View Full Version : Grip Bushing on a 1911

April 20, 2001, 07:09 AM
I would like to put Thin Grips on my SA Champion. I have the grips, the new bushings, and screws. My question is how do I remove the original bushings? I tried last night, but they wouldnt move. A little piece of metal even came off one bushing. Nothing major, but I quit then and there.
It looked too simple of job not to try. I guess I should have known better. DO I just take it to my local smith?

(edit because I have had my coffee yet)

April 20, 2001, 08:49 AM

They are probably staked and/or locktited in.

If it's locktite, then a little heat should loosen it up.
Soldering iron or even a nail heated on the stove will work.

Your screwdriver MUST fit the slot perfectly.
Put the stripped reciever on a sturdy bench with a piece of carpet, or such, underneath.
Really lean into the screwdriver and put some weight on the screw.
After the initial "break", it should turn out fairly easy.

Another method is to use a drill press to apply the downward force to the screwdriver bit.
Note; You don't actually use the press's motor.
It just holds everything in place and gives you some extra leverage.

April 20, 2001, 09:03 AM
Thanks, for the help!

Jim V
April 20, 2001, 04:03 PM
WARNING:::::::If you strip the threads in the frame, there are no ovesized thin grip screw bushings. None, zip, nada. Look inside the frame and try to tell if the current bushings are staked in place, if so touch 'em up from the inside with a (I hate to say it) Dremil Tool.

George Stringer
April 21, 2001, 07:12 AM
Then don't say it Jim say File.:-)

Cobraman, if you don't have a drill press you can use the same method Sharpsrifle described in a bench vise. Use a bit that fits the slot exactly, put the frame in the vise resting against the padded rear jaw, with the rear of the bit against the front jaw and in the screw slot. Tighten the vise just enough to hold things and turn the bit with a wrench. George

April 21, 2001, 09:53 AM
I had to take it to a local smith. I just couldnt get them to move with equipment I have. Only took him 5mins. So total time invested in having the smith install them was 15 min. Looks like I need some better tools if I want to do work at home. Thanks

Jim V
April 21, 2001, 04:12 PM
Geroge, you know there is something about a Dremil Tool and 1911's. Once someone takes up the DT and goes toward his/her 1911 all the person can see is things to use the DT on. Feed ramps, barrel hoods, chamber mouths etc. Then the pro's have to try and fix it. LOL

April 23, 2001, 07:16 AM
Now I really feel like a schmuck. I have been reading this thread because I just got some thin grips with bushings and screws also.
I tried applying heat (they do not appear to be staked) to no avail. With just minimum torque, I monkeyed up one of my screw slots so I stopped for the second time. Now comes the "I feel stupid" part; are Springfield grip screw bushings left or right hand thread?
A couple times in the eighties while working on guns, I had to take them to a professional with my head hung low and whisper (while looking around furtively) "p-s-s-s-t, can you fix this?" I am now too old and dignified for that conduct, so I think maybe I should quit now and just go to the smith while my pride is still intact. What do you think?


Jim V
April 23, 2001, 04:41 PM
Viejo, the grip screw bushings (escutcheons) on Springfileds are right hand thread. Or they should be. The screwdriver bit has to fit the slot exactly. Brownells (warning this is an hard site to get around in) http://www.brownells.com offers a special screw driver for removing/installing grip screw escutcheons.

It could be worse, the escutcheons could have came out with the grip screw and you would have that problem - getting the escutcheon off the damned screw. LOL

April 23, 2001, 07:56 PM
AS long as the grip bushings ARE NOT STAKED, then using a propane torch is the recommended method. I use the same torch that is used to do plumbing work with. Heat it up, let the sucker cool and THEN USE the correct size head. Brownells makes a 1911 Auto Bushing Driver Bit that fits their Magna-tip screwdriver handle. It costs $6.97 plus shipping and handling. And they are a very worthwhile addition to anyones tool chest that works on 1911's, even occasionally. Look on Page #111 in catalog #53. Part number is #080-434-045.

Hope that helps.

April 23, 2001, 08:10 PM
Schucks, leave the old bushings in there, especially if they are tight.

Just file or grind the height down by 1/2 or so until the new slim grips lay flat on the frame. Mask the frame with tape so that it is not scratched if you slip. The old thick grips will still work with the ground down bushings.

As a matter of fact, you don't even need new grips. Just turn on your belt sander and thin out the old grips from the bottom side. You can reduce the thickness by half. Just don;t reduce your fingertips, too.

April 24, 2001, 06:45 AM
Thanks to all for your suggestions. Insofar as this is a pistol I plan to keep for life and not sell, I might as well try the work myself.