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Grip safety on a model 1903

Discussion in 'Maintenance & Gunsmithing' started by Callidus98, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. Callidus98

    Callidus98 Portland Member

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    My Dad recently acquired a 32 cal. Colt 1903. The grip safety isn't functioning. I took it apart and cleaned it but that didn't change anything. Anyone out there have any experience with these or an idea of what the problem may be?

    I assume the age of the spring may be a factor but my knowledge wouldn't fill up a thimble so I turn to you.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

    Travis
     
  2. netcarrier

    netcarrier Portland, Oregon Active Member

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    Hi Travis,
    I think I maybe able to help. PM me with a number so I can talk to you. You need to bring it over so I can see it.
    Tony Portland, Oregon Area
     
  3. ZigZagZeke

    ZigZagZeke Eugene Silver Supporter Silver Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    When you say it's not functioning what do you mean specifically?
     
  4. Callidus98

    Callidus98 Portland Member

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    I can dry fire the pistol without depressing the grip safety.

    I have only seen it in the current condition but it looks like the safety may not be pushed all the way out by the spring. But I don't have the experience to say for sure.
     
  5. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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  6. jordanka16

    jordanka16 Albany, OR Active Member

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    I agree, probably needs a new spring. I had to replace a few springs in mine when I got it. Most of them are pretty old. They are a bear to re-assemble though, so keep that in mind.

    It's also not a good idea to dry fire these, you can peen the slide or the hammer if you're not careful, get some snap caps.
     
  7. Callidus98

    Callidus98 Portland Member

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    Velzey that is a great site, thanks. I think it might be worth replacing the main spring too since they only cost $35.

    Thanks for the info jordanka16. It took me three attempts to get it put back together the first time I took it down. And I will definitely get some dummy rounds.
     
  8. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    Your very welcome! And heck yes change the mainspring out while you have it apart. Most likely there is all kinds of old grease and dust built up way down in there!
     
  9. Callidus98

    Callidus98 Portland Member

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    That is what started this whole thing. I took it to strip it down and clean it, and I did. Suprisingly, the level of gunk in the works was pretty low. It looks like it was pretty well maintained. When I got it reassembled was when I noticed the grip safety not working.
     
  10. Callidus98

    Callidus98 Portland Member

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    Thanks again for all the input. Springs came in tonight. Got them in the pistol (several times and it sure feels more crisp. However, I am suspecting that I am not getting the grip safety hooks aligned correctly with the hooks on the sear. From what I have been reading on some other forums is that there are two distinct positions for the grip safety, a cocked and uncocked position. I am not seeing a difference in my grip safety in either cocked or uncocked. It seems like the grip safety hooks are too far in and not being push out so that the two hooks are aligned to prevent the sear from releasing. Any thoughts on if I am correct on this or the best way to correct it?

    The colt forum has a good step by step if anyone else is looking: Colt 1903 Detailed Reassembly – The Difficult Steps
     
  11. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Wolff Springs has a service pak for only $7.95
     
  12. jordanka16

    jordanka16 Albany, OR Active Member

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    The grip safety has 2 positions, the "safe" position is when the top is pushed back against the frame, the "fire" position is when it is almost flush forward with the frame. The spring should push it into the "safe" position pretty firmly when the pistol is cocked. When the hammer is down the safety is prevented from springing back by the sear.

    I'm pretty sure you install the grip safety with the pistol cocked, otherwise you would have to hook it over the sear. It is not an easy pistol to put together, and it takes some practice.