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Plastic main spring housing

2165 Views 18 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  slickpuppy
When or why has colt went to plastic for the mainspring housing? That was the first thing I changed, I put a Ed Brown Produts one in Much nicer part.Dont think I want to trust my carry gun to a plastic part.. Any one else feel like I do? DAVID
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I have an STI competition pistol that has 50K or rounds through it and its plastic mainspring housing.

No problems here with plastic.

AF Shooting Team
Guess its a personal thing, Just dont like plastic.
I have a Colt 1991A1 and it had a plastic MSH and trigger and I replaced them both. I figure that if it is my carry gun I want to know that it is going to be there when I need it. I don't want some plastic piece breaking at a critical moment and me stuck with a useless hunk of metal in my hand. Kinda like, "bringing a club to a gunfight".

The plastic may last forever, but with the abuse and wear one can put on a gun, I just feel more comfortable with metal. It has a proven record of strength over the years. Look at all the Colts from the 30's and 40's still in hard use today without any major problems.

That's just my 2¢ worth.
Have an early series 80 government with the plastic MSH and never had a problem with it-not one. Bought a new 1991A1 government this past spring and put a steel MSH and can tell the difference in the balance of the weapon. Now ordering another steel part for the old guy just for the balance.
Thats how I felt I carry this gun, a colt defender. plastic breaks down and gets weak, dont need the hammer spring poping out the bottom at the wrong time. DAVID
That plastic mainspring housing will outlast all of us. The stress of the compressed mainspring is taken by the mainspring housing retaining pin and its holes in the frame.

That said, I don't like them either. Fortunately, Ed Brown makes high quality replacement units. For a really neat option, have a smooth Ed Brown unit "scalloped" by Richard Heinie www.heinie.com These provide a bit of traction, but don't eat up coat linings.

Ditto what Tom Freeman said, my daughter's gun is an STI with about 60k rounds or so, M/S still doing fine.......... Oh yeah, the grip is also plastic and that is fine as well......

Rich in VA
I think that most of us have similar reactions to polymer components ...

Are they failure prone? No.

Will they really last? Yes.

Do we like them? Nope.

Most folks (myself included) will eventually opt for an aftermarket MSH and trigger -- even if they don't feel the need to change anything else. Call me old fashioned, but I still prefer wood and steel to polymer and composites. I'm all for forward progress, but why mess with a good thing?

Hey, want to hear what I think about Glocks? Didn't think so.

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Sig, As to your question as to why Colt did that, we have to look no farther than the suggested retail prices on the parts. New Colt serrated steel housing - list price $50.00 vs. new COlt plastic housing suggested retail $8.78. Colt managed to probably make about $20.00 extra per gun without a price change by just switching to a plastic housing.

Don Williams www.theactionworks.com www.pickagripcom
Don's absolutely right. This is a simple business decision, and probably not a bad one at that -- after all, the cheaper parts perform just as well.

Colt probably figures that their customer is going to fall into one of two categories: (1) the shooter who will be perfectly happy with the product "as is," and won't care all that much about the use of plastic parts, or (2) the avid 1911 afficianado who is likely to change out all of this stuff anyhow. I suspect that this sort of thinking isn't too far from the mark.

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True i guess But I would not mind paying a little more for all steel parts. Oh well the ED Brown droped right in and looks great. A little pricey but ya gets whats ya pays for these days. Loves my 45.
Just my opinion: About %65 of the effective grip surface is on the front and rear backstraps. While the platic msh will do the job the steel has sharper checkering, and more likely to grip in a sweaty hand. All my 1911 style pistols have steel msh's.
I replaced mine with a Smith and Alexander checkered for $36. That includes installation.
It fits perfectly and is not overly sharp like some of the others. I didn't feel that was to pricey and I ordered the part from Brownell's.

[This message has been edited by hunter_h (edited 09-27-2001).]
Woe is me. I hate them, but.....when I re -finished my old Colt LW Commander, I replaced the aluminum arched with a flat, black, plastic MS housing that might have been in a Kimber. The reason I did it was because I did the hammer and grip safety in black and thought that black stripe down the back of the gun looks cool.I also prefer the flat to the arched and the weight of the metal ones I like in a gun that I shoot. I'm not worried about failure. It will out last me, but I have ti agree, they suck! Every day I want to go back to the original one. I'll do it next week. The very idea of plastic stinks!
Plastic parts on a 1911 are like fake plastic wood in a BMW. IT JUST ISN'T RIGHT!!!

The Pit: http://www.geocities.com/mr_motorhead/index.html
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I made a good living for a lotta years in plastics.... there are some very good materials out there, and truth is, plastic is good enough for some gun parts. On the other hand, there is a part of me that will only be satisfied be steel and walnut; these two parts of me are sometimes at odds. Youse guys have all covered it-- plastic MSH's are OK, but that doesn't mean we have to like them. Change it if you don't like the idea, but if you don't get around to it for a while you'll be OK.

One thing I love about this country is that our hobbies would be so unthinkable elsewhere. Picture somebody in Kazakstan contemplating a new MSH for his Stechkin, or, say, somebody in Outer Mongolia that just happens to have a '53 Studebaker who needs pistons and a reground crankshaft. Only in the USA!
I gotta admit the black racing stripe down the back got a good grin from me. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one that prefers the flat ms housings.
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