As the slide moves aft in recoil, the extractor pulls
prevent any movement of the sear out of the full-cock
notch of the hammer.
the empty case along with it. Extraction is completed
when the cartridge clears the chamber.
The half-cock notch is the notch just above the full-
cock notch (fig. 2-5, view B). It has a lip that keeps the
Ejection occurs when the cartridge strikes the
sear from moving out of the notch when pressure is
stationary ejector, pivots on the extractor, and flips from
applied to the trigger.
the weapon through the ejection port.
The grip safety (fig. 2-5, view C) indirectly stops
Cocking began as soon as the slide started its recoil
any movement of the sear by blocking trigger
movement. The hammer is moved rearward and the
movement. If the trigger cannot be actuated, the sear
hammer strut is pushed down against the mainspring,
cannot move and the hammer will not fall.
compressing it. When the slide strikes the recoil spring
The disconnector (fig. 2-5, view D) prevents firing
guide collar, its rearward movement is stopped. The
unless the slide is fully forward and locked. Any time
recoil spring then causes the slide to begin its forward
the slide is not fully forward, the nose of the
movement. The hammer follows the slide for a short
disconnector is forced downward. In this condition the
distance. Then the sear, which bears against the hammer
disconnector spade does not contact the sear when the
trigger is pulled. When the trigger is pulled, the
through the action of the sear spring, enters the full-cock
disconnector will be pushed to the rear; but the sear
notch of the hammer and holds it in a cocked position.
remains in position, holding the hammer to the
Feeding starts as soon as the slide, moving to the rear,
clears the top of the magazine. The magazine follower,
When the slide is forward, the disconnector rides up
under pressure from the magazine spring, forces the top
into a recess on the underside of the slide. The spade of
round against the lips of the magazine. This places the
the disconnector (dark area) bears against lugs on the
top cartridge in position to be picked up by the face of
sear. When the trigger is pulled, the trigger yoke pushes
the slide during its forward movement.
back against the disconnector spade, which transmits
Chambering occurs when the forward moving slide
the motion to the sear, rotating the sear nose out on
the full-cock notch of the hammer, and the weapon
pushes a new round into the chamber. As the bullet is
pushed up the ramp into the chamber, the base of the
cartridge slides up the face of the slide. As this happens
the groove on the base of the cartridge is engaged by the
Cycle of Operation
After chambering, the slide continues forward a
functions of the pistol. We will assume that a loaded
small distance, pushing the barrel ahead of it. As the
magazine has been placed in the weapon, a round
barrel moves, it pivots up and forward on the barrel link.
loaded into the chamber, the grip safety depressed, the
The locking ribs on the barrel enter the locking recesses
trigger squeezed, and the round fired. The cycle of
in the slide, thereby locking the two together.
operation now begins.
Firing will start the cycle all over again. When the
As the gases from the burned powder expand, the
grip safety is depressed and the trigger is squeezed, the
bullet is forced down the barrel while an equal force is
trigger yoke presses against the disconnector, which
directed rearward against the slide. The slide and the
barrel are locked together at this point, and both are
pushes aft on the sear. The sear rotates on its pin,
forced rearward. The barrel link is pinned to the
disengaging from the notch on the hammer. The
receiver by the slide stop shaft and to the barrel by
mainspring pushes up on the hammer strut, rotating the
the barrel link pin. As the barrel moves rearward, it
hammer forward. The hammer strikes the firing pin
pivots on the slide stop shaft and is moved downward as
which, in turn, strikes the cartridge primer.
well as to the rear. As the barrel locking ribs are
disengaged from the recesses in the slide, unlocking is
For more information on the M1911A1 .45-Cal.
pistol refer to U.S. Army TM 9-1005-211-12.