Introduction: How to Field Strip a 1911

This is how to properly field strip a 1911 of any model in 45 caliber.

Remember to follow proper firearm handling procedures at all times. Also wear safety glasses as some of the springs are under compression and can cause injury.

Step 1: Unlock the Barrel

Start by unlocking the barrel this is done by turning the barrel locking piece to the right or left depending on the model. There is a tool made specifically for the 1911 to help with this procedure that can usually be picked up at any firearm center. You can also do this without the tool but it is more difficult.

Using the tool press down on the spring retainer that is directly below the locking piece then twist to the right or left.

As you do this the spring will become lose, hold your hand over the spring retainer to keep it from shooting out, and slowly release the spring and retainer.

You can pull the spring completely out, and set it aside with the retainer.

Compete this step by twisting the barrel locking piece and pulling up till it comes out. Set it aside with the other parts.

Step 2: Unlock the Slide Assembly

Pull the slide back until it is aligned with the notch for the slide locking lever as shown in picture 3.

Then push the slide locking lever out by depressing on the back side of it shown in slide 4.

The lever should be completely removed freeing the slide assembly. Shown in picture 5.

Then pull the entire slide assembly off of the lower frame.

Step 3: Disassemble the Slide Assembly

Remove the spring support structure by pushing forward slightly, then pulling up and out. Show in picture 1.

Then slide the barrel forward until it is completely removed from the slide.

Step 4: Organize Parts and Clean

The firearm is now field stripped.

Organize the parts in a well laid out manner to make reassembly easier.

You can now clean all of the parts and prepare them for reassembly.

Remember to use the proper cleaning solvents that won't affect the natural bluing for the slide.