Learn to disassemble a model 1911 style pistol.
- M1911 Pistol (unloaded)
- Bushing wrench (as required)
- Padded bench
- Well illuminated work area
- Eye protection
The first step to field stripping your 1911 is to ensure that you have an unloaded firearm. Remove the magazine, both visually and physically inspect the chamber and magazine well. Then clear your work area of stray rounds of ammunition.
The next step will be to remove the slide assembly from the frame. I prefer to do this as follows for a pistol with a G.I. style guide rod. (Some full length guide rods may have a capture hole in which you can insert a pin to capture the recoil spring on the guide rod) First step after ensuring you are working on an unloaded firearm is to cock the hammer. Then rotate the pistol so that you can easily manipulate the recoil plug and the barrel bushing. Then depress the recoil spring plug. While depressing the recoil plug with one thumb, rotate the barrel bushing clockwise a quarter turn and gently release the recoil spring tension. Be careful not to let the recoil plug emancipate itself from your possession.
After you have released the recoil spring's tension you can remove it from the slide if you like, although it is not absolutely necessary to do so at this time. The next step is to move the slide towards the rear of the frame such that the disassembly notch in the slide aligns with the slide stop in the frame. (Having the hammer cocked makes this slightly easier, why I do it first.) Once they are aligned you can press the slide stop through the frame and out of the pistol completely.
Once the slide stop has been removed from the frame the slide can be removed from the frame. I turn the pistol upside down such that the top of the slide is sitting in the palm of my hand while I remove the frame from the slide. This keeps the recoil plug in place while you remove the slide. The less you drop the less you have to find.
Once the slide stop has been removed from the frame the slide can be removed from the frame. I turn the pistol upside down such that the top of the slide is sitting in the palm of my hand while I remove the frame from the slide. This keeps the guide rod in place while you remove the slide. The less you drop the less you have to find.
At this time it is extremely wise to either very gently let the hammer down or simply engage the thumb safety. Engaging the thumb safety keeps the hammer from inadvertently being dropped on the frame, possibly causing damage to the frame or hammer.
Next you rotate the barrel bushing in the clockwise direction allowing it and the barrel to be removed from the slide. You now should have a completely field stripped 1911. Check back for the next blog post, how to detail strip your 1911.