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· Premium Member
875 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have noticed a lot of guys are personalizing their PT1911's with polishing the accessories... trigger, hammer, ambi-safety, slide-stop. Some are paying a gunsmith to just strip and polish, and that's OK, but you can save yourself money by doing the task yourself.

First... you need to research a disassembly guide for the PT1911

I have posted information I researched which will take you to be bare slide or bare frame... http://www.taurusarmed.net/forums/index.php?topic=2063.0

Second... assemble your tools.

You can do everything in the polishing department with a dremel tool, the small felt buffing wheels, a container of Naval Jelly (found this at Lowe's) and Mothers' Aluminum Polish (Wal-Mart).

Coat the part with the Naval Jelly and it will dissolve the bluing... you can strip a whole gun the same way... paint it on, wait about 10 minutes and then wipe it off. Since the Naval Jelly is caustic, I use rubber gloves and paper towels for the first part, then water to wash away residue and then spray down with WD-40 for moisture displacement. Remember that before you try to refinish parts with Duracoat, etc., you will need to degrease.

You can try polishing compound, but I've found that the Mother's Aluminum Polish will cut through surface crud... even bluing if you can't find the Naval Jelly... just takes longer... and leaves the piece with a high gloss finish.

I've also found that you don't have to coat these pieces... just make sure that at every cleaning they get rubbed down with an oily or silicone cloth. I've gone a year so far with pistol parts without rust... so I think unless you are in a very corrosive environment, or accustomed to not cleaning your guns after ever outing, you will be fine.

Easiest or Hardest Items to Polish

Slide Release... obviously this is something you take out each time you clean your gun.


Right side... remove the right grip and use a knife blade to loosen the part while pulling on it. There is nothing else that had to be removed to work on this part.

Left side... read the disassembly instructions. Get a good rubber band on use it to hold down the grip safety so it doesn't move. With the slide off, cock the hammer and wiggle the safety while pulling it up to the safe position and it will come out. Remember that the thumb safety also holds the grip safety in place... so unless you want to do both at once... make sure the rubber band holds the grip safety in place.

Grip Safety

Once the thumb safety is removed, you can remove the grip safety. However reinstalling the grip safety requires that you unpin the main spring housing and slide it down... the grip safety has two tabs that are held behind the MSH and cannot be installed with the MSH in place.


With the thumb safety removed, you can unpin the hammer (from right to left)... with the MSH removed there is no tension on the hammer so it is easy to remove. Remember the PT1911 is a series 80 pistol which means that part 4.17 Firing Pin Block Lever is located on the hammer pin on the right side. When you remove the hammer make sure you locate the little "L" shaped part that drops free.

I didn't try to work out every recess and hole in the hammer. I did make sure I cleaned the traction grooves on the top of the hammer by letting the felt wheel work the Mother's paste down into the grooves. I also didn't try to remove the Taurus key safety from the hammer. It cleaned up fine without those ultimate touches.

Reassembling the hammer is mostly about getting the hammer lever on the pin and facing in the right direction... look very closely as the schematic. Follow the reassembly instructions and you'll be OK even those you may have to work on getting the hammer strut back into the MSH during the last step... be patient, it will work.


The trigger is the most difficult piece in the gun to polish because it require a total disassembly to accomplish it. The sear, disconnecter and the 4.16 Trigger Block Lever have to be removed... easy to remove, but a pain to reassemble, and the magazine release button... easy once you have done it. The trigger slides out. The faint of heart may wish to (1) leave it in the black, (2) have a gunsmith do this task (3) enlist a trusted 1911 guru to help you, or (4) patiently follow the directions. I did a lot of reading before I stripped my first 1911 and got comfortable with doing it. The two series 80 levers required at least an extra hour of reassembly time because I got obsessed with the hardest way to do it... read the post and take heart.

The Frame or Slide

It seems challenging, but once you've gotten to the trigger, the frame is bare. Coat it with Naval Jelly to strip the old bluing and then either coat it with Duracoat, or burnish it with a brass wheel to give it a brushed stainless steel effect. You can seal it with a clear coating or try to see how long it goes before it picks up any rust... a light oil cloth should keep the gun clean for a long time.

The slide is easy unless you have problem with the sights. They need to be removed before you deal with anything.

So... go and personalize!

· Registered
121 Posts
Nice write up! It's tempting me to polish my accessories, but I am looking for that old, holster worn look for the finish...kinda like that perfect pair of boots or that favorite pair of jeans look. I just think the worn look looks great on a 1911! Although, I want a SS PT1911 when the come out!!

· Registered
18 Posts
I put some new grips on mine, and now would like to polish the hammer and trigger, but eventually I want to recoat my pistol with something more durable. Looks like from your write up I will try the hammer first since it seems the easiest to get out.
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