Here is my 1913 colt. I posted a while back about John Browning, the inventor who was responsible for this gun, among many others. I wanted to see exactly what it was that he accomplished with this gun design, exactly 100 years ago (this model was first made in 1911).
Beginning of the basic "field strip". This is a partial breakdown of the gun to clean the top half, the area that gets the most contamination from powder residue and dirt. It is also a procedure that doesn't require any tools, and there are no micro parts to get lost. First step, take out mag, empty chamber, remove barrel bushing to release tension on the recoil spring...
Ok, this is what a complete "field strip" looks like. kinda complicated, but not impossible to understand. This is about as deep as, most 1911 owners go. Since mine is 98 years old, I figured I better go a bit deeper because before me, the poor thing probably sat in some jerrie's bedside table for 60 years.
Ok, wow... about an hour later I have broken down every single component inside this gun. In reality, the only part that really struck me as "insane" was the trigger mechanism. There is an amazing relationship between the trigger, hammer, grip safety, and manual safety. To think that this was designed by a Mormon 100 years ago, making prototype modifications with tiny files and crude machine tools is mind-blowing. This design was so revolutionary that 100 years later no one has really come up with a better design. Glocks are probably the most different, and there are some "rotating bolt" pistols out there, but even they share most of the design cues with this gun. My friend Joe has a 1991 colt, and the parts are interchangeable- awesome! Oh, by the way, you probably shouldn't try this at home, because re-assembling it wrong may result in it blowing your face off- seriously. I'll probably get some hate mail from a gunsmith for this post...oh well. Dont worry dad, I put it back together right!