What part of grip mounting is most important?
- Never shoot with loose bushings! It will destroy the bushings and likely damage the frame.
- Do not over tighten grip screws! It will damage wood grips and will not help with hard grips (G10, ivory, aluminum, etc.) Do not use the long arm of a hex wrench (Allen wrench) to tighten grip screws. 10 in-lbs is sufficient and more is detrimental.
- Use O-rings! If you have challis bushings, use our bushing O-rings, they will give you superior grip mounting. If you are not usings challis bushings we recommend you get some, but if not, use our grip screw O-rings where possible.
- Be very careful when removing any slotted bushing! It is very easy to strip the top off of these bushings. If you notice any widening of the slot, stop and find a better tool. If you don't, you will destroy the bushing and likely scratch your frame when the screwdriver slips off the bushing. If your bushings don't come out easily, please use our bushing extractor (absolutely the best solution) or another tool made specifically for removing grip bushings.
Do I need special sized holes or counterbores in my grips to use Hex Drive Bushings? No. Our bushings are the same diameter as standard 1911 bushings. Occasionally we have found a grip-maker that uses non-standard counterbores that are not compatible with our bushing O-rings, but this is rare.
Are the Hex Drive Bushings a special size? Our full size bushings are the same size as a standard 1911 grip bushing. Our slim bushing stands 0.112” above the frame, which is higher than other slim bushings, but an excellent size for most slim grips. Our slim bushings are for use with grips not less than 0.185” thick. The most common slim grips are about 0.190” thick. Our extra slim bushings are for grips between 0.156" (5/32") and 0.190" (~3/16") thick
Will the Hex Drive Bushings work with my gun? If you have a 1911 made in the United States, our bushings will fit your gun. They have a standard 0.236-60 external thread. Our repair bushings (oversize) have a 0.255-60 external thread. All our bushings can be used with grip screws having the standard 1911 threads: 0.150-50.
Should I buy O-rings to use with my Challis bushings? YES. They are the best part of our bushing system. The bushing O-rings are most important because they prevent the shock that causes bushings and grip screws to loosen. The grip screw O-rings is less important but recommend it because it further absorbs the shock of recoil. Use of O-rings with our bushings is the best way to keep your grip mounting secure and help prevent damage to the most important and expensive part of your gun, the frame! Please use them.
Do I need to use O-rings with Hex Drive Bushings? No. Without O-rings they will perform the same as standard 1911 grip bushings. However, there are several benefits to using both O-rings. (1) They prevent abrasive grips from scuffing the frame by shifting during discharge. (2) They prevent grip screws from loosening. (3) They provide an overall tighter grip mounting for optimal performance. (4) The Hex Drive feature is helpful when installing and removing the bushings…the O-rings are helpful every time you fire your gun.
Will the Challis O-rings work with standard 1911 grip bushings? The grip screw O-rings will work with any 1911 grip screw. Challis bushing O-rings are for use only with Challis Hex Drive Bushings; they are not compatible with standard 1911 grip bushings. If you don't have our bushings, use of grip screw O-rings will help keep your screws tight and will also contribute to keeping the bushings tight.
How are the Challis Grip Screw O-rings different than the #60 O-rings that have long been used to prevent loose screws? They both prevent grip screws from loosening, but our O-rings are much smaller and will not cause the grip screws to stand proud of the grip like #60 O-rings do.
Are special tools required to install or remove Hex Drive Bushings? No. they can be driven by a standard 7/32” nut driver. They can also be driven with a socket wrench, but great care should be used to avoid excessive torque, which can strip the bushing and possibly the threads in the frame. We sell a high quality nut driver that is well suited to the task. It can be found in the tools section of the parts store.
How much torque should be used to install Hex Drive Bushings? We recommend 18 in-lbs torque when installing our bushings in a steel and aluminum frames.
Should Loctite be used when installing Hex Drive Bushings? If our bushings are installed with the proper torque and used with the bushing O-rings they do not require Loctite. If you feel the need to use Loctite, we recommend blue.
How is your Frame Repair Tap (oversize) different than other taps? It saves a step and assures the proper size of hole. It will cut the same size threads as similar taps, but it has a special grind on the end that reams the hole to the proper size prior to cutting the threads. There is no need to use a drill to size the hole before tapping. As with any tap, a guide should be used to hold it perpendicular to the frame.
When should I use Repair (oversize) Hex Drive Bushings? These bushings have a larger external thread and are used to repair a stripped frame. Only use them if you have stripped threads in your frame. A special tap is required to cut the oversize threads. Our Oversize Tap is an excellent tool with our special reamer grind that sizes the hole before cutting the threads.
What is different about the Challis Bushing Extractors? Our extractors are firmly attached to the bushing with a grip screw prior to removing the bushing. They will remove most bushings even if staked or installed with Loctite. They are patented.
Will the Challis Slim Bushing Extractor remove all slim bushings? It will remove most slim bushings, but if the bushing is less than 0.060” (~1/16”) above the frame, it will not remove them. They will not remove VZ Grips® universal bushings which have a non standard slot size. Use my Colt Defender Bushing Extractor for removing super-short bushings.
Will the Challis Bushing Extractors remove all slotted bushings? There are some bushings (VZ Universal) that have a narrower slot than a standard 1911 grip bushing. If the slot is narrower than 0.045”, our extractors will not work. The full size extractor should be used for full size (standard) bushings, which stand ~0.170” above the frame). The slim extractor should be used to remove slim bushings which stand about ~0.060" (1/16)above the frame. Bushings less than 0.060”, such as are used on the Colt Defender, cannot be removed with our slim extractor, Use my Colt Defender Bushing Extractor for these super-short bushings.
Why is the Slim Hex Drive Bushing so much taller than the common slim bushing? One reason is that it has to be taller in order to have a sufficient hex to transfer the installation/removal torque. The fact is that most slim bushings are too short to properly support the mounted grips. This is because the typical counterbore on the bottom of the grip is about 1/16” deep and the typical slim bushing is about 1/16” tall. This leaves little or no overlap to resist side loads applied to the grips during discharge. If the bushing doesn’t extend a material distance into the through bore the grip screws have to carry the load which they are not intended to do. Unless a grip is less than about 0.185” thick, our Slim Hex Drive Bushings are far superior to a standard slim bushing. The most common slim grips are about 0.190” thick.
Is it necessary to remove staking or heat Loctite in order to remove standard 1911 bushings? The Challis Bushing Extractor will remove most bushings that have been staked or installed with Loctite. In some cases a bushing will need to be heated to soften the Loctite in order to remove it. Caution should be used when removing staked bushings from an aluminum frame as the threads in the frame can be damaged...if you are unsure, it is safest to seek help from a pistolsmith familiar with 1911s.
How many O-rings should I buy? We suggest you purchase a set of 8 bushing O-rings for every set of four bushings. If you remove your grips often, it is a good idea to buy 24 grip screw O-rings because they do their job by getting smashed and will therefore wear out after several uses.
How much torque do you recommend for grip screws? When using the Challis Hex Drive Bushing system with both bushing and grip screw O-rings we suggest the grip screws be installed with 5 in/lbs of torque for wood grips. Higher torque may cause the wood to crush over time. Up to 10 in/lbs can be used for hard materials, but with any grip material 5 in/lbs is sufficient to hold the grips tight and prevent grip screws from loosening if you are using our O-rings. More torque is detrimental.
When should I use Extra Slim Bushings? Extra Slim Bushings should be used for grips that are less than 0.185" thick. They are not suitable for grips that are less than 0.156" (5/32") thick