Additional Information

Site Information

 Loading... Please wait...


Colt 1911 Hand Gun Restoration through Ultrasonic Cleaning

From the long-established Colt company, the Colt 1911 hand gun (also called a Colt M1911) is one of the most popular firearms offered. The unassuming Colt 1911 .45 caliber model is a semi-automatic pistol with a simply designed slide. Adopted by the US Military in 1911, the Colt M1911 pistol is famous for its serviceability and reliability. The Colt 1911 fire arm has seen action in different army forces across the globe and has been a standard option for its capabilities. Like all other guns, however, the Colt 1911 (or Colt M1911) requires proper maintenance for top working condition. To optimize your Colt 1911, make sure your firearm is clean inside and out.

If you own or service a Colt 1911 .45 pistol, also called a Colt M1911 or similar handguns you will definitely appreciate how an ultrasonic gun cleaner can save time and effort when it comes to cleaning and maintaining the weapon. An ultrasonic weapons cleaner is fast, thorough and safe because unlike some solvent washers and aerosol sprays, today’s ultrasonic gun cleaning solution is biodegradable, minimizing disposal problems with spent solutions.

Here you will learn:

  • How an Ultrasonic Gun Cleaner Works
  • How to Select and Set Up your Ultrasonic Weapon Cleaner
  • How to Disassemble, Clean and Reassemble your Colt 1911 .45 Pistol

How an Ultrasonic Gun Cleaner Works

Ultrasonic cleaners are used in a wide range of applications to remove virtually any soil or contamination with the power of cavitation action. Cavitation action describes the implosion of billions of minute bubbles in the ultrasonic cleaning solution as they contact all components of your Colt 1911 Handgun. The bubbles are created by generator-powered ultrasonic transducers bonded to an ultrasonic cleaning tank and typically operate at an ultrasonic frequency of 37 to 42 kHz (37,000 to 42,000 cycles per second).

The imploding bubbles quickly and safely remove grease, powder residues and other contaminants that could interfere with reliable operation of your Colt 1911 handgun. So tiny are the bubbles that they penetrate minute cracks, crevices and blind holes impossible to reach with conventional hand gun cleaning tools. The ultrasonic weapons cleaner will complete the job in less than 15 minutes. Meanwhile you can attend to other activities.

How to Select and Set Up your Ultrasonic Handgun Cleaner

A bench or table-top ultrasonic cleaner such as the LR617 along with its lubricating pan is ideal for sporting goods shops, servicing departments and the serious hand gun collector cleaning one or two handguns at a time. Whatever the model and size ultrasonic handgun cleaner you use there are steps to take before you start the cleaning operation by following the manufacturer’s operating instructions.

  1. Fill the ultrasonic weapons cleaner tank to the fill line (or approximately 2/3 full) with water and an ultrasonic cleaning concentrate diluted per manufacturer’s instructions. We recommend CLN-LR215 diluted 1 part to 10 parts of water.
  2. In the same way, fill the auxiliary lubricating pan with an ultrasonic gun lubricating solution and place it into the ultrasonic cleaner tank. Ready-to-use CLN-LR212 is a good choice. Make certain that the bottom of the lubricating pan is in contact with the cleaning solution.
  3. Turn on the ultrasonic cleaner and operate the unit for about 30 minutes to drive off cavitation inhibiting entrained air in both the cleaning solution and the lubricating solution. Degassing is complete when bubbles stop coming to the surface. Note that this step must be performed every time you use fresh cleaning or lubricating solutions.

How to Disassemble, Clean and Reassemble your Colt 1911 Hand Gun

Step 1: Disassembling the Colt 1911 Handgun

Safety tip! Ensure the weapon is not loaded. Unload your Colt 1911 by pressing the magazine release button on the left side to eject the magazine. Now hold the slide and pull to the rear. If the chamber is loaded, pulling the slide back should unload the round. However, make sure to still check for any round in the chamber.

After you’ve field stripped your Colt 1911 pistol, remove the grip panels with a screw driver and set these aside. Lift out the safety latch by prying into the space between the latch and the frame. Be careful not to scratch the frame. Pull out the small plunger spring and its end piece near the latch.

The standard beavertail, sear spring and the mainspring housing will come right out. To remove the mainspring, push into the mainspring housing pin and gently release spring from its housing. Using a small tool like an allen key, push out the headless pin holding the hammer. The hammer should fall out. Pull out another headless pin which holds the sear and disconnector. Both pieces will fall out. Push into the magazine release and turn the screw head. In the piece, twist the small spring so the notch slips out of the grove and slowly release the spring tension. The trigger will drop out of the frame.

Voila! Your Colt 1911 hand gun has been successfully disassembled. Its parts are now ready to be cleaned using an ultrasonic cleaner.

Step 2: Cleaning the Colt 1911 Pistol

Use the weapons kit brushes and tools to remove powder residues, bullet shavings, carbon and other loose contaminants. Tip: If the weapon is extremely dirty it should be cleaned using hot water to prepare the cleaning bath.

Put the hammer in the cocked position. Lift the star shell ejector and place a spacer between the star and cylinder to enhance cleaning action. Position your weapon parts in the mesh basket in a way to avoid air entrapment. Lower the basket into the cleaning solution and set the timer for 7-10 minutes. Cleaning time depends on the condition of the weapon.

At the end of the cycle remove the handgun components from the bath. If they are not clean replace them in the bath until the cleaning is complete. Do not reach into an operating ultrasonic bath. Remove the basket from the bath if you want to inspect or rearrange the parts.

After cleaning rinse the parts in fresh water to remove all traces of the cleaning solution, shake them to remove excess water and allow them to drain. Compressed air will aid in this process.

Return the weapon parts to the basket.

Next place the lubricating pan into the ultrasonic cleaner again making certain that the bottom of the lubricating pan is in contact with the ultrasonic cleaning solution. Put the basket into the lubricating solution and set the timer for 10 minutes. Ultrasonic waves will pass from the ultrasonic cleaning bath to the lubricating bath and thoroughly lubricate the weapon parts.

After the lubricating step remove the parts and allow them to drain. Do not blow dry. Inspect then oil the parts according to the manufacturer’s instructions before reassembly.

Step 3: Reassembling the Colt 1911 Firearm

After using the ultrasonic cleaner, you can now reassemble all the parts of your Colt 1911. To reassemble the Colt 1911 frame, start with the trigger and put the longer end of the trigger at the bottom. Piece the magazine release together by slipping the spring inside the small housing. Compress the spring and turn the notch into its grove. Now, insert the magazine release into the frame and twist the top with a small screwdriver until the notch snaps into place inside. Check the trigger and the magazine release by depressing the trigger.

Insert the small plunger spring back into position. Drop the disconnector in place. It should fit into the small hole inside the top of the frame. Making sure the circular slots line up, insert the headless retaining pin for the safety latch. You may have to move the sear and disconnector inside to align the holes.

Assemble the mainspring housing next. The mainspring should contain the spring itself, a pointed end piece and a flat retaining end piece. Insert the spring into its housing, pointed end first. Push this in carefully and when compressed, slip the headless pin in to lock it into place.

Drop the sear spring into position in the handle portion of the frame. Its end should sit into a small notch. Set the beavertail in, ensuring the hammer strut is in the middle of the beavertail. While pressing the beavertail, slip the mainspring housing in enough to hold the pieces together. Insert the safety latch to hold the beavertail. Now press the mainspring housing in fully and insert the headless pin near the end of the handle to lock everything. You may need a hammer to push this in.

You can now check the functioning condition of the unloaded frame. Make sure the hammer does not hit the frame. You can screw back the grip panels. Proceed to piece together the slide and fit everything back.

Congratulations! You have just reassembled your “brand new” Colt 1911 pistol.

Additional Weapon Cleaning Tips

Oils that rise to the surface of the bath should be skimmed off and disposed of properly. When the ultrasonic handgun cleaner solution becomes discolored or cleaning takes longer it is time to replace it. Drain the tank and dispose of the spent solution according to local regulations. Take the time to remove sludge that settled to the bottom of the tank then clean the tank.

Questions: Visit or Contact the iUltrasonic ultrasonic cleaning experts at 973 821-3406

Disclaimer: This advice is not provided by a licensed gunsmith. Follow at your own risk. We assume no liability for any damages caused by following the advice in this article.


Your information is secure and will not be shared with a third party or spammed