Sunday, June 12, 2016

Rock Island 1911-A1 CS: An Update

Dear Friends,  

Back in June of 2014, I did a review of the Rock Island Armory 1911-A1 CS. Folks can find that review here: Rock Island Armory M1911-A1 CS -- A Nice Shooter!

I liked the pistol so much that I bought one. Well, here's an important update on my Rock Island 1911-A1 CS.

First, you need to know that it's now June 2016 and I've put about 600 rounds through my Rock Island Armory 1911-A1 CS without a single hiccup.

Second my friend Sean Hollingshead, a Navy Veteran, told me about a problem that Rock Island 1911 pistols are having with their firing pin springs. Then I had two readers write to inform me that their Rock Island 1911-A1 Compacts have had problems with their firing-pin springs in that they needed much heavier duty springs.

The Problem: From what I was told, the Firing Pin Spring becomes less effective after a lot of use and it doesn't give the Firing Pin enough tension to keep the Firing Pin Stop in place during operation. The Firing Pin Stop actually comes loose because there isn't enough tension on the Firing Pin to keep it in place.

The Solution: A stronger Firing Pin Spring will take care of the problem. And frankly, it is a really cheap fix at about $5.
I bought a Spring from Wilson Combat and replaced my firing-pin spring. Since it is just a drop in procedure, and anyone can do it, there is no need to have a Gunsmith replace it for you if you do the same.

I bought my firing pin spring, also known as a firing pin return spring, from Brownells at WILSON COMBAT - 1911 FIRING PIN RETURN SPRING

Remove the firing pin stop, the firing pin and the firing pin spring in that order: 

Using a very small Phillips screwdriver or other small pointed object, push in on the firing pin to release the firing pin stop.

Use your finger nail or a standard screwdriver to push the firing pin stop down to free the firing pin stop from its recess in the slide. Remove the firing pin stop by sliding it downward. 

It is recommended that you use the tip of your thumb to keep the firing pin and firing pin spring under control and not allowing them to pop out while removing the firing pin stop. 

Once the firing pin stop is removed, remove the firing pin and firing pin spring. 

Replace the firing pin spring, the firing pin, and the firing pin stop in that order: 

Now insert the new heavy duty firing pin spring and firing pin. Push the firing pin in and slide the firing pin stop back into the recess. When the firing pin is centered and the firing pin stop is firming in position, you are done. 

So now, someone might ask why I did this even though I haven't had a problem? My reasoning goes back to my training as a United States Marine in that I would rather know about a potential problem and take action on it now then wait for a problem to occur later.

The absolute worse case scenario is that the problem with the firing spin spring doesn't show up on the range, but does when I need my pistol to operate proficiently during a life and death situation. That's why I would rather make the fix just in case.

And yes, that's how I see it.
Tom Correa

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