1911 collet bushing?

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by Squeak, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. Squeak

    Squeak Member

    I just read a thread on another forum that said the spring finger collet bushings on Colt 1911's have a reputation for breaking. That brought up a couple of questions for me: DO they have a reputation for breaking? And if so, does that render the gun un-shootable or does it just affect accuracy? Anybody ever had this happen? I have a high respect for the Colt brand & I can't imagine that Colt would let something like this go on for very long. Your comments?
  2. dad2thebone

    dad2thebone New Member

    Jul 10, 2011
    i never heard of that. and colt is a great gun.

  3. ka64

    ka64 Well-Known Member

    It can happen, but not likely, I still have one in my series 80.
    I also have a solid back up just in case, but the accuracy in a collet is excellent.

  4. Squeak

    Squeak Member

    OK, I might be on the wrong track here. Is the spring finger barrel bushing that I'm thinking of and a "collet bushing" the same thing. I am not that familiar with them to know the diffrence, but I'm also not too proud to ask. Thanks.
  5. hogger129

    hogger129 Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2009
    They're only in the Series 70 and some of the early Series 80 guns. The early Series 70 ones had a knack for having thin fingers and so when the metal got fatigued, the fingers would break off and could jam up the gun really bad if it wasn't caught.

    I would say if you're using it as a carry gun, change it out for a solid one. If you're not, then I wouldn't worry about it. Most of the ones in the later Series 70s and the Series 80 ones seem to be made stronger to the point where it probably won't break unless you shoot the gun a ton or put a lot of hot loads through it.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  6. Juker

    Juker New Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Land of Lincoln
    Good for you, Squeak, the best way to learn is to ask.

    Go to this link; look at Part #2 in the diagram, and then look at the first photo below the diagram. It's commonly referred to as a Barrel Bushing.

    Some, like my 1980 Series 70 Govt Model, had a barrel bushing with spring-type flanges, meaning that instead of a solid "tube", the bushing has slits in it that give it a spring-like grip on the barrel. They can sometimes be a bugger to remove. Never heard of them breaking, but I haven't heard of everything. But, as ka64 noted, they're tighter, so they stabilize the barrel a bit more.

    I bought the replacement, solid bushing and haven't noticed too much play in the barrel affecting accuracy. Note that Colt doesn't offer the other bushing any more.
  7. Juker

    Juker New Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Land of Lincoln
    To clarify, here are 2 pics:

    Attached Files:

  8. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2004
    Goodyear, Arizona
    The "legs " on the spring bushing can and have broken. It is not a every day event, but it has happened. On a gun used for range use only ( such as mine are ) it is of no great importance. If one breaks and jams the gun, well, when I get home I will repair it. However, there are those who like to carry the old war horse, in that case I would change to a solid bushing. Colt has erred before, check out the Colt 9MM 2000, I believe they called it the All American, introduced in 1992 with a lot of fanfare, dropped very quietly in 1994.
  9. Squeak

    Squeak Member

    Juker: yeah, that's what I'm talking about. So, if this thing breaks, I take it that the fix is to replace the "spring" bushing with a solid bushing. If I keep hanging around this forum I'll get almost as smart as my wife - - - nnaahh.
  10. Juker

    Juker New Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Land of Lincoln
    Roger that -
  11. todd51

    todd51 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2009
    Central, Ohio
    Squeak, I wouldn't lose any sleep worrying about that barrel bushing. While any thing can break at any time I have a Colt Gold Cup '70 Series that I have had for over thirty years and have put thousands of rounds through it and it still has the original "fingered" barrel bushing.
  12. Bigbill

    Bigbill Member

    Jun 7, 2011
    I have read about this breaking before. I don't think its happening on a regular basis. One read or hearing about in 20 years or more isn't an alarm to me. My colt goverment series 70 had it and it never gave me problem. Its spring tention was always good too. I just lubed it with moly not oil. I wouldn't lose any sleep over it. Anyway a fix would be to get a IAI national match barrel bushing from CDNN Investments and fit it, the cost is very affordable and its not that hard to fit. I fitted my first NM barrel bushing on my norinco 1911a1 project and it has 100% lockup in full battery with no barrel spring in both directions. Even with a loose slide to frame fit she shoots clover leafs with wolf 45acp ammo. The improvement over the std loose barrel bushing is well worth the little cost and work.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011
  13. Tekkaman

    Tekkaman New Member

    Aug 15, 2012

    I just want to mention a few facts.

    -First The collet Bushing it is prone to breakage, But...

    -The collet Bushing is for use with a oversized muzzle barrel, therfore the 4 springs on this type of bushing, open and close, each time you move the slide back and forward, that`s why it tend to breakeage.

    -And last i can assure you the use of this Collet Bushing, if you use it on a standar barrel (with not a oversized muzzle), is not so tight but you feel a remarcable diference on the lock up, with out putting much pressure on the 4 spring.

    I have use it that way long enough with out problems.

    P.D. Believe it or not, both type of barrels have almost the same muzzle size
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
  14. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    North Florida
  15. aa1911

    aa1911 Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    Ed Brown has a beautiful match barrel/bushing combo if you are wanting to replace both barrel/bushing. It's fitted (the bushing/barrel, not the barrel to slide) and is some of the best quality I've seen for a very reasonable price thru Brownells. Bought their commander size for the last one I built, very impressed with it.

    You could also just do an oversized bushing like mentioned above, would be the way to go if your barrel is still good; hand fit it or use the reamer tool to get a good fit on lockup, it's not too difficult to do and pretty safe area to work on.

    It's good to have spare parts, although only thing that's busted on me with 1911's is a firing pin spring, (still shot fine, discovered it after cleaning it) nothing else I can think of. pretty solid piece
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