It doesn't look like much. A flat piece of spring steel slit in two places to form three legs which are bent individually to adjust tension against the relevant fire control parts. Sear springs don't usually wear out and you probably don't need one in your emergency stash of spare parts but they may occasionally require adjustment to prevent malfunctions. Let's look at the function of this spring and its relationship to the 1911 trigger mechanism.

Viewing the spring from the rear the longest leg should be to your left. This leg applies pressure directly to the sear causing it to bear against the hammer until the trigger pushes it out of engagement. Insufficient sear spring tension can cause the hammer to follow the slide down as it moves forward during loading or firing.  A pistolsmith doing a trigger job may adjust sear pressure a bit but minimum tension should never be set less than one pound.

The center sear spring leg serves two functions, applying pressure to both the disconnector and trigger. Spring pressure against the angled bottom surface of the disconnector causes it to snap up into a notch in the bottom of the slide when the slide is in battery connecting the sear and trigger so the pistol may be fired. You can see how the disconnector works by assembling your pistol without the grip safety and cycling the slide, watching it move down disconnecting the trigger as the slide starts moving to the rear. The disconnector prevents the pistol from firing more than one round with each pull of the trigger. Insufficient spring pressure may cause a malfunction where the pistol simply won't fire because the disconnector doesn't return to "fire" position.

A second function of the center leg is as a trigger return spring, causing the trigger to return forward to firing position as pressure is released after a shot is fired so the disconnector can reset as described above. Obviously, this leg is adjusted to regulate trigger pull weight as part of a standard trigger job but tension should never be less than ½ pound. Insufficient tension may not return the trigger fully forward allowing the disconnector to reset.

The right leg of the sear spring applies pressure to the grip safety causing it to block the trigger when the shooter's grip is released. Insufficient tension de-activates the grip safety.

One sear spring variation should be noted. Clark Custom Guns markets a four leg spring that has the center leg split into two parts so the disconnect and trigger return functions can be adjusted individually, a feature useful for very light triggers in competition guns.

Popular Videos

Springfield Armory Saint Victor in .308

The Saint Victor in .308 features a 16" light weight barrel, M-Lok® free float hand guard and included flip-up sights.

Ruger introduces Rifles Chambered in the All-New .350 Legend

Two Ruger American Ranch rifles and the AR-556 MPR are now chambered for Winchester's .350 Legend cartridge.

Performance Center M&P Shield M2.0

From Smith & Wesson, the M&P Shield M2.0 is a great option for a carry gun with optics option.

See more Popular Videos

More Handguns


The Manurhin MR73 Revolver - Fighting Wheel Gun Par Excellence

Leroy Thompson - August 21, 2018

The MR73 revolver is a great one'accurate, reliable, and durable. But, you can't just walk...


The H&K VP70 Machine Pistol

Leroy Thompson - February 26, 2019

The VP70 is an interesting weapon that is illustrative of a dead-end technology.


France's MAC50 Pistol

Leroy Thompson - April 24, 2019

The MAC50 is a classic French military pistol with over a half century of service.

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.