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I am going to replace the plastic mainspring housing on my 3 Colt series 80 pistols with a steel arched serrated one and wanted to know if anyone has used the Brownell mainspring housing pin tool? If so is it any better than using a 1/8 inch punch to justify paying 16.07 for it? This is the first time I've ever went beyond basic field stripping of a 1911 so I wanted to use the proper tools to do the job.
 

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Marwan said:
I am going to replace the plastic mainspring housing on my 3 Colt series 80 pistols with a steel arched serrated one and wanted to know if anyone has used the Brownell mainspring housing pin tool? If so is it any better than using a 1/8 inch punch to justify paying 16.07 for it? This is the first time I've ever went beyond basic field stripping of a 1911 so I wanted to use the proper tools to do the job.
The only advantage the Brownell's tool has is the rounded end on the rod, less likely to mar the MSH pin than a regular punch. I made my own tool - rounded the end of a 2" length of 1/8" brass rod and chucked it in a large pin vise. Works fine.
 

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I use it. It has a nicely rounded tip that fits the MSH pin profile perfectly. The handle is big and comfortable, and has a lot of room at the top of it to hit it with a mallet a couple times to drive the pin out.

A punch will work, but typically the tips aren't rounded to conform to the pin profile. You could mar the pin - or worse - slip off the pin and mar the frame.

I think it was a good investment. Of course, I'm a sucker for tools. ;)

Edited to add that Len obviously types faster than I do! :)
 

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Like Shane, I'm a sucker for tools. But it does work very well and the handle does offer greater control.

Lots of people like to make their own tools and if you have the ability what the heck. You could find an old screwdriver and modify the tip.

Bob Sigmon
 

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I got the tool too. I like it. It's nice if you like to or need to take the mainspring out often ....otherwise no big deal. I like to swap out my mainspring housing every now and then and it makes it easy with the nice handle and all........you just shove the pin right out one handed.
 

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I just realized that I could package all my old rounded-off punches and sell them as "MSH Removal Tools"! :D
 

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I bought the tool from Brownells. Although it it well-made and well-suited for it's intended job, this is very much overkill for someone who doesn't change mainspring housings regularly.

My vote is, it's not worth the money, if you're only going to change 3. A small punch will work.

But by now, I've changed a few with this tool, and find that the more I use it, the easier it is to use. With a plastic bench block and a hammer, one can swap mainspring housings without too much more trouble than just removing the grips. Which I have to do all the time, because I have mosly "pin-covered grips.

I used to think it wasn't worth the money for this tool. But I've since changed my mind, since I started changing mainsprings housings more often, I've gotten to apreciate much more. I keep it handy on my peg-board.
 

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All the major tool distributors,Mac, Snap on, Matco, Cornwell make punches called "roll pin punches that have a small rounded tip that fit the 1911 mainspring housing pin perfectly. About 5 bucks. Modify or buy a screwdriver handle that fits the punch end and you have a very sturdy tool to remove dimpled pins with. A further modification would be to grind or file a small channel around the upper part of the punch to use when doing trigger work to avoid having to keep reinserting the pin every time.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks fellas for the feedback! These are all good suggestions. I may go to Sears and look for a roll pin punch instead of of buying the Brownells tool.
 

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Someone else on this or another forum had a great idea for MSH work.. I wish I remember who it was to give credit..

Take a decently thick (3/4" to 1") square of wood, 12" or so and drive a large finish nail down into the middle of it, sticking up about 1".. You might have to grind off part of the tip before you begin to get the final length right.. Round the head with a file or dremel if you like.. I didn't..

Now put your new 'tool' on the workbench and, while holding the MSH securely upside-down in one hand, press it into the nail enough to use a small punch to remove the cross pin.. The pin should remove easily, it's not a press fit.. Now SSLLOOWWLLYY release the spring pressure, making sure to control it..

This really helped me.. The piece of wood acts as a very stable base, allowing you to control the spring much more easily.. Plus it leaves one hand free to remove the pin.. I hope this helps. Good luck..

R
 
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