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Dumb Mistake - Colt Series 80 MK IV Government Model

This is a discussion on Dumb Mistake - Colt Series 80 MK IV Government Model within the M1911 forums, part of the Other Handgun Talk category; Took apart my Colt Series 80 MK IV Government model, for cleaning and install new grips. Upon re-assembly (or rather just before reassembly) at some ...

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Old 10-25-2008, 04:29 PM   #1
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Red face Dumb Mistake - Colt Series 80 MK IV Government Model

Took apart my Colt Series 80 MK IV Government model, for cleaning and install new grips. Upon re-assembly (or rather just before reassembly) at some point I'm pretty sure I pulled the trigger while the slide was off the receiver, and now, even after I cock the hammer to reinstall the slide, the plunger lever (sits alongside and to the right of the hammer) won't sit down flush enough (into the groove/recession on the receiver) to allow the slide to pass over it to re-assemble.

Anybody been as stupid as me and done the same thing?

How do I fix?
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Old 10-25-2008, 05:51 PM   #2
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Sounds like it jumped over the mainspring-that three-armed springy thing. Without special tools and some willingness to force it, you need a more complete dis-assembly; Some pin punches and a hooked pick. I learned to dissasemble my 1911's from JERRY KUHNHAUSEN: http://www.brownells.com/aspx/ns/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=13805&title=Jerry%20Kuhnhause n%20SHOP%20MANUALS/BOOKS.

Beat all heck out of trying to learn through the phone or the internet.

If I recall correctly, you will need to drive the pin holding the hammer spring housing out, slide the housing down until you can lift the main spring-it hooks into the frame, then replace/reposition the spring with the disconnect, trigger bar and that safety arm all properly aligned. Slide the housing back up, re-pin and taking care not to drop the hammer, reassemble the gun from it's field strip. Helps a lot to have the diagrams in the book!
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Old 10-25-2008, 07:21 PM   #3
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They key is to now apply any pressure to the grip safety.
I hate to say it, but rattle the slide fwd and aft, it will settle in.
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:08 PM   #4
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The wizard at my local GS fixed the problem. The plunger level was bent significantly out of shape, quite a bit (maybe 20-25) compared to what it should look like (no bend). That's why the slide wouldn't clear it.

Fortunately my local shop had the replacement part on hand, and fixed it in about 5 minutes while I did some other business there. I slipped my friend $20 ($5 for the part and $15 for his time/knowledge). Most likely the plunger got bent when trying to reinstall the slide; it may have already had a small bend from previous handling.

The shop keeper said it happens often enough that he always tries to keep a few spares on hand. He also showed my how he reassembles 1911s... a much easier way than the procedure I was following.

All is right with the world again
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"The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions."
- Daniel Webster, statesman and senator (1782-1852)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm."
- James Madison, Federalist No. 10
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"Witnessing the Republicans and the Democrats bicker over the U.S. debt is like watching two drunks argue over a bar bill on the Titanic."
- Unknown

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:10 PM   #5
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmichna View Post
Anybody been as stupid as me and done the same thing?
A buddy of mine did the same thing with a series 70 and ended up with a peened frame. The rear of the frame (Where the hammer can contact when the slide is removed and when the hammer is forward) was bulged up just slightly and caused the slide to stick. A quick rub with a file fixed the problem.
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Old 10-28-2008, 02:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmichna View Post
He also showed my how he reassembles 1911s... a much easier way than the procedure I was following.
Care to elaborate? How were you going about it before...and what way did he tell you? Just curious... Im picking up my 1911 this week or early next week hopefully... So Im just cruising though all the info I can get.

J.
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
Care to elaborate? How were you going about it before...and what way did he tell you? Just curious... Im picking up my 1911 this week or early next week hopefully... So Im just cruising though all the info I can get.

J.
Following is a description of what Harvey did, to the best of my recollection. Bear in mind, I've read through the owner's manual and tried my best follow those directions, and it always seemed to me that you were instructed to install all the slide components (barrel, recoil guide & spring, recoil spring plug) before putting the slide back onto the receiver. His way seems so much easier.

Also, what I describe are the steps he used for my Series 80 MK IV Government Model. Not sure how the following steps adapt to other versions:

1. Put the barrel back into the slide and replace the barrel bushing over the barrel until it's flush with the front of the slide.

2. Turn the barrel bushing clockwise so that the opening is clear for the recoil guide/spring and recoil spring plug. Install the recoil guide & spring, letting spring extend out beyond the muzzle.

3. Now, what he did different at this point was cock the hammer, then replace the slide with barrel, barrel bushing, recoil guide & spring, onto the receiver, taking care to insure the barrel lug was positioned forward in the proper position.

4. Move the slide rearward so that the barrel lug hole lines up with the slide stop hole, then install the slide stop.

5. Now from the muzzle end, with the barrel bushing swung out of the way, slide in the recoil spring plug, and swing over the barrel bushing to lock in place.

Rack back and you're ready to go.

I kept fighting things trying to completely assemble all the slide's components and then install onto the receiver. No more fighting the recoil spring, trying to keep the barrel lug properly positioned, and watching the recoil spring & guide fly out of the slide when trying to reassemble things.
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"The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions."
- Daniel Webster, statesman and senator (1782-1852)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm."
- James Madison, Federalist No. 10
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"Witnessing the Republicans and the Democrats bicker over the U.S. debt is like watching two drunks argue over a bar bill on the Titanic."
- Unknown

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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Old 10-28-2008, 04:11 PM   #9
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Ok cool! Thanks for that. Most of the instructions/vids that Ive seen usually start by removing tension on the guide spring so that you can manipulate the slide easier during takedown/re-assembly. Im getting a springer loaded...with that full length guide rod. Im pretty sure the procedure is the same except I need an allen key to do mine

So its a good tip! Sounds like your guy fixed you up... Thanks for the response!

J.
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Old 10-28-2008, 10:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmichna View Post
Following is a description of what Harvey did, to the best of my recollection. Bear in mind, I've read through the owner's manual and tried my best follow those directions, and it always seemed to me that you were instructed to install all the slide components (barrel, recoil guide & spring, recoil spring plug) before putting the slide back onto the receiver. His way seems so much easier.

Also, what I describe are the steps he used for my Series 80 MK IV Government Model. Not sure how the following steps adapt to other versions:

1. Put the barrel back into the slide and replace the barrel bushing over the barrel until it's flush with the front of the slide.

2. Turn the barrel bushing clockwise so that the opening is clear for the recoil guide/spring and recoil spring plug. Install the recoil guide & spring, letting spring extend out beyond the muzzle.

3. Now, what he did different at this point was cock the hammer, then replace the slide with barrel, barrel bushing, recoil guide & spring, onto the receiver, taking care to insure the barrel lug was positioned forward in the proper position.

4. Move the slide rearward so that the barrel lug hole lines up with the slide stop hole, then install the slide stop.

5. Now from the muzzle end, with the barrel bushing swung out of the way, slide in the recoil spring plug, and swing over the barrel bushing to lock in place.

Rack back and you're ready to go.

I kept fighting things trying to completely assemble all the slide's components and then install onto the receiver. No more fighting the recoil spring, trying to keep the barrel lug properly positioned, and watching the recoil spring & guide fly out of the slide when trying to reassemble things.
I'm not being a smart ass, but isn't that how you're supposed to do it? What did your directions tell you to do differently?
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