I have had my dream 1911, a Nighthawk Talon, for a few months. I love this gun, it is a true work of art. Every time I pull the trigger it feels like perfection. This weekend, I decided it was time to clean all my pistols and I decided to take my 1911 apart for the first time with no help from anyone else. (Granted, I only took it down far enough to remove the slide, barrel, recoil spring, etc.) I see plenty of photos of all the zillion parts that make up a 1911, and a good friend of mine recommended that I take it all the way down to parade rest once or twice a year, but this time I was just doing a general purpose cleaning.
Here is what I learned:
1. It was not as bad as I thought. (Isn’t that the way it is with most things?)
2. When you first turn the bushing to release the recoil spring, you had better be holding the recoil spring plug firmly, there is some serious tension there!
3. When putting the gun back together, pay particular attention to the slide stop, or you could scratch your frame. It is not hard to insert it correctly, but if you do it wrong, you may have a permanent reminder of that moment!
4. The recoil spring is a bugger to get back in and hold down while turning the bushing back in place upon completion. This step ALMOST kicked my booty. I had a heck of a time holding the spring and plug down while simultaneously turning the bushing back into place. I eventually had to work smarter, not harder – and devised a way to gain some leverage using a tool with a soft end (so as not to mar my 1911 recoil spring plug) with this plan, I was able to hold the spring down and turn the bushing with ease. I am open to ideas on how to make this part easier.
The only thing better than a 1911 is a CLEAN 1911!
What tips and tricks do you have for cleaning a 1911? I would love to hear them!