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Thread: Barrel bushing stresses

  1. #1
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    Barrel bushing stresses

    I recently replaced the barrel bushing on my 1911 .45. This .45 has about 12,000 rounds thru it. The bushing had a hairline crack at the 6:00 position when looking at it straight on. What would cause this to crack? Just normal wear and tear? I assume that this part of the gun does not receive a whole lot of stresses imposed on it like the locking lugs etc. Am I wrong about this? This .45 is just a Plain Jane Government model, how long can one expect a bushing to last?

  2. #2
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    Have you checked your pistol to see if the recoil spring is perhaps a hair too long? If so, the spring "stacks" under recoil. Whatn that means is that all the coils close up completely before the slide has fully retracted. When the coils all close up, it stops acting like a spring and starts acting like a length of steel pipe. ALL the recoil energy will then be trasmitted directly through the recoil spring plug to the barrel bushing.
    Hawkmoon
    On a good day, can hit the broad side of a barn ... from the inside
    Likes (1) :
    Rick McC. (23rd May 2020)


  3. #3
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    What Hawkmoon said.

    You're right, the bushing isn't a high-stress part... but it can become one, if we ask it to "arrest" the rearward movement of the slide, which is what happens if the recoil spring is too long. This often happens when people swap in a new recoil spring and only check that the slide locks back OK. That's not enough.

    Starting with a fully-assembled pistol, remove the spring plug, leaving the recoil spring in place, protruding. Pull back the slide, AS FAR AS IT WILL GO. Mark how far back it has traveled (maybe with a pencil or small piece of something adhesive). Reassemble, pull back the slide manually and check that you can still get the slide as far back as before.

    If you can, all's well. If not, cut half a coil off the front end of the recoil spring and try again. When you get to the point where it gets there, cut another quarter coil and you're done.
    Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.
    M. Setter
    Likes (3) :
    mus (24th May 2020), MuyModesto (23rd May 2020), Rick McC. (23rd May 2020)

    Last edited by Spyros; 24th May 2020 at 06:29.


  4. #4
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    Thanks Hawkmoon and Spyros! I think both of you have a point. I keep numerous spares on hand. As far as recoil springs go, I have both Wolff recoil springs and recoil springs from the guns manufacturer. I just replaced the older spring with a Wolff spring. It is a bit longer than a new spring from the guns manufacturer. I will check the length and see if it is stacking. I have done that in the past and why I did not do it this time, I do not know.

  5. #5
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    If the recoil spring hadn't been stacking (compressed to its solid length) the reason for the bushing crack is probably either a poorly made bushing and/or that the barrel is binding inside the bushing when in battery.
    When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind. [Lord Kelvin]

  6. #6
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    Since I last posted, I checked to see if the spring was stacking, it was not. I also checked to see if the bushing was binding anywhere on the barrel and it was not as far as I can tell. With a feeler gage it had an average of .003 thousandths clearance between the barrel and bushing. I am going to write it off as either poorly made as you state, or just plain old wear and tear...there is 12,000 rounds thru the pistol. I wish I could post a picture of it but I cannot. The crack is on the visible portion of the bushing when the gun is assembled, it is at the 6:00 position where the recoil spring plug sits in the bushings recess, it does not extend beyond this point. Hopefully I described it in an understandable manner. With this pistol, besides springs, I have replaced the bushing, a slide stop and a recoil spring plug plus extractor.. Do you think this is typical for a .45 with this amount of usage?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by .45s r best View Post
    Do you think this is typical for a .45 with this amount of usage?
    No. If it wasn't a piece of junk to begin with and was properly fitted with no binding or stacking my guess is the life of a barrel bushing would be about a million rounds.
    When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind. [Lord Kelvin]
    Likes (1) :
    Rick McC. (23rd May 2020)

    Last edited by niemi24s; 23rd May 2020 at 14:08.


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by niemi24s View Post
    No. If it wasn't a piece of junk to begin with and was properly fitted with no binding or stacking my guess is the life of a barrel bushing would be about a million rounds.
    I agree. Something is a bit off to see damage like that; either stress on the bushing, or a fault in the bushing itself.
    "Sights are for the unenlightened."

    Rick

    IDPA Certified Safety Officer

  9. #9
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    There is a button on the Quick Reply window, to allow you to post pictures (it's the third one from the right). If you still can't do it, try reducing the image in pixel size, to around 1024x768 or less.

    Also, when you lay the bushing flat on a table (with its front side touching the table) does it sit nice and flat?
    Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.
    M. Setter

  10. #10
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    As far as parts I replaced, I replaced all springs at the recommended amount of rounds. The slide stop was replaced because I felt the wear on the stop where it rides in the barrel link was worn and warranted replacement, however, that was my opinion only. The only parts where there was breakage was the crack on the recoil spring plug and crack on the bushing. Again, I could discern no binding with the cracked bushing. The lugs on the slide and barrel where lock-up occurs look fine with no unusual wear or galling of the metal. For what it's worth, I have detail stripped and cleaned this gun twice and never noticed any parts that seemed excessively tight or loose, nor did I notice any unusual wear marks. As far as ammunition, I reload my own and adhere to the load manual. I load with the minimum amount of powder, no hot loads. Thanks Spyro, yes, the bushing lays flat and I will give the pics a try but given my computer skills, don't hold your breath!

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