How to put a 1911 back together after field stripping for cleaning, recoil spring replacement, repair or upgrade.

The 1911 is my preferred gun and I like to keep it clean. It works best when it is clean and lubricated. If you need to know how to disassemble your 1911, see my tutorial: How to disassemble a Kimber Pro Carry 1911.

1911 Reassembly Instructions

This article will show you step-by-step how to reassemble a 1911. Specifically, one with a 5″ barrel sometimes referred to as a Government Model. I am demonstrating with a Kimber Aegis Elite Custom 1911 Semi-Automatic Pistol in .45 ACP.

This procedure will work for most, if not all makes and models of 1911 pistols with a 5″ barrel and a barrel bushing.

How to reassemble a 1911-5" Barrel with Barrel Bushing

Fortunately, this is pretty easy to do, especially after you see how it is done.

If you have strong fingers, this can be done without tools. However, you may want to have a barrel bushing wrench or a Real Avid Smart Bench Block to make it much easier.

This tutorial assumes that you have already field stripped or disassembled the gun to clean, replace the recoil spring, repair or upgrade your weapon and are ready to put the slide back on the frame.

The term Field Strip means basically removing the slide from the frame, and the removing the recoil spring, guide rod and barrel. Once this is accomplished, these components can then be cleaned and lubed as outlined in my article: Cleaning a Kimber 1911.

You can also watch my videos at the bottom of this post. The first is for the Field Strip and the second is the reassembly.

Reassembly of your 1911 5″ Government PistolHow to reassemble a 1911-Field stripped 1911 Kimber Aegis elite custom

Place the slide upside down on your bench and slide the barrel into the slide.

How to reassemble a 1911-Place the barrel into the slide

Line up the barrel bushing as shown, press it into place firmly against the front of the slide.

How to reassemble a 1911-Line up the barrel bushing
Push the bushing into the slide as far as it will go.

How to Reassemble a 1911-push the bushing into the slide as far as it will go

Using the barrel bushing wrench, turn the bushing clockwise to the position shown.  (9 o’clock position if holding the slide right-side up)

How to Reassemble a 1911-Turn Barrel Bushing to Position Shown

Lay the slide on the bench upside down and place the guide rod on top of the barrel as shown.How to Reassemble a 1911-How to Reassemble a 1911-Place the Guide Rod on Top of the Barrel

Slide the tighter, smaller end of the recoil spring onto the guide rod and seat it firmly.How to Reassemble a 1911-Slide the Closed End of the Recoil Spring onto the Guide Rod

While holding the barrel and guide rod in place, turn the slide sideways as shown and be sure the barrel lug is perpendicular to the barrel. Then slide it onto the frame.

How to Reassemble a 1911- While Holding the Assembly as Shown Slide it onto the Frame

Slide the assembly onto the rails of the frame until the barrel lug is lined up with the hole in the frame.

How to Reassemble a 1911-Line Up the Barrel Lug with the Hole in the Frame

Insert the slide stop pin through the hole in the frame and leave it hang there for now.

How to Reassemble a 1911-Insert the Slide Stop Pin into the Hole

Line up the notch in the slide with the square hole in the frame.How to Reassemble a 1911-Line Up the Notch in the Slide with the Square Hole

Line up the slide stop lever with the hole.

How to Reassemble a 1911-Line Up the Slide Stop Over the Hole

** Be careful here. If you do not line things up as shown, you may scratch your gun when pressing the lever into place.

Press the lever into place by applying even pressure to both ends of the lever.How to Reassemble a 1911-Press the Slide Stop Into the Frame with Even Pressure

Once in place, move the slide all the way forward and lock it there with the safety lever.How to Reassemble a 1911-move the slide all the way forward and lock it there with the safety lever

Place the Recoil Spring Plug on the End of the spring.How to Reassemble a 1911-Place the Recoil Spring Plug on the end of the spring

Press the Recoil Spring Plug into the Gun.

How to Reassemble a 1911-Press the Recoil Spring Plug and Recoil Spring into the gun

Twist the Barrel Bushing Counter Clockwise To Hold the Recoil Plug in Place.

How to Reassemble a 1911-Twist the Barrel Bushing Counter Clockwise To Hold the Recoil Plug in Place

Using Your Fingers, a Barrel Bushing Wrench or Real Avid Bench Block, press the Recoil Spring Plug Flush and move the Barrel bushing to the 6 o’clock position.

How to Reassemble a 1911-Line up the barrel bushing with the Real Avid Tool

How to Reassemble a 1911-Press down so muzzle is flush with the tool

How to Reassemble a 1911-twist counter clockwise until recoils spring plug snaps into place

How to Reassemble a 1911-The muzzle should look like this

The gun is now reassembled and ready to perform the 1911 Function and safety Check.

There you have it. Now you know how to reassemble a 1911 Pistol. This one is a Kimber, but these steps will work with any 1911 with a barrel bushing.

Here is the video on how to field strip the 1911.

Here is the reassembly video for the 1911.