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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:45 am 
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I just converted a Series 70 Colt to Series 80 at the client's request. We were already well into customizing this one and switching pistols was not really an option.

Some folks want it, some are ambivalent, and some scorn the passive firing pin safety. I'm interested in opinions here but ones that are based on experience with the system. Any failures? Any "I think it saved my butt"?

I have it on two Colts and I don't notice it / mind it being there.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:41 am 
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Was in a training class (long time ago) once with a Series 80 Commander. The spring broke. Seem to recall it locked up the gun, or at least would not let the gun fire. Have only owned Series 70 guns since.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:58 am 
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The one bad experience I had was this. A very large, single grain of sand got in the way of the firing pin plunger. At the time I was unloading it for maintenance.... after having been in a sandy environment. When I went to drop the hammer, it would not drop. The firing pin plunger, unable to move, was stopping the hammer lever, which was stopping the trigger lever, which was stopping the trigger.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:23 pm 
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Most issues I see are operator error. Mainly re-assembly out of sequence or changing the trigger. I use the Al Marvel jig to insure the safety lever lifts high enough to de-activate the firing pin block. This shot shows it on an empty frame, just to show the jig. The indicator shows the amount the lever travels when assembled.

Image

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 1:11 pm 
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I actually prefer the Series 80 system as long as it's properly set up. I've seen too many weapons go skidding across the asphalt, concrete, etc. I know nothing is "drop proof" but it helps.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:12 pm 
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That's good Greg. For me the final test is, especially in a gun with a trigger having an overtravel stop, when you have pulled the trigger far enough to drop the hammer, is the firing pin free. This takes three hands and a punch but it's worth knowing the result before the gunfight :shock:


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:27 pm 
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I have Series 80 Colts built by Bob Rodgers (2), Joe Bonar, and John Harrison and have not had any problems and I got the first of these 1911s in 2007. I probably have around 5,000 rounds through these guns, all have crisp 4 to 4.5 lb trigger pulls and I haven't had any issues with any of them.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:46 pm 
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Oh, brother.

From the Department of No-Good-Deed-Goes-Unpunished, I realized today that, being as how the decision to go Series 80 was made after starting the gun, the extra extractor, already fitted and matched at the back of the slide, was a Series 70.

I thought it was less trouble to convert it to Series 80 than to start over with a new extractor, so that's what I wound up doing.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 9:13 pm 
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I feel guilty

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 5:37 am 
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You wallow in it mister, until I say come out! :lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 3:51 pm 
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I just noticed that everything I wrote didn't post. I did have a problem with the Series 80 system on a Para P-14 after I had a local smith swap triggers. It failed to unlock the firing pin from the getgo. I had it resolved by a company called New Moon that specialized in the system. This was '93-'94ish.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:51 am 
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That sounds like a gunsmith problem and not a system problem, do you agree?

One of my S80's, I remember the day I discovered one of the issues-- inadequate trigger travel preventing the system from unlocking the FP. I was discussing 1911 reliability with and old friend who wasn't really into them. I let him shoot my S80 G-Model, having told him it is 100% reliable.

>click<

Wait a minute..... fiddle fiddle fiddle

>click<

I take it and shoot it, no problem. Back to you, Dan-- it's OK now......

>click<

Here's what was causing it: wait, you guys tell me first!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:01 am 
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Mine was definitely a gunsmithing problem instead of a system problem. New Moon fixed it and I never had a problem again.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:28 am 
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Just realized I never came back on this. So, in the above post-- my friend got repeated misfires with my Series 80 Colt that worked for me perfectly. What was happening?

His trigger finger position had a lot of "reach through". The tip of his finger was acting as a trigger stop on the frame. He was managing to pull the trigger far enough to drop the hammer and no more; unfortunately, this was not far enough to get the firing pin stop completely out of the way of the firing pin, resulting in misfires. That was about 1988 and it was my first clue that adding a trigger with an over-travel stop to a Series 80 system has a few facets to it that need to be carefully checked and adjusted.

I will say that barring the above externally-induced trigger-finger positioning issue, I never saw a Series 80 that didn't work right. Unfortunately that is not the case with how the Swartz system has been applied K by a certain company K that needn't be named K. What's funny is that it is almost the exact same story as above but it was me getting the misfires. Customer handed me his new pistol with the grip-safety activated firing pin block-- he had just fired it. I went to shoot and <click>. This was right after this company came out with the system and it was immediately evident that depressing the grip safety far enough to enable trigger movement did not move the firing pin block out of the way-- that required the grip safety to be bottomed out. The majority of these that I have examined have this thrown-together timing that is a bit of a project to fix. Should it need fixing? No. Should it have been done right at the factory? Hell yes.

I have been saying this for years in my classes: The people that make guns aren't necessarily gun people or shooters or cops or soldiers or even mechanically inclined. They don't appreciate the importance to us, the end users, of safety, reliability, durability. They don't know how we use them and/or they count on us not using them or using them much. They may have run the numbers and figured it simply pays better to make them poorly as most people won't notice. Sure they could make them better but it costs more and then they have to charge more, and most people won't notice, so why do it?

So.... I'm kinda frustrated in the state of firearms manufacturing, as I have been for decades now. Not that they all suck, they don't. but dang, it'd be nice to see a little more substance and if that means a little less flash, so be it.


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