Replacement guide rod?

Discussion in 'Springfield Armory M1911' started by TheMrAnderson09, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. TheMrAnderson09

    TheMrAnderson09 New Member

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    Hey just wanted to try and get some feedback on this subject. I have a LNIB SA Champion Operator. Seems as though the genius that sold it to me put the open end of the buffer spring facing the back of the slide on reassembly... First time the slide got racked, the larger spring jumped the sleeve. It was ridiculously tedious but I managed to get the spring most of the way back to where I could finally get the assembly out. The action once again feels smooth and crisp but I'm not sure I want to take it out without having the guide rod looked at. I'm worried it may be slightly bent, I can't see that it is but that doesn't mean it isn't. My question is after malfunctioning that bad(due to operator error), would I be better off just replacing the entire assembly? Single piece or 2 piece? And if so, can someone recommend a stainless guide rod assembly that would be compatible.
     
  2. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    It sounds like the recoil spring (or possibly the guide rod) was bent before you got the gun, and that's why it was binding. I suspect that somebody re-assembled the gun incorrectly (assembling a bull barrel gun can be challenging) and got it all whackdoodle. Since this is a bull barrel gun, I recommend sticking with factory replacement parts if you are going to do it yourself. An experienced 1911 'smith could recommend alternatives, but experienced 1911 smiths are rare as hen's teeth.
     

  3. TheMrAnderson09

    TheMrAnderson09 New Member

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    Well I got the spring facing the right direction and reassembled it properly. Racked the slide a dozen times and it seems fine. Took it apart again and no issues. I just don't know how I feel about firing it though. Naked eye, guide rod looks fine. The spring actually looks ok too now that it's facing the right way. Apparently he had put it on with the open end of the spring facing the shoulder of the sleeve I guess the only way to know for sure is take it out and try it..
     
  4. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    Okay. I'm not familiar with the dual spring used in the Champion Operator. Normally, dual spring recoil systems are not sensitive to the direction the spring points. The only difference between one end and the other is that one end grips the guide rod so that the spring doesn't fly out on dis-assembly. I'd like to see a picture (abracadabra) Oh, I see the problem... That's a horrible design. I recommend replacing the guide rod and spring with standard Commander parts.

    I apologize for my initial response. I don't normally write speculative fiction. I guess I'm a little lazy today.
     

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  5. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    Here's a short article on the normal style of dual recoil spring: http://modernserviceweapons.com/?p=5942

    As far as I know, King's Gun Parts was the first to market a dual spring recoil rod. I have an original King's system, and it's functionally identical to that Colt system. I don't think it's much use in a Gov't length gun, because a Gov't length gun will lock back properly with a Shok-Buf. The dual spring system is useful in a Commander or Officer sized gun because they will not (usually) lock back on a Shok-Buf.

    The SA Champion Operator is probably fitted correctly and not prone to battering. If you are interested in switching to a standard Commander recoil rod and spring, I can talk you through the relatively simple task of calibrating the spring using a Dremel with a cutoff wheel.
     
  6. TheMrAnderson09

    TheMrAnderson09 New Member

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    Does somebody sell a replacement assembly with a pre-calibrated spring for commander sized pistols? I'm new to the 1911 game and I had no idea there was so much involved in changing the system. Also I'm currently in Texas for training and have no access to any of my tools
     
  7. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    Commander sized guns are typically not too fussy. If you get a rod and one each of 22 and 24 lb springs there's a 90% chance you'll be good to go with one or the other. Officer size guns are a major pain!


    If you are anywhere near Texas Gun Parts you are in luck! Mike is a great guy.
     
  8. TheMrAnderson09

    TheMrAnderson09 New Member

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    I'm near Wichita Falls, about 2 hours from OK state line. Not sure how close it is. Anyways you seem pretty knowledgeable. The factory hammer on my shiny new baby is black, I would like to replace it with a Wilson Combat SS skeletonized hammer...how big of an ordeal is it to replace the hammer and what issues might I run into?
     
  9. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    It's 172 miles from Wichita Falls to Texas Gun Parts. Too bad.

    The Wilson hammer might drop in, but the thumb safety may stop working. Hammer, sear, and thumb safety all fit together closely.

    Famously, the EGW hammer and sear drop in more often than not, and produce a world class trigger feel, but you still run the risk of having to replace the thumb safety.

    Replacing a thumb safety is usually not a drop-in. I'd say it drops in 40% of the time. Usually you need to file a small amount off of the camming toe. And once you fit it, it can not be made larger again. You need to work slow and check the fit.

    In the picture below, you can see the end of the thumb safety lug with the toe (imagine it's a little red baby bootie) in firm contact with the foot of the sear (crescent moon shaped thing partially obscured by the frame in this pic). This forces the engagement tip of the sear firmly into the full cock notch on the hammer, locking the firing group.

    In spite of what some folks say, the thumb safety only directly engages the sear. It does not even nearly touch the hammer (this is by design - To make it impossible to disengage the safety via any exposed part other than the thumb flange).

    The drawing below shows the hammer, thumb safety, and sear clearly, but is strangely incorrect in it's representation of other things.

    Almost forgot to mention that hammers do not come with struts and pins. You will need to buy a hammer strut and a 1911 pin set.
     

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    Last edited: Mar 23, 2015
  10. TheMrAnderson09

    TheMrAnderson09 New Member

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    Ok so I found a 4" flat spring guide rod kit from Wilson Combat. I contacted them and their gunsmiths said the kit was compatible with the Operator Champion even with the bull barrel not to mention a drop-in upgrade.Do you by chance have any opinions or insight into this kit? Here's a link

    http://shopwilsoncombat.com/Flat-Wire-Recoil-Spring-Kit-4-Compact-45-ACP/productinfo/651/
     
  11. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    It's a good setup, but be sure to buy a couple of spare springs since they may not be available forever. The gunsmiths at Wilson are very knowledgeable even if the folks in their retail operation are clueless (and likely to send you the wrong parts if you order directly from them - I recommend getting Wilson stuff from Brownell's).