Is there any way to Improve my Trigger Without Jigs and Stones??

Discussion in '1911 Gunsmithing' started by Nalajr, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. Nalajr

    Nalajr Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2015
    Hey all.

    I’ve got 2 1911 pistols, one a near new COLT NRM in blue and the other is a COLT XSE Commander.

    I’d like to have a better feeling trigger on both but I don’t have the hogs and stones to do an actual trigger job. In fact, if I did have the tools I’d have to watch a video or 2 to see what I was doing to make sure I was doing it as best as my abilities would allow.

    So, are there ways that I can improve my trigger feel and pull without having to buy the sear stoning jig and the stones to go with it??

    Ideas? Advice?

    Any help is very much appreciated!!

    Have a good day guys and gals.
    apipeguy likes this.
  2. Slapshot

    Slapshot Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2017
    Shoot it. A lot.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  3. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Consider my signature line before replying . . . .

    Dec 4, 2014

    Send it to @Steve Owens . . .
    WWB, UBOATDOC, DWdude and 5 others like this.
  4. Integrity Arms

    Integrity Arms 1911 Pistol Smith

    Mar 20, 2017
    You can lighten trigger pull a bit, but you still have to know what your doing so as to not over do it and end up with hammer follow, and a dangerous trigger. There is a fine line between light and right.. If you want you can send them to me and I'll make fairly quick work of them for you.. Or send me one so you can continue to shoot the other, then decide when you get the first one back if it was worth the trip and the funds.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
  5. Bayou52

    Bayou52 Member

    Aug 9, 2017
    Johnny Johnston and Badabing11 like this.
  6. tac45

    tac45 What me worry ? Supporting Addict

    Mar 4, 2012
    Doing a safe and light trigger job is not for the novice , it involves
    Stoning and smoothing the trigger track, setting the proper angle,
    Both primary and secondary of the sear , squareing the hammer notch , smoothing and polishing all surfaces including the trigger bow and disconnecter then carefully adjusting the sear spring among other things .
    This process requires proper tools , knowledge and skill .
    Untill you acquire all the above , send your pistol to a qualified smith
    Steve Owens seems to be a good choice
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
    41 Charlie, DWdude, Mike A and 7 others like this.
  7. tac45

    tac45 What me worry ? Supporting Addict

    Mar 4, 2012
    DWdude, Mike A, HooDoo Man and 7 others like this.
  8. hks1911

    hks1911 Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2018
    As a home tinkerer myself, I must say proper tools (sears and jigs, etc) are pretty crucial.

    Brownells has a good stone set which includes a pretty useful file. It has three stones and a file for the hammer hooks. Another good piece is the trigger track stone, but what is most important is a knowledgeable smith to go over your work before you shoot.

    I am all for people learning and working on their own guns, but you gotta have the right tools and most importantly a good person who knows to check everything out.
    DWdude, Mike A, tac45 and 1 other person like this.
  9. BennyAdeline

    BennyAdeline Official Hi-Point Brand Representative

    Nov 26, 2018
    That offer from @Steve Owens is a pretty solid option, especially considering it’s often hard to get in demand Smiths to take small jobs.
    DWdude, HooDoo Man, FWoo45 and 2 others like this.
  10. Autonomous

    Autonomous Turgid member

    Jan 14, 2019
    A simple tune up will help significantly and no critical surfaces are touched.
    Some videos have bad information so you need to verify everything.
    This is a good place to start.
    ZArugby likes this.
  11. DAHoyle

    DAHoyle Member

    Sep 29, 2019
    About the only thing I tweak without jigs, is to verify the height of the hammer hooks and if you are comfortable doing it, to shorten them. I just use a .022 feeler gauge on top of a stone, and polish them down.
  12. Jrock9

    Jrock9 Well-Known Member

    Sep 3, 2019
    Cheap way to get it a little better is get the 19 ,20,21 lb. Mainspring kit and try them in each gun maybe one of the two gun's will end up better maybe they will still feel like sh!t only lighter but for ten buck' s. What the hay!!!!!
  13. wrmiller

    wrmiller The Tinker

    Oct 29, 2016
    I find it interesting that a lot of people say 'stone the trigger track' in the frame.

    I've never done that. I don't even own a stone that will fit in there.

    And I can/have done sub 2 lb. triggers on 1911s for years.

    As I've said before, there are multiple ways of doing things and apparently, I do things a bit different than many. :)
  14. Badabing11

    Badabing11 I gotta have more cowbell

    Sep 6, 2015
  15. Mike A

    Mike A Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Mar 19, 2017
    Why not learn how & use the right tools?
    This is the section oif the pistol I reserve for Me, & not for my friends.
    To much can happen that you may not be aware of.
    Do you have the time to do it right?

    The 1911 is one of the safest pistols in the world
    if you or someone else does not mess it up.
    Only work on any machine only after you understand how
    things work.

    The drop ins also say" Recommended for target use only." this for their safety.
    The last thing they want is you dropping in a set, then using it for Carry. NOT!
    wrmiller and Badabing11 like this.
  16. Badabing11

    Badabing11 I gotta have more cowbell

    Sep 6, 2015
    sorry i mis spoke .I have never used the drop in trigger kit. My improvements were made by simply installing the C&S lightweight sear spring . Less than $10 on brownells.

    The thing is drop in. But you’ll want to google the 1911 function safety tests and make sure it passes all phases. I have done 4 guns with varying degrees of results . In general , it gave the biggest improvement on the worst triggers. It did improve some of my already excellent triggers but by a smaller extent.. 2 lbs reduction on a 5 lb trigger.
    1 lb reduction on 4 lb trigger.

    edit: I agree with Mike A, if you do a trigger job, it’s probably best to keep it as a range gun.
    If you end up using it for defense , many have suggested it could create additional legal challenges .
    ZoidMeister and Mike A like this.
  17. Badabing11

    Badabing11 I gotta have more cowbell

    Sep 6, 2015
    ^^^^^ Wisdom speaking here.
    Johnny Johnston and Mike A like this.
  18. Mike A

    Mike A Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Mar 19, 2017
    Before I remove any part of any part, I polish everything.
    What can it hurt? I take an M1A trigger down to a smooth crisp 4.5 lbs
    but it will not be a truly great trigger, until every bearing surface is mirror
    like. Yes it takes time but unlike trimming you rifle brass, it only takes once.

    Look either you love working on guns, or you do not.
    If you do not, Find a good Smith & have it done.

    I have loved working on firearms & learning how they work
    for many moons. Buying a tool like the MSH tool I inquired
    about earlier. I replaced 5 MSH Springs in the 5 MSHs in less than 5 minutes.
    Did not worry about springs flying, it was worth the $.

    I am first & foremost a TOOL Addict, I have tools from everywhere.
    I also have tools I made just for the job.

    I have not tried Bluing yet but that will change. I have parkerized
    a lot of Guns, tools, some small automotive parts. Not hard
    but you must follow the instructions & not hurry the process.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
  19. mikegalway

    mikegalway CEO of DILLIGAF industries Supporting Addict

    Feb 23, 2014
    I've stoned trigger track on a few . Mainly the less expensive guns where factory doesn't spend a lot of time on it . Anything to reduce friction .
    Mike A and wrmiller like this.

    HOGRIDER Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2014
    IMO, you need to think of 1911 triggers and sears belonging to a "Fire Control Group" where there are specific parts that are working together to produce the "feel" of your trigger during the function of the pistol. Those include the trigger assembly, sear, disconnector, hammer w/strut, sear spring, and mainspring.

    Also, If you decide to "stone" your sear, or replace it with another, unless your final product is the same height (or taller) as what you started with, then you'll need to replace the thumb safety; or at least have it welded and refit to restore the function of this critical safety item.

    Watching a 'few videos" just won't cut me, I tried this long ago. So, my sincerest advice is to take Steve up on his gracious offer and send him one of your pistols for a professional "trigger job". And once you receive it back, then you'll have the other stock pistol to directly compare with the custom work.

    Once you do this, and disassemble the gunsmith fit fire control group to look at the gunsmith's detailed work, you'll have a much better understanding of what goes into a comprehensive trigger job and the awesome results it produces.

    Good luck!
    41 Charlie, FWoo45, wrmiller and 2 others like this.

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