Gunsmithing Project–Series 80 Smoothing

Shueywith Gene Shuey
AGI Instructor and Master Pistolsmith

The Series 80 safety system in later model 1911 pistols (introduced by Colt in 1983 if am not mistaken) can benefit from some smoothing to reduce the friction between the lever parts. But doing that requires knowledge of how the parts interact, and understanding just how much metal can be removed during that operation.In this video Master Gunsmith Gene Shuey demonstrates his technique and at the same time gives us a short lesson on how these parts interact, and why precautions must be taken to prevent problems down the road.

5 Responses to Gunsmithing Project–Series 80 Smoothing

  1. Gene has the bottom lever backwards in the beginning. Also, he says that pressing the trigger causes the levers to LOWER the firing pin block. Actually, pressing the trigger RAISES the firing pin block.

  2. There are so many really good 1911 pistols being manufactured that do not use the Series 80 safety mechanism that I don’t understand why someone would buy a Colt unless that person is just a die-hard fan of Colt. That said, ten years ago I bought a brand new Taurus PT 1911 because nothing in the literature said anything about it being of the Series 80 type. But sadly it was. It ran well enough to use, but wasn’t as good as any of my Series 70 types, so I removed the slide’s plunger and spring, and the two levers, replacing the slot in the frame’s right side with a filler plate that is available from Brownells. A new hammer replaced the Taurus hammer with a lock and a tune-up gave me a Series 70 type pistol that runs like a champ with the Wilson barrel & bushing I fitted over the winter many years back.

  3. Your the man Gene. I did exactly what you did and everything worked great. I had no grit,and it broke crisp. I considered removing the levers and piston,but I wanted to keep my Colt Competition 9mm as original as I could.Thanks Gene you showed me that I did it right.

  4. For small parts like these, I prefer to use a Dremel-like tool, but pneumatic driven with a small felt wheel and Flitz. I have done trigger pull tests before & after the polishing Gene describes, and it has always improved the pull by at least ½ pound.

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