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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so I had been looking at Don's guide rods and what not and I thought it was a tad bit rediculous in price for a simple guide rod. So, me being the penny pinching DIY fanatic I am,I picked up a #18 1911 spring from a gun shop for $7 and decided to take myself to the local hardware store to spelunk around. I came across a 3" long, 5/16" diameter stainless steel Clevis Pin. It was priced at $4.20. However, I went further down and found a similar pin in "zinc" (it doesn't look like zinc, I think it was another stainless steel placed in the zinc bin) for $1.45.
I was feeling pretty good about myself having only spent $8.45 on an aftermarket spring assembly, however, I realized it was missing something..... a washer to keep the spring from popping out the front. I was quite perplexed on what to use because there is no washer you can buy (at least at ACE hardware) that would fit in the little hole where the recoil spring goes. But a strange memory popped in my mind from when I used to skateboard. There were little washers that were used between the trucks and nuts to connect the wheel bearings to the locknuts (and they are tough little washers!). I went and pulled one off of my old skateboard, and BAM! Fits like a custom tailored glove.
I wound up trimming the spring a little because it was for the government model 1911, so it was a bit long, but it worked VERY well in the long run. The only down side is that the clovis pin sticks out about 1/8". I think I might file it down or something, but I haven't gotten around to it.
Test firing of 500 rounds showed little to no wear on the "guide rod assembly" I made and the washer is holding up with no warpage or damage. I'll try to get an update up once I pass the 1000 and 2000 round mark. If I had a camera, I'd upload pictures, but I bought my XD40 this summer instead of a camera. I think you all can understand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well, the reason I'm interested in the aftermarket spring is for a 9mm conversion I'm assimilating funds for. I wanted to try out different spring/caliber combinations for more comfortable shooting. I think the #18 is on the the edge between satisfactory and too soft for 165 and 180 grain .40 caliber rounds..... Just thought I'd throw that out there.
 

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You might be a ******* if ^^^ j/k, By the way Welcome to the forum from Florida and congrats on you contraption.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
While I'm all about DIY stuff, I'm not when it comes to guns...I'd be real careful there.
Yeah, I agree. I'm doing my best to make sure and double check all of the working mechanisms before, during, and after I put rounds down range. I did notice that the spring can be picky on its placement in the gun, otherwise it can get grabby on the disassembly lever. There is a sweet spot and I've marked it on the spring itself to line it up every time. And I do actually know the pin is steel because I did a stress test with a Zinc pin about 2 months ago for a confirmation on whether or not the original I bought was Zinc and it took a big chunk off the Zinc pin! So it's definitely steel. Or if you are fancy, you could get a Tungsten Carbide pin, but then it's not so cheap. I'll try to get pics up soon!
 

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you can also take a magnet to it, if its regular steel and a lot of other steel alloys will also stick, some stainless doesnt though.

also zink can be melted with a propane torch but not steel.
 

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Some stainless steel is slightly magnetic, or not at all, and others stick like regular steel. Stainless is an odd thing. If I had to guess, your pin is 316 or 304. If I'm not mistaken, the pin should be made from 17-4 or some other type that can be heat treated, and get the desired hardness. I'm sure it will work fine, I doubt it will wear a whole lot faster than the original. Just make sure you check it for anythigng weird happening. I've done similar things to make stuff work, probably a LOT more dangerous than that. Good luck, and I'd like to see pics too. :-D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
you can also take a magnet to it, if its regular steel and a lot of other steel alloys will also stick, some stainless doesnt though.

also zink can be melted with a propane torch but not steel.
Ok, so I tried the magnet thing today, and it stuck... Hard (was a hard drive magnet I salvaged a while back). But for kicks and giggles, I took it to the Zinc pin I had and it stuck just as hard... Hahahaha! The things I do instead of my Geography A225 homework... Anyway, I think the magnet trick got me nowhere. I'll try a couple of different metal and alloy Clevis pins out there and find the highest quality for a low price. However, I think for what I'm doing, the stainless steel pin is probably the best value overall.


Oh, and just to put this out there, I'm not trying to overthrow Don and his guide rods (I'll probably end up buying one when I feel I'm not wasting enough of my rent money), but more of share what an afternoon of summer boredome can lead to. Oh, and I can't wait until I can borrow my fiance's camera because I forgot to mention how funny it looks to have a pin where a guide rod should be:mrgreen:
 

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Clevis pins marketed as "Zinc" are not made of Zinc, they are mearly coated with it. It's called galvanizing. It's also quite dirty and nasty as hell in any setting that creates abrasion, the zinc coating will turn into a glue like paste that no solvent I have tried will touch. I know this because the company that I work for makes a part for the Jeep JK that uses zinc plated steel tubing and the zinc is always clogging up the tooling. We have resorted to scraping the crud off with a putty knife once a week and it's a huge PITA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Clevis pins marketed as "Zinc" are not made of Zinc, they are mearly coated with it. It's called galvanizing. It's also quite dirty and nasty as hell in any setting that creates abrasion, the zinc coating will turn into a glue like paste that no solvent I have tried will touch. I know this because the company that I work for makes a part for the Jeep JK that uses zinc plated steel tubing and the zinc is always clogging up the tooling. We have resorted to scraping the crud off with a putty knife once a week and it's a huge PITA.
Wow, ok, that's actually good to know. Not because I plan on using zinc in a firearm, but for future reference when using galvanized objects.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm a terrible photographer apparently, but this is all I can do in my shady apartment with a compact flourescent lightbulb that seems to have yellowed a bit.... I can't seem to figure out how to post higher resolution pics, so I have to use what I can upload through the member pics section....







More in a few!
 

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<<<<< Note to self...................Self...................If you are ever in Alaska shooting at a range, and some guy with the name "thisguy41487" comes up to you, hands you a gun and says: "Hey! Check this out!" Say something like "Gee........look how late it is getting, I must be getting back home now". :lol:

Oh......and to add. I just read your signature line. I don't EVER carry more that 13 cents on me, and half of that is owed to the bank. ;)

J/K. Whatever works! And the pictures aren't all that bad. I have seen worse on here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
<<<<< Note to self...................Self...................If you are ever in Alaska shooting at a range, and some guy with the name "thisguy41487" comes up to you, hands you a gun and says: "Hey! Check this out!" Say something like "Gee........look how late it is getting, I must be getting back home now". :lol:

Oh......and to add. I just read your signature line. I don't EVER carry more that 13 cents on me, and half of that is owed to the bank. ;)

J/K. Whatever works! And the pictures aren't all that bad. I have seen worse on here.
Hahahah! I'm sure if someone came up to me saying their name was "thisguy41487" I'd probably be a little freaked myself. :mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·


 

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Well, the reason I'm interested in the aftermarket spring is for a 9mm conversion I'm assimilating funds for. I wanted to try out different spring/caliber combinations for more comfortable shooting. I think the #18 is on the the edge between satisfactory and too soft for 165 and 180 grain .40 caliber rounds..... Just thought I'd throw that out there.
18 pounds is the stock spring weight for OEM .40 and 9mm XDs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
18 pounds is the stock spring weight for OEM .40 and 9mm XDs.
Whoa. Where did you hear that?? I remember seeing 19lbs on a Don's Guide Rod discussion board (I don't think it was here, it was somewhere else). I put an 18 pound spring on my XD 40 and it's definitely a lighter pull. Maybe I didn't get an 18... maybe they LIE! Hahahah. Well damn, I guess it's the placebo effect then. I think, therefore it is.
 

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Whoa. Where did you hear that?? I remember seeing 19lbs on a Don's Guide Rod discussion board (I don't think it was here, it was somewhere else). I put an 18 pound spring on my XD 40 and it's definitely a lighter pull. Maybe I didn't get an 18... maybe they LIE! Hahahah. Well damn, I guess it's the placebo effect then. I think, therefore it is.
The 18# data been posted here before, wolf springs has a note saying OEM spring weight is 17# on there website.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The 18# data been posted here before, wolf springs has a note saying OEM spring weight is 17# on there website.
Ok, now I'm officially confused. I think it's time to talke to springfield muhuhahahahah! I'm going to be sad if they give me one of those "we'll get back to you eventually" type things...
 
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