Quick gunsmithing question

I want to change the mainspring housing on my WWI-era Colt 1911 pistol. I did this years ago on my 1991-A1, and changed back again; but I’m having a memory lapse.

Here’s the scene: I’ve removed the housing. There’s a pin that goes back to front at the top of it. (As opposed to the larger lateral pin that holds the housing to the frame.) I’ve pushed out the little pin. What I expected was for the mainspring to shoot across the room. (I’d put a towel over the end.) Only it didn’t. It’s still within the housing.

How do I get the spring and plunger out?

Does this help any? Colt 45 It’s a PDF :smack:

If you don’t like that, here’s a thread on 1911 Forum that might do it for you.

1911 Forum

Hm. The mainspring cap pin is removed (I got that far), but the cap and spring aren’t coming out.

So the items are just not sliding out of the housing, right? Are there any burrs on the bore of the housing that could prevent their removal?

Could a small strong magnet pull them out? Or maybe a piece of dowel rod super glued to the plunger would let you pull it out. Is there any way a fine piece of music wire would fit between the plunger and bore to allow you to work it out?

I’ve not disassembled a 45 for some many years, but my recollection was that they kind of fell out.

That is the case. I’m guessing there might be a burr somewhere (assuming there’s not a ‘trick’ that I’ve forgotten – and I didn’t notice one on the forum), but I’m not seeing one. It’s like the retaining pin is still in.

I do have a back-up plan. If I can’t get it out I’ll just get new parts and put them in the ‘new’ housing.

At least the parts that are stuck are cheap! :slight_smile:

I found it kind of nifty that the M1911-A1 (plus a cartridge) is Its own toolbox.

Until I’d found that site, I always wondered why the end of the sear spring was bent – it didn’t serve any purpose I could see.

I just got a phone call from a friend of mine who’s into guns. (I mean really into guns.) After I told him the problem he called a friend of his who’s a 1911 expert. When he called back he said that his friend said that sometimes on older guns (mine was made c.1917) the mainspring cap can wear a groove in the housing. I’m guessing that’s what happened here; maybe it made sort of a ring it can’t get past. The FOAF suggested squirting in some 3-In-1 Oil and working it to see if it comes loose. If I have any oil I’ll give it a try. But right now I’m thinking I might just go ahead and get new parts.

Well, I used to have a cylinder ridge reamer, but it was for automobile engines!

Let us know if and when you get the parts out. I’m going to a gun show tomorrow, need anything?

I couldn’t find and 3-In-1, so I tried WD40. No joy. I’ll order some parts on Monday.

WD40 is not much of a lubricant I’m afraid. You don’t have any BreakFree CLP or any gun oil around? :dubious:


My friend emailed that he got the parts from his friend, so I’ll just keep the old parts where they are and put new ones in the housing that doesn’t have the lanyard loop cut off.

Only I decided to put the gun back together for now. I cocked the hammer, but it won’t drop when I pull the trigger. Probably didn’t get the sear spring in right. I’m too sick and in a rotten mood right now to take it apart again. (Being sick always pisses me off.)