Fitting The 1911 Barrel Part 3: The Link

Fitting The 1911 Barrel Part 3: The Link

In Parts 1 and 2 of this series, we fitted the hood and lugs of a Kart barrel to our pistol. Next, we will select a link. The sole function of the link is to unlock the barrel. It should never be used to increase lockup.

When the pistol is fired, the slide and barrel begin moving to the rear together for a very short distance until the link pulls the barrel down out of engagement with the slide as it continues to the rear. As the slide moves forward to chamber the next round, the bottom lugs ride the slide stop back up into position.

Links are selected based on the distance, center to center, between the two holes. Sizes are available from .268" (Wilson #1) to .288" (Wilson #5) or larger. A standard link measures .278" (Wilson #3). The slide has been tightened on our project gun, which involved beating the rails down, so we will need a link a bit shorter than the standard one.

Remember, the bottom lugs lock the barrel and the link unlocks it so we don't want any hard contact between the link and slide stop when the barrel is locked.


The inside top surface of the link should be slightly lower than the lug locking surfaces. A few thousandths is fine. When the slide stop is held against the lugs up and to the rear in normal firing position, you should be able to wiggle the link slightly fore and aft. That movement indicates it is not binding. In this case a Wilson #2 (.273") link fit nicely.


The link pin should fit the hole in the barrel snugly so it doesn't fall out when the pistol is disassembled. Link pins are available in sizes .154" and .156" and the link pin hole can be adjusted with a reamer if necessary. A .154" pin slid into our Kart barrel with a nice press fit.

Check link-down clearance with the slide stop. It should follow the contour of the barrel lugs closely as it moves from locked to unlocked position without binding on the corner of the lugs. If it hits the lugs, you can clearance the inside bottom of the slide stop hole slightly with a chain saw file and radius the corner of the lugs a bit where the lug cutter left a sharp angle.

Assemble the barrel, slide, bushing and slide stop on the stripped frame and manually function the pistol to check for any binding during unlocking/locking.

In Part 4 of this series we will fit the barrel bushing.


Links

Links are available in a variety of sizes identified by a number stamped on them. The size indicates the gap between the holes. These are by Wilson Combat.

Link

Select a link that is slightly shorter than the distance between the link pin and locking lugs. The link's function is to pull the barrel down on firing.

Slide stop

Move the slide stop through its normal range of motion to check for interference with the lugs. To should follow the barrel lug contour closely.

Slide stop

When holding the slide stop hard against the top rear of the lugs in lockup position, you should be able to wiggle the link slightly.

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

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Shooting the 20mm Lahti

Shooting the 20mm Lahti

David Fortier had the chance to fire the Lahti L-39 while filming the 2018 season of Guns&AmmoTV while on location at DriveTanks.com.

3 Ring Silencers

3 Ring Silencers

Patrick Sweeney heads to the range to look at suppressors from 3 Ring Silencer Corporation.

Gemtech Suppressors: Testing the Patrolman, the One and the Tracker

Gemtech Suppressors: Testing the Patrolman, the One and the Tracker

Patrick Sweeney tests and reviews a trio of Gemtech suppressors.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The Masada is IWI's first striker-fired pistol and is an accurate, good looking polymer handgun that has a great trigger. Handguns

IWI Masada Pistol Review

Bob Taubert - August 19, 2020

The Masada is IWI's first striker-fired pistol and is an accurate, good looking polymer...

The Mossberg 590A1 Retro offers the proven durability and reliability of the M500 and M590 models with the enhanced combat utility of a military “trench gun.” Shotguns

Mossberg 590A1 Retro Shotgun Review

Leroy Thompson - August 24, 2020

The Mossberg 590A1 Retro offers the proven durability and reliability of the M500 and M590...

In the golden age of daily carry options, the Springfield Armory Hellcat OSP pistol is a helluva deal! Handguns

Springfield Armory Hellcat OSP Review

Patrick Sweeney - August 12, 2020

In the golden age of daily carry options, the Springfield Armory Hellcat OSP pistol is a...

Virginia Republican Rep. Glenn Davis introduced two pro-2A measures in a special session that are designed to partially roll back some restrictive laws. 2nd Amendment

Fighting Back in Virginia

Mark Chesnut - August 24, 2020

Virginia Republican Rep. Glenn Davis introduced two pro-2A measures in a special session that...

See More Trending Articles

More Gunsmithing

On the bench in front of me was a customer's M&P Shield he'd dropped off complaining about the Gunsmithing

Apex M&P Trigger Kits

Gus Norcross - July 11, 2014

On the bench in front of me was a customer's M&P Shield he'd dropped off complaining about...

There was a time (a couple decades ago) when most 1911 front sights were staked in place as John Gunsmithing

How to Stake a Trijicon 1911 Front Sight

Gus Norcross - May 29, 2014

There was a time (a couple decades ago) when most 1911 front sights were staked in place as...

This article will walk you through the process of building a Glock pistol from an 80 percent frame. Gunsmithing

How To Build a Glock From an 80 Percent Frame

Gus Norcross - August 13, 2020

This article will walk you through the process of building a Glock pistol from an 80 percent...

For accurate shooting, a gun must have weight. A properly balanced gun will feel 20 percent lighter in the hands. Gunsmithing

Firearms Weight, Balance and Handling

Jim Dickson - September 04, 2020

For accurate shooting, a gun must have weight. A properly balanced gun will feel 20 percent...

See More Gunsmithing

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE

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

Get Digital Access.

All Firearms News subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now