View Full Version : how do you know what barrel link to put on your 1911?

May 16, 2010, 02:46 PM
I got a trigger job done at my local gunsmith and he told me that if I want to get into competition shooting I should change the link on my gun. Now I am sure that I should have asked my gunsmith these questions and the next time I see him I will but how does changing the link affect performance and how do you determine which link would be best?

May 16, 2010, 06:32 PM
People that start swapping links without understanding how a 1911 works are about to have a problem. You'll most likely either make it less accurate or throw the timing off to where it starts having feed problems and battering the lugs. Leave it alone. If you need more accuracy buy a match grade bbl. and have it fitted by someone who knows what they're doing. Trust me on this. If you really want to get into tweaking the 1911 buy the Kuhnhausen Vol 1 manual. More than you ever wanted to know. There are no drop in accuracy enhancing parts. (Unless you get REALLY lucky)

May 18, 2010, 02:43 PM
I agree 100% with the above. If the link is off, you will need to have the lugs on the barrel built up or filed down depending on which way it needs to go.
Get it to a good gunsmith. Changing links causes problems.

Best Regards, John K

B. Lahey
May 18, 2010, 03:34 PM
I had a barrel link break on my cheapie Brazilian Springfield. It was an ugly failure, locking up the gun. It would come out of battery just enough to see that there was brass in the chamber, which was bad, as I wasn't sure if it had cycled. The gunsmith got an extra $20 to deal with a potentially "hot" malfunctioning gun, a bargain if you ask me.:)

It took a bunch of years and a ton of shooting to do it, but maybe he thought yours is likely to fail as well for some reason? Excessive use from frequent practice? Crappy parts? I dunno...

Or maybe he thinks the lockup isn't as solid as it could be?

My SA shoots a little better since it died and rose from the dead, though. Why, I have no idea.

May 19, 2010, 07:21 PM
I've read JK and lots of posts here and there re the link. I guess I'm just thick headed, but I still don't know exactly how to select and measure for the correct length.

If the link allows the slide stop cross pin to travel around the knee of the lower lug and come to rest slightly (?) past vertical in the saddle, the link is supposedly the correct length.

Some aftermarket barrel vendors have made the choice easy...the barrels are shipped with link installed.

I think arcane majic and barrel and frame osmossis is involved.


May 20, 2010, 04:51 AM
I agree with drail.

If the manufacturer installed barrel is like most, TimNelsons gunsmith is "probably" recommending installing a longer link - bad idea, if this is indeed the case. He's probably trying to take the vertical movement out of the barrel. If so, run away from this "smith", run real fast.

Again, drail is right on the money - if you feel you need more accuracy, a match barrel, installed by someone that knows what they're doing, is the only way to go. Done properly, the results are most impressive.