Hand-Picked Daily GUN DEALS, and Exclusive Coupons Codes >>>

[Guide] 1911 Frame & Slide Break In

Want a silky smooth 1911 slide? We cover our favorite technique to break in your 1911 slide and frame.

In this how-to, I’ll be covering how to break in your 1911 frame and slide with polishing compound so everything feels smooth like glass.

I did the following after shooting about 200 rounds in my new gun just to make sure that everything worked before I started modifying.

I used car polishing compound for paint since it is much finer grit than what I had on hand for metal polishing.  I always err on the safe side and don’t mind polishing for a little bit longer rather than possibly taking off too much material.

I’m basing this tutorial off of Nic Taylor’s excellent video on YouTube.  He’s a competitive shooter and his videos have taught me tons about the 1911 platform.

First, disassemble your 1911 completely and put a small amount of the polishing compound on the rails.  Then, put the slide back on and hold onto the slide with two fingers and start moving gently back and forth.

1911 Slide Break In
1911 Slide Break In

After a good amount of back and forth action, you’ll feel the compound start to wear out.  I put on some more and get back to work.  The goal is when the slide is at the rear and you tilt the frame toward the ground, the slide can easily fall off.  For my STI Trojan, the fit was already pretty good so I only needed to add extra compound twice.

Here are some before and after pictures of the frame and slide.  You can definitely tell where the polishing compound helped to accelerate the normal break in.

Before After Slide Break In Frame
Before After Slide Break In Frame
Before After Slide Break In
Before After Slide Break In

Make sure to clean up the compound really well (I used a big spray bottle of gun cleaner) or else the compound could get into other parts of your gun and cause premature wearing out.  I then oiled and reassembled my gun.

It felt a lot smoother like my other 1911 which has around 3000 rounds through it.

The Best Gun Deals, Coupons and Finds

Subscribe to Pew Pew Tactical's sales and deals email.

2 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    Jeff Wright

    A friend of mine asked me to do a trigger job on his new Remington R1 1911. When he brought it over I was astounded at how loose the slide was. We took to the range and on a rest I can't get it to do any better than a 3" group at about 20 yds. The slide on this thing has side to side movement as well as up and down. I know I can remove the up and down with penning the rails but how do I get rid of the side to side movement?

    Thanks for your help

    November 20, 2016 9:55 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      Hi Jeff, I'd highly recommend getting a gunsmith to help with fitment of the slide. One should be able to help with both horizontal and vertical movement. In my opinion it's more about fitment of the barrel to the slide if you're going for accuracy.

      November 20, 2016 4:24 pm
Join the community! Log in
Please provide a valid email address.
Password is required.
Please provide a valid display name.
Please provide a valid email address.
The password should contain at least 8 characters with at least one number or special character.
Please accept in order to continue.
Trouble logging in?
Type your email address and we’ll send you a link to reset your password.
Please provide a valid email.
Type your new password and hit button below to confirm it.
Field is required.
Account already exists
We already have an account registered for email address () which is linked to your Facebook account.
To log in type your Pew Pew Meter password below.
Field is required.
Account already exists
We noticed that you have previously logged in with your Account which is linked to the same email address () - we can link both of your accounts together.
In order to link your accounts, hit button below and log in to your Account with the same email as above.

Account in Pew Pew Meter means more

Check what do you get by creating an account
Check and save your reviews!
Bookmark and compare your favorite firearms
Manage your newsletter subscription
pew pew tactical logo

new here?

Personalize your experience.
Select what level shooter you are!

pew pew tactical logo

level up your gun knowledge

Thanks! We'll send you the latest guides and training tips geared towards your level.

pew pew tactical logo


You'll now receive newsletters of our best articles on techniques, guns & gear.

$47 value

yours free!

targets targets

practice targets

printer icon printable

our 9 favorite targets and drills


practice targets

printer icon printable

enter your email to download

We'll only use the information provided according to our privacy policy.

success icon

Ready to Download

Click below to begin your download

download pdf