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Old March 11, 2006, 09:42 PM   #1
parrothead2581
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1911 Slide Stop Removal

I purchased my a Colt 1991 back in December. When I took it down for the first time, the slide stop was to say the least, rather difficult to remove. I was able to remove it, however, it left a couple of light scratches. My questions are:
1) Are the slide stops typically this difficult to remove the first time or two?
2) Are there any "tools" I can use to tap it out? My thumb wa smight sore after that takedown!
3) On a side note, when you've inserted a fresh magazine, is it healthier for the gun to load the first round by pulling the slide back (I let it land gently) or to use the slide stop?

Thanks.
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Old March 12, 2006, 01:32 AM   #2
gc70
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No offense intended, but did you release the recoil spring before removing the slide stop?

The most positive way to release the slide is to pull it back and let go; do not let the slide down slowly or it may not feed properly.
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Old March 12, 2006, 07:49 AM   #3
AK103K
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It is a lot easier to take them down with the spring tension released, but I know a few people who take them down with the spring still under tension. I always do it with the tension released, its a lot easier. It shouldnt be hard to pop out doing it that way, if everything is lined up right.

If you want to get it back together without scratching things up, slip the pin in with the lever pointing down into the trigger guard rather than back. Once you get it through the link, dont push it all the way in, leave it up a tad and rotate it up to the retaining plunger and lightly rest it on the tip. Dont let it drag on the frame as you rotate it up, make sure its up enough to clear. Once your there, put even pressure on the whole thing with your thumb
(the joint of my thumb is usually just on the pin, with the tip of it at the rear) and push in and slightly up, and it should pop right in. Sometimes the plunger will catch in the "notch", so it pays to have a skinny little screwdriver or something like it handy, so you can depress the plunger if you need to. It happens on some guns and not on others, but if it does, once you get the knack, its usually not a problem.
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Old March 12, 2006, 08:28 AM   #4
parrothead2581
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No offense taken. Yes, I had taken the tension off the spring and lined everything up properly. When I tried to remove it, it just took a lot of effort. Now, it's not nearly as difficult. I'm hoping this isn't a trend I'm going to see in future purchases.
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Old March 12, 2006, 10:32 AM   #5
gc70
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I'm stumped, but that's not hard too do. Try posting your question in the gunsmithing section over on The High Road and I'm sure 1911Tuner can help you.
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Old March 12, 2006, 11:33 AM   #6
Mal H
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Quote:
... it left a couple of light scratches.
Please don't be offended by this either. The scratch is called the "idiot scratch" and is well documented.

It is hard to find a well used 1911 without it. Trust me you're in good company with that scratch on your 1911.
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Old March 12, 2006, 05:38 PM   #7
parrothead2581
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No offense taken Mal...I consider myself rather stupid for making those scratches. I don't know if it was just dumb luck with the one I got, whether I didn't have it lined up as well as I thought I did, or if needed to be "broken in" a bit. Now, I can remove it with very little effort. Thanks everyone.
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Old March 12, 2006, 06:45 PM   #8
bedula32
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To avoid the idiot scratch I always do like another poster mentioned insert with the part that could scratch pointed straight down. Then once it is in you gently pull the slide stop back out a few millimeters to where you can rotate it without it touching the frame. I have tried to carefully squeeze it in at that point but almost always can't quite get it so I end up grabbing something small and plastic, like a Bic pen cap with the pocket clip part, and push in on the tension spring (what it is really called is escaping me at the moment) just enough that the stop usually falls into place at that point. Important to use plastic or even something like a beefy toothpick might work so as not to end up with an idiot scratch in a different spot should you slip. If you have a parkerized finish though they scratch so easy I don't know what to recommend.

When dissassembling - after relieving the tension and lining things up properly try putting something hard but non-marring between your thumb and the back end of the slide stop to get it started. Polymer baseplate mags work well for this but most 1911 mags are steel of course. Again, anything other than metal should be better than the pad of your thumb to get the slide stop on its way out of the frame. As soon as it is pushed out from the other side as far as it can go then try and get a fingertip under the slide release. If that is still not moving well try slipping a piece of disposable cardboard (won't scratch) under there and wrangle it up a few more millimeters. Some use the lip on the bottom of the mag for this or even the rim of a cartridge. I recommend always using material a lot softer than the gun's metal whenever possible.

The cardinal rule is "Do No Harm."
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Old March 12, 2006, 07:14 PM   #9
gc70
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Here's how to install a slide stop without worrying about leaving an "idiot mark"
  • press top of slide against stomach
  • hold front of gripframe with left hand
  • hold bottom of dust cover with right hand
  • hold tip of left thumb against frame and bottom of slide stop
  • hold tip of right thumb against slide and top of slide stop
  • press slide stop into place with ball of right thumb
As long as you keep your thumbs firmly on the gun above and below the slide stop, it can't slip away and scratch the gun.

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