How to Disassemble a Full-Size 1911


When was the last time you performed a full clean of your 1911 pistol? No, we're not talking a quick polish or lubrication - we mean the full clean.

When it comes to taking proper care of your full-size 1911, you'll need to know the safest, most efficient way to disassmble your firearm. It's a simple, step-by-step process that only requires a few tools, some knowledge of the parts of your gun and some common sense.

Remember: Before working on any firearm, make sure the magazine is empty and removed. Also, make sure the chamber is empty and the firearm is unloaded.

What You Need

Before you get started, make sure you have:

  • An eighth-inch pin punch
  • A small screwdriver
  • A standard-size screwdriver
  • A ball-peen hammer

The Upper Assembly

First things first - you'll need to take apart the upper assembly of your 1911.

  1. Grab the gun upside-down, and push the recoil spring plug downward
  2. Rotate the barrel bushing clockwise, releasing the recoil spring and plug
  3. Cock the hammer and push the slide back
  4. Align the disconnecting slot on the slide with the notch on the lower receiver
  5. Push the slide stop from underneath and pop it out
  6. Remove the whole assembly on the slide
  7. Remove the recoil spring and the recoil spring guide
  8. Turn the barrel bushing counter-clockwise, and remove the barrel
  9. Push downward on the firing pin and stop to remove them
  10. Remove the extractor using your standard-size screwdriver

The Lower Receiver

Next up, it's time to take apart the frame of the gun.

  1. Remove the screws from the grip panel
  2. Use the pin punch to remove the mainspring housing pin on the left-hand side of the gun
  3. Cock the hammer, and pull the thumb safety off
  4. Remove the grip safety, the mainspring housing, the sear pin, the hammer and the disconnector
  5. Remove the magazine release by pushing forward the magazine release button
  6. Release the slot on the right-hand side of the gun by the trigger by rotating it counter-clockwise with the small screwdriver
  7. Remove the trigger assembly and the plunger assembly.

Get Cleaning

Now that your 1911 is disassembled, it's the perfect opportunity to do a deep clean of your pistol. Stay safe and take proper care of your firearm - it'll pay off in longevity and performance.

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