How to Replace a 1911 Colt Barrel Link Pin

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The Colt 1911 .45 pistol was the standard issue for U.S. military personnel until it was replaced by the 9-mm Beretta in the 1980s. This pistol is still manufactured and used today, and very little has changed about its mechanical operation. Occasionally the Colt 1911 will need maintenance and possibly the replacement of a part such as the barrel link pin. To replace the barrel link pin you'll need to know how to field-strip the weapon.

Ensure that the pistol is unloaded completely. Remove the magazine. Pull the charging handle to the rear and look inside the barrel breach to ensure that no ammunition is present.

Slide the charging handle forward. Press the recoil spring plug inward and twist the barrel bushing in a clockwise direction until the recoil spring plug is visible. Keep your finger pressed on the recoil spring plug and slowly release the pressure, allowing the spring and plug to come out. The spring and plug will pop out if you don't keep pressure on the spring plug.

Pull the charging handle to the rear until the slide release lever becomes aligned with with the slide's circular notch on the slide's left side.

Push on the right side of the release lever to push it through the pistol to the left. Grab the release lever from the left side and pull it off of the pistol. Push the charging handle forward, off of the weapon, and remove the recoil spring guide.

Turn the barrel bushing counterclockwise and remove it. Move the barrel link forward to the muzzle end, then lift and remove the barrel from the charging handle.

Place the barrel in a padded gun vise with the barrel link pin facing up.

Place a punch onto the right side of the link pin and gently tap the link pin out with a plastic hammer. Once the link pin is pushed and is protruding on the left, hold the barrel link and wiggle the pin out or give it one final tap to remove it. These two parts are small and easy to lose.

Reposition the barrel link into its groove on the barrel, lining its center hole up with the link pin holes. Position the new barrel link pin into its hole at the right side and tap it gently with the plastic tap hammer until it seats in the hole. Place the punch on the pin and tap it in until it's in the correct position, flush with both sides of the barrel link.

Reassemble the weapon by reversing Steps 1 through 5.


  • Never attempt maintenance on a loaded weapon.
  • Never point a Colt 1911 at anything that you do not intend to shoot or kill.


  • Note the position and placement of all parts that you remove, and also how you remove them. This will help with reassembly.


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