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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:12 pm 
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First, the short, readable version :shock: .....you saw it on LTW first.

Ned Christiansen’s FallArrest™ Hammer and Safety Set Patent Pending
Prevents hammer fall / firing in the event of sear or sear pin breakage

For over a hundred years, a shortcoming has existed in the safety system of the 1911 pistol: the thumb safety blocks the sear, but not the hammer. The sear keeps the hammer in the cocked position, and with the sear blocked by the thumb safety, the sear cannot be moved by the trigger to release the hammer. But the safety does not block the hammer; so, in the event of a sear or sear pin failure, the hammer may fall and fire the pistol even with the safety on.

The lug on the inside of the safety, that typically must be carefully fitted at the factory or by a gunsmith to properly prevent sear movement, seems to be “in the way” of the hammer when the safety is in the on position. There is a semi-circular cut in the hammer to make space for this lug. However, the safety lug and this cut in the hammer are shaped so that in the event of a sear giving way, even with the safety on, the falling hammer can simply bump or cam the safety down and off, allowing the hammer to complete its travel and contact the firing pin. With the sear ”gone”, the hammer would not stop on half-cock.

The FallArrest™ set features positive arresting geometry so that if the hammer should begin to fall with the safety on, it will be caught by the safety. The locking surfaces on the hammer and safety lug will engage each other fully and prevent the hammer from striking the firing pin.

The FallArrest™ set is also useful where the safety in its “on” position does not positively block the sear from moving. This could be caused by improperly fitting the safety or changing out the sear and not testing for it being properly blocked by the safety. In this scenario, an inadvertent pulling of the trigger with the safety on could drop the hammer and fire the pistol, even if it has a Series 80 or Schwartz firing pin block. The FallArrest™ set would block the hammer’s fall.

The 1911 sear is more robust than it may appear. However, it is not unknown for the sear tip to break off or for the sear to crack elsewhere. It is not unknown for the sear pin to break. Should a sear pin break and “walk” out of the pistol far enough to the right, the pressure from 25-plus pounds of hammer spring would simply push the sear out of the way, dropping the hammer, camming the safety out of the way. If the safety had a very stiff detent, this might slow the hammer fall enough that the pistol might not fire. But in my testing, they all fire.

The FallArrest™ set adds no parts. You would never know it’s there except in one of the above scenarios. Given that a 1911 needs a hammer and safety anyway, there is no down side to adding another layer of safety. The Fallarrest™ set brings much more than this added level of safety to your next build. The safety features a large paddle that may be trimmed to a more abbreviated style if preferred. The paddle continues further to the rear than most giving a better feel, and unlike other safeties, features serrations on the paddle’s bottom which gracefully wrap around and blend to the top serrations.

The hammer is lightened for more positive ignition, and features a polished face. Each hammer has been hand-finished by me.

These parts are made in the USA from US-sourced, top-quality steels.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:20 pm 
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Now for those so inclined, some more in-depth info.

I’m working on a new website that will deal only with my AR15 and 1911 tools and accessories, but it’s going to take a little doing and a little time. In 2016 I did just a little less custom work and a little more R&D. This is one of several new products I’ll be focusing on in 2017. It is Patent Pending and I have released the first batch for sale. Professional installation for these is highly recommended.

It is the Fallarrest™ hammer and safety set. Before I get to the most unique thing about it, let me point out a few other features that, for a high-end custom 1911, have significant meaning.

First— What stops the downward stroke of a 1911 thumb safety is part of the safety lug. In traditional configuration, the contact point on the frame is somewhere on the bottom rear of the frame’s widow where the lug passes through as the safety is assembled into the pistol. The contact point on the safety, is, well, a point. After a certain amount of use this point will create a small deformation on the frame where contact is made; metal will be moved outward, proud of the frame side surface, and start to wipe the inside of the safety. It’s usually only a visual problem but—who wants it. However as the hard downward stop point migrates further down, it may cause a little irritating bounce-back when the safety is taken off. No biggie but on expensive guns, it’s not asking too much to not have it.

So the Fallarrest™ safety has a nice roundy contact surface. It’s not the first to have it, and it wasn’t my idea. I think I first saw it on EGW safeties. With all the safeties I’ve rounded off in this area for this reason, had I designed a safety twenty years ago, it would have had this feature, illustrated here by the Prussian blue showing the large contact area:
Image

Second-- The Fallarrest™ safety has serrations on the bottom as well as on the top, connected at the back by a wrap-around such as I have been doing on all my custom guns for, I don’t know, maybe two decades. I would call it one of my signature touches that also happens to be very functional. I’m kinda glad I won’t have to do it the hard way any more:
Image

This one shows the hammer face—it is cut lower, with a generous radius at the bottom, to take a little weight out of the hammer—another mod you will notice on each and every custom 1911 I have done. Each hammer face is hand-polished by me, starting with an ultrasonic stoning of the surface. Also in the pic you can see the safety’s wrap-around serrations and how the paddle is on the long side. This is so the ‘smith can size it down to whatever side is called for. Where the paddle “grows” from the safety’s body, the shape is more swooped back as opposed to abruptly jutting out like many do. Ergonomically this is worth it. The body and the paddle are good and beefy.
Image

A closer view of the hammer’s slot. I’ve seen a few slotted hammers, very few admittedly, crack from the last cocking serration into the slot. Didn’t want that happening. Upper profile is my design but is within probably .010 all over of Colt Commander shape. The steps in the slot are a critical component of, um, that is, they are important for the function of…. of…. ah, tactically speaking they are a serious and necessary feature because, well, I’ll have to get back on that one. Some may also notice, they look different.
Image
Image

Now the biggie, and the patent-pending, serious part. I have seen 1911’s with the safety very poorly fitted, so poorly, in fact, that pulling the trigger with the safety on would drop the hammer. I have seldom seen it discussed but most people would tell you, not to worry, the safety being up will save the day.

Nope. The gun will fire. And in this case no passive firing pin safety will help. This could as well be the result of a perfectly fitted safety but for some reason the sear has been replaced and now the previous perfect sear-blocking safety-to-sear is no longer in effect. The guy replacing the sear perhaps did not realize it should be checked.

Now, what if, instead of a poorly-fitted safety, it’s a sear tip that chips off? Maybe on a high-mileage gun; I’ve had a few of those apart, and found a few sears cracked. What if, under 25-plus pounds’ load from the mainspring, the tip finally, spontaneously, just broke the rest of the way? Or—what if the sear pin broke (seen it) and migrated out to the right, allowing the sear to come out of location and engagement with the hammer? I have actually seen a 1911 in a guy’s holster that’d had the hammer and sear pins reassembled from the right side of the gun, and both had migrated out to the right about 1/4”. I think that was the first time that cop had been the recipient, and not the giver of, “Freeze! Do not move!”

Another 1/8” of outward movement of the sear pin, and….. well, I was glad I saw it. The hammer would have droped, and the gun would have fired.

I’ll grant you -, sear breakages are not necessarily common. The 1911 sear at first glance appears delicate as hell, but they actually hold up pretty well. Just not every one, under all conditions.

Bottom line: if the hammer falls for any reason other than a pull of the trigger, with the safety on, the gun will fire, absent a passive firing pin safety in good working order. The hammer will begin falling, contact the safety lug, bump it out of the way, and continue on to the firing pin. I have seen it and recreated it. I have filmed it. It happens.

A really stiff detent on the safety might retard the hammer fall enough to soften the blow to the firing pin. I have not been able to recreate this. With stiffer-than-most detent efforts and a reduced power mainspring, “we had ignition”.

How about a safety and hammer with features that hook into each other and arrest the fall of the hammer? Here’s what the relationship looks like without the Fallarrest™ set:
Image

Added layer of safety, Fallarrest™-style:
Image

I’m not going to pretend I’m making these—I could, but it’s much better on something like this to contract with an outfit with the perfect equipment for, and years of experience at, doing hammers and safeties. A place run by a guy I have long respected as a quality-conscious innovator, George Smith, of EGW.

The Fallarrest™ set is $154. Safeties are available in 4130 or stainless; hammers in tool steel only.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 4:50 pm 
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Absolutely Brilliant! Though I have long been a fan of the 80 series guns, either series would benefit from this. Congratulations on a fine looking product!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:52 am 
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Excellent idea, Ned :) ! IMO that's an long-due safety upgrade to the 1911 design.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:27 am 
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Thank you, Kent.

And you, Tiro-- I knew (OK, hoped) that you would have a special appreciation for this, thank you.

A few questions came up on another forum, here's how I answered:

The Fallarrest™ set is intended for installation by a gunsmith who knows the 1911, although there is nothing additional to be fitted, finessed, or timed or, really, even considered. There is nothing beyond the normal steps involved in changing out a hammer and safety, and the fitting thereof, including checking sear engagement and that the safety is perfectly blocking the sear, and that there is no hammer follow.

The engagements that produce the arresting feature are what you might call gross engagements. Not like a 1911 sear engagement which is fine, slight, and dependent upon perfect angles, step dimensions, and smooth finishes. The arresting feature is more like one ship's anchor hooking into another.

The only "extra" work would be if a smaller paddle was desired. I wanted to start simple by not offering paddles in "XXL, XL, X, M, MS, SM, ES". So it's pretty big, but easily customized to size "JR" (Just Right). The paddle got a lot of attention in design to be more ergonomic than many I see out there, and to lend itself to being personalized.

Sorry to say I won't be offering the service of installing these, just too many 1911 and AR15 things on my plate, plus training and writing. But as I say there are no extra complications in installing. I would like to suggest, if upgrading from factory parts, go all the way and also get a primo sear and disconnector from a reputable source. Like, oh, what's that one place now.... EWG? No, GWE.... naw, that's not it.... GEW? It'll come to me......

At some point I expect to also offer the above EGW parts with the Fallarrest™ set, and yes, EGW may be offering the Fallarrest™ set but all these things take time, and I was anxious to get this out there.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:21 pm 
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If Ned made it, it works 100%. Congratulations!!!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:16 am 
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Thanks SS! And it does (work)!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:25 pm 
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Somebody asked to see it "in the gun":

Image


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:59 am 
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One that's had the paddle abbreviated and reshaped a bit. The shaft has been shortened and bladed to mate with a right-hand safety paddle.
Image
Image

As yet no one has asked the questions I thought by now would be asked. There are at least two interesting questions with interesting answers.... I can provide the answers but somebody's gotta ask them :shock: !


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:22 am 
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Will this be able to be used to retrofit Series 80's to get rid of the extra parts that are a PITA to reinstall?

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:02 am 
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Well you can use it with Series 70 or Series 80, there is nothing about the Fallarrest ™ system that relates to Series 80. I would say that no, it does not replace Series 80.


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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 7:48 am 
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Here's a little vid about it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFYFfEW ... e=youtu.be


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