Wednesday, July 29, 2009

1911 Help?

Does anyone out there have a tap for the frame threads of a 1911 grip screw bushing? My Sistema Colt's got an issue -- I don't know if it was someone's staking job gone wrong or what, but one of the grip screw bushings was loose and turned out to be stripped (external threads on the bushing, not the frame). It was getting looser and looser and making the gun less fun to shoot.

No problem, right? Get another bushing, install, done. I picked up a few at the last Indy 1500 gun show and after our most recent trip to the range, had a try at swapping out the bad one, which was when I discovered it was essentially de-threaded.

The problem: there's a burr or something on the tapped hole in the frame, which very neatly eats up the threads of the bushing. The threads are too fine to clear with an X-acto blade (sneaky trick but sometimes it works on shallow tapped holes). So, I need a tap. $39.99 new at Brownells, ouch. 'Druther buy a used one, or borrow one (on pain of replacement if damaged, taps being what you might consider an occasionally consumable item).



og said...

s'twennybucks at Midway USA, and might be worth having at that price.

if a gunsmith charged you anything at all, he'd probably have to charge you $20, which would cover the cost of the tap.

hell, you could probably retap your grip AND resell it on ebay for $20.

I have taken an old bushing and cut four slots in it with a dremel, thus making my own thread chaser. Usually works good.

og said...

Also: If you haven't, try putting the bushing in from inside the frame first. Might just push that booger out of there.

Roberta X said...

Yep, at twenny bux, it looks more likely; hated to drop forty on a one-time use.

I had not tried threading a bushing in from the inside, fearing making the problem even worse. Local 1911 gunsmith Jesus Quintana is a good and patient man but I am not sure even he could keep from being both amused and annoyed If I handed him my gun with a bushing stuck backwards. (I'd've just gone to him but he is perpetually swamped with work, despite not having a storefront or doing any advertising).

Mongo said...

I have had fair luck cleaning tiny threads with a jewelers visor (so my old eyes can see the problem) and dental picks. Those things are made of fair steel, and can be had in shapes that will get into most small areas. I have also done Og's 'file slots in the threaded thing' to make a thread chaser. Done that many times, and teach the trick to the kids too. If the slots are angled right, and kept fine, it can do miraculous things.

Roberta X said...

I own a nice assortment of dental picks and none of them is fine enough for these threads. (I don't have a good eye for really fine pitches -- this might be a 56 tpi?) To make matters worse, the burr appears to be very near the top of the threads.

I'll try a properly sizes tap and if that doesn't work, it's off to a gunsmith.

Chaplain Tim said...

Wish I could help, but the only tap set I have is the over-size drill and tap for use when you've screwed up the factory threads. I'd loan it to you if you end up needing it. Brownell's sells the over-size bushings.