Curing Hammer Bite Circa 1985

Back in the mid 80’s I was a young, broke guy who wanted to get into shooting competition. I had a friend who introduced me to the world of IPSC. Back then the sport was in its fledgling years; but I had the opportunity to meet a lot of guys that today are considered household names. I’m not one of them.

Close up of hammer.

Basically, I had an old Colt 1911A1 Commercial Model and a crappy leather holster and the will to compete.
So, I shot a couple of matches in the novice class and did quite poorly; but that’s to be expected. The guys were great and they gave me pointers that made me a better shooter, but that’s not what this is about.

Comparison between both hammer profiles.

The other day I was rooting thru some bins and I found the original wide spur hammer that I had on my old Colt. This was before you had all the modern, hot-shit manufacturers and any part you wanted at the ease of a key stroke. You had to either modify the gun yourself or send it to a gunsmith to do the work for you.

Notice how bobbed section is refinished.

This hammer was the first modification that I did to the Colt. The wide spur hammer had a tendency to turn the webbing between your thumb and finger into hamburger by the end of the day. It was quite common to see bobbed hammers on the firing line and one of the first pieces of advice I received was to, “cut that hammer back”

Freeze’s competition Colt 1911 he used heavily in the 1980’s.

So out came the hacksaw. I removed the hammer, cut it back, and reinstalled it. Life was good at that point. I still pretty much sucked but my hands didn’t bleed by the end of the day….that was a win/win for me.

Over the years, this old Colt has gone thru many changes. Barrels, sights, internal parts, grips, etc. Other than the frame and slide, not much is original. But for some reason I held on to the hammer.

Hammer after being cut by hacksaw.

Some may look at the pics and say that was a damn shame, but what you need to keep in mind is this: Back then, 1911’s were cheap. There were not a lot of aftermarket parts available and all the big names like Brown, Willson and Baer were in their infancy. In truth, these guys were just regular competitors, shooting in the same matches. It wasn’t until much later they developed into the booming custom and semi-custom market we see today.

 

 
Freeze
www.John1911.com
“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”

Freezer Meat

Freezer Meat

Staff Writer at John1911.com
Writer at John1911.com. Co-Host of the John1911 Podcast.

Freeze is our resident All-American hunter, shooter, gunsmith and military surplus collector. When he is not processing his own game or running the smoker, he focuses on Com-Bloc weapons and Black Powder Shooting.
Freezer Meat

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