View Full Version : 1911 Main Spring housing Rusting

Don P
August 18, 2010, 09:02 AM
Anyone have a suggestion as to who's SS mainspring housing for a 1911 won't rust. I have 2 that have shown rust from being used in IDPA from swet. I had to remove and bead blast and am now trying EEZOX to see if it helps. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

August 18, 2010, 06:53 PM
Stainless steel isn't rust proof, it just takes more to get it to rust.
Due to contact, no lubricant or rust proofing chemical will last longer than it takes your hand to wipe it off.

Some options:
Buy an aluminum housing. (Light, no rust)
Buy a Colt polymer housing. (Light weight, no rust, self lubing).
Have a stainless housing hard chrome plated.

August 18, 2010, 09:20 PM
Find a Pachmayr rubber-covered MS housing.

IIRC, Pachmayr also made rubber-covered grip safeties.


Jim Watson
August 18, 2010, 09:27 PM
Smith & Alexander makes an aluminum MSH-Mag well funnel, if that would be helpful in IDPA (It sure is for me.) You have to order direct at full list price, they told me they could not turn out enough aluminum parts to stock Brownells.

Don P
August 19, 2010, 10:45 AM
Thanks for all the input and suggestions.

August 19, 2010, 11:01 AM
Try using a Kimber factory mainspringâ–¬they're made out of plastic.. :rolleyes:

Don P
August 19, 2010, 11:31 AM
I hear that:eek: Thats why I changed the PLASTIC one on my Para and changed the one on my Springfield to iliminate the "lock"

August 19, 2010, 12:35 PM
have it ceracoated...

August 19, 2010, 06:31 PM
Good idea, jglenn!

I replaced the seemingly chintzy plastic Kimber MSH with a Pachmayr flat one, but suspect that sweaty hands would still corrode the rubber-coated steel inside.

DonP - try using a stock Kimber MSH. They're pretty solid overall and shouldn't cause any binding or lock-up. Want my old one?

August 21, 2010, 09:53 AM

In general, rust on different grades of stainless is initiated by oxidation of microscopic bits of free iron at the surface. The way that is handled with stainless screws and other items that will be used where rust is not acceptable is to have the stainless steel passivated. That usually means the free iron is removed by nitric acid etching, however, a safer and more environmentally friendly approach using 10% citric acid solution has become more common and can be done at home. Both methods are described in very satisfactory detail, here (http://www.mmsonline.com/articles/how-to-passivate-stainless-steel-parts).

Citric acid is available from wine making suppliers, though they often want to sell you a couple ounces for several dollars, so it may be cheaper to get it by the pound from either a chemical supply house or through your local drug store. I've been meaning to try adding a drop of Dawn in a gallon of solution acts as a wetting agent, but thus far have been passivating in my heated ultrasonic cleaner and letting it deal with penetration.

The use of heated lye solution for degreasing and neutralizing is cheapest for a big operation, but can be replaced more safely with a warm bath in a water-based high alkaline cleaner like Greased Lightning or or Formula 409 mixed to normal sprayer strength. LPS makes a good one, too. I've been using them for years to post-treat Parkerizing and cold bluing to neutralize the acid and prevent after-rust. They are good wetting agents, so they penetrate well. It's just more costly for a big shop to use than lye.

But, choose your poison and have fun experimenting with it.