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1911 Question--fitting a mag catch

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Alfadog, Nov 26, 2004.

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  1. Alfadog

    Alfadog Member

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    I recently purchased a Kimber 25th Anniversary Custom and am well pleased with it (http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=95807) except for one problem. The magazine catch is not properly fitted and it is difficult to eject a magazine. I searched for instructions on fitting a mag catch but was unable to find anything helpful. Can anyone explain how it is done, or point me to some instructions online? Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

    BTW, can anyone tell me what size hex bit I need for the Kimber mag catch lock? Thanks!
     
  2. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Mag Catch

    Howdy Alfadog,

    Don't know what the hex size is, but that'll be easy to figure out if you can find a set and try'em 'til ya find one that fits.

    On the problem..It might just be that it's dry or has a hard spring. When ya
    find the key, push the catch back and forth through the hole to see if you can feel a tight spot. Drop a little oil in the spring and lock, reinstall it, and work it a few dozen times to see if it gets better. It might just be dry.

    One thing, if you've never taken one out...it's not a screw. It's a camlock that requires the catch to be in the right position to remove. If ya try to unscrew it, you'll mess up the lock. Push the catch button slowly while you
    put light counter-clockwise pressure on the wrench. Might hafta wiggle it
    back and forth a little...but when ya find the right spot, the lock will turn easily into the takedown slot, and the whole thing will push out the right side of the frame. Reassemble in reverse...When it's in the right position, it'll
    turn and the catch will snap in place.

    Standin' by...
     
  3. Alfadog

    Alfadog Member

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    Thanks Tuner. It definitely has a tight spot somewhere. It is very difficult to initially press the mag catch (I cannot do it without moving my fingers out of a firing grip), but once it gets moving, the mag drops free. I held the gun upside down and looked into the mag well and it does not appear that the catch is binding. It feels exactly like my Colt did when I dropped a CMC extended mag catch into it before having it fitted by my gunsmith.

    Roger on the mag catch lock--already learned that lesson the hard way on my Colt.
     
  4. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Sticky Catch

    Howdy Alfadog,

    When ya get it out, you should be able to see where it's tight where the finish is worn off unless it's a problem with the lock on the inside of the catch body. Try puttin' a light coat of J&B Bore Cleaner on the outer part and work it in and out in the hole a few times to see if it'll smooth up. If it won't, it's probably on the inside. Maybe a little casting flash or an irregularity that's
    got the lock in a bind. Take the lock out and look for worn finish. Put a dab of the J&B inside, install it in the gun and cycle it a few times. Rinse the compound out with carb cleaner or any aerosol solvent. Oil it and try it.

    Luck!
     
  5. Alfadog

    Alfadog Member

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    Thanks again Tuner. I'll order some J&B Bore Cleaner from Brownells and give it a try.

    Happy holidays!
     
  6. Dave Sample

    Dave Sample member

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    The hex wrench is the same one we use for adjusting the trigger overtravel screw. Good advice from Tuner, except if it is like the CMC's we used in the first two PATRIOT Online classes, it will have to be filed on and fitted. They are slightly oversize and you are a victim of tolerances. Take it out as Tuner said and look for the tell tale marks of where it is rubbing on the OD. Then when you have it out, polish the inside cut out being careful not to touch the ledge that holds the magazine in place. The JB is a good idea but make sure you get it cleaned up good after using it. It is non embedding and will continue to work if you do not do a good job of getting it cleaned off of that part. I will try to get some pictures for you if I can. Use a BLUE PEN (Yore Best Friend) and smoke it up to make sure you reduce it where it was rubbing. A real easy fix is to install an Ed Brown Extended Magazine Catch with the 30 LPI checkering on the end.
     
  7. Alfadog

    Alfadog Member

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    Thanks Dave. I came across the hex wrench that came with the McCormick trigger I had installed in my Colt and discovered it worked for the mag catch lock on the Kimber. Does the Brown extended mag catch drop in with no fitting? (at least most of the time--I know, no such thing as drop in parts in a 1911) If so I'll just order one from Brownells as I need the gun for a class starting on 11 Dec.

    Also, this may be a dumb question, but is it okay to remove the mag catch assembly without detail stripping the frame if I just want to replace it with the Brown unit?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 29, 2004
  8. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Catch out...Catch in...

    Howdy Alfadog,

    You don't have to strip the gun to get the mag catch. All ya gotta do is remove the magazine. She'll slide right out.

    Luck!
     
  9. Dave Sample

    Dave Sample member

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    The magazine catch can be removed as long as there is no magazine in the gun. Tuner has said the right way to do it but I always advise people to put some pressure in the button and get it sticking out in the lock side about 1/16th of an inch to make the catch work with less pressure on it's little cam. The Ed Brown Part should drop in and it will work just fine as is. Some parts are generic and this is one of them. I like that part a lot and we installed in the Online Class of 2004 in 18 1911's with no problems. Of course, since we are teaching people how to build excellent 1911's, we do work over the areas that I suggested with the CMC (Kimber) parts we do all of these 1911 parts.
     
  10. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Whoops!

    Yeah...There's that pressure on the button and turnin' the lock thing...

    GEEEEZ! I need a 30-hour day! :rolleyes:
     
  11. Alfadog

    Alfadog Member

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    Gentlemen:

    Thanks again for the replies. I have removed mag catch assemblies from a stripped frame before, so I know how to get the thing out, I just wanted to know if there might be some reason it shouldn't be removed without detail stripping the frame first.

    The Ed Brown extended mag catch looks like a go. Thanks again for the advice.
     
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