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1911 escutcheons (grip screw bushings) - question on sourcing

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kc.crawford.7
Merick
jglenn21
Boxturtle
Jon Eulette
RodJ
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Post by RodJ Mon Sep 12, 2022 4:10 pm

Can someone recommend escutcheons (grip bushings) that aren’t made of hardened steel?  I.e., softer than the grip frame steel to help reduce the chance of stripping thread holes?  

Long story short, to avoid stripping threads I am pretty gentle on screw pressure but I have found that even with blue loctite on the escutcheon, sometimes over time a screw will get locked to an escutcheon and the two will be stuck and the escutcheon is the part that loosens up. I’d like to replace with soft metal escutcheons that I’ve destroyed with vise grips. 

Thanks in advance!

RodJ

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Post by Jon Eulette Mon Sep 12, 2022 4:35 pm

1911 grip escutcheon’s are supposed to be staked into the receiver after screwing them in. Brownells sells the tool. Recommend having proper receiver support before using the staking tool. Also recommend using oil on your grip screws to help prevent them adhering hard enough to loosen the escutcheon.
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Post by Boxturtle Mon Sep 12, 2022 4:41 pm

In my experience blue Loctite will harden over time.  Instead, I use Permatex anti-seize on the grip screws and put an O-ring under the screw head.  This has worked for a long time with no problems.  The O-rings do break down, and should be replaced every few years.
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Post by Jon Eulette Mon Sep 12, 2022 4:45 pm

080-644-000MB staking tool


They used to make a clamp type tool to remove bushing from grips. Can’t find it…
Jon 
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Post by RodJ Mon Sep 12, 2022 5:25 pm

Thanks Jon and Boxturtle. 

Was not previously aware that the little buggers are staked in.  Jon if I were a smith or had as many 1911’s as you I’d spring for the tool!  Last time I fiddled with new grips, I started using a dab of old school hoppes grease and have used o rings. They do fall apart pretty quickly. I like the antiseize idea, BT. likely a much better material.

Jon, if I stake the little buggers, I still need to make sure I have softer metal.  A lot of Amazon adverts say “hardened” or “heat treated”.  What’s up with that? Guess I should order from brownells to be safe. And then spring for the tool and stake the little buggers properly.

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Post by jglenn21 Mon Sep 12, 2022 5:35 pm

if you are worried about cross threading

Get the right screwdriver head..one that surrounds the bushing

center the bushing and rotate it slowly counter clockwise. you will feel it click. Stop ( the thread ends just crossed each other) . now gently start the bushing in the clockwise direction.. can't remember the last time i screwed one up.. having a tap for the frame screw doesn't hurt either. use it to clean the threads
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Post by RodJ Mon Sep 12, 2022 7:55 pm

Thanks jglenn, I’m careful and good on not cross threading (usually!) using your technique for years. I was wanting to avoid over tightening and thereby possibly stripping the frame threads. Want the escutcheons to be softer and fail first. Seems like the staking tool is really the right way to go. No danger of stripping threads. A few well considered taps and they should be locked in good. And keep up my screw thread lubrication.

Thanks for the help!

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Post by Merick Mon Sep 12, 2022 8:49 pm

I got the EGW escutcheons.

But contrary to popular opinion I also set them with red thread locker rather than staking, so you may choose to ignore my opinions entirely.

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Post by kc.crawford.7 Tue Sep 13, 2022 4:58 am

Merick wrote:I got the EGW escutcheons.

But contrary to popular opinion I also set them with red thread locker rather than staking, so you may choose to ignore my opinions entirely.
This is exactly what I do.  BUT, I don't degrease the bushing or the receiver.  Strength of red loctite with a "mold release" with the oil from your fingers.
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Post by Ed Hall Tue Sep 13, 2022 7:27 am

Just a note that if my escutcheons do come out with the grip screws, I screw them back in with red Loctite instead of grabbing them with pliers.  I, too, use o-rings under the grip screw heads so they don't have to be tightened hard to hold the panels.  That also keeps the screws from compressing the panels and keeps the panels in place if they've already been compressed.

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Post by tovaert Tue Sep 13, 2022 8:10 am

Can anyone post which o-ring is used? I know they are numbered and available in plumbing departments.

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Post by WesG Tue Sep 13, 2022 9:35 am

Pretty sure Brownell has bushings with oversize threads, and a tap to match.

Loctite, and need to replace them, tip of a soldering iron to heat it up.

Worst case, a good TIG welder can build it back up for remachining.

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Post by RodJ Tue Sep 13, 2022 10:18 am

Man lots of helpful replies. I appreciate it and like to learn different was of skinning cats (sorry, Charlie Cat, it’s just an expression).

Ed, I must admit that the reason I recently resorted to locking pliers on the escutcheons was because (a) it wasn’t the first time I’d had this problem, thought I’d defeated them, and was now mad and hated the little devils and (b) I could buy new ones for very little money. The revenge/satisfaction-to-cost ratio was very high! Normally I’m not like that, preferring to work through a problem properly, find a good workaround, etc

Red loctite sounds like my first / next step. I’ve used blue in the past along with KC’s Human Skin Oil (patent pending). I’ll upgrade to red.

Thanks everyone - every one of the suggestions and advice are greatly appreciated!

RodJ

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Post by rburk Tue Sep 13, 2022 11:19 pm

When I removed the grips on my Springfield 1911, the escutcheons came out with them, so I guess they weren't staked, or the screws rusted into them.  I bought replacements, and what I found was that the ones I got (Wilson I believe) protruded slightly into the magwell, and the magazines would bind.  So check them for that before anchoring them in.

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