Ria 1911 disassembly

Ria 1911 disassembly DEFAULT

Complete Beginner’s Guide to 1911 Disassembly and Cleaning

1911 pistols are rightly praised for their simple, reliable design, and their classic good looks. Though the design is over a century old now, the best 1911 pistols still perform as well as many more modern handguns. One of the responsibilities of owning any handgun is keeping it well-maintained. All weapons should be periodically stripped and cleaned, and those that you use most often will require cleaning quite often. In this article we will go into great detail on 1911 cleaning.

Cleaning a weapon keeps all the mechanisms clear of rust, corrosion, and other debris. This extends the lifetime of your gun – with regular cleaning and perhaps occasional maintenance, there is no reason that a 1911 pistol will not last for many years.

Having a clean, well-maintained 1911 has other benefits, as well. Ultimately, if everything on the gun is well-maintained and clean, it will shoot better.

This makes it more accurate, and improves your shooting performance, but also guards against the possibility that the gun will jam, and fail to fire at a critical moment.

Stripping, cleaning, and reassembling a 1911 pistol is actually a lot easier than you think. It’s certainly a more straightforward process than many more modern pistols, because the 1911 was designed as a military, open-carry handgun, and needed to be easy to maintain in the field.

It was therefore designed as quite a simple device, with no parts that are over-complicated.

Today, I’ll take you through the steps necessary to disassemble, clean, and then re-assemble your 1911. We’ll also take a look at what equipment you need to do this.

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When Should I Clean My 1911?

As often as you like! I know plenty of folks who find the process of field-stripping a weapon, making sure everything is clean, and then putting everything back together, deeply therapeutic.

Once you’ve disassembled and cleaned your 1911 a few times, you’ll actually get really fast at doing it, and the process will eventually become an enjoyable one.

On a more serious note, there are certain times when you need to clean your 1911. If you’ve been out in the rain with it, or if the pistol has been exposed to extremes of heat, humidity, or dust, it is likely to be dirty inside, and should be cleaned.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU NEED TO CLEAN YOUR 1911

Even regular use will necessitate you stripping and cleaning your 1911 gun. Unfortunately, just firing rounds will end up depositing primer and other gunk inside your weapon, so after a few trips to the range, it will need a good cleaning.

People remain hugely divided on how many rounds can be fired before you need to clean your gun. To my mind, it depends on the ammunition you are using.

Cheap ammunition will leave heavier deposits, and so your 1911 should be disassembled and cleaned every 1,000 rounds.

image of a 1911 barrel with build up of lead from corrosive cheap ammo 2017

If you only fire premium ammo, and are feeling a bit lazy, you can probably get away with firing 4,000 rounds before cleaning, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

What I would recommend, in truth, is setting reminders to clean your weapons once a month, or every six months, depending on how much you use them.

It’s easier to clean all of your weapons at once, because by the time you’ve got all the tools together, you might as well do the lot.


What Do I Need to Clean a 1911?

If you’ve never disassembled your 1911 before, don’t worry. It’s not as hard as it looks in the movies, and actually quite a simple and straightforward process. Before we get into that, though, there are a few things you are going to need.

1911 CLEANING ESSENTIALS (BUY THESE)

Everybody has their own preferences for tools and consumables, of course, but a minimal list would be:

  • Gun Oil – an absolute must. A good gun oil will protect your weapon, and also reduce the frequency with which you need to clean it. My recommendation would be the Lucas Oil 10006, which I’ve found to be a reliable, relatively inexpensive oil that is suitable for almost any weapon.
  • In addition to your gun oil, you will need copper removal fluid. This is a cleaning fluid that quickly removes copper deposits. It is a real hassle to get these off without this specialized fluid. My advice would be to get a tube of M-Pro 7.
  • A barrel removal tool. As I will explain, some 1911s require a special spanner to remove the barrel. Luckily, there are such tools specially designed for the 1911, like the Real Avid Smart Wrench.
  • A barrel brush, to clean inside the barrel. These are generally interchangeable between handguns, but if you haven’t got one I would recommend the Sage and Braker Mercantile cleaning brush, which I’ve found to be extremely long-lasting.

While you could buy all of these items separately, in practice it is easier to invest in a good gun cleaning kit that comes with all the necessary tools. If you own a number of handguns, you can generally use the same tools for all of them, so spending a little extra on a well-equipped kit will end up saving you significant time and money.

My recommendation here would be to go for the Real Avid Gun Boss Handgun Cleaning Kit, or, for a little bit more money, the Real Avid 1911 Pro Pack. Both are fully-featured kits that contain everything you are going to need, both for your 1911 and all your other handguns.


How To Field-Strip Your 1911

Once you’ve got the right kit, you are ready to field-strip your 1911.

Before I describe this process, I cannot stress enough the importance of safety procedures in stripping down any weapon.

Check that the weapon is not loaded, and make sure there is no round in the chamber before you do anything.

man checking the 1911 barrel with slide back to make sure its empty in 2017I’ll repeat that.

Check the gun is completely unloaded.

Once you are certain the gun is not loaded, check once more, then you are ready to start taking it apart.

  • Release the slide. The use of a bushing tool is handy for this step, and might be required if you have a tight match bushing. If you don’t have a bushing tool, you can accomplish this by pressing the recoil spring plug with one hand and rotating the bushing with the other. The bushing should rotate 90 degrees clockwise (when viewed looking down the muzzle toward the chamber).
  • Use caution here; the recoil spring plug is under intense pressure and will fling itself out if you don’t keep control. Once the bushing is twisted clear, let the plug out carefully. I had something similar happen when stripping my Taurus PT1911; my secondary guide rod shot into our Christmas tree and it took several hours of intense searching to find the thing.

short video of my releasing the 1911 with a bushing tool and my thumb

  • Now remove the plug from your spring and disengage the safety. Push the slide until the round cutout is perfectly aligned with the raised top section of the slide stop.

video of me removing the spring from my colt 1911 pistol in 2017

  • You won’t be able to remove the slide stop until the takedown notch is correctly aligned. Push the slide stop out from the right side of the gun.

video of me releasing the slide stop on a 1911

  • Then, pull the slide stop out from the left hand side of the frame and set it aside. Hold the 1911 upside down to prevent the link, recoil spring, or recoil spring guide rod from interfering with your next step. Then, pull the frame off the slide.
  • Set the frame aside; you’re finished with this part for now.

video of me completely removing the slide stop of a 1911 pistol in 2017

  • Holding the slide, remove the recoil spring. Then, twist the bushing counterclockwise, past the “normal” position as far as it will go to the right. This step lines up the tab inside the bushing with the recoil spring cutout.

video pushing the bushing of my 1911 to the right all the way

  • Push the barrel out; the bushing will slide out with it.

video of me removing 1911 barrel during disassembly in 2017

  • Use your finger or a punch (or old 1911 firing pin, if you have one) to press the firing pin at the back of the slide. Keeping the firing pin depressed, slide the firing pin stop down. Use caution here; once you have the firing pin stop out of the way, the firing pin will move toward the rear of the slide quickly.

video of 1911 disassembly where I remove the firing pin from the slide stop

This should be the extent of your “normal” cleaning and maintenance for your 1911. But, every so often, you should do an extensive breakdown and cleaning.


Complete 1911 Disassembly

If you want to take your 1911 completely to pieces, there are several further steps:

  • Take out the firing pin and firing pin spring from the firing pin channel. Using your punch, start the taking the extractor out. You might want to use a cloth to prevent marking the slide as you lever the extractor out. Finish pulling the extractor by hand.
  • Now, you’re finished disassembling the slide. If you decide to take the sights off, you’ve moved into modification rather than cleaning.
  • Check and clean the extractor and firing pin channels; these can accumulate an alarming amount of debris.
  • Next, break down the frame. When you work on the frame, even just cleaning it, you should engage the safety.
  • The hammer can be dropped with the slide removed that could damage the frame.
  • First, remove the grips. Move the safety about halfway off, to the point between off and on (it won’t want to stay in this position).
  • Lift the safety straight up, wiggling it as you pull. You’ll have to grip the tab on the safety itself to pull it out. The grip safety will now be loose.
  • Start the plunger assembly out of the plunger tube with your punch or firing pin. You’ll need to push the slide stop plunger in.\Then, pull the two plungers out by hand. They should be attached to a string.
  • Now, you need to put the hammer down. Get a strong grip on the hammer, pull it back a little, and pull the trigger.
  • Gently let the hammer down until it stops.
  • If you have a bench block, it’s recommended you use one for this step. You can remove the mainspring housing without one, but you take a chance of warping the frame by doing so.
  • Use a punch or firing pin to push out the mainspring housing pin. You’ll likely need to tap it out with a hammer. Make sure you have a hole or some kind of free space on the other end for the pin to come out.
  • Make sure the hammer is down for this step. If you don’t, the compression of the mainspring can cause the frame to warp.
  • Now, the mainspring and the grip safety will fall out of place. Next, gently pull the sear spring, which includes the sear, disconnecter, and grip safety; it’s a three-pronged piece. At this point, all components of the backstrap have been removed.
  • Flip the gun over and start removing pins.
  • It doesn’t matter in what order you remove them, but the hammer and sear pins need to come out. Then, shake the frame; the hammer, disconnecter, and sear will fall out.
  • Now, remove the magazine latch. Push the magazine release in about 1/16-inch. Use a small screwdriver to turn the release counterclockwise.
  • It’s not a screw, so it won’t come out. You might have to jimmy the release. Once you’ve turned the latch enough, the magazine release will drop right out. The trigger should also drop free. If it doesn’t, you definitely need a cleaning.

For accompanying photos of each of these steps, I recommend checking out this incredibly detailed and useful photo-guide to 1911 disassembly.

Your frame is now completely disassembled. You should have a pile of small parts and three large parts (slide, barrel, and frame).


Clean Your 1911

Phew. In comparison to disassembling a gun, cleaning the weapon is actually relatively straightforward. Once you have a pile of smaller bits and a few large ones set out in front of you, you can clean each in turn.

If you are cleaning your 1911 regularly, and you should be, then it is easy to see where deposits have built up. These can be washed away with your cleaning fluids and a vigorous scrub.

If you see any spots of corrosion starting to appear, pay special attention to these areas, and make sure you clean them thoroughly – if you leave them on your weapon, they will spread quickly.

Use your barrel brush to give the inside of the barrel a good clean. It is difficult to see inside, of course, but the debris that builds up your brush should give you a good idea of how dirty it is. Once your brush comes back with little or no deposit on it, the inside is clean.

Lastly, give every part a good coating of gun oil. This will protect each part against corrosion until the next time you come to strip your weapon. Don’t worry if the parts feel a little slick and slimy after you have coated them in oil – you can wash off any excess once the gun is back together.


1911 Reassembly

Unfortunately, re-assembly isn’t just working these steps backward. That would be too easy.

  • First, put the ignition system back together. You’ll do this step after reinstalling the trigger and magazine catch. Position the sear and disconnecter like they will sit inside the firearm. Keeping them in that position, insert them back in the frame until the sear pin hole lines up with the hole in the sear. Tweezers can be helpful in this step.
  • A little trick to this is to push the sear and disconnector into place while looking through the sear pin hole in the frame. Once they start to line up, catch them with the rounded end of a firing pin. Then, drop the sear pin into place from the left.
  • Then, position the hammer under the hammer pin hole and insert the hammer pin. Make sure not to cock the hammer; if you do by accident, pull the trigger and manually push the hammer forward.
  • Now, lift the hammer strut out of the way and insert the sear spring. There’s a notch for this inside the frame so everything should line up correctly. Verify that the sear spring engages the sear and disconnecter.
  • Slide the mainspring house partway into the frame to capture the bottom of the sear spring. Swing the hammer strut down and line it up with the mainspring. Don’t push the mainspring housing all the way in yet, as this would prevent the grip safety from being inserted.
  • Once you’ve installed the grip safety, you can push the mainspring the rest of the way in. It will grab the tab on the grip safety and hold it in place. You can also drop the thumb safety through the correct hole (but you don’t need to line it up just yet) to help hold the grip safety.
  • Now, you’ll need to tap in the mainspring housing retaining pin. This is another step where a bench press can be a handy tool. Cock the hammer. If it squirts out, you’ve forgotten to retain the mainspring housing.
  • Reposition the thumb safety in the halfway position; the plunger assembly should be between the safety and its final resting point. Brownells sells a tool for depressing the plunger, but an old firing pin or an ink pen will also work.

For a step-by-step video explanation of the 1911 re-assembly, watch this informative video, courtesy of GUN TIME with Brandon.

At this point, everything else can be reassembled in the order it was taken apart. Be sure to oil all the parts before you put them back in place.


Cleaning a 1911 Conclusion

Whilst the instructions above might sound complicated when put on paper, in reality stripping down a 1911 is a relatively simple process. After all, soldiers have been stripping these pistols in muddy trenches for over a century now!

And once you’ve been through this process a few times, I promise you that it will become second nature. Once you have a gun in front of you, and have some knowledge of how it works, the steps you need to carry out are pretty obvious.

Once you get fast at stripping and cleaning your 1911, it might even become fun – an afternoon spent in the garage every month, stripping and cleaning your guns, can be a deeply relaxing experience.

Ultimately, keeping all your weapons free from corrosion, and firing true, is going to make you a more effective shooter, and reduce the possibility that your 1911 pistol is going to fail at that critical moment.

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Chris Browning

Hey everyone I'm Chris. Founder and editor at Gun News Daily. This site was originally started by my father who passed it on to me. Gun News Daily has been reporting on gun news and conservative politics since 2001. We are the original gun news source. Life-long Second Amendment Supporter.

Sours: https://gunnewsdaily.com/1911-disassembly-cleaning-guide/

Last time we brought up the 1911 family of handguns, the focus was on the “basic function check;\" a quick rundown of the fit and functionality of the weapon that could be performed without tools or stripping the weapon, and capable of detecting a spectrum of potential mechanical issues. Of course, the basic check is far from perfect. There are a number of potential issues that would go undetected, and require a more in depth examination. In particular, disassembling the pistol makes it a lot easier to check out. If followed properly, these directions can spare you time, money, and possible injury.

Before Disassembling Your 1911

Though not as user friendly as some modern handguns, the field strip procedure of the 1911 is relatively straightforward, and requires a minimum of tools. For the classic model, a ballpoint pen with an intact cap plus a bottle of suitable oil can get you 90% of the way there, and a suitable flat head screwdriver can cover the last 10%. For newer models, where an increased emphasis was placed on the tightness of the bushing fit, a bushing wrench can save a lot of wear and tear on your hands and on the gun. These wrenches are available from a number of vendors, and many manufacturers include them in boxes alongside other basic cleaning tools.

Before taking the pistol apart, I recommend performing the basic check procedure and verifying that the pistol is unloaded as part of your preparations. This basic function check verifies that the weapons is in good order before starting. Also, if the pistol does not function after reassembling, you'll know if it was like that before you got there. A work table/bench isn't strictly needed, but, unless you have a higher than average number of hands, you'll need somewhere to put the various pieces as they come off the pistol.

As a second recommendation, appropriately take the time to deeply examine the finish of the pistol before attempting disassembly, especially the first few times. There are a few areas of the pistol that are prone to excessive and unsightly wear during the disassembly and reassembly procedure. The recoil spring plug, and the frame beneath the slide stop, can suffer wear to the peaks of the checkering, resulting in finish loss or even denting of metal, if the bushing is allowed to drag against it while being turned or if compressed with a hard tool. “Takedown lines,\" distinctive semi-circular rubs or scratches caused by the slide stop dragging against the frame, are extremely common on military-issued 1911's because they were typically handled without great concern for future collector value. While one can take apart a 1911 without inflicting this wear on it, developing the skill and confidence to do so takes time, and is best done with a pistol of less than pristine condition. On a real 98%+ pistol, you may be better off leaving well enough alone.

Disassembling Your 1911

There are a few different ways to proceed, but the following is the one that I've found works well for a broad variety of 1911/Government Model pistols. Step one will be to deal with the recoil spring, which can interfere with the removal of the slide stop. Use caution at this phase, as, by design, the 1911's recoil spring is kept compressed even at the resting slide-locked position, and, if mishandled, can launch itself and its plug with enough force to cause harm.

Positioning the rear of the pistol on the work surface, push the plug inward with one hand (use the back end of the pen as if it puts up resistance, and cock the hammer and engage the thumb safety if you find the slide is moving around too much on you), and rotate the bushing with the other (left/clockwise relative to the bore as viewed from the muzzle). The bushing should move far enough to allow the plug to come forward, permitting a controlled release of pressure on the spring. Once this is done, the plug can be set aside. Do not attempt to remove the spring at this point.

Next comes the slide stop, which doubles as the axis pin for the barrel link and keeps both the slide and barrel secured to the pistol. With the spring decompressed, the slide can now move freely back and forth, and the takedown notch (the small, semi-circular cutout just behind the catch notch on the slide) aligned with the slide stop. With these parts aligned, the stop can be moved up, relative to the pistol, and pushed out from left to right. If resistance is experienced at this step, first confirm the slide is properly positioned, then apply some oil, and finally apply greater force using a non-marring punch (or the back of the pen) as a drift to get the stop moving. Once the stop is out and the magazine is removed, it can be set aside, and the slide assembly can be removed off the front of the frame.

Removing the grips is not strictly needed for this process, but doing so can reveal useful information about the pistol, for example, obvious differences between the screw bushings is a clear indication of part replacement or pistol overhaul, and the presence of finished-over pitting in this area is a clear sign of refinishing. Each panel has two screws, which are removed in conventional, counter-clockwise style. While they are generally interchangeable, I suggest keeping track of which screw came from where. One way to do this is to take a sheet of paper, poke four holes in it with the pen, stick the screw shanks into those holes, and then label the paper around each screw to note which position each came from. This technique is also handy when dealing with other firearms with multiple screws, especially when those screws are not interchangeable.

Regardless if you dismounted the grips or not, the frame and grips can be set aside while continuing to deal with the slide. Before the barrel can be removed, the bushing needs to be removed. To do so, rotate the bushing right/counter-clockwise relative to the muzzle, which will allow it to be pulled out from the front. With the bushing out, the only thing holding the barrel in place is the recoil lugs in the slide. Pulling the barrel down slightly, relative to the slide, will clear those lugs, allowing it to slide forward.

Setting the barrel aside, we are now left with the slide, which still has the firing pin and the extractor. Both of these parts are held in place by the firing pin stop plate. Before proceeding, take note of the compressed spring that, although not as powerful as the recoil spring, still holds a hazard of launching out of the pistol; less likely to draw blood, but more likely to land somewhere where it is difficult to find. To free the stop plate, depress the firing pin further into the pistol (the arm of a pen cap is perfectly sized for the job, while the back of the pen is a good tool to drive down the plate if it puts up some resistance). When the plate is about a quarter of the way down, you'll need to take the pen cap out, and about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way down, the firing pin (which, again, needs to be compressed to remove the plate) is free to leave the pistol, at a velocity determined by whether or not you had your thumb over it. The firing pin, unless jammed with grease or experiencing some other issue, should drop free from the slide. The extractor, however, requires a bit more effort and, strictly speaking, isn't really needed for this procedure.

Reassembly is more or less the same procedure in reverse: firing pin, pin stop, barrel, bushing and spring back onto the slide, slide back onto the frame, slide catch back into the frame, plug back into the slide, and the grips whenever you feel like it.

Variations and Trouble Spots

The procedure described above is applicable to a broad spectrum of 1911/Government Model pistols, both vintage and modern. That said, there are some variations on the theme of the basic Browning design that can interfere with the procedure above, due to people making changes. Whether these changes are an improvement or an “improvement” is A) outside the scope of this document and B) likely to start an argument, so we leave that aside. These changes can require a slightly different approach to taking down the pistol.

Lot 1451: WWII U.S. Singer Model 1911A1 Semi-Automatic Pistol

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Variation One: When Decompressing the Recoil Spring Fails

There are a number of alterations that can be made to the 1911 that can cause issues when trying to manipulate the bushing or while decompressing the recoil spring. Bushing alterations have long been popular, as designers and tinkerers often want to tighten up the fit of the components in that area, which can make it troublesome to remove with the pistol otherwise assembled. Another alteration target is the recoil spring and plug assembly, which can be changed for a tighter fit or to integrate a guide rod for the spring, which again can make it difficult to remove the plug.

Ruger Model SR1911 Pistol outfitted with Guncrafter brand bushing sold during RIAC's July Online Auction

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For a real-world example of what can do this, in our July Online Sale we had a Ruger 1911 outfitted with a Guncrafters brand bushing, which was designed with a solid front; there is no way to physically access the spring plug to initiate the style of takedown listed above. To get the slide off in this scenario, you essentially need to run the procedure backwards. Instead of removing the plug to decompress the spring, you need to remove the frame.

Manually retract the slide against resistance to align the notch with the slide stop. Techniques vary, but I've had good luck with hooking the thumb of my weak hand in the trigger guard and wrapping my fingers around the top of the slide to pull back, and then getting the thumb of my strong hand around the grip safety and the fingers around the slide to hold the slide back and make the final adjustments. BE CAREFUL when you pull out the slide stop; there's enough pressure on the mainspring to physically launch the slide and barrel right off the pistol. Before attempting to gently release the slide, you need to have your off hand in position to support and control the recoil spring, because as soon as you have the slide forward far enough it's going to want to pop right out. Once the slide is off, you'll need to lay the frame aside and use both hands to support the slide to gently let out the spring. With the spring no longer providing tension, the challenge of getting the bushing out is often significantly lowered, though you may need to play around with the position of the barrel to get enough play to get the bushing out.

Reversing the procedure requires getting the spring back into position by keeping the spring compressed and the barrel link aligned properly while putting the whole assembly back onto the frame at once. Again, during this procedure the spring will be in danger of ejecting itself from the slide and, during the final steps of reassembly, the compressed spring can launch the slide. Be mindful of your surroundings and where parts are likely to land in the event that a hand slips.

Lot 1428: Rare North American Arms Model 1911 Pistol Serial Number 66

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Variation Two: Firing Pin Safeties.

The 1911 pistol uses a spring-loaded, inertia-driven firing pin. At rest, the firing pin is not long enough to reach the primer with the hammer down and must be driven forward with force to clear the space and strike the primer. While this was considered sufficient for the time of construction (and still is by many parties), some seek an additional layer of protection to assure that there won't be an inadvertent discharge. There are a few variations on the firing pin safety, though many boil down to two components: a spring-loaded block in the side that physically obstructs the pin from moving forward until pressed in the proper direction and something in the frame to do the pressing (which is typically linked to either the trigger or the grip safety and found in the vicinity of the disconnector on the top of the frame). The part of the mechanism in the frame does not present a problem during this procedure, but the block in the slide can cause stress during attempts to remove the firing pin and stop plate. For this part, a second pen cap may come in handy.

First, lay all other parts aside and set the slide down on its sights on the work surface. The safety device typically looks like a round or rectangular section of metal sticking out from the bottom of the slide, which can be pushed in with a small amount of force. In order to get the firing pin pushed in far enough to release the stop plate, you need to first push in the safety, maintain pressure, and then push in the firing pin. Once the pin is pushed in, pressure can be released from the safety and attention turned to the stop plate. Reassembly requires depressing the safety, properly positioning the firing pin, and positioning the slide stop back in place. Again, as long as the firing pin is in and being held down, you can release the safety.

Now What?

With the pistol stripped down, all the parts can be inspected for signs of damage or abnormal wear, as well as variations in color and texture that could indicate a replacement or refinishing. Of particular note are high stress/friction areas, like the frame and slide rails, the underside of the slide, and anywhere where metal is cut at a 90% angle. With the barrel off, it's easier to inspect and clean the bore, plus, a number of manufacturer and inspection markings may become exposed during this process. Looking up through the bottom of the slide, the extractor can be checked for damage and wear, as can the firing pin.

Lot 1445: General Clarence R. Huebner's Colt 1911A1

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An area of particular concern, especially if the pistol shows evidence of alteration or upgrades, is the interface between the ramp and the throat. These are areas of the frame and barrel responsible for managing the transition of cartridges from the magazine to the chamber. In essence, this area of the pistol acts like a funnel to guide the cartridge where it needs to go during the feeding process, and it is a popular target for modifications both moderate (like lightly polishing the area) and extreme (completely redesigning the barrel and frame to integrate more of the ramp directly into the barrel). Opinions on how much is too much vary wildly, but from the standpoint of Browning purists and collectors looking for a pristine example, any modification could be considered too much. Alterations made by previous owners (which can call for heavy scrutiny) can aid reliability in feeding but could also harm much more than it helps (if it helps anything at all). If the upgrades or modifications to a 1911 seem too extreme, or you question what the person who did the modifications was even thinking in the first place, then it would be best to direct your dollars elsewhere.

Conclusion

The Colt 1911 is arguably one of the most popular, effective, and stylish sidearms ever invented. It served troops faithfully throughout both the First World War and the Second World War and was even a popular sidearm of choice for many civilians and outlaws alike. That being said, it is no wonder that these particular firearms are so incredibly valuable to collectors as each one tells a different story. With the proper care, attention, and maintenance, these treasures can last, and even function, for an indefinite period of time.

Lot 3592: Cabot Guns Trump 45 1911 Semi-Automatic Pistol

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As always, a full and detailed inspection should be performed before attempting to load or fire any gun that has had previous owners. Functionality can be verified independently, but if you're not sure, it never hurts to visit a trusted, competent gunsmith for a full run-down on your newest 1911 pistol. If you have any questions regarding any of the information discussed in this article or are interested in the consignment process, please contact Rock Island Auction Company.

If you found this helpful, be sure to check out some of our other educational guides:

How to Function Check a Colt Single Action Army Revolver

Inspecting Your Japanese Sword

What Issue is My Colt Detective Special?

How to Inspect an Antique Rapier

How to Identify a Winchester 1866

Sours: https://www.rockislandauction.com/riac-blog/how-to-disassemble-your-1911
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Gunner’s Journal

1. Press magazine catch with right thumb and, at same time, withdraw magazine from receiver. Pull slide to rear and look in chamber to see that gun is not loaded. Close slide and pull trigger so hammer is down.

2. With thumb, press inward on knurled end of plug, at same time rotating barrel bushing, turn clockwise to free plug and recoil spring assembly. Rest heel of gun on table so both hands may be used.

3. Remove plug and recoil spring. If spring does not come free easily, rotate plug in counter-clockwise direction to separate plug from recoil spring.

4. Rotate barrel bushing counter-clockwise until disengaged from slide. Remove barrel bushing.

5. Slide is pulled to rear until lug on slide stop is opposite clearance notch on slide. Rounded end of slide stop pin protruding on right side of receiver is pushed inward by finger of left hand, which disengages slidestop from slide.

6. Remove slide stop.

7. Pull receiver group to rear and off slide. Recoil spring guide can now be lifted out.

8. Push link forward and remove barrel from front of slide.

9. With hammer cocked, rotate safety lock almost to “On” position. It can now be pulled to left and away from receiver.

10. Remove hammer pin.

11. Lift out hammer assembly.

12. Using hammer strut, punch out mainspring housing pin.

13. Slide mainspring housing off receiver.

14. Lift out grip safety.

15. Lift out sear spring.

16. Remove sear pin.

17. Lift out sear and disconnector. Note relationship of these parts to facilitate reassembly.

18. Depress magazine catch from left side; at same time rotate magazine catch lock 1/4 turn counter-clockwise using lip of sear spring as screwdriver. Magazine catch assembly is then removed from right side of receiver. Catch assembly can be reduced to components by turning lock clockwise 1/4 turn. Spring and lock will come out.

19. Remove trigger.

20. With hammer strut, push out link pin, separating link from barrel.

21. With hammer strut, push in on firing pin. At same time place fingernail against top edge of firing pin stop and push downward, freeing firing pin stop from recess in slide.

22. Remove firing pin stop. Firing pin assembly can now be removed from slide.

23. With hammer strut, pry out and remove extractor.

24. Separate firing pin from firing pin spring.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to leave a comment to get in touch with me. I check my email often and will get back to you ASAP.

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Rock Island Armory 1911 Armscor Field Strip, Clean, Lube \u0026 Reassemble

Why They're Easy to Maintain

The 1911 is, without a doubt, one of the most popular pistol platforms in the world—and with good reason. The gun's simple and durable design make both using and maintaining the firearm a painless process. Without properly understanding the genius behind the gun's construction, it can be difficult to understand what separates this platform from its competitors. 

Read on for more on why 1911s are maintenance friendly and how to care for those in your collection.

It's Easy to Disassemble/Reassemble

One of the best aspects of the 1911 is the ease of disassembling the gun. A simple field-strip or complete disassembly can be performed relatively quickly. Hopefully, the only time you’ll need to disassemble your gun is during cleaning.

The most important part to clean is the barrel. You should also apply lubricant to any areas that experience friction with the slide or other parts. A routine cleaning after each range outing is recommended, which only requires you to do a simple field-strip.

To learn how to perform a complete disassembly of your Rock Island 1911, watch this video. You can also see how we recommend cleaning your 1911 pistol.

It Has Fewer Parts

Another aspect of the 1911 that makes maintenance easy is the lower number of parts and the simplicity behind how those parts work together, as compared to other, more complex firearms. Need proof? Take a look at the inner workings of the Russian AN-94, and compare it to the 1911. As far as maintenance goes, the 1911 seems like the easier of the two.

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The more complex the system, the harder it will be to maintain. The 1911 earned its place as a prominent, long-time service pistol for militaries and law enforcement around the world, thanks not only to good firepower but also to its intuitive, easy-to-maintain design.

It's Proven

If you’re looking for a historical, proven platform that’s easy to use and maintain, then the 1911 is for you. A good starting point, without going for broke, is the Rock Island GI Standard. Or if you prefer a compact package, you should consider the 3.5” barrel option.

The methodology to cleaning a 1911 is just like anything else—if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right. That's why it is so critically important to approach your 1911 maintenance with a sense of diligence and attention to detail. Without these, you stand to damage your firearm's internals. 

Unload It

Remove the magazine, and rack the slide, using the slide stop to hold it open while you verify that the chamber is empty. Always remove the magazine first, as a full magazine will fill an empty chamber. Do not assume that it has been cleared. Remove the magazine, and check the chamber.

(Actually) Read the Manual

Every new 1911 is shipped with a manual, or at least a CD or note card with a web address to find the manual. And you need to read it, even if you know the USGI M1911A1 manual and can recite it from memory. As new technology in materials, design changes or machining develops, changes can occur. Reading the manual takes as much time as drinking a cup of coffee and can prevent a lot of easily prevented mistakes.

Recoil the Spring Plug First

It does not matter what your father, grandfather, drill sergeant, armorer or even that old guy at the gun store told you - always remove the recoil spring plug first. This releases all tension in the parts of the gun you will be cleaning during a standard field strip. With the slide in place, there is only one direction the spring plug can go, and that is controlled by your hand. It is the first item out and the last item back in. (Unless you have a 1911 with a bull barrel and reverse plug, in which case, repeat Commandment No. 2, because there are different kinds.)

Brush from the Breech

The business end of the barrel is finished a certain way. Even on the cheapest of 1911s, there is a crown on the barrel that manages the release of gas pressure behind the bullet as it exits the barrel. A metal rod or boresnake guide can damage the fine edges of the crown causing uneven wear. Over time, this can cause your fine, accurate weapon to be inaccurate or even erratic. By brushing from the breech, you prevent this issue entirely.

There is No “Best”

Cleaning products are pretty universal. Gun-makers suggest specific products based on one of two things - either they have marketing agreements with companies, or they use the product in their own shops. If you must switch between products, perform a detail strip, clean and re-lube with the new products. While most products are fairly inert or even compatible, some are not. No need to risk it if you don’t have to. No need to order something special if something usable is on hand. There is no excuse for waiting until you can order your favorite, specially scented, high-speed/low-drag blend of vegetable oils.

Use Proper Ventilation

There is no better known scent in the world of gun cleaning than Hoppe’s #9. That strangely tantalizing mix of burnt banana and sardine just smells right. They even make air fresheners that smell like it. However, most solvents and cleaners that have any form of petrochemical base can cause severe brain damage if used improperly. Even with today’s more earth-friendly, non-toxic cleaning agents, use ventilation. GSR (Gun Shot Residue) contains unburnt powder, atomized heavy metals and all sorts of toxic chemicals from the bullet components. Your gun may smell minty-fresh, but don’t take silly chances.Hoppes 9 Gun Bore Cleaner

Use Oil

Not grease. Not WD-40. Oil. And use it sparingly. Grease can solidify and gum up due to temperature changes and foreign matter becoming trapped within. What is slippery to your skin is sticky to dust, sand, dirt and unburnt powder. Penetrating oils like WD-40 are wonderful for their intended purposes but can penetrate your ammunition and cause misfires or duds.

Properly Lube

Under-lubricating a weapon causes friction where we do not want it. This leads to premature wear and damage to the gun. Over-lubrication can cause the same issues as using grease or penetrating oil, gumming things up, collecting debris or contaminating the ammo.

Wipe it Down

When you have finished cleaning, lubing and re-assembling your 1911, wipe it down with an oily rag or a silicone-impregnated cloth. The chemistry of the human body is not known to be gentle on firearm finishes and can penetrate Parkerizing and ruin bluing. The final wipe will leave a light coating of oil, or a fresh application of silicone, on the surface of the weapon, helping to prevent damage to the finish.

Don’t Clean Too Often

Guns are machines. The 1911 was designed to function in a wide variety of terrain and climate and only cleaned when absolutely needed. A properly maintained 1911 can be fired with black powder loads if needed. Even high-cost weapons with extremely exacting tolerances do not need to be cleaned very often. Over-cleaning can cause those internal dimensions to change by thousandths of an inch, reducing accuracy and possibly even functioning life of the firearm. Refer to the manual, and keep a regular maintenance schedule.

Ultimately, you are the only one who can determine how well your 1911 is cared for. If you choose to take the time needed to care for it properly, it is sure to return the favor. If you neglect your firearm, then it may let you down when you need it to perform the most. The simplicity of the gun's design greatly reduces the amount of effort it takes to maintain, so do yourself a favor and take the time to care for your handgun properly.

Keep Your 1911 Working Until 2111

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Disassembly ria 1911

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When was the last time you performed a full clean of your 1911 pistol? No, we're not talking a quick polish or lubrication - we mean the full clean.

When it comes to taking proper care of your full-size 1911, you'll need to know the safest, most efficient way to disassmble your firearm. It's a simple, step-by-step process that only requires a few tools, some knowledge of the parts of your gun and some common sense.

Remember: Before working on any firearm, make sure the magazine is empty and removed. Also, make sure the chamber is empty and the firearm is unloaded.

What You Need

Before you get started, make sure you have:

  • An eighth-inch pin punch
  • A small screwdriver
  • A standard-size screwdriver
  • A ball-peen hammer

The Upper Assembly

First things first - you'll need to take apart the upper assembly of your 1911.

  1. Grab the gun upside-down, and push the recoil spring plug downward
  2. Rotate the barrel bushing clockwise, releasing the recoil spring and plug
  3. Cock the hammer and push the slide back
  4. Align the disconnecting slot on the slide with the notch on the lower receiver
  5. Push the slide stop from underneath and pop it out
  6. Remove the whole assembly on the slide
  7. Remove the recoil spring and the recoil spring guide
  8. Turn the barrel bushing counter-clockwise, and remove the barrel
  9. Push downward on the firing pin and stop to remove them
  10. Remove the extractor using your standard-size screwdriver

The Lower Receiver

Next up, it's time to take apart the frame of the gun.

  1. Remove the screws from the grip panel
  2. Use the pin punch to remove the mainspring housing pin on the left-hand side of the gun
  3. Cock the hammer, and pull the thumb safety off
  4. Remove the grip safety, the mainspring housing, the sear pin, the hammer and the disconnector
  5. Remove the magazine release by pushing forward the magazine release button
  6. Release the slot on the right-hand side of the gun by the trigger by rotating it counter-clockwise with the small screwdriver
  7. Remove the trigger assembly and the plunger assembly.

Get Cleaning

Now that your 1911 is disassembled, it's the perfect opportunity to do a deep clean of your pistol. Stay safe and take proper care of your firearm - it'll pay off in longevity and performance.

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Rock island armory m206 disassembly (HD) BATJAC J.W

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RIA (Armscor) 10mm 1911

RIA (Armscor) 10mm 1911

If you have a Rock Island Armory 10mm 1911, this is a take down video you’ll be interested in. You already know that this 1911 doesn’t have a standard 1911 exterior bushing. Instead, the busing is inside the frame of the gun. The RIA suggests you use a paper clip to disassemble the firearm, which is a pain but it works. This video shows a quick and easy way to do it without that hassle!

If this doesn’t work for you, let us know…or let us know if it does. We love feedback on these videos! This video was posted by Sootch00.

As always, pay close attention to the most important part…dropping the magazine, racking the slide and checking to be sure the weapon is clear…no rounds in the well or chamber. Use your pinky finger to check the bore as an added safety precaution.

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1911 Disassembly and Deep Clean

A couple generations ago, many shooters could disassemble a 1911 pistol blindfolded. That was when Uncle Sam’s sidearm of choice was the M1911 platform.

The 1911 pistol began its service with the U.S. military in the year 1911, first as the M1911 during WWI, then after a few modifications, as the M1911A1 during WWII through Korea and Vietnam. Though it was officially replaced as the standard issue sidearm in 1985, a variant of the 1911 is still in service with some units today.

Today’s 1911s are highly refined pistols purpose built for various scenarios: concealability for personal defense, target/action shooting, hunting, and LE/military tactical applications.

Colt was the original manufacturer for the military, but over the years, many manufacturers have built 1911-style pistols and put their own proprietary spin on the design to improve reliability and accuracy. Some of those design changes involve the recoil assembly. So, as much as they may look like a 1911 as spec’d by the U.S. government, they are not and require a different method of field stripping.

1911 disassembly

Those 1911 pistols made by Colt and those designed like them use a recoil spring and recoil spring plug. Others, like the Springfield Armory TRP and Armscor TAC series pistols, use a recoil rod that requires a slightly different technique to field strip.

What follows is basic field strip for 1911 pistols with GI-style recoil spring and a recoil rod. No tools are required for field stripping a GI-style 1911, but a paper clip or a hex wrench is required for those models with a recoil guide rod.

Here are step-by-step instructions to field strip your 1911 platform pistol. Note the differences between GI-style, full length guide rod and bull barrel models.

You may want to remove the grips when doing a thorough cleaning this way you can avoid damaging grip material or a laser if so equipped.

1911 disassembly

FIELD STRIP

STEP 1: Make Sure The Pistol Is Unloaded

1911 disassembly

STEP 2-A: Remove the Barrel Bushing (GI-Style Pistols)

1911 disassembly
1911 disassembly
1911 disassembly

STEP 2-B: Remove Barrel Bushing (Non-GI Style 1911s)

If your pistol is equipped with a full length guide rod like older Springfield Armory TRP Operator models a 5/32 hex wrench is required to remove the front portion of the guide rod. If your pistol uses a full length guide rod and bull barrel like the Rock Island TAC and some other bull barrel 1911s it does not use a barrel bushing. You need to remove the slide assembly first.

1911 disassembly
1911 disassembly

STEP 3: Slide Stop Removal

This next step applies to all types of 1911s. Cock back the hammer so you can easily pull the slide back and align the disassembly notch on the left side of the slide with the slide stop. Push the slide stop out from the right side of the frame/receiver and pull it out of the left side of the frame.

1911 disassembly
1911 disassembly

STEP 4: Slide Removal

1911 disassembly

STEP 5-A: Recoil Spring and Barrel Removal (GI-Style Pistols)

For a GI-style pistols, remove the recoil spring and recoil spring guide rearward through the back of the slide. The barrel bushing is then rotated counter clockwise so the barrel can be removed.

1911 disassembly
1911 disassembly
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1911 disassembly

STEP 5-B: Recoil Spring and Barrel Removal (Full-Length Guide Rod/Bull Barrel Pistols)

For the Rock Island TAC and other bull barrel guns, the slide is removed before tension is release from the recoil spring. A tool is typical need to trap the recoil spring.

1911 disassembly
1911 disassembly
1911 disassembly
1911 disassembly

MAGAZINE DISASSEMBLY

The magazine for a 1911 takes abuse especially when it is ejected and free falls to the deck or ground. Watch the feed lips of your magazine for any deformity. If the 1911 has an Achilles heel it is the magazine. Many 1911 malfunctions are directly related to a faulty magazine.

1911 disassembly
1911 disassembly
1911 disassembly

NOW GET CLEANING

I hate cleaning firearms. There I said it. Since I know the importance, but hate the drudgery I think of cleaning a 1911 as a meditative experience. You will need a cleaning kit that consists of a nylon brush to scrub the lead and copper out of the bore, a solvent, lube, and clean cloth patches.

STEP 1: Clean the Barrel

1911 disassembly
1911 disassembly
1911 disassembly

STEP 2: Clean the Slide

1911 disassembly
1911 disassembly
1911 disassembly

STEP 2: Clean the Frame/Receiver

1911 disassembly
1911 disassembly

LUBE IT UP

There is a reason gun oil comes in tiny bottle. It is because you very little to keep your pistol operating. Too much oil attracts dirt and makes the pistol slippery to hold. Apply gun oil carefully and judiciously. Naturally the outside of the slide and receiver/frame should be wiped with a lightly oiled soft cloth. Use a cloth that is soft and will absorb excess solution, lube, and gunk. For the slide assembly, add one drop of oil in front of the locking recesses of the slide.

1911 disassembly
1911 disassembly
1911 disassembly
1911 disassembly
Oiling the full length recoil rod

To clean the magazine, run a swab or patch saturated in CLP around the feed lips and inside and out side of the magazine body. Run the swab over the follower and on the spring. Cleaning in this order allows the solvent to work and saves you time. Then use a clean cloth, swab or patch and wipe out the magazine body inside and out. Do the same with the follower.

I lay the spring on the cloth and fold the cloth over the spring and gently work my fingers through the spring loops. Done. Make sure there is no excess lube on the magazine. Lube and magazines are not friends. Oil attracts dirt which can collect inside the magazine making the spring malfunction and follower not function.

Not that we are cleaned and lubed, assemble in reverse order. Famous last words. Here are some advice on reassembly.

1911 disassembly

AVOID THE IDIOT SCRATCH

The idiot scratch

With the slide and receiver together the next step is to insert the slide stop. While looking through the slide stop hole in the left side of the frame/receiver you will see the hole in the barrel link. Line it up with the hole in the side of the frame/receiver. This is the part that separates the idiots from rest of us. Insert the slide stop through the hole on the left side of the frame/receiver until it is almost fully inserted.

Retract the slide rearward until the half moon disassembly notch in slide lines up with the rear bump on the slide stop and push the slide stop down into the frame/receiver.

The idiot scratch is typically caused by a user who gorillas the slide stop and does not hove the notch in the slide aligned with the bump on the slide stop. They gorilla the slide stop and scratch the frame/receiver. Look at some used 1911s and you will more than likely see an idiot scratch. The slide stop should slip right in place like your foot into your cowboy boot.

Once your 1911 is fully assembled, the last thing to do is function check the pistol. Insert the unloaded magazine and rack the slide. The slide should lock in place. Release the slide and control it moving forward. The hammer is cocked so press the trigger to drop the hammer. Check that the thumb safety works. Press the magazine release and the empty magazine should fall free. Done. And no left over parts.

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