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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, quick question...I was detail cleaning my 1911 last night, and noticed that the barrel bushing fit seems to be not very tight. It fits to the barrel just fine, but the fit to the slide, it has some front to back play. I can push it all the way in and see no daylight, then pull it out and see daylight, maybe a sheet of paper's worth of thickness. Of course when the recoil spring is tensioned it stays protruding out unless I push on it. I'm used to a tighter fit with other 1911s I've messed around with. My dad's old Colt you have to use a bushing wrench to mess with the thing. Mine is a lot easier to remove but I never thought anything of it. But I've never really looked at or thought about front to back play...seems like it could be a bad thing, but I'm not sure. I do have a Kuhnhausen manual on the way, but I probably won't receive that before next week's IDPA.

Does anyone know if this kind of play is a problem?
 

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The slide to barrel bushing fit on my les Baer 1911 is so tight I have to really wrench on it for it to move. The bushing to barrel fit is perfect with no side to side movement. The Baer is a very accurate gun and I attribute that to the tight tolerances.

What make is yours?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Windage, sounds like I'll have to fit a new one.

It's a Dan Wesson, 3 years old.
 

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miatakix said:
Thanks, Windage, sounds like I'll have to fit a new one.

It's a Dan Wesson, 3 years old.
Those are excellent pistols. Well worth investing in a new and properly fitted bushing.

Good luck.

R
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, I like it pretty well. It's getting a new Wilson Combat Bulletproof ambi safety this weekend, have a Bulletproof slide stop, and need to figure out this barrel bushing.

Hmm, I'm looking at the options that Brownells has...not sure if I should go with an Ed Brown or something like an EGW. I'm thinking the Brown may be more likely to fit right out of the box since most of the parts on the DW's are Ed Brown...but the original didn't fit so great, so...? I think I'll try the EGW.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Okay, I have a new Stainless EGW bushing on the way, as well as a new EGW mag catch lock (boogered up the screw head on my factory one), and a long Harrison Design trigger (decided I need a longer trigger last night). Also have an extractor tensioning set from Wiegand on the way, and a few other things.

It's way too easy to spend money at Brownells :-\
 

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Are you sure this is even a problem, Eric? How does the gun shoot?

Has there been a reduction in accuracy with your chosen target or defense ammo. Have you noticed rested group size increasing in a load that was previously accurate? Do you even have a benchmark from which to test?

With the gun unloaded and in-battery, use a finger in the muzzel to see if you can move the barrel. Any wobble? Make sure it's the bushing fit you're feeling and not any play in the slide-to-frame fit. Now push down on the barrel hood visible in the ejection port. Any movement?

If you do decide it is necessary to replace the barrel bushing, get an oversized one that needs to be fit to both the slide and the outside diameter of the barrel. A "drop-in" bushing will probably be no better than what you have now. And remember, a "Commander" length slide requires a different bushing that a 5" gun.

Roe
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Uh oh, too late on the pre-fit thing. Guess I'll see if I get lucky or not.

I wasn't concerned at all about accuracy, Roe. I was just concerned about it battering the slide and causing damage over the long term, or maybe battering itself and breaking. I don't know how great those forces might be...they don't intuitively seem like they'd be too high to me, but I don't really know. A third consideration in my mind was that by being so loose it might over time lap the inside of the slide and get looser and looser over time.

Guess I'm only out $20 if this new one doesn't fit, and I'll have a backup. If it fits the same, well, it'll be stainless and beveled, vs. my current one which is blued (on a stainless gun with no other blued parts) and unbeveled, so it'll at least have the bling factor going for it ;D

I have all the right Starrett tools to check the dimensions of this stuff, a good micrometer and dial caliper, I have no intention of being sloppy here. I'm not too terrible of an engineer and work with my hands with high precision stuff for much of the time in my job, so hopefully I won't get myself into too much trouble ;D

Edit to add: and I was already ordering some other stuff that I need from Brownells, including a cleaning rod for my new CZ 452, which requires a .20 cal rod even though it is a .22, and they have free shipping running right now, so that's why I was just trying to think about what kind of maintenance the 1911 might need to stay running in tip-top shape.
 

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The bushing on my Baer does not fit the slide tight, and protrudes about .007" under spring pressure... it won't hurt a thing to have some play there, but if its over about .010"...I'd fix it.

It may be that the groove in the slide is cut too far forward...if thats the case, no "in spec" bushing is gonna help...just thought I'd throw that out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ahh, okay, thanks, Ridgerunner, if the Baer comes that way I'm sure it's totally fine. I just figured that with my DW being a semi-custom and not a full custom, maybe this was one of the areas where they skimped on attention to detail, but maybe I was wrong. I don't think it's over a .010" gap...maybe, I'll look closer tonight.

Oh well, I don't see any problems with having a spare part or two laying around.
 

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I fitted my spare bushing tighter than the one the gun came with...but I have not had to install it yet (over 20,000 rounds)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
nice
 

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The timing is too funny on this post. Had extraction problems with my 45 (old Auto Ordnance GI model - plain jane, well used) and fixed that by bending the extractor. All is well with that now. But while at the range test firing, range master showed me a couple things to improve accuracy and reliability.

I just ordered a Wilson link set + pins, and a prefit bushing and wrench. Expect it will tighten things up and greatly improve groups. Also going to do a wee bit of polishing the feed ramp. I like to shoot my 200 LSWC reloads!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Cool, Oscarflytyer. I really like the Wilson parts, have one of their slide stops and now their ambi safeties.

As far as the extraction goes, these Wiegand tools look pretty cool. One is a tension gauge when used with a trigger pull gauge (I picked up an RCBS one). Then their extractor bender lets you adjust the tension incrementally. All in all should allow one to really fine tune and maintain the extractor well. You also might want to check your extractor claw and see if it was beveled by the factory or not. If it is not, beveling and polishing it a little may help. See this article for a good diagram to guide you, if you decide to do this:

http://www.sightm1911.com/lib/tech/reliability_secrets.htm

Yeah, be careful with the feed ramp polishing, slow and steady as she goes. Try not to reduce case head support. I've never messed with mine, it was great as Dan Wesson sent it to me, but a buddy did do his Springfield with great success.
 

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Ok...I was in a rush earlier and didn't get to finish. ;)

In a perfect world, you'd want no more than about .003"-.005" of play up there, but more is not a problem as far as function goes...it just looks kinda bad after you notice it. I gave Les himself an ear full when I noticed mine, he offered to fix it...but I told him I could fix it if I had a bushing...he sent me a new bushing :) and I was happy with that.

Roe is right...if its not moving around, and it usually wont with this, its OK. I've shot mine till it was too hot to hold on several occasions...if it was gonna break, that would have done it I think.

And yes...go easy on the feed ramps, polishing them can help sometimes...but far too many people overdo it (or do it when its not really necessary)


AND...my Baer is stainless, and they are purposely not fitted as tight as the blued guns to prevent galling...it locks up like a bank vault, and its a tack driver, but I can remove the stock bushing with my fingers...easily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks, Ridgerunner, yeah, good to hear that it's probably not a problem. Hmm, I'm not sure if I have any feeler gauges that small, I'll have to see if I can eyeball it. I'd guess it was over 0.010", but my eyeball isn't terrible well calibrated there. I mean if I was reloading and you put three .45 auto rounds in front of me with one COAL 1.245", another 1.255", and a third 1.265", I'd be able to tell you which was which, but looking at gaps is another thing.

Guess I was just accustomed to crazy-tightly fitting to the slide bushings and thought that is how it's supposed to be.

Accuracy certainly isn't a problem, though, like I said in the other thread, when I'm shooting, using good ammo, and am doing my part, it puts rounds exactly where I'm aiming them, it's almost scary how accurate this pistol is. Now my ability to put rounds on target shot after shot in a match is another thing...

I did some dryfire practice last night after I finished detail cleaning it and was starting to figure out a few things I've been doing wrong with my presentation and getting the proper sight picture, etc. Hmm, I'm thinking I need to pick up a bigger belt, been packing on a couple inches on the waist and my gunbelt isn't fitting so well. I need a double mag pouch, too. One extra mag isn't enough with a 1911.

Okay, I'm off to the gym for the first time in like a month :-[
 

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I had a Colt 1911 stainless back in the late '80's... it was a typical 1980's Colt, it was pretty to look at but wasn't All That and a bag of chips. :p The barrel bushing was pretty loose, you could disassemble it with two fingers, and the bottom of the bushing would protrude a bit when locked up in battery. Obviously, all was not well... the bushing eventually failed and cracked at about the 2 O'clock position (looking at the muzzle.) Never even replaced it, I sold it off shortly thereafter and bought my Springfield.

I would be a bit concerned about a loose part peening/wearing the slot in the slide or failing when you were depending on it. Because aftermarket parts are always different, if you don't get good results with the first bushing, try another.

miatakix said:
Okay, I have a new Stainless EGW bushing on the way, as well as a new EGW mag catch lock (boogered up the screw head on my factory one), and a long Harrison Design trigger (decided I need a longer trigger last night). Also have an extractor tensioning set from Wiegand on the way, and a few other things.

It's way too easy to spend money at Brownells :-\
You keep doing that and you won't have any money for the HiPower!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hmm, very interesting, thanks for relating the experience, Charlie98. I can pretty easily remove this bushing with one finger, so...hmm...

Will do on trying another if this doesn't work. If worst comes to worst I'll just drop it by Harrison Design and ask John to fit one for me. I don't have a lathe or anything so my ability to work these things might be kind of limited. We'll see.

Nah, shouldn't have any trouble getting a Hi Power if I can get a decent price for my FAL stuff. I have more than twice in that FAL than what I could pick up a new Hi Power for...that FAL is a brand new FN-contract FAL, even the upper receiver, and the kit matches (although it doesn't match the upper receiver...but they are both Argentine, made in the same factory at around the same time). I even have a bunch of mags (including 4 brand new condition Belgian-made FN mags), and some highly coveted General Dynamica once fired .308 military brass that I'm going to rid of along with it (okay, I might think twice on the brass, may get an M1A some day). Those things just are not being made anymore. Actually if I can get a decent price for just the upper receiver alone that should get me a decent Hi-Power. If I sell it all I should be able to get a Hi Power, a nice carry rig, a few spare mags, and have plenty left over.

Felt good getting to the gym, woo! I'm going to go see if I can find some of the new Schlitz beer that LT was talking about...if not I'll just get some PBR.
 

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A bushing protruding at the bottom IS a problem...because of the way the bushing "binds" the barrel during lockup...no wonder yours broke, it was taking a beating.

At the top...its not such a big deal.

With no barrel...the bushing fits in mine as loose as a goose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Oh, the bottom of mine protrudes, guess I'm not going to shoot it next week in IDPA unless that new bushing gets here really fast :-\

Maybe they'll let me shoot my Airweight. Oh, darn, forgot, don't have a belt holster for it, just the pocket holster.
 
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