1911 Plastic mainspring housing??


PDA






jrod102
February 21, 2011, 02:54 AM
Let me say that so far I love my pistol. I don't really want this thread to start a bashing contest. I have a Ultra Carry II that came factory with a PLASTIC :fire: mainspring housing. You would think that at the price point that this gun retails at, you would at least get an alloy housing? But PLASTIC? I don't get it. :banghead: Did they do it to save on manufacturing costs? To cut down on weight? It just seems to me they should have looked at it as "cheapening" the overall gun. Oh well I ordered a WC alloy mainspring housing and replaced the JUNK PLASTIC one, so all is well. --Rant over--

If anyone has any input on this, feel free to enlighten me to understanding the PLASTIC housing.
___________________________________________________________________

just because your paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you! :D

If you enjoyed reading about "1911 Plastic mainspring housing??" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
458lottTN
February 21, 2011, 03:47 AM
I've wondered about this too. The shop I work at sells quite a few Kimbers, and many of them are $1000+. At first I thought it was for cost savings, but considering the cost of an aftermarket replacement and the price of the guns, that doesn't make sense. Weight savings? All the guns are 30+ oz, so no go. Durability? They use alloy frames extensively. It's uncomfortable when I show customers a CDP II priced at ~$1149 and they ask "Is this plastic?"..... I'm not hatin' either, I love my Custom II. A 1911 just shouldn't have plastic on it or in it. And one mag??? Really???

Sunray
February 21, 2011, 03:50 AM
"...the JUNK PLASTIC..." Plastic or polymer? Isn't the same.
"...alloy mainspring housing..." Not all alloy's are equal either.
Mind you, if you want a real 1911, it's made by Colt. Preferably a Series 70. Everything else is a clone.

458lottTN
February 21, 2011, 04:10 AM
Well, polymer is high grade plastic. I have no prob with polymer in general, just in 1911s (or clones). I think polymer is superior to any aluminum alloy for gun frames. I also think the alloy used by WC or Kimber for mainspring housings is prob pretty good (safe bet). And the Colt clones made by Kimber are more consistent and have better QC than any made by Colt in a long, long time. A REAL 1911 says U.S. Property on the frame, and companies other than Colt made those, too.

xr1200
February 21, 2011, 04:17 AM
just buy a brown custom one from brownells they are the best for the price and I often replace all my stock ones with a brown combo spring housing and magwell.

1858
February 21, 2011, 05:06 AM
Not all $1000+ Kimbers come with plastic mainspring housings but I know where you're coming from and agree with you. My TEII came with a factory installed oversized magazine well and it has a nice checkered steel mainspring housing. At some point I want to buy a Stainless Pro Raptor II so will replace the plastic MSH with an Ed Brown one.

Winkman822
February 21, 2011, 11:15 AM
Not for naught, but even the mighty Colts use plastic mainspring housings. If you have doubts, just go look at any Combat Elite, Trohpy Match, Rail Gun, or any XSE.

That said, any replacement mainspring housing that you get from Wilson Combat, Ed Brown, EGW, etc. will be STEEL not plastic or alloy.

As far as the plastic mainspring housing cheapening the Kimber overall, I have not argument to the contrary, but based on my less than ideal experiences wtih them, I'll never own another Kimber.

Ankeny
February 21, 2011, 11:53 AM
My $4,000.00 STI open division blaster has a plastic mainspring housing. Hmmm...come to think of it, all of my STI and SVI guns had plastic main spring housings. Funny how the barrels, frames, and slides gave up the ghost long before the main spring housing. :)

Edited to add. I do agree for the money a quality 1911 should have a quality steel mainspring housing.

The Bushmaster
February 21, 2011, 11:54 AM
Hummm...I wonder how many of you that are complaining about polymer main spring housings also own "plastic" glocks?:rolleyes:

I have both a Colt Series 80 (somewhat modified) and a Kimber UCC II. The Colt 1911 came with a alloy housing and I replaced it with a steel one to increase the rearward weight. The Kimber is my carry weapon. I would and do trust my life with either.:)

jrod102
February 21, 2011, 12:25 PM
The Wilson Combat that I ordered direct from Wilson is a aluminum alloy part #NW246. Caught it on sale/special for $10.49 + shipping:eek:. Go ahead check their web site, I didn't believe it either when I first saw it. But I ordered it and it sure does fit good and makes me feel better about the gun. I know, I know I'm picky with a touch of OCD, so what :neener:.
_____________________________________________________

Just because your paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you! :D

Purple Rice
February 21, 2011, 12:42 PM
My first 1911 was a Kimber Custom II with walnut grips and trittium night sights that I paid over $1k for about 8 years or so ago. I was quite surprised to find that it had a plastic mainspring housing. I replaced it with a metal one. The plastic one worked fine, but it just did not seem right to have a plastic MSH on a 1911. I have never bought another Kimber again.

jrod102
February 21, 2011, 12:43 PM
Bushmaster,.... I have two of the "plastic" Glocks and I love them I was just pointing out the sad fact that at the price you pay for a nice "brand" name 1911 you'd think that they wouldn't cheapen the pistol buy putting a hunk of PLASTIC in it. And there is a difference, when I bought my Glock's I knew I was getting a plastic gun for roughly $450.00 at the time I bought it. Now for close to $900.00 for my ultra carry II I didn't expect it to have any PLASTIC parts. When I bought the UC II I didn't realize the MSH was PLASTIC until days/weeks later. I guess really what it boils down to is at $900 you shouldn't get plastic parts. Do the PLASTIC parts work? Yes. Does it cheapen the overall gun? IMHO, yes. Maybe not to others.
__________________________________________________________

just because your paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you! :D

jrod102
February 21, 2011, 12:49 PM
but it just did not seem right to have a plastic MSH on a 1911

Purple Rice, me and you are on pretty much the same page!!! Would it keep me from buying another Kimber I don't know,.... maybe :confused:?
_____________________________________________

just because your paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you! ;)

TonyT
February 21, 2011, 02:33 PM
I have a plastic mainspring housing in one of my 1911's. I have not experienced any problems.

1858
February 21, 2011, 03:06 PM
Purple Rice, me and you are on pretty much the same page!!! Would it keep me from buying another Kimber I don't know,.... maybe

I don't choose a 1911 based on any feature or part that I can easily change. I base my decision on the parts that I can't easily change.

Greg528iT
February 21, 2011, 03:21 PM
Stress wise, a plastic (polimer) MSH fine. Just like plastic grips. I changed my grips out to wood, pretty quick. Hmmmm a MSH made out of cocobolo. I may have to look into that. :D

Zerodefect
February 21, 2011, 04:02 PM
Kimber cuts corners on the small parts. Not all really need replaced.

What I replaced to get my Kimber CDP REALLY nice
-MSH (EB)
-Sear (Wilson)
-Disconnector (W)
-Hammer ( W premium)
-Firing pin (70 series, after removing the series II FP safety stuff)
-Thumb safety (EB big paddle single sided)
-grip safety (K bump)
- sights (Dawson ft/Warren rr)
-springs (W, Wolff, EB)
-MSH spring and plunger (EB)

All of those weren't that expensive at all. And my CDP was obsolete as my skills and taste are have changed different since I bought it.

The EB MSH replaces the plastic MSH part really well. It matches up the K frame shape well. If your really picky, before it's time to refinish your K, you can India stone the bottom corners of your frame to match the EB MSH perfectly.


I wish Kimber would include ZERO magazines and a metal MSH. Probally would cost them about the same.

1858
February 21, 2011, 04:26 PM
Zerodefect, I did much the same to my Kimber TEII but ended up removing the FPS and changing everything with the exception of the frame, slide, barrel, MSH and magazine release (I have an Ed Brown one to install any day now). The MSH is steel and the checkering matches the front strap so no plans to change that. The grips are from Cylinder & Slide and I used mostly Ed Brown parts with a few pieces from Wilson Combat.

I did all of the work myself so didn't incur any gunsmith charges. However, I spent around $300 upgrading all the parts in my TEII. That Kimber has proven to be a superb match pistol and because I did the work, I know the pistol inside and out and feel more attached to it. I've been thinking about buying a Kimber Stainless Pro Raptor II and doing the same upgrades. My plan is to fit an Ed Brown bobtail stainless snakeskin MSH and to grind, file and polish the frame to match. Then I'll paint the whole thing with Cerakote. Some will say that I'm crazy in that I would have spent $1,700 or more and it's still a Kimber. They'll argue that I could have bought a Dan Wesson V-Bob or even an Ed Brown Kobra Carry for around the same price or a few hundred more in the case of the Kobra. But there's something really satisfying about personalizing a 1911 and then the pleasure when it shoots so well. It's hard to put a price on that.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/default.aspx?productNumber=988489

Also, I just wanted to say thanks for the "tactical bump" tip. I installed one in my TEII and the Pro Raptor comes with that grip safety from the factory but as you say, every Kimber should ship with one of those.

Zerodefect
February 21, 2011, 04:32 PM
Wow, everything! That's a ton of work.

The only part I want to replace now is the slide stop. Maybe a froged 10-8. But I'm still a bit tuckered out from all the stoning and dremeling and think I'm done investing in this gun.

I have to get a bead blasting cabinet to clean up my slide. Then I'm sending it out to CCR to get redone in house black. My grips are Alumagrips so I'm having those done as well.

1858
February 21, 2011, 04:35 PM
Have you posted a photo of that Kimber? If not, I'd like to see it.

Zerodefect
February 21, 2011, 05:03 PM
Have you posted a photo of that Kimber? If not, I'd like to see it.

It's way, way too ugly to post. I slipped a couple times.:banghead:

Once I get the slide blasted I'll post it. It's got alot of silver from where I melted the fram some more.

mister2
February 21, 2011, 05:42 PM
It all depends on whether you consider your 1911 to be a piece of art or a functional tool.

Functionally, a pistol that will not see 1,000 rounds in its owner's entire possession will probably not require a steel MSH. If the original pistol is designed and used for carry it makes sense to keep it light and corrosion resistant as possible and plastic is a good candidate for both those goals.

Aesthetically, it may never fire a shot and still "need" a blued, stainless, rubberized (remember Pachmayr?), arched, straight, bobbed, fluted, checkered MSH. Know what I mean?

Yeah, one man's junk is another's treasure!

Or not...

SoulLessGinger
February 21, 2011, 06:00 PM
I'm trying to figure out why Kimber is taking the beating for polymer MSH's when nearly all the other makers use them too. My Colt, which cost $300 more has a plastic MSH also.

viking499
February 21, 2011, 06:07 PM
My RIA Tactical has a plastic MSH and shhots just as good as a Kimber or Colt, but cost a lot less.:rolleyes:

GIJOEL
February 21, 2011, 06:45 PM
I honestly never noticed mine was polymer untill I stripped it down for new springs a few years ago.

Damon555
February 21, 2011, 07:10 PM
It doesn't bother me that it's plastic. I shoot the crap out of my Kimber and the factory MSH has functioned flawlessly for thousands of rounds. It feels good in my hand and looks nice on the gun. That's just one mans opinion......and I own some Glocks too.

SwampWolf
February 21, 2011, 07:38 PM
I really don't care how well a plastic mainspring on a 1911 pistol functions. There are somethings I won't compromise on "just because", and the material the mainspring on a 1911 pistol is made out of is one of them. All of my 1911 pistol mainsprings will be made of metal, even if I have to do it myself. And, no, I can't defend this predilection logically or objectively. It's just "because". ;)

earlthegoat2
February 21, 2011, 07:56 PM
There is no difference functionally.

It is a sign of an overall cheapening of a product though.....for better or worse.

Holo
February 21, 2011, 08:24 PM
My $420 Metro Arms 1911 clone has a steel MSH ;)

And a tighter slide to frame fit then my buddy's pro carry

JTQ
February 21, 2011, 08:42 PM
jrod102 wrote,
I guess really what it boils down to is at $900 you shouldn't get plastic parts.

Stay away from those $1,000 HK's then.
http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/21_47_913/products_id/52296

Or any number of STI's with plastic parts.
http://www.stiguns.com/

jrod102
February 21, 2011, 09:04 PM
Earlthegoat2,
Someone finally understands what my original post/rant was about! Thanks for clearing up what I thought was obvious. Amen.
________________________________________________________

Just because your paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you! :D

458lottTN
February 21, 2011, 09:29 PM
Plastic is fine for a MSH, if it doesn't bother you. It's fine for a trigger, too. Add grips, sights, safeties, guide rods, and plunger tubes to the list. That's all been done on 1911's. It's just not what most of us have in mind when we buy one. Just 'cause it functions acceptably doesn't mean you have to like it. Didn't keep me from buying a Kimber, but I still feel like grouching about it.

It's still weird trying to explain to customers, too.
Customer - "Why does this $1000 non polymer gun have this polymer part in it?"
Me - "Because it doesn't provide inadequate performance."
???

aryfrosty
February 21, 2011, 10:08 PM
I like plastic. If it works as it should. I have Glocks which I treasure because they do work.
I have one Kimber which came with a plastic (P.O.S.) mainspring housing. I realized it was when I detail stripped the pistol after a hearty day at the range and saw a crack in the housing.The pistol did not have that many rounds through it and it had never been overloaded.
I took the spring out and put it into a Smith & Alexander steel housing and now I watch that area. My recently bought Para also had one. That's the wrong place for plastic.

xXxplosive
February 21, 2011, 10:28 PM
Another reason to only buy Pre 80's Colts.....OMO.

Sniper X
February 21, 2011, 11:02 PM
I have had many many 1911sd with plastic mainspring housings. NEVER had one fail and the only reason for a change ever was to either go arched, or with a mag well.

In fact, I have never HEARD of a plastic one failing.

So to me, the only reason to change one out is presteige or the need for a different design.

gudel
February 22, 2011, 02:18 PM
No problem with polymer MSH on my Custom II. It doesn't really do anything other than hold the main spring. I have zero troubles with my all polymer frame HK and Glock :D

Greg528iT
February 22, 2011, 02:39 PM
SniperX In fact, I have never HEARD of a plastic one failing.
please meet
aryfrosty I realized it was when I detail stripped the pistol after a hearty day at the range and saw a crack in the housing.

I'm surprised it cracked. but that's not the issue.
On my buddy's Kimber, I didn't like that it looked like they didn't fully mix in the color as you could see the swirls of coloring.

1858
February 22, 2011, 02:47 PM
So to me, the only reason to change one out is presteige or the need for a different design.

I don't think that "prestige" is the correct term ... aesthetics is more appropriate.

All of you going on about how your polymer Glock is fine, Glocks have ALWAYS had polymer frames, so aesthetics isn't an issue in terms of material selection at least. But when you consider that the 1911 didn't start out with plastic or polymer parts, then you might understand how someone would rather not have plastic in them.

GLShooter
February 22, 2011, 07:11 PM
The Para race guns the wife and I run have plastic MSH's. We did it for weight savings. No issue with the functioning or longevity on the parts after ten years of use. Mine has been used HARD and hers has been shot more than most shooters will ever shoot in their life.

Greg

AK103K
February 22, 2011, 08:28 PM
I agree, its annoying and sad. I also find it annoying they dont put lanyard loops on the MSH's anymore too. Its an easy fix though.

I always replaced the plastic MSH's with steel, and usually the triggers too. There are plenty around, and you can also get them with the lanyard loop.


While I no longer have it, this was the Ultra Carry I had. I replaced its MSH with one from Smith & Alexander, as well as a pair of their mahogany grip panels. I also had to replace the grip safety, as it didnt work out of the box. Might want to check yours. :)
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b7d700b3127ccec27e5455b80100000010O00CYuWbdo5bsQe3nwk/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

rayman
February 22, 2011, 08:46 PM
I guess we'll see if they hold up. I've got a Colt series 70 that came with a plastic arched MSH, I traded it out with plastic flat MSH from Colt... Feels really nice now. What really bugged me about the gun is that they left the gold horsies off of the rosewood grips. The medallions make it look good.

HisSoldier
February 22, 2011, 09:50 PM
"...the JUNK PLASTIC..." Plastic or polymer? Isn't the same.

If you ask a plastics salesman for a definition of what some cheap acrylic toy is really is he will say it is polymer. All the bull about polymer being some kind of super space program grade of high tech wonder material that doesn't deserve to compared to plastic is pure ignorance that plays into the hands of those who want to replace expensive steel parts with cheap plastic parts. Most polymer gun frames use a type of nylon that's glass filled, nothing at all exotic, and, like your kids squirt gun, is plastic! (Yes it's a different kind of plastic, but plastic nonetheless.)

I think polymer is superior to any aluminum alloy for gun frames.

No it's not. Both materials have their pluses and minuses, plastics aren't rigid enough for some jobs, aluminum is far more rigid. Notice the new Ruger plastic revolvers? Plastic covered aluminum for rigidity. An aluminum framed 1911 is more rigid than the few plastic framed "1911's" but won't wear as well as either steel or plastic.

One of my theories about guns is that some of us own guns for two different reasons, tools and treasures. A few carry treasures and aren't bothered by the fact that they are wearing the finish etc. Most of us wouldn't consider a plastic gun to be a treasure, they are only one thing, a tool.

I carry a tool, but when I think of real guns that I show off and care about, they are all steel.

All the angst and much of the argument between those who favor plastic guns and those who favor steel guns could be (I think) understood with an understanding of what a gun means to the arguer. People who basically think of guns as tools favor plastic, those who love and treasure guns for much more than their functionality favor steel.

jrod102
February 23, 2011, 12:32 AM
1858,isn't an issue in terms of material selection at least. But when you consider that the 1911 didn't start out with plastic or polymer parts, then you might understand how someone would rather not have plastic in them.

Winner, winner chicken dinner. Another person who figured out what my original post was all about. Thank you too for bringing to light what I thought was painfully obvious. Amen.
__________________________________________________________________

just because your paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you! :D

gym
February 23, 2011, 12:55 AM
IMHO they seem to cut corners wherever they can, It stopped me a dozen times from purchasing form them. For over a grand, you should get 2 or 3 mags, nightsights and metal guiderods or metal internal recoil systems. You should also not need to spend another $300 dollars on ammo, to, "break in the gun", that is absolute crap. If they went over each pistol and took off the rough edjes, it would be equivilent to a fluff and buff. You shouldn't have to fluff a new Kimber or any other thousand dollar gun. If Glock and most other $500 guns can do it , plus give you 3 mags and backstraps, then why can't Sig and Kimber. If the answer is they don't need to, just wait till they see revenues decline, they will do like every other company, BMW, gives free maintanance and tires and batterys now. athey weren't giving anything till the crap hit the fan.

cuba
February 23, 2011, 01:28 AM
It's funny to hear people make excuses for their $1000.00 1911's with plastic MSH and than turn around and bash an all steel PT 1911 for using mim internals, I wonder how many of these same $1000.00 guns have mim internals also, my Pt1911 is going on 10,000 round with all stock parts (knock on wood)

Cuba

Zerodefect
February 23, 2011, 03:45 PM
The plastic MSH on a K or P 1911 on't last long if you practice dropping to the prone position and use a technique that digs the butt of the gun into the ground as you drop.

Especially with a flush 7 rd mag.

jon_in_wv
February 28, 2011, 06:35 PM
If any of you still have a plastic MSH sitting around PM me, I'll take it. The weight savings is fine by me and I see no more sacrilege in using plastic then I do in having a 1911 made in China. But thats me.

CJS06
February 28, 2011, 09:28 PM
My RIA Tactical had a polymer MSH. It shot fine, as well or better than a friends Kimber( all shooter:D). I changed to an Ed Brown MSH more for appearance than function. I think I was just trying to make my 1911 MY 1911.

I do understand how you feel however. My Rock was $400 not $1k

Drail
February 28, 2011, 10:24 PM
Colt was using plastic MSHs and triggers back in the early 90s. I used to have a bunch leftover from custom guns out shop built and the customers always wanted a checkered Wilson or Brown MSH. Personally I don't like them simply because I like a 1911 to have full weight to it but I will admit that they were much smoother when compressing the spring and plunger when cocking the gun.

edwood
June 13, 2011, 03:49 PM
I agree, I replaced my Glock frame with an all steel frame just to be safe.

ripp
June 13, 2011, 03:57 PM
and it ASSUMES that you will always be going prone on a soft surface. Train as you'll fight, KISS. Break your fall with a judo "slap" of the weak side forearm and palm, as you kneel and lean forward,and keep the gun from touching the ground. Don't assume that bs match techniques are good combat techniques, most are not.

JROC
June 13, 2011, 03:58 PM
I can't find anything wrong with the plastic MSH that came with my Colt other than I don't want a $1,000 1911 with plastic pieces. It works fine, but yes that is very cheap of Colt, and Kimber to use a plastic MSH. I replaced mine with a Ed Brown Maxi-Well.

The Lone Haranguer
June 13, 2011, 08:44 PM
The use of plastic in a firearm has either or both of two purposes: a cost cutting measure to (this is important) lower the price, and to reduce weight. This being a small part, the weight savings is not significant. At $900-$1,000 or whatever it costs, you are certainly not saving money. :rolleyes: I expect a handgun at this price point to not have plastic parts. (To a lesser extent, this could also be said of MIM, but that is another topic.)

1858
June 13, 2011, 10:06 PM
I expect a handgun at this price point to not have plastic parts. (To a lesser extent, this could also be said of MIM, but that is another topic.)

I agree. I recently bought a Kimber Stainless Pro Raptor II for $1,130 (NIB). The MSH is plastic and when you consider that full retail price on an Ed Brown stainless steel MSH with chainlink checkering is only $47, it makes me wonder about the bean counters at these companies. How much would each part cost if Kimber ordered 1,000 or 2,000 units directly from Ed Brown? I bet a lot less than $47. Of course, Kimber would say that they do it to save weight ... yeah right! Anyway, at least those of us that care can correct this issue easily and cheaply enough.

http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/pistols/1911/kimber/prii/photos/kimber_raptor_02.jpg

If you enjoyed reading about "1911 Plastic mainspring housing??" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!