Changing a MSH, piece of cake, right?
Well last night was the big night. I'd bought the parts to put a flat-checkered MSH on my SA Mil-Spec. Even bought an extended tactical thumb safety. It was time to play junior gunsmith! :yup:
I'd read all I could on it, asked for advise on this forum and others, and poured over the manual and some other stuff. Didn't sound too hard. Ah the feelings that came over me as I laid out my punches and a softer terry cloth on the workbench. I had numerous reference documents open on the computer just in case and even had my safety glasses. I figured I’d need those after I read one warning after another about the “extreme pressure” the mainspring is under. :gah:
So I began with the easy job, the thumb safety. Finally wiggled it out and as it cleared the frame I though “piece of cake”. At that moment I hear a “phssssst” sound as something launched. Hmm, didn’t expect that. :blink: Well I began to search thinking it would probably be a good idea to find whatever it was. More than likely I needed to put it back in. Took 10 minutes but I found something in the corner of the room I didn’t recognize and assumed this was the part. But I had my reference documents on my computer so I opened the exploded parts diagram of a 1911 and learned about a plunger tube and all it’s innards.
Well I tried to fit the new thumb safety and well, that’s just not going to happen. One of you warned that it might not be a drop in. You were right! Be careful comparison I realized it would take almost a 1/16th to get it to where it needs to be. So I started to put the old thumb safety back on. Almost had it too and then “…phssst”. I should have predicted that. Only took 20 minutes to find it and at least I knew what I was looking for. As I searched, I considered the wisdom of purchasing another one of these things and putting it in my toolbox. Well I found it eventually. And got back to the task at hand. Just about got it in this time too and “phsst”. But I’m smarter than I look! This time I had it pointed in a direction that would make it easier to find! :image035:
Well then I took on this mainspring housing. Getting the old one out was a piece of cake but all the warnings of extreme pressure make me treat it like a hang fire between my fingertips. Well I put it in the vice and took it apart. Thank God no phssst. Put the new parts together along with a lighter spring from Wilson combat. But that thing wouldn’t fit! Tried and tried and it wouldn’t fit? There was always a ¼” or more gap when I slid in the MSH. I could have gone on all night like that but I accidentally tipped the pistol upside down and the hammer strut (I think that’s it) fell away from the frame just a bit and guess what? It fit!
So I get the new MSH in and start to put in the retaining pin, you know, the one at the bottom of the frame. Well you see I’ve never put a pin in or taken one out of the 1911 before. So I get it lined up and “tap tap tap”, nothing! 30 minutes later I’ve got sore fingers from wiggling and trying to adjust the positioning of the MSH ever so slightly so I can get that pin in and guess what it starts doing? Phst, but fortunately only enough to hop out of the frame!
Well finally I’m getting aggravated (preachers do to) and decided it’s only a Mil-Spec so if I get rough with it and scratch it I won’t care,…at this point. So I line it up and give that pin a good Whack and pop! In it goes! :rant:
So it’s in and I do all of my safety checks and everything seems to function fine although there is a larger gap between the top of the MSH and the grip safety with the new part than there was with the old part. I’m going to shoot it this weekend but already like the feel and looks better.
What a blessing it would have been to have someone with you who’s done this to help the first time! So the end result? I’d like to get an old 1911 and just work on it to learn and practice!
Makes me wish I could take up gunsmithing for a serious hobby but then again, I might not be cut out for it after last night, still, it was fun!:knockedout:
God Bless, Gideon
I Wish I Was There With You
Hey...it could have been worse...you got it back together & you're not taking a trip to the local gunsmith with all of the parts piled into a shoebox.:biggrin2:
Next we'll work on taking the entire pistol apart & popping it back together at night with the lights off.:yup: