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Old 12-13-2010, 16:43   #1
kirklite99
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Tightening up a thumb safety?

I have a RIA 1911A1-MS which has been a fantastic pistol...dead nuts reliable and accurate. However, I've always wanted to tighten up the thumb safety. What's the best way to make it "snappier"...as in more positive in CLICKING on/off? The only other 1911 I have is a Kimber and that safety snaps on and off like a light switch. Very positive. The RIA is just plain mushy. What parts would need replacing besides the thumb safety? I'm guessing the safety plunger and a stronger spring would be in order, too. Would a new thumb safety need to be fitted by a gunsmith? Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-13-2010, 17:02   #2
Jim S.
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Brownells sells a bit that fits through the plunger tube and puts a good detent on the thumb safety.
That would make it snappier for sure.
Check it out before you go replacing perfectly good parts.
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Old 12-13-2010, 17:06   #3
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Try a new spring in the plunger tube.

If not, then you can try to reprofile the engagement area; making a sharper corner.

The last resort is a new thumb safety. And yes, it will need to be fitted. You can do it, if you have the file and stone.
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Old 12-13-2010, 17:16   #4
pistolwrench
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Also check the radiused end of the plunger.
Many are made of soft steel and the dome gets worn.
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Old 12-13-2010, 19:41   #5
FLIPPER 348
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knedrgr View Post
Try a new spring in the plunger tube.

If not, then you can try to reprofile the engagement area; making a sharper corner.

.
the 2nd option will give you the best results
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Old 12-13-2010, 19:43   #6
kirklite99
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Thanks for the help, everyone! I think I'll try a new plunger/spring combo. No grinding/fitting and probably the cheaper way to go over a new thumb safety. I guess I could always try my Kimber safety parts in the RIA and see if that "snaps" it up... I have no problem with detail stripping a 1911.
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:13   #7
Texas Bulldog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kirklite99 View Post
Thanks for the help, everyone! I think I'll try a new plunger/spring combo. No grinding/fitting and probably the cheaper way to go over a new thumb safety. I guess I could always try my Kimber safety parts in the RIA and see if that "snaps" it up... I have no problem with detail stripping a 1911.
I had the same gripe about my Nighthawk. I was PISSED i spent that much on it and i had to put my time into fixing what should have been done right. Granted they did offer to take it back and fix it but i had a spare wolff spring from brownells. I put a new spring in there and it was night and day.

it still wasn't as snappy and "positive" feeling as most of my other 1911's but it was "Good"... i didn't want to sharpen the edge of the safety because of the coating on it so i haven't yet but i may soon and just touch it up with some other form of coating. I wish it was stainless, that would have been very easy.

But yeah, do the spring first. order the 3 pack just to have them IMO.... always good to have spare parts.

JOe
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Old 12-14-2010, 12:43   #8
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I had the same gripe about my Nighthawk. I was PISSED
I'd have been pissed, too, but we're talking about a sub-$400 Filipino 1911. So far, I'm very pleased with the reliability, accuracy and overall fit and finish for such a "cheap" 1911. The mushy safety was perfectly acceptable, to me, but I was wondering how to make it "snappier", especially if it were an easy fix. I'll try the Wolff spring. I've had nothing but great experiences from the many recoil springs I've bought from them.
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Old 12-14-2010, 21:16   #9
FLIPPER 348
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Originally Posted by kirklite99 View Post
Thanks for the help, everyone! I think I'll try a new plunger/spring combo.
Don't waste your $$$, the problem is with the detent in your thumb safety.
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Old 12-14-2010, 21:24   #10
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Don't waste your $$$, the problem is with the detent in your thumb safety.
Really? Then why didn't it "snap up" when I tried my Kimber thumb safety in the Rock?
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Old 12-15-2010, 10:54   #11
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Really? Then why didn't it "snap up" when I tried my Kimber thumb safety in the Rock?
i bet its the spring....

besides, if its not.... you have a spare part and spare parts are always good. Not to mention its as cheap of a part as you can get.

Like troubleshooting anything, always start with the cheapest and easiest and then go from there.

Besides, its not like it is the only gun you have for protection or shooting and its not working, it just has a mushy thumb safety.

JOe
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Old 12-15-2010, 14:06   #12
kirklite99
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i bet its the spring....
Yup...

Quote:
besides, if its not.... you have a spare part and spare parts are always good. Not to mention its as cheap of a part as you can get.
Again, yup... Cannot hurt at all to order a cheap spring. I'll try a new plunger, too. Don't even have to take the frame all the way down to change those out.

Quote:
Like troubleshooting anything, always start with the cheapest and easiest and then go from there.
And, that's exactly what I intend to do.

Quote:
Besides, its not like it is the only gun you have for protection or shooting and its not working, it just has a mushy thumb safety.
Very true. I have many other options. I don't even carry it. Like I said, I was VERY surprised at how reliable and how well an under $400 Filipino-made 1911 could be. Just wanted to "tighten up" the thumb safety. Even the finish is quite decent and seems to be wearing better than my much more expensive Kimber, which I don't carry, either, so holster wear isn't a competing issue.

Last edited by kirklite99; 12-15-2010 at 14:07..
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Old 12-15-2010, 20:33   #13
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Originally Posted by kirklite99 View Post
Yup...



Again, yup... Cannot hurt at all to order a cheap spring. I'll try a new plunger, too. Don't even have to take the frame all the way down to change those out.



And, that's exactly what I intend to do.



Very true. I have many other options. I don't even carry it. Like I said, I was VERY surprised at how reliable and how well an under $400 Filipino-made 1911 could be. Just wanted to "tighten up" the thumb safety. Even the finish is quite decent and seems to be wearing better than my much more expensive Kimber, which I don't carry, either, so holster wear isn't a competing issue.
Cool, i hope you didn't take my recommendation in a negative way. I was more replying to the other post saying don't waste your time/money.

I have a 3 Rock Islands. They are amazing for the money I am going to send them to my local guy to cerakote 2 of them and hard chrome 1. thats the only downfall on mine is the cheap coating. But for the money its a huge bargain.

1 budget gun that has really shocked me in terms of actually being better than the Rock Island, especially in the finish department is the Metro Arms American Classic II. I want to order the "Trophy" next but im putting my change in the "Range Officer" jar first.

So many great guns, not enough money
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