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1911 Barrel Bushing Question

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by GaryK, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. GaryK

    GaryK Well-Known Member

    I would like to fit a tighter bushing to my 1911. My barrel OD is .579 - .580. The current bushing ID is around .585. Brownells lists several bushings with IDs closer to the size of my barrel. My question is how much difference between the barrel OD and the bushing ID should there be? Has anyone tried these drop in bushings and has it helped tighten up your gun's groups. The reason that I asked was that I was at the range this weekend and my 1911 that had a fitted bushing was noticably more accurate than the one described above. Thanks.
  2. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Bushes and Bushes

    Howdy Gary,

    I've seen some that were fitted with as little as a half thousandth clearance,
    but match specs usually stay to about .001 inch or so. As long as the barrel will fall into the slide without springing, and will fall into bed without having to be pushed, it'll work. The tightly fit bushings need to be clearanced in key areas, which may also include turning the barrel OD on a lathe with a turning fixture and a live center.

    As to whether it'll tighten your groups to any apreciable degree...it depends.
    Accuracy...or the lack thereof...depends on several things. The bushing is just one. How well does the barrel hood fit into the slide? How much fore and aft play does the barrel have when it's in the slide with the bushing in place? Does the barrel lock vertically on the lower lug and slidestop pin...or does it stand on the link? How is the headspace?

    MGW markets a very good "Drop-In" fit bushing that is cut to the high side of
    tolerance on the OD...or about .700 inch...and averages about .583 on the ID.
    Those specs alone will reduce slop at the front quite a bit, and most don't require more than a light, final lapping in the slide. That'll help a little...but how much improvement depends on how the rest of the key areas stack up.

    Remember...There's no guarantee of a drop in fit, no matter what the package says. Check to see that the barrel engages the slide without springback, and that it falls to bed freely.

    Hope this helps...

  3. GaryK

    GaryK Well-Known Member

    Thanks, I will look into the MGW bushing. The barrel seems to be fitted pretty well. At least my interpertation of what I have read here leads me to believe that it is. I am not interested in a match fit but would like it a little less slop. Hopefully a new bushing will do it.
  4. Dave Sample

    Dave Sample member

    I agree with De Tuner on this one. But I also believe that any improvment helps. I have always used NM bushings that I fit to the barrel and the slide and there is no play in them when I am done other than allowing the barrel to tip so they unlock and lock up. I have seen improvements to varying degrees by doing this. There are many factors to accuracy including the ammo used. The tighter everything is, the better they group. One thing I know for sure that is a tighter bushing done right will not hurt your 1911, and may very well help it.

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