Those darned plungers

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by Jim K, Dec 24, 2010.

  1. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    The M1911 pistol has a spring tunnel above the left grip. That tunnel should be made with tangs long enough to protrude through the frame so they can be staked on the inside; it should not be glued on or in.

    Inside that tunnel are two plungers with a spring between them. One applies tension to the slide stop, keeping it in the downward position unless it is pushed up to block forward slide movement either by the magazine follower or by the shooter. The other plunger applies tension to the safety catch to keep it in either the up (safe) or down (fire) position. It does not hold the safety catch in the frame; that is done by the cuts in the safety itself engaging with the frame.

    In the normal and correct arrangement, the plungers have small "tits" on the ends into which crimped end coils of the spring fit. This makes the three parts a semi-permanent assembly. Further, the spring in kinked in the middle to grip the inside of the tunnel. The result is that when the safety is removed, the plungers and spring stay in place. Removing them requires pulling out the assembly.

    It seems that some clone makers, to save pennies, have made the plungers without the "tits" and the spring without the kink. The result is that when the safety is removed, at least one plunger flies out and can be lost.

    Attached is a picture of the spring-plunger assembly as it should be, along with a picture of the slide stop plunger alone showing the "tit'. This is the way it should be. If your pistol does not have this arrangement, ask the maker why not, and request that you be supplied the proper parts. You can also buy them, but the makers need to know that they cannot foist inferior parts off on their customers.

    Note that the separate plunger is a slide stop plunger and is stepped. The length of the small diameter part is critical. If it is too short, there will not be enough tension on the slide stop; if it is too long, the slide stop cannot be replaced in the frame without using a tool of some kind.

    Jim

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    Last edited: Dec 24, 2010
  2. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    Yet another reason to invest a few dollars into some XXL Ziplock bags. They're plenty roomy enough to get both hands inside to do the work and if anything goes flying, you've got a very good chance that it isn't lying somewhere between here and china.

    Nice info and pictorial highlight Jim! Makes it very clear.
  3. grcsat

    grcsat Active Member

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    I do like the ziplock Bag trick , wish I would have thought about it instead on being on my hands and nease looking for far flung parts.
  4. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    It does work; just find the XL or XXL sized bags. The gallon sized bags are a little cramped to try to do any work inside. The XXL's will hold an entire brisket+
  5. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I have been breathing 1911 for years and I still forget to block that damn plunger. Almost everytime I disassemblem the safety I have to search for my spring and plunger...
  6. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Did everyone miss the point? Why not demand the makers produce plungers that will NOT fly out, rather than thinking up ways to capture them when they do? The parts pictured are the original design, and nothing flew out.

    Jim
  7. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I didnt miss the point, its just not a big deal IMO. A pain in the ass yeah, but then again all I need to do is remember and it would easily be a non issue...
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