By Charles E. Petty
Originally Published in American Handguns  Magazine Sept/Oct 2005

Not too long ago I was very reluctant to talk about anything involving trigger jobs  because anything having to do with cutting sears and hammers is a bad thing for the untrained. Two things changed that, the UPS decision to require handguns to be shipped by air to prevent their employees from stealing them and the vast improvements made possible in the manufacture of precision parts by CNC or wire EDM methods. Overnight shipping charges both ways make it tough to send a gun to a gunsmith for a simple trigger job.

Cylinder and Slide Shop now offers a complete kit, including all the parts for a 1911 trigger. If you know how to detail-strip the pistol you can exchange old parts for new. It contains a hammer, sear, disconnector, sear spring and mainspring. All you have to do is take the hammer strut off your old hammer and put it on the new one.

Cylinder and Slide offers a couple of variations and we elected to install their Ultra Light 3.5 lb. trigger pull set in a new S&W 1911. The Lyman trigger pull gauge showed a 5 lb 3 oz. average for five consecutive weights for the new gun. First I installed everything except the mainspring and recorded a 3 lb. 15 oz. average. Swapping the mainspring yielded an average of 3 lb. 13 oz. Not quite 3.5 lbs. but certainly close and it would have probably taken only a little bending of the sear spring to get there.

The parts are beautifully polished and need no additional work. The sear, hammer and disconnector all show the marks from a Rockwell hardness tester and there is a certificate with the actual test values recorded. Ours were about 52 Rock­well: hard enough to last a long time but not so hard as to be brittle.

On the pistol the trigger was crisp and creep-less.  All the safeties worked as they should and considerable shooting revealed no changes or problems.  But if anything isn't just right call, they can help.