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Loose Plunger Tube

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by Jim S., Dec 31, 2009.

  1. After shooting my Colt 1991A1 today I was happily cleaning and oiling my newest 1911 and I found that the plunger tube is loose. The gun doesn't even have a thousand rounds through it yet.
    Is there anything I can do with this short of buying a staking tool or taking it to a smith? If anything I would prefer to get a tool from Brownells and do it myself. I can always hang on to the tool since I have several other 1911's.
  2. DRAGON1970


    Dec 10, 2009
    Buy the tool. It is a cheap and usefull addition to your toolbox.

  3. Ruggles


    Jun 13, 2005
    Sorry to hear that. I agree buy the tool, half the fun of 1911s are working on them. Or you could go the Gorilla Glue route :)
  4. Ruble Noon

    Ruble Noon "Cracker"

    Feb 18, 2009
    I noticed that the plunger tube on my Springfield Micro G.I. was loose today so I took it into the local smith. 10 minutes later and 10 dollars shorter and I was on my way. Looked very simple, if you have the staking tool.
  5. I ordered the staking tool from Brownells. I hope there isn't a problem with deforming the tube while restaking it.
    Of all the things I've done on 1911's, this is a new one to me.
    Anyone ever use these staking tools before?
  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson

    Jul 10, 2001
    I took mine to the gunsmith.

    Bear in mind that if the plunger tube legs are short (mine were) or if the holes are not countersunk from the inside (mine weren't) just cranking on the staking tool will not have much effect. You have to have enough metal for the tool to rivet out and a place for the rivet head to spread.
  7. ronin.45


    Apr 24, 2008
    I let my gunsmith buddy take care of stuff like that for me. I have been referred to as "ham-handed" so I only do stuff I am confident in. This plunger tube issue is why I ordered the integral tube on my Caspian frame.
  8. The problem I have is that I know of no reputable gunsmiths in my area and I don't want to ship it just for this.
    I've done plenty of work on 1911's in the past and if all is right with this I should be able to handle it.
    I looked at the inside of the frame and it is countersunk and the legs of the tube should be ok as long as there is pressure on the tube pushing it into the frame.
    If not I wasted forty dollars on a staking tool and will have to either get another tube or find a smith.
  9. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson

    Jul 10, 2001
    A dab of high end Loctite won't hurt.
    Now you have the tool, you can be useful to other shooters thereabouts. All you have to do now is learn to do the countersink where required. Brownell's used to sell a tiny little inside reamer for the job, but it was expensive and delicate. Most gunsmiths just use a ball end on a Dremel. It takes care not to scar up the inside of the gun but is quick when you learn how.
  10. I usually get things from Brownells within a week of ordering.
    I think the amount of countersink on the frame looks sufficient.
    I'll know in about a week.
    I have some very good locktite that is permanent and strong but I think that would be a last resort on this.
  11. kimberguy2004


    Jan 14, 2007
    Austin, Tx
    There is a possibility of deforming the tube. That's why Brownells also sells a tool that inserts into and supports the plunger tube.
  12. Ok, I finally had time to work on this gun.
    I got the staking tool a while ago but I've been working a lot of hours for the last week or so.
    I couldn't get the plunger tube off of the frame. It was just loose enough to see it move a bit but I would not come off and I didn't want to get too rough with it.
    The holes looked to have plenty of countersink so I put permanent locktight on the tube and on the legs (after degreasing) and tried the tool.
    It was a b---h to get the rear hole and the front one was easy. It made it very tight and I will let the locktight dry for 24 hours before reassembling everything.
    The tool from Brownells worked great and I checked to see if I had deformed the plunger tube and it was fine.
    Yeah, it cost me 40 bucks but I don't know of any good 1911 smiths around my area so I guess it was worth it.
  13. ferretray


    Jan 17, 2001
    DFW, Texas
    Its good to hear it worked out for you. Which tool did you use?
    I've been considering the tool from EGW.
  14. Mayhem like Me

    Mayhem like Me Semper Paratus

    Mar 13, 2001
    Not a chance
    Take it to a gunsmith and have it silver soldered in place or go with Perm loctite and a good staking..
  15. I got the one made by Gun Runners for $35.00.
    Part # 634-000-001
    It worked very well, and didn't harm the plunger tube at all.
    I did use a red locktight also.
  16. 1006


    Aug 12, 2007
    Newnan, Georgia
    you can insert a tight fitting drill bit into the tube first, to prevent damage to the tube.
  17. FLIPPER 348

    FLIPPER 348 Happy Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    Bend Oregon
    A friend of mine makes those, fine product .... and there is no need to 'protect' the tube