Although this is the sort of thing that I do occasionally, and have in fact conducted in the past, it is important to note that I had nothing to do with the testing shown below, and am simply reposting it from another location (with permission from the owner of the data). Drake is a law enforcement officer and 1911 gunsmith, and has done some excellent testing here.
1911 Drop Testing
The original testing used a 9mm steel firing pin and a 9mm titanium firing pin. The firing pin hole was then reamed for a .45 sized pin and the tests were repeated with .45 sized steel and titanium firing pins. All of the firing pins were weighed prior to testing. A Wolff XP firing pin return spring was used for all of the testing. All of the cases used for testing used Winchester large pistol primers. The frame and slide were donated by Gary Smith at Caspian. The pistol was built using techniques learned from Larry Vickers and Bruce Gray. The pistol was tied to a section of 550 cord, looped over a pulley, and dropped onto common floor materials. The magazine was loaded with 8 dummy rounds to bring the pistol up to proper weight. Four floor types were selected. Concrete, Pergo, 5/8 plywood, and shag type carpeting. The thumb safety was left OFF as preliminary testing with the safety ON indicated that damage to the thumb safety, slide, and plunger tube would occur with only a few drops. The hammer frequently dropped to the half cock notch during testing.
Firing Pin Weights:
9mm STI titanium pin--- 2.17 grams
9mm Caspian steel pin --- 4.45 grams
.45 STI titanium pin --- 2.36 grams
.45 Colt steel pin --- 4.30 grams
I was amazed at how easily a Series 70 1911 could be drop fired. Steel firing pins and concrete are a bad combination. 9mm sized pins and titanium construction will add several feet to your safe drop distance. I will be running Wolff XP springs and a Ti pin in all of my Series 70 type 1911’s.
I have attached an Excel spread sheet with the results. You will notice a lot of “Did Not Drop” entries. I saw no reason to drop test a particular combination of firing pin and flooring if it was not firing at higher distances or on harder flooring. I did several drops at various distances to get an idea of safe drop distances. This was to account for hard or sensitive primers. Each primed case was dropped only once. Just in case you were wondering, the pistol sustained significant damage. The muzzle is distorted from being dropped. I had to turn down the outside diameter of the barrel three times just to keep the slide from locking up. The muzzle, magwell, and grip safety have some serious blending in their future. Nothing sounds worse than a 1911 hitting the concrete from 10 feet!
The Excel file is attached here.
When Mexican Marines arrived at the San Jose Ranch, 15 kilometers from Victoria, Tamaulipas, the scene was bleak: The austere main house was practically destroyed by grenades and heavy gunfire.
Outside of the home, they found four bodies. Cautiously, and with their weapons drawn, the troops continued inspecting the exterior and found two more gunmen, wounded and unconscious, but alive.
Inside the house only one body was found, riddled with bullets and with two weapons by it's side. The body was identified as Don Alejo Garza Tamez, the owner of the ranch and a highly respected businessman in Nuevo Leon...
Colt has a fancy new weapon in development - it's called the CM901. Basically, it's a .308 caliber AR that will also accept standard 5.56mm uppers and magazines using a special adapter (which they aren't displaying for the public at the moment). A PDF file with more info can be found here.
Recently, I've been removing a lot of front sight bases attached with taper pins - which caused me to think of a different method of removal.
Traditionally, having a friend hold the upper in place on a solid surface and attacking it with a large punch and a large hammer has yielded acceptable results. However, if you're not careful, or if you get a little carried away, you can end up damaging the front sight base. I've definitely been guilty of this in the past.
Now, the method I've been using can still cause damage if you're not careful - but it seems to be much faster and easier. It doesn't require a third hand, and if you do it right, no damage will result.
Basically, I place the front sight base/barrel assembly in the jaws of a vise at an angle - so that the small end of the pins are firmly seated against the vise, and the big ends are sitting just atop the other jaw, with enough of that side of the sight base clamped in the jaw that it won't pop out like a zit when pressure is applied. On the other side, it's important to get the small ends, not the base itself, against the jaw.
At that point, all one needs to do is tighten down on the vise. When enough pressure is applied, a "pop" will be heard as each pin comes loose. You might find it easier to do them one at a time, though the angles involved can be tricky - you may need to remove the sling swivel before you do the rear pin.
Of course, they won't come all the way out - you'll still need to use a punch to move them past the point where they're flush with the surface of the sight base. However, a smaller punch can be used for this - with more precision. It won't take much effort to get them all the way out.
I have done 5 front sight bases like this, and have yet to scratch one or leave a mark that can't be cleaned up with a little cold blue. I can't say the same for some of the FSBs that I've attacked with a hammer and punch in the past.
Naturally, the procedure would be much easier with a tool which would hold the barrel/FSB in place, keeping it from the metal jaws of the vise, and applying even pressure to each pin. I hope to have a prototype made soon. But if you're at your wits end with a pinned FSB, and have access to a vise, this technique might be worth a shot.