How to Fit a Barrel Bushing to a Slide and Barrel

How to Fit a Barrel Bushing to a Slide and Barrel

In past articles, I have focused on fitting the rear end of the barrel to the slide and slide stop for maximum accuracy. Today, we will consider the barrel bushing and its fit to the slide and barrel. Ideally, you want a bushing with an outside diameter that is a press fit in the slide, and an inside diameter that is as close to the barrel outside diameter as possible while still allowing reliable function of the pistol.

Most factory bushings are of the "drop-in" variety, meaning no hand fitting is involved during assembly. When accurizing 1911s, standard practice has been to hand fit a bushing with oversized outside diameter and undersized inside diameter.

The bore was cut with an adjustable reamer to just fit on the barrel and the outside dimension was reduced on a lathe or with sandpaper while turning in a fixture. Time consuming, to say the least. What if you could order custom bushings that are close to dimensionally correct for your slide and barrel with only minimal fitting?

Evolution Gun Works of Quakertown, Pa., is offering just such a product. They sell bushings with various outside diameters that are custom bored to your barrel dimension. Not only is the bore matched to your barrel's outside diameter, but it is "angle bored" to match the lock-up angle of the barrel and the flange is thicker than a standard bushing to provide more support for the muzzle.


You must supply EGW with accurate dimensions to ensure a good fit. The barrel can be measured with a caliper or better yet a micrometer. Determining the inside diameter of the slide may be tricky. I use a hole micrometer to get an accurate reading.


In this case I'm fitting a Kart barrel to a Springfield Armory 1911. Karts are usually .581 inches at the muzzle, but that dimension is verified to make sure. The slide inside diameter mics out to .702 inches, but I'm going to order the bushing in a .703-inch outside diamater and polish it to achieve a press fit. The custom bushing made to my specs cost only $27.50 plus shipping. A bargain.

When polishing the bushing outside diameter to fit the slide, I used the Brownells Bushing Fitting Mandrel turned in the lathe with excellent results. A light polish with strips of 220- and 320 grit-paper was all that was needed.

With a flange that is thicker than a standard bushing the factory spring plug looks incorrect. EGW sells a special "long nose" spring plug ($15) to match the bushing. The bushing in the gallery is the "carry bevel" version with chamfered edges, which looks quite nice on most pistols. The EGW custom bushings provide an attractive alternative to the standard NM bushing for gunsmiths and advanced hobbyists.

EGW Bushings

An EGW custom angle bored bushing and matching long nose spring plug. The long nose lets the spring plug line up evenly with the front of the bushing.

Measuring the Barrel

Taking an accurate measurement of the barrel outside diameter is critical when ordering a custom bored bushing. A caliper is good, a micrometer is even better.

Measuring the Slide Bore

A hole micrometer is used to measure the bore of the slide. This is a tool a lot of home gunsmiths won\'t have at hand and will have to substitute.

Brownells Bushing Mandrel

The Brownells bushing mandrel is turned on the lathe and the bushing outside diameter is polished with strips of sandpaper to final fit it to the slide.

The Finished Product

The front surface of the spring plug can be checkered if you want a traditional look. The long nose makes it look right.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Hornady

Hornady's New A-Tip Line of Match Bullets

Hornady Manufacturing, has developed a new line of match bullets. The A-Tip is designed for precision and long-range shooting.

Performance Center M&P Shield M2.0

Performance Center M&P Shield M2.0

From Smith & Wesson, the M&P Shield M2.0 is a great option for a carry gun with optics option.

New addition to the Browning X-Bolt rifle series

New addition to the Browning X-Bolt rifle series

New for 2019 is the Max Long Range model featuring a composite Max stock with fully adjustable comb, spacers for adjusting length of pull, stainless fluted heavy sporter barrel, threaded muzzle brake and extended bolt handle.

The GPO Rangeguide 10x50

The GPO Rangeguide 10x50

If you need to see your game, and know the distance in all hunting environments, the GPO RANGEGUIDE 10×50 is your winning ticket.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The last of Germany's infamous Elefant tank destroyers. Historical

World War II German Elefant Tank Destroyers

Neal S Shera - July 12, 2019

The last of Germany's infamous Elefant tank destroyers.

If you want to keep the peace, keep and bear arms. Don't give up your guns. Any other choice would be ridiculous. 2nd Amendment

Is Red Dawn Really Just Ridiculous? If Not, Who Would Citizen Disarmament Help?

David Codrea - May 29, 2019

If you want to keep the peace, keep and bear arms. Don't give up your guns. Any other choice...

Rhode Islanders are setting brushfires for freedom once again as they advance a Second Amendment Sanctuary Town movement. 2nd Amendment

SPECIAL REPORT: BIG 2A HISTORY BEING MADE IN LITTLE RHODE ISLAND

John Peterson - May 22, 2019

Rhode Islanders are setting brushfires for freedom once again as they advance a Second...

A $50 Ring Loc-Kit gives AirForce Condor airgunners unparalleled power and accuracy. Air Guns

AirForce Airguns Condor Ring-Loc Kit Review

Tom Gaylord - May 29, 2019

A $50 Ring Loc-Kit gives AirForce Condor airgunners unparalleled power and accuracy.

See More Trending Articles

More Handguns

Firearms News editor Vincent DeNiro runs the SCCY CPX-4 through a simple self-defense drill that you can try next time you are at the range. Handguns

Firearms News Looks at the SCCY CPX-4 in .380 (Video)

Vincent L. DeNiro, Editor - November 06, 2019

Firearms News editor Vincent DeNiro runs the SCCY CPX-4 through a simple self-defense drill...

The snub revolver was designed as a companion weapon so it can always be with its owner, and it performs that function admirably. Handguns

Five-Shot Snub Nose Revolvers

Leroy Thompson - September 09, 2019

The snub revolver was designed as a companion weapon so it can always be with its owner, and...

Smith & Wesson is expanding their award-winning M&P Shield EZ pistol series to include the new M&P9 Shield EZ, chambered in 9mm. Handguns

Smith & Wesson Announces M&P9 Shield EZ

Firearms News Digital Staff - December 11, 2019

Smith & Wesson is expanding their award-winning M&P Shield EZ pistol series to include the new...

If the Springfield Hellcat 9mm proves as reliable as the company claims, then this could be a real winner in the concealed-carry market. Handguns

New Springfield Hellcat 9mm Subcompact!

David M. Fortier - September 25, 2019

If the Springfield Hellcat 9mm proves as reliable as the company claims, then this could be a...

See More Handguns

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.