Troubles disassembling Colt m1911a1

Discussion in '1911 Forum' started by JoeM, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. JoeM

    JoeM New Member

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    Alright guys...been to youtube and google and still can't seem to figure this out so I came to the most knowledgeable people around!!

    I have almost fully disassembled my grandfathers WWII Colt M1911A1. The only thing I can't seem to get is the mag release. Everything I read says to depress the mag release and unscrew (counter clockwise) the screw on the mag catch which releases the spring.

    The thing isn't budging. I've tried releasing the mag release different distances and still can't get her.

    I know it shouldn't require as much pressure as I'm giving it and don't want to strip it so I'm guessing there is a step I'm missing.

    Any ideas??? I'm going to go take some phone pics so that you can see...
     
  2. JoeM

    JoeM New Member

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    Here are a few pics...is there anything else you'd need to see??? Also, any rec's on giving it a good thorough cleaning...this is the first one it will have in decades!!
     

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    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011

  3. Olympus

    Olympus New Member

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    Push the release from the left side then rotate the screw on the right side.
     
  4. HOSSFLY

    HOSSFLY New Member

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    Zackly- Now the screw only rotates 1/4 turn ;)
    It then shud drop out-
     
  5. Olympus

    Olympus New Member

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    Yeah. Don't be trying to completely unscrew it from the button. You'll sure bugger up that screwhead then!
     
  6. JoeM

    JoeM New Member

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    That's exactly what I'm trying to do. But when I press the mag release I can't get the screw to turn AT ALL!! Could it just that it hasn't been touched in years?
     
  7. HOSSFLY

    HOSSFLY New Member

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    Try to press a little- turn a little alternating pressure & turnin glently-
    Some you have to hit the right combo :confused:
    You'll feel it when you hit the "sweet spot"
     
  8. Jpyle

    Jpyle New Member

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    Could be. Try a little penetrating oil or WD-40 on it. Let it sit then try to shimmy it out. Don't force it or you'll round off the screw.
     
  9. JoeM

    JoeM New Member

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    Niiiiice guys!!! :D Finally got it!! Didn't realize at the time, but the screwdriver I was using was just a little too wide so when I would press the mag release in all the way, the screwdriver would be forced out of the grips of the screw...easy fix :eek:

    So let me ask you this...seeing that this is my fist disassembly of such an old gun, what should I use to get the rust stains out of the frame? You can see what I'm talking about in the 2nd and 3rd pictures above. Should I wait for it to dry completely before re-assembling it? Are there any other things I should take into account, while I have it disassembled, before shooting it?
     
  10. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    I would try a wash rag with a little penetrating oil first. That rust doesn't look very bad to me.

    Also, I need a turn on. Give us a picture of the gun when it's reassembled please.
     
  11. neilage66

    neilage66 New Member

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    Grandpa's Colt...very nice!

    It looks to be in fabulous shape.

    Enjoy.
     
  12. JoeM

    JoeM New Member

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    Alright, the phone's camera sucks but oh well. This is a blast to do...thanks for the help! I can't wait to take it to the range...
     

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  13. JoeM

    JoeM New Member

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    A couple more...
     

    Attached Files:

  14. neilage66

    neilage66 New Member

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    It is a great looking piece of history.

    2 comments:

    1 - It appears the plunger that resides atop the spring inside the plunger tube is missing or stuck inside the tube. I am referring to the *left side* of the plunger tube where the plunger contacts the back edge of the slide stop.
    This needs to be in place to keep tension on the slide stop.

    2 - The gun appears *dry*. Hard to tell, but if it were mine, I would have slathered that thing in CLP from top to bottom during cleaning to stop any active surface rust. I would also hit every moving part on the gun and run it wet. Parkerizing gets *thirsty for oil too. One man's opinion.

    Good luck!
     
  15. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    I can't pull the pics up on my phone! I've gotta get the computer away from my wife!
     
  16. Olympus

    Olympus New Member

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    Neil is right about the plunger spring. Nice catch! But that's easily to fix and any gunsmith should have the piece (I call them detents, but probably not the correct term).

    Definitely keep it oiled. It's okay to dry it off for shooting at the range and for handling and photo shoots, but before you store it thoroughly coat it in oil.
     
  17. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    I just got a personal injury. I'm out of the game. That thing looks mint!! Reminds me of my Grandfather's 1911, it's a 1912 manufacture, it's in about the same condition.
     
  18. JoeM

    JoeM New Member

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    I noticed the plunger spring when I was re-assembling it...it looks like it is compressed into the plunger tube. How do I decompress it??? Is it something that would affect performance? I'm assuming since it applies pressure to the slide stop that I could have an issue with the slide stop stopping after the last round is fired. Is that accurate?

    As far as lubing... I lubed every piece individually when I had it disassembled. Before reassembling it I dried all the non moving parts and left all the "hinges", springs, and sliding parts fairly wet. Do you think that is enough or should I let the thing swim in lube and assemble it without drying it?
     
  19. JoeM

    JoeM New Member

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    Wow, a 1912 mfg?!? Like the saying goes...if that thing had eyes!!!

    On a side note, the movement on this thing is unreal...like butter!!! It makes my Kimber feel like it's made out of sandpaper!!! I can't wait to shoot it...and of course post a range report here!
     
  20. neilage66

    neilage66 New Member

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    Your lube and reassembly method sounds good.
    Wipe her down moist prior to storage and you'll be fine.
    Rather too wet than too dry.

    The item pictured below is the plunger tube spring assembly. It is actually made so you can pull it out of the tube to the rear iirc. Maybe some oil and a toothpick might loosen it enough to pop it back out without pulling the safety off again. Maybe oil and compressed air?

    You should make it right before firing so there is tension on the slide stop imho.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011