1911Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
432 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was halfway through my first cup of coffee when I saw the padded envelope from 'Ed Brown Products'. A big smile broke across my face. It was the stainless mainspring housing (wedge model) I had ordered.
I tore it open, finished my coffee and went to retrieve my new Kimber Custom. I had barely put 400 rounds through it this week. It was functioning flawlessly.

I carefully removed the plastic mainspring housing, removed the spring and mainspring cap and transferred them to the new housing. The sear spring had managed to come loose so i reset it, reinstalled the new housing and just as I was about to reset the housing pin, I pushed the old housing aside -- and out rolled the retainer.

I rolled my eyes, removed the mainspring housing, disassembled it again, put in the retainer and completed putting it back together again. I had a hard time getting the housing to line up with the hole in the frame. I huffed and puffed and finally got the pin in place. Then I tried to cock the hammer. Hammer would not budge. I started to sweat a little by now. I went through the take-it-apart-again routine only to find that in my haste to put the retainer back into the housing, I had put it in upside down!

I had a good laugh at myself. Any time I rushed any project, big or small, I paid for it. This time the housing seated easily, and then came the next surprise. The hammer hung there loosly. Would not cock. This time I wasn't laughing.

I disassembled completely, removed the beavertail and hammer. This is the first time I had looked this closely at the 1911 innards. I had no idea of the relationship between the hammer, sear, disconnector and trigger, but over the next few hours I learned a lot.

I had replaced the sear spring improperly. I wedged it between the sear and the disconnector, rendering the hammer useless.

After some careful movement of the trigger, sear, and hammer, I began to see the relationship between them -- and understand where the sear spring had to be in relation to the sear and disconnector. I finally had it working. Trigger was half and full cocking, safety was working properly.

I was pretty happy by now, it had only taken me 5 hours to move from panic to confidence -- but I had another surprise in store for me.

The Ed Brown mainspring housing must have 'nudged' the grip safety a bit. While the safety was functioning perfectly, the trigger bar lever was sitting too high with the safety disengaged -- the slide would not move past it.

I was a bit irritated at this point -- I guess this is what is meant by the uphemistic phrase 'minor fitting required'. I had to disassemble and remove the grip safety about 15 times, each time taking a bit of metal off the safety (so in its disengaged position it would not push the trigger bar lever out of the whole in the frame) with my grinder until the slide would easily seat and move over the frame. What had begun at 8:00 a.m. was wrapping up around 1:30pm. I took a hot shower and a Xanax -- but not in that order, and kicked back for the rest of the day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Gary - Thanks a lot for your post - it really made me chuckle. I've gone through similar drills, even left parts out. I've got a book with instructions and pictures, but I'm "mechanically challenged."

I installed a Baer main spring housing on my Kimber. It was a major project for me as it wasn't a drop-in - required fitting. I filed and filed until I ruined it. Undaunted, I ordered another and was more careful the second time. Expensive lesson.

"If it doesn't fit, get a bigger hammer."

Caboose
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Its just like computer programming. Its not writing the program where you do your learning, its debugging the confounded thing!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
432 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Boy oh boy. I'm supposed to know better. I have worked with my hands for well over 3o years -- building cars and motorcycles, electrical, plumbing, carpentry, etc. You name it, I can do it and do it well.

There's always a new challenge and I think what I have to learn to do is work with such small parts where the tolerances are quite small indeed.

I thought I had learned my lesson with the mainspring housing. My AO sights arrived today. I read the instructions very carefully. When I managed to drift out the stock Kimber front sight -- it was in there very, very tightly, I measured the width of the dovetail on both the old and new sights. The new Ashley sight was a full .004 wider than the Kimber so I thought I had a lot of work to do. I took of a little metal, tried the fit ,etc. By the time I was within .001 of the old Kimber I decided that was close enough. I was able to slide the sight in by hand half way -- Ashley's instructions. So when I gave it a little tap to start it in the rest of the way the sight shot out of the other side of the gun like it was in a race.

My heart dropped. I thought for a few minutes and then got out my feeler gages. I cut the end off of the .002 gage, placed it under the sight and slid it in. Not enough. Finally, at .007, I had a big enough shim to permit a good interference fit.

I rechecked my micrometer measurments one more time just to see if I had made a mistake in measuring. I had not.

Next time, well, I'll just try harder.

Originally posted by Caboose:
Gary - Thanks a lot for your post - it really made me chuckle. I've gone through similar drills, even left parts out. I've got a book with instructions and pictures, but I'm "mechanically challenged."

I installed a Baer main spring housing on my Kimber. It was a major project for me as it wasn't a drop-in - required fitting. I filed and filed until I ruined it. Undaunted, I ordered another and was more careful the second time. Expensive lesson.

"If it doesn't fit, get a bigger hammer."

Caboose
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
416 Posts
HAAA...HAAA...HAAA! The other night, I get stood up on a date, so I detail strip my Kimber for the first time. I get it all apart, then fearfully realize that I didn't pay attention enough to get it back together! I grabbed the manual and looked at the parts list at the back of the book and started doing the trial and error process. I was sweating bullets. My hammer was doing the same thing as yours and I was imagining the worst scenarios in my mind! I finally got the thing back together and had to flinch the first shots on the range, but I got the dag gum thing back together right!Learned another lessn after I thought I already knew everything!

------------------
If you don't mind being where you are, you are not lost.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,395 Posts
Having done exactly what you descibe numerous times, I have tried to train myself to wait at least one hour after UPS arrives before I start any project, letting the adrenaline drop back down to somewhat normal levels. (problem is, it still doesn't always work)
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top