Having a magwell on your 1911 can be a huge benefit for faster reloads, aesthetic improvement, and even a better grip.
A lot of people are scared to disassemble the lower part of a 1911, but to be honest it’s really not that hard, especially the mainspring housing!
Warning: Do this at your own risk. Take proper safety precautions and make sure your gun is unloaded!
- Hammer (I use a pair of pliers as a hammer)
- Rubber Bands
You might need some other tools besides this depending on your setup and exact model.
1. Add rubber bands
This is one of the most important steps if you do not want anything in your 1911 lower to get misaligned or malfunction.
Make sure you have some decent rubber bands and wrap them around the grip safety so it is depressed.
2. Punch out the pin
Locate the side of your pin that has a round depression in it, punch it out with light taps of your hammer (or hammer supplement).
There is spring pressure on this part, so you might want to hold it down while doing this.
3. Slide off Original housing
4. Locate and remove the retaining pin
This pin holds the mainspring and other components in place.
It is the pin that is visible from the opposite side. Punch it out and be careful not to let the spring shoot out or hit your eye.
It needs to go out in the direction shown above.
5. Remove the mainspring parts
There should be three pieces inside there.
Now might also be a good opportunity to grease these parts if you feel it is needed.
6. Reverse the Order
Place the parts inside the new mainspring housing / magwell.
Make sure it’s fully assembled. Depending on your model, the retaining pin back might stick out a little.
7. Put the mainspring housing back
You need to make sure that the hammer strut falls into the hole of your mainspring housing.
Once you got this together, replace the pin, remove the rubber bands, and perform a standard function check.
Magwells Are Awesome
At least visually, you should see a pretty significant improvement in your 1911.
The magwell creates a nice ramp that guides your magazines more easily into your gun.
Especially if you’re in a self defense situation, and need to reload, this is a great tool to have on your carry gun.
It also might add a nice feeling to the back grip, depending on your palm size.
On a full sized 1911, it might not make much of a difference for your grip.
Hope this was helpful to anyone looking to replace their mainspring housing. It’s not as hard as it looks!