How to Assemble a Colt 45 Automatic

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The Colt .45 automatic pistol -- officially known as the Model 1911 -- was introduced over 100 years ago; it was the primary handgun of the American military for over 70 years, and remains a favorite of handgun shooters worldwide. As a testament to its design, the Colt .45 has remained relatively unchanged throughout its history. Assembling your Colt .45 requires no special tools.

  • Connect the recoil spring to the recoil-spring guide by slipping it over the guide's end.

  • Slip the barrel bushing over the end of the barrel. The flat side must face forward and tilt to the left.

  • Pick up the slide and hold it upside down. Slip the barrel into the slide from the front; seat the barrel bushing on the end of the slide. Rotate it clockwise.

  • Put the recoil-spring assembly on the top of the barrel; the spring must stick out of the barrel's front.

  • Turn the slide over. Move the barrel ring so that it hangs downward.

  • Retract the hammer on the lower receiver --or grip -- so it is fully back. Align the rails on the lower receiver with the grooves on the slide assembly. Slide the two pieces together.

  • Look through the hole located on the lower receiver. Look over the trigger, and align the barrel ring with the hole.

  • Insert the slide-stop into the hole and through the ring. Position the slide so the tab on its end aligns with the notch on the slide. Press the slide-stop into position.

  • Push the recoil-spring plug over the end of the recoil spring. Press it into the slide assembly, past the sides of the barrel bushing. Rotate the barrel bushing downward, and release the plug.

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