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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings,

Bought a 1911 a few months back that has been modified by previous owners, now the owner that sold it to me could not tell me what was replaced. It is obvious that a compensator was added, flgr end cap have no idea if springs were changed or not, he told me the trigger was exchanged for a lighter one.

In essence i bought with my heart and not with my head. So there are issues with the gun it shoots but every few rounds i get a feed jam tried dissasembly of magazine and cleanded them out but it still persists. Today i found out that it looks like it is missing a mainspring housing pin retainer since the pin slides out. Now i found another thread here that mentions that perhaps the PO was changing the mainspring and if it was longer he may have removed the pin retainer.


Now the question i have is how difficult it is to work on the gun myself since I would love to be able to make these kinds or maintenance repairs?

Also if someone could point me in the right direction for the tools needed(best would be a kit i could purchase that would allow me to work on it)

And another question what would you do if you got a 1911 like that? I mean what would be the smart things to change since i do not know the history and maintenance of the gun?

One member already said i need a barrel bushing, end cap and guide rod since i want it to look original but what else should i look at?

Thank you
 

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I am fortunate to have one of those in town but not everybody does.
There are videos and manuals all over, just don't get into the "own toolkit" stuff and knocking out pins with the firing pin.
 

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Please note that the OP is from Croatia and may not have access to a 1911 specialist.

Lohi, can you post clear, sharp pictures of your 1911 including interior shots of the frame, slide etc. Has the chamber been throated (radiused for better feeding)? Has the feed ramp been modified in any way?

As a last resort, is the seller willing to take it back?
 

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The compensator is screwed to the barrel, or it's a "bushing compensator" that merely attaches to the end of the slide?
There are a lot of disassembly videos on youtube.
The mainspring housing and its contents should come out as a unit, which can then be broken down to determine what's missing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
As Doubs43 said here in Croatia 45 is not a common caliber, could not even get cleaning kits for the 45 caliber had to order them from germany. The compensator is a "bushing compensator" as you said RickB and I have field stripped the gun multiple times to clean it out so the bushing is removable easily.

By my accounts i was thinking of ordering the folowing

1911 set of pins and 2 springs
1911 (Barrel Bushing Long Blued steel)
1911 Recoil guide rod steel short (1911-2011 Recoil guide rod short STAINLESS)
1911 Recoil plug Commander - it is the one with the end cap GI style not for commander pistol
BUL Recoil Spring Regular "not progressive" 1911 / 2011 (Recoil spring regular not progressive 16lbs)
RC tech Bushing Key Tool 1911/2011

I will edit this post in a few minutes just to take a few pics and upload them.

Thank you
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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
@lohi, are you able to order 1911 parts and magazines from U.S. manufacturers?

I could order from the USA but the shipping and customs adds like a 100% on the purchase price

edit. sorry just saw there was a second part of the question.

lower is
COLTS PT.F.A MFG. CO. HARTFORD CONN. U.S.A with of all things an SM35xxx serial number but previous owner/s drilled the lower with holes for mounting a red dot sight

upper has the GOVERNMENT MODEL stamped just below ejection port

and the barrel has SPRINGFIELD ARMORY .45 AUTO MARKINGS
 

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The feed ramp appears to be normal and doesn't look to have been polished. I think I'd replace the compensator with a standard barrel bushing and the extra weight may be causing problems. Then I'd use a standard recoil system; i.e., standard recoil spring plug, 16 pound spring and standard recoil spring guide.

I don't have a good picture of a throated barrel chamber but the link below at about 50 seconds into it shows a throated barrel that improves feeding. Compare your own barrel to it.

 

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As for the mainspring housing, you need to take it out and see what's in it. Possibly the lower plunger is in upside down, for example. Some question the need for the pointed plunger since normally the mainspring exerts significant force on the retaining pin and there is no chance of it falling out. However, in your case, this is apparently not happening since you report you can slide the pin in and out without using a punch and hammer. Maybe its rusted in place; maybe it is jammed on the sear spring that is not indexed in its slot in the frame or maybe the mainspring is very weak or broken/rusted. You have to find out but it is a very fixable problem.
For a quick reference, look online for U.S. field manual FM-23 which will give you detailed instructions/pictures for a complete strip and assembly.
Tip: if you remove the mainspring housing, you will have to re-set the sear spring in place and index the grip safety lip under the mainspring housing on reassembly.
 

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. . . every few rounds i get a feed jam . . .
What ammo are you using (e.g. full metal jacket, hollowpoint, semi-wadcutter, factory, reloads)? A couple of good pictures of one of your cartridges might be enlightening.

What make and model of magazine are you using (e.g. Wilson, McCormick, Check-Mate, tapered feed lips, parallel feed lips, hybrid feed lips)? Again, a couple of pictures of your magazine showing the feed lips and base plate may be helpful.

. . . how difficult it is to work on the gun myself since I would love to be able to make these kinds or maintenance repairs?
Difficult is a relative term. Changing grips can be difficult if you've never done it before. Fitting a barrel can be easy, if you've fit dozens of them. Experience counts.
 

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I agree with @Doubs43 on replacing the compensator bushing with a standard, solid bushing, the full length guide rod with a standard GI length guide rod, the existing recoil spring with a new 16lb spring, and replacing the mainspring (hammer spring) with a new 23lb spring. While I was at it, I'd also replace the plunger spring with a new one, the sear spring with a new one, and the magazine catch spring with a new one. That would result in all new springs of known weights (Wolff includes a new firing pin spring with every recoil spring). If a 5" 1911 doesn't run with these new parts, there's a problem with the magazine, the ammo, or some facet of the pistols internal geometry.

Ideally, you'd provide a couple of measurements to EGW and they would make a custom fit angle bore bushing for your pistol.

What the 'smith is doing in that video is modifying the barrel to provide the necessary gap between the top of the frame ramp and the bottom of the barrel ramp. Below are two pictures showing a barrel/frame that do not have that gap and the end result of the modification to create the gap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Your receiver was made in 1981 as a Service Model ACE .22.
A previous owner put the .45 barrel and slide on it.

I would treat it to a new mainspring and proper retainer.

Yes from my serial number it is found in the cold database as a 1981 Service model Ace

As for the mainspring housing, you need to take it out and see what's in it. Possibly the lower plunger is in upside down, for example. Some question the need for the pointed plunger since normally the mainspring exerts significant force on the retaining pin and there is no chance of it falling out. However, in your case, this is apparently not happening since you report you can slide the pin in and out without using a punch and hammer. Maybe its rusted in place; maybe it is jammed on the sear spring that is not indexed in its slot in the frame or maybe the mainspring is very weak or broken/rusted. You have to find out but it is a very fixable problem.
For a quick reference, look online for U.S. field manual FM-23 which will give you detailed instructions/pictures for a complete strip and assembly.
Tip: if you remove the mainspring housing, you will have to re-set the sear spring in place and index the grip safety lip under the mainspring housing on reassembly.
Thank you i will obtain the FM-23, i did buy the "The Colt .45 Automatic - A Shop Manual by Jerry Kuhnhausen"
As for the tools i would need for that is there any specialy tools i would need or could a reasonably equipped garage/worksop have all the tools i could need?


What ammo are you using (e.g. full metal jacket, hollowpoint, semi-wadcutter, factory, reloads)? A couple of good pictures of one of your cartridges might be enlightening.

What make and model of magazine are you using (e.g. Wilson, McCormick, Check-Mate, tapered feed lips, parallel feed lips, hybrid feed lips)? Again, a couple of pictures of your magazine showing the feed lips and base plate may be helpful.

Difficult is a relative term. Changing grips can be difficult if you've never done it before. Fitting a barrel can be easy, if you've fit dozens of them. Experience counts.
I am limited by the type of ammo i can purchase here but i did try S&B 230grs fmj and a german geco 230gr lead round nose copper plated. At the end of the post i will include a few pics of the ammo and the fired cartriges but i did not notice any scarring.

As for the magazines there is no way i can identify them since i have no experience in that so i could not tell you if they are tapered,pararel etc. (i will also add pics of my magazines so any help would be appreciated) i believe there is an original one(black) and a stainless one but how old, if they had their springs replaced ever i have no idea. I will be buying new mags for it definitely, a question Are there any downsides in buying extended mags for the 45? Since there are magazines on offer with 9, 10 rds?

I agree with the experience counts but still if you do not try you will neer have experience. I am somewhat mechanicaly minded and i have the will just not as you said experience or knowledge of the proper tools needeed.


I agree with @Doubs43 on replacing the compensator bushing with a standard, solid bushing, the full length guide rod with a standard GI length guide rod, the existing recoil spring with a new 16lb spring, and replacing the mainspring (hammer spring) with a new 23lb spring. While I was at it, I'd also replace the plunger spring with a new one, the sear spring with a new one, and the magazine catch spring with a new one. That would result in all new springs of known weights (Wolff includes a new firing pin spring with every recoil spring). If a 5" 1911 doesn't run with these new parts, there's a problem with the magazine, the ammo, or some facet of the pistols internal geometry.

Ideally, you'd provide a couple of measurements to EGW and they would make a custom fit angle bore bushing for your pistol.

What the 'smith is doing in that video is modifying the barrel to provide the necessary gap between the top of the frame ramp and the bottom of the barrel ramp. Below are two pictures showing a barrel/frame that do not have that gap and the end result of the modification to create the gap.
A question if you lock the slide in the back position is it normal for the barrel to have a bit of play in it horizontally? As in your pictures if i rase the pistol the barrel ramp is flush with the frame and if i lower it it gives me a space as in the second pic?


REPLIES IN RED IN QUOTED POST


Thank you all for the helpful replies

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As for the tools i would need for that is there any specialy tools i would need or could a reasonably equipped garage/worksop have all the tools i could need?
To replace the mainspring (hammer spring) you'll need a punch and a hammer to remove the pin that holds the mainspring housing in the frame. Make sure the hammer is all the way forward before pushing out that retaining pin.

You'll need a smaller punch to remove the tiny mainspring cap pin that holds the mainspring cap down. Make sure you push down on the mainspring cap to compress the mainspring while at the same time pushing the tiny pin out of the mainspring housing.

Here's a link to a schematic drawing showing all the 1911 parts.

S&B 230grs fmj and german geco 230gr lead round nose copper plated.
I have used Geco and it's good-to-go. The only S&B I've used is 6.8 SPC and it too is good ammo, at least in that caliber. I don't think you have an ammo problem.

As for the magazines . . .
The stainless magazine has a Devel style folded follower, parallel (wadcutter) feed lips, and welded baseplate. I don't know the manfacturer. The blue magazine has a GI style follower, tapered feed lips, and welded baseplate. Again, I don't know the manufacturer. I recommend you buy magazines with removable baseplates. I also recommend you read this thread: magazine issues

Here's a picture of the three major types of 1911 magazine feed lips. From left to right, tapered (GI), parallel (wadcutter), hybrid.

Are there any downsides in buying extended mags for the 45? Since there are magazines on offer with 9, 10 rds?
Yes, there are downsides. I only use 10 round magazines for the range and competitions. I use 7 and 8 round mags for self-defense.

I agree with the experience counts but still if you do not try you will never have experience.
I totally agree. No one is born with knowledge or experience. Reading and studying is certainly valuable but you won't gain the necessary experience until you get your hands dirty and make mistakes along the way.

A question if you lock the slide in the back position is it normal for the barrel to have a bit of play in it horizontally? As in your pictures if i raise the pistol the barrel ramp is flush with the frame and if i lower it it gives me a space as in the second pic?
It's normal for the barrel to have horizontal movement when the slide is locked back. However, with the slide locked back the barrel should not move rearward such that it is flush with the frame ramp. The approximately 1/32" gap between the top of the frame ramp and the bottom of the barrel ramp should be visible when you tilt the pistol upward.
 

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To diagnose the feeding problem you describe will require more information and a couple of close up pictures of the actual malfunction may be of great help.

Here's how one of the best 1911 'smiths responded to a the following question: "How do I guarantee getting a 1911 that will feed SD ammo from 10 round magazine?"
Jason Burton said:
The simple answer... proper feed-ramp geometry, proper barrel throat and chamber geometry, and proper extractor geometry. Given good ammo and quality magazines feeding reliability in a 5" 45ACP 1911 is pretty simple and the platform is exceedingly reliable provided it is properly set up.

With all that said... I still would not use a 10rd magazine for a carry gun. They are great on the range but are just a bit too far out of the operational window for me to carry and I see more issues with 10rd magazines than any others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
@Steve in Allentown Thank you very ,much for the extremely helpful replies. I have ordered a set of pins and springs, end cap, short guide rod another magazine to start with that. I will update the post after i get them. I will feel free to ask here if /when i need more help with my 1911. Thank the Lord i found this site or this would have been a nightmare.

Once more thank you Sir
 

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As in your pictures if i rase the pistol the barrel ramp is flush with the frame and if i lower it it gives me a space as in the second pic?
This is concerning.

Can you remove the slide, place the barrel on the frame, push it as far back in the frame as it will go, and post a picture of it?

It should look like the second Chuck Rogers picture in which the red mark is visible. Note the rubber band that he uses to pull the barrel as far to the rear as it will go.
 
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