View Full Version : Is a 1911 plunger spring suppose to be bent?

Nowhere Man
December 19, 2010, 03:20 PM
I picked up a used SA 1911 and the plunger was stuck inside the tube on the safety end. Inspection showed it to be bent. I went to purchase a new one from Midway and ran accross this: http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=633934

Is it suppose to look bent?


December 19, 2010, 03:46 PM
Yes. They have a kink in the middle that prevents them from flying across the room when you remove the thumb safety for a detailed strip and cleaning.

December 19, 2010, 04:50 PM
And if you ever remove the thumb safety on a 1911 when the plunger spring DOESN'T have that kink you will absolutely make sure it does when you reassmble it. (if you can find it)

December 19, 2010, 05:11 PM
sorry, but i have to disagree. the S+W spring is offset, but your SA should take the standard straight spring that most colt 1911 clones use. i'm guessing the previous owner put the worn spring in. were any other springs replaced?

December 19, 2010, 06:23 PM
should be kinked to keep it in the tube as others have noted.

Bill DeShivs
December 19, 2010, 06:42 PM
Kinked does not mean worn.

Nowhere Man
December 19, 2010, 07:36 PM
Thanks guys.


James K
December 19, 2010, 09:34 PM
If "most" clones have a straight spring, they are wrong and the spring and plunger(s) will take off. The plungers should have little grooved "tits" on one end into which the spring will snap, making the spring and two plungers into an assembly that was not meant to be taken apart. The kinked spring keeps the whole assembly from falling/flying out when the safety is removed.

Plungers and spring not made that way are the product of a cheapjack maker who either doesn't know what he is doing or is willing to frustrate his customer to save a few cents.


December 20, 2010, 02:04 PM
I remember reading a review of a new "1911" in one of the major glossy gunrags, and the reviewer made a point of mentioning the presence of the damaged plunger spring, and how he replaced it with a nice, new, straight spring. Reminiscent of Steve Martin's "The Jerk" wanting "fresh" wine rather than that stale, old wine he was offered.

December 20, 2010, 02:30 PM
Yep. The bent spring was called dog leg spring by the retired Air Force armorer I learned 1911 building from. Don't recall running into a 1911 without it. Have seen the plunger assembly take off despite it, though, so let them out in controlled fashion.

James K
December 20, 2010, 09:52 PM
Of course, the cheapjack makers I mentioned also make money by selling new parts to those who lose them. They might be cheap, but they aren't dumb!


December 26, 2010, 02:47 PM
Yep, that spring should have the slight kink in the middle to increase friction inside the tube and help retain the spring & plungers in the event the safety lock (thumb safety) comes away from the frame. It also helps prevent them from flying out of the tube during disassembly, as well. ;)

I remember one fellow who had the spring & plungers become lost when he was qualifying with his Kimber and had the safety drift away from the frame during firing just enough to allow the spring & plungers come out of the gun.

Even though I've been through the Colt Model O Pistol armorer class, there are some makes of 1911-style pistols on which I prefer not to work, and recommend owners deal with the manufacturers for any repairs & corrections.

December 26, 2010, 03:23 PM
If there's still any doubt, from Jerry's Kuhnhausen's shop manual a caption reads: The dual plunger spring assembly is also shown. Note the correct dog-leg at spring center.

James K
December 26, 2010, 11:17 PM
Check this for more info:



1. The slide stop plunger does NOT retain the slide stop; the slide itself should do that, allowing the slide stop to be taken out at only one place. If the gun depends on the slide stop plunger to retain the slide stop, or if you have had to cut a notch or groove in the slide stop to keep it from drifting out, your gun was not made properly.

2. The safety catch plunger does NOT retain the safety catch. The catch is retained by its interior lug interfacing with the sides of the hole in the frame. To try this, take out the safety and remove the plunger entirely, then put the safety back in. It should not be able to be inserted or removed except at one point between safe and fire; if it can be removed in either the up or down position, the gun is defective.


December 26, 2010, 11:32 PM
Yes. They have a kink in the middle that prevents them from flying across the room when you remove the thumb safety for a detailed strip and cleaning.

LOL,:). Sometimes we make things more complicated than they are. Been guilty of it myself.


NO! If you order a new spring it won't come bent.

YES! The thing needs to be kinked for the reasons already stated. So, using two pairs of pliers, kink the dang thing.

And forever after, when removing the thumb safety from a 1911, be careful. Even kinked ones can get loose on you.:cool:

Any good smithie should take care of such matters when working on your gun. Same for automatically replacing the firing pin spring.