improving 1911 lockup with longer barrel link?


February 15, 2009, 01:52 PM
Has anyone ever had any luck with swapping in a longer barrel link into a 1911 to reduce barrel deflection at lockup?

Last year I bought a Springfield GI .45, primarily for use as a range toy. It is a recent production Imbel (Brazilian mfr.) gun, and as would not be unexpected there was considerable frame-to-slide play and very loose bushing-to-slide and barrel-to-bushing fit. I donít know if Iím being unrealistic, but my benched 25 yard groups with this pistol are larger than the unsupported groups I am getting with most of my other 4-5" pistols. I am not concerned about the frame/slide rattle, but I hope to tighten up the barrel lockup. I already have swapped in an oversize barrel bushing, which dropped-in with no fitting and is still easily turned by hand, but still managed to reduce a lot of play at the muzzle. But in battery the barrel hood has considerable vertical deflection when I press it with my thumb. By comparison, my other 1911, by far my most practically-accurate pistol (and very reliable), has no discernable play whatsoever in the barrel.

I should also note that the barrel hood on my GI is pretty narrow, with lots of play when disassembled but placed in the slide. But I have no plans to fit, or have a gunsmith fit, a new barrel for this econo-range toy.

Would it be worth my effort to try swapping in longer barrel links in to improve lockup? I am looking for simple and economical ways to improve the potential accuracy of this pistol, while keeping it as GI-looking as possible and not turning it into a jam-o-matic. Again, this pistol is for the foreseeable future just a range toy, and I donĎt think my particular example is really worth ever sending to a smith for serious upgrades.

I just want to be able shoot it at my favorite/closest outdoor pistol range - which is fixed at 25 yards - and group them in the black when I feel I am doing my part, like I can with most of my other standard-sized pistols. And when I shoot this gun, I feel I have been doing my part, and I've even tried shooting it off sandbags. I have had two different buddies shoot it on multiple occasions, and they were far worse than I.

The trigger on this gun isn't that bad, a little heavy but certainly so more detrimental to grouping that the much mushier or creepier triggers on my XD, Glocks, or CZ. And while the sights suck for rapid target acquisition, I would think they are fine for precision aiming in good outdoor light. I can't help but feel that my particular GI needs a little help. Realistically, I'd be more than satisfied if I could get 3" or maybe even 4" groups at 25 yards from the bench with my hand loads (which shoot well in my other .45's).

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February 15, 2009, 02:02 PM
I'd wager fitting a "match" bushing would have the single biggest effect. "Adjusting" the slide to frame fit, the least.

As to the link, its length changes the guns timing, if it ain't broke don't fix it!


February 15, 2009, 02:17 PM
Long-linking may cause more problems then it fixes, and it doesn't help accuracy much if the slide is loose on the frame and the barrel hood is loose in the slide.

Good info in these links.


February 15, 2009, 02:40 PM
Thanks guys!

I had originally thought that part of the link's function was to assist vertical lockup, but after reading those links I see that I was wrong.

Despite it's flaws, I really like the looks and feel of this pistol, I just wish I shot it better!

Jolly Rogers
February 15, 2009, 03:35 PM
Suggest a call to Springfield and explain what your issue is and see what they suggest. A trip to Ill. may be forthcoming. Their warranty shop can fix it. Leave the standard as bought bushing in it if it goes back. May get a new barrel,bushing, tightened slide to frame fit...

February 15, 2009, 04:39 PM
I agree call springer and tell them your trouble barrel shouldn't be that loose .

February 15, 2009, 09:18 PM
The barrel is locked into four point contact by the two lugs at the bottom, the bushing at the front and the upper locking lugs at the top of the barrel when all is proper. Long linking makes the bottom two contacts one into spindly one, and stresses the link, in addition it changes the timing of the loading cycle. A correctly timed 1911 has no tension or compression on the link during lockup.
There is a huge amount of topnotch info here;

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