Now, someone that knew what they were doing would take 15 minutes doing to it what I to do, but dis-assembly/assembly is a STEEP learning curve when you are noob, like me.
I wanted to do 3 things. One, replace the full length guide rod for a conventional one. I don't always have an Allen wrench in the field to field strip my pistol, I'm thinking. This procedure is easy. Simply field strip the slid off of the gun and when you put it all back together, swap in a regular recoil spring plug. I had bought that part last week. Two, I wanted standard-head screws holding the grips on, not torex-stroodle (or whatever they are called) screws on there. I don't carry a torex screwdriver with me everywere, but I can sharpen a dime on the sidewalk, if I have to, to get it to fit standard screws and disassemble the pistol far from home. I bought the screws last week, too.
Third. the third step was the hard part. Now that I know how I kick myself over the way it took so long to figure out. Springfield mainspring housings have a little 2-pin screw for locking the hammer. It's like a trigger lock that is part of the gun. Problem is, it is another part that can fail, and lock itself without the special key with all the recoil shaking the gun. I have no kids, I store my guns in a locked cabinet, I have no need for a potentially unreliable part on my 1911. It's not value-added for me. Plus I wanted my mainspring housing slightly arched, so I got THAT replacement part last week.
Now, for those that don't know, there is a STRONG spring in the mainspring housing. This spring is what pushes the hammer forward to hit the firing pin. There is another little hole on the back of the housing that put a little pin in (like on a live grenade) to keep the spring compressed during disassembly so it won't go shooting everywhere. If you take the housing off and pull out this pin, it is also like a live grenade in that the SPRING EXPLODES RIGHT OUT OF THERE, and hides itself under benches and woodchips in your workshop. And there is a third part in the bottom of the housing you will forget about and not put into the replacement part and will also fall on the floor and bounce out of sight for half and hour in a dark basement on the dark dirty floor.
Ok, say you got the parts all rounded up and replacement housing ready.. If you don't FULLY compress that spring and put the 'grenade' pin in right, then all the vises and clamps and strong fingers and CUSSING is not going to be any help trying to drive the pin that holds it all to the gun. Trust me. But once you do get the 'grenade' pin in place correctly, it's all gravy. Can o' corn. But all the messing around with the mainspring housing has the potential of messing up the Sear Spring. So you gotta fix that. And the thumb safety is hard as heck to get off on a brand-new gun with all the stiff springs and such.
It was frustrating. But extensive review of assembly/disassembly video on youtube.com here and here, and the nice animation here made it a bit easier. I couldn't have done it without them. (I'm indebted to you, sir) I'll try to embed one at the bottom of this entry.
And it looks like I'll be able to hit a range, OnTarget, tomorrow to test this baby out. With luck, Denise from the Ten Ring Blog might even show up while I'm there. And I'll have a range report. Some other buddies are coming so I might be able to test out a Springfield XD and a S&W Military and Police.
Ooo, and a .22 Ciener conversion kit. I tried fitting that on my new 1911 and it goes on like BUTTAH. So, I'll see how that works, too.
Maybe next week I'll finally test the new scope on the Garand at MBtGE's place, Clark Bros.
anyway, this is "korn1536's" disassembly video that taught me so much on youtube, Part 1: