Pistol Damage? - Pistolsmith

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Old 04-03-2002, 11:00 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Maine
Posts: 7
I shoot a Briley PlateMaster in action pistol events at my local club. As part of our timed course of fire, we shoot the pistol until empty, insert a fresh magazine, drop the slide, and continue to fire. (Three such reloads per stage - 4 stages per event). I have read that dropping the slide on an empty chamber can cause damage to trigger components (Briley did an excellent job on the trigger, by the way). Does dropping the slide on a fresh magazine have the same effect? I haven't seen any negative effects on the trigger feel yet, but the pistol is fairly new. Any information will be greatly appreciated.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Cal on 2002-04-03 11:31 ]</font>
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Old 04-03-2002, 11:04 AM   #2
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 720
Wouldn't the forces created by dropping the slide on a new full magazine and stripping a round and feeding it into the chamber be exactly the same forces as one normal cycle of the slide during firing?

Only thing missing would be the force of the slide going backwards during a regular cycle.

Can't see how it could hurt anything.

What am I missing here? :???:

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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Rob Longenecker on 2002-04-03 11:05 ]</font>
Old 04-03-2002, 11:36 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Maine
Posts: 7
I think that the issue here is the trigger position. With the trigger held back, as it is in the normal firing cycle, the position of the disconnector, sear, etc. is such that the trigger components don't see the same kind of force exerted on them that they do with the slide dropping and the trigger in its forward position. I'm definitely not an authority on the workings of the 1911 (as you can probably tell) - I'm just trying to understand something that I remember reading some time ago.
Old 04-03-2002, 11:44 AM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 91
On 2002-04-03 11:04, Rob Longenecker wrote:
What am I missing here? :???:
Doesn't look like you missed anything at all. Either from a standing start at slidelock, or as part of the loading cycle, the slide encounters the same mass and gets decelerated the same way as it strips and chambers a new round.

I have never read about, or heard of, any mechanical damage resulting from using the slide release to chamber a round in ANY autoloading firearm.

Then again, we don't have as many lawyers messing with our laws of physics as you'ns do.

Old 04-03-2002, 12:19 PM   #5
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 418
The mechanism was designed to use the act of chambering the round as a "cushion" absorbing some of the force of the slide closing. When there is no round present, that "cushion" is gone, potentially damaging a tuned trigger action.

At least that's the way I've heard it described.
Old 04-04-2002, 09:05 AM   #6
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 88
The story I've heard is to not drop the slide forward on an empty action (no magazine) because the lack of resistance generated by stripping a round from a magazine can cause undesirable "impact damage" to a highly tuned sear nose and thus prematurely wear the "trigger job". This is usually only a problem on guns with light triggers since the sear engagement has been reduced.

Normal firing does wear the same surfaces but much less. Eventually the hammer will start to follow and it will be time for a new trigger job.

Check out http://www.m1911.org for all the information you want about 1911's and their function.

I would also recommend calling Briley since they have a small handgun shop I'm sure you can get all the info you need straight from the horses mouth.
Old 04-04-2002, 10:15 AM   #7
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Maine
Posts: 7
Thanks to all. I checked with Briley after posting my initial question. Their take is this - releasing the slide with no magazine or an empty magazine results in a certain amount of slide impact and some slight amount of bouncing back. Stripping a round from the magazine supplies enough resistance to lessen the impact and eliminate any tendency for the slide to bounce. The tech rep that I spoke with also expressed some concern about possibly damaging the sear if this slide "bounce back" is significant. In the case of my PlateMaster, since the pistol has only a 7lb recoil spring, I shouldn't be too concerned - heavier springed pistols would be more at risk. The trigger on this gun breaks at a little under 2.5lbs and hasn't shown any change yet.

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