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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This may seem like a ridiculous question to some - but I really want to know! :) Why do so many modern 1911 manufacturers go with hex screws instead of slot screws for the grips? I guess something I see as a quality that a 1911 should have is to be able to take down as much as possible without tools. Hence I don't like FLGRs. I therefore also do not like hex screws.

So - why the hex screws? I can't see any reason to not order blued slot screws and replace the hex grip screws on my 1911s with the slot screws. It seems to be just about anywhere you go you can rig something to act like a screwdriver. You don't really need A SCREWDRIVER, you just need something flat. Hmm. Shell rim? Hex screws strip easily, I've found - as do hex wrenches. Slot screws and slot screwdrivers don't strip as easily.

It doesn't even seem to me that hex screws are "tacticool". So what gives?

Post pictures, experiences, note your setup (grips and screws)... please... I'm just trying to figure this one out. :scratch:
 

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It seems to be just about anywhere you go you can rig something to act like a screwdriver. You don't really need A SCREWDRIVER, you just need something flat.
That's why.

Other reasons are because it can be done, to prevent a nimrod from getting a 59 cent woodworking screwdriver and screwing up $100 grips, and to avoid the problem of screw slot alignment on a totally finished custom gun. Some smiths will tweak the bushings to get the screw slots perfectly horizonal or vertical. Hex screws avoid that.

FWIW, in my experience hex screws and torx screws are much more durable than slotted screws. This applies to guns and to aircraft. On a slotted screw you have two load bearing surfaces for turning it. On a hex screw you have six. On a torx, you have eight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I suppose it would make sense, then, as you say on a finely finished custom gun.

For a rugged combat-ready gun, wouldn't it make more sense to have the slot screws? I personally wouldn't put $100 grips on a fighting gun. I don't think that many would. Yet guns like the Kimber Warrior have hex screws. Here it comes down more to aesthetics, right? I don't see a problem then with putting blued slot screws on my parkerized 1911 that has black alumagrips on it.

So you haven't found that hex screws grip surfaces deform more rapidly than slot screws? Interesting. On one of my SA pistols the grip surface (of the hex screw) is deforming to a point where it is difficult to tighten it up - so I don't. I'm waiting for the replacement screws...
 

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For a rugged combat-ready gun, wouldn't it make more sense to have the slot screws?
I'm in complete agreement, although I don't plan on removing my grips during a firefight, so it's a moot question. :)

The key to keeping any fastener in good shape is to use a properly fitted tool to drive it. This goes from brass slotted screws on a cabinet to high torque screws used on jet aircraft. Grip screws on a 1911 fall somewhere in between, but they can only take so much of an ill fitting driver, no matter what type they are.

One other reason for the hex screws.........they hide the damage caused by ill fitting drivers better.



FWIW I replaced the slotted screws in these grips with hex ones because the screwdriver edges had a tendency to scrape the sides of the screw recess. On stag, it's really not apparent, but had they been combat checkered cocobolo, I could have chipped the checkering around the hole.
 

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OK, I never really had a need to remove the grip panels on my 1911s unless I was doing a deep cleaning. Even when I was carrying the alloy gun, the grips did not come loose.

Xavier, nice looking 1911.

Xori, have you tried using a case rim as a screwdriver? It took maybe 20 seconds for me to agree with the local gunsmith, "Buy the correct tools."
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
XavierBreath said:
I'm in complete agreement, although I don't plan on removing my grips during a firefight, so it's a moot question.
:biglaugh: Of course... not my implication. I imagine that if you were camping/boondocking/hiking or something... and carrying your 'combat ready' 1911, if you REALLY needed to take them off it... that was the situation I was referring to ;)
MikeC said:
Xavier, nice looking 1911.
+1
MikeC said:
Xori, have you tried using a case rim as a screwdriver? It took maybe 20 seconds for me to agree with the local gunsmith, "Buy the correct tools."
Nope! :biglaugh: I only know that the original M1911 design called for slotted screws that had a curved recess so that a shell rim could be used. My shooter 1911s all have hex screws in them. My collection piece rem rand 1911 has slot screws. Hmmm. Maybe I'll try it with a case rim very carefully. It won't likely hurt those key grips.

I remove my grips every time I clean my gun, actually. I like to wipe off the metal underneath and very lightly apply oil to the frame to help ward off any damage from perspiration from the hands.
 

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I've found slot screws get deformed and goofed up fast and easy. I'm switching all the gripscrews to hex. I think they look nicer. And yes, that is a completely valid reason. I pay for them. I like them.

I've read the above posts and agree the hex/torx can't be removed as easily as a slotted. But I don't anticipate NEEDING to remove the grip panels at a time where I would not be prepared. For instance, if I know I'll be out in the wilderness with my pistol and I'll need to remove the panels, I be sure to pack the allen wrench when I pack my underwear and whatever else I take with me. Sure, I could easily loose the wrench, but I could just as easily lose my underwear and whatever else I'm carrying so.....


I think the reason these hex and torx screws aer made is because they area product that people are interested in. Just like the different kinds of recoil systems FLGR or standard plug. How about that debate?

Buy what you like, there are various products out for every kind of tastebud :)
 

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You know, with all the manufacturing considerations Kimber has given the 1911, I'm thinking it might be because the market would not accept PHILIPS.

And hex is the next best thing to philips, when you're a factory trying to screw in 80,000 screws a year, without buggering up a single one. I bet they use an air gun, about 1 second per screw.

But to me, it's technological overkill. Doesn't look classic, nor elegant. And I found myself at the range line one time, needing to remove the grips, sans allen wrench. Nobody close had anything other than ordinary screwdrivers.

So I bought slotted screws and replaced the hex heads that came in my two Kimbers, and Rock River Ltd Match. Now slotted all around.
 

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I like hex head screws for mine

Because they mask the alignment issue. In other words, because slotted screws look great if the slots are facing the same direction, but not so much when they aren't (what's that called?)

Here's my Mil-Spec with Alumagrips and stainless hex head screws.


Robert
 

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I'm one of those nimrods who have buggered up slot screws and grips on a new gun . I went to hex screws for the novelty and clean look, but have recently started going back to slotted screws because they match the gun, look old fashioned like they belong on the gun, and look good, especially if they line up just right. And it is frustrating when you can't find the right allen wrench for your hexes.
 

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"Because they mask the alignment issue. In other words, because slotted screws look great if the slots are facing the same direction, but not so much when they aren't (what's that called?)"

Anal Retention :p

Just kidding -Coop
 

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Thanks TLE

And Coop, it's OCD, thank you very much :cool:

Robert
 

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"FWIW, in my experience hex screws and torx screws are much more durable than slotted screws."

I agree.
It's lots easier to bugger slotted screw heads, even with a properly fitted, flat ground screwdriver, than hex or Torx head screws, of course assuming that you use the correct hex or Torx wrenches.
Torx and hex screws definitely look nicer, IMNSHO.

I don't get all the "toolless takedown" concern.
While it's interesting to be able to disassemble the 1911 using only its own parts, I've never yet had to take my grips off in the field, nor have I had to even remove the grips at all to do most cleaning and much minor gunsmithing, since all my grips have a cutout for the MSH pin.
 

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I take the opposite view. You can booger up the slotted screws quite a bit and still get it out with a screwdriver. Once you spin an allen wrench in the hex screws you're, well...screwed! It's not that difficult to strip a hex screw that's stuck, especially when they aren't very good quality. Torx screws are great but finding a torx driver when you're away from the shop isn't as easy as finding a screwdriver. You may not plan on removing your grips in the field but the screws come loose from time to time and it's nice to be able to tighten them.

Whatever you chose, consider your grip screws consumables. Buy a few extra and toss them out if they get chewed up.
 

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SAWBONES.............."toolless takedown" I'm sure many people do not realize that a 1911 can be totally detail stripped using only "tools" found on the pistol itself......assuming that the pistol has the original slotted screws......I have often wondered if John Moses Browning gave thought to that fact and built the first one that way or did some GI just figure it out while sitting in a foxhole or trench during WW I.............has anyone ever saw anything printed on this subject?
 

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One of the design objectives in the original pistol trials was that the pistol was able to be disassembled without any 'external' tools. Parts of the gun that need to be used as tools didn't count.

Was it the sear spring that was used for grip screws? Another reason not to use "pin-covered" grips !
 
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