How to Disassemble a 1911 Trigger

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The 1911 pistol is one of the most widespread and well-known pistol designs as well as one of the oldest still in popular use. One thing 1911 enthusiasts love about the pistol is its design simplicity and its relative ease to disassemble compared with more modern pistols. Disassembling the trigger on a 1911 can be useful when trying to adjust the weight of the trigger pull or replacing an old trigger assembly with a new custom trigger.

Remove the recoil spring plug just below the barrel, and pull out the recoil spring to begin field stripping your 1911 pistol.

Pull the slide stop lever from the left side of the pistol, allowing the slide and barrel to come off the rails of the lower receiver. This will leave you with the lower receiver field stripped and ready for a more detailed disassembly.

Cock the hammer, and rotate the safety lock just short of the "on" position to pull the safety lock out and away from the lower receiver. Wiggling the safety lock can help remove it from the receiver.

Remove the hammer pin by using the small drift punch and the gunsmith hammer to tap out the pin from right to left, and then remove the hammer assembly through the top of the receiver.

Tap out the mainspring housing pin using the small drift punch and the gunsmith hammer, and then remove the mainspring housing through the bottom of the pistol's magazine well.

Pull the grip safety and sear spring out of the pistol frame through the back of the pistol grip.

Tap out the sear pin using the small drift punch and the gunsmith hammer, and then carefully remove the sear and disconnector while making note of the connection between the two to aid in reassembly later.

Push in the magazine release button halfway, and use a flathead screwdriver or the hex key wrench to turn the magazine release button a 1/4-turn counterclockwise, and then pull the magazine release button out of the pistol frame.

Remove the trigger through the back of the pistol frame's grip.


  • Always fully unload your 1911 pistol before attempting to disassemble it, and always observe firearm safety rules.


  • When disassembling the 1911 pistol, use the proper tools instead of using parts of the gun to complete the task. Using the proper tools will prevent damage to your pistol and make the task easier to complete.


About the Author

Scott Friedman is a writer based in Bend, Ore. Friedman was a technical writer for a USAID contractor and a community health system. He writes for various magazines and websites while running a proposal development firm, BDC International. He holds a B.A. in international affairs from George Washington University.

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