Dumb Mistake - Colt Series 80 MK IV Government Model

Discussion in 'M1911' started by jmichna, Oct 25, 2008.

  1. jmichna

    jmichna XDTalk 20K Member Founding Member

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    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. :shock:

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

    How do I fix? :cry:
     
  2. jfdavis58

    jfdavis58 XDTalk 100 Member

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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%20Kuhnhausen%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!
     
  3. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr XDTalk 1K Member Founding Member

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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.
     
  4. jmichna

    jmichna XDTalk 20K Member Founding Member

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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 :mrgreen:
     
  5. tomfoolery

    tomfoolery XDTalk 5K Member

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    Glad it's all golden again:D
     
  6. Ske1etor

    Ske1etor XDTalk 1K Member Founding Member

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    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.
     
  7. ghettocruiser

    ghettocruiser XDTalk 100 Member

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    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.
     
  8. jmichna

    jmichna XDTalk 20K Member Founding Member

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    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.
     
  9. ghettocruiser

    ghettocruiser XDTalk 100 Member

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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 :rolleyes:

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

    J.
     
  10. husky390

    husky390 XDTalk 100 Member

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    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?
     
  11. Ske1etor

    Ske1etor XDTalk 1K Member Founding Member

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    1. Ensure firearm is empty.
    2. Depress Guide rod plug.
    3. Turn bushing to release plug.
    4. Remove plug.
    5. Line up notch in frame with notch in slide.
    6. Remove slide stop.
    7. Remove slide.
    8. Separate guide rod spring from guide rod, remove spring from muzzle and remove guide rod from frame.(or remove entire assembly by lifting guide rod and pulling towards rear of slide.)
    9. Remove bushing.
    10. Slide barrel out of muzzle.


    10. Place barrel in slide.
    9. Replace bushing.
    8. Install guide rod and spring while ensuring that the "open" end of the spring is toward the muzzle (While allowing spring to hang un-tensioned out of muzzle end of slide).
    7. While upside down, place frame rails into slide rails from the rear of the slide.
    6. Flip firearm over while holding spring just to the rear of spring channel(dust cover) and line up link pin to link pin hole.
    5. Push slide release slightly into hole to hold link pin and barrel in place.
    4. Push slide rearward to line up notch in frame with notch in slide.
    3. Finish installing slide stop.
    2. Put guide rod plug on the open end of the spring.
    1. Compress spring with guide rod plug, swing bushing over plug until it snaps in place.
    0. You are done. There are no more steps.
     
  12. jmichna

    jmichna XDTalk 20K Member Founding Member

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    I don't think you're being a smart-ass, and you are (I'm sure) correct. I bought my Colt used, and downloaded an owner's manual from Colt Arms.

    The manual I happened to pick covered three different gun configurations:
    a) Government model, Delta Elite, Combat Elite, Combat Target, Commander, and M1991A1 models not in groups b or c.
    b) Officer's ACP and Compact
    c) Colt Defender

    To be honest, working my way through the multiple-style steps (with variations for each gun type in several of the steps) in the manual was confusing to me, and the illustrations did not seem to match very well with what the steps said to do.

    It seemed to me that I was to re-assemble all the slide components before putting the slide back on the receiver, so each time I did that it was a struggle to keep the barrel lug properly oriented, keep the recoil spring from flying off, and then trying to get the holes lined up for the slide stop... seemed I needed three hands.

    After watching it properly done at the shop yesterday, and then re-reading the instructions last night I can see that yes, the instructions did say to do it the way I was shown... I was just confused by the instructions.

    ske1etor posted the proper steps much more concisely than I did when trying to describe what Harvey at the shop did. The only thing I would add is if you are working with a Series 80, when you flip the receiver over (step 7) make sure the plunger lever is not sticking up, and it is seated in its recess, when you run the slide back, or you may bend it, like I did.

    Thanks everyone for your help and suggestions. This is one mistake I know I will not repeat. Good lesson.
     
  13. EdSky

    EdSky XDTalk 1K Member Founding Member

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    Nowadays 1911's are all different. I currently have 3, and each has a different guide rod and recoil spring assembly. The SA Target has a full length guide rod, the NHC Talon a more traditional, and the third is the EMP (completely different and all-in-one). All three (dis-)assemble different from the rest. Sometimes the take down instructions are not quite the same as what works, even when following the builder's instructions.

    Most important takeaway here is the local gunshop. They are better than anything when it comes to helping out. Glad your 1911 is ok!
     
  14. husky390

    husky390 XDTalk 100 Member

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    Thanks for the heads up on step 7. I just picked up a series 80 and never paid any attention to it.
     

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