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Old 12-07-2019, 07:36 PM
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Location: Utah, USA
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Extensive research and experience with these issues leads me to offer the following comments and recommendations:
  • Standard slotted bushings (full size or slim) can't be tightened sufficiently to prevent them from loosening when subjected to repeated impact with the grips during recoil. This is why most of the manufacturers either stake them or Loctite them in place. If the bushing does loosen, as often happens, the threads in the frame will be progressively damaged by continued shooting until the loosening is discovered. This is one of the primary causes of stripped threads in the frame.
  • Grip screws loosen because the screw head shifts slightly, along with the grips, during recoil. This shift momentarily breaks the friction in the threads and allows the screw to rotate slightly counterclockwise. Repeated shooting will cause some screws to completely loosen. With lightweight wood grips like those used on military 1911s, the grips shift very little and so the screws stay tight longer. The problem is the worst with heavy grips, such as the G10 that are popular today. There is also lower friction at the underside of the grip screw head with G10 grips than with wood grips, increasing the rate at which the screws loosen.
  • Hex headed bushings can be torqued much tighter than slotted bushings, making them much more resistant to loosening. Hex headed bushing also have a groove for an O-ring. When the O-ring is used. it will prevent the grips from impacting the bushing and shifting during recoil. This also significantly minimizes the loosening of grips screws.
  • The use of an O-ring under the grip screw head increases the friction and minimizes screw loosening. The O-rings are more effective with light weight grips and less so with heavy grips. Number 60 O-rings, traditionally used for this purpose, will not allow the screws to fully seat, leaving the screw proud of the grip. This is an aesthetic problem only. The use of smaller O-rings, as mentioned above will work as well as the #60s, but will not prevent the screw from fully seating.
  • The best solution is the use of a hex headed bushing with an O-ring around the bushing and an O-ring under the head of the grip screw. With this arrangement, the grips do not impact the bushings during recoil and everything stays snug and tight.
  • The use of O-rings is better than Loctite or nail polish because the latter may cause a loosened bushing to come out with the grip screw. This is frustrating and often requires the replacement of a damaged bushing.
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Last edited by sculptor; 12-07-2019 at 07:45 PM.
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