Cracked barrel link pin


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Spartacus451
July 17, 2006, 10:11 AM
The barrel link pin on my S&W 1911 cracked yesterday. A local smith replaced it for 5 dollars so it was not big deal, but I want to make sure that there is nothing else wrong with the gun that could cause this. The gun has been feed standard pressure practice rounds for the most part, with about 100 rounds of 185 grain double tap ammo. I run it with an 18 or 20 recoil spring based on advice I read from Bill Wilson who said to pick the heaviest spring the gun will run with reliably.

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Old Fuff
July 17, 2006, 10:30 AM
I run it with an 18 or 20 recoil spring based on advice I read from Bill Wilson who said to pick the heaviest spring the gun will run with reliably.

I would dispute that advise. A heavy recoil spring may buffer the slide going backwards, but it also slams the slide/barrel assembly when going into battery. The extra stress is taken up by the barrel's lower lug, the slide stop pin and the link and link pin. Thus a cracked link pin does not come as a surprise. People seem to forget that the recoil spring works in two, not one direction. :uhoh:

Spartacus451
July 17, 2006, 10:37 AM
I had been thinking just that. I will put back the factory springs and order some standard weight springs to replace the extra power ones that I bought.

Old Fuff
July 17, 2006, 11:14 AM
If you find that the slide is battering the frame you can slow the slide's rearward velocity with a modified firing pin stop. Use our search feature and the key word "EGW."

This modification is inexpensive, effective, and doesn't effect the slide's return stroke.

Jim K
July 21, 2006, 10:39 PM
Link pins tend to crack when they are "stretched" between the barrel being forced up on the slide stop and a short link. That means that there is some fitting problem with the gun. The strong recoil spring doesn't help any but may not be the root cause. If everything else is OK (the barrel locks up OK and the gun is accurate) one answer could be to ream the lower link hole to create a little more tolerance.

Assuming the gun is new, I would say that if it happens again, return the gun to S&W for a thorough checkout.

BTW, I agree with Old Fuff, there is no such thing as a free lunch. IMHO, those super heavy springs are NOT necessary and can cause problems.

As to "battering" the frame, the slide doesn't touch the frame; what is battered is the recoil spring guide. Further, the design is such that the slide bouncing off the guide lets it get back some of its rearward energy for the forward movement, leading to better feeding. Heavy springs or buffers eliminate that "bounce" and cause trouble on the forward movement.

In brief, don't mess with JMB, he knew what he was doing.

Jim

Spartacus451
July 21, 2006, 11:06 PM
About the springs, I checked and the one in the gun was actually 16 pounds. Turns out that I put the 20 pound spring in briefly and then took it out after I stopped shooting hot ammo (decided standard pressure was good enough). Probably shot 200 rounds at most with the 20 pound spring. I am becoming wary of sending guns back to S&W. This gun has been back three times already because it was doubling and tripling. I am thinking I should let a local smith give it a whack.

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