OK, I've searched google, THR and 1911forum with no success. How the heck do you assemble this thing. I know it's simple, but I don't want to botch it, and I don't want to take my old one apart. I can't right now anyway, since I'm at work, and my old one is a Springfield ILS, while the new one is an Ed Brown.
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January 22, 2007, 01:33 PM
Very simple. There are only four parts besides the housing itself. A small bench vise is very helpful unless you have a friend with strong hands to help.
Clamp the housing in a vise, with the jaws positioned in front of the rib. Firmly enough to keep it from moving, but not so hard as to crush it.
Insert the cap, plunger and spring in the correct order. USed to be that the spring was a press-fit onto the cap and plunger, but...you may have to insert the internals and place your thumb on the cap until you right it and put it in the vise.
Place a suitable punch into the cap...I use a medium-sized pair of needle-nosed pliers...compress the spring until the cap is below the retaining pin hole.
Insert the retaining pin from the front side...the pin's flange goes to the inside/front side...seat it...and release the tension. Look at the retaining pin.
There's a small flange...then look at its hole to see where the flange seats until it's flush with the housing.
January 22, 2007, 03:50 PM
I hope Tuner won't mind if I clarify a bit.
The mainspring housing pin retainer goes in first, pointed end down. That point protrudes through a hole into the cross hole where the housing pin goes and fits into the groove in the housing pin.
The comes the spring, then the mainspring cap, dimple end up; that dimple is where the hammer strut fits. Ideally, the spring should have the two end coils crimped to grip the retainer and the cap, so the whole thing is one unit, but that might not be the case. (I always crimp the coils when I assemble a pistol because then the cap won't jump out and be lost the next time someone takes the housing apart.)
Then, as Tuner says, push down on the cap until you can insert the cap pin, large end to the front.
January 22, 2007, 04:55 PM
Not at all, Mr. Keenan. I sometimes assume that something is obvious, but may not be to the first-timer.
For disassembly, Go at it reverse order. Keep tension on the cap and release it gradually, lest the cap and spring become imbeded in your drop ceiling..or your head.
I stopped crimping the springs a long time ago...not long after THEY quit. Seems like a little thing for the manufacturer to do, and I tend to change mainsprings so often on my beaters...due to the high annual round count...it got to be a hassle. Now, I'm just careful not to let tension off the cap too quickly.
I do, however, put the dogleg bend in plunger springs that don't have it.
January 22, 2007, 11:54 PM
I'm hesitant to offer even a few small suggestions after two such knowledgable people have responded so thoroughly.
First suggestion. Instead of clamping the mainspring housing in the vise, I reverse the procedure and clamp the punch in the vise.
I put the internals into the mainspring housing (just as you both suggested), hold a finger on the mainspring housing cap to keep them together, and turn the assembly over so I can press the mainspring housing cap onto the punch.
Then I press down firmly on the bottom of the mainspring housing until the cap is pushed in enough for me to insert the pin.
The work goes easier and faster that way (at least for me) and there's no need to pad the vise jaws to protect the housing. It works well, too, if there's a need to assemble more than one mainspring housing: the punch stays in the vise and the work is moved to it.
Second suggestion. I don't really use a punch. I use a small rod, about four inches long, rounded at the end that the mainspring housing cap rides. The rod I use is a piece salvaged from a broken pegboard hook, straightened by squeezing it in the vise. The smoothly rounded end of that rod fits into the housing perfectly, allows the use of less pressure because there's more surface to press on the cap, doesn't slip, and is a bit safer.
Third suggestion. I use the same setup and procedure to disassemble a mainspring housing. Instead of fiddling with a small punch to remove the pin, though, I use a small magnet. When the cap is sufficiently depressed, the pin leaps onto the magnet. And it never gets lost.
I hope that no one thinks I'm presumptuous for offering these suggestions.
January 23, 2007, 12:22 AM
I didn't mention it, but what I do is to clamp the housing into the drill press vise and put a brass punch into the chuck. Then I use the drill press handle to compress the spring and lock it in position while I put the cap pin in place.
I also have been told that new cap pins don't have a big end, but they should. The housing should be countersunk on the inside for the head of the pin. That way, it can be a slip fit and still not come out when the housing is in place, a small detail Browning thought of, but modern makers don't know or don't care about. I assume they use a drive fit, which means you need a punch and hammer to remove it.
January 23, 2007, 12:57 AM
Thanks for the advice guys. I got it together just fine. It was quite a tight fit compared to the original, and I needed to file the flange a smidge on one side, but it went in ok. Took a lot of force to get it that last 1/16th of an inch onto the hammer strut to get the msh pin into the frame, but it went together ok. Now I've got a TRP without the magwell, which makes it a much better carry piece. That, and the single sided thumb safety. I got the hammer pin and sear pin from EB as well, so they're rounded on the opposite side where the ambi safety used to be. Looks better and that's important :rolleyes:
All I need to do now is get a jig so I can put that clearance angle on the sear. That'll be down the road a way though. Trigger feels pretty darn good without it.
January 23, 2007, 05:55 AM
Not at all, Robert. Always open to new ideas and methods. Sometimes an easier way was there all along, and we just ain't seen it yet.;)
January 23, 2007, 11:45 AM
Here's some pics. I went with the smooth EB MSH for the price, but it turns out I like it pretty well. This pistol carries very well now, I'm fairly pleased. The "Armory Kote" finish is rubbed off a little where the ambi safety used to be, no big deal, I could always get it refinished at by Springfield, but that can wait, as this is a carry weapon anyway.