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Thread: Worn-out plunger assembly already?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    3rd September 2018
    Location
    Modesto, Ca.
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    Worn-out plunger assembly already?

    Worn out plunger spring, already? In June of 2018 I bought the Auto Ordnance 1911A1 BKOW brand new. To date it has only 225 rounds through it. On top of that, I practice dry firing regularly so there’s been likely 1000 or more dry fires with this pistol. Many of them were with me working the safety on / off.


    I’ve noticed the safety had become extremely easy to move from one position to the other. Being concerned about a potential problem I put the pistol in my Bianchi 7L holster, with the hammer cocked, safety “on”, no round in the chamber, and no magazine in the pistol. I wore the holster on my belt, going about a range of normal daily activities for an hour or so. Twice I found the pistol’s safety had released during the course of this activity without me having touched the pistol. This almost never happens with the Bianchi 7L holster and my other 1911s.


    I remembered having read in some prior post on this website a comment or two about how the lower priced 1911s tended to be assembled with inferior quality springs. I rummaged through my parts box and found a brand new plunger assembly, made by “Cylinder & Slide, Inc.” I removed the Auto Ordnance plunger assembly and set it next to the “Cylinder & Slide, Inc” assembly. The overall length of the Auto Ordnance assembly was about 1/8” shorter than the "Cylinder & Slide, Inc" new one, which appeared to be from the Auto Ordnance spring being compressed.


    Next I installed the “Cylinder & Slide, Inc” plunger assembly into the Auto Ordnance, and reassembled the gun. What I suddenly had was not a “thumb safety”, but a “thumbs safety”, because it took both thumbs to work it in either direction. With a dab of grease where the safety plunger meets the safety things eased up so I could work the safety in either direction with one thumb only.


    A few dummy rounds in a magazine and a couple tries working the slide to chamber and eject the dummies showed everything was OK on the slide stop end of the plunger assembly, with the slide closing normally from locked-open to chamber the first round, and then locking-open after the last round.


    I’ll continue to work dry-fire practice with this pistol, and will clean the excess lubricant before taking it to the range.

    With new plunger assemblly in holster.jpgWrapper for new plunger assembly.jpgNew plunger assembly in pistol.jpg
    i sold all my handguns. . . . . . . . . . except for the 1911 style pistols in .45 ACP.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    13th August 2005
    Posts
    86
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    8
    Hmmm. My PKZSE is much older than your pistol and has a lot more rounds through it, and my safety clicks on and off pretty positively. As a matter of fact, the only 1911 I've ever had plunger assembly issues with is my Colt 1991, and on it the original plunger tube worked its way loose. I bought a Wilson combat plunger tube and the special staking rig, and fixed it myself. I could have maybe gotten it replaced by a 'smith cheaper, but learning to do it myself and buying the tool means that I'll never have a loose plunger tube ever again for the rest of my life!

    By the way, if you ever remove that spring again you should do two things to it:

    1. Take a pair of fine needle-nose pliers and tighten the safety-end of the last coil so that it grips the safety plunger shank.

    2. take the same pliers and grip one of the coils about half way down the spring and "un-coil" it a little bit.

    Now reinsert the spring as normal. From now on, whenever you detail strip the frame, when you remove the safety the plunger spring and plunger won't go flying out of the tube like an RPG out of a launcher and off into the darkest corner of the man cave. That is how it's supposed to be installed.
    Likes (2) :
    MuyModesto (21st March 2019), Ric4509 (20th March 2019)


  3. #3
    Join Date
    3rd September 2018
    Location
    Modesto, Ca.
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    Thanks much tpelle for the info and suggestions.

    Like you, I had the plunger tube fall off of my 1991A1, when the gun was about 15 years old. I had my gunsmith fix that repair.
    i sold all my handguns. . . . . . . . . . except for the 1911 style pistols in .45 ACP.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    2nd June 2004
    Location
    Terra
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    MuyModesto -- take a good look at the thumb safety in your photo. Notice that just above the tip of the plunger, there's a rather sharp corner. I find that this corner is so sharp on many safeties that it can't depress the plunger as it should. I routinely fit thumb safeties by gradually taking down that corner and rounding it off until the thumb safety can move smoothly, yet still stay in place when engaged or disengaged.
    Hawkmoon
    On a good day, can hit the broad side of a barn ... from the inside
    Likes (1) :
    oldCop (26th March 2019)

    Last edited by Hawkmoon; 22nd March 2019 at 16:15. Reason: typo


  5. #5
    Join Date
    3rd September 2018
    Location
    Modesto, Ca.
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    Interesting thought, Hawkmoon. I raise this topic with my gunsmith. Thank you.
    i sold all my handguns. . . . . . . . . . except for the 1911 style pistols in .45 ACP.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    2nd June 2004
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    Terra
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    Here's a photo of a genuine U.S. military pistol, taken from a thread in our Collector's Corner area. Look closely at that protrusion (which is this photo is below the plunger, since the safety is in the OFF or FIRE ) position. It's slightly rounded. Not a pronounced radius, but the sharp point is broken, just enough to allow the safety to move freely yet not so much that the safety no longer functions as a safety.

    Hawkmoon
    On a good day, can hit the broad side of a barn ... from the inside
    Likes (1) :
    oldCop (26th March 2019)


  7. #7
    Join Date
    24th July 2005
    Posts
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    I ran into a similar situation about a year ago.
    I found that alot of manufacturers go cheap on the safety plunger spring.
    On my carry guns I have been changing this spring with a Wolff brand spring.
    I take the metal ends off the old one and snap them on the new one. I don't put the "Kink" in the middle.
    The Kink is so the part doesn't get loss under disassembly, but I feel the Spring has more pressure without it.
    One drop of lube rubbed on it and back in it goes.

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/15...r-spring-1911#


    This also makes reassembly a snap without scratching the gun

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/58...-polymer-black
    Likes (1) :
    MuyModesto (23rd March 2019)


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