Colt 1903 Hammerless Grip Safety Issue
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Thread: Colt 1903 Hammerless Grip Safety Issue

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    Colt 1903 Hammerless Grip Safety Issue

    Hi folks,

    I have a 1903 .32 pistol serial # 356339 that I rescued from a pawn shop and have done my best to get into shooting condition again. I am having a problem with the grip safety. The pistol hammer will release when you pull the trigger regardless of having depressed the grip safety or not.

    I have reassembled the pistol numerouse times using the great documentation on this site and I believe I have all the parts installed correctly. What I am now wondering is if the OP of the pistol replaced the disconnetor and sear with the wrong vintage parts. I see on the net that there is the "old style" disconnetor that had a tab on it, and the new style which does not. Also the sears have a difference in that one style has the cut out for the disconnectors tab and the other doesnt. I believe the trigger end is also different to activate using the tabs. I have the set that has no tabs.

    Could this be my issue? Can someone confirm which vintage style (tab vs no tabs) disconnector and sear I should have for my pistols vintage/year

    -OR-

    if there is something else I should check on the assembley that would cause the trigger to not be blocked as intended by the grip safety mechinism? Maybe springs?

    I have noticed that the disconnector extends out of the reciever at all times regardles of hammer position. If I push the disconnector down and hold it in, the grip saftey seems to work but the disconnector doesnt stay in the depressed position on its own. By the way, there is no excessive wear on any of the parts in question that I can see but I replaced the disconnector anyways to ensure it wasnt worn.

    Any/all help appreciated.....
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    Last edited by 2ad_vet; 10-18-2019 at 10:53 AM.
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    Hell On Wheels...Hoorah !!

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    jar
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    Hang in there, I was shooting one of my 1903s today and it was happy to get to go WalkAbout.
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    Nobody knows or has any advice? Bummer.......

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    25 Earth hours is actually a fairly small and insignificant increment of time.
    Give the boys a chance to catch up.
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    DJC
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    You might well expect this is coming so lets get it out of the way. Your pistol is obviously unsafe and must be disposed of. Therefore, send it to me and I will make proper disposition.
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    First: You have the information backwards (I've seen sellers of the disconnectors get it wrong, so that may be where you are getting your information from). The earlier-style disconnector does NOT have the tab. The later-style disconnector has the tab (for engaging the magazine-disconnect that was put on later-production guns).

    I think the grip-safety not working is unlikely a problem related to the disconnector; I'd speculate it's the grip-safety itself; the "top tabs" of the grip safety ride against the rear of the sear and block it from moving. The situation you describe normally happens when those top tabs of the grip safety are bent "upward" -- which probably happens after someone uses excessive force reassembling the frame parts (it's difficult to reassemble and many use the "get a bigger hammer" approach when things don't seem to fit). I'd suggest getting a new grip-safety, but try to get one from a gun close to your serial number range as there are small variations Colt made in the grip-safeties over the years; you're more likely to get one that fits right if it's close to your serial number range. If you found a sear along with the grip-safety, all the better, as wear (or someone intentionally modifying things) on the sear itself could cause your same experience.

    I've never bothered to try to bend the tabs on the grip-safety back "downward" (when I've found pistols with them bent "upward") since bending tempered metal back and forth puts it at higher risk to failure -- and grip safeties are normally not particularly expensive -- but if you wanted to just experiment to be sure the grip-safety was the problem, you could probably adjust the tabs by bending them back downward and see if that corrected the problem; it's a fine adjustment though, if you bent the grip-safety tabs too far "down" it probably won't even assemble, or would bind heavily on the sear.

    If you get the gun apart and can post a picture of the grip safety from a dead-on sideways view, I can probably tell from looking at a good picture if your tabs are bent "upward" or not.

    (I haven't been dropping by the Forum much recently, but will try to check back in a few days to see if you post a picture of your grip-safety out of the frame.)
    Last edited by 1903joe; 10-23-2019 at 01:46 AM.
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    Thanks, I will attempt to post pictures as requested.
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    1571848604320-591564930.jpg1571848165284370983094.jpg1571848232279701817889.jpg

    Do these parts all look like a proper "set" and in usable condition for the year pistol? (are the sear, trigger, hammer, disconnector all correct)
    Last edited by 2ad_vet; 10-23-2019 at 10:51 AM.
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