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Colt Government Model trigger/grip safety replacement

1359 Views 10 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  kdunn
I just bought my first 1911 and it is a Colt Government Model stainless steel 80s series. Been wanting one for a while and after seeing it brand new for $925 at my LGS I couldn't pass it up.

After putting about 300 rounds through it I've decided to look into replacing the trigger and grip safety.
I want a lighter, crisper trigger pull than the factory trigger offers and a beaver tail grip safety.

Anyone have any suggestions for this that they have had experience with?
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The trigger on a 1911 has almost nothing to do with "trigger pull" except for imparting a rearward linear motion to the sear.
The crispness has to do with the interface between the sear and hammer hooks. It needs to have the right angle, smoothness, and hammer hooks height, sear hook height (by adjusting sear relief angle), and proper tension on the sear leaf and the grip safety to give a safe hammer that won't fall off of the sear when the gun chambers a round. The pull weight is mostly due to the tension set on the sear spring leaves.

Installing a grip safety is not as complicated, but it can have difficulties depending on how the frame is cut (or not cut).

It's a fairly complex procedure so I might suggest that you have a professional gunsmith fix your trigger and your grip safety. You will spend less money and be happier with the job. If you want to be a 1911 gunsmith (a very fun thing as a hobby to do if you're like me), there a numerous places you can learn that, perhaps including the gunsmith you already know.

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Yes I am planning on having a local gunsmith do the work for me as I am not so familiar with this. I would like to eventually learn how to do it myself though.

Anyone have any experience with the trigger, sear, and grip safety sets? I've been looking at a couple by Wilson Combat and Cylinder & Slide. Would you think a set would be the way to go or just the individual pieces?


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If your Government Model has a spur hammer then you will need to change the hammer to install most beavertail grip safeties.
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I am not a smith by any stretch of the imagination. I have had a 9mm Commander for about three years and seldom shot it because the trigger was so bad. I finally decided I should either get rid of it or get a decent trigger. Since I have no knowledge of any 1911 smiths in the area I started looking at the items available to attempt it mysef. I assumed the parts would have to be acquired anyway so I ordered this kit:
Cylinder & Slide Tactical 2 Match Trigger Pull 5-Piece Set 1911
Although information on the C & S website indicates that some fitting may be required, several reviews said the parts dropped in without any problem. I installed the parts and my trigger pull went from a hard, clunkey, rough 5lb, 10oz to a very smooth 3lbs, 2oz. I take it with me every range visit now.
Thanks dickttx! Who was the maker of the Commander you installed this kit on?

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Any other brand is "commander size".:D
And for the most part - this is 'drop-in' stuff that's well within your own capabilities, and can be bought through Brownell's.

Were I you, I'd spend some more money on another few hundred rounds before I did anything, in order to make sure that everything's mated nicely.

After that, if you're still not satisfied, then have some minor work done.
What dogface said.
I have bought five new Colts in the past three years. Although none had a bad trigger to start with, they were all substantially better after a few hundred rounds.
One thing to consider is that after doing the mods you have mentioned you will have more into the gun than you would have by just buying the XSE model to start with. And still not have ALL of the XSE features.
And you probably shouldn't worry, because you will probably be buying more Colts in the future anyway.:D
And you probably shouldn't worry, because you will probably be buying more Colts in the future anyway.:D[/QUOTE]

I already have my eye on a compact Colt Defender.

But anyways, I took my government model back to the range and put another 200 downrange. Decided I can live with the trigger pull. But I am going to be replacing the grip safety and hammer to eliminate the occasional hammer I was getting. Thanks for the feedback guys!
Well I put another 300 downrange and I've decoded to leave the trigger alone...for now. However I did order a beavertail grip safety and skeletonized hammer to get of the hammer bit I would get every now and then.

Thanks for the advice everyone!

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