SA 1911 plunger tube came loose today

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by ArizonaTRex, Jul 1, 2009.

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  1. ArizonaTRex

    ArizonaTRex Member

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    The safety plunger tube on my Springfield Armory 1911 came loose today and locked my gun "on safe". The plunger popped out and over the safety lever and locked it up solid. I could not release the safety and it took about 2 minutes for me to figure out what happened and force the plunger back into position. I have a habit of swiping the safety on and off when holstering to check function and keep my thumb "trained". Never any trouble until today when I tried to release the safety and nothing happened!
    This is my primary carry weapon so this was a bad thing to have happen.
    I dropped it off at the gunsmith on the way home. I really like the gun and shoot it much better than my Glock, but I need to trust it!
    I normally check for kinks in the springs, loose screws and unusual wear marks. Now in my cleaning I will pay closer attention to "fixed parts" that you don't expect to fall off! With todays adhesives gluing and staking would seem to insure that the tube is firmly affixed to the frame.

    Is a "rare" problem for the 1911 or not?
     
  2. schmeky

    schmeky Member

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    ArizonaTRex,

    I've been shooting 1911's for 30 years and owned a bunch. I've never (yet) had a plunger tube come loose. It seems like I have heard of some 1911 manufacturers gluing the ejector in place nowdays, which I don't like. Hopefully they aren't gluing plunger tubes in place.

    Some plunger tubes are intergral with the frame so these cannot malfunction. Although not unheard of, the plunger tube problem is not common of 1911's. I would get a quality plunger tube from Wilson or Ed Brown and have a good smith securely stake it place.

    Should permanently solve your problem.
     
  3. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Nowadays...it seems so. In the day when the holes were countersunk and the tube legs firmly riveted into place...and the tubes were made of real steel instead of recycled beer cans...it didn't happen much. I've got some very old and well used GI 1911 and 1911A1 pistols in which the plunger tubes are as solid as the day they were installed.

    By the way...

    That kink in the plunger spring is supposed to be there.
     
  4. ArizonaTRex

    ArizonaTRex Member

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    Thanks for the replies.
    The stake closest to the safety is the one that came loose. The gunsmith had to pry the tube the rest of the way off.
    I probably should have kept it and fixed it myself, the installation seems fairly simple and I have "riveted" many a similar part back together as a kid at my Dads appliance repair shop-but never had to fix a gun before.
    First time one broke on me!

    Well he quoted me $55 for the repair, and I guess it is better to have someone experinced do it the first time. Live and learn

    1911s never break.... so I never bothered to buy any books on it, that'll be fixed this weekend!
     
  5. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    55 bucks...for restaking a plunger tube??? It takes all of 5 minutes. Maybe to if he has to remove the ejector to get the tool in place. Most 1911 wrenches grind a relief in the tool to clear extended ejectors, so they don't have to remove'em.

    Even if he has to replace the tube, and use a round burr to prep the holes...it shouldn't cost more than about 35 bucks, total.

    Wow. Just wow...
     
  6. woodwrkr

    woodwrkr Member

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    Amen Brother! Without that kink the plunger spring will launch itself across the room and be lost among the clutter under the bench. Ask me how long it takes to find one of those little puppies.:D
     
  7. krs

    krs Member

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    Tuner, you're showing your age....$55. is not unreasonable at today's rates, not for a job well done and guaranteed.

    You probly go around bitching about movies used to be a nickle when you aren't old enough to have ever paid less than two bits. :)
     
  8. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Nope..but I don't believe in stickin' it to anybody just because I can, either. Last week, a guy came by with a loose plunger tube. The gun had a .22 Conversion unit on it, with a weird ejector that I had to remove before I could restake it. It took all of 20 minutes.
    If I'd had to countersink the holes with a burr...it would have added maybe another 2 minutes.

    Just can't see it is all.
     
  9. log man

    log man Member

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    John Harrison charges $20.00 on his website to re-stake a plunger tube. And that includes his reputation.:)

    http://www.harrisoncustom.com/Home.aspx

    LOG
     
  10. krs

    krs Member

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    That's to restake a loose one but it's twice that to put on a new one......besides he lives in a low overhead state. :)
    Not just that, if you send him a gun you won't get it back for under a grand and he knows that going in -


    'Course, Tuner's out there too, but I like messing with him anyway.
     
  11. log man

    log man Member

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    Well for sake of cheap, he will also supply a bar stock plunger tube and stake it for $40.00 so? $55.00 ?? is ........... fine, pay it you like.:confused:

    LOG
     
  12. krs

    krs Member

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    Me? I'm not gonna' pay anyone...I just wanted to make the OP feel OK with getting his gun fixed for whatever price. These are chump change figures to be arguing about, Log.
     
  13. log man

    log man Member

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    Let me know if there's anything I can do for ya, happy with 37.5% over normal price makes you a special customer.:)

    LOG
     
  14. krs

    krs Member

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    Yeah but you're in that state that'd try to put me in jail for shipping a gun to you, right? :D
     
  15. RogersPrecision

    RogersPrecision Member

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    Sheesh!
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2009
  16. log man

    log man Member

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    An FFL in CA or any other state can receive any gun legal in the USA, work on it and return it.

    LOG
     
  17. krs

    krs Member

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    I know that, Log man, sheeesh, like Chuck said - everybody's so-o crabby! :) ('cept me!)
     
  18. log man

    log man Member

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    No hate ever intended just the facts. John Harrison is kind enough to post prices and have quoted them for consideration. I would if I weren't capable of doing it myself, pay a smith $55 if he where down the street, unless of course John was also, all costs to be considered.:)

    LOG
     
  19. log man

    log man Member

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    Then why say it!! :confused: Except to spread discontent and rumor.:):)

    LOG
     
  20. RogersPrecision

    RogersPrecision Member

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    Heck, no probs here!
    Just bring it to Tuner, it will be a free fix.
     
  21. krs

    krs Member

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    .

    You gotta' admit, it sure pulls a Californian's chain. :)

    (In case you've forgotten, I'm third or maybe fourth generation, probably the last kid to be born actually within the town limits of Sausalito, CA, who left after 50 years ten years ago.)
     
  22. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    My Colt 1991A1 plunger tube came loose earlier this year.
    The legs were so short as to show hardly any expansion in factory installation and the inside frame holes were not countersunk. FLG installed a new one with long enough legs, countersunk, staked, and Loctited. He had to take off the looong 9mm ejector, which was just as well, it was cracked anyhow.
     
  23. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    So simple, a caveman could do it.

    :)
     
  24. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Nada chance, Chuck. Come see me sometime, and I'll show ya my little 3-minute ejector install trick...and like Cheech Marin said: "Eees TIIIIGHT!

    ;)
     
  25. log man

    log man Member

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    In all seriousness I was surprised that John's website prices are so reasonable and simply quoted him as he is a pro as you, Chuck Rogers are. Hours of work count as that is the misery of working to make a living with your hands, but we do it because there is satisfaction at the end of every custom job. I know. In gunsmithing, just as my living trade there is the need to cover time spent, 20 minutes talking to a customer to spend 20 or 30 more doing it and another 20 when it's picked up. Now more than an hour has easily been spent on a simple repair. $40-$55 is cheap! Considering the tube is $15.

    I'm betting John doesn't have the topless car washers. Neither one of them.

    I've followed the humorous thread you linked, but being banned requires me to enter through stealth means, have done so.:) :scrutiny:

    LOG
     
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