How to Disassemble your 1911 Airsoft Pistol for Basic Maintenance

How to Disassemble your 1911 Airsoft Pistol for Basic Maintenance

1911 Pistol Background

The 1911 is a single-action, semi-automatic pistol, and is one of the most popular pistol models used to play airsoft. With a real steel design dating back to 1911, there are numerous variants, but most designs will share many of the unique characteristics and basic maintenance guidelines covered in this document.

Serving as the standard-issue sidearm for the United States Armed Forces from 1911 to 1986, the 1911 still remains in service in some US military units and other organizations worldwide - a testament to the genuis of its design. The 1911 is firmly entrenched in both history and popular culture, and has been widely featured in video games such as the Call of Duty and Battlefield series, and modified versions of this pistol have been featured in films like John Wick (see the super popular  Baba Yaga Hi-Capa model from SRC) and The Punisher.

1911 Airsoft Pistol Components

1911 Airsoft Pistol Component Description and Function

1. Slide. A moving assembly that houses the barrel and internal working components. During operation, the slide will move back and forth as part of the loading and firing processes, functioning the same way as it does for the real firearm.

2. Barrel. An outer barrel assembly that houses the inner barrel and hop up unit, and is located inside the slide.

3. Front Sight. A fixed aiming point used to align the pistol with its target by sighting down the length of the top of the slide.

4. Rear sight. A floating aim point affixed to the top of the slide, used to aim the pistol in conjunction with the front sight. The rear sight is adjustable, and changes the reference point to the front sight when adjusted.

5. Hammer. A weighted steel hammer, spring loaded when cocked. The hammer strikes the gas valve to release the pressure in the system, which in turn fires the BB down the barrel.

6. Hard Safety. A hard toggle that locks out the firing function, preventing the gun from firing unless disengaged. On most 1911 series pistols the hard safety cannot be engaged unless the hammer has been cocked.

7. Grip Safety. A spring-loaded assembly that depresses flush with the grip when squeezed. If the grip safety is not disengaged by squeezing the grip, the grip safety will prevent the pistol from firing. This is designed to stop the 1911 from firing accidently if dropped or mishandled.

8. Trigger. The component actuated to fire the gun.

9. Trigger guard. Part of the grip assembly that helps prevent the trigger from being actuated by accident.

10. Grip. The lower half of the pistol, it contains the working components and acts as a carrier for the trigger assembly and houses the magazine.

11. Magwell. The opening at the bottom of the grip for the magazine to slide into and lock into position.

12. Mag Release. A push button that releases the magazine from the grip when depressed.

13. Tactical Rail Mount. A Picatinny rail that allows a flashlight, laser or other tactical accessory to be mounted to the grip. Not all 1911 series pistols come with a tactical rail.

14. Slide Catch. The slide catch is a spring-loaded bar that is pushed up to catch the slide in the rearwards position when there is no longer any ammo in the magazine. The magazine must be in place inside the grip in order for the slide catch to engage. Otherwise, it must be manually manipulated into place.

15. Slide Catch Point (Slide). The notch in the slide used by the slide catch to hold the slide in the rearward position.

16. Takedown Relief. A cut notch that allows the slide catch to be removed, so that the pistol may be disassembled for maintenance and tuning.

1911 Airsoft Pistol Disassembly and Basic Maintenance

In order to perform basic maintenance on the 1911 airsoft pistol platform, you will need to separate the slide from the grip. Step-by-step instructions are as follows:

1911 Airsoft Pistol with Slide Locked Back

  • Clear all ammunition from the pistol and remove the magazine.
  • Cock the hammer so that it does not interfere with the movement of the slide, and pull the slide to the rear position.
  • Allow the slide to travel partially forward, aligning the rear of the slide catch with the takedown relief.
  • Once aligned, firmly grasp the slide and frame with one hand to hold them in position, and use your other hand to push on the slide catch from the right-side of the gun towards the left (directional references are as if you are holding the gun and pointing it downrange at a target). The slide catch should slide freely through the takedown relief and then out of the body.
  • Once the slide catch has been removed, there is nothing holding the slide in place on the grip. Slide the grip forward and off of the frame.

1911 Airsoft Pistol with Slide Separated

  • Once the slide has been separated, the hop up can be seen as per Example 3. To adjust the hop up, rotate the wheel clockwise to increase hop, and counter-clockwise to reduce it.
  • At this stage, basic maintenance can be performed, lubricating all moving parts and contact points with a light coat of silicone oil. Only use silicone-based oil. Never use a petroleum-based oil as it will damage the components of your airsoft pistol.

How to Remove the Barrel on a 1911 Airsoft Pistol

Removing the barrel on a 1911 airsoft pistol is something every 1911 owner should know how to do. This can be done as follows:

1911 Airsoft Pistol Barrel Threads

  • Push the Recoil Spring Guide away from the hop up assembly, towards the front of the slide.
  • Once the Spring Guide has unseated from the hop up assembly, disengage it from the slide and remove it. You should be able to push on the front of the Recoil Spring Cap to push it out of the slide.
  • Once the Recoil Spring Cap has been disengaged, the Barrel Retention Cap can be rotated counter-clockwise and pulled out of the front of the slide. Be mindful that it is under spring tension.
  • Having removed the Barrel Retention Cap, you can now slide the barrel assembly forward and out of the slide for further maintenance.

1911 Airsoft Pistol Disassembled

Reassembling your 1911 airsoft pistol is straightforward. You simply have to reverse the steps you took to disassemble your pistol.

Got stuck? Have questions? We're here to help -

2023 Sep 23rd Badlands Inc Tech Department

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