I went over your list twice and am not sure if you replaced the slide stop. I would examine it closely if you have not. If there is noticeable dinging or wear on it, I probably would replace it in a carry pistol. Oh, the tolerance for the pin portion of the slide stop was .196" to .200" with maybe a +.001" to that. Though I have the blueprint specs on it, they are not easy to get at. I always try to find a slide stop with a pin that is as close or right on .200" as possible with carry pistols. Some sell some for as high as fifty to sixty bucks nowadays, but I don't think you need one of them. Any of these would be good choices:
Thanks for the info, Gus.
With my micrometer, at no point is the diameter less than 0.199, and depending on where I measure, it's a few ten-thousandths over, but never more than 0.1995 (estimated).
Think that's ok?
What happens if the slide stop were to fail? Is it just a matter of wear or will something actually let go? How many failures have you all seen?
I don't carry, but want to shoot my 1918 M1911 more than I have in the past. Have no idea how many rounds have been through it, and acquired it more a collector garden-variety piece than a shooter. It does have early parts.
Thanks for any advice, lee
Lee, I recently replaced the Wolff springs I had with Colt factory springs and my pistol shoots a lot better. Springs are cheap and you can order them online from Colt.
Might be worth your taking a look.
It is an individual decision whether to make a daily shooter out of a pistol almost 100 years old. You may shoot it for the rest of your life and never experience a problem, but the wear and tear are cumulative. Normally what happens is a crack shows up either in the slide or receiver rather than a catastrophic failure, and if you paid collector price it would be a shame to take a chance. So many more 1911 style pistols are available in the $500 range that are made and machined from modern steels that it is unnecessary to shoot the old pistols. I have several pistols I shoot on a regular basis, but none are the ones I paid collector price for even though virtually new Model 1911A1 pistols were selling for $250/300 when I started collecting.
Thank you Tom and Johnny. Good points, food for thought to be sure.
Since Cylinder and Slide made some reproduction M1911 parts to go along with their 100th anniversary recreation (wish I could afford one of those!), I bought a slide stop. Not cheap at $75 but they seem to have a reputation for good parts and it won't look totally out of place on my M1911.
Lee, Johnny P made an excellent point about the cumulative total of rounds fired and how parts that "look good" one day may fail dut to metal fatigue the next or even later that same day. I have seen this with miliary firearms throughout my career.
Originally Posted by Lee T.
As to the failure rate of .45 auto slide stops specifically and considering how I was both a regular and NM armorer with the .45 for the last 17 years it was on active duty from 1972-1989, here's what I found. In 1972 in my Battaliion Armory on Okinawa, I had three or four circa Pre WWI .45 pistol FRAMES on the pistols in my armory out of maybe 200 pistols. I say frames because most of the rest of the early parts were LONG since replaced. In those days, we had a Technical Instruction that told us who made the frames and when they were made. We had to record that information along with a running count of the rounds fired on EVERY Infantry Small Arm in those days. So that's how I knew about the early pistol frames. I carefully looked at I don't know how many hundreds, if not thousands of Marine Corps .45 pistols over the years LOOKING for early parts out of collector interest. There were very few early parts left on the pistols that got fired a lot.
Now, the main "pin" portion of the slide stop does not crack that often, though I have seen a handful of them over the years and a few times when the pin cracked, it broke off and SERIOUSLY jammed the pistol. I'm talking having to take a wood or lead mallet to the slide to whack the slide hard enough to get the pistol apart. Now, there were not as many slide stops that broke because the nub or foot that engaged against the inside of the slide and held the slide stop in place from coming out - would wear out normally quite a while before the pin portion broke.
BTW, your slide stop at .1995" is an extremely good measurement. Anything abouve .199" is excellent. There are two reasons we want a slide stop that is .199" to .2005" in diameter and both have something to do with unlocking correctly. The first is the larger the pin, the less slop or tolerance in the frame. That means the part doesn't move around and is better for unlocking, especially on older/more worn frames where the holes wear loose. The second reason is that the slide stop is the MAIN part that forces the link to unlock the barrel after the round is fired. A full size pin will actually allow a looser link to work correctly and for longer service life.
I suggest replacing the slide stop primarily because I assumed it was original to the pistol and we don't know how close to metal fatigue or other wear.
That should be a very good part, indeed.
Originally Posted by VetPsychWars
It is, in fact, the original. While the pistol in general shows little evidence of wear, I don't see any reason I can't change the slide stop and save the original. I've replaced half of it as it is!
Originally Posted by Gus Fisher
Originally Posted by Gus Fisher
Just as an exercise, let's see if I can identify all that is original...
Recoil spring guide
Recoil spring plug
Firing pin stop
Hammer (including strut and pin)
Mainspring housing (not internals)
Ejector (plus pin)
Grip screw bushings
Since the pistol wasn't collectible to begin with, this does not bother me. As I've mentioned before, a blued barrel would have been nice but since the stainless Colt barrel shoots so well, I can't see any reason to change it, at this point.
I like it anyways and it should give good service for a few more years.
Last edited by VetPsychWars; 12-13-2011 at 12:13.