The Colt model 1911 is among the most recognizable handguns in the world. Designed in the early 1900s as a universal side-arm for the various branches of the United States armed forces, the 1911 has been in steady production ever since its inception. One of the most touted features of the popular handgun is the inherent simplicity in its design; the 1911 is able to be broken down and reassembled without using a single tool outside of your hands.
Slide the barrel backwards into the front of the slide--the front of the barrel should be pointing forward--as far as it will go. The front of the barrel will poke out of the front of the slide a bit. Don't worry. This is how it should be.
Place the bushing--the small round piece with an extended fang-like plate on the face--over the protruding part of the barrel and swivel the plate so the "fangs" are pointing off to one side.
Place the recoil spring onto the recoil spring plug--the long metal peg--with the smaller end going over the peg. Slide the whole assembly into the lower part of the slide through the spring-hole. The spring will stick out several inches beyond the slide.
Place the whole slide back onto the frame and slide it all the way back so that the slide clicks into the "open" position, then press it forward so that the take-down notch aligns with the similar notch on the frame. These will need to be aligned properly so that you can install the "slide-stop" lever back into the frame.
Insert the slide-stop lever into the round hole on the left-hand side of the 1911 and push it in until you hear it click into place.
Push the slide all the way forward and hold it firmly in place, then use your free hand to push the recoil spring all the way into its hole. Once the spring is in the hole, push the spring cap plug in over the spring and twist the bushing down so that the plate secures the plug in place.
Rack the slide back once and dry-fire the 1911--make sure that there is no magazine in the pistol before doing this--to ensure that all the parts have been reassembled properly.