How often do you guys fully disassemble and re-assemble your 1911

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How often do you guys fully disassemble and re-assemble your 1911 Empty How often do you guys fully disassemble and re-assemble your 1911

Post by mikemyers on 1/9/2019, 7:32 am

I guess this is the best place to post this.  I hate to admit it, but even though I've been shooting 1911's since the early 1980's, I have never disassembled one beyond the point of basic cleaning and lubricating.  Do you guys do this once for a season, or more frequently?  I read something about some better shooters who completely rebuild their gun before a match, so they can be sure nothing can go wrong.  

I figure it's time to learn how to do so.  
I watched five or six YouTube videos on how to do it.  
I found one that was easy for me to understand, and seems "easy" to do.


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Post by cdrt on 1/9/2019, 8:05 am

When I was shooting a lot, I would completely take them down once a year and clean the heck out of them.  Since I've been running matches and not shooting as much, it's every couple of years.
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Post by DA/SA on 1/9/2019, 8:21 am

I completely disassemble, clean, inspect, lube, and reassemble all of my regularly shot pistols once a year. 

Field strip, wipe out the goo with a cloth, and re-lube the barrel tube and slide rails about three or four hundred round intervals.


Rebuild prior to a match??  Sounds like a great way to induce a malfunction to me.

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Post by zanemoseley on 1/9/2019, 9:02 am

I totally strip at least once a year. Also a good time to tweak your sear spring if its relaxed any. 

I field strip ever 300-400 rounds including taking out the extractor so I can really clean the breach face and extractor tunnel.

Fully taking apart a 70 series isn't bad, a 80 series is worse and an 80 series with an ambi safety will make you want to kick any nearby dogs lol.

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Post by mikemyers on 1/9/2019, 9:43 am

DA/SA wrote:.......Rebuild prior to a match??  Sounds like a great way to induce a malfunction to me.
Isn't this a choice between preventing a developing problem from happening during the match, vs. doing something wrong in the re-assembly which will create the malfunction at the match.  

I wish I could remember who said that - it will eventually come to me.   Or, I'll try to find it again.
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Post by weber1b on 1/9/2019, 10:59 am

My gunsmith taught me if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I do clean my guns twice a year whether it needs it or not and I do now break them down all the way but I may revert to that just once a year. I also never go to a match with a freshly cleaned or repaired gun. If I have messed something up in the process, I would sure hate to find out on the line in a match. I also prefer to at the very least "foul" the barrel before a match once I have cleaned a gun.

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Post by STEVE SAMELAK on 1/9/2019, 11:27 am

Given a choice I would never take my gun apart before a match.
If I'm going to do something mechanical I want at least one practice session before shooting for score.
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Post by DA/SA on 1/9/2019, 11:32 am

mikemyers wrote:
DA/SA wrote:.......Rebuild prior to a match??  Sounds like a great way to induce a malfunction to me.
Isn't this a choice between preventing a developing problem from happening during the match, vs. doing something wrong in the re-assembly which will create the malfunction at the match.  

I wish I could remember who said that - it will eventually come to me.   Or, I'll try to find it again.
My comments are in reference to taking an unfired pistol directly to a match.

Have you not seen any "I just took my pistol apart to clean it and now it doesn't work" posts?

Not necessarily on here, but on other firearm related forums.

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Post by dronning on 1/9/2019, 1:00 pm

STEVE SAMELAK wrote:Given a choice I would never take my gun apart before a match.
If I'm going to do something mechanical I want at least one practice session before shooting for score.
I always shoot at least 50 rounds before a match even after a simple cleaning.   

I now double check my trigger weight too, why?  Well during a complete tear down months earlier I switched lubes and didn't make weight at Perry during a line check.  I was lucky the line officer knew me and allowed me to try fix it and still shoot that relay.  Trust me they didn't hold anything up, I was able to adjust the sear spring before the 3 minute prep was over and got weighed and back to the line just as the command to fire was given.  I dry fired for 5 minutes waiting for my heart rate to settle.
- Dave

A complete tear down and clean about once a year, usually in the late winter.
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Post by JKR on 1/9/2019, 1:36 pm

I watch the bore for any signs of leading which I clean from the muzzle using a guide. I don't like to crank out the bushing any more often than necessary. 

As far as the lower goes, I clean as necessary. I shoot a lot and use BE in light loads. Things get pretty crappy looking after several hundred rounds. 

Jim

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Post by mikemyers on 1/9/2019, 10:04 pm

DA/SA wrote:My comments are in reference to taking an unfired pistol directly to a match.
Have you not seen any "I just took my pistol apart to clean it and now it doesn't work" posts?
Not necessarily on here, but on other firearm related forums.
I started thinking about what you wrote, and sure, I've heard of that too.  I'm sure it has happened to me, especially long ago.

I tried to follow a routine of when I come home from shooting, unless I'm going back to the range the next day, to disassemble the gun for cleaning that same night.  (With black powder, this is within an hour of getting home.)  I can't remember ever having a problem from cleaning, only from when I did not clean.

Your point as I see it, is that since I'm not familiar with the internal workings of a 1911, I might do something to cause the gun not to work properly.  To me, that means to disassemble and re-assemble the gun much more frequently, so I'm so familiar with everything, there is no doubt about it working properly.  

I'm surprised by the responses.  I expected to read that anyone serious about winning a major match would totally take apart their gun, check everything for signs of a problem, clean, lube, re-assemble, then shoot it in practice for 25 or 50 rounds, and only then go to the match.   So, from what you've all written, I'd like to ask a follow-up question.  

Have any of you shooting a 1911 had a malfunction, and if so, what happened?  Would it have happened anyway, for some external problem, or would it have been caught and fixed earlier, had you fully disassembled and examined the gun?  
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Post by STEVE SAMELAK on 1/9/2019, 10:25 pm

One extractor broke at 48 rounds (no longer have much faith in mim 1911 parts).
One extractor broke after a decade of abuse (1 week prior to going to the nationals in 18).
Same gun broke a firing pin stop last week.
None of these failures....especially in a brand new gun...were something I feel were predictable or the result of my efforts or lack of.
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Post by mikemyers on 1/9/2019, 11:00 pm

Steve, if those defects couldn't have been detected by a close inspection, should the best shooters start each season (or ? seasons) with new parts, preferably from a quality source ?

I'm not sure what you mean by "a decade of abuse".  How does one abuse an extractor?



When I sent my Colt Combat Commander back to Colt many years ago to have it improved, they replaced quite a few parts.  I wish I knew enough to have looked at them, and understood why they needed replacing, or maybe it was just that the parts were so old.
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Post by DA/SA on 1/10/2019, 6:55 am

I'm not a good one to ask.

The farthest thing from my mind is having a malfunction with a gun. I've only been shooting about five years now, but average about a thousand rounds a month from numerous platforms. Sig, Beretta, Glock, revolvers, 1911's, numerous calibers, whatever, and I'm still waiting for the first malfunction, and I'm for sure not a gun cleaner/inspector. I took a friend to the range once and was shooting a plate rack with my P-220 Sig. He wanted to give it a try and had a jam every magazine. I took the gun back and have been shooting it trouble free ever since. I believe that a strong grip and controlling the gun as much as possible has as much to do with "malfunctions" as anything. Parts breakage will always be an issue, but not always detectable by inspection. Some parts are like light bulbs, one time they work and the next time they don't. A chipped extractor claw might be an example of that.

A new part is no guarantee that it won't break.

Do't over think things, just shoot and quit worrying...

YMMV

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Post by mikemyers on 1/10/2019, 7:23 am

I can't help "overdoing" things, as I want to both know, and more importantly, understand.

In world championship radio control racing with nitro powered cars, the entire car gets completely disassembled, and rebuilt, for each day, and "wear parts" get replaced regardless of whether they look fine.  The car has to last with no issues for a full one hour race.


The issues you noted at the end of the response are the type of thing I was wondering about.  If it was a major event, is it possible to detect the problem before it happens, or do those parts get replaced once a season or something??
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Post by STEVE SAMELAK on 1/10/2019, 7:29 am

mikemyers wrote:Steve, if those defects couldn't have been detected by a close inspection, should the best shooters start each season (or ? seasons) with new parts, preferably from a quality source ?

I'm not sure what you mean by "a decade of abuse".  How does one abuse an extractor?



When I sent my Colt Combat Commander back to Colt many years ago to have it improved, they replaced quite a few parts.  I wish I knew enough to have looked at them, and understood why they needed replacing, or maybe it was just that the parts were so old.

I've seen new shooters abuse the extractor by putting a round in the chamber & dropping the slide,
My abuse was in the form of shooting the gun until it didn't function from fouling.
A few times the gun was so dirty that it took a custom punch & hammer to start the extractor out of the slide.
It's hard for the extractor to flex when the hole it fits in is solid with carbon.
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