Let’s talk 1911s, whatcha got, whatcha want?

@Nancy The only way to get comfortable with taking them apart … wait for it … is to take them apart, ALL the way apart. When I started working on 1911’s there was no internet and the Brownell’s catalog was 50% 1911 parts. One of the first things I did was to get a book "The Colt .45 Automatic: A Shop Manual by Jerry Kuhnhausen. I read it cover to cover and kept it handy as I learned about the pistol and it formed the basis for my method of modification. He produced a 2nd book “Vol II” of the same name. Good addition to his previous work. I highly recommend both if you are serious about 1911’s and have any intention of trouble shooting issues or modifying one.

A thought for making the slide disassembly a bit easier is once you get the critter apart is to put a slight chamfer on the back side of the “ears” of the barrel bushing. It will make getting the bushing over the recoil spring plug easier. Remember turn the bushing CW to get the plug/spring out THEN CCW to get the bushing out.

Cheers,

Craig6

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@Craig6 I just ordered the books by Kuhnhausen on Amazon and am looking forward to learning a bit about my guns. Thanks for the tip. As for taking apart what I have, I just returned from the range and am about to take them apart again to clean them and lube them. I had trouble at the range with chambering rounds (I couldn’t pull the darn slide back!), so the rangemaster lubed them for me really well and I was finally able to do it. It was really embarrassing, though, to not be able to do it myself. Future trips to the range, I bring a bottle of lube with me!!! BTW, what is a chamfer? Do I need a special tool to put a chamfer on the back side of the ears of the barrel bushing? I guess I’ll be learning what basic tools I need once I start reading the books you recommended. Maybe I’ll even learn what a chamfer is!!! lol

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@Nancy

1911’s can be tough to rack if you are a little low on the hand strength side. One technique a young lady taught me: Point the pistol down straight in front of you but 90* left (A$$ U Me ing) your right handed) so your trigger finger is up (and off the trigger). Grasp the slide with the left hand. Rotate your upper body to the right about 45*. By keeping your arms straight the rotation will "shorten your left arm and increase the length of the right in relation to the gun, thereby racking the slide. Providing you can hang on to the slide. Be aware if you are square to the range you will come dangerously close to pointing sideways across the range. I suggest you talk a half step forward with your right foot, then step back when done.

That half step forward and half step back was the “unusual movement” that lead me to the young lady that taught me that trick, as such you may have to explain it to someone on the range if it works for you and you use it.

Chamfer is “cutting an angle into a otherwise straight surface to break the edge”. You will hear it commonly when talking about reloading rifle ammo where they “Chamfer” the mouth of the case to allow easier seating of the boolet.

In this case as you noted the back side of the ears where the plug seats. The tool needed is a flat file,preferably fine toothed. MANDATORY: one side of the file must have a non-cutting/smooth edge. This way you can just knock the ears down a little bit to get things moving without changing the diameter of your bushing.

If your bushing is REALLY tight in the slide now might be a good time to grab a green scrubby pad and polish the outside bearing surface of the back of the bushing. A simple twisting motion in opposite directions with both hands will smooth it right out.

I’ve been accused of being verbose. It is however incredibly difficult to draw a picture with words so I do the best I can to explain it fully.

Cheers,

Craig6

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Now on my shopping list:

@Nancy - Chamfer
chamfer
Machining or woodworking term for describing a particular edge shape when forming parts :grin:

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@Zee Thanks for the pictures.
@Nancy The picture is a 45* chamfer. That is NOT what I’m talking about but the pic helps. Decease that angle to like 10* mebby 7*. You want no more than the thickness of a standard un coated paper clip of clearance at the far ends of the ears, like 1/32". Just enough yo break the sharp 90* edge of the bushing ears to get things moving.

Cheers,

Craig6

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Here is the bestie that started it all for me. Purchased on my 21st birthday. 30 days later I took a hacksaw to her to begin fitting the Ed Brown beaver tail. The holster and the finished product are roughly the same age.

The black bits have all been re coated / blued at least 3 times. I gave up on the vanity of it about 15 years ago and let the “grey” shine through :laughing:

Cheers,

Craig6

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More embarrassing, in the long run, to go home without being able to shoot your firearm because you didn’t ask :wink:

Racking that slide can be a commitment - here’s the technique I use with a very hard-to-rack firearm (I’m right handed). Forgive me if I’m telling you stuff you already know. I’m using @Craig6’s lots-of-words plan since I don’t have video.

  1. Hold the firearm in my right, finger off the trigger, pointed downrange, with my elbow bent and my right elbow roughly at my right side. (this is the same arm position I use when typing this… elbow at my side, forearm extended forward.)

  2. Left hand at my center chest with the arm held high… left elbow high, not down at my side. (think: Roman chest-thumping salute)

  3. Turn my left side downrange so I’m facing the shooter to my right while keeping my firearm pointed downrange. This will put my right hand and the firearm more or less in front of my solar plexus (this is why you want the left arm/elbow up, so you don’t muzzle your left elbow.)

  4. Ok now you’re in position. Make sure you’re still pointing the muzzle down range and your left arm is clear above the muzzle.

  5. Grip the slide with the left hand so your thumb is on the near side and the fingers are on the far side of the slide. Get as much skin on the sides of the slide as you can, but not the top of the slide (because the rear sights will bite you across your palm as you rack and release if you are on the top of the slide).

  6. Rack by DRIVING your right hand with the gun towards the target, and DRIVING your left hand towards your right elbow. You’re using your pectoral muscles and biceps in opposition to each other, and that should be maximum muscle leverage. Basically you are trying to drive the gun frame through the slide while driving the slide through the gun frame. The frame will then take the slide through your left hand as it reaches the end of the rack. Do make sure your left hand isn’t contacting the top of the slide because when it escapes your left hand, you don’t want the rear sights dragging across the left palm as they go by (that hurts).

  7. I usually end with my left hand roughly over my right elbow and my right hand and gun under my left elbow.

  8. Step back into normal shooting position, muzzle remaining downrange, left arm staying up and clear of the muzzle.

Anyway, that’s what I do. And if the slide is really stiff, I rack it like I’m mad at it. :rage:

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Ladies. While the act of cycling a round into the camber is a significant event on the RANGE the more likely event should you need to utilize your firearm in the event of a real shooting is that you will hit the safety and the trigger at the same time which WILL cause you to shoot low and left of the target. Train to have the safety depressed prior to the pounds of pressure required to loose the hammer. There are multiple methods to accomplish this, my trained and preferred method is to bring the gun center, attain a solid two hand grip, safety off and push the gun to the center of the target hitting my detonation point at or near full extension. It is a skill set that can be taught and honed upon. It is a train slowly and develop muscle memory scenario.

Rake (your garment), Stance (MOVE), Grip, Brake (the thumb brake) Lift, Rotate, Point, Center, Safety (OFF), Push, Bang!

I promise you that if you need to rack the slide when you’re A$$Hole is wrapped around your neck you will not even notice that you did it providing you don’t go into vapor lock because you trained poorly and don’t know what to do next.

Cheers,

Craig6

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@craig6 sometimes we need to work the baby steps :wink: that’s what all the racking breakdown steps at the range are for. But I do it there so I build the muscles and muscle memory I might need later.

FWIW I wouldn’t carry a gun I can’t effective rack. In front, up, down, one handed on my belt or holster, weak or strong hand. And as far as safeties… mostly I carry Glocks so I AM the safety :wink:

I’ve never had to deal with a gun-drawing emergency (and I hope I never have to). But I’ve dealt with other kinds and have had both the time distortion everything-slow time to think things through and make every action under total control experience and the its allover in a flash and I’ll have to see it on the video to know what happened experience.

In both cases that train train train thing matters. :+1:

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:heart_eyes::star_struck::heart_eyes::star_struck::heart_eyes::star_struck::heart_eyes::star_struck::heart_eyes::star_struck:

1911all

Does it whatcha want? :+1:
(just got this pic on my email)

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@Jerzy … just goin’ with ooooOOOOOooooo!

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@Craig6 @Zee You guys are the best! Thanks for taking the time and effort to give me (us) a blow-by-blow on racking my 1911 with my weak hands. It seems it’s best to get the whole body involved and use leverage to the best of my ability. I’ve read and re-read both your instructions and hope it will make a difference at the range. So thank you both for everything.

And @Craig6, thanks for the explanation on chamfers and making mods to your gun. I don’t even have a file (yet), but hope to learn a lot after reading the books you recommended and re-reading your posts. Thank you!

@Jerzy Those are some beautiful firearms – who owns all 10 of those? You? Color me impressed!

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@Nancy READ first! Ask Questions next. Then pick up the file. In that order, don’t ask me how I learned that :flushed:

I burned a lot of parts learning how to do things without instruction or help. That said for every part I threw out, I learned from it. I fortunately did not screw up (too badly) the frame, slide or barrel.

Cheers,

Craig6

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I wish to have these in my collection…
These are Wilson Combats, my favourite 1911.
UPDATE: actually, 6 x 1911 and 4 x Berettas

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I don’t actually own an true 1911’s, but I have a couple that are based off of them and I love them both. Here they are:

STI 2011

Wilson EDC x9

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My dad has a gun from WWII. I call it the Nazi Nine, because it was made by a conquered Polish factory for the Nazis during the war. Has a Swastika and Eagle on it and everything.

Now might be a good time to point out that we are history buffs and like historical artifacts. We are not Nazis.

It looks like a 1911 on the outside, but apparently works like a Browning Hi-Power. The breakdown is apparently similar to a 1911’s though. I’ve been told they did it that way because of patent law, of all things.

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@LordDeinonychus - it might be VIS35, made in Poland before and during WWII. This gun was called “Polish Eagle”, it was based on Hi-Power / FN GP35. Few parts from VIS35 were interchangeable with Colt M1911A1.

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@Nancy from an old post Jul 14

Look at Hogue grips, they make them in slab sided as well as finger groove and “fat” for us meat hook guys. They are soft and “sticky” but don’t leave a residue.

1911 Grips

Cheers,

Craig6

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I forget the actual name, but it’s something like Raedon. Reminds me of Rodan, except Nazi instead of a Japanese kaiju.

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@LordDeinonychus
Radom.
City in Poland where this pistol was manufactured.
You should see mark on slide: “F.B Radom” - which stands for “Fabryka Broni Radom” [eng: Arms Factory Radom]

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