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Question for All You Gunsmith's Out There..

4008 Views 14 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Retmsgt.
I am going to try and fit a new barrel bushing to my Kimber 1911.

I don't need one, it's just kind of a learning experience for me. If I screw it up, I still have the original, so I'm just out the few bucks for the bushing.

Now I know that the tab that fits into the slot on the slide will be oversized. My question is on fitting the bushing to the barrel.

Do I just remove enough metal from the inner diameter of the bushing to permit the barrel to slide through it (keeping the ID a perfect circle), OR, since the barrel tilts up, do I have to relieve the BOTTOM of the ID of the bushing, making the ID a slight oval?

School me, brothers. :smile:
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Got a week?

Believe it or not fitting the bushing is one of the more difficult jobs. The clueless say you have to have a "tight" bushing when, in fact, if you do the gun won't work.

The tightness of the bushing within the slide is a small part that is often overdone. It should not turn like the GI bushing, but doesn't need to be super tight either. Most of that fit comes from the skirt not the "tab" although that part may need work too.

If the bushing won't go into the slide at all metal must be taken off the skirt. It is very hard to get a nice round part with a flat file so that is best done with a belt sander or with a narrow piece of emery cloth used like a shoeshine rag... ;) make haste very slowly and try often. Get a cheap bushing wrench and use it to help judge tightness. The wrench will also let you turn one that is too tight and help you see where metal needs to come off.

The popular thing right now is the "angle bored" bushing from EGW. Based on the OD of your barrel they will cut it slightly angled and this is probably the most expedient way unless you have the tools to actually ream or fit a bushing.

Remember that the barrel must be able to tip up and down inside the bushing. Don't remove any metal from the barrel just the contact area inside the bushing. Again, this isn't easy to do with normal hand tools. Emery cloth wrapped around a wooden dowel is probably best. Dremel tools are the kiss of death...

This has also made me come up with a new definition for "upgrade".

Fixing something that ain't broke...
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Snake has a good point. Match barrels usually have a portion at the muzzle, usually about 1/2", that is 0.005-0.010" oversize. Backing the slide off should help, but it is just a good idea anyhow to avoid more wear on the barrel or bushing. Even if it isn't oversize at the muzzle pulling the slide back enough so the barrel unlocks is a good practice.

I always built guns so that a bushing wrench was needed but you didn't have to bring a friend to turn it.

Without a picture can't say much about the gun but it certainly could be what you say. The USAF did not normally blue over parkerizing (don't think the Army did either) but it certainly could be done.
Aw gee Terry...have fun... BUT

you may not see any difference at all, even if you put it in a Ransom rest.

For a learning experience that really will show results I would suggest a Kart "Easy Fit" barrel installation. The bushing is already fitted to the barrel but you will have to fit it to the slide, but getting the hood and lockup is actually more straightforward than bushings. Just buy the small kit of tools for it and follow the directions. It will cost more than the bushing but with care it is worth a bunch.

That is what I did to the world famous Prairie Dog Gun which will still shoot under 2" for 10 at 50.

It is still fixing something that ain't broke, but really would be an upgrade:lol:
feel free to give me a call. It's easier to tell than type...
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