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The hardened bushing is to prevent wear and battering of the breech face. The old Colt autos had no heat treatment and the slides were soft. While it had already been used in the Pocket Hammerless pistols, it was not used on the military 1911A1 until 1937.

I recently looked at a Model 1917 Colt that the bushing was missing from. A dangerous situation if someone had fired the revolver without the bushing.
 

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The recoil plate was considered an integral part of the slide, and would not show up. The firing pin is removed by drifting out the transverse pin in the slide serrations. The pin goes through a notch in the back part of the firing pin, holding everything in place.

That said, I don't take them any farther apart than field stripping.
 

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There is certainly no disagreement that the recoil plate would have to show up on a blueprint. The recoil plate as well as the slide would have to be dimensioned to allow a press fit, and when pressed into the slide the recoil plate became an integral part of the slide.

Maybe I just don't remember it, but I don't ever recall seeing the recoil plate show on a parts breakdown.
 

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This is a photo of the hardened recoil plate in a 1911A1 slide made in 1937, the first year the recoil plate was used in the .45 service pistol. It was originally pressed in, but changed to threaded shortly after being added to the 1911A1. After WWII the slides were fully hardened, and as no longer needed the recoil plate was eliminated.

 

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It wasn't just the primer. From Clawson:

"Colt had discovered that the striking of the cartridge case against the breech face of the slide at the instant of recoil caused a peening around the firing pin hole after prolonged usage. Flame hardening was likely to warp the thin sides of the slide near the ejection port, therefore, the simple logical solution was to replace the affected area with a plug of hardened steel in the same manner as in the earlier revolvers."

But, I respect your right to call it anything you like.
 
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