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andresere
December 19, 2014, 07:37
plunger tube install tool. I know the 3 rules of plunger tube install (don't crush, don't crush, don't crush) so I ordered the gunrunner tool from Brownells. I have read that it has two different dimensions, one on each end. The plunger tube that I bought is an Ed Brown, with extended legs. But this will not set down in the tool itself. Looking at it, it looks like a FU waiting to happen. Is this what it's supposed to look like?
http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll166/andresere/RIA/gunrunner006_zpscd595c45.jpg (http://s288.photobucket.com/user/andresere/media/RIA/gunrunner006_zpscd595c45.jpg.html)
http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll166/andresere/RIA/gunrunner005_zpsfc646121.jpg (http://s288.photobucket.com/user/andresere/media/RIA/gunrunner005_zpsfc646121.jpg.html)
http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll166/andresere/RIA/gunrunner004_zps7ee89633.jpg (http://s288.photobucket.com/user/andresere/media/RIA/gunrunner004_zps7ee89633.jpg.html)

MAINER
December 19, 2014, 10:21
It doesn't look right to me. In the secod pic, the right side of the tool channel looks a bit ragged. I think the first blow to upset the rivet would drive the tube deeper into the tool resulting in a loose Plunger tube.

I would measure the gap from the round portion of the tube to the bottom of the channel and from the top of the tool to the flat on the tube to make sure the flat part of the Plunger tube is higher than the top of the tool with the tube seated fully in the channel. Does that make sense?

I would open up the channel of the tool so that the Plunger tube rests on the bottom of the groove. That would ensure the tube isn't going anywhere when the rivets are set. I would at least use a filler to prevent the tube from going deeper in the slot when setting the rivets.

Probably the best solution is to check Brownell's for any instructions they have regarding the tool. Maybe send an e-mail with the pics asking for their input to get the official scoop about it.

andresere
December 19, 2014, 10:46
Do all plunger tubes have the sharp edge? Looking at the slot in the tool, it is more of a rounded half moon which is not the shape of the plunger tube at all.
Depth of the slot in the tool is .147" - total width (lateral protrusion from frame) of plunger tube is .157". The tool won't support the plunger tube. Even if the depth of the tool slot was correct, the incorrect shape would keep the plunger tube from dropping into place (note picture #2). Did I get one made on Friday? :? Every review of this tool says it's good.

MAINER
December 19, 2014, 14:19
Plunger tube usually have sharp edges. I assume this would give a tight fit to the frame with no gaps.

Your E Brown tube does seem to be a different shape than the one on a 1911 that I have here to look at. Mine is much like the "U" shape of your tool. Yours looks to have a "^" shape on the outside section.
I mic'd the width of the plunger tube on a couple 1911's, An AMT goes .150" and a new Colt is .156". Is the EB any wider than that?


I may be reading you wrong, but the .147" depth of the channel in the tool sounds about right. It would need the .010" clearance to apply pressure to the tube and keep it tight against the Pistol frame. Make sense?

It has been many winters since I staked a Plunger tube. I used a piece of maple with a hole bored the size of the tube, then sawed in half.
I made sure I had the Plunger tubes small hole to the front/big hole to the rear of the frame, then Vice grip clamped the wood block with the tube to the frame with a 7/64" drill shank inside to keep from crushing the tube. I also used red Loctite on the studs just for a little insurance. Haven't had a problem with it yet. :whistling:

The builds I've done since were with frames that I made sure to have the tube installed by the factory. Too cheap to buy the tool. :tongue:

andresere
December 19, 2014, 14:34
Width is .157 - .158". Measured from the flat that goes up against the frame to the top of the plunger tube.

andresere
December 19, 2014, 14:40
Plunger tube usually have sharp edges. I assume this would give a tight fit to the frame with no gaps.



Understand more of what you wrote now. I was talking about the edges on the outside top of the tube, not the ones that go up against the frame. If the tube was rounded, it would fit right into the tool. But looking at images on Google of plunger tubes, they are pretty much all shaped like that.

MAINER
December 20, 2014, 12:54
Understand more of what you wrote now. I was talking about the edges on the outside top of the tube, not the ones that go up against the frame. If the tube was rounded, it would fit right into the tool. But looking at images on Google of plunger tubes, they are pretty much all shaped like that.

Oh, those edges, yes, the edges are fairly sharp on my 1911's. Never really noticed that before, probably because they are covered by the Safety and Slide Release. Just a metal part that has been cut cleanly and no radius applied. I don't see why a slight chamfer or at least de-burring would harm anything here.

The .156" width that I was referring to is the tube cross section that fits in the Gunrunner tool. There are two Plunger tubes, one is .156" Milspec and the other is a .1875" (3/16") Oversize. I thought your Ed Brown may be an "Oversize"?

andresere
December 20, 2014, 14:22
From measuring, the Ed Brown is a standard size (5/32"). The tool is supposed to be able to do each type, one per end.

Gazz
December 20, 2014, 23:12
I had purchased a plunger tube staking tool from Brownells years ago. It was made from a pair of vise grips and had a rod or mandrel that was inserted into the plunger tube to prevent it from crushing. You might benefit from using a mandrel with the tool you are showing since it does look like it supports the tube all that well. I would talk to Brownells or the maker of the tool.