Open versus closed-end guide spring plugs
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:24 AM   #1
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Default Open versus closed-end guide spring plugs

After much urging from my buddies who said; "You just ain't a shooter without a 1911 in your collection", I have bought my first 1911. It's a Rock Island Armory single-stack 1911A-1 with an extended beaver-tail, skeletonized-trigger, combat hammer, and dove-tailed, non-adjustable sights. I have spent a few days getting the feel of it (my other big-bore is a Glock 22C so there is a difference) and letting my hand get used to the control positions. I've also field-stripped it to clean and lube the thing and that brings up my problem and question.
My pistol has an open-ended guide spring plug that is captured by the barrel bushing. Trying to push that plug in to revolve the barrel bushing is just plain painful to my thumbs and when I try to put it back in capture with the bushing the thing launches like a mortar shell on meth! (I now keep an extensible magnet as part of my gun-work tools.) I have noticed that other 1911's have the end of this plug closed with cross-hatching for traction and think that such a thing would be much easier for me to control (I have arthritis in my thumb joints which makes them kinda puny these days). My gun has a full-length, chromed guide rod which obviously wouldn't work with such a plug but is there some other kind of rod that would? I know that some 1911's have a shorter guide-rod with an unsupported spring, but I don't now if that would be applicable to my full-sized pistol. If a change is not feasible, is there some kind of tool that I could use to help corral that spring and plug so I stand less chance of losing the dang thing? Any suggestions would be appreciated very much.

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Old 08-06-2012, 06:49 AM   #2
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There is a tool, should have come with the gun. If not Midway, Brownelles, etc should have them.

Typically an open guide spring cap goes with a full length guide rod, pull the slide back and you'll see why. Don't know any reason why you cannot replace it with a shorter GI version and change out the cap.



http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=391/Product/CAN-T-MAR-trade-1911-AUTO-BUSHING-WRENCH

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Old 08-06-2012, 06:53 AM   #3
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Just replace the current parts with a GI style guide rod and plug.

Brownells part #

GI recoil spring plug
087-881-001DJ

GI recoil spring guide rod
087-882-001DJ

Ed Brown parts

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Old 08-06-2012, 03:19 PM   #4
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Replacing your current set up might be easier on the tip of you finger as far as abrasiveness, and aside from your wallet becoming lighter, changing your recoil spring set up will not prevent the spring from launching out or make the pressure of the spring any less then it is now, try to acquire a take down tool as recommended by the other members.

shoot safe, shoot straight, and have fun

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Old 08-07-2012, 02:30 AM   #5
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Until you purchase a take-down tool, you can get yourself by with the ole cheap 'n easy:

You've got an Allen wrench nearby from loosening the guide rod. Place the end of it on the edge of the plug, making sure you've got a good bite on it, and press it in enough to rotate the barrel bushing out of the way. With your free hand ease the plug on out of there. If you feel your wrench slipping, make an effort to slip to the inside of the plug; the right angle of the wrench will catch the plug, keeping it from flying across the room.

Disclaimer: I don't think this method is recommended by, well.. ANYONE.
Wear your shootin' glasses!

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Old 08-07-2012, 05:05 AM   #6
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Thank you all! I will be getting the shorter guide rod since in the "guide-rod" thread it seems that it will work fine in my pistol. I will also get one of the tools since it would be foolish not to get any tool when you have a chance; that's why my roll-arounds weigh 300-pounds each!

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Old 08-07-2012, 09:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdIron44 View Post
Until you purchase a take-down tool, you can get yourself by with the ole cheap 'n easy:

You've got an Allen wrench nearby from loosening the guide rod. Place the end of it on the edge of the plug, making sure you've got a good bite on it, and press it in enough to rotate the barrel bushing out of the way. With your free hand ease the plug on out of there. If you feel your wrench slipping, make an effort to slip to the inside of the plug; the right angle of the wrench will catch the plug, keeping it from flying across the room.

Disclaimer: I don't think this method is recommended by, well.. ANYONE.
Wear your shootin' glasses!
I have used multiple tools to release the the plug, allen wrench, screwdriver, fingers, all have worked.
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:38 AM   #8
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The real trick 1911 tool is the Caspian Pocketsmith;

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