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1911 Maintenance for Dummies

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I have heard that to keep a 1911 running well it is necessary to maintain it properly and know a bit of gunsmithing. Aside from learning from another owner, are there any resources available to acquire the requisite knowledge?

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My 2 cents, a well built 1911 is not so much a mystery to keep running.  Its good to know the basics, but you don't need to be a basement gunsmith.  When you do have a problem and you are limited in knowledge, put the Dremel down and find a good smith.

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4 hours ago, rhett45acp said:

My 2 cents, a well built 1911 is not so much a mystery to keep running.  Its good to know the basics, but you don't need to be a basement gunsmith.  When you do have a problem and you are limited in knowledge, put the Dremel down and find a good smith.

 

 

This^^^. Well said.

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YouTube has many videos on disassembly.  It may feel daunting, but if you can get the barrel bushing out, you can take the thing apart and put it back together.

 

Just pay attention, and pause the videos when you need to.

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It's worth it to get someone to show you how to field strip it in person to know how much force you need to apply to your gun. Videos lack that kind of feedback so it's easy to be too careful (weak) or hammer it (too hard). 

 

After you've done it half a dozen times it gets much easier!

 

They seem complex because a Glock so easy to break down.

Edited by Frankly

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They really aren't. Buy a decent gun. Clean it sometimes, keep it lubed, change the springs on some sort of schedule, use good mags. The detail strip and reassembly is really not complicated, there are a bunch of videos if you get lost though.

 

Learn to fit an extractor, it is a spring and a wear item, and probably the #1 cause of problems in a gun that was working right no one messed with, they give lots of problems if not tuned right or worn out/broken. 

 

They get a little to a lot complicated when you decide to start changing things beyond grips, sights, and springs.

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Thanks for all your suggestions. I ordered both of the Jerry Kuhnhausen gunsmithing books.

Books

I am interested in learning gunsmithing because  I want to know my gear inside and out. In my research, I see that there are a lot of tools on Brownells for the 1911. Are there some essential tools every owner should have?

 

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This may sound silly but it’s a good habit to wear eye pro as you do things like take the barrel bushing off and change springs etc. Things can go flying if not careful. The videos on you tube have been extremely helpful to me for 2011 guns. Now I’m learning a Tanfo and to me the 1911/2011 platform is easier. Good luck 

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17 hours ago, Tampa-XD45 said:

When you get Volume 1 of the Kuhnhausen books, turn to page 167 and review his tool section.

 

If you really want to accelerate your 1911 knowledge, take a class from a reputable instructor like one of these:

 https://cylinder-slide.com/PClasses

https://www.gunsite.com/classes/gunsite-1911-armorer-course/

Excellent! Thank you!

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I clean my STI every 1k rounds, and my SVI every time I’m done shooting, the difference in the 2 is the SVI to tight, really tight compared to my STI, I change recoil springs and mag springs every 5k rounds and the rest every 10k.  As for what to lube with I use grease and Mobil 1, it works, I have found that Tub O Towels cleaning wipes work great at degreasing cleaning things, YMMV. 

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Like others have said check out YouTube videos...I hate taking apart bushing barrel 1911s, but the more you do it the less annoying it will be. I always clean the extractor when taking my 1911 or 2011s apart. It doesnt take very long and will help keep them running.

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Like said above, keep extractor clean. Just take your time, don't rush, and absolutely keep notes on all spring install dates & round count. Set a date or round count to replace springs and stick to it. 

 

Like said above, Nic Taylor has a few videos out that detail dis / reassembly. Also, look at videos from Atlas. They have a lot of information out there. 

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