Here’s a question for our readers: did you know we have not just one 1911 problem…but several?
Oh yes. We have the obvious problem, of course: a very expensive 1911 habit. We also have the issue of trying to keep our 1911s well fed, on the salaries we take from a print magazine, more than thirty years after the great Egon Spengler declared it: print is dead. Of course he also collected spores, mould, and fungus, so overall he may not have been the best judge of where the world is headed.
But aside from having to borrow money from our girlfriends to pay for fistfuls of 230 ball, we have the problem that comes up for all custom 1911 connoisseurs: how do you get your absurdly tight barrel bushing off?
Enter Dan Dreams Fabrication.
Dan Farrell of Dan Dreams Fabrication dreams big, and he dreams of 1911s. We knew this would be a great fit for us, so we snapped up a couple of his 1911 bushing wrenches, in colours we’d be able to find on our perpetually cluttered workbench.
The 1911 Autowrench is pretty straightforward – it’s a soft enough aluminum that the wrench will scratch instead of the gun, and you can have it anodized in a bunch of colours. We’ve got a lot of 1911s here, and we couldn’t find one it wouldn’t fit, from Government down to Officer’s models. So let’s get the Autowrench out of the way: it works, it works well, and if you need a bushing wrench, you can get it from a Canadian company in all kinds of colours (and believe us, tools in tactical hard-to-see colours are stupid; tools you can find are awesome) and you’re not going to get violated by any exchange rate, so now is the time. Buy Canadian.
But where things get really interesting is the Gripwrench. Specially designed for pulling tight bushings, the Gripwrench lets you twist the bushing to its removal slot, then, by flipping the wrench around, you can slide a gripping arm over the back of the bushing, pulling it out without using the gun itself as a slide hammer. If you’ve got tightly fitted 1911s, this thing is pure genius.
With enough testing, we did manage to find a gun that we couldn’t quite fit the Gripwrench on without relieving a tiny section of the rotating grip arm; that was a Baer UTC with a heavy slide. That’s life with 1911s; lots of them are built to crazy specs so it’s basically impossible to build a tool that will interface with every conceivable variation. Relieving the wrench to work on the one oddball gun took about a minute, and it’s probably just two items at the edge of their own tolerances. It wouldn’t hold us back from getting one at all, simply because after using the Gripwrench, pulling tight bushings the old way just seems…uncivilized. Check out the new method HERE.
And to give you an idea of how much use ours are getting, just have a look at the pics. We’re stripping every gun we own, and for this photoshoot, we brought out all of our 1911s.
Well, all of our customs, anyway.
Well, all of our blued customs.
That had dark cherry grips.
And were chambered in .45ACP.
Did we mention we have a 1911 habit?