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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How do I perform basic disassembly, reassembly, and maintenance
of my Ed Brown 1911?
Please view our video demonstration on basic disassembly, reassembly, and maintenance of your Ed Brown 1911 below...
Having been in the gun business for over 40 years, and having been a major manufacturer for over 20 years, Ed Brown Products is one of the very few who actually are, what we say we are. We have our own 17,500+ square foot manufacturing facility right here in Perry Missouri containing 25 of the latest, most sophisticated CNC's. These machines are supported by the latest design and machining software including SolidWorks, MasterCam and GibbsCam. The Brown family oversees the all machining and assembly operations, and performs the final testing on every single firearm we make. Competitors find it convenient to imitate us in their marketing, but they cannot match our facility or track record.
Ed Brown started the business as a gunsmith, and became world famous as such, being named "Pistolsmith of the Year" in 1991 by his peers. In 1998 his two sons Travis and Wade joined the business and the company has evolved into cutting-edge firearm engineering, innovation, and manufacturing. In days past your only option for a quality custom handgun was a one man shop with high prices and long delivery times. Ed Brown 1911's are light years ahead of what any gunsmith can produce today. When a part needs fitting or adjustment, the gunsmith's only possible solution is to file it, bend it, weld it, pound on it, tweak it, and tinker with it until it works. That's after waiting months for a mixed bag of components to get delivered. The Ed Brown way is to redesign and remanufacture the part correctly, under our own roof on our own equipment, so a team of highly skilled craftsmans can fit it properly the first time. The end result is a much nicer and more consistent product than any gunsmith could ever produce, at a lower cost and shorter delivery time. With an Ed Brown 1911 you get a fully engineered and perfected, consistent product, which will perform better, last longer, have faster delivery, be backed by a written warranty, be customizable, and cost much less. When you invest in an Ed Brown firearm, you get a 1911 of the highest quality that simply cannot be beat.
Those in the industry know and choose Ed Brown as their first choice. The top firearms dealers in the country stock and recommend Ed Brown. Cabela's chose us as their first high end 1911 for their famous gun library. Jeff Cooper's family chose Ed Brown to manufacture the Jeff Cooper pistol to commemorate his legacy. The majority of reputable gunsmiths have used Ed Brown parts for many years. Many manufacturers both large and small outsource their OEM production to Ed Brown. Why not go straight to the source for your next firearm?
Our Why Ed Brown page will help you learn more about our manufacturing philosophy. To see and handle our firearms, visit any of our Authorized Dealers across the nation, simply contact us to find one near you. We have also created a video tour of our facility online, where you can sneak a peak at forgings and bar stock steel being machined into some of the world's finest firearms.
But enough about us, what about our customers? Our customers are serious about performance and appreciate the highest quality money can buy. They desire in their personal handgun the track record and experience that Ed Brown Products provides. They favor the traditional concepts that have been proven to work for over a century now. Many of our repeat customers say we make the finest firearms available, anywhere, from anyone, at any price. Don't just take our word for it, see for yourself when you examine our work, and listen to what the industry experts and our customers have to say.
Ed Brown received his FFL and began business as a part-time gunsmith in 1968 under the name "Brown's Gun Shop". For 20 years on evenings and weekends, he honed his skill, experience, and reputation as one of the world's finest pistolsmiths, while during the day he worked as a tool and die maker, CNC programmer, and CAD/CAM designer. Many remember some of his early innovations such as the Maxi-comp recoil reduction system, and his contributions to the 38 Super integral feedramp barrel design for competitive shooters. Ed began shooting IPSC and Bianchi Cup in 1980, and was ranked in the Top 16 of the World as a championship combat shooter.
Frustrated over the years by the second-rate quality of 1911 parts he had to work with, he began to envision a full line of quality aftermarket parts of a completely new design. On March 30, 1988, this vision became reality when he quit his day job as a tool and die maker to launch his parts business. Within months, the world's largest firearm components distributor, Brownells, added Ed Brown's famous beavertail, maxi-well, and hammer to their catalog. Parts production began to take off, while demand for Ed's gunsmithing work continued to increase. His gunsmithing career peaked in 1991, and he was awarded "Pistolsmith of the Year" by his fellow Guild members, a prestigious honor awarded only to those who have shown the highest degree of honesty and craftsmanship in their work. That same year, Ed announced he was changing his focus from gunsmithing to parts manufacturing exclusively, as time was too limited to effectively do both.
Ed Brown Products, Inc. incorporated June of 1992 to manufacture a complete line of 1911 components and accessories. Custom pistol work was no longer being accepted.
In 1998, after manufacturing all the major components of the 1911, Ed's two sons Travis and Wade joined the business full time. A new direction was established - the design and manufacture of a complete line of Ed Brown firearms, to include not only the 1911 but also a proprietary line of bolt-action rifles. The next few years were invested in plant expansion and R&D for the design and manufacture of the Ed Brown 1911 frame and slide. Years of intensive prototype development and testing required the Brown family to fire thousands of rounds through their new line of 1911's.
In 2001, after selling primarily direct to retail customers, the Brown family began to selectively establish a dealer network across the country for Ed Brown firearms.
Today, Ed Brown Products, Inc. operates in a state-of-the-art 17,500+ square foot facility. We have invested over $8,000,000 in the latest, high-tech CNC equipment which turns forgings and bar stock steel into some of the world's finest firearms. Leading edge technology is gracefully combined with traditional, old-world craftsmanship under the direct supervision of the Brown family. Our track record now spans 40 years of success, and our complete line of innovative 1911 parts are widely recognized as among the best. Ed Brown 1911 handguns represent the pinnacle of engineering, hand craftsmanship, and performance, and our goal as a family owned business is to continue that legacy into the future.
To ship to an FFL in your area, we must have on file a current copy of their signed FFL. If you would like to purchase a firearm and you do not have a FFL, check with your local gun shops, sporting goods stores, or pawn shops for a licensed dealer who can accept shipment for you and handle the legal transfer. FFL dealers generally charge a small paperwork fee, and shipping regulations dictated by common carriers require next day air service for shipment of handguns. All Federal and State regulations apply to all firearm sales.
Retail Parts Sales
Dealer and Distributor Sales
Warranty & Disclaimer
The following sections explain in detail how to proceed should you need to return an item for any form of exchange, refund, or repair:
Return Merchandise Authorization Number (RMA#)
Ed Brown Products, Inc.
Order Mistake or Defective Item purchased from Ed Brown Products, Inc. (excluding firearms
Order Mistake or Defective Item NOT purchased from Ed Brown Products, Inc. (excluding
firearms and CD-ROMs)
Yes, we have a lifetime warranty. If you ever need service on your Ed Brown firearm, we are here for you. It doesn't matter what the reason is, how old it is, or whether you are the original owner. We never look for reasons to turn away service calls...if you've got an Ed Brown firearm and you have a problem, we are here to help you.
In addition to the excellent service we offer, effective April 10, 2007, all Ed Brown firearms include a legal written limited lifetime warranty as well. We are the only high end 1911 manufacturer to our knowledge who offers a legal written lifetime warranty on firearms, which demonstrates the confidence we have in our product. Anyone can claim their service is the best (and most do), but to go a step further and put it in writing in a legal warranty is something that Ed Brown Products, Inc. does, and the others avoid.
All Ed Brown parts continue to be sold as is and without any legal written warranty. No liability is expressed or implied for incidental or consequential damage or injury which may result from the improper use or installation of any parts sold or produced by Ed Brown Products, Inc.. Our parts are intended to be installed by a qualified gunsmith, and parts and firearms sold by us are only intended for factory specification standard velocity ammunition. Any verbal representations made by us related to installation, should be confirmed with your gunsmith to assure safe operation in your particular firearm.
At Ed Brown Products, Inc., we hold the privacy and the security of our customers in the highest regard. To earn your trust, we respect your privacy in handling personally identifiable information relating to you and your transactions with us. We have taken numerous precautions to guard your security while making purchases with Ed Brown Products, Inc..
What personally identifiable information does Ed Brown Products request,
and what do you do with it?
If you have subscribed to our email newsletter, we will use your email address only for sending the newsletter. You may unsubscribe at any time by following the instructions included at the bottom of each newsletter email. We do not sell your email address, or share your email address with anyone else.
Is ordering online secure?
Once you have completed your order online, our security procedures do not end. We take extra precautions to protect the security and privacy of the information stored on our computers. The systems which store your credit card information for processing are not connected to the internet, reducing the likelihood of security breaches. Our systems are also housed in secure facilities, and access by our employees is limited to a "need to know" basis, and controlled by a password protected system.
If you are still unsure of giving you personal information over the internet,
please feel free to contact us by phone, fax, or mail at:
Other privacy information
In accordance with federal law, we do not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from children under age 13 without the verifiable permission of a parent or guardian. If you are under age 13, you are welcome to browse our web site. However you are not permitted to use any of the features of our site that require the collection of any personally identifiable information. If we determine that we have erroneously collected a child's information, we will immediately undertake to delete that data from our records.
This privacy statement was posted on February 14, 2007. We reserve the right to change our data practices from time to time. The current Privacy Statement will always be posted online. If we revise our Privacy Statement, you may decline to permit us to use your personally identifiable information under the new policy by notifying us as described above.
For firearms, we accept personal checks, cashier checks or a money order. Certified funds ensure the fastest delivery. Personal checks are held for a minimum of 10 days for clearance. Credit cards are not accepted for the purchase of firearms.
For parts sales, we accept Mastercard, Visa, and Discover credit cards, in addition to the above forms of payment.Return to Top
Please contact us for current delivery estimates. We do sell direct and can arrange for pick up, or shipment to any FFL of your choice. We also sell through a nationwide network of authorized dealers.
As we are a manufacturing facility and not a retail store, we do not accept trades and have no inventory of used Ed Brown firearms. Please try our Authorized Dealer network if you'd like to trade or are looking for a pre-owned Ed Brown. Our commitment to excellence and quality prohibits us from releasing any manufacturing "seconds" to our customers.
No, we do not. However we do offer an installation service for Ed Brown parts. Download the installation service order form (adobe pdf format) for details.
Yes, we offer Gen III firearm coating. While this coating represents the third and latest evolution in coating technology, and offers superior rust protection and improved wear resistance over traditional bluing, we continue to advise that there is no coating currently available anywhere which never wears and keeps your gun looking like new forever. Gen III coating is now standard on many of our handguns, and optional on other models. We are also now offering Gen III coating on any previously purchased Ed Brown handgun. Download the installation service order form (adobe pdf format) for details.
We will be at the 2013 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, NV, January 15-18, booth #15858, displaying our products.
The owner's manual for Ed Brown firearms is in Adobe PDF format, and available free of charge. Download Handgun Owner's Manual.
To stay up to date with new products and promotions, sign up for our email newsletter, sent periodically throughout the year.
We offer a historical search via serial number, and provide a factory letter of authenticity. Many customers are curious about this information, and find that it adds to the value of the firearm upon resale. The letter of authenticity includes...
1. Official letter on Ed Brown Products, Inc. letterhead, proving the authenticity
of the serial number.
Information required: Name, address, and phone number of the person requesting the letter of authenticity, and the complete serial number of the firearm. Cost is $25. Please contact our sales staff via telephone or email with the above information to purchase a letter of authenticity.
Ed Brown guns are capable of producing the accuracy the highest quality ammunition is capable of. With a 45 ACP, this is about 1 1/2" at 50 yards. A common misconception is that a gun has to be extremely tight to be accurate. What is required to reach the accuracy potential is consistent lock up of the critical components. Any tighter than zero movement is useless, and can only reduce reliability and detract from handling. It doesn't have to be tight, it just has to be right.
There are no significant functional or quality differences in our handguns - each represents the best engineering, manufacturing, and craftsmanship we have to offer. They are divided into different models mainly because of cosmetic finishing differences and different features. Under extremely precise testing, the 5" models are slightly more accurate than the 4.25" models, however it is very difficult to notice any practical (handheld) difference.
There are no significant functional or quality differences in our handguns - each represents the best engineering, manufacturing, and craftsmanship we have to offer. They are divided into different models mainly because of cosmetic finishing differences and different features. Under extremely precise testing, the 5" models are more forgiving and inherently more reliable due to the additional slide travel, however it is very difficult to notice any difference with the 4.25" models when handled properly.
We recommend replacing the recoil spring every 3000 rounds. Our 5" models are equipped with an 16.5# recoil spring as standard, while the 18# is generally preferred for heavier loads. Our 4.25" models are equipped with a 20# spring.
Our Classic Custom pistols are furnished with two-piece guide rods. They smooth out the cycling slightly, add a bit of weight to the muzzle, and may increase the life of the recoil spring. They do not enhance the accuracy or reliability of the gun, therefore we do not include one with the Executive series or Kobra series. If you would like to have a guide rod, they are a simple part to install as they drop right in. The two piece design is recommended, because it is so easy to disassemble and reassemble.
This prevents primer flow if hot loads are used and prevents a 45 ACP rim from hanging in the firing pin hole during the feeding cycle.
We have what is probably the most extensive testing session of any firearms manufacturer. The gun is triple checked in different stages throughout the manufacturing process, and extensively test fired with a variety of ammunition before leaving our facility. Because of our commitment to quality and our investment in the latest manufacturing technology, we enjoy one of the lowest defect rates in the entire firearms manufacturing industry.
Some slides have numbers or letters stamped inside. These are lot codes for heat treating, not serial numbers. They have nothing to do with the serial number on your frame.
Ed Brown handguns with fixed sights are set to impact approximately point of aim 25 yards using Federal American Eagle 230 grain ammunition. Variation in grip, ammunition, or people's eyes can affect the point of impact. If you feel the gun shoots too high or low for you based on the grip and ammunition you are comfortable with, we can custom install a higher or lower front sight at your request.
We recommend high quality Federal or Winchester ammunition, and nothing else. In our years of testing and experience, ammunition by these makers has proven to be of consistent high quality. The core of our function testing is done with Federal 230 grain FMJ, which is great self-defense ammunition. For accuracy, the Federal 185 grain Gold Metal Match ammo tends to produce the best groups.
80 series guns have a firing pin block mechanism, while 70 series do not. If you aren't sure which you have, 80 series parts will work in both series 70 and 80 with no negative effects. Ed Brown handguns are all series 70.
No, we use no MIM parts in Ed Brown firearms. While the current thinking is that MIM parts are "good enough" for firearm applications, this thinking doesn't fit with our philosophy at all. All Ed Brown parts are made from either forgings, bar stock steel, or quality investment castings.
The trigger pulls are set at a crisp 3.5 - 4.5 pounds that will last for thousands of rounds due to the fully machined components.
Yes, we offer a special blend of synthetic oil (part #960) intended for the lubrication of Ed Brown 1911's. It works perfectly with both stainless and blue steel, as well as our Generation III coating. A bottle is included with all new firearms shipped, and you can purchase more direct from us.
Stainless steel is more rust resistant, and costs a little more. There is no other significant difference between the two with regard to any attribute of a 1911 - accuracy, longevity, durability, etc. are all virtually identical between the two. We have been building all stainless guns for many years from high quality 416 stainless steel and there are no problems with galling.
The fundamentals are simple and easy. Like all fundamentals they are the source of most problems people experience.
1. Use high quality ammunition, such as Federal or Winchester.
2. Use high quality lubrication, and keep the firearm well lubricated and clean.
3. Maintain a firm grip on the firearm throughout the entire firing cycle. The 1911 is a recoil operated firearm.
4. Make sure your recoil spring is correctly matched to the ammunition you are shooting. When you have the proper weight recoil spring for a particular load, ejected brass should land 8-12 feet away. If brass is falling within a few feet of you, your spring is too heavy for that load. If brass lands more than about 12 feet away, your spring is too light for that load. Either case leads to reduced reliability. A common problem is a novice shooter trying to "shoot anything and everything" through his 1911 from 185 grains up to 230 grains without considering the proper recoil spring setup. Another common problem is the novice buying a carry gun with a shorter slide, then shooting the hottest personal protection ammo he can get, while ignoring the recoil spring and ejection pattern. For the ultimate in reliability, we recommend choosing a consistent high quality load and sticking with it once it's proven to work well with your particular setup.
Absolutely...we have always been a full custom shop and remain true to our roots. We have an extensive list of custom options on the handgun order form, and can do special quotations in a timely manner - just tell us what you want. Popular requests are two-piece guide rods, mag-wells, or different trigger pull weights. We frequently custom build Kobra Carry's and Executive Carry's without the bobtail option, and Kobra's and Executive's with the bobtail option. Some customers prefer no engraving on their slide. Others like front cocking serrations on their slides. Slim grips, lanyard loop housings, short triggers....the list goes on and on. Extensive personalization is available on our in-house laser engraving machine, whether it be custom text, fonts, etc.
Please note, due to California regulations, no options or changes are possible to California models before they leave our factory. After the California dealer has transferred the firearm to you, you may return it to us for changes if you wish. Also, we are currently not building handguns in any caliber other than 45 ACP. We built our reputation by building the world's most reliable, high performance guns which have been extensively tested and proven in a variety of situations, and the 1911 pistol was designed around the 45 ACP cartridge. We do however occasionally offer special runs of different calibers, sign up for our email newsletter to stay informed.