 02-21-2012 at 01:48 PM.
 
Old 02-21-2012, 03:29 PM   #3
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Thank you very much George. Good advice.
 
Old 02-21-2012, 07:01 PM   #4
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3. During tear-down remove the thumb safety BEFORE you remove the grip safety!

How do you remove the grip safety before the thumb safety?????
The grip safety CAN'T be removed until the thumb safety is out since it retains the grip safety.

If you'd like to learn more about your 1911 and would like to at least consider fitting your own safety, I highly recommend buying the Jerry Kuhnhausen shop manual.
This was written as a training aid for new gunsmithing students.
It goes into great detail on how to properly fit new parts including the safety.
This is THE 1911 gunsmithing book and all the work is how the Colt factory does it.
This is not the usual reprints of old Ordnance field manuals, it was written by a Master gunsmith who trained gunsmiths for the industry including the factories.

This is the best money a 1911 owner can spend if nothing else just to know exactly how the gun works, and how to completely disassemble it the RIGHT way.

JERRY KUHNHAUSEN THE COLT .45 AUTOMATIC - Brownells
 
Old 02-22-2012, 07:03 AM   #5
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I somewhat mis spoke. What I meant to say was do not remove the mainspring housing, leaf spring, etc befor removing the thumb safety. George M.
 
Old 02-22-2012, 12:00 PM   #6
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Hello 4thHorseman,

Follow this link to learn the internals of The 1911 and to see how the safety works How 1911 safetys work... - Handguns and Ammunition Forums

As far as a replacement safety goes - I'd buy a Genuine COLT thumb safety for a current production Government/Commander (Part No. SP50174B for Polished Blued Finish, SP50174DB for Dull/Matte Blued Finish or SP572401 for Dull Stainless Finish). The current COLT thumb safety has a larger shelf with a comfortable no-snag, tear-drop shape. Plus, unlike most aftermarket parts, COLT Parts are high quality and are held to close tolerances.
 
Old 03-21-2012, 06:14 PM   #7
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Thank you very much for the information guys. Good example you gave, Bob. Much appreciated
 
Old 03-04-2014, 09:53 PM   #8
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A friend brought me his 1911 in this state. it is stripped, except that it has the thumb and grip safeties still on it, as well as the hammer and sear, but the leaf spring, mainspring housing, and everything else is off. I have no clue how to unfu** that monkey. Can anyone help?
 
Old 03-06-2014, 08:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hydra-Shoker View Post
A friend brought me his 1911 in this state. it is stripped, except that it has the thumb and grip safeties still on it, as well as the hammer and sear, but the leaf spring, mainspring housing, and everything else is off. I have no clue how to unfu** that monkey. Can anyone help?
If I'm picturing this correctly, you need to remove the thumb safety. That normally requires positioning it about half way up before pushing its pin out from right to left.

That will expose the other pins you need to access. Should get simpler from there.

By the way this isn't an ambidextrous (levers on both sides of frame) thumb safety, is it? Those come off the gun a bit differently.
 
Old 03-10-2014, 06:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian D. View Post
If I'm picturing this correctly, you need to remove the thumb safety. That normally requires positioning it about half way up before pushing its pin out from right to left.

That will expose the other pins you need to access. Should get simpler from there.

By the way this isn't an ambidextrous (levers on both sides of frame) thumb safety, is it? Those come off the gun a bit differently.
All that is still connected to the frame is the hammer with strut, thumb safety, and grip/beavertail safety. Cannot move the thumb safety up or down at all to get it off, and can't get the leaf spring back in because my hands shake too bad. This not an ambidex safety, just a standard GI.
 
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