Although it is generally
recognized that carrying an M1911 Government Model
pistol with a round in the chamber, the hammer
cocked and the thumb safety engaged allows the
fastest and most accurate defensive shooting, many
law enforcement agencies and armed citizens are
leery of carrying a gun in "condition
one" or "cocked and locked" mode.
An alternative is available
with the Safety Fast Shooting (SFS) Kit marketed
by Cylinder & Slide (C&S) of Fremont,
Neb., which is well known for its custom handguns
and aftermarket handgun parts.
Produced by R.D.I.H. of
Belgium, the SFS has a replacement safety plunger
spring, an ambidextrous extended cocking lever
that replaces the stock thumb safety, replacement
Series 80 upper and lower levers and a special
Also included is a new mainspring, although
an unmodified factory mainspring can be used.
The heart of they system is
the hammer assembly, which consists of a part
called the hammer ring
that contains the hammer
hooks and is connected by the hammer strut to the
mainspring, and a part called the hammer, which
incorporates the hammer spur.
Both parts rotate somewhat independently
around the hammer pin axis, and are connected via
Also linked to the hammer is the thumb
safety-like cocking leer.
Sandwiched between the hammer and hammer
ring is a circular spring that tensions the hammer
To use the kit after it is
installed, first retract and release the slide to
load a live round in the chamber.
That cocks the hammer assembly:
The hooks on the hammer ring engage the
sear, and the spur of the hammer is tensioned
rearward in the familiar position y the
aforementioned circular spring.
To put the pistol into the SFS mode, push
the cocked hammer forward; it will move nearly to
the normal “hammer down" position.
That action also lifts the cocking lever
into the thumb safety notch in the slide.
To fire the gun, simply thumb
the cocking lever down.
That action automatically flips the spur of
the hammer to its cocked position.
Pulling the trigger causes the sear to
release the hooks on the hammer ring and allows
the ring to rotate forward under mainspring
hammer, which is connected to the hammer ring by
interlocking lugs, also rotates forward, striking
the firing pin and igniting the cartridge primer.
The kit also incorporates a
small, flat drop safety mounted on the hammer
ring, and that rests between the hammer and frame
when the hammer is pushed forward.
That prevents an inadvertent discharge even
if the gun is dropped hammer-down.
We installed the SFS Kits in
both a Springfield Champion in .45 ACP and a Colt
Delta Elite in 10 mm Auto.
Installation closely follows the
instruction sheet and involves little more than
replacing the stock components with the
corresponding components from the kit.
Neither the kits not the frames require
modification for proper functioning though
dimensional variations among various M1911 frames
may rarely require slight modification.
During more than 200 repeated
cycles of drawing and firing from the SFS mode,
both kits worked flawlessly, and the replacement
Series 80 levers worked properly in the Series 80
Colt Delta Elite in which they were installed.
Criticisms of the SFS Kit are
may find the radical shape of the hammer spur to
be off-putting; we'd suggest a more traditional
round spur, as well as a steel right side cocking