Strike Industries Grip Actuated Lower Sear Lever – 80 Series Trigger Bliss?

As we’ve covered recently, Stike Industries releases new products faster than we can keep up (which is a good thing). An innovating product released to little fanfare is their Grip Actuated Lower Sear Lever, which despite the long name is an excellent short solution for those shooting Series 80 1911’s.

The Series 80, released in 1983 as the “MK IV Series 80” series of handguns incorporated a new firing pin block safety system. The “Series 80” and the various “clones’ then typically used the travel of the trigger to actuate the firing pin block safety system, which to the chagrin of 1911 users had the potential to mess with their beloved short single action pulls. While a good smithing, polishing, and trigger job can largely alleviate this, there still is an extra camming movement during the trigger pull that cannot be completely removed.

The SI Grip Actuated Lower Sear Lever works to fix this by taking advantage of the grip safety to disengage the firing pin block safety system instead of the trigger. The gross motor movement of gripping the handgun is easier to hide the camming movement and nearly as safe (which the Series 70 guys will say it was safe enough for the military for over 100 years).

The Grip Actuated Lower Sear Lever is not compatible with all handguns, it requires a certain type of grip safety, but those are typically very easy to come by. The widget is only $39.95 and available directly from Strike Industries. 


My question – why wasn’t this the original design? To me, its a much better solution.

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • Rnasser Rnasser

    Why change to an inferior system? The S80 is better, proven and has no drawbacks.

    • Soless

      You misspelled S70.

      • Rnasser Rnasser

        YMMV, some people just enjoy living in the past…

        • mk18

          Rnasser, please explain how a lawyer-induced design is better?? The S80 is NOT proven AND it had drawbacks. I had one that failed due to the firing pin chewing up the plunger because of the exact thing that Daniel E. Watters pointed out. That cause bits of metal to get stuck in the firing pin channel causing a complete stoppage…and this was an unmodified factory Colt Government XSE.

          • Rnasser Rnasser

            Do you realize EVERY modern handgun design (including revolvers, that adopted them much earlier) has a passive FP safety? Do you think this is “lawer-induced”? Tell that to the USMC that requested the S80 parts on the M45A1.

          • Anonymoose

            Furthermore, S&W started taking the firing pins off their hammers after some sailor in the 1930s dropped his .38 down a few decks and it went off and got somebody. In the context of a double-action handgun (even one with a rebounding hammer), where the hammer is supposed to be resting on the firing pin (or shroud or transfer bar or w/e), on a loaded chamber, some type of firing pin block safety is necessary to be drop-safe, but not on a gun that is supposed to be carried cocked-and-locked. Heck, the Makarov is okay in California because its inertial firing pin is so difficult to move it passed all their drop-tests without any extraneous mechanical safeties.

          • Rnasser Rnasser

            The “problem” with the 1911 is the number of parts that have to be fiitted properly. The S80 parts are no different, and the issue you describe is not a drawback of the design but a problem due to an improperly fit gun, something that happens often in these days…

    • Spencerhut

      Put the crack pipe down, Oh wait, you are just joking right?

  • Nice to see someone providing a good option. But IMO I would rather not have a series 80 at all. The Series 80 firing pin plan prevent optimal positioning of many adjustable rear sight dove tails like the BCMS style.

  • Don’t forget that the legacy trigger lever can have issues when trigger overtravel has been reduced. If the trigger doesn’t move far enough, the trigger lever can’t cam the plunger lever high enough to completely lift the firing pin plunger in the slide.

    We need a reliable source of the Series 80 Gold Cup-style plunger levers, the “N” lever. Alternatively, gunsmiths could use a new plunger lever design with additional material on its engagement surface so that it could be fitted precisely to the trigger lever.

  • lawbob

    Hope their products are not commensurate with the spelling on their literature…

    Saftey Function

    • Cymond

      “None compatible”

  • noob

    Ah the joys of a hand fitted pistol
    1. Disassemble back of the grip and install part.
    2. Reassemble.
    3. slide doesn’t go on because with grip safety all the way out the firing pin block upper sear lever is not flush with the frame. This happens in 90% of pistols according to the video because of a little extra metal on the fitment bump to cater to the other 10%
    4. Disassemble and extract lower sear.
    5. File the fitment bump, but not too much. Make sure to leave a little curvature so it doesn’t dig holes in your grip safety.
    6. Repeat steps 2 thru 5 until the slide goes on.
    7. Take the gun to the range, lock in a mag and load one in the chamber.
    8. Thumb safety off, grip safety off. Little silver firing pin block appears to raise.
    9. Squeeze trigger.
    10. Hammer falls, round doesn’t ignite. You removed *too much* material from the fitment bump or did the curve wrong. The firing pin block raises, but not enough to clear the firing pin.
    11. Buy new sear and take it to a gunsmith for fitment.

  • Spencerhut

    Get one of these and a titanium firing pin and throw *all* that Series 80 crap in the trash.

    • g box

      That’s what I did

  • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

    So it converts the Colt Series 80 system into basically a Kimber Schwartz style safety?

    Why not just buy the plate that removes/replaces the S80 safety entirely and turns your gun into a S70 as John Browning designed?

  • marine6680

    Seeing as the firing pin block was meant as a drop safety.. I would say that this solution is just as safe as the original 80 series design.

    The 70 series could have a drop issue, which is why several manufacturers who still use it, switched to light weight firing pins.

  • The problem with the safety-actuated firing pin safeties, as anyone who has ever had to work on a Kimber will tell you, is the timing. Unlike a trigger-actuated part, the grip safety-actuated part has to be properly fit *and the person must have a consistent grip on the gun*. A trigger-actuated firing pin safety, on the other hand, need only be fit to sufficiently deactivate the firing pin safety when the trigger is pulled as it always is — there’s no range of disengagement based on grip, it’s always consistent to the rear stop, and it’s not affected by awkward positions or other weirdness.

    IMHO, this is a step backwards. While i’m not a big fan of the S80/Schwartz system at all, I’ll gladly take the S80 over the Schwartz system any day of the week.

  • Black Dots

    Strike should have just called this thing “The Bareback”.

  • JSmath

    “My question – why wasn’t this the original design?”

    Did you watch the entire install video?

    Not only is the build process made several minutes more complicated by the fitting process, the reassembly procedure becomes as silly as reassembling a Ruger 22/45 or Mk I/II/III.

  • RickH

    Well, it does help that one aspect of the Colt series 80 pistols, it still doesn’t help the poor production quality that came with that series.

  • Anonymoose

    Did you not read the part where I said not to try to decock the hammer?