The Infinity Firearms® Magazine well available for traditional single stack 1911 pattern guns demonstrates that it is possible to build a better mousetrap.
This magazine well attaches to the firearm by means of a specially machined mainspring housing. The lower front portion of the mainspring housing is machined to allow a projection from the magazine well to interlock around the mainspring housing retaining pin.
Two specially designed bolts "snug up" the mainspring housing are fully captive, which provides a few benefits:
- The magazine well will remain in place even if these bolts are loosened. The bolts serve to "snug up" the magazine well so there is absolutely no possibility of movement, but do not need to be tightened to hold the mag well in place.
- These bolts cannot be lost. They are captive, and can only be removed after the magazine well has been removed from the gun.
- Appearance - the "snake eye" holes used for Allen wrench access to these bolts are much smaller in diameter than the bolts.
- Insert a 1/16" Allen wrench into each of the snake eye holes, and rotate at least 1/2 turn clockwise. These retaining bolts have a narrow non-threaded section in the middle which bears against the mainspring housing pin when the bolts are rotated counterclockwise. The key here is that you are not "unscrewing" two parts, but shifting an interlocking "key" away from the pin upon which it bears.
- Drive the mainspring housing out of the gun, by inserting a drift punch into the dimpled end of this pin.
- Remove the mainspring housing by pulling down.
- Since this magazine well overlaps the grips, the grips must be installed before the magazine well.
- Assemble the gun including the specially machined mainspring housing1, but do not insert the mainspring housing pin.
- Make sure the two bolts are captive in the magazine well, and adjusted so the mainspring housing retaining pin can move freely without bringing on the bolts. (refer to the top left figure on this page for an example of the proper orientation).
- Remove the mainspring retaining pin from the magazine well, and place the magazine well on the gun.
- Insert the mainspring retaining pin, and use a 1/16" Allen wrench in each of the "snake eye" holes to rotate the bolts counter clockwise until they are snug.
1 - This write up assumes that the reader is already familiar with the procedure for installing the mainspring into the mainspring housing prior to assembly. If you are simply removing and then re-installing an existing Infinity® Traditional Single Stack Magazine Well, the mainspring housing will already contain the mainspring. If you are installing a new mainspring housing, and need to install the mainspring, please consult a reference on 1911 gunsmithing, and re-read the note at the top about eye protection before proceeding.