View Full Version : Barrel Bushing

24th August 2005, 09:15

I just purchased a 1911-A1 and have a question about disassembly. Should you be able to remove the barrel bushing without any tools? I mean, should I just be able to turn it with my fingers to release the recoil spring plug?

This is my first 1911 and I thought you could tear them down without any tools. All of the disassembly instructions I have read simple show turning the bushing by hand. And on top of that, given the design of the bushing and how the recoil plug locks it in place, I couldn't imagine why it would need to be so tight.

Should I get some sandpaper and polish up the bushing a bit? Or should I simple replace it?



24th August 2005, 09:27
You have to depress the recoil spring plug so the bushing will turn clockwise past the recoil spring plug to remove the plug and the recoil spring. Be sure to keep your hand over the plug, or you'll be chasing it all over the room. Rotate the bushing counter-clockwise (with the EMPTY pistol bore facing you), and the bushing will come out with the barrel after the slide is removed from the frame.

24th August 2005, 09:30
That's what I did. But the dang thing is so tight I have to use a pair of pliers. And even then it's still hard to rotate the bushing.

Do you think it's too tight? Or is that the way it's supposed to be?


24th August 2005, 09:40
If you can't rotate the bushing with only it in the slide, there may be a burr on the bushing that is engaging the tab slot. I would advise not using a pliers to remove the bushing, use a wood dowel to rotate it, tap the wood dowel to rotate the bushing and to tap it out of the slide. Although, since you have to remove the bushing to get the barrel out, you can move the barrel shoulder forward against the bushing and then tap on the barrel with the wood dowel. In fact, I recall a scene in an AMU video of the gunsmith removing the bushing using the barrel, and he was jerking the dickens out of that barrel (by hand) to remove the bushing. Of course the bushing was rotated to align the tab so it could be removed. But I'd use the wood dowel and a brass hammer on the dowel to rotate the bushing. With pliers you'll mess it up fer sure.

24th August 2005, 12:11
I just purchased a 1911-A1 and have a question about disassembly.

What model 1911 do you have? I assume one made by Springfield. Brand new or used?

Most of the 1911's I've dealt with were like the ones described in the posts above - just push down on the spring plug and turn the bushing far enough to clear the plug. Then once the plug is cleared, turning the bushing the other way will allow it to slip off from the slide. I've never come across one that was so tight that you couldn't turn it with your fingers.

I definitely would not use pliers or any other sharp tool to torque on the bushing. Any tool like that will certainly deform the surfaces of the bushing and will make the problem worse than it is. A piece of wood or plastic to push against the bushing is all you'd need at the most.

There might be a burr or rough spot that's keeping the bushing from turning within the slide, but let me suggest something simple first: try pushing the spring plug down as far as you can with a dowel or pencil before turning the bushing. Maybe the plug isn't being pushed down far enough to allow the bushing to clearly rotate.

24th August 2005, 12:40
Okay. I just realized something. My gun has a match grade clark barrel and therefore (this is the part I just realized, sorry, i'm new at this), chances are good that it has a match grade barrel bushing. Will this particular bushing fit tighter than the stock bushing?

If that is the case, would I notice any difference if I switched over to a stock bushing?

Thanks to all that have replied!

24th August 2005, 18:44
Yes, a match-grade bushing and barrel will be very tight, and for very good reason. The barrel in a 1911 moves when the action cycles. It "locks" for shooting at the back (via the lugs on the barrel and the underside of the slide) and at the front via the bushing which, in turn, locks to the slide. When the barrel to bushing to slide fit is tight, the gun is accurate. When loose, the gun is inaccurate.
You *could* switch to a stock bushing but, frankly, I think you'd be crazy to do so. You've obviously got a really nice gun that is set up for accuracy. (Clark barrels are "good stuff.")
It ain't broke. Don't fix it!

24th August 2005, 19:05
The gunsmith I go to when I cannot figure out what I am doing wrong told me that you should need to use the bushing wrench to disassemble the barrel bushing on a well (or custom) fit barrel and bushing. None of my Colts or Springfields require the wrench and they shoot great but I am sure a custom fit match barrel would shoot better. I am sure I would leave the wrench at home when I went to the range the day I needed it.

24th August 2005, 19:37
I agree with edski.
It sounds like a great barrel to bushing fit. I would not mess with it at all.
I would like to see some range reports from you, guess is, that you will be very happy with the way the gun shoots.
Pictures would be nice too!

24th August 2005, 21:47
Thanks guys. I am going to try to find a bushing wrench and just keep it with me whereever and whenever i have my 1911.

Thanks for the help.

24th August 2005, 22:15
Brownell's has inexpensive polymer bushing wrenches ($2-3). I have 5 or 6 and keep at least two everywhere I might need one (in case one breaks): range bag, work bench, shooting kit, etc. Sounds like you have a nice, tightly fitted bushing which leads one to expect good accuracy from the gun. I had a Clark accurized ".38 Super converted to .38 Special" target pistol some years ago. It was a tackdriver!

Good shooting and be safe.

25th August 2005, 06:14
I have a Les Baer Premier II w/1". The barrel bushing is very tight and the plastic bushing wrench included with the gun barely works. I use a steel wrench that doesn't bend under pressure. As barrel to bushing to slide lock-up is important for accuracy, I look upon this tightness as favorable. To remove the bushing I just pull the barrel by the front and tap it on the bushing from inside of the frame. After 3 or 4 taps, it comes out. When reassembling the slide, I put a very small coating of oil on the outside of the bushing, as well as the barrel. I think it helps.

25th August 2005, 07:46
Bushing wrenches are everywhere. Brownells sells a couple of different versions, Sportsmans Guide Company usually has them, Cheapeer Than Dirt should have them ...

The nylon/plastic ones are more certain not to mar the finish on your recoil spring plug, but if the end of the plug is knurled it'll chew up a nylon bushing wrench in short order. I prefer steel, but that's a personal decision.

25th August 2005, 18:43
You won't need it if you are shooting, only when you decide to field strip the pistol.

25th August 2005, 20:16

I just purchased a 1911-A1 and have a question about disassembly. Should you be able to remove the barrel bushing without any tools? I mean, should I just be able to turn it with my fingers to release the recoil spring plug?

Some are fitted tighter than others, get a bushing wrench. Some people have stated here that they should be that tight for an accurate gun.

26th August 2005, 07:26
Thanks everyone!