Apparently, there have been 5 million Colt M1911 pistols produced. That does not include copies and variants that were produced by other manufacturers.
As gun enthusiasts and 1911 fans will tell you, it is the pistol that won two world wars. We can’t even say that about our own service rifles.
M1911 fans will also be quick to point out that the M1911 had an impressively long service history. It was also carried in Korea, Vietnam, during the Cold War, and in the hands of law enforcement across the country. Its official service history spanned over 70 years, from 1911 to 1985.
It follows that many of the 1911 pistols in private hands today are aging models. Perhaps they are well-loved and well-cared for, but time levels all. These are the M1911 parts that are most likely to fail (or wear) and which will need to be replaced eventually.
● Recoil springs: The recoil springs are what store kinetic energy from the slide and reset the action, allowing it to cycle back forward once the spent case has been ejected. Over time, these springs fatigue, adversely affecting extraction, loading, and resetting. They can decrease the reliability of the pistol and increase cycling time. When you replace the spring, replace it with a high-quality spring and consider installing a recoil spring guide to prevent kinking.
● Mag springs: Mag springs fatigue over time and can hinder feeding. Sometimes a mag with a fatigued spring will feed intermittently or refuse to feed the last few rounds. If your mag springs wear, you don’t need to toss the whole mag. Get a new mag spring, pop out the old spring, and slide in a new one.
● Extractors and ejectors: Extractors and ejectors are relatively small, fragile 1911 parts that are more prone to failure than most other parts. Replace these if your pistol has any issues with extraction or ejection, but first be sure the gun is clean, first. Feeding and extractor problems can be caused by dirty chambers, dirty ammo, dirty extractors, ejectors, or some combination of these.
● The barrel: Some shooters think of the barrel as a permanent part. It’s not. If your groups are wandering over the paper and you can’t seem to pinpoint why, disassemble the pistol and break out the bore light. How’s that rifling look? If it’s all worn down, that’s the reason for your accuracy woes. You need a new barrel.
● Slide stop: Occasionally, slide stops can fail from stress. This will prevent the slide from locking open after the last round has been fired. It’s a relatively simple issue to diagnose.
● Firing pin retainer/firing pin: Both firing pins and retainers can break. When the firing pin breaks, your pistol will be inoperable until you replace it.
With all of this said and done, the 1911 is a pretty tough piece of steel (literally) and it’s not common for these parts to wear out (except springs and maybe the barrel, which should be seen as consumable components anyway).
Take care of your M1911 and it will last for many, many years. If you own a used one, it may even have all of its original parts and still work yet.
However, it’s good to have a supplier of 1911 parts in your corner for when you actually need to make replacements.
Visit SARCO, Inc., for Replacement 1911 Parts
Looking for replacement 1911 parts for your favorite pistol? Don’t look past SARCO, Inc., online at SarcoInc.com. They carry a wide selection of 1911 parts and probably sell more of them in one month than all of their other firearm parts combined!
Check out their website via the previous link or visit them at 50 Hilston Street in Easton, Pennsylvania for additional help.
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