Product Tests : SLIP 2000 Thumb Buddy

One of the most ambiguous parts for the 1911, is the full-length recoil spring guides. Some people love them, some hate them, and others simply do not like them. I used to have full-length guide rods (FLGR for short), in my pistols, but I always cursed them because of the difficulty involved in stripping and reassemblying a pistol equipped with one. Additionally, these devices do not seem to offer anything significant to the operation, the reliability or the accuracy of a 1911, so I finally removed them from both pistols and went back to the standard parts, as they were designed by Mr. Browning.

As it usually happens in the market though, if someone invented something and it has a flaw, someone else is going to come up with either a flawless part, or a fix for the flaw. Here comes Thumb Buddy, a device which is supposed to eliminate the main problem associated with an FLGR, the difficulty of stripping and reassemblying the pistol.

The Thumb Buddy consists of two parts, a small plastic piece (actually it is made of delrin, a polymer material I think), and a wierd, stainless steel tool, which looks like your standard bushing wrench, but it does not fit above your barrel bushing! Well, not until you understand that this bushing wrench fits over your bushing the wrong way, see the picture below.

OK, so someone came up with a bushing wrench which fits upside down, so what? Well, first of all, this wrench is easier to operate, compared with a standard wrench, for the simple reason that you do not have to fit both your thumb and the wrench over the recoil spring plug, as you usually do with a normal wrench. Speak about a lost battle here, When you reassemble the pistol, you have to press the recoil spring plug down with your thumb, and then somehow slip the wrench below your thumb, but above the plug, without letting the plug fly (it usually lands at the most unthinkable places, as we all know). With the reverse bushing wrench, your thumb can hold the plug down, while there is still space to insert the bushing wrench and twist that tight bushing to its normal position.

See what I mean?

OK, so this bushing wrench is better than a standard one. Where do the FLGR come into play? Well, we all know that a FLGR comes equipped with a hollow recoil spring plug, right? Have you tried to press one of those into position and then switch the bushing over them? Impossible without a bushing wrench. And then, you still have the problem of fighting what fits over the plug, your thumb or the wrench. Here is where the small delrin part comes into play. The second part of the Thumb Buddy looks like a pipe cut into half, along its axis.

That part fits over the lower front part of your slide, and it compresses the recoil plug into the slide, while still leaving enough space for the reverse wrench to fit over the bushing.

Speak about luxury here! Your thumb no longer fights to compress the recoil spring plug, while at the same time allowing the wrench to fit in between, especially good if the recoil spring plug is one of those hollow ones, which come with an FLGR, which tend to cut your thumb, if you try to compress them.

OK, this last picture is not the best, I only have two hands, and I had to hold the pistol, the plastic thing, the wrench and the camera, so apologies if it is not perfect.

Click here to see an animation of Thumb Buddy in use.

OK, does the Thumb Buddy work? The answer is yes, it does make your life easier if your pistol is equipped with an FLGR. It also makes your life easier, even with the standard recoil plug and rod in your pistol. Do I recommend it? Well, its reverse bushing wrench has replaced the plastic standard wrench I always carry in my shooting bag, so I guess I do recommend it.

In addition, if you order it now, its manufacturer will send you a sample of their SLIP 2000 Gun Lubricant for free, which is an excellent, non-toxic, biodegradable gun oil. So you get two for the price of one.

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