View Full Version : SA 1911 plunger tube came loose today

June 29, 2009, 09:16 PM
The safety plunger tube on my Springfield Armory 1911 came loose today and locked my gun "on safe". The plunger popped out and over the safety lever and locked it up solid. I could not release the safety and it took about 2 minutes for me to figure out what happened and force the plunger back into position. I have a habit of swiping the safety on and off when holstering to check function and keep my thumb "trained". Never any trouble until today when I tried to release the safety and nothing happened! :eek:
This is my primary carry weapon so this was a bad thing to have happen.
I dropped it off at the gunsmith on the way home today. I really like the gun and shoot it much better than my glock, but I need to trust it!
1. My questions are who here has experienced this?
2. Did you get the same tube staked back in or did getting a new tube fix your gun-did it work loose again?
3. I searched the forum and did not find much on this -is this a "rare" problem for the 1911 or not? (or did I type in the wrong search terms...)

June 30, 2009, 01:31 AM
Don't know how rare? My series '70 Goldcup's detent plunger tube was wobbly, but I ignored it an it never got any worse.

If it popped out, it obviously wasn't staked properly in the first place, so you probably have enough metal left to get the staking job done right. One of the permanent Red Loctites may help:

June 30, 2009, 12:44 PM
It's not unheard of, since it's only staked in place. You see more plunger problems after people replace the factory safety and don't fit them properly.

June 30, 2009, 06:29 PM
This happens simply because the inside of the hole in the frame was not beveled or relieved enough for the tenons on the plunger tube to expand into. (and or the tenons were too short) Trying to restake the original tube or replacing with a new one will not hold for long. The hole MUST be relieved inside the frame. A factory goof. It happens more than most people think from all of the manufacturers. The same problem is why staked on front sights come off.

July 1, 2009, 08:08 PM
I normally check for kinks in the springs, loose screws and unusual wear marks. Now in my cleaning I will pay closer attention to "fixed parts" that you don't expect to fall off! With todays adhesives gluing and staking would seem to insure that the tube is firmly affixed to the frame.

Jim Watson
July 1, 2009, 10:23 PM
Note: The plunger spring is SUPPOSED to be kinked. It is mean to keep it and the plungers from flying out when you take off the thumb safety. Doesn't always work, but shows they were thinking about the problem.

Hunter Customs
July 2, 2009, 08:28 AM
Trying to re-stake the old one will not last, most of the time.
It's best to have a new one installed, as drail pointed out check the holes in the frame for a good bevel on the inside.
Make sure the legs of the tube flare good in the bevel, be careful not to crush the tube.
Bob Hunter

July 2, 2009, 08:56 AM
I love my 1911s. I surely do. But this is one of the inherent weaknesses in the original design. It is actually quite common so you are not alone. I also would not recommend re-staking the original one as it will most likely come lose again. Install a new one, or have a competent gunsmith install one for you. Good luck and keep us posted. -Goodspeed :)