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Old 07-24-2017, 06:26 PM
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SLOPPY GRIP PANELS ON YOUR 1911? - EASY SOLUTION!  
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Default SLOPPY GRIP PANELS ON YOUR 1911? - EASY SOLUTION!

Let me just preface this by stating I do NOT own a S&W 1911, however the reason I chose to post this here is I see no difference in the brand name for what I am posting. This should work with ANY traditional "Colt-like" 1911 Gov't Model or Gold Cup and clones - S&W included. If I am mistaken, please accept my apology now.

So I have had the same annoyance with ALL my Colt 1911's over the years. Soon after I shoot a thousand rounds or so the wooden Grip Panels loosen up because the Grip Screws compress the thin natural wood grips. Because of the Stud that screws into the 1911's frame, the screw is only capable of going down and tightening so far. This leaves the Grips to slide around and be annoying when shooting.

So here is how I solved the problem which takes 2 minutes and costs less than $2 bucks. Go to your local Hardware Store and buy 4 tiny O-Rings. The O-Ring must completely fit underneath the screw head and be tight around the threaded portion of the screw. I believe the size I bought measures 1/16" ID and 7/32" OD. They are tight enough to stay on the screws when removed and still just small enough to be totally hidden by the screws head (at least on my Factory Colt Wooden Grips). When the screws are tightened, the O-Ring expands and goes down around the Stud making a great tight fit for the Grip Panels. No more annoying grip movement, no damage to the Gun, Screws, Studs, etc, and the O-Rings should last a long long time!

Sorry for the lousy pictures but I think you will get the idea. I hope this helps anyone with this problem - I know in my circle of shooting friends it is a common one (especially on Gold Cups). Again, even though I don't own a Smith 1911, as long as it has thin wood grips and screw studs (like Colt's do) this should work for you as well. I do hope this helps some of you!

Pic 1) shows Stud sticking up past the grip panel height where screw would normally hold it down.

Pic 2 & 3) Screw with O-Ring installed and O-Ring itself.

Regards,
Chief38
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Old 07-24-2017, 07:23 PM
Bat Guano Bat Guano is offline
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I've got a 1911 with that minor problem, and been wondering about trying this-or something--for YEARS. It hasn't exactly kept me awake at nights, but I've never gotten off my duff and done anything about it, either.

Next time I go to the Big City I'll pick some of those little critters up.

Thanks for the motivation.
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Old 08-01-2017, 10:17 PM
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Interesting (and inexpensive) solution to the problem! In the past, I used to remove a small amount of wood around the inside of the screw hole and glass bed the grip to the grip screw bushings.
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Old 08-01-2017, 10:33 PM
RobertJ. RobertJ. is offline
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Interesting!

Especially since I recently bought buffalo bone grips for my 1911 (sorry, no photos yet) and they were supplied with four tiny rubber washers! They weren't needed, so I tucked them away.
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Old 08-02-2017, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by RobertJ. View Post
Interesting!

Especially since I recently bought buffalo bone grips for my 1911 (sorry, no photos yet) and they were supplied with four tiny rubber washers! They weren't needed, so I tucked them away.
And here I was thinking I was ahead of the curve........

The reason they supplied them is not because the grips are soft as the wood ones are, but because the bone is brittle and might crack if the screws are over tightened or shot with heavy loads ( the O-Rigs cushion the transfer of shock) . The reason I needed them is because the wood on my original grips has compressed over 43 years and the screws hit the studs BEFORE they contact the wood - so basically they slosh around on my 1911's.

Last edited by chief38; 08-02-2017 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 08-02-2017, 12:24 PM
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Appreciate the advice chief38; and it is good advice. Especially on grip panels that might be more fragile than walnut. Bone, horn, and pearl for example. .45 acp shooting brings a good "jolt" to the grip area and can chip or break a nice set of grips.

I've used O-rings on 1911 grip screws for many years. A packet of the #60 Home Depot rings gives you 10 for about 4 bucks.
But,...not because my grip screws loosened so much; but to ensure they do not unscrew and bring out the grip screw bushings upon removal. (I remove my grips for all cleanings.)

chief38, that partial picture of your Gold Cup leads me to think it is a Series 70 from about 1976. What about it ??
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Old 08-02-2017, 12:32 PM
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I purchased some "O" rings from Challis grips and use them between the grip and bushing, and between the screw and grip per their instructions. I also used Renaissance wax on the frame under the grips and on the grip panels themselves. That way I don't have to remove them as often. Grips hold snug without issues.
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Old 08-02-2017, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by rog8732 View Post
Appreciate the advice chief38; and it is good advice. Especially on grip panels that might be more fragile than walnut. Bone, horn, and pearl for example. .45 acp shooting brings a good "jolt" to the grip area and can chip or break a nice set of grips.

I've used O-rings on 1911 grip screws for many years. A packet of the #60 Home Depot rings gives you 10 for about 4 bucks.
But,...not because my grip screws loosened so much; but to ensure they do not unscrew and bring out the grip screw bushings upon removal. (I remove my grips for all cleanings.)

chief38, that partial picture of your Gold Cup leads me to think it is a Series 70 from about 1976. What about it ??
1974 if memory serves .......... I've put more rounds through that gun than any other I own and it never even hic-cups. I am one that ALWAYS removed grips on any gun before I clean it. Not that I am worried about the Rig #2 oil doing any damage (because it's safe) but I like to clean under the grips too.

Last edited by chief38; 08-02-2017 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 08-02-2017, 09:08 PM
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You can also shorten the grip screws.
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Old 08-02-2017, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Bakebfr480 View Post
You can also shorten the grip screws.
Shortening the grip screws won't work! They will still bottom out against the Studs. NOW.... YOU CAN shorten the Studs, but the groove in them to remove them is fragile and shortening them will impede them being removed if and when they have to be. Shortening the Studs is NOT the way to go. If you look at a 1911 you will see what I am talking about.
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:04 PM
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Nice "kink". Thanks for sharing!
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:22 PM
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Yep and this is pretty much common knowledge if you frequent 1911 Forums but probably a helpful tip here.

Bruce
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:32 PM
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Actually a metric "O"ring works best use a 3x1.5and buy them at a hyd. supply or a hyd.repair shop .I pay less than $2.00 for 100. Old bear is correct ,use them on all hard material Ivory ,Corian ,Bone, Antler ,keeps from cracking dew to excess torque ,and keeps the screws from backing out . The screws don't need to be crush tight
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Old 08-03-2017, 11:00 AM
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WOW! I NEVER saw this idea anywhere else and actually thought I came up with something unique - GUESS NOT

Oh well, at least someone who hasn't heard of it before either now has the opportunity to see it here.
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Old 08-04-2017, 01:19 AM
RobertJ. RobertJ. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chief38 View Post
And here I was thinking I was ahead of the curve........

The reason they supplied them is not because the grips are soft as the wood ones are, but because the bone is brittle and might crack if the screws are over tightened or shot with heavy loads ( the O-Rigs cushion the transfer of shock) . The reason I needed them is because the wood on my original grips has compressed over 43 years and the screws hit the studs BEFORE they contact the wood - so basically they slosh around on my 1911's.
Thanks, that's nice to know!

It's a Delta Elite, 10mm, so maybe I'd better just go ahead and install them.

I learned long ago not to over-tighten. I broke a panel of polymer ivory, and it was a true learning experience!
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Old 08-04-2017, 05:41 AM
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RobertJ,

Over tightening is bad - but so is under tightening. If screws are left too loose, grips move around under recoil and can be damaged then also. Proper tightening is of the upmost importance with all screws wether on guns or anything else. It's very hard to convey what is proper on a computer .......

Tight enough to keep parts from moving but not tight enough to deform them, bend them or crush them. That said, the little rubber O-Rings will allow a larger window of error I suppose.
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Old 08-04-2017, 09:54 AM
2152hq 2152hq is offline
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I had a customer some years back that wanted me to look over his 1911 for engraving. It was equipted w/ ivory grips.
When he handed me the pistol, the thing felt 'wrong' in my hand.
Then I saw he had installed rubber O rings between the frame and the grips. They were stretched around the grip bushings on the frame then the grip panel(s) layed on top and screwed down to compress the O-rings a bit betw the frame and the panel.
That left the ivory grips a 1/6" or so off the flat of the frame just teetering on those rings. You could rock them back and forth as you gripped the pistol, alternately touching and lifting the the front and back edges of the panels to the gun frame.

How they didn't crack or break is a mystery but he was convinced that it was an excellent idea.

I actually at that time hadn't heard or thought of using an o-ring under the screw head as described here and it still didn't occur to me after seeing that set up.
I always made grips and fitted the grip screw to the material and carefully tightened when installed.

He didn't want to remove the rings and seat the grips on the frame and had some wacky ideas about what the engraving should be anyway,,so we just left it at that.

I've never used the o-ring trick as described here on grip panels,,but it seems to be a good way to either tighten a loose panel or avoid a problem of cracking a fragile material grip by overtightening. A cushioned lock washer so to speak in the latter case.

Put me in the same corner w/ chief38,, hadn't ever thought about using the rings under the screw heads. I don't get out much I guess..
O-rings are for 1100's and plumbing work!

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Old 08-04-2017, 05:12 PM
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Yes the o rings act like lock washers .They are used by some of the reloading die manufactures under the lock nut and have done away with the lock screw to keep the die tight in the press. Another thing to remember is that you cant compress an "O"ring it has to have some place to flow, so dont be a JOHNNY TORQUE wrench , when you tighten the grip screws , SNUG is enough .
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