The 1911: Adjusting Overtravel

The 1911: Adjusting Overtravel

Gus Norcross, originally trained on National Match rifles and pistols by the National Guard Marksmanship Training Unit specializes in Garands, M14s and 1911s at his small shop on the coast of Maine. His website is He will be offering gunsmithing tips and tricks on Fridays.

"Overtravel" is movement of the trigger beyond what is actually necessary to release the sear. Many aftermarket triggers and an increasing number of factory pistols are supplied with a small stop screw located in the lower half of the trigger which contacts the magazine catch to limit trigger movement. Incorrect adjustment of this screw allows the hammer safety notch to hit the sear nose when the pistol is fired, possibly damaging the engagement surface of the sear.

Checking the adjustment is simple. I usually remove the slide assembly for better control of the hammer. Hold the trigger to the rear and grasp the hammer with your non-firing hand. Rotate the hammer through its normal arc of movement, feeling for any interference with the sear. If you feel the hammer bump the sear, back out the screw a quarter turn at a time until no contact is felt. If you don't feel contact, turn the screw in until you do and then back out the screw a quarter- to a half-turn for clearance.

On Colt Series 80 pistols, extra overtravel is necessary to raise the firing pin block high enough to allow free movement of the firing pin. Once the adjustment is set you might want to stake or Loctite the screw to prevent it from backing out.

Popular Videos

New Bushnell Prime 1700 and Nitro 1800 Rangefinders

Jake Edson of Bushnell Optics tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead about the brand new Prime 1700 and Nitro 1800 rangefinders.

New handguns from Smith & Wesson

The Performance Center's M&P380 Shield EZ pistol features ported barrel, flat face trigger and tuned action.

American Suppressor Association (ASA)

ASA is the unified voice of the suppressor industry and a leading subject matter experts on suppressors and suppressor related advocacy.

See more Popular Videos

More Handguns


Inter Ordnance AR-15 9mm & 5.56 Pistols - A Green Beret Evaluation

John 'JD' Morris - November 26, 2018

Former Green Beret JD Morris tests the Inter Ordnance M215 ML-7 in 9mm & 5.56.


Review: Springfield Armory XD(M) OSP 9mm

David Fortier - November 05, 2018

Sponsored By
Springfield Armory

Ruger Announces New Wrangler .22 LR Single-Action Revolver

Firearms News Digital Staff - April 19, 2019

The new Wrangler is built on the legacy of the Ruger Single-Six revolver.

See More Handguns

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.