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….
Today I’m going to go ahead and walk you through a real basic field stripping of your 1911. First thing you want to remember is go ahead and get your safety glasses on. We’ve got a lot of Springs in the gun that are under tension.
The next thing you’re going to want to do is remove the magazine from the gun and double-check and make sure that there’s not any rounds in the chamber. First thing that I like to do is pull the slide back so that lines up with the
Once you’ve got that lined up you can reach in from the other side, and push it out like so, and then just pull that out, and that’s your slide stop. You’ll notice I’m holding the gun just like this I can handle all the tension of that slide. I can hold it exactly where I want and I’ve still got one hand that’s totally free.
This next step is kind of important. You want to go ahead and ease that slide forward and as you start to push it off the frame you want to have your hand here to control that recoil spring so it doesn’t just go jumping out on you.
As you slide the frame off, go ahead and squeeze hold of that recoil spring keep it from jumping out. Set the frame down, and as you can see I’ve got that spring captured right here with my left hand and this is kind of a crucial point because that spring is really wanting to jump out of there.
All you got to do then is I just use my right hand to go ahead and control that as it comes out of there, and just control it as it’s coming out of there.
Next thing comes out gonna go ahead and pull out your recoil spring plug, set that to the side and then you can just give your barrel a little twist and it comes right out the front there.
And that’s all there is to it.
This is an alternate method for disassembly, and when your Ed Brown firearm if you want to you can use an Ed Brown bushing wrench, and stand your gun up like so.
Depress your plug twist the bushing and remove the plug first once you’ve got the plug out of the way you can ease the slide back to the disassembly notch remove your slide stop.
Pull your slide off your frame then remove your recoil spring, guide, barrel, and bushing.
Okay now that we’ve got the firearm all disassembled, I’ll go over a couple of quick cleaning tips with you. What I like to do is get you a cleaning rag, any rag will do, doesn’t have to be fancy or anything.
Then I’m gonna grab some Ed Brown firearm lubricant. You can get that off of our website or call the office and order that.
You just put a little bit on a rag here. First place I start with, the frame, there’ll be a lot of unburned powder residue down on all these little crevices. I usually go ahead and wipe all those off with a rag. It’s all you really need is just an oily rag to wipe this stuff off, you don’t need to get too aggressive with it.
Take the slide clean off the breach face right here and there’s a couple of little nooks and crannies up in here, or I like to usually use the corners of the rags to kind of get down in there and wipe anything off.
Next step is go ahead and take your barrel and use your rag to wipe off any any unburned powder residue or anything on the exterior of the barrel and then I’d also go ahead and put a couple of drops on a bore mop and scrub that just give it a few swabs, just so I can get any unburned powder or get any wet residue or anything like that out of there.
Now we’ll begin the reassembly procedure. Gonna want to go ahead and just slide your barrel in from the front like so. Make sure that your link is in the forward position there. Go ahead and get your bushing into position, it’ll go in just like that, and then you just give it a quick little twist to go ahead and line that up. Let your barrel slide back into engagement.
Next step is take your plug, I usually just go ahead and slide that in from the back like so. you’ll see it goes ahead and lines up with the bushing perfect.
Next thing that I want to do is make sure that this link is backwards like that, the barrel is going totally back as far as it’ll go. I take my recoil spring recoil spring guide and insert a recoil spring into the back of the plug there,
there’s a little half circle cut out here on the bottom of your recoil spring guide that needs to be on the rounded portion of the barrel right here. It’s a little tough to do but just compress that all the way in there and hold it like so once you’ve got that recoil spring captured just like that, I grab my frame and slide that on to the slide. Once the dust cover makes contact with my middle finger I go ahead and release that finger, slide it on a little bit more, then I release with my ring finger, slide it on a little bit more. Once it hits my pinky, slide it on the rest of the way.
Once you’ve got to slide on the frame, push the slide back, take your slide stop, and I go ahead and slide that in and then put that right underneath your slide stop plunger. Pull the slide back till the slide stop notch (I’m sorry
the disassembly notch) lines up with the bottom of the slide stop there. Push it up and in ease your slide forward and your gun is reassembled and ready to go.
Basically you would start with your slide, insert your barrel, twist your bushing all the way around like so. Slide your recoil spring and recoil spring guide. Make sure that your link is in the up position, and the half round cut out on your recoil spring guide is on the rounded portion of your barrel. Then go ahead and slide that on to your frame.
Once you’ve got that on, line up your disassembly notch and go ahead and insert your slide stop, and lock that into position.
Now take your plug, and set that on top of your recoil spring, and for this part I’m going to go ahead and have to pull a gun back here into my lap so I can control everything up close like this.
You basically have to take this bushing wrench push your plug all the way down into position and then give your bushing a little twist with your bushing wrench until it lines up and pops back out.
Once you’ve got that into position everything is lined up perfectly, you’re back in action and ready to go.
Now that your Ed Brown firearm is all reassembled I’ll go ahead and go over a couple of lubricating steps with you. First thing I like to do whenever I get to the range or whenever I’m done cleaning it or maybe before I put it away in the vault. Go ahead and lock your slide back with your slide stop notch then with the barrel pointed down towards the ground I’ll usually take the Ed Brown firearms lubricant and put a drop or two on each of the slide rails.
Next I hold the gun horizontal like this go ahead and put a drop or two on the end of the barrel. You’ll usually see a couple of scratches where your bushing locks up, then I usually go ahead nd put one or two more drops up here on the top of the barrel, then just go ahead and work it back and forth and kind of distribute that oil on the inside of the gun.
Then if I’m going to go ahead and put the gun back in the vault, I’ll usually take a rag with a little bit of the Ed Brown firearms lubricant on it and go ahead and just wipe down all the metal parts just to kind of go ahead and put little bit of oil on them and kind of protect them from any kind of corrosion or anything like that. And then you’re basically ready to go ahead and put it back in the vault or put it in the holster and go out to the range or whatever you’re going to want to do with it that day.
If your firearm is equipped with a two-piece guide rod, this is the additional step for disassembly.
Insert your 5/32 allen wrench into the corresponding notch, turn it counterclockwise, remove it from the gun, and from there continue to
disassemble using your preferred method.
After reassembly the one additional step for a two-piece guide rod is to lock the slide in the open position, re-insert your guide rod, and snug with your 5/32 allen wrench, and now you’re done.
If you’re converting your Ed Brown 1911 to a two-piece guide rod these are the parts that you’ll be exchanging: your recoil spring guide for the guide rod head, your recoil spring plug for the guide rod plug, then just re-assemble the firearm using your preferred method.
Due to the thin slide and heavy chamfer, the takedown notch is less visible on the Evo series.
Once you have located the takedown notch, pull back the slide to align the slide stop catch with the takedown notch in the slide. Control the top of the gun while pushing the slide stop pin out as far as possible from right to left, then pull it out completely. You can then proceed with the disassembly as shown at the beginning of this video.
Sales, Return, Service and Privacy Policies
What is your sales policy? How do I buy an Ed Brown firearm?
What is your return policy?
What is your service policy? Do you have a written warranty on your products?
What types of payment do you accept?
General Sales Questions
What is the delivery time on your firearms? Do you sell direct?
What type of accuracy are your handguns capable of at 50 yards? Which models are most accurate?
How reliable are your handguns? Which models are the most reliable?
What if I want some custom handgun options – can you accommodate my requests?
What is the trigger pull on your handguns?
Do you offer any special finishes or coatings on your firearms?
Do you accept trades, or sell any used Ed Brown firearms?
Will you be exhibiting your products at any trade shows?
Disassembly, Reassembly, Maintenance and Proper Handling
How do I get the maximum reliability out of my Ed Brown 1911? What are the fundamentals of 1911 handling?
How often should the recoil spring be replaced? What recoil spring is used in the Ed Brown 1911’s?
What type of ammunition do you recommend for your handguns?
Do you recommend any particular type of lubrication?
Why do you use a 9mm size firing pin in your handguns?
Is the serial number on my 1911 frame suppose to match the number inside the slide?
Do guide rods increase accuracy? Do any of your handguns come with a guide rod?
What is the difference between 70 and 80 series guns? Are Ed Brown handguns 70 or 80 series guns?
Do Ed Brown handguns have any MIM (metal injection molded) parts?
What is the difference between stainless and blue steel? Does stainless steel gall?
Are the handguns tested before they leave your facility?
How are the fixed sights set up? What is the point of aim?
Newsletters and Manuals
How can I get a copy of the owner’s manual for my Ed Brown firearm?
Do you have a newsletter or mailing list I can subscribe to?
How may I get information about a previously built Ed Brown firearm I own, or plan to own?
Where can I find installation instructions for Ed Brown parts?
We sell direct through our website and can ship to any FFL (Federal Firearms License) holder in your area, who will handle the transfer paperwork. We also sell through authorized dealers across the United States. To order direct, place your order online, or mail in the firearms order form. If you would like to see and handle before you buy, contact us for help locating a stocking dealer in your area.
To ship to an FFL in your area, we must have on file a current copy of their signed FFL. Check with your local gun shops, sporting goods stores, or pawn shops for a licensed firearms dealer who can accept shipment for you and handle the legal transfer. FFL dealers generally charge a small paperwork fee. Shipping regulations dictated by common carriers require air service for handguns. All Federal and State regulations apply to all firearm sales.
Retail Parts Sales
There is no minimum order. Online orders over $100 get free economy shipping (typically FedEx ground or USPS Priority). Orders less than $100 are shipped flat rate at $14.95 per order for continental US orders (typically FedEx ground or USPS Priority). Orders to Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are shipped via USPS Priority Mail. Please allow 2-3 business days for processing time. Acceptable forms of payment include MasterCard, Visa, certified check or money order. Personal checks are accepted but held a minimum of 10 days for clearance. If you send a check, do not forget to include $14.95 for shipping or your order will be delayed. Orders can be placed online, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mailed to Ed Brown Products, PO Box 492, Perry, MO 63462. Be sure to include an email address or phone number with your mail order, should we have a question about your order.
Dealer and Distributor Sales
Please contact us for details on becoming a dealer or distributor.
Retail: please contact our distributors Brownells or Midway USA. Dealers: please contact our international representatives Global Defense, Worldwide Sports Network or Black Arsenal.
Our regular business hours are 8am to 4:30pm Central Standard Time, Monday through Friday.
Warranty & Disclaimer
Effective April 10, 2007, all Ed Brown firearms include a legal written limited lifetime warranty. We are the only high end 1911 manufacturer to our knowledge who offers a legal written lifetime warranty on firearms. 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.
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#)
In order to process your return in the fastest way possible, an RMA# is REQUIRED to be on the outside of ANY returned package. Returns without an RMA# on the outside of the package will be refused. Contact us to get an RMA#. We will locate your customer record and purchase history in our system and provide you with a RMA# (return merchandise authorization number) for the item you would like to return. A sample return shipping label is provided below:
Ed Brown Products, Inc.
RMA#: (your provided RMA# here)
43825 Muldrow Trail, PO Box 492
Perry, MO 63462
Order Mistake or Defective Item purchased from Ed Brown Products, Inc. (excluding firearms and
- Contact us within 30 days of the invoice date to get your RMA#.
- Return the wrong or defective item(s) back to us prepaid in the original packaging along with a note stating which item(s) you expected to receive.
- We will process the return promptly. Any price difference will be charged or credited accordingly. Only new, unused parts will be accepted for exchange or refund, but we understand installation mistakes can happen, and are willing to sell you a replacement at a discount if you return the modified part. Returns for other reasons no fault of our own are subject to a 20% restock fee. Shipping charges are non-refundable.
Order Mistake or Defective Item NOT purchased from Ed Brown Products, Inc. (excluding firearms and CD-ROMs)
Any Ed Brown Products, Inc. purchased through any of our dealers or distributors must be returned direct to them for any type of exchange or refund, subject to their stated return policy.
Due to the nature of the CD-ROM business, all sales are final on any opened CD-ROM. Defective CD-ROM’s will be replaced only with an identical item.
Firearms may be sent direct to Ed Brown Products, Inc. (RMA# required) for evaluation or repairs, even if purchased from a dealer, and even if more than 30 days have passed since the date of purchase. Exchanges or refunds do not apply to firearms. Shipping and insuring high value firearms is expensive (the average is around $80) and the rules are complex. If you need to ship an Ed Brown firearm to our factory, use our Basic Service Package to get a huge discount on Round-trip shipping, and an shipping label emailed to you. Slides or parts only (except frames) may be sent via US mail, fully insured and prepaid. Please note that even a handgun frame only, is considered to be a firearm by ATF and common carriers. You can generally expect turnaround of less than two weeks for a firearm evaluation or repair.
We value feedback from our customers, as it helps us keep up the good work, as well as improve our products and services. Feel free to contact us anytime with feedback on any of our products or services, website, etc. We want to hear from you!
Yes, we have a written 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?
Any information provided by a customer may be used to process your orders or requests and to identify you within our systems, such as your name, address, telephone number, or email address. We may use your contact information such as your email address or telephone number, to contact you if we have any questions about your order. We do not use your credit card information for any purpose beyond fulfilling your order.
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?
The credit card information you enter on our website is strongly encrypted by industry standards. This encryption makes it extremely difficult for anyone to intercept and misuse your information while it is being transmitted to our secure server.
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 or mail at:
Ed Brown Products, Inc.
P.O. Box 492
Perry, MO 63462
Other privacy information
We contract with third parties to provide specific services to you. For example, we use a credit card company to issue credit, verify, bill, and collect payments when you make a purchase with a credit card; an outside shipping company such as UPS, FedEx, or the US postal service to ship your orders. These service providers are provided with only the information that they need to perform their functions and are not permitted to use or disclose your personally identifiable information for other purposes without your authorization.
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.
We accept Mastercard, Visa, Discover and American Express credit cards, cashiers check, or money order. We will also accept personal checks, but they are held a minimum of 10 days for clearance.
Please see the delivery page where we post current delivery estimates. We do sell direct and can arrange for shipment to any FFL of your choice. We also sell through a worldwide network of authorized dealers.
Please refer to our Trade-Up program. Our commitment to excellence and quality prohibits us from releasing any manufacturing “seconds” to our customers, though we do offer factory-certified trade-ins for sale that were traded in under our Trade-Up program.
Yes, we offer our own Gen4 firearm coating. While this coating represents the fourth 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. Gen4 coating is now standard on many of our handguns, and optional on other models. We also offer Gen4 coating on any previously purchased Ed Brown handgun.
Annually we attend the industry SHOT show, held in Las Vegas, NV, booth #13409. The 2023 SHOT Show is scheduled for January 17-20. This is a dealer only show, and we attend for the purpose of spending face to face time with our dealers across the country, and to show them our new products. If you’d like to see and handle before you buy, please contact us with your location to find a dealer in your area.
We will be exhibiting at the 2023 IWA OutdoorClassics Show in Nuremburg, Germany in the Brownells, Inc. booth. Show dates are March 2-5.
We will be exhibiting at booth number 4226 at the 2023 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits held in Indianapolis, IN. Show dates are April 14-16.
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. You can sign up via the form at the bottom of any page on our website. We never share your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
We can provide you with a factory letter of authenticity by searching your serial number.
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 3,000 rounds. Ed Brown 5″ Government models are equipped with an 16.5# recoil spring as standard (our part number 9165-G), while the 18# recoil spring (our part number 918-G) is generally preferred for heavier loads. Ed Brown 4.25″ Commander models are equipped with a 20# recoil spring (our part number 920-C). Flat wire recoil springs, used in the EVO series 4″ pistols, have a much longer service life.
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 most 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 for 45 ACP is done with Federal 230 grain FMJ, which is great self-defense ammunition. For accuracy, the Federal 185 grain Gold Medal 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 or bar stock steel.
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 Gen4 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.
- Use high quality ammunition, such as Federal or Winchester.
- Use high quality lubrication, and keep the firearm well lubricated and clean.
- Maintain a firm grip on the firearm throughout the entire firing cycle. The 1911 is a recoil operated firearm.
- 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 custom shop and remain true to our roots. With over 100 custom options available, you can truly have it your way, and create a one-of-a-kind handgun. See our Build page to create your own custom firearm, get instant pricing, delivery estimate, and submit the order online to our sales staff for quotation and consultation.
In addition to all the options, extensive personalization is available on our in-house laser engraving machine, whether it be custom text, fonts, etc. If you already own an Ed Brown, and are considering more custom options to be added to your pistol, we can do that as well, see our Basic Service Package for details.
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 via our Basic Service Package for changes if you wish.