2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

1911 vs. Glock disassembly...not as bad as it sounds...

Taking a pistol apart is so easy even a caveman can do it!!

This is for Mark, who commenting on my tinkering post this morning concerning the detail strip of a 1911..grabbed a couple of pics from the internet and headed back over to help him out...

His comment:

"Holy cow. I was thinking about a 1911 as my first handgun but after seeing that... Pretty sure I'd lose/break something the first time I broke it down."

Its not that bad....maybe I made it out to be worse than it is...without those series 80 style safety parts it wouldn't be nearly as hard to get the frame pieces back together...just grabbed some pics to compare the 1911 vs. the Glock (I use Glocks as baseline pistols here so much since I have more experience with them than any other pistol and I have written about them a lot on here)...

Field Stripping: This is the most basic form of dissasembly for a pistol and is usually outlined in the owners manual. The knowledge of how to field strip your pistol for cleaning and maintenance is one of the most basic pieces of knowledge a gun owner should possess about their weapon. For most shooters, field stripping a pistol is about as far as they will ever need to go in the disassembly of their pistol.

As you can see from the following pic, the 1911 has a few more parts than the Glock, but is not that hard to field strip by any means...it will take a bit longer but it is well within the average gun owner's abilities.

1911, 8 total pieces to worry about including the slide and frame....not bad at all

The Glock, 5 pieces including slide, frame and magazine (per the manufacturer), very simple and quick to disassemble.

Full Detail Disassemble: This is a much more detailed disassembly of the pistol and takes longer than field stripping. This would be done in order to replace a worn or broken part, customize parts in a pistol or for very thorough cleaning of a pistol. Generally, most people never go this far. On a 1911 you need some type of screwdriver to remove the grip panels and a brass punch and hammer, depending on how "stiff" your frame pins may be. For a Glock, a simple punch will suffice, Glock even makes one called the Glock tool just for this purpose.

A basic 1911 will have 58 parts, with the "Series 80" or "Swartz" safety systems adding a few pieces to that count. A Glock has 37. Yes, its simpler and easier to take apart and put back together. Most parts on a Glock are arranged in such a manner that they naturally fit somewhere in the design and just need the pins to hold them in their final position. In the 1911 the parts need some minor fitting when you put them back together and a more attention to detail to make sure that they are put back together correctly.

1911 in full naked glory...yeah, a lot of little pieces...use an old egg carton to keep track of them!

The Glock fully torn down...so easy even a caveman can do it! (or a Huey!)

So yes, the 1911 IS harder to take apart and put back together compared to a Glock. But don't let my writing dissuade anyone from owning one. For crying out loud, if an idiot like me can do it so can you!!

**And it goes without saying that just because you can fully disassemble your pistol does NOT mean that you are a gunsmith of any sorts...any attempts to modify your pistol after a full disassemble is likely to get you into trouble at some point, one way or another. Leave working on dangerous machines to the pros folks!


Mark said...

I appreciate you breaking that down for me. It isn't nearly as daunting as it seemed when lay them out next to each other. I can't imagine i'd have a reason to break a gun down beyond, at least for a long time.

I'm starting a series of posts on my blog laying out the pros and cons of different guns as a first handgun to help me get educated on them, make my decision and put the info out there for everybody. Do you mind if I link to this post when complexity of designs come up?

Huey said...

Feel free Mark, I look forward to reading your posts, I may link back myself...

Mark said...

First post in the series is up here:


I'd appreciate any words of wisdom you might have.